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Di Castelnuovo A.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | Di Giuseppe R.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | Di Giuseppe R.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Iacoviello L.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | De Gaetano G.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale
European Journal of Internal Medicine

Daily intake of an anti-thrombotic diet may offer a suitable and effective way of coronary artery disease (CAD) prevention. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, monounsaturated fat and fish, moderate alcohol consumption but poor in salt, saturated fat and simple sugars, plays an important role in protect against CAD. Chocolate, coffee and tea, unfairly not included in "traditional healthy food basket", have received much attention over the past few years, if for no other reason than they are consumed worldwide and are important dietary sources of polyphenols (flavonols and cathechins). Several in vitro and in vivo studies have tried to elucidate the role of these foods and a large amount of experimental studies clearly indicated a beneficial effect of polyphenols in influencing CAD. However, data from epidemiological studies are not conclusive. The blood pressure lowering effects and the anti-inflammatory activity of dark chocolate suggests its use as potential prophylactic and therapeutic agent, in particular considering that epidemiological studies suggest that dark chocolate is inversely associated with CAD. Although regular consumption of moderate quantities of coffee and (green) tea seems to be associated with a small protection against CAD, results from randomized clinical trials about their beneficial effects are less evident. As for other diffuse consumption habits, such as that of alcohol, moderation is the key word. In fact, both for coffee and chocolate, the optimal healthy effects on CAD have been observed to be associated with a moderate intake, while healthy outcomes vanish at heavy consumption. © 2011 European Federation of Internal Medicine. Source

Di Giuseppe R.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | Arcari A.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | Serafini M.,Antioxidant Research Laboratory | Di Castelnuovo A.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | And 9 more authors.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Background/Objectives: Antioxidant-rich foods may favorably influence lung function. We examined possible associations between the total dietary antioxidant capacity (TAC) and pulmonary function in a healthy Italian population. Subjects/Methods: Until May 2009, 22 300 persons were randomly recruited from the general population in the Moli-sani project. A sample only including healthy women (5824) and men (5848) was analyzed. TAC was measured in foods by three different assays and the ferric reducing-antioxidant power (FRAP) assay was selected as the better indicator of dietary TAC. The European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Food Frequency Questionnaire was used for dietary assessment. The association between quintiles of dietary FRAP and pulmonary indexes was assessed using analysis of variance separately for men and women. Results: After adjustment for confounders, women in the highest quintile of FRAP intake had +39 ml forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV 1) and +54 ml forced vital capacity, compared with those in the lowest quintile (P for trend ≤ 0.006). Stratified analysis showed that this relationship only occurred in women who were premenopausal/never smokers. In this subgroup, the observed effect of higher FRAP intake on FEV 1 was equivalent to an improvement in pulmonary age of 3.3 years. In men, all significant associations between pulmonary function and TAC were lost after adjustment for confounding. Conclusions: Dietary TAC may have a favorable role in respiratory health, particularly in premenopausal/never smoker women. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Di Giuseppe R.,Laboratorio Of Epidemiologia Genetica Ed Ambientale | Di Giuseppe R.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Bertuzzi T.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Rossi F.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | And 6 more authors.
European Journal of Nutrition

Background: Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin present in food that can be found in human blood, due to its long half-life. Plasma OTA detection represents a good parameter for evaluating the exposure at the population level. Purpose: The relation between plasma OTA levels, dietary habits, and specific disease risk biomarkers (body mass index (BMI), C-reactive protein (CRP), and cardiovascular risk score) was investigated. Methods: The study involved 327 subjects (150 men and 177 women) aged between 38 and 48 years. Food consumption was evaluated by means of the EPIC questionnaire; plasma OTA was measured by HPLC; CRP was determined in fresh serum samples by a latex particleenhanced immunoturbidimetric assay. Results: OTA was detected in 99.1% of plasma samples (LOD 25 ng/L); the mean ± SD value was 0.229 ± 0.238 ng/mL. However, only 5.2% of samples exceeded 500 ng/L, considered the threshold for a possible pathogenic activity. The estimated mean daily dietary intake of OTA resulted 0.452 ± 0.468 ng/kg body weight (bw)/day, markedly lower than the tolerable daily intake set by EFSA (17.1 ng/kg bw/day). Processed and mutton/lamb meat were found to contribute most to plasma OTA variance. Nevertheless, cereals, wine, beer, and jam/honey consumption correlated positively with OTA levels. Plasma OTA showed a significant positive association with CRP and cardiovascular risk score (β = 0.20 ± 0.08; P = 0.015 and β = 0.25 ± 0.08; P = 0.001, respectively); however, the association was present in men but not in women. Conclusions: Even if the hypothesis of a possible hepatic toxicity of OTA in humans is yet to be verified, the positive association between plasma OTA and CRP may indicate a possible role of OTA in inflammation status and consequently in the genesis of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. © Springer-Verlag 2011. Source

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