Soy isoflavones and homocysteine

The effect of soy or isoflavones on homocysteine levels: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

Song et al., JHND Early View

Background

The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of soy or isoflavones on blood homocysteine levels via a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library (up to 16 December 2015) were used for the literature review. Only randomised controlled trials were included. The primary outcome was the standard mean difference (SMD) of blood homocysteine levels between the experimental and control groups.

Results

Nineteen randomised controlled studies were included for qualitative analysis. Eighteen studies were included in the data synthesis. Soy or isoflavones were found to have no effect on homocysteine levels, with a SMD of −0.21 (95% confidence interval = −0.43 to 0.00, I2=67.7%, random effect model). No publication bias was found among those studies (P = 0.296 for Egger’s test, and P = 0.198 for Begg’s test).

Conclusions

Soy or isoflavones were not found to be associated with a reduction in homocysteine levels. Further studies might still be needed in carefully selected populations.

 

The burdens of coeliac disease and a gluten-free diet

Coeliac disease and the gluten-free diet: a review of the burdens; factors associated with adherence and impact on health-related quality of life, with specific focus on adolescence

White et al., JHND Early View

Adherence and non-adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) may impact negatively on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Understanding the factors that influence compliance could help inform management and also guide support. With a particular focus on adolescence, this narrative review critiques current literature on the burdens associated with following a GFD and the factors associated with adherence. Studies highlight a variety of burdens faced by individuals with coeliac disease, including the cost, access and availability of gluten-free (GF) foods, as well as the dilemmas experienced when eating out, travelling and socialising with friends. A number of studies report that adolescents face stigmatisation and feel isolated in social situations and at school. Additional burdens that are highlighted are a lack of knowledge regarding CD and GFD difficulties in interpreting food labels, as well as dissatisfaction with the organoleptic properties of GF foods. Factors associated with poor adherence in adolescence include older age, an absence of immediate symptoms, difficulties eating out and poor palatability of GF foods. Conversely, better emotional support and stronger organisation skills have been associated with superior adherence. Significant associations have been reported between HRQoL measures and adherence, although the findings are inconsistent. Limitations in research methodologies exist and data are restricted to just a few countries. Further research specific to adolescence is required to identify independent predictors of adherence.

What do patients with coeliac disease want from their dietetic consultation?

Outcomes in coeliac disease: a qualitative exploration of patients’ views on what they want to achieve when seeing a dietitian

Madden et al., JHND Early View

Background

Coeliac disease (CD) is managed by life-long adherence to a gluten-free diet and dietitians have the potential to facilitate this. Patient involvement through shared decision-making is central to behaviour-change skills used by dietitians, although there is little evidence supporting its inclusion in evaluating dietetic interventions. The present study aimed to explore patients’ preferences for diet and nutrition-related outcomes in CD.

Methods

Adults with CD or adult carers of children with CD were invited through support networks. Participants took part in a telephone, face-to-face interview or focus group which was audio-recorded and transcribed. Themes were developed using a framework method. Ethical approval was obtained.

Results

Twenty-nine adult patients and five parents of CD children participated 0–34 years after diagnosis. Four main outcome-related themes emerged: (i) Participants wanted information specific to their lifestyle and time since diagnosis, focussing on food containing gluten, practical issues, prescribable items and general nutrition. (ii) The degree of satisfaction with the consultation process impacted on participants’ experience, including the dietitian’s CD expertise, consistency of the dietitian seen, and the frequency and length of appointments. (iii) Health concerns were important to participants and focussed on risk of osteoporosis, unwanted weight gain, and the fat and sugar content of manufactured gluten-free products. (iv) Clinical monitoring, including bone scans and antibody measurements, was mentioned but was not described as being of importance for most participants.

Conclusions

The outcomes preferred by CD patients and carers focussed primarily on information and resources received and satisfaction with their dietetic consultation.

 

Diet and the human gut microbiota

The human gut microbiota and its interactive connections to diet

Milani et al., JHND Early View

The microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in human health. In addition to their metabolic interactions with dietary constituents, gut bacteria may also be involved in more complex host interactions, such as modulation of the immune system. Furthermore, the composition of the gut microbiota may be important in reducing the risk of contracting particular gut infections. Changes in the microbiota during an individual’s lifespan are accompanied by modifications in multiple health parameters, and such observations have prompted intense scientific efforts aiming to understand the complex interactions between the microbiota and its human host, as well as how this may be influenced by diet.

A narrative review of imaging, impedance, strength and functional techniques

Body composition and functional assessment of nutritional status in adults: a narrative review of imaging, impedance, strength and functional techniques

Smith and Madden. JHND Early View

The accurate and valid assessment of body composition is essential for the diagnostic evaluation of nutritional status, identifying relevant outcome measures, and determining the effectiveness of current and future nutritional interventions. Developments in technology and our understanding of the influences of body composition on risk and outcome will provide practitioners with new opportunities to enhance current practice and to lead future improvements in practice. This is the second of a two-part narrative review that aims to critically evaluate body composition methodology in diverse adult populations, with a primary focus on its use in the assessment and monitoring of under-nutrition. Part one focused on anthropometric variables [Madden and Smith (2016) J Hum Nutr Diet 29: 7–25] and part two focuses on the use of imaging techniques, bioelectrical impedance analysis, markers of muscle strength and functional status, with particular reference to developments relevant to practice.

 

Healthier food service in the workplace

Implementing healthier foodservice guidelines in hospital and federal worksite cafeterias: barriers, facilitators and keys to success

Jilcott Pitts et al., JHND Early View

Background

Healthy foodservice guidelines are being implemented in worksites and healthcare facilities to increase access to healthy foods by employees and public populations. However, little is known about the barriers to and facilitators of implementation. The present study aimed to examine barriers to and facilitators of implementation of healthy foodservice guidelines in federal worksite and hospital cafeterias.

Methods

Using a mixed-methods approach, including a quantitative survey followed by a qualitative, in-depth interview, we examined: (i) barriers to and facilitators of implementation; (ii) behavioural design strategies used to promote healthier foods and beverages; and (iii) how implementation of healthy foodservice guidelines influenced costs and profitability. We used a purposive sample of five hospital and four federal worksite foodservice operators who recently implemented one of two foodservice guidelines: the United States Department of Health and Human Services/General Services Administration Health and Sustainability Guidelines (‘Guidelines’) in federal worksites or the Partnership for a Healthier America Hospital Healthier Food Initiative (‘Initiative’) in hospitals. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative survey data. Qualitative data were analysed using a deductive approach.

Results

Implementation facilitators included leadership support, adequate vendor selections and having dietitians assist with implementation. Implementation barriers included inadequate selections from vendors, customer complaints and additional expertise required for menu labelling. Behavioural design strategies used most frequently included icons denoting healthier options, marketing using social media and placement of healthier options in prime locations.

Conclusions

Lessons learned can guide subsequent steps for future healthy foodservice guideline implementation in similar settings.

Virtual issues

Like many Wiley journals, the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics occasionally publishes virtual issues. These are collections of papers that have been previously published in the journal which draw together work around a theme, generally with an associated editorial which discusses the collection. The papers that are presented in the virtual issues are free to access for an unlimited time, at no cost to the authors. The JHND archive of virtual issues contains:
In addition we have published some virtual issues in collaboration with other journals. These issues include papers from both journals:
Nutritional Assessment in Clinical Settings, with the Journal of Clinical Nursing
Coeliac Disease; Pathogenesis, Prognosis and Management, with the Journal of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Childhood Obesity: Risk Factors, Prevention and Management with Maternal and Child Nutrition
Vitamin D, with Nutrition Bulletin