Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal current issue

Associations between Phytoestrogens, Glucose Homeostasis, and Risk of Diabetes in Women: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

ABSTRACTPhytoestrogens might have advantageous effects on diabetes in women. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the effect of phytoestrogens on glucose homeostasis and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) among women. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective observational studies that assessed associations of phytoestrogens (supplementation, dietary intake, or biomarkers) with fasting glucose or insulin, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), or with the risk of T2D were included. We identified 18 RCTs (n = 1687 individuals) investigating the effect of phytoestrogen supplementation on glucose homeostasis and 9 prospective population-based studies (n = 212,796 individuals) examining the association between phytoestrogen intake and the risk of T2D. Compared with placebo, phytoestrogen supplementation resulted in improvements in fasting glucose and HOMA-IR: the pooled mean differences of changes were –0.12 mmol/L (95% CI: –0.20, –0.03 mmol/L) and –0.24 mmol/L (95% CI: –0.45, –0.03 mmol/L), respectively. Although there was no significant decrease in insulin concentrations with overall phytoestrogen supplementation, the pooled mean difference in changes was –0.99 pmol/L (95% CI: –4.65, 2.68 pmol/L). However, the results of RCTs varied by type of phytoestrogens: soy-derived isoflavones and genistein improved glucose homeostasis, whereas isoflavone mix and daidzein had no effect or were associated with an adverse glycemic profile. Higher dietary phytoestrogen intake was associated with a 10% lower risk of developing T2D in observational studies (pooled RR: 0.90; 95% CI: 0.85, 0.96; for the highest compared with the lowest quantiles). Results were similar when the analyses were restricted to only medium- and high-quality studies. Overall, phytoestrogens may have a positive influence on glycemia and could be used for diabetes prevention in women. However, for some individual types of phytoestrogens, such as mixed isoflavones, caution is needed in recommending their use in women, because their use could lead to an adverse glycemic profile in women.

Nutrient Profile Models with Applications in Government-Led Nutrition Policies Aimed at Health Promotion and Noncommunicable Disease Prevention: A Systematic Review

ABSTRACTNutrient profile (NP) models, tools used to rate or evaluate the nutritional quality of foods, are increasingly used by government bodies worldwide to underpin nutrition-related policies. An up-to-date and accessible list of existing NP models is currently unavailable to support their adoption or adaptation in different jurisdictions. This study used a systematic approach to develop a global resource that summarizes key characteristics of NP models with applications in government-led nutrition policies. NP models were identified from an unpublished WHO catalog of NP models last updated in 2012 and from searches conducted in different databases of the peer-reviewed (n = 3; e.g., PubMed) and gray literature (n = 15). Included models had to meet the following inclusion criteria (selected) as of 22 December 2016: 1) developed or endorsed by governmental or intergovernmental organizations, 2) allow for the evaluation of individual food items, and 3) have publicly available nutritional criteria. A total of 387 potential NP models were identified, including n = 361 from the full-text assessment of >600 publications and n = 26 exclusively from the catalog. Seventy-eight models were included. Most (73%) were introduced within the past 10 y, and 44% represent adaptations of ≥1 previously built model. Models were primarily built for school food standards or guidelines (n = 27), food labeling (e.g., front-of-pack; n = 12), and restriction of the marketing of food products to children (n = 10). All models consider nutrients to limit, with sodium, saturated fatty acids, and total sugars being included most frequently; and 86% also consider ≥1 nutrient to encourage (e.g., fiber). No information on validity testing could be identified for 58% of the models. Given the proliferation of NP models worldwide, this new resource will be highly valuable for assisting health professionals and policymakers in the selection of an appropriate model when the establishment of nutrition-related policies requires the use of nutrient profiling.

Systematic Review of Tools and Methods to Measure Appetite in Undernourished Children in the Context of Low- and Middle-Income Countries

ABSTRACTChild undernutrition has multifactorial causes, ranging from food insecurity to etiologies refractory to conventional nutritional approaches, such as infections, environmental enteric dysfunction, and other conditions that lead to systemic inflammation. Poor appetite may be an important symptom of these causes and may be a useful marker of an undernourished child's ability to recover. We conducted a systematic review to characterize the methods and tools to measure appetite among children <5 y old in low- and middle-income countries. A systematic search of 8 databases identified 23 eligible studies published since 1995. Thirteen described methods based on direct feeding observation or quantification of nutrient intake from caregiver report, 16 described tools that assessed caregiver perceptions of appetite, and 6 reported assessments in both categories. Four studies that gauged caregiver perceptions assessed multiple appetite domains, whereas 12 assessed 1 domain—often with a single question. Only 6 studies reported validation processes, the most common of which compared an observed test meal with daily energy intake. No studies reported the use of a method or tool that was validated in multiple cultural or linguistic contexts. Although dietary intake measures and observed feeding tests have shown validity in some contexts, they are resource intensive. Subjective caregiver questionnaires may offer a more efficient appetite evaluation method, but they have been evaluated less consistently. A rigorously developed and validated tool to rapidly assess child appetite is needed and could be best addressed by a questionnaire that leverages the multiple domains of appetite. The application of interventions that target causes of undernutrition that are not amenable to food-based interventions in clinical or research contexts could be facilitated by an efficient appetite screening tool to identify appetite-related causes of undernutrition and to monitor children's response to such interventions.

The Effect of Nutrients and Dietary Supplements on Sperm Quality Parameters: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials

ABSTRACTInfertility, which affects ∼15% of the world's population, is a global public health issue recognized by the WHO. Therefore, it is of major clinical and public health importance to investigate whether modifiable lifestyle factors—such as stress, drug use, smoking, alcohol intake, and diet—may influence human fertility. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from the MEDLINE-PubMed database was conducted to assess the effect of nutrients, dietary supplements, or food on sperm quality parameters. In total, 28 articles were included for qualitative analysis and 15 for quantitative meta-analysis. Total sperm concentrations [expressed as mean differences (MDs); 95% CIs, in spermatozoa (spz)/mL] were increased by selenium (3.91 × 106 spz/mL; 3.08, 4.73 spz/mL), zinc (1.48 × 106 spz/mL; 0.69, 2.27 spz/mL), omega-3 (n–3) fatty acids (10.98 × 106 spz/mL; 10.25, 11.72 spz/mL), and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) (5.93 × 106 spz/mL; 5.36, 6.51 spz/mL). Sperm counts were increased by ω-3 fatty acids (18.70 × 106 spz/mL; 16.89, 20.51 spz/mL) and CoQ10 supplementation (10.15 × 106 spz/mL; 8.34, 11.97 spz/mL). Sperm total motility was increased by selenium (3.30%; 2.95%, 3.65%), zinc (7.03%; 6.03%, 8.03%), ω-3 fatty acids (7.55%; 7.09%, 8.01%), CoQ10 (5.30%; 4.98%, 5.62%), and carnitines (7.84%; 6.54%, 9.13%), whereas sperm progressive motility was increased only after supplementation with carnitines (7.45%; 6.24%, 8.67%). Finally, sperm morphology was enhanced by selenium (1.87%; 1.50%, 2.24%), ω-3 fatty acid (0.91%; 0.69%, 1.13%), CoQ10 (1.06%; 0.72%, 1.41%), and carnitine (4.91%; 3.68%, 6.15%) supplementation. This meta-analysis of RCTs suggests that some dietary supplements could beneficially modulate sperm quality parameters and affect male fertility. However, results must be cautiously interpreted due to the limited sample size of the meta-analyzed studies and the considerable observed interstudy heterogeneity.The present study and the corresponding search protocol were registered at the PROSPERO registry at as CRD42017058380.

Use of a Gluten-Free Diet in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review

ABSTRACTWe performed a systematic review of the literature to determine whether adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) leads to improved outcomes for patients with schizophrenia. We searched the AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine; 1985–June 2016), MEDLINE (1946–June 2016), and Embase (1980–2016 week 24) databases using the terms “wheat” or “glutenin” or “gliadin” or “gluten” AND “schizophrenia.” A total of 9 studies met the inclusion criteria for this review: 1 randomized controlled trial, 7 crossover studies, and 1 open-label pilot study. Six of the included studies demonstrated beneficial effects including improved functioning and decreased symptom severity after the course of a GFD, whereas 3 studies found no benefits. All of the included studies found that a GFD is well tolerated and can be adhered to by patients with schizophrenia. The findings of this systematic review should be interpreted with caution due to limitations inherent to nonrandomized trials, as well as the heterogeneity in the study design and the length of the GFD applied in each study. Publication bias is another potential limitation. Further research is required to examine the biomarkers of gluten sensitivity and inflammation to effectively target those patients with schizophrenia who will benefit most from this dietary intervention.