Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana, Slovenia

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Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2010

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an effective natural antioxidant with a fundamental role in cellular bioenergetics and numerous known health benefits. Reports of its natural occurrence in various food items are comprehensively reviewed and critically evaluated. Meat, fish, nuts, and some oils are the richest nutritional sources of CoQ10, while much lower levels can be found in most dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Large variations of CoQ10 content in some foods and food products of different geographical origin have been found. The average dietary intake of CoQ10 is only 3-6 mg, with about half of it being in the reduced form. The intake can be significantly increased by the fortification of food products but, due to its lipophilicity, until recently this goal was not easily achievable particularly with low-fat, water-based products. Forms of CoQ10 with increased water-solubility or dispersibility have been developed for this purpose, allowing the fortification of aqueous products, and exhibiting improved bioavailability; progress in this area is described briefly. Three main fortification strategies are presented and illustrated with examples, namely the addition of CoQ10 to food during processing, the addition of this compound to the environment in which primary food products are being formed (i.e. animal feed), or with the genetic modification of plants (i.e. cereal crops). © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Journal fur Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit | Year: 2011

In the European Union (EU), food supplements are regulated as food and their use is expanding rapidly. There is no enforcement to ensure that good manufacturing practices (GMPs) are followed during production but manufacturers are fully responsible for their products. Recently, the safety and quality of supplements available in the market has come into question. In our surveillance, we examined coenzyme Q10 content of 58 food supplements available in three EU member states or from Internet stores using high-performance liquid chromatography methodology. While some of the tested supplements contained almost exactly the same quantity of active ingredient as labelled, one-third of the products contained <70% of the labelled content. In the food supplements obtained online the medium content was lower than in the products purchased in pharmacies. To protect the consumer and assure the safety and quality of products, the market authorities need to exert better control. In addition, it would make sense to enforce additional requirements to ensure GMPs are followed in the manufacturing process of food supplements. © 2011 Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL).


De Zeeuw D.,University of Groningen | Coll B.,Renal Clinical Development | Andress D.,Renal Clinical Development | Brennan J.J.,Renal Clinical Development | And 13 more authors.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology | Year: 2014

Despite optimal treatment, including renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors, patients with type 2 diabetic nephropathy have high cardiorenal morbidity and mortality related to residual albuminuria. We evaluated whether or not atrasentan, a selective endothelin A receptor antagonist, further reduces albuminuria when administered concomitantly with maximum tolerated labeled doses of RAS inhibitors. We enrolled 211 patients with type 2 diabetes, urine albumin/creatinine ratios of 300-3500 mg/g, and eGFRs of 30-75 ml/min per 1.73 m2 in two identically designed, parallel, multinational, double-blind studies. Participants were randomized to placebo (n=50) or to 0.75 mg/d (n=78) or 1.25 mg/d (n=83) atrasentan for 12 weeks. Compared with placebo, 0.75 mg and 1.25 mg atrasentan reduced urine albumin/creatinine ratios by an average of 35% and 38% (95% confidence intervals of 24 to 45 and 28 to 47, respectively) and reduced albuminuria ≥30% in 51% and 55% of participants, respectively. eGFR and office BP measurements did not change, whereas 24-hour systolic and diastolic BP, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels decreased significantly in both treatment groups. Use of atrasentan was associated with a significant increase in weight and a reduction in hemoglobin, but rates of peripheral edema, heart failure, or other side effects did not differ between groups. However, more patients treated with 1.25 mg/d atrasentan discontinued due to adverse events. After stopping atrasentan for 30 days, measured parameters returned to pretreatment levels. In conclusion, atrasentan reduced albuminuria and improved BP and lipid spectrum with manageable fluid overload-related adverse events in patients with type 2 diabetic nephropathy receiving RAS inhibitors. Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Nephrology.


Martin-Pelaez S.,Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group CARIN | Covas M.I.,Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group CARIN | Covas M.I.,CIBER ISCIII | Fito M.,Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group CARIN | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research | Year: 2013

The Mediterranean diet and consumption of olive oil have been connected in several studies with longevity and a reduced risk of morbidity and mortality. Lifestyle, such as regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and the existing social cohesion in Southern European countries have been recognised as candidate protective factors that may explain the Mediterranean Paradox. Along with some other characteristics of the Mediterranean diet, the use of olive oil as the main source of fat is common in Southern European countries. The benefits of consuming olive oil have been known since antiquity and were traditionally attributed to its high content in oleic acid. However, it is now well established that these effects must also be attributed to the phenolic fraction of olive oil with its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activities. The mechanisms of these activities are varied and probably interconnected. For some activities of olive oil phenolic compounds, the evidence is already strong enough to enable the legal use of health claims on foods. This review discusses the health effects of olive oil phenols along with the possibilities of communicating these effects on food labels. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Korosec Z.,Nutrition Institute | Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
International Journal of Public Health | Year: 2016

Objectives: The marketing of energy-dense foods is recognised as a probable causal factor in children’s overweight and obesity. To stimulate policymakers to start using nutrient profiling to restrict food marketing, a harmonised model was recently proposed by the WHO. Our objective is to evaluate the television advertising of foods in Slovenia using the above-mentioned model. Methods: An analysis is performed using a representative dataset of 93,902 food-related advertisements broadcast in Slovenia in year 2013. The advertisements are linked to specific foods, which are then subject to categorisation according to the WHO and UK nutrient profile model. Results: Advertising of chocolate and confectionery represented 37 % of food-related advertising in all viewing times, and 77 % in children’s (4–9 years) viewing hours. During these hours, 96 % of the food advertisements did not pass the criteria for permitted advertising according to the WHO profile model. Conclusions: Evidence from Slovenia shows that, in the absence of efficient regulatory marketing restrictions, television advertising of food to children is almost exclusively linked to energy-dense foods. Minor modifications of the proposed WHO nutrient profile model are suggested. © 2016 Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+)


Korosec Z.,Nutrition Institute | Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Nutrients | Year: 2014

Processed foods are recognized as a major contributor to high dietary sodium intake, associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Different public health actions are being introduced to reduce sodium content in processed foods and sodium intake in general. A gradual reduction of sodium content in processed foods was proposed in Slovenia, but monitoring sodium content in the food supply is essential to evaluate the progress. Our primary objective was to test a new approach for assessing the sales-weighted average sodium content of prepacked foods on the market. We show that a combination of 12-month food sales data provided by food retailers covering the majority of the national market and a comprehensive food composition database compiled using food labelling data represent a robust and cost-effective approach to assessing the sales-weighted average sodium content of prepacked foods. Food categories with the highest sodium content were processed meats (particularly dry cured meat), ready meals (especially frozen pizza) and cheese. The reported results show that in most investigated food categories, market leaders in the Slovenian market have lower sodium contents than the category average. The proposed method represents an excellent tool for monitoring sodium content in the food supply. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Kusar A.,Nutrition Institute | Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech | Year: 2014

Plants or botanicals are commonly used in both foods and medicines because they contain many different biologically active substances with very different physiological activities. However, the borderline between these uses is often unclear and depends on several factors, including the content of botanicals and their constituents (and their physiological/pharmacological effects), the labelling of a finished product (i.e. the use of health or medicinal claims) and the territory in which a product is being sold. In the European Union, legislation covering the food use of botanicals is not yet harmonised and there are significant differences between countries although, in general, the quality, safety and labelling of those products should comply with all provisions of food law.


Zmitek K.,Nutrition Institute | Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Nutrients | Year: 2016

Salt iodisation is considered a key public health measure for assuring adequate iodine intake in iodine-deficient countries. In Slovenia, the iodisation of all salt was made mandatory in 1953. A considerable regulatory change came in 2003 with the mandatory iodisation of rock and evaporated salt only. In addition, joining the European Union’s free single market in 2004 enabled the import of non-iodised salt. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent of salt iodising in the food supply. We examined both the availability and sale of (non-)iodised salt. Average sales-weighted iodine levels in salt were calculated using the results of a national monitoring of salt quality. Data on the availability and sales of salts were collected in major food retailers in 2014. Iodised salt represented 59.2% of the salt samples, and 95.9% of salt sales, with an average (sales-weighted) level of 24.2 mg KI/kg of salt. The average sales-weighted KI level in non-iodised salts was 3.5 mg KI/kg. We may conclude that the sales-weighted average iodine levels in iodised salt are in line with the regulatory requirements. However, the regulatory changes and the EU single market have considerably affected the availability of non-iodised salt. While sales of non-iodised salt are still low, non-iodised salt represented 33.7% of the salts in our sample. This indicates the existence of a niche market which could pose a risk of inadequate iodine intake in those who deliberately decide to consume non-iodised salt only. Policymakers need to provide efficient salt iodisation intervention to assure sufficient iodine supply in the future. The reported sales-weighting approach enables cost-efficient monitoring of the iodisation of salt in the food supply. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Agro Food Industry Hi-Tech | Year: 2010

The implementation of health claims legislation in the European Union has involved a steep learning curve for everyone. While a few years ago many food companies were quite enthusiastic about the ideas of the easier circulation of goods within the community and protecting the consumer from misleading claims, the picture today is no longer so clear. Due to the high standards needed for the scientific substantiation of health claims, many currently used health claims will soon be banned from the market. Scores of them are indeed not very supported, but at least some of them might be correct, albeit not sufficiently substantiated. It is therefore very important for the industry to learn from the existing evaluations to enable better research in this area and to improve the chances of success of following applications. This paper focuses on the experiences of existing evaluations, leading to a better outcome not only for the industry but also for consumers.


Pravst I.,Nutrition Institute
Food Policy | Year: 2011

There is a well-established consensus on the many biological functions of essential nutrients, and related general function health claims will be soon authorised in the European Union. Such claims about the role of nutrients in the body's growth, development and functioning could provide a powerful marketing tool and significant increase in the consumption of specific food products. Even though these claims are scientifically substantiated, there are both health and ethical concerns about whether such claims should be allowed where the intake of these nutrients easily exceeds the recommendations and a bigger intake might have adverse affects. The case of phosphorus and its role in the maintenance of normal bone is discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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