Maternal undernutrition from early- to mid-gestation leads to growth retardation, cardiac ventricular hypertrophy, and increased liver weight in the fetal sheep. (1/1319)

Early gestation is critical for placentomal growth, differentiation, and vascularization, as well as fetal organogenesis. The fetal origins of adult disease hypothesis proposes that alterations in fetal nutrition and endocrine status result in developmental adaptations that permanently change structure, physiology, and metabolism, thereby predisposing individuals to cardiovascular, metabolic, and endocrine disease in adult life. Multiparous ewes were fed to 50% (nutrient restricted) or 100% (control fed) of total digestible nutrients from Days 28 to 78 of gestation. All ewes were weighed weekly and diets adjusted for individual weight loss or gain. Ewes were killed on Day 78 of gestation and gravid uteri recovered. Fetal body and organ weights were determined, and numbers, morphologies, diameters, and weights of all placentomes were obtained. From Day 28 to Day 78, restricted ewes lost 7.4% of body weight, while control ewes gained 7.5%. Maternal and fetal blood glucose concentrations were reduced in restricted versus control pregnancies. Fetuses were markedly smaller in the restricted group than in the control group. Further, restricted fetuses exhibited greater right- and left-ventricular and liver weights per unit fetal weight than control fetuses. No treatment differences were observed in any gross placentomal measurement. However, caruncular vascularity was enhanced in conceptuses from nutrient-restricted ewes but only in twin pregnancies. While these alterations in fetal/placental development may be beneficial to early fetal survival in the face of a nutrient restriction, their effects later in gestation as well as in postnatal life need further investigation.  (+info)

Ovarian responses to undernutrition in pregnant ewes, USA. (2/1319)

In most mammals oogonia proliferate by mitosis and begin meiotic development during fetal life. Previous studies indicated that there is a delay in the progression to the first stage of meiotic arrest in germ cells of female fetuses of undernourished ewes. We report that underfeeding (50% NRC requirement beginning on Day 28 of pregnancy) provokes an increase in oxidative base lesions within DNA of mid-gestational (Day 78) fetal oogonia; this condition was associated with up-regulation of the tumor suppressor/cell-cycle arrest modulator p53, antiapoptotic factor Bcl-2, and base-excision repair polymerase beta. Fetal ovarian weights and germ cell concentrations were not altered by nutrient deprivation. Ovaries of ewes on control diets (100% NRC) contained more tertiary follicles than their restricted counterparts; however, peripheral venous estradiol-17beta was not different between groups. There was no effect of treatment on p53 accumulation in maternal oocytes. Luteal structure-function was not perturbed by undernutrition. No fetal losses were attributed to the dietary restriction. It is proposed that DNA of interphase fetal oogonia is vulnerable to oxidative insults perpetrated by a nutritional stress to the dam, and that multiple/integrated adaptive molecular response mechanisms of cell-cycle inhibition (providing the time required for base repairs) and survival hence sustain the genomic integrity and population stability of the germline.  (+info)

Influence of varying degrees of malnutrition on IGF-I expression in the rat diaphragm. (3/1319)

This study evaluated the impact of varying degrees of prolonged malnutrition on the local insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) system in the costal diaphragm muscle. Adult rats were provided with either 60 or 40% of usual food intake over 3 wk. Nutritionally deprived (ND) animals (i.e., ND60 and ND40) were compared with control (Ctl) rats fed ad libitum. Costal diaphragm fiber types and cross-sectional areas were determined histochemically. Costal diaphragm muscle IGF-I mRNA levels were determined by RT-PCR. Serum and muscle IGF-I peptide levels were determined by using a rat-specific radioimmunoassay. The body weights of Ctl rats increased by 5%, whereas those of ND60 and ND40 animals decreased by 16 and 26%, respectively. Diaphragm weights were reduced by 17 and 27% in ND60 and ND40 animals, respectively, compared with Ctl. Diaphragm fiber proportions were unaffected by either ND regimen. Significant atrophy of both type IIa and IIx fibers was noted in the ND60 group, whereas atrophy of all three fiber types was observed in the diaphragm of ND40 rats. Serum IGF-I levels were reduced by 62 and 79% in ND60 and ND40 rats, respectively, compared with Ctl. Diaphragm muscle IGF-I mRNA levels in both ND groups were similar to those noted in Ctl. In contrast, IGF-I concentrations were reduced by 36 and 42% in the diaphragm muscle of ND60 and ND40 groups, respectively, compared with Ctl. We conclude that the local (autocrine/paracrine) muscle IGF-I system is affected in our models of prolonged ND. We propose that this contributes to disordered muscle protein turnover and muscle cachexia with atrophy of muscle fibers. This is particularly so in view of recent data demonstrating the importance of the autocrine/paracrine system in muscle growth and maintenance of fiber size.  (+info)

The chemical bases of the various AIDS epidemics: recreational drugs, anti-viral chemotherapy and malnutrition. (4/1319)

In 1981 a new epidemic of about two-dozen heterogeneous diseases began to strike non-randomly growing numbers of male homosexuals and mostly male intravenous drug users in the US and Europe. Assuming immunodeficiency as the common denominator the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) termed the epidemic, AIDS, for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. From 1981-1984 leading researchers including those from the CDC proposed that recreational drug use was the cause of AIDS, because of exact correlations and of drug-specific diseases. However, in 1984 US government researchers proposed that a virus, now termed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is the cause of the non-random epidemics of the US and Europe but also of a new, sexually random epidemic in Africa. The virus-AIDS hypothesis was instantly accepted, but it is burdened with numerous paradoxes, none of which could be resolved by 2003: Why is there no HIV in most AIDS patients, only antibodies against it? Why would HIV take 10 years from infection to AIDS? Why is AIDS not self-limiting via antiviral immunity? Why is there no vaccine against AIDS? Why is AIDS in the US and Europe not random like other viral epidemics? Why did AIDS not rise and then decline exponentially owing to antiviral immunity like all other viral epidemics? Why is AIDS not contagious? Why would only HIV carriers get AIDS who use either recreational or anti-HIV drugs or are subject to malnutrition? Why is the mortality of HIV-antibody-positives treated with anti-HIV drugs 7-9%, but that of all (mostly untreated) HIV-positives globally is only 1.4%? Here we propose that AIDS is a collection of chemical epidemics, caused by recreational drugs, anti-HIV drugs, and malnutrition. According to this hypothesis AIDS is not contagious, not immunogenic, not treatable by vaccines or antiviral drugs, and HIV is just a passenger virus. The hypothesis explains why AIDS epidemics strike non-randomly if caused by drugs and randomly if caused by malnutrition, why they manifest in drug- and malnutrition-specific diseases, and why they are not self-limiting via anti-viral immunity. The hypothesis predicts AIDS prevention by adequate nutrition and abstaining from drugs, and even cures by treating AIDS diseases with proven medications.  (+info)

Co-morbidity and kidney graft failure-two main causes of malnutrition in kidney transplant patients. (5/1319)

BACKGROUND: Malnutrition is very frequent in chronic renal failure but, after successful kidney transplantation, body weight gain is common and is widely investigated, while malnutrition after transplantation is underestimated. In the present study, the prevalence of malnutrition in kidney transplant patients and the factors which might contribute to its development are analysed. METHOD: In a population of 452 kidney transplant patients followed-up regularly at our department, body mass index (BMI) was determined. Out of this population, 47 patients (18 females, aged 13-54 years, post-transplantation period 6-180 months) were randomly selected for more detailed examination of their nutritional status using anthropometry (body weight, the mid-arm muscle circumference, skinfold thickness, BMI) as well as biochemical parameters (serum protein, albumin, cholesterol, red blood cell count). Co-morbidity of the selected patients was assessed using the Index of Coexistent Diseases. RESULTS: Among 452 kidney transplant patients, 15% had a BMI of <21 kg/m(2), 45% had a BMI of 21-25 kg/m(2), and 40% had a BMI >25 kg/m(2). After more accurate assessment of nutritional status of the selected 47 patients, a comparison between those who were malnourished (11 patients) and those who were well nourished (20 patients) was made. No significant difference was found in age at transplantation, pre-transplantation time on dialysis, donor origin, early post-transplant course, immunosuppressive therapy, number of rejection episodes or post-transplant period between these two groups. However, malnutrition appeared significantly more frequently in females, and malnourished patients had significantly higher serum creatinine levels. Co-morbidity conditions, assessed by the Index of Disease Severity and Index of Physical Impairment combined peak scores resulting in the final Index of Coexistent Disease, were more frequent and more severe in malnourished patients as compared with well-nourished patients. CONCLUSION: In a population of kidney transplant patients regularly followed-up at our clinic, 15% had malnutrition. Malnutrition is more frequent in females, but kidney graft failure and co-morbidity had a significant role in its development.  (+info)

Arsenic groundwater contamination in Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar, India: a future danger? (6/1319)

The pandemic of arsenic poisoning due to contaminated groundwater in West Bengal, India, and all of Bangladesh has been thought to be limited to the Ganges Delta (the Lower Ganga Plain), despite early survey reports of arsenic contamination in groundwater in the Union Territory of Chandigarh and its surroundings in the northwestern Upper Ganga Plain and recent findings in the Terai area of Nepal. Anecdotal reports of arsenical skin lesions in villagers led us to evaluate arsenic exposure and sequelae in the Semria Ojha Patti village in the Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar, where tube wells replaced dug wells about 20 years ago. Analyses of the arsenic content of 206 tube wells (95% of the total) showed that 56.8% exceeded arsenic concentrations of 50 micro g/L, with 19.9% > 300 micro g/L, the concentration predicting overt arsenical skin lesions. On medical examination of a self-selected sample of 550 (390 adults and 160 children), 13% of the adults and 6.3% of the children had typical skin lesions, an unusually high involvement for children, except in extreme exposures combined with malnutrition. The urine, hair, and nail concentrations of arsenic correlated significantly (r = 0.72-0.77) with drinking water arsenic concentrations up to 1,654 micro g/L. On neurologic examination, arsenic-typical neuropathy was diagnosed in 63% of the adults, a prevalence previously seen only in severe, subacute exposures. We also observed an apparent increase in fetal loss and premature delivery in the women with the highest concentrations of arsenic in their drinking water. The possibility of contaminated groundwater at other sites in the Middle and Upper Ganga Plain merits investigation.  (+info)

Food insecurity, food choices, and body mass index in adults: nutrition transition in Trinidad and Tobago. (7/1319)

BACKGROUND: This study evaluated whether food insecurity and obesity were associated in a population sample in Trinidad. METHODS: A sample was drawn of 15 clusters of households, in north central Trinidad. Resident adults were enumerated. A questionnaire was administered including the short form Household Food Security Scale (HFSS). Heights and weights were measured. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, and ethnic group. RESULTS: Data were analysed for 531/631 (84%) of eligible respondents including 241 men and 290 women with a mean age of 47 (range 24-89) years. Overall, 134 (25%) of subjects were classified as food insecure. Food insecurity was associated with lower household incomes and physical disability. Food insecure subjects were less likely to eat fruit (food insecure 40%, food secure 55%; adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.36-0.99, P = 0.045) or green vegetables or salads (food insecure 28%, food secure 51%; adjusted OR = 0.46, 95% CI: 0.27-0.79, P = 0.005) on >/=5-6 days per week. Body mass index (BMI) was available for 467 (74%) subjects of whom 41 (9%) had BMI <20 kg/m(2), 157 (34%) had BMI 25-29 kg/m(2), and 120 (26%) had BMI >/=30 kg/m(2). Underweight (OR = 3.21, 95% CI: 1.17-8.81) was associated with food insecurity, but obesity was not (OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.55-2.12). CONCLUSIONS: Food insecurity was frequent at all levels of BMI and was associated with lower consumption of fruit and vegetables. Food insecurity was associated with underweight but not with present obesity.  (+info)

The World Health Organization Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition: methodology and applications. (8/1319)

BACKGROUND: For decades nutritional surveys have been conducted using various definitions, indicators and reference populations to classify child malnutrition. The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition was initiated in 1986 with the objective to collect, standardize, and disseminate child anthropometric data using a standard format. METHODS: The database includes population-based surveys that fulfil a set of criteria. Data are checked for validity and consistency and raw data sets are analysed following a standard procedure to obtain comparable results. Prevalences of wasting, stunting, under- and overweight in preschool children are presented using z-scores based on the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)/WHO international reference population. New surveys are included on a continuous basis and updates are published bimonthly on the database's web site. RESULTS: To date, the database contains child anthropometric information derived from 846 surveys. With 412 national surveys from 138 countries and 434 sub-national surveys from 155 countries, the database covers 99% and 64% of the under 5 year olds in developing and developed countries, respectively. This wealth of information enables international comparison of nutritional data, helps identifying populations in need, evaluating nutritional and other public health interventions, monitoring trends in child growth, and raising political awareness of nutritional problems. CONCLUSIONS: The 15 years experience of the database can be regarded as a success story of international collaboration in standardizing child growth data. We recommend this model for monitoring other nutritional health conditions that as yet lack comparable data.  (+info)