- A rapid LC-MS method for qualitative and quantitative profiling of plant apocarotenoids. [Journal Article]
- ACAnal Chim Acta 2018 Dec 04; 1035:87-95
- Carotenoid cleavage products (apocarotenoids; APOs) exert important biological functions in light perception and as vitamin A source, signaling molecules, hormone precursors, pigments and volatiles. ...
Carotenoid cleavage products (apocarotenoids; APOs) exert important biological functions in light perception and as vitamin A source, signaling molecules, hormone precursors, pigments and volatiles. However, an analytical method that allows simultaneous profiling of these diverse compounds is still missing. We developed an efficient method to analyze APOs present in plant tissues, which is based on ultra-high performance liquid chromatographic separation and high-resolution hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap (Q-Orbitrap) mass spectrometry (MS). Our approach allowed unambiguous identification and quantification of volatile and non-volatile APOs in a single run. Modified sample preparation and optimized ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-MS parameters permitted the measurement of APOs in Oryza sativa seedlings and Spinacia oleracea leaves, unraveling 20 endogenous APOs with chain lengths ranging from C10 to C30, confirmed by high-resolution MS, MS/MS data and using synthetic standards. Our experimentation demonstrates that the usage of methanol with 0.1% butylated hydroxytoluene facilitates the extraction of both short-chain and long-chain APOs from plant materials. In addition, our validated analytical method allows the quantitative analysis of APOs with a wide content range from 2.5 pg/mg to 10 ng/mg dried weight. The adoption of the analytical protocol, as described in this study, realizes the measurement of volatile APOs by using a LC-MS method, hence, allowing informative and reliable profiling of APOs, which is important for determining the content of these compounds in food and crucial for understanding their function and metabolism in plants.
- A Life in Vision. [Journal Article]
- ARAnnu Rev Vis Sci 2018 Sep 15; 4:1-23
- I was drawn into research in George Wald's laboratory at Harvard, where as an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied vitamin A deficiency and dark adaptation. A chance observation while an ass...
I was drawn into research in George Wald's laboratory at Harvard, where as an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied vitamin A deficiency and dark adaptation. A chance observation while an assistant professor at Harvard led to the major research of my career-to understand the functional organization of vertebrate retinas. I started with a retinal circuit analysis of the primate retina with Brian Boycott and intracellular retinal cell recordings in mudpuppies with Frank Werblin. Subsequent pharmacology studies with Berndt Ehinger primarily with fish focused on dopamine and neuromodulation. Using zebrafish, we studied retinal development, neuronal connectivity, and the effects of genetic mutations on retinal structure and function. Now semi-retired, I have returned to primate retinal circuitry, undertaking a connectomic analysis of the human fovea in Jeffrey Lichtman's laboratory.
- From disagreements to dialogue: unpacking the Golden Rice debate. [Review]
- SSSustain Sci 2018; 13(5):1469-1482
- Transgenic Golden Rice has been hailed as a practical solution to vitamin A deficiency, but has also been heavily criticized. To facilitate a balanced view on this polarized debate, we investigated e...
Transgenic Golden Rice has been hailed as a practical solution to vitamin A deficiency, but has also been heavily criticized. To facilitate a balanced view on this polarized debate, we investigated existing arguments for and against Golden Rice from a sustainability science perspective. In a structured literature review of peer-reviewed publications on Golden Rice, we assessed to what extent 64 articles addressed 70 questions covering different aspects of sustainability. Using cluster analysis, we grouped the literature into two major branches, containing two clusters each. These clusters differed in the range and nature of the sustainability aspects addressed, disciplinary affiliation and overall evaluation of Golden Rice. The 'biotechnological' branch (clusters: 'technical effectiveness' and 'advocacy') was dominated by the natural sciences, focused on biophysical plant-consumer interactions, and evaluated Golden Rice positively. In contrast, the 'socio-systemic' branch (clusters: 'economic efficiency' and 'equity and holism') was primarily comprised of social sciences, addressed a wider variety of sustainability aspects including participation, equity, ethics and biodiversity, and more often pointed to the shortcomings of Golden Rice. There were little to no integration efforts between the two branches, and highly polarized positions arose in the clusters on 'advocacy' and 'equity and holism'. To explore this divide, we investigated the influences of disciplinary affiliations and personal values on the respective problem framings. We conclude that to move beyond a polarized debate, it may be fruitful to ground the Golden Rice discourse in facets and methods of sustainability science, with an emphasis on participation and integration of diverging interests.
- Retinoids Issued from Hepatic Stellate Cell Lipid Droplet Loss as Potential Signaling Molecules Orchestrating a Multicellular Liver Injury Response. [Journal Article]
- CCells 2018 Sep 13; 7(9)
- Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) serve as the main body storage compartment for vitamin A through retinyl ester (RE)-filled lipid droplets (LDs). Upon liver injury, HSCs adopt a myofibroblastic phenotyp...
Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) serve as the main body storage compartment for vitamin A through retinyl ester (RE)-filled lipid droplets (LDs). Upon liver injury, HSCs adopt a myofibroblastic phenotype characterized by an elevated expression of extracellular matrix proteins and a concomitant loss of LDs. On the one hand, LD breakdown has been suggested to provide the energy required for HSC activation into myofibroblast-like cells. On the other hand, this process could mitigate HSC activation following the transformation of released REs into retinoic acids (RAs), ligands for nuclear receptors exerting antifibrotic transcriptional regulatory activities in HSCs. Importantly, RAs may also constitute a means for HSCs to orchestrate the liver response to injury by triggering transcriptional effects in multiple additional surrounding liver cell populations. We envision that new approaches, such as single-cell technologies, will allow to better define how RAs are issued from LD loss in HSCs exert a multicellular control of the liver (patho)physiology.
- Identification and Characterization of microRNAs during Retinoic Acid-Induced Regeneration of a Molluscan Central Nervous System. [Journal Article]
- IJInt J Mol Sci 2018 Sep 13; 19(9)
- Retinoic acid (RA) is the biologically active metabolite of vitamin A and has become a well-established factor that induces neurite outgrowth and regeneration in both vertebrates and invertebrates. H...
Retinoic acid (RA) is the biologically active metabolite of vitamin A and has become a well-established factor that induces neurite outgrowth and regeneration in both vertebrates and invertebrates. However, the underlying regulatory mechanisms that may mediate RA-induced neurite sprouting remain unclear. In the past decade, microRNAs have emerged as important regulators of nervous system development and regeneration, and have been shown to contribute to processes such as neurite sprouting. However, few studies have demonstrated the role of miRNAs in RA-induced neurite sprouting. By miRNA sequencing analysis, we identify 482 miRNAs in the regenerating central nervous system (CNS) of the mollusc Lymnaeastagnalis, 219 of which represent potentially novel miRNAs. Of the remaining conserved miRNAs, 38 show a statistically significant up- or downregulation in regenerating CNS as a result of RA treatment. We further characterized the expression of one neuronally-enriched miRNA upregulated by RA, miR-124. We demonstrate, for the first time, that miR-124 is expressed within the cell bodies and neurites of regenerating motorneurons. Moreover, we identify miR-124 expression within the growth cones of cultured ciliary motorneurons (pedal A), whereas expression in the growth cones of another class of respiratory motorneurons (right parietal A) was absent in vitro. These findings support our hypothesis that miRNAs are important regulators of retinoic acid-induced neuronal outgrowth and regeneration in regeneration-competent species.
- Contribution of commercial infant products and fortified staple foods to nutrient intake at ages 6, 12, and 18 months in a cohort of children from a low socio-economic community in South Africa. [Journal Article]
- MCMatern Child Nutr 2018 Sep 14; :e12674
- Fortification of two staple foods, maize meal and wheat flour (bread), is mandatory, and commercial infant products are widely available in South Africa. Using a 24-hr recall, we determined the contr...
Fortification of two staple foods, maize meal and wheat flour (bread), is mandatory, and commercial infant products are widely available in South Africa. Using a 24-hr recall, we determined the contribution of these foods towards nutrient intakes at ages 6 (n = 715), 12 (n = 446), and 18 (n = 213) months in a cohort of children in a peri-urban community, North West province. On the day of recall, commercial infant products were consumed by 83% of children at 6 months, 46% at 12 months, and 15% at 18 months; fortified staples were consumed by 23%, 81%, and 96%, respectively. For consumers thereof, commercial infant products contributed 33% energy and 94% iron intakes at 6 months and 27% energy and 56% iron intakes at 12 months; nutrient densities of the complementary diet was higher than for nonconsumers for most micronutrients. For consumers of fortified staples, energy contribution thereof was 11% at 6 months versus 29% at 18 months; at 18 months, fortified staples contributed >30% of iron, zinc, vitamin A, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate; at 12 months, nutrient densities of the complementary diet were higher for zinc, folate, and vitamin B6 but lower for calcium, iron, vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin C than nonconsumers. At ages 12 and 18 months, ~75% of children had low calcium intakes. At 12 months, 51.4% of consumers versus 25.0% (P = 0.005) of nonconsumers of fortified staples had adequate intakes (>EAR) for all eight fortificant nutrients. However, despite fortification, nutrient gaps remain.
- Mother's dietary diversity and association with stunting among children <2 years old in a low socio-economic environment: A case-control study in an urban care setting in Dhaka, Bangladesh. [Journal Article]
- MCMatern Child Nutr 2018 Sep 14; :e12665
- Mothers are often responsible for preparing nutritious foods in their households. However, the quality of mother's diets is often neglected, which may affect both mother's and child's nutrition. Beca...
Mothers are often responsible for preparing nutritious foods in their households. However, the quality of mother's diets is often neglected, which may affect both mother's and child's nutrition. Because no single food contains all necessary nutrients, diversity in dietary sources is needed to ensure a quality diet. We aimed to study the association between mother's dietary diversity and stunting in children <2 years attending Dhaka Hospital of icddr,b, a diarrhoeal disease hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A case-control study (n = 296) was conducted from November 2016 to February 2017. Data were collected from mothers of stunted children <2 years (length-for-age z score [LAZ] < -2) as "cases" and nonstunted (LAZ ≥ -1) children <2 years as "controls." Mothers were asked to recall consumption of 10 defined food groups 24 hr prior to the interview as per Guidelines for Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women. Among the mothers of cases, 58% consumed <5 food groups during the last 24 hr, compared with 45% in control mothers (P = 0.03). Children whose mothers consumed <5 food groups were 1.7 times more likely to be stunted than children whose mothers consumed ≥5 food groups (P = 0.04). Intake of food groups such as pulses, dairy, eggs, and vitamin A rich fruit was higher in control mothers. Proportion of mother's illiteracy, short stature, monthly family income <BDT 11,480, absence of bank account, and poor sanitation was also found to be higher in stunted group. Further study particularly intervention or longitudinal study to see the causality of mother's dietary diversity with child stunting is recommended.
- 'Yellow is good for you': Consumer perception and acceptability of fortified and biofortified cassava products. [Journal Article]
- PlosPLoS One 2018; 13(9):e0203421
- Vitamin A, an essential micronutrient for health, can be obtained from various food sources including cassava products made from either traditional white cassava varieties fortified with red palm oil...
Vitamin A, an essential micronutrient for health, can be obtained from various food sources including cassava products made from either traditional white cassava varieties fortified with red palm oil containing provitamin A, or new high provitamin A biofortified yellow cassava varieties. Both products have a similar yellow appearance due to the coloured pigmentation of provitamin A. Using a range of methods to provide a comprehensive understanding of sensory acceptability (blind triangle test, sensory profiling, hedonic preference that included Check-all-that-applies and Just-about-right tests), we tested the acceptability and nutritional perception of traditional West-African food dough-like products (eba and fufu) made from biofortified, fortified, or control products made with non-fortified white cassava (n = 7) at three suburban locations near Ibadan, Nigeria on a total of 122 consumers. Biofortified, fortified, and control products could be differentiated blindly confirming that products clearly differed with respect to other sensory characteristics than appearance. Overall biofortified products were better accepted than control and fortified ones. Three classes of consumer preference were identified based on the dislike for control and fortified products, which indicated that acceptance of biofortified products was not a hindrance. On the contrary the traditional fortified product had poorer acceptance and this was due to its less desirable sensory characteristics as demonstrated by Just-about-right Penalty analysis. A majority of consumers (85%) had previous knowledge of biofortified cassava. Consumers associated 'yellow colour' with 'good for eyesight', 'good for children's health' and 'new'. More nutritional benefits were attributed to biofortified than fortified products although they had similar provitamin A contents and this demonstrates a bias. We suggest that nutrition promotion campaigns to improve the vitamin A status should also encompass all natural sources of provitamin A, including biofortified and traditional fortified products.
- Status of Retinoids and Carotenoids and Associations with Clinical Outcomes in Maternal-Infant Pairs in Nigeria. [Journal Article]
- NNutrients 2018 Sep 12; 10(9)
- Vitamin A is an essential nutrient in pregnancy, and other carotenoids have been independently associated with maternal-infant outcomes. The objective of this study was to quantify the status of vita...
Vitamin A is an essential nutrient in pregnancy, and other carotenoids have been independently associated with maternal-infant outcomes. The objective of this study was to quantify the status of vitamin A and carotenoids in Nigerian maternal-infant pairs at delivery, compare these to a cohort from a developed nation, and determine the impact on clinical outcomes. Maternal and cord blood samples were collected in 99 Nigerian mother-infant pairs. Concentrations of lutein + zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotenes, and retinol were measured using HPLC. Descriptive statistics were calculated and Spearman coefficients were used to assess correlations between maternal and cord measurements; Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare median plasma values between dichotomous variables. Linear regression models were used to adjust for relevant confounders. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Thirty-five percent of mothers had plasma retinol concentrations ≤0.70 µmol/L; 82% of infants had plasma retinol concentrations ≤0.70 µmol/L at delivery. Maternal and infant concentrations of vitamin A compounds were highly correlated and were associated with newborn growth and Apgar scores. Despite plasma concentrations of pro-vitamin A carotenoids higher than those reported in other populations, pregnant Nigerian women have a high prevalence of vitamin A deficiency. As vitamin A related compounds are modifiable by diet, future research determining the clinical impact of these compounds is warranted.
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- Child and Adolescent Health and Development [BOOK]
- BOOKThe International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank: Washington (DC)
- Worldwide patterns of linear growth faltering, based on data from many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Victora and others 2010), indicate deterioration of child nutritional status, on avera...
Worldwide patterns of linear growth faltering, based on data from many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Victora and others 2010), indicate deterioration of child nutritional status, on average, from age 0 to 24 months; after this period, nutritional status levels off or slightly reverses (for example, Prentice and others 2013; Stein and others 2010). Analyses of the five countries in the Consortium of Health-Orientated Research in Transitioning Societies (COHORTS) study found that low birth weight or undernutrition at age two years (or both) were associated with shorter adult height, less schooling, and lower economic productivity (Victora and others 2008). The 2008 Lancet series on nutrition argued that height-for-age is the best nutritional predictor of adult human capital (Victora and others 2008). These results influenced prioritization of global efforts to combat undernutrition in the first 1,000 days, from conception to age 24 months. More broadly, these 1,000 days are seen as a critical period for establishing the physical, cognitive, and socioemotional foundation for later life (Walker, Wachs, and others 2011) and are viewed as the period of greatest plasticity (Gluckman and others 2009). As reviewed by Halfon and others (2014), new approaches to life course development have integrated biological systems, drawing from genetics as well as epigenetics, with social and behavioral models. The approach in this chapter unites economic theory with health science. We use the lifecycle approach to assess the benefit-cost ratios of interventions in nutrition and child development in LMICs, where undernutrition is a risk factor, with a focus on the first five years of life. Definitions of age groupings and age-specific terminology used in this volume can be found in chapter 1 (Bundy and others 2017). Birth weight and linear growth in the first two years are associated with many beneficial outcomes later in life (Adair and others 2013). The 2013 Lancet nutrition series also acknowledged the need to address both undernutrition and increased obesity in LMICs (Black and others 2013), recognizing that there is a high prevalence of both conditions and that the conditions often are linked. The 2013 series connected the importance of prenatal nutrition and adolescent girls’ nutrition (Bhutta and others 2013). Women’s height affects risks for pregnancy complications (Toh-Adam, Srisupundit, and Tongsong 2012) and low birth weight (Black and others 2013); given associations of birth weight with subsequent undernutrition (Christian and others 2013), these findings bring the discussion full circle. Thus, the 1,000-day window could be made much longer—even going back to mothers’ childhoods. Children’s early years are critically important for cognitive, language, and socioemotional development, and strong evidence indicates that the window of influence extends well beyond the first 1,000 days. Protective and risk factors for undernutrition are often similar to the factors influencing cognitive and socioemotional development (Walker, Wachs, and others 2011). For example, shared risk factors include intrauterine growth retardation, nutrient deficiencies, and social and economic conditions. Risks specific to poor cognitive development include inadequate learning opportunities and inadequate quality of caregiver-child interactions. Shared protective factors include breastfeeding and maternal education. The overlapping risk factors, timing of peak vulnerabilities, and the possibility that early deficits have long-lasting impacts have motivated interest in interventions that integrate nutritional and other approaches to promote overall child development (Alderman and others 2014). Ideally, policies and programs must move from a focus on single issues to a wider-reaching, more integrated approach across the life course, which would allow for each child to develop as well as possible and mitigate the impact of constraints under which their development may be occurring (Fine and Kotelchuck 2010). Such integration, however, requires clearer understanding of individuals’ developmental timing and age-dependent responses to external factors (Wachs and others 2014). Cognitive functions, receptive and expressive language, and socioemotional skills develop at different ages (Grantham-McGregor and others 2007). Development in brain structure and function supporting acquisition of cognitive, language, and socioemotional skills is most rapid during early childhood, with continued development in later years for many skills. The early years, beginning in utero and extending to age 36 months, are the best stage in which to prevent stunting. The debate continues as to whether children who become stunted before age 24 months can catch up later in their lives. Population averages from cross-sectional data show some limited catch-up in height-for-age z scores, though average height deficits widen beyond age two years into adulthood (Leroy and others 2014; Lundeen and others 2014). Longitudinal studies report considerable individual movements in both directions between stunted and nonstunted status after age 24 months that are associated with family and community characteristics, suggesting potential for catch-up or prevention of faltering (Crookston and others 2013; Lundeen and others 2013; Mani 2012; Prentice and others 2013; Schott and others 2013). Catch-up may, however, have some risks; for example, weight gain on small frames has been associated with subsequent obesity and adult chronic diseases (Monteiro and Victora 2005; Yajnik 2004, 2009). As with malnutrition, cognitive delays can occur throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence, understood in this volume as birth through age 19 years. Measurable differences in receptive language by socioeconomic groups are apparent in preschool children ages three to five years (Paxson and Schady 2007; Schady and others 2015); differences in cognitive ability have been observed even in the first two years (Fernald and others 2012). Early life stress—often toxic if extreme—can also have difficult-to-reverse lifetime consequences (Shonkoff and Garner 2012). Individual responsiveness to interventions implemented after initial developmental insults are widely debated (see chapter 8 in this volume, Watkins and others 2017). More than 3 million children younger than age five years died in 2011; half of these deaths were associated with fetal growth restriction, suboptimal breastfeeding, stunting, wasting, and vitamin A and zinc deficiencies (Black and others 2013). Given that about 75 percent of child deaths before age five years occur in the first year, addressing catch-up growth beyond the 1,000-day window is driven less by concern for mortality risk and more by concerns relating to later-life consequences for survivors. Some evidence indicates that skill accumulation is more plastic than physical growth; skills such as executive function—a component of cognitive function—and socioemotional development have time paths different from those of conventional cognitive abilities (Borghans and others 2008). Still, very little is known about time paths of effective interventions for addressing nutritional, cognitive, and socioemotional development, particularly in LMICs. Maximum gains relative to costs, particularly for cognitive and socioemotional developmental outcomes, are likely to require early investment, followed by appropriate nutritional and educational investments and continued support for effective parent-child interaction over childhood and adolescence. Determining which later-life interventions cost-effectively reduce consequences of early malnutrition or cognitive delay is important if efforts at prevention fall short, as they already have for hundreds of millions of children.