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January 2006

Nutritional factors and gastric cancer in Zhoushan Islands, China.

AIM: To investigate the association between nutrient intakes and high incidence rate of gastric cancer among residents in Zhoushan Islands. METHODS: A frequency-matched design of case-control study was used during the survey on dietary factors and gastric cancer in Zhoushan Islands, China. A total of 103 cases of gastric cancer diagnosed in 2001 were included in the study and 133 controls were randomly selected from the residents in Zhoushan Islands. A food frequency questionnaire was specifically designed for the Chinese dietary pattern to collect information on dietary intake. A computerized database of the dietary and other relative information of each participant was completed. Total calories and 15 nutrients were calculated according to the food composition table and their adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by gender using unconditional logistic regression models. RESULTS: High intakes of protein, saturated fat, and cholesterol were observed with the increased risk of gastric cancer particularly among males (OR(Q4 vs Q1) were 10.3, 3.24, 2.76 respectively). While carbohydrate was a significant high-risk nutrient (OR(Q4 vs Q1) = 14.8; P for linear trend = 0.024) among females. Regardless of their gender, the cases reported significantly higher daily intake of sodium mainly from salts. As to the nutrients of vitamins A and C, an inversed association with the risk of GC was found. Baseline characteristics of participants were briefly described. CONCLUSION: The findings from this study confirm the role of diet-related exposure in the etiology of gastric cancer from the point of view of epidemiology. An increased risk of gastric cancer is associated with high intakes of protein, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, while consumption of polyunsaturated fat, vitamin A and ascorbic acid may have a protective effect against gastric cancer.

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jul 28;11(28):4311-6

Antioxidant status and risk of cancer in the SU.VI.MAX study: is the effect of supplementation dependent on baseline levels?

The Supplementation en VItamines et Mineraux AntioXydants (SU.VI.MAX) study, a randomised double-blind, primary-prevention trial showed that after 7.5 years, low-dose antioxidant supplementation lowered the total cancer incidence in men, but not in women. To explain this difference in the impact of antioxidant supplementation in men and women, we hypothesised that the effect of supplementation is dependent on initial antioxidant status; 12 741 French adults (7713 females aged 35-60 years; 5028 males aged 45-60 years) received daily antioxidant supplementation (120 mg vitamin C, 30 mg vitamin E, 6 mg beta-carotene, 100 microg Se, 20 mg Zn daily) or a matching placebo. Cut-off limits for baseline serum concentrations of the different antioxidant vitamins and minerals were defined as follows for both men and women: 0.3 micromol/l for beta-carotene, 11.4 micromol/l for vitamin C, 15 micromol/l for vitamin E, 0.75 micromol/l for Se and 10.7 micromol/l for Zn. The percentage of men with serum concentrations under cut-off limits was higher for vitamins C and E and beta-carotene in those who developed a cancer than in those who did not. The risk of cancer was higher in men with baseline concentrations of serum vitamin C or vitamin E under cut-off limits, but not in women. The effect of supplementation was greater in men with baseline serum concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene below the cut-off limits compared with those above it. This effect was maintained only for vitamin E after adjustment for age, tobacco, and alcohol consumption and BMI. No effect of supplementation could be seen in women. Baseline antioxidant status is related to the risk of cancer in men but not in women and therefore does not entirely explain the differences observed in the effect of antioxidant supplementation on cancer risk between sexes in the SU.VI.MAX study.

Br J Nutr. 2005 Jul;94(1):125-32

Advanced glycation end products in diabetes-associated atherosclerosis and renal disease: interventional studies.

There is increasing evidence that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and their interactions with various receptors (in particular, the receptor RAGE) play a pivotal role in the development and progression of diabetic macro- and microvascular complications. Several approaches have been used to inhibit tissue accumulation of AGEs in diabetes, including inhibitors of AGE formation such as aminoguanidine, ALT 946, and pyridoxamine-or putative cross-link breakers such as ALT 711. Alternative interventions have also included the administration of a soluble receptor for RAGE, sRAGE, thus capturing circulating AGEs and preventing them from binding to the cell-bound full-length receptor RAGE, thereby inhibiting the proinflammatory and profibrotic response following AGE-RAGE binding. In this review we summarize the evidence for such antiglycation therapies in retarding or delaying the development and progression of diabetes-associated atherosclerosis and renal disease while focusing on interventional strategies inhibiting AGE accumulation. In summary, all approaches have been shown to confer some degree of antiatherosclerotic and renoprotective effects, albeit to different degrees and by different mechanisms.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:759-66

Carnosine and carnosine-related antioxidants: a review.

First isolated and characterized in 1900 by Gulewitsch, carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-hystidine) is a dipeptide commonly present in mammalian tissue, and in particular in skeletal muscle cells; it is responsible for a variety of activities related to the detoxification of the body from free radical species and the by-products of membrane lipids peroxidation, but recent studies have shown that this small molecule also has membrane-protecting activity, proton buffering capacity, formation of complexes with transition metals, and regulation of macrophage function. It has been proposed that carnosine could act as a natural scavenger of dangerous reactive aldehydes from the degradative oxidative pathway of endogenous molecules such as sugars, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and proteins. In particular, it has been recently demonstrated that carnosine is a potent and selective scavenger of alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes, typical by-products of membrane lipids peroxidation and considered second messengers of the oxidative stress, and inhibits aldehyde-induced protein-protein and DNA-protein cross-linking in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, in cardiovascular ischemic damage, in inflammatory diseases. The research for new and more potent scavengers for HNE and other alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes has produced a consistent variety of carnosine analogs, and the present review will resume, through the scientific literature and the international patents, the most recent developments in this field.

Curr Med Chem. 2005;12(20):2293-315

Advanced glycation in health and disease: role of the modern environment.

It is believed that intracellular and extracellular advanced glycation (AGEs) or lipoxidation end products (ALEs), together with dysregulated glucose and lipid metabolism, are important contributors to oxidant or carbonyl stress, enhanced cellular redox-sensitive transcription factor activity, and impaired innate immune defense, causing over time inappropriate inflammatory responses. However, neither the magnitude nor the persistent nature of this increased prooxidant state are completely understood. A significant correlation has been found between ingested and circulating AGEs in humans in recent years. Based on animal studies, the injurious impact of diet-derived AGEs to vascular and kidney tissues is estimated to rival or even exceed that caused by hyperglycemia or hyperlipidemia. Consistent with this view, dietary AGE restriction has been associated with suppression of several immune defects, insulin resistance, and diabetic complications, whether genetically or diet induced, despite persistent diabetes. These findings are in support of clinical evidence from subjects with diabetes or vascular or kidney disease. Most recently, evidence from animal studies points to AGE restriction as an effective means for extending median life span, similar to that previously shown by marked caloric restriction. We conclude that excessive AGE consumption, in the current dietary/social structure, represents an independent factor for inappropriate oxidant stress responses, which may promote the premature expression of complex diseases associated with adult life, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:452-60

Oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.

Oxidative stress is a well-studied early response in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, where neuronal loss can exceed 90% in the vulnerable neuronal population. Oxidative stress affects all classes of macromolecules (sugar, lipids, proteins, and DNA), leading inevitably to neuronal dysfunction. We observed that Nepsilon-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), the predominant advanced glycation end product that accumulates in vivo, along with its glycation-specific precursor hexitol-lysine, are increased in neurons from cases of Alzheimer’s disease, especially those containing intracellular neurofibrillary pathology. The increase in hexitol-lysine and CML can result from either lipid peroxidation or advanced glycation, whereas hexitol-lysine is solely a product of glycation, suggesting that two distinct oxidative processes act in concert in the neuropathology of the disease. Furthermore, using olfactory neurons as an experimental model, we observed an increase in glycation products in neurons derived from Alzheimer’s disease patients. Our findings support the idea that aldehyde-mediated modifications, in concert with oxyradical-mediated modifications, are critical early pathogenic factors in Alzheimer’s disease.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:545-52

Role of glucoxidation and lipid oxidation in the development of atherosclerosis.

Previous data have indicated that modification of proteins/lipids by glucoxidation and/or lipid oxidation may initiate/propagate the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. Although the biomarker carboxymethyllysine (CML) has been detected in these lesions, the origin of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to its formation and the source of its carbon backbone are unknown. As presented here, the stimulation of cultured monocytes by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (TPA), an activator of protein kinase C that can mimic the effects of high glucose, angiotensin II, and other physiological stimuli, leads to cellular ROS generation and concomitant formation of intracellular CML. Inhibitors of ROS-generating cellular systems such as NO synthase, xanthine oxidase, or cytochrome P450 oxidase had no effect on CML formation. Likewise, in cells with inactive NAD(P)H oxidase no reduced CML formation was found. In cells exhibiting a high glycolysis rate, CML formation was unaffected. Because we found rapid CML formation in the presence of unsaturated fatty acids, it appears that lipid oxidation is quantitatively more important. In vivo studies revealed strong intracellular CML staining in areas of histiocytic/monocytic infiltration or proliferation, mostly associated with atheroma formation. Corresponding CML staining patterns were found in healing wounds of different ages, indicating that formation of atherosclerosis is a chronic wound repair associated with a low-grade inflammatory reaction. In summary, CML is formed concomitantly with oxidative stress in activated monocytes and can be regarded as a biomarker for a low-grade inflammatory tissue reaction in the atherosclerotic plaque. Its formation via lipid oxidation may be involved in the development of atherosclerosis.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:343-54

Is atherosclerosis a multifactorial disease or is it induced by a sequence of lipid peroxidation reactions?

The delivery of not only free cholesterol but also cholesterol esters to cells by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) has hitherto been unstudied. Minor compounds present in mammalian-derived food include cholesterol linoleate and arachidonate. Evidence is presented that these esters are directly incorporated into VLDL and are responsible for the deleterious effects of atherosclerosis. Cholesterol esterified with these polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is readily oxidized at the PUFA residue during storage and heating. Apparently, the liver is unable to distinguish between nonoxidized and oxidized cholesterol PUFA esters and also incorporates the latter into VLDL, which is transformed to LDL. When this LDL is transferred to endothelial cells, the toxic products are liberated and induce cell damage. Cell damage is combined with structural changes that influence neighboring cells and cause an influx of Ca2+ ions and activation of phospholipases and lipoxygenases, resulting in production of lipid hydroperoxides (LOOHs). When the level of free PUFAs generated by phospholipases exceeds a certain limit, lipoxygenases commit suicide, causing liberation of iron ions. The latter react with LOOHs and thus induce a switch from enzymatic to nonenzymatic generation of lipid peroxidation (LPO) products. Although the LOO. radicals produced in enzymatic reactions are deactivated within the enzyme complex, LOO. radicals generated in nonenzymatic reactions are able to attack any biological compound, inducing severe damage. Apparently, iron ions and LOOH molecules at the surface of injured cells transfer the nonenzymatic LPO reactions to the phospholipid layer of bypassing lipoproteins, thus explaining why inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes, are combined with atherogenesis.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1043:355-66

Oxidative stress and experimental carcinogenesis.

The focus of this review is to provide state-of-the-art knowledge on the involvement of oxygen free radicals (OFR) in carcinogenesis with a particular reference to skin model system as the process of cancer development is best understood in this organ. However, a brief description of the role of OFR in other organs is also provided. The term OFR refers to forms of oxygen exhibiting high reactivity and having at least one unpaired electron. The role of OFR in different stages of carcinogenesis such as initiation, promotion and progression is described. Out of many mechanisms described for the chemical initiation of tumorigenesis, a number of them may involve free radicals in the cascade of reactions. Evidences that support the involvement of free radicals in tumor promotion include (i) a number of free radical-generating compounds are found to be tumor promoters in various animal model systems, (ii) ROS generating systems can mimic the biochemical action of tumor promoters, (iii) some tumor promoters stimulate the production of ROS, (iv) tumor promoters modulate the cellular antioxidant defense systems, and (v) free radical scavengers, detoxifiers and antioxidants inhibit the process of tumor promotion. The role of ROS in the progression stage of carcinogenesis is evident from the fact that a number of different free radical generating compounds enhance the malignant conversion of benign papillomas into carcinoma and their effectiveness may be related to the type of radicals produced into the biological system.

Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Jun;40(6):656-67

The AGE of the matrix: chemistry, consequence and cure.

Accumulation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) plays a crucial part in the development of age-related diseases and diabetic complications. AGEs are formed in vivo via the so-called Maillard reaction: a reducing sugar reacts with a protein to form a labile Amadori product that is subsequently stabilized, producing an irreversible, non-enzymatic post-translational modification of the protein involved. Recently, it has become clear that, in addition to sugars, lipids play an important role in the initiation of AGE formation, and that genetic factors contribute to an individual’s AGE levels. The highest AGE levels are found in tissues with slow turnover, such as tendon, skin, bone, amyloid plaques and cartilage. AGEs exert their effects by adversely affecting the mechanical properties of the matrix and by modulating tissue turnover. In cartilage, these detrimental effects result in tissue that is more prone to the development of osteoarthritis. As such, the accumulation of AGEs provides the first molecular mechanism explaining the age-related increase in the incidence of osteoarthritis. Ongoing research into anti-AGE-ing therapies, such as pyrodoxamine and thiazolium compounds, which are often developed to prevent AGE-induced diabetic complications, might also prove beneficial for the prevention of osteoarthritis.

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2004 Jun;4(3):301-5