Monday, October 29, 2007

"Rabbit food" is nutritious for people

Study details nutritional value of salad

Go ahead and indulge at the salad bar. "Rabbit food" is nutritious for people, too.

A new UCLA/Louisiana State University study of dietary data on more than 17,500 men and women finds consumption of salad and raw vegetables correlates with higher concentrations of folic acid, vitamins C and E, lycopene and alpha and beta carotene in the bloodstream.
Published in the September edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Dietetic Association, the study also suggests that each serving of salad consumed correlates with a 165 percent higher likelihood of meeting recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for vitamin C in women and 119 percent greater likelihood in men.

The study is the first to examine the relationship between normal salad consumption and nutrient levels in the bloodstream, and also the first to examine the dietary adequacy of salad consumption using the latest nutritional guidelines of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
The findings blunt concerns about the human body's ability to absorb nutrients from raw vegetables, as well as concern that the structure and characteristics of some plants undercut nutritional value.

"The consistently higher levels of certain nutrients in the bloodstream of salad-eaters suggest these important components of a healthy diet are being well-absorbed from salad," said Lenore Arab, visiting professor of epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health and co-author of the study with L. Joseph Su, assistant professor at the LSU School of Public Health.

"The findings endorse consumption of salad and raw vegetables as an effective strategy for increasing intake of important nutrients. Unfortunately, we also found daily salad consumption is not the norm in any group, and is even less prevalent among African Americans," Arab said.

"We have so many food choices in this county. Increasing vegetable consumption is a wise strategy for composing a nutrient rich diet," she added. "In fact, our findings suggest that eating just one serving of salad or raw vegetables per day significantly boosts the likelihood of meeting the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients."

The study examined the relationship between reported salad consumption and blood serum nutrient levels, as well as dietary adequacy in pre- and post-menopausal women and men of comparable ages. The research team analyzed dietary data from 9,406 women and 8,282 men ages 18 to 45 and 55-plus contained in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III conducted in 1988-94.

Salad consumption was based on reported intake of salad, raw vegetables and salad dressing. Laboratory measurements determined levels of nutrients in blood serum. Associations between salad consumption and serum nutrient levels were determined using statistical regression models. Measurements were adjusted to account for age, exercise, anti-cholesterol medication, smoking and other variables.

University of California-Los Angeles

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sex hormone concentrations in postmenopausa

Dietary patterns, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index and plasma sex hormone concentrations in postmenopausal women

Teresa T. Fung (1, 2), Frank B. Hu (2, 3, 4), Robert L. Barbieri (5), Walter C. Willett (2, 3, 4), Susan E. Hankinson (3, 4)
1) Department of Nutrition, Simmons College, Boston, MA; 2) Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; 3) Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; 4) Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; 5) Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA

To evaluate the association between overall diet and sex hormones concentrations, we collected blood from 578 postmenopausal women ages 43 and 69 years in 1989 or 1990. Food intake was measured in 1990 via a food frequency questionnaire. We calculated the Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), and dietary patterns were identified by factor analysis. The cross-sectional association between diet and estrogens, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) were evaluated with linear regression and adjusted for energy and other potential confounders. We found a higher AHEI score was associated with lower concentrations of estradiol, free estradiol, and higher concentrations of SHBG. The prudent pattern, with higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, was not associated with any sex hormones. The Western pattern, which represents higher intakes of red and processed meats, refined grains, sweets and desserts, was associated with a higher level of estradiol and lower concentrations of SHBG. Further adjustment for BMI attenuated these results except for free estradiol (5th vs. 1st quintile = 0.09 vs. 0.11 pg/mL, p for trend = 0.03). In addition, the AHEI was inversely associated with estradiol among those with BMI > 25, and Western pattern with SHBG among those with BMI < 25.
In conclusion, we observed inverse associations between the AHEI score and several estrogens, and it was positively associated with plasma levels of SHBG. In contrast, the Western pattern was positively associated with estrogen levels and inversely with SHBG. However, these associations appeared to be largely accounted for by BMI.
Keywords: diet • nutrition • hormones • estrogen • postmenopause

International Journal of Cancer
Volume 121, Issue 3, Pages 803 - 809 (15 August 2007)

© 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Donation after cardiac death

Trends in Pediatric Organ Donation After Cardiac Death

Robert Mazor, MD and Harris P. Baden, MD
Division of Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Seattle, Washington

OBJECTIVE. Organ donation after cardiac death is viewed as one way of partially closing the current gap between organ supply and demand. There are no published guidelines for organ donation after cardiac death specific to the pediatric population. The objective of this study was to examine the cumulative pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death experience to set the context for the development and sharing of best-practice guidelines.

PATIENTS AND METHODS. This was a retrospective, descriptive study that used data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing database from 1993 to 2005. Organ data from all donors after cardiac death who were <18 years of age were analyzed. The list of donor medical centers was then cross-referenced with the member list from the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions.

RESULTS. There were 683 organs from donation-after-cardiac-death donors <18 years of age. Of those, <5% were used for pediatric recipients. In comparison, 20% of non–donation-after-cardiac-death organs from pediatric donors were used for pediatric recipients. The vast majority of donation-after-cardiac-death organs donated were kidneys and livers. More than 50% of medical centers that had a pediatric organ-donation-after-cardiac-death donor had just 1. The medical center with the largest pediatric organ-donation-after-cardiac-death donation experience had 14 donors. Forty-three percent of medical centers that had 1 pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death donor were members of the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions. Fifty-six percent of all of the pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death organs were donated from the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institution member centers.

CONCLUSIONS. Data regarding the use of pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death organs for pediatric recipients remain sparse. Few medical centers have had enough donation-after-cardiac-death donor experience to report a tried-and-true approach. We advocate for comprehensive collection and reporting of outcome data for all-aged recipients of pediatric donation-after-cardiac-death organs to help facilitate the generation of evidence-based best-practice guidelines for pediatric donation after cardiac death.

Key Words: end of life • transplant
PEDIATRICS Vol. 120 No. 4 October 2007, pp. e960-e966
© 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cholesterol and Congenital defects

Adverse Birth Outcome Among Mothers With Low Serum Cholesterol

Robin J. Edison, MD, MPH (a), Kate Berg, PhD (a), Alan Remaley, MD (b), Richard Kelley, MD, PhD (c), Charles Rotimi, PhD (d), Roger E. Stevenson, MD (e) and Maximilian Muenke, MD (a)
a) Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland; b) National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Maryland; c) Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland; d) National Human Genome Research Center, Howard University, Washington, DC; e) Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, South Carolina

OBJECTIVE. The objective of this study was to assess whether low maternal serum cholesterol during pregnancy is associated with preterm delivery, impaired fetal growth, or congenital anomalies in women without identified major risk factors for adverse pregnancy outcome.

METHODS. Mother-infant pairs were retrospectively ascertained from among a cohort of 9938 women who were referred to South Carolina prenatal clinics for routine second-trimester serum screening. Banked sera were assayed for total cholesterol; <10th>10th percentile but <90th percentile.

RESULTS. Prevalence of preterm delivery among mothers with low total cholesterol was 12.7%, compared with 5.0% among control subjects with mid–total cholesterol. The association of low maternal serum cholesterol with preterm birth was observed only among white mothers. Term infants of mothers with low total cholesterol weighed on average 150 g less than those who were born to control mothers. A trend of increased microcephaly risk among neonates of mothers with low total cholesterol was found. Low maternal serum cholesterol was unassociated with risk for congenital anomalies.

CONCLUSIONS. Total serum cholesterol <10th>

PEDIATRICS Vol. 120 No. 4 October 2007, pp. 723-733
© 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Prenatal cocaine exposure

Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure on Growth

Gale A. Richardson, PhD (a), Lidush Goldschmidt, PhD (b) and Cynthia Larkby, PhD (a)
a) Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; b) University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

OBJECTIVE. There has been a limited amount of research on the long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on growth of the infant, and there has been no use of longitudinal growth models. We investigated the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on offspring growth from 1 through 10 years of age by using a repeated-measures growth-curve model.

METHODS. Women were enrolled from a prenatal clinic and interviewed at the end of each trimester of pregnancy about their cocaine, crack, alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and other drug use. Fifty percent of the women were white, and 50% were black. Follow-up assessments occurred at 1, 3, 7, and 10 years of age.

RESULTS. Cross-sectional analyses showed that children exposed to cocaine during the first trimester (n = 99) were smaller on all growth parameters at 7 and 10 years, but not at 1 or 3 years, than the children who were not exposed to cocaine during the first trimester (n = 125). The longitudinal analyses indicated that the growth curves for the 2 groups diverged over time: children who were prenatally exposed to cocaine grew at a slower rate than children who were not exposed. These analyses controlled for other factors associated with child growth.

CONCLUSIONS. To our knowledge, this is the first study of the long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure to conduct longitudinal growth-curve analyses using 4 time points in childhood. Children who were exposed to cocaine during the first trimester grew at a slower rate than those who were not exposed. These findings indicate that prenatal cocaine exposure has a lasting effect on child development.

PEDIATRICS Vol. 120 No. 4 October 2007, pp. e1017-e1027