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Llavines F.P.,Avinguda University
Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies | Year: 2013

There is great demand among consumers today for a wide range of tasty and convenient products but, given the ageing population and increases in health care costs, there is an even greater demand for healthier dietary choices. Changes in regulatory requirements have allowed greater use of health claims on food product labels that inform consumers of the health benefits of a certain food or food component. The growth of the functional food market has the potential to affect the health of modern day society. However, with advances in nutritional science and food technology, the consumer has become overwhelmed with confusing health claims and mixed marketing messages for foods. This article gives a general overview of consumer perceptions of functional food and health claims on food labels, reviews the relationship between food and the scientific evidence and opens a final discussion about market, health and communication premises. © 2013 Intellect Ltd Article.

Allue T.,Avinguda University
Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies | Year: 2013

This short professional note discusses how social networks are revolutionising the world of gastronomy and food. It discusses the role of online influencers as played out in some of the most popular gastronomy and food blogs in the Spanish-speaking world. © 2013 Intellect Ltd Miscellaneous.

Martinez-Fernandez L.,Rovira i Virgili University | Pons Z.,Rovira i Virgili University | Margalef M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Arola-Arnal A.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry | Year: 2015

Physiological concentrations (1 μM) of 15 flavonoids were evaluated in human umbilical vein endothelial cells in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) for their ability to affect endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and endothelin-1 (ET-1) expression in order to establish the structural basis of their bioactivity. Flavonoid effects on eNOS transcription factor Krüpple like factor-2 (KLF-2) expression were also evaluated. All studied flavonoids appeared to be effective compounds for counteracting the oxidative stress-induced effects on vascular gene expression, indicating that flavonoids are an excellent source of functional endothelial regulator products. Notably, the more effective flavonoids for KLF-2 up-regulation resulted in the highest values for eNOS expression, showing that the increment of eNOS expression would take place through KLF-2 induction. Structure-activity relationship studies showed that the combinations of substructures on flavonoid skeleton that regulate eNOS expression are made up of the following elements: glycosylation and hydroxylation of C-ring, double bond C2C3 at C-ring, methoxylation and hydroxylation of B-ring, ketone group in C4 at C-ring and glycosylation in C7 of A-ring, while flavonoid features involved in the reduction of vasoconstrictor ET-1 expression are as follows: double bond C2C3 at C-ring glycosylation in C7 of A-ring and ketone group in C4 of C-ring. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Del Bas J.M.,Avinguda University | Caimari A.,Avinguda University | Ceresi E.,University of the Balearic Islands | Arola-Arnal A.,Rovira i Virgili University | And 4 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2015

Diet during pregnancy and lactation is a critical factor in relation to the health of dams and their offspring. Currently, control diets used in metabolic imprinting studies differ in composition and type, i.e. semi-purified diets (SD) or chow-based diets (ND). The aim of the present study was to determine whether two widely used control diets, a SD and a ND, that mainly differ in fat content (5·08 and 3·26%, respectively) and its sources (soyabean oil for the SD and cereals and fish for the ND), fibre (6 and 15%, respectively), and cholesterol (26 and 69 mg/kg diet, respectively) can influence the lipid metabolism of dams and their offspring. Wistar rats were fed either the SD or the ND during pregnancy and lactation. At weaning, SD-fed dams presented severe hepatic steatosis and increased levels of circulating TAG, NEFA and insulin. Importantly, the offspring presented an altered plasma lipid profile. In contrast, the ND allowed for a normal gestation and lactation process, and did not affect the metabolism of offspring. In parallel, virgin rats fed the SD showed no metabolic alterations. A higher intake of SFA and MUFA and a lower consumption of PUFA observed in SD-fed dams during the lactation period could contribute to explaining the observed effects. In conclusion, two different control diets produced very different outcomes in the lipid metabolism of lactating rats and their offspring. The present results highlight the importance of the assessment of the metabolic state of dams when interpreting the results of metabolic programming studies. © The Authors 2015.

Caimari A.,Avinguda University | Puiggros F.,Avinguda University | Suarez M.,Rovira i Virgili University | Crescenti A.,Avinguda University | And 7 more authors.
Food Chemistry | Year: 2015

The effects on lipid and glucose metabolism of a hazelnut skin extract (FIBEROX™) administrated during 8 weeks (HFD-FBX8w group) or during the last 4 weeks of the study (HFD-FBX4w group) to Golden Syrian hamsters fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 8 weeks were investigated. FIBEROX™ consumption reversed the increase in total and LDL plasma cholesterol induced by the HFD feeding in both HFD-FBX groups and decreased the circulating levels of free fatty acids and triglycerides in the HFD-FBX4w animals. The higher excretion of bile acids found in the faeces of both groups of hamsters fed the FIBEROX™ suggests that this mechanism is involved in the cholesterol-lowering effects of the extract. Furthermore, FIBEROX™ intake sharply decreased the lithocholic/deoxycholic bile acid faecal ratio, a risk factor for colon cancer, in both HFD-FBX groups. In conclusion, the consumption of FIBEROX™ improves different risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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