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.

25 August 2020 In General Health

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between alcohol drinking patterns and health-related quality of life (HRQL).

METHODS: Population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008-2010 among 12,715 adult individuals in Spain. HRQL was assessed with the SF-12 questionnaire and alcohol intake with a diet history. The threshold between average moderate drinking and average heavy drinking was >/= 40 g/day of alcohol in men and >/= 24 g/day in women. Binge drinking was defined as the intake of >/= 80 g in men and >/= 60 g in women at any drinking session during the preceding 30 days. Analyses were performed with linear regression and adjusted for the main confounders.

RESULTS: Compared to non-drinkers, all types of average drinkers reported better scores on the SF-12 physical component: beta=1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.03 to 1.81) in moderate drinkers and beta=1.86 (1.07 to 2.64) in heavy drinkers. In contrast, average alcohol consumption was not associated with the mental component of the SF-12. The number of binge drinking episodes and most types of beverage preference showed no association with physical or mental HRQL.

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol drinkers, including those with heavy drinking, reported better physical HRQL than non-drinkers.

06 May 2014 In Cardiovascular System

Individual associations of alcohol consumption and physical activity with cardiovascular disease are relatively established, but the joint associations are not clear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine prospectively the joint associations between alcohol consumption and physical activity with cardiovascular mortality (CVM) and all-cause mortality. Four population-based studies in the United Kingdom were included, the 1997 and 1998 Health Surveys for England and the 1998 and 2003 Scottish Health Surveys. In men and women, respectively, low physical activity was defined as 0.1 to 5 and 0.1 to 4 MET-hours/week and high physical activity as >/=5 and >/=4 MET-hours/week. Moderate or moderately high alcohol intake was defined as >0 to 35 and >0 to 21 units/week and high levels of alcohol intake as >35 and >21 units/week. In total, there were 17,410 adults without prevalent cardiovascular diseases and complete data on alcohol and physical activity (43% men, median age 55 years). During a median follow-up period of 9.7 years, 2,204 adults (12.7%) died, 638 (3.7%) with CVM. Cox proportional-hazards models were adjusted for potential confounders such as marital status, social class, education, ethnicity, and longstanding illness. In the joint associations analysis, low activity combined with high levels of alcohol (CVM: hazard ratio [HR] 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28 to 2.96, p = 0.002; all-cause mortality: HR 1.64, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.03, p <0.001) and low activity combined with no alcohol (CVM: HR 1.93, 95% CI 1.35 to 2.76, p <0.001; all-cause mortality: HR 1.50, 95% CI 1.24 to 1.81, p <0.001) were linked to the highest risk, compared with moderate drinking and higher levels of physical activity. Within each given alcohol group, low activity was linked to increased CVM risk (e.g., HR 1.48, 95% CI 1.08 to 2.03, p = 0.014, for the moderate drinking group), but in the presence of high physical activity, high alcohol intake was not linked to increased CVM risk (HR 1.32, 95% CI 0.52 to 3.34, p = 0.555). In conclusion, high levels of drinking and low physical activity appear to increase the risk for cardiovascular and all-cause mortality, although these data suggest that physical activity levels are more important.

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