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Picarelli A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Di Tola M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Tabacco F.,UOC Laboratory Diagnostics | Marino M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 4 more authors.
Hormones | Year: 2013

OBJECTIVE: The management of obesity, apart from exercise, mainly involves a calorie restriction regimen. A pharmaceutical treatment is often used to improve patient compliance and diet effectiveness, although several side-effects have previously been described. To improve patient compliance and diet effectiveness without incurring unpleasant side-effects, we evaluated whether a distracting mini-meal can physiologically decrease the absorption of fats and carbohydrates. DESIGN: Two minutes before each of the three meals consumed daily, 32 obese patients were treated with a distracting mini-meal, 32 with metformin, and 32 with placebo. At baseline and after 1, 3, and 6 months of treatment, body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, fasting/post-prandial insulinaemia and glycaemia, homeostasis model assessment-index, triacylglycerols, and total cholesterol were evaluated. RESULTS: All patients showed good compliance. With the exception of post-prandial glycaemia, a significant reduction in all parameters was documented in every group, albeit the greater variation was observed in patients treated with a distracting mini-meal or metformin. No one showed noteworthy side-effects. CONCLUSIONS: Our study focuses on a distracting mini-meal that could become a useful tool in enhancing weight loss. The beneficial effect of a distracting meal on insulin resistance, glucose, and lipid metabolism suggest its possible use to prevent or mitigate obesity-related disorders. Source


Di Tola M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marino M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Amodeo R.,UOC Laboratory Diagnostics | Tabacco F.,UOC Laboratory Diagnostics | And 10 more authors.
Immunobiology | Year: 2014

Background: The ingestion of nickel (Ni)-rich foods may result in allergic contact mucositis (ACM), a not yet well defined condition identifiable by oral mucosa patch test (omPT). Our aim was to characterize immunologically the ACM taking advantage from the allergen exposure that occurs during the omPT for Ni. Methods: Thirty-seven symptomatic patients underwent to omPT for Ni. Before and after omPT, serum and urine Ni concentrations were determined by mass spectrometry, the white blood cells were counted by hemochromocytometric assay, the peripheral lymphocyte typing was carried out by flow cytometry, total IgE and cytokine serum concentrations were measured by immunoenzymatic assays. The local lymphocyte typing was performed by immunohistochemistry only after omPT. Results: According to the omPT outcomes, 25 patients were defined as Ni-sensitive and the remaining 12 as controls. After omPT, serum and urine Ni concentrations increased significantly in all patients, while a significant increment of circulating lymphocytes and neutrophils was highlighted, respectively, in Ni-sensitive and control patients. Consistently, the Th and Tc circulating lymphocytes, as well as the Th/Tc ratio increased significantly in Ni-sensitive patients after omPT. No noteworthy increment in serum concentrations of total IgE and selected cytokines was observed in any patient after omPT. The presence of CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cells was highlighted on the oral mucosa biopsy samples taken from Ni-sensitive patients after omPT. Conclusions: In patients with ACM, a local adaptive response with increased lymphocyte trafficking appears to be the most likely mechanism of reaction to Ni administered with the omPT. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. Source


Di Tola M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Amodeo R.,UOC Laboratory Diagnostics | Marino M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Tabacco F.,UOC Laboratory Diagnostics | And 6 more authors.
Biological Trace Element Research | Year: 2014

Nickel (Ni) exposure through the intestinal mucosa may cause a hypersensitivity reaction recently defined as allergic contact mucositis (ACM). This condition is identifiable by the oral mucosa patch test (omPT), a qualitative and subjective examination that requires clinical expertise. Our aim was to evaluate if a peripheral blood lymphocyte typing performed before and after the omPT for Ni may be able to objectify this examination for diagnostic purposes. Thirty patients with symptoms referable to the ingestion of Ni-rich foods were subjected to omPT for Ni. Before and after the omPT, each patient underwent blood sampling for the typing of total lymphocytes and their subsets (T, T helper or Th, T cytotoxic or Tc, B, natural killer or NK). Statistical analysis was performed by Student t test and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. According to the omPT outcomes, 18 patients were defined as Ni-sensitive and the remaining 12 as controls. In Ni-sensitive patients, the number of total, T, Th, Tc, and B lymphocytes/μL whole blood increased after the omPT (p<0.0001 for the first three, p=0.0004 and p=0.0001 for the last two lymphocyte types). No omPT-dependent lymphocyte increase was observed in controls. The post/pre omPT cell ratio, especially if calculated for Th lymphocytes, appears to be an effective index for diagnostic purposes (sensitivity=100 %, specificity=83.3 %, Youden index=0.833, area under curve (AUC)=0.926, p<0.0001). In conclusion, the peripheral blood lymphocyte typing with calculation of post/pre omPT cell ratio has the potential to support the omPT in diagnosing ACM, with the advantage of providing quantitative and objective data. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media. Source

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