Agency of Nutrition

Firenze, Italy

Agency of Nutrition

Firenze, Italy
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Sofi F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,Agency of Nutrition | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | Abbate R.,University of Florence | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2012

Background: Adherence to Mediterranean diet has been shown to be associated with a better health and greater survival. The aim of the present study was to identify change-points in the relationship between food groups composing Mediterranean diet and overall mortality. Methods: The population of the Greek EPIC prospective cohort study (23,349 adult men and women in the Greek EPIC sample who had not previously been diagnosed as having cancer, coronary heart disease or diabetes mellitus at enrolment) was analysed. Segmented logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the association between each of the food groups contributing to the Mediterranean diet score and overall mortality. Results: This analysis allowed the determination of the following change-points: among men: 1 change-point for vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish and seafood and dairy products and 2 change-points for fruit and nuts, meat and meat products and ethanol; among women: 1 change-point for legumes and fish and seafood and 2 change-points for the remaining food groups. These cut-off points were used to construct an 'a posteriori' score that may be better in capturing the health-promoting potential of the traditional Mediterranean diet. Conclusion: Identification of change-points in the relationship between components of the Mediterranean diet and mortality can be used to increase the discriminatory ability of a widely used Mediterranean diet score in relation to mortality. © Springer-Verlag 2011.

Sofi F.,Thrombosis Center | Sofi F.,Agency of Nutrition | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Italy | Giorgi G.,University of Florence | And 9 more authors.
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of consuming gilthead sea bream fillets, with different n-6/ n-3 ratios, on atherosclerotic biomarkers. Twenty healthy subjects were included in a randomised single-blinded cross-over trial. Participants were randomized into 2 groups, both of which received approximately 630 g per week of gilthead sea bream fed with either 100% fishmeal (FM) or partial replacement with plant proteins (PP) over two consecutive 10 week periods, respectively. Group A consumed firstly the FM fillets followed by the PP fillets, whereas the reverse order was adopted for group B. Group A reported a significant decrease of 29.3% (Δ = -26 mg/dL) in total cholesterol after the first phase of the intervention, before returning to baseline levels after the dietary intervention with fish fed with PP. Similarly, in group A, both LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides decreased significantly by 21.6% (Δ = -19 mg/dL) and 11.7% (Δ = -10.7 mg/dL), respectively, before increasing again after the intervention. Improvements in the inflammatory cytokines, interleukin-6 and -8 were also noted. Moreover, whole blood viscosity appeared significantly improved in group A, as seen by a significant increase of 7.59% (Δ = +4.59 mPA) for erythrocyte filtration rate. In conclusion, similar EPA+DHA content with different n-6/n-3 ratio fish flesh intake was shown to have varied affects on lipid, inflammatory and haemorheological parameters in a group of healthy subjects.

Sofi F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | Sofi F.,Agency of Nutrition | Molino Lova R.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | And 10 more authors.
European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine | Year: 2011

Background. Back pain is a significant problem due to the high healthcare utilization, rising costs of care and low effectiveness of many current treatments. Aim. Aim of this study was to determine the effects of a community-based Adapted Physical Activity (APA) program focused on chronic, non-specific back pain. Design. Open-label intervention study. Setting. Community. Population. All patients admitted to Empoli Rehabilitation Department for non-specific back pain for at least three months, were considered for APA. Exclusion criteria were: "red flags", difficulty/disability in basic daily living activities, severe/acute medical conditions, acute pain, psychiatric disease or cognitive impairment, severe visuoauditory deficit. Overall, 650 persons were enrolled. Methods. The APA program, including strength and flexibility training and exercises for improving posture was delivered for 12 months, with 1-hour group classes three times per week. Results. Overall 261 (40.2%) subjects completed the 12-month APA program and were compared to the 310 (47.7%) who were screened but failed to initiate or complete the study. There were no significant differences in baseline demographic and clinical characteristics between groups. Patients who followed the APA program reported significantly improved health status and significant back pain improvement, compared with those who did not adhere to the program. In the logistic regression analysis adjusted for age and gender, a distance from home to gymnasium greater than the median for the study population (2.6 km) was the only baseline characteristic significantly associated with an increased risk of non-adherence (OR 1.44, 95%CI 1.01-2.13; P=0.04). Conclusion. This study suggests that a communitybased APA program can improve back pain and health status in persons with chronic, non-specific low back pain. Clinical rehabilitation impact. These findings highlight the potential for new approaches to manage chronic disease and disability by facilitating a healthy lifestyle and promoting physical activity through implementation of community-based exercise programs.

Cesari F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,Agency of Nutrition | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | And 9 more authors.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2012

Background To assess the effect of a personalized physical activity programme on weight and circulating (CPC) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) in overweight and obese subjects. Materials and methods Anthropometric measurements with body composition, cardiopulmonary test, maximal stress exercise test with maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and a series of biochemical analyses were taken before (T0) and after 3months of physical activity (T1) in a total of 80 overweight and obese subjects. CPC and EPC were determined using flow cytometry and were defined as CD34+, CD133+ and CD34+/CD133+ for CPC and CD34+KDR+, CD133+KDR+ and CD34+CD133+KDR+ for EPC. Results At the end of the programme, we divided the population into two groups, compliant individuals (group A, n=47) and noncompliant individuals (group B, n=33). Group A reported significant reductions of weight by 3·1% (P<0·0001) and fat mass by 4·4% (P<0·0001), while group B showed a percentage of increase in fat mass by 1·5% at T1. In group A, a trend of increase at T1 for circulating levels of CPC and EPC was observed, reaching the statistical significance for all the three types of EPC. On the contrary, group B showed no significant increase in CPC and EPC. Furthermore, a significant correlation between decrease in fat mass and increase in CD133+/KDR+ EPC was reported in group A (r=0·50; P=0·04). Conclusion Three months of physical activity significantly improved anthropometric measurements. A beneficial effect of increased number of EPC in compliant individuals, in relation to weight loss, was observed. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Clinical Investigation © 2012 Stichting European Society for Clinical Investigation Journal Foundation.

Sofi F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,Agency of Nutrition | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | Macchi C.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | And 5 more authors.
BioFactors | Year: 2013

Over the last decades, a considerable body of evidence supported the hypothesis that diet and dietary factors play a relevant role in the occurrence of diseases. To date, all the major scientific associations as well as the World Health Organization and the nonscientific organizations place an ever-increasing emphasis on the role of diet in preventing noncommunicable diseases. Many studies have evaluated the associations between food groups, foods, or nutrients and chronic diseases, and a consensus about the role of nutritional factors in the etiology of common diseases, such as cardiovascular and neoplastic diseases, has gradually emerged. Indeed, data from analytical and experimental studies indicated a relation between increased consumption of some food categories such as fruits and vegetables, fiber and whole grains, fish, and moderate consumption of alcohol and reduced risk of major chronic degenerative diseases, whereas increased total caloric intake, body weight, meat, and fats are associated with greater risk. However, the appropriate dietary strategy to prevent chronic degenerative diseases remains a challenging and a highly relevant issue. Recently, Mediterranean diet has been extensively reported to be associated with a favorable health outcome and a better quality of life. In the present review, we encompass the updated evidence of the beneficial effects of Mediterranean diet in the occurrence of major chronic degenerative diseases. © 2013 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Sofi F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,Agency of Nutrition | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation | Abbate R.,University of Florence | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2010

Background: The Mediterranean diet has long been reported to be protective against the occurrence of several different health outcomes. Objective: We aimed to update our previous meta-analysis of published cohort prospective studies that investigated the effects of adherence to the Mediterranean diet on health status. Design: We conducted a comprehensive literature search through electronic databases up to June 2010. Results: The updated review process showed 7 prospective studies published in the past 2 y that were not included in the previous meta-analysis (1 study for overall mortality, 3 studies for cardiovascular incidence or mortality, 1 study for cancer incidence or mortality, and 2 studies for neurodegenerative diseases). These recent studies included 2 health outcomes not previously investigated (ie, mild cognitive impairment and stroke). The meta-analysis for all studies with a random-effects model that was conducted after the inclusion of these recent studies showed that a 2-point increase in adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a significant reduction of overall mortality [relative risk (RR) = 0.92; 95% CI: 0.90, 0.94], cardiovascular incidence or mortality (RR = 0.90; 95% CI: 0.87, 0.93), cancer incidence or mortality (RR = 0.94; 95% CI: 0.92, 0.96), and neurodegenerative diseases (RR = 0.87; 95% CI: 0.81, 0.94). The meta-regression analysis showed that sample size was the most significant contributor to the model because it significantly influenced the estimate of the association for overall mortality. Conclusion: This updated meta-analysis confirms, in a larger number of subjects and studies, the significant and consistent protection provided by adherence to the Mediterranean diet in relation to the occurrence of major chronic degenerative diseases. © 2010 American Society for Nutrition.

Sofi F.,University of Florence | Sofi F.,Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Italy | Abbate R.,University of Florence | Gensini G.F.,University of Florence | And 2 more authors.
Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Cardiac Series | Year: 2012

Over the last years, numerous evidence on the existing relationship between nutrition and chronic degenerative diseases have led investigators to search for the optimal dietary pattern to maintain a good health status. It's well known, in fact, that nutrition is capable of substantially modifying the risk profile of a subject in primary and/or secondary prevention. Several models of diet have been imposed on public attention, but the one that got the most interest is certainly the Mediterranean diet. Recently, several studies have shown that a strict adherence to a Mediterranean dietary pattern is associated with a lower incidence of mortality and incidence of chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Meta-analyses conducted by our group have revealed, in a population of over than 2 million of people, that adherence to Mediterranean diet determines a significant reduction on the risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular accidents. To the best of the knowledge the most effective indications for an optimal therapeutic strategy in nutrition include: increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables up to the recommended 5 servings a day, prefer whole grains, replace saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats, reduce the consumption of sugar and sweetened beverages, and limit salt intake. With these simple indications, together with recommendations of following the principles of the traditional Mediterranean diet, a substantial reduction of the risk of incidence and / or mortality from cardiovascular disease can be easily obtained.

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