Purpose of review
There has been growing evidence that lifestyle factors may affect the health and lifespan of an individual by affecting telomere length. The purpose of this review was to highlight the importance of telomeres in human health and aging and to summarize possible lifestyle factors that may affect health and longevity by altering the rate of telomere shortening.
Recent studies indicate that telomere length, which can be affected by various lifestyle factors, can affect the pace of aging and onset of age-associated diseases.
Telomere length shortens with age. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to senescence, apoptosis, or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and poor survival. The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors. Better choice of diet and activities has great potential to reduce the rate of telomere shortening or at least prevent excessive telomere attrition, leading to delayed onset of age-associated diseases and increased lifespan. This review highlights the role of telomeres in aging and describes the lifestyle factors which may affect telomeres, human health, and aging.
Keywords: aging, cancer, lifestyle, oxidative stress, telomere
Fruits and vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend you make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Myplate.gov also supports that one-half the plate should be fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. In this review, we describe the existing dietary guidance on intake of fruits and vegetables. We also review attempts to characterize fruits and vegetables into groups based on similar chemical structures and functions. Differences among fruits and vegetables in nutrient composition are detailed. We summarize the epidemiological and clinical studies on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Finally, we discuss the role of fiber in fruits and vegetables in disease prevention.
The recent era is witnessing evaluation of medicinal and nutritional value of fruits and fruit juices for the management and prevention of brain diseases like headache stress, anxiety, hypertension, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases by the scientists and researchers worldwide. Fruits possess various chemicals such as antioxidants and polyphenols, which reduce and balance the effect of hormone in brain responsible for brain disease. Natural remedy is cheap, easily available, nontoxic, and easy to prepare and provides good mental health as compared to other remedies. The main objective of this review is to acknowledge medicinal benefits of fruits for the cognition and management of brain disease.
Consuming whole fruit reduces ratings of satiety more than fruit juice, but little is known about the effects of different forms of fruit on subsequent energy intake. This study tested how consuming preloads of apples in different forms prior to a meal (apple, applesauce, and apple juice with and without added fiber) influences satiety and energy intake at meal. Preloads were matched for weight, energy content, energy density, and ingestion rate. Once a week for 5 weeks, 58 adults consumed one of four preloads (266 g; 125 kcal [523 kJ]), or no preload (control), followed by a test meal consumed ad libitum 15 min later. Results showed that eating apple reduced lunch energy intake (preload + test meal) by 15% (187 ± 36 kcal [782 ± 151 kJ]) compared to control (p < 0.0001) and decreased energy intake compared to applesauce and both juices. Fullness ratings differed significantly after preload consumption (apple > applesauce > both juices > control). Overall, whole apple increased satiety more than applesauce or apple juice. Adding naturally occurring levels of fiber to juice did not enhance satiety. These results suggest that solid fruit affects satiety more than pureed fruit or juice, and that eating fruit at the start of a meal can reduce energy intake.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) - a novel coronavirus has rapid spread, and caused community infection around the globe. During the absence of a vaccine, people focused more on an immunity-boosting diet and needed clear knowledge about immunity-boosting foods. However, after the vaccination drive, the importance of food as a natural source of immunomodulation cannot be neglected. So, the purpose of this review was to describe the role of vital nutrient in boosting immune system of body apart from other factors like adequate sleep, exercise, and low stress levels. Macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, B-cells, and T-cells are the important components having important role in maintaining immunity of the human body. The first four-act as the initial mediators of innate host defense, and the latter two produce antibodies for pathogen destruction. The review investigated vital nutrients like vitamin-C, A, E and D, iron, zinc, folic acid, probiotics, and prebiotics affecting these immune components in some extent. Fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, seeds, nuts, cereals, millets, and superfoods like chlorella and spirulina are good sources of these nutrients. However, fortified foods, functional foods, encapsulated foods with bioactive compounds and plant-based foods have shown immense potential in boosting immunity against viral infections like COVID-19. Some clinical trials and retrospective cohort studies have shown reduction in the severity of COVID-19 patients with relation to plant-based diet, vitamin D and C doses, probiotic, and zinc salts application.
Keywords: Food, Nutrients, SARS-CoV-2, Immune components, Clinical trials
Immune-Boosting, Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Food Supplements Targeting Pathogenesis of COVID-19
The COVID-19 is an acute and contagious disease characterized by pneumonia and ARDS. The disease is caused by SARS-CoV-2, which belongs to the family of Coronaviridae along with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1. The virus has the positive-sense RNA as its genome encoding for ~26 proteins that work together for the virus survival, replication, and spread in the host. The virus gets transmitted through the contact of aerosol droplets from infected persons. The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is highly complex and involves suppression of host antiviral and innate immune response, induction of oxidative stress followed by hyper inflammation described as the "cytokine storm," causing the acute lung injury, tissue fibrosis, and pneumonia. Currently, several vaccines and drugs are being evaluated for their efficacy, safety, and for determination of doses for COVID-19 and this requires considerable time for their validation. Therefore, exploring the repurposing of natural compounds may provide alternatives against COVID-19. Several nutraceuticals have a proven ability of immune-boosting, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory effects. These include Zn, vitamin D, vitamin C, curcumin, cinnamaldehyde, probiotics, selenium, lactoferrin, quercetin, etc. Grouping some of these phytonutrients in the right combination in the form of a food supplement may help to boost the immune system, prevent virus spread, preclude the disease progression to severe stage, and further suppress the hyper inflammation providing both prophylactic and therapeutic support against COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; anti-inflammation; antioxidant; food supplements; immune-boosting; pathogenesis.
Exploring the Immune-Boosting Functions of Vitamins and Minerals as Nutritional Food Bioactive Compounds: A Comprehensive Review
Food components have long been recognized to play a fundamental role in the growth and development of the human body, conferring protective functionalities against foreign matter that can be severe public health problems. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential to the human body, and individuals must meet their daily requirements through dietary sources. Micronutrients act as immunomodulators and protect the host immune response, thus preventing immune evasion by pathogenic organisms. Several experimental investigations have been undertaken to appraise the immunomodulatory functions of vitamins and minerals. Based on these experimental findings, this review describes the immune-boosting functionalities of micronutrients and the mechanisms of action through which these functions are mediated. Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in plasma concentrations can lead to a reduction in the performance of the immune system functioning, representing a key contributor to unfavorable immunological states. This review provides a descriptive overview of the characteristics of the immune system and the utilization of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in preventative strategies designed to reduce morbidity and mortality among patients suffering from immune invasions or autoimmune disorders.
Keywords: vitamins, minerals, food bioactive compounds, nutrition, immune system.
A well-functioning immune system is critical for survival. The immune system must be constantly alert, monitoring for signs of invasion or danger. Cells of the immune system must be able to distinguish self from non-self and furthermore discriminate between non-self molecules which are harmful (e.g., those from pathogens) and innocuous non-self molecules (e.g., from food). This Special Issue of Nutrients explores the relationship between diet and nutrients and immune function. In this preface, we outline the key functions of the immune system, and how it interacts with nutrients across the life course, highlighting the work included within this Special Issue. This includes the role of macronutrients, micronutrients, and the gut microbiome in mediating immunological effects. Nutritional modulation of the immune system has applications within the clinical setting, but can also have a role in healthy populations, acting to reduce or delay the onset of immune-mediated chronic diseases. Ongoing research in this field will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the role of diet and nutrients in immune function and will facilitate the use of bespoke nutrition to improve human health.
Keywords: nutrition, immunity, macronutrients, micronutrients, microbiome, life course, probiotic, prebiotic, inflammation.
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