23 February 2021 In Liver Disease
OBJECTIVE: To study the interaction of alcohol consumption with body mass index (BMI) in the development of hepatic steatosis and mortality. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 18,506 participants without fatty liver disease or cirrhosis at enrollment in the Mayo Clinic Biobank from April 9, 2009, through March 31, 2016. Participants were classified by self-reported alcohol consumption status (nondrinkers, moderate drinkers [0 to 2 drinks per day], and heavy drinkers [>2 drinks per day]). The primary outcome of interest was the incidence of hepatic steatosis, identified by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code and confirmed with imaging. The secondary outcome of interest was all-cause mortality. Multivariate Cox regression analysis determined the impact of alcohol consumption stratified by BMI on outcomes compared with nondrinkers. RESULTS: The cohort (mean +/- SD age, 55.8+/-16.9 years; 63.8% female; mean +/- SD BMI, 28.8+/-6.1 kg/m(2)) of 18,506 participants included 3657 (19.8%) nondrinkers, 14,236 (76.9%) moderate drinkers, and 613 (3.3%) heavy drinkers at enrollment. After a median follow-up of 5.8 years (interquartile range, 3.8 to 7.2 years), 684 participants had development of hepatic steatosis and 968 died. In moderate drinkers, the risk of hepatic steatosis development was high in the obese group (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 1.31; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.67), insignificant in the overweight group (AHR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.26), and decreased in the normal-BMI group (AHR, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.90). Heavy drinkers had an increased risk of hepatic steatosis irrespective of BMI. Moderate alcohol use was associated with decreased mortality in the normal-weight (AHR, 0.44; 95% CI, 0.34 to 0.58) and overweight (AHR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.56 to 0.88) groups but not in the obese group (AHR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.00). CONCLUSION: In obese individuals, even moderate alcohol use is associated with the development of hepatic steatosis. Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower mortality in normal-BMI and overweight individuals but not in those who are obese.
23 November 2020 In Phenolic compounds

OBJECTIVES: Habitual diet plays a major role in shaping the composition of the gut microbiota, and also determines the repertoire of microbial metabolites that can influence the host. The typical Western diet corresponds to that of an omnivore; however, the Mediterranean diet (MD), common in the Western Mediterranean culture, is to date a nutritionally recommended dietary pattern that includes high-level consumption of cereals, fruit, vegetables and legumes. To investigate the potential benefits of the MD in this cross-sectional survey, we assessed the gut microbiota and metabolome in a cohort of Italian individuals in relation to their habitual diets.

DESIGN AND RESULTS: We retrieved daily dietary information and assessed gut microbiota and metabolome in 153 individuals habitually following omnivore, vegetarian or vegan diets. The majority of vegan and vegetarian subjects and 30% of omnivore subjects had a high adherence to the MD. We were able to stratify individuals according to both diet type and adherence to the MD on the basis of their dietary patterns and associated microbiota. We detected significant associations between consumption of vegetable-based diets and increased levels of faecal short-chain fatty acids, Prevotella and some fibre-degrading Firmicutes, whose role in human gut warrants further research. Conversely, we detected higher urinary trimethylamine oxide levels in individuals with lower adherence to the MD.

CONCLUSIONS: High-level consumption of plant foodstuffs consistent with an MD is associated with beneficial microbiome-related metabolomic profiles in subjects ostensibly consuming a Western diet.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: This study was registered at clinical trials.gov as NCT02118857.

23 November 2020 In Phenolic compounds

Low grade inflammation is characterized by raised concentrations of inflammatory markers in the absence of any overt symptoms and is recognized as a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Many studies suggest that low grade inflammation is mitigated by health promoting behaviours such as healthy eating patterns, physical activity, body weight maintenance and tobacco cessation. To date, large scale studies were mainly focused on circulating markers and little evidence is available on cellular biomarkers.

The MOLI-SANI study is a prospective cohort study that has recruited 24 325 men and women aged >/=35 years from the general population of the Molise Region, a Southern Italian area, with the purpose of investigating genetic and environmental risk/protection factors for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease and cancer. Within this cohort, a composite score of low grade inflammation based on the use of plasmatic (C-reactive protein) and cellular (leukocyte and platelet counts and granulocyte : lymphocyte ratio) biomarkers has been proposed and validated. This score accounts for all possible synergistic effects of such inflammatory markers, thus overcoming any potential bias linked to the multi-collinearity of these variables.

Of notice, the MOLI-SANI study was the first to address the relationship between the traditional Mediterranean diet and platelet and leucocyte counts as emerging cellular biomarkers of low grade inflammation. The present review paper will discuss the main findings derived from the MOLI-SANI study on the association of low grade inflammation with a Mediterranean eating pattern, with a particular emphasis on the associated dietary polyphenols.

23 November 2020 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Adherence to a healthy lifestyle is associated with substantially lower risks of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer in white populations. However, little is known about the health benefits among non-white populations. Also, no previous studies have focused on respiratory disease mortality in both white and non-white populations. We assessed the relationships between a combination of healthy lifestyle factors and multiple death outcomes in Chinese adults.

METHODS: This study included 487,198 adults aged 30-79 years from the China Kadoorie Biobank without heart disease, stroke, and cancer at study enrolment. We defined five healthy lifestyle factors as never smoking or smoking cessation not due to illness; non-daily drinking or moderate alcohol drinking; median or higher level of physical activity; a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes and fish, and limited in red meat; a body mass index of 18.5 to 27.9 kg/m(2) and a waist circumference < 90 cm (men)/85 cm (women). Cox regression was used to produce adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) relating these healthy lifestyle factors to all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 10.2 years (IQR 9.2-11.1), we documented 37,845 deaths. After multivariable adjustment, the number of healthy lifestyle factors exhibited almost inverse linear relationships with the risks of all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Compared with participants without any healthy factors, the hazard ratio of participants with five healthy factors was 0.32 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.28, 0.37] for all-cause mortality. The corresponding HRs in specific cause of death were 0.42 (95% CI: 0.26, 0.67) for ischaemic heart disease, 0.21 (95% CI: 0.09, 0.49) for ischaemic stroke, 0.37 (95% CI: 0.22, 0.60) for haemorrhage stroke, 0.36 (95% CI: 0.29, 0.45) for cancer, 0.26 (95% CI: 0.14, 0.48) for respiratory diseases, and 0.29 (95% CI: 0.22, 0.39) for other causes. Theoretically, 38.5% (95% CI: 33.0, 43.8%) of all-cause mortality was attributable to nonadherence to a healthy lifestyle, and the proportions of preventable deaths through lifestyle modification ranged from 26.9 to 47.9% for cause-specific mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to a healthy lifestyle was associated with substantially lower risks of all-cause, cardiovascular, respiratory, and cancer mortality in Chinese adults. Promotion of a healthy lifestyle may considerably reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases in China.

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