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  • Journal article
    Posma JM, Garcia Perez I, Frost G, Aljuraiban G, Chan Q, Van Horn L, Daviglus M, Stamler J, Holmes E, Elliott P, Nicholson Jet al., 2020,

    Nutriome-metabolome relationships provide insights into dietary intake and metabolism

    , Nature Food, Vol: 1, Pages: 426-436, ISSN: 2662-1355

    Dietary assessment traditionally relies on self-reported data which are often inaccurate and may result in erroneous diet-disease risk associations. We illustrate how urinary metabolic phenotyping can be used as alternative approach for obtaining information on dietary patterns. We used two multi-pass 24-hr dietary recalls, obtained on two occasions on average three weeks apart, paired with two 24-hr urine collections from 1,848 U.S. individuals; 67 nutrients influenced the urinary metabotype measured with ¹H-NMR spectroscopy characterized by 46 structurally identified metabolites. We investigated the stability of each metabolite over time and showed that the urinary metabolic profile is more stable within individuals than reported dietary patterns. The 46 metabolites accurately predicted healthy and unhealthy dietary patterns in a free-living U.S. cohort and replicated in an independent U.K. cohort. We mapped these metabolites into a host-microbial metabolic network to identify key pathways and functions. These data can be used in future studies to evaluate how this set of diet-derived, stable, measurable bioanalytical markers are associated with disease risk. This knowledge may give new insights into biological pathways that characterize the shift from a healthy to unhealthy metabolic phenotype and hence give entry points for prevention and intervention strategies.

  • Journal article
    Garcia Perez I, Posma JM, Chambers E, Mathers J, Draper J, Beckmann M, Nicholson J, Holmes E, Frost Get al., 2020,

    Dietary metabotype modelling predicts individual responses to dietary interventions

    , Nature Food, Vol: 1, Pages: 355-364, ISSN: 2662-1355

    Habitual consumption of poor quality diets is linked directly to risk factors for many non-communicable disease. This has resulted in the vast majority of countries globally and the World Health Organisation developing policies for healthy eating to reduce the prevalence of non communicable disease in the population. However, there is mounting evidence of variability in individual metabolic responses to any dietary intervention. We have developed a method for applying a pipeline for understanding inter-individual differences in response to diet, based on coupling data from highly-controlled dietary studies with deep metabolic phenotyping. In this feasibility study, we create an individual Dietary Metabotype Score (DMS) that embodies inter-individual variability in dietary response and captures consequent dynamic changes in concentrations of urinary metabolites. We find an inverse relationship between the DMS and blood glucose concentration. There is also a relationship between the DMS and urinary metabolic energy loss. Furthermore we employ a metabolic entropy approach to visualize individual and collective responses to dietary. Potentially, the DMS offers a method to target and to enhance dietary response at an individual level therefore reducing burden of non communicable diseases at a population level.

  • Journal article
    Sukkar A, Lett A, Frost G, Chambers Eet al., 2019,

    Regulation of energy expenditure and substrate oxidation by short chain fatty acids

    , Journal of Endocrinology, Vol: 242, Pages: R1-R8, ISSN: 1479-6805

    Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are metabolites produced from the fermentation of dietary fibre by the gut microbiota. High-fibre diets have been associated with lower weight gain and a number of reports have therefore investigated if these positive effects of a dietary fibre on body weight can be replicated through the direct administration of SCFAs. Many of these studies have reported that SCFAs can prevent or attenuate long-term body weight gain by increasing energy expenditure through increased lipid oxidation. The aim of the present review is to therefore evaluate the current evidence for an effect of SCFAs on whole-body energy expenditure and to assess the potential underlying mechanisms. The available data highlights that SCFAs can exert multiple effects at various organ and tissue sites that would cumulatively raise energy expenditure via a promotion of lipid oxidation. In conclusion, the present review proposes that dietary interventions and other therapies that augment gut-derived SCFAs and systemic availability may present an effective strategy to improve long-term energy balance and body weight management.

  • Journal article
    Goiana-da-Silva F, Cruz-E-Silva D, Allen L, Gregório MJ, Severo M, Nogueira PJ, Nunes AM, Graça P, Lopes C, Miraldo M, Breda J, Wickramasinghe K, Darzi A, Araújo F, Mikkelsen Bet al., 2019,

    Modelling impacts of food industry co-regulation on noncommunicable disease mortality, Portugal

    , Bulletin of the World Health Organization, Vol: 97, Pages: 450-459, ISSN: 0042-9686

    Objective: To model the reduction in premature deaths attributed to noncommunicable diseases if targets for reformulation of processed food agreed between the Portuguese health ministry and the food industry were met. Methods: The 2015 co-regulation agreement sets voluntary targets for reducing sugar, salt and trans-fatty acids in a range of products by 2021. We obtained government data on dietary intake in 2015-2016 and on population structure and deaths from four major noncommunicable diseases over 1990-2016. We used the Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl tool to estimate the deaths averted if reformulation targets were met in full. We projected future trends in noncommunicable disease deaths using regression modelling and assessed whether Portugal was on track to reduce baseline premature deaths from noncommunicable diseases in the year 2010 by 25% by 2025, and by 30% before 2030. Findings: If reformulation targets were met, we projected reductions in intake in 2015-2016 for salt from 7.6 g/day to 7.1 g/day; in total energy from 1911 kcal/day to 1897 kcal/day due to reduced sugar intake; and in total fat (% total energy) from 30.4% to 30.3% due to reduced trans-fat intake. This consumption profile would result in 248 fewer premature noncommunicable disease deaths (95% CI: 178 to 318) in 2016. We projected that full implementation of the industry agreement would reduce the risk of premature death from 11.0% in 2016 to 10.7% by 2021. Conclusion: The co-regulation agreement could save lives and reduce the risk of premature death in Portugal. Nevertheless, the projected impact on mortality was insufficient to meet international targets.

  • Journal article
    Carpenter G, Bozorgi S, Vladescu S, Forte A, Myant C, Potineni R, Reddyhoff T, Baier Set al., 2019,

    A study of saliva lubrication using a compliant oral mimic

    , Food Hydrocolloids, Vol: 92, Pages: 10-18, ISSN: 0268-005X

    Due to ethical issues and the difficulty in obtaining biological tissues, it is important to find synthetic elastomers that can be used as replacement test media for research purposes. An important example of this is friction testing to understand the mechanisms behind mouthfeel attributes during food consumption (e.g. syrupy, body and clean finish), which requires an oral mimic. In order to assess the suitability of possible materials to mimic oral surfaces, a sliding contact is produced by loading and sliding a hemispherical silica pin against either a polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS), agarose, or porcine tongue sample. Friction is measured and elastohydrodynamic film thickness is calculated based on the elastic modulus of the samples, which is measured using an indentation method. Tests were performed with both saliva and pure water as the lubricating fluid and results compared to unlubricated conditions.PDMS mimics the tongue well in terms of protein adhesion, with both samples showing significant reductions in friction when lubricated with saliva versus water, whereas agarose showed no difference between saliva and water lubricated conditions. This is attributed to PDMS's OSi(CH3)2- group which provides excellent adhesion for the saliva protein molecules, in contrast with the hydrated agarose surface. The measured modulus of the PDMS (2.2 MPa) is however significantly greater than that of tongue (3.5 kPa) and agarose (66–174 kPa). This affects both the surface (boundary) friction, at low sliding speeds, and the entrained elastohydrodynamic film thickness, at high speeds.Utilising the transparent PDMS sample, we also use fluorescence microscopy to monitor the build-up and flow of dyed-tagged saliva proteins within the contact during sliding. Results confirm the lubricous boundary film forming nature of saliva proteins by showing a strong correlation between friction and average protein intensity signals (cross correlation coefficient = 0.87). This demonstrates

  • Journal article
    Goiana-da-Silva F, Cruz-e-Silva D, Miraldo M, Calhau C, Bento A, Cruz D, Almeida F, Darzi A, Araujo Fet al., 2019,

    Front-of-pack labelling policies and the need for guidance

    , Lancet Public Health, Vol: 4, Pages: E15-E15, ISSN: 2468-2667
  • Journal article
    Sutaria S, Devakumar D, Yasuda SS, Das S, Saxena Set al., 2018,

    Is obesity associated with depression in children? Systematic review and meta-analysis

    , Archives of Disease in Childhood, Vol: 104, Pages: 64-74, ISSN: 1468-2044

    OBJECTIVES: To compare the odds of depression in obese and overweight children with that in normal-weight children in the community. DESIGN: Systematic review and random-effect meta-analysis of observational studies. DATA SOURCES: EMBASE, PubMed and PsychINFO electronic databases, published between January 2000 and January 2017. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR SELECTING STUDIES: Cross-sectional or longitudinal observational studies that recruited children (aged <18 years) drawn from the community who had their weight status classified by body mass index, using age-adjusted and sex-adjusted reference charts or the International Obesity Task Force age-sex specific cut-offs, and concurrent or prospective odds of depression were measured. RESULTS: Twenty-two studies representing 143 603 children were included in the meta-analysis. Prevalence of depression among obese children was 10.4%. Compared with normal-weight children, odds of depression were 1.32 higher (95% CI 1.17 to 1.50) in obese children. Among obese female children, odds of depression were 1.44 (95% CI 1.20 to 1.72) higher compared with that of normal-weight female children. No association was found between overweight children and depression (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.14) or among obese or overweight male subgroups and depression (OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.41% and 1.08, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.37, respectively). Subgroup analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies separately revealed childhood obesity was associated with both concurrent (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.45) and prospective odds (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.88) of depression. CONCLUSION: We found strong evidence that obese female children have a significantly higher odds of depression compared with normal-weight female children, and this risk persists into adulthood. Clinicians should consider screening obese female children for symptoms of depression. BACKGROUND: Childhood mental illness is poorly recognised by

  • Journal article
    Goiana-da-Silva F, Cruz-e-Silva D, Gregorio MJ, Miraldo M, Darzi A, Araujo Fet al., 2018,

    The future of the sweetened beverages tax in Portugal

    , Lancet Public Health, Vol: 3, Pages: E562-E562, ISSN: 2468-2667
  • Journal article
    Miguel-Aliaga I, Jasper H, Lemaitre B, 2018,

    Anatomy and physiology of the digestive tract of drosophila melanogaster

    , Genetics, Vol: 210, Pages: 357-396, ISSN: 0016-6731

    The gastrointestinal tract has recently come to the forefront of multiple research fields. It is now recognized as a major sourceof signals modulating food intake, insulin secretion and energy balance. It is also a key player in immunity and, through its interaction withmicrobiota, can shape our physiology and behavior in complex and sometimes unexpected ways. The insect intestine had remained, bycomparison, relatively unexplored until the identification of adult somatic stem cells in the Drosophila intestine over a decade ago. Sincethen, a growing scientific community has exploited the genetic amenability of this insect organ in powerful and creative ways. By doingso, we have shed light on a broad range of biological questions revolving around stem cells and their niches, interorgan signaling andimmunity. Despite their relatively recent discovery, some of the mechanisms active in the intestine of flies have already been shown to bemore widely applicable to other gastrointestinal systems, and may therefore become relevant in the context of human pathologies such asgastrointestinal cancers, aging, or obesity. This review summarizes our current knowledge of both the formation and function of theDrosophila melanogaster digestive tract, with a major focus on its main digestive/absorptive portion: the strikingly adaptable adult midgut.

  • Journal article
    Goiana-da-Silva F, Nunes AM, Miraldo M, Bento A, Breda J, Araújo FFet al., 2018,

    [Using Pricing Policies to Promote Public Health: The Sugar Sweetened Beverages Taxation Experience in Portugal].

    , Acta Médica Portuguesa, Vol: 31, Pages: 191-195, ISSN: 0870-399X

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