Nutrition Foundation of Italy

Milano, Italy

Nutrition Foundation of Italy

Milano, Italy
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Aureli P.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanit | Capurso L.,San Filippo Neri Hospital | Castellazzi A.M.,University of Pavia | Clerici M.,University of Milan | And 6 more authors.
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2011

The intestinal microbiota is an ecosystem formed by a variety of ecological niches, made of several bacterial species and a very large amount of strains. The microbiota is in close contact with the intestinal mucosa or epithelial interface which is, after the respiratory area, the largest surface of the body, occupying approximately 250-400 m2. The physiological activities of the microbiota are manifold and are just being unraveled. Based on the observations of the multiple roles played by the microbiota in health and disease, the notion of modifying it with appropriate formulations, i.e. probiotics, is being tested in several settings. This review summarizes the current knowledge on probiotics and discusses both limitations and acquired evidence to support their use in preventive and therapeutic medicine. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Rise P.,University of Milan | Marangoni F.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy
Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series | Year: 2013

The lipid membrane bilayer undergoes continuous changes, and its lipid composition is both adaptive and highly varied, with substantial molecular variety. The balance of dietary fats, namely saturated versus unsaturated, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the n-6 series versus those of the n-3 series, may change membrane composition thus affecting membrane order, intracellular signaling processes, and gene expression. As a consequence, changes in the production of both lipid and peptide mediators influencing the individual adaptive responses take place. More than that of all the other fatty acids, the n-3 PUFA composition of cell membranes depends on their dietary intake. n-3 PUFA levels in cell membranes are related to both inflammatory and immune diseases, possibly by downregulating the expression of genes involved in their synthesis and maybe the pathogenesis of processes associated with the disease itself. The interindividual variability of DNA sequences involved in the synthesis of long-chain PUFA may explain differences in responses to their dietary contribution in regulating the risk of disease. Lifestyle factors (such as smoking and alcohol consumption) may in turn negatively impact PUFA metabolism. Accordingly, different amounts of dietary PUFA may be necessary to meet the requirements for these nutrients in development and disease prevention on an individual basis. Copyright © 2013 Nestec Ltd., Vevey/S. Karger AG, Basel.


Poli A.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy | Visioli F.,University of Padua
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology | Year: 2015

As evidence accumulates, our knowledge of the role of individual fatty acids in cardiovascular disease improves. This re-evaluation is being applied to poly- (PUFAs) and mono- (MUFAs) unsaturated fatty acids. Among the former, omega 6 (or n-6) fatty acids from vegetables and seed oils have always been labeled as cardioprotective. However, this notion was challenged in the 80s, when in vitro data on the high oxidizability of omega 6 fatty acids, their potential pro-inflammatory effects purportedly due to the formation of prostaglandins, and their hypothesized competition for the same enzymes that elongate and desaturate omega 3 fatty acids cast doubts on their healthful roles and even led to the suggestion to limit their dietary intake. As outlined in this review and based on the most recent studies, this is most probably not the case: indeed, adequate intakes of omega 6 fatty acids appear to be extremely helpful in CHD risk reduction and a hypothetical reduction of omega 6 intake by the population at large would actually increase CHD risk. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Filippi A.,Italian Society of General Medicine SIMG | Casula M.,University of Milan | Tragni E.,University of Milan | Brignoli O.,Italian Society of General Medicine SIMG | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation | Year: 2010

Background: Elevated blood pressure (BP) is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. In this study we assessed the excess of cardiovascular risk attributable to high BP and antihypertensive treatment in a sample of Italian patients enrolled by the 'Cholesterol and Health: Education, Control and Knowledge' (CHECK) study. Methods: CHECK is a large, cross-sectional epidemiological study, which randomly enrolled patients aged 40-79 years from 425 Italian General Practices from March 2002 to April 2004. Among 5731 patients enrolled in the study [49.6% men, mean age (standard deviation) 57.7 (10.3) years], 723 (12.6%) had 'optimal' BP, 1496 (26.1%) had 'high normal' BP, and 1942 (33.9%) were hypertensive. Results: According to the European Guidelines stratification of the cardiovascular risk-excess attributable to high BP, 34.7% of the sample had a low added risk and 53.2% had a moderate-to-very high added risk. The pharmacological therapy was prescribed in 22.3, 43.9, 61.4, and 76.9% of the patients with low, moderate, high, and very high added risk, respectively. Conclusion: Overall dietary and drug therapies are under prescribed, as most of the treated patients would require two additional antihypertensive drugs to meet the recommended BP target. This effort could provide significant individual benefit to moderate/high-risk patients. © 2010 The European Society of Cardiology.


Casula M.,University of Milan | Tragni E.,University of Milan | Zambon A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Filippi A.,Italian Society of General Medicine SIMG | And 5 more authors.
European Journal of Internal Medicine | Year: 2013

Background: C-reactive protein (CRP) increases during an inflammatory response; its plasma levels are believed to be an independent predictor of future atherosclerotic disease. We report the distribution of plasma levels of CRP and its possible relationship with other cardiovascular risk factors in an Italian cohort. Methods: CRP was assessed in frozen plasma samples of 1949 participants in the CHECK study (2001-2005), which collected clinical and biochemical data from randomly selected subjects (40-79 years) in the setting of Italian general practice. Results: Median CRP (interquartile range) was higher in women (1.42 [0.58-2.86] vs 1.28 [0.58-2.50]; p =.163), in people aged ≥ 65 years (1.74 [0.89-3.34] vs 1.11 [0.52-2.45]; p <.001), in patients with obesity (2.37 [1.27-4.15] vs 1.16 [0.52-2.41]; p <.001), metabolic syndrome (2.12 [1.16-3.72] vs 1.10 [0.50-2.38]; p <.001), or higher cardiovascular risk (2.03 [1.01-3.42] vs 1.19 [0.53-2.50]; p <.001). Stepwise regression analysis showed significant associations (R2 =.264) of circulating logeCRP with body mass index, fibrinogen, apoB, age, gender, smoking habits, physical inactivity, creatinine levels, and systolic blood pressure. Conclusion: This study provides epidemiological data of CRP in the Italian population and reinforces the existing evidences about the close correlation between CRP and markers of inflammation and adiposity. © 2012 European Federation of Internal Medicine.


Caroli A.,University of Brescia | Poli A.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy | Ricotta D.,University of Brescia | Banfi G.,IRCCS Instituto Ortopedico Galeazzi | Cocchi D.,University of Brescia
Journal of Dairy Science | Year: 2011

The aim of this review was to focus on the complex relationships between milk and dairy products intake and bone health, with particular emphasis on osteoporosis. The literature was extensively examined to provide an objective overview of the most significant achievements on the subject. Osteoporosis can be defined as a disease characterized by low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to enhanced bone fragility and a consequent increase in fracture risk. Although the major determinants of peak bone mass and strength are genetic, major factors during childhood and adolescence may affect the ability to achieve peak bone mass. These include nutrition, particularly calcium and protein intake, physical activity, endocrine status, as well as exposure to a wide variety of risk factors. The role of calcium intake in determining bone mineral mass is well recognized to be the most critical nutritional factor to achieve optimal peak bone mass. The greatest amount of dietary calcium is obtained from milk and dairy foods, which also provide the human diet with vitamin D (particularly for products fortified with vitamin D), potassium, and other macro- and micronutrients. Although studies supporting the beneficial effects of milk or calcium on bone health are predominant in the literature, perplexity or discordance on this subject was expressed by some authors. Discordant data, mainly on the risk of fractures, provided limited proof of the unfavorable effect of dairy intake. More often, discordant works indicate no effect of dairy consumption on bone safety. Some considerations can be drawn from this viewpoint. Milk and dairy products are an optimal source of calcium as well as of other limiting nutrients (e.g., potassium and magnesium), with important effects on bone health. Bioactive components occurring in milk and dairy products may play an essential role on bone metabolism, as shown by in vivo and in vitro studies on colostrum acidic proteins and milk basic proteins. Calcium intake positively affects bone mass and is crucial in childhood and youth for correct bone development. In elderly people, calcium intake as well as vitamin D availability should be carefully checked. As a general conclusion, calcium is essential for bone health, although it will not prevent bone loss due to other factors; in this context, milk and dairy foods are bioavailable, relatively inexpensive sources of calcium for the human diet. © 2011 American Dairy Science Association.


Marangoni F.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy | Poli A.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy
Pharmacological Research | Year: 2010

Phytosterols are typical constituents of plants' cell walls. When ingested with plant foods, they reduce cholesterol absorption from the gut, due to their structural similarity with cholesterol. In the last decades, purified plant sterols or stanols have been added to various foods items to obtain functional foods with remarkable hypocholesterolemic activity. A daily intake of plant sterols or stanols of 1.6-2 g/day, incorporated in these foods, is able to reduce cholesterol absorption from the gut by about 30%, and plasma LDL cholesterol levels by 8-10%. Since the action of plant sterols or stanols on plasma LDL cholesterol is additive to that of statins, the former can be used to increase the latter's hypocholesterolemic action in patients needing a marked reduction in plasma LDL cholesterol levels. Phytosterols, up to 3 g/day, are safe and effective cholesterol-lowering agents. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Poli A.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy
Giornale Italiano di Diabetologia e Metabolismo | Year: 2015

Type 2 diabetic patients, with their high cardio-metabolic risk, need to pay close attention to the quality of dietary macronutrients. Among dietary fats, they should prefer extra-virgin olive oil (with its high content of antioxidant polyphenols), and food rich in polyunsaturated fats, both omega-3 and omega-6. Dietary cholesterol (and egg yolk) needs to be restricted, even though it has only weak effects on plasma cholesterol (especially in diabetics). Carbohydrates should be selected among low glycemic index products, possibly whole-grain cereals, rich in fiber. Alcohol intake, if moderate, needs not be discouraged. These general concepts suggest that the Mediterranean diet, with some selected adaptation, may continue to serve as the reference dietary model for diabetic patients. © 2015, UTET Periodici Scientifici srl. All rights reserved.


Visioli F.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy | Poli A.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy | Paoletti R.,Nutrition Foundation of Italy
Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism | Year: 2010

In this article, we critically address the contribution of dietary advice to the overall strategy of prevention and treatment of the metabolic syndrome. In particular, we underline how an appropriate choice of food items and nutrients should anticipate or accompany pharmacological therapy (often greatly limiting the use of drugs). © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Nutrition Foundation of Italy
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Pharmacological research | Year: 2010

Phytosterols are typical constituents of plants cell walls. When ingested with plant foods, they reduce cholesterol absorption from the gut, due to their structural similarity with cholesterol. In the last decades, purified plant sterols or stanols have been added to various foods items to obtain functional foods with remarkable hypocholesterolemic activity. A daily intake of plant sterols or stanols of 1.6-2g/day, incorporated in these foods, is able to reduce cholesterol absorption from the gut by about 30%, and plasma LDL cholesterol levels by 8-10%. Since the action of plant sterols or stanols on plasma LDL cholesterol is additive to that of statins, the former can be used to increase the latters hypocholesterolemic action in patients needing a marked reduction in plasma LDL cholesterol levels. Phytosterols, up to 3g/day, are safe and effective cholesterol-lowering agents.

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