Publications by authors named "Eleonora Poggiogalle"

49 Publications

Reduced sleep duration affects body composition, dietary intake and quality of life in obese subjects.

Eat Weight Disord 2016 Sep 25;21(3):501-505. Epub 2016 Feb 25.

Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Food Science and Human Nutrition Research Unit, Department of Experimental Medicine, "Sapienza" University, Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185, Rome, Italy.

Purpose: Sleep duration has emerged as a crucial factor affecting body weight and feeding behaviour. The aim of our study was to explore the relationship among sleep duration, body composition, dietary intake, and quality of life (QoL) in obese subjects.

Methods: Body composition was assessed by DXA. "Sensewear Armband" was used to evaluate sleep duration. SF-36 questionnaire was used to evaluate quality of life (QoL). A 3-day dietary record was administered. Subjects were divided into 2 groups: sleep duration > and ≤300 min/day.

Results: 137 subjects (105 women and 32 men), age: 49.8 ± 12.4 years, BMI: 38.6 ± 6.7 kg/m(2), were enrolled. Sleep duration was ≤300 min in 30.6 % of subjects. Absolute and relative fat mass (FM) (40.5 ± 9 vs. 36.5 ± 9.1 kg; 40.2 ± 4.7 vs. 36.9 ± 5.6 %), and truncal fat mass (19.2 ± 6.1 vs. 16.6 ± 5 kg; 38.6 ± 5.3 vs. 35.2 ± 5.5 %) were higher in subjects sleeping ≤300 min when compared to their counterparts (all p < 0.05), whereas just a tendency towards a higher BMI was observed (p = 0.077). Even though energy intake was not different between groups, subjects sleeping ≤300 min reported a higher carbohydrate consumption per day (51.8 ± 5.1 vs. 48.4 ± 9.2 %, p = 0.038). SF-36 total score was lower in subjects sleeping ≤300 min (34.2 ± 17.8 vs. 41.4 ± 12.9, p = 0.025). Sleep duration was negatively associated with FM (r = -0.25, p = 0.01) and SF-36 total score (r = -0.31, p < 0.001). The inverse association between sleep duration and SF-36 total score was confirmed by the regression analysis after adjustment for BMI and fat mass (R = 0.43, R (2) = 0.19, p = 0.012).

Conclusion: Reduced sleep duration negatively influences body composition, macronutrient intake, and QoL in obese subjects.
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September 2016

Fatty Liver Index Associates with Relative Sarcopenia and GH/ IGF- 1 Status in Obese Subjects.

PLoS One 2016 7;11(1):e0145811. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Department of Experimental Medicine- Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: Recently the association between hepatic steatosis and sarcopenia has been described. GH/IGF-1 axis has been postulated to play a role in linking fatty liver and low muscle mass. The aim of our study was to explore the association between fatty liver index, sarcopenic obesity, insulin sensitivity, and GH/IGF-1 status.

Methods: 427 subjects [age: 45.65±13.94 years, BMI: 36.92±6.43 kg/m2] were enrolled. Participants were divided into three groups: fatty liver index (FLI) <20, 20≥FLI<60, and FLI≥60. Body composition was assessed by DXA. The truncal fat mass (TrFM) to appendicular skeletal muscle (ASM) ratio was used as an indicator of sarcopenic obesity. ISI-Matsuda index was used.

Results: BMI, fat mass, and the TrFM/ASM ratio were higher in subjects with FLI≥60. GH, IGF-1 and ISI-Matsuda were lower in the high FLI group (all p<0.05). A significantly positive correlation between FLI and TrFM/ ASM ratio (r = 0.221, p<0.001) was found, whereas FLI levels were negatively correlated with ISI- Matsuda (r = -0.335, p<0.001), GH (r = -0.200, p = 0.006), and IGF- 1 levels (r = -0.157, p = 0.028). Stepwise linear regression analysis showed that GH levels were significantly negatively correlated with FLI, while the TrFM/ ASM ratio was positively associated with FLI, after adjustment for age, BMI, total fat mass, truncal fat mass, fat- free mass, and ISI- Matsuda.

Conclusions: Impairment of GH/IGF-1 axis seems to be associated to the risk of the development of sarcopenic obesity and ectopic fat deposition in the liver. Metabolic and hormonal derangements as determinants of ectopic fat deposition and body composition deserve to be evaluated in obese subjects.
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June 2016

Circulating SIRT1 Increases After Intragastric Balloon Fat Loss in Obese Patients.

Obes Surg 2016 06;26(6):1215-20

Department of Experimental Medicine, Section of Medical Physiopathology and Endocrinology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161, Rome, Italy.

Background: Sirtuins (SIRTs), ubiquitous deacetylases, are main regulators of energy homeostasis and metabolism. SIRT1 has a positive impact on obesity, diabetes mellitus, liver steatosis, and other metabolic disorders. Lean subjects have higher expression of SIRT1 in the adipose tissue compared to obese. However, it is not known whether weight loss associates with changes in blood SIRT1. We evaluated the effect of weight loss on circulating SIRT1, metabolic parameters, and body composition.

Methods: Thirty-two obese subjects were studied before and 6 months after BioEnterics® Intragastric Balloon (BIB®) [22 patients, BMI 41.82 ± 6.28 kg/m(2)] or hypocaloric diet [10 patients, BMI 38.95 ± 6.90 kg/m(2)]. Plasma SIRT1, body composition, measures of metabolic syndrome (waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides), and inflammation markers (ESR, CRP, fibrinogen) were recorded.

Results: SIRT1 levels showed a significant increase, together with a significant reduction of BMI, excess body weight, and total fat mass either after BIB or diet intervention. The percent excess body weight loss was 33.73 ± 19.06 and 22.08 ± 11.62 % after BIB and diet, respectively, a trend toward a metabolic and inflammatory amelioration was observed with both treatments. Negative correlation between SIRT1 and % fat mass (BIB, ρ = -0.537, p = 0.017; diet, ρ = -0.638, p = 0.047) was also seen.

Conclusions: The reduction of fat mass associates with increased plasma SIRT1 indicating that, besides tissue levels, circulating SIRT1 is stimulated by a negative caloric balance. The rise of plasma SIRT1 may represent a parameter associating with fat loss rather than weight lowering regardless of the weight reduction system method used.
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June 2016

Effects of a vitamin D and leucine-enriched whey protein nutritional supplement on measures of sarcopenia in older adults, the PROVIDE study: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

J Am Med Dir Assoc 2015 Sep 10;16(9):740-7. Epub 2015 Jul 10.

Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences/Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Geriatric Medicine, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.

Background: Age-related losses of muscle mass, strength, and function (sarcopenia) pose significant threats to physical performance, independence, and quality of life. Nutritional supplementation could positively influence aspects of sarcopenia and thereby prevent mobility disability.

Objective: To test the hypothesis that a specific oral nutritional supplement can result in improvements in measures of sarcopenia.

Design: A multicenter, randomized, controlled, double-blind, 2 parallel-group trial among 380 sarcopenic primarily independent-living older adults with Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB; 0-12) scores between 4 and 9, and a low skeletal muscle mass index. The active group (n = 184) received a vitamin D and leucine-enriched whey protein nutritional supplement to consume twice daily for 13 weeks. The control group (n = 196) received an iso-caloric control product to consume twice daily for 13 weeks. Primary outcomes of handgrip strength and SPPB score, and secondary outcomes of chair-stand test, gait speed, balance score, and appendicular muscle mass (by DXA) were measured at baseline, week 7, and week 13 of the intervention.

Results: Handgrip strength and SPPB improved in both groups without significant between-group differences. The active group improved more in the chair-stand test compared with the control group, between-group effect (95% confidence interval): -1.01 seconds (-1.77 to -0.19), P = .018. The active group gained more appendicular muscle mass than the control group, between-group effect: 0.17 kg (0.004-0.338), P = .045.

Conclusions: This 13-week intervention of a vitamin D and leucine-enriched whey protein oral nutritional supplement resulted in improvements in muscle mass and lower-extremity function among sarcopenic older adults. This study shows proof-of-principle that specific nutritional supplementation alone might benefit geriatric patients, especially relevant for those who are unable to exercise. These results warrant further investigations into the role of a specific nutritional supplement as part of a multimodal approach to prevent adverse outcomes among older adults at risk for disability.
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September 2015

Orthorexia nervosa and self-attitudinal aspects of body image in female and male university students.

J Eat Disord 2015 24;3. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Centre for Health Research, School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney and School of Medicine James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.

Background: The present study was designed to investigate orthorexia nervosa, or the phenomenon of being preoccupied with consuming healthy food. Specific aims were to explore relationships between orthorexia features and attitudes towards body image, fitness and health in normal weight female and male university students with high levels of healthy food preoccupation, i.e. orthorexia nervosa.

Methods: Participants were 327 female (N = 283) and male (N = 44) students aged 18 to 25 years. All participants completed the Polish adaptation of the 15-item questionnaire assessing orthorexia eating behaviours (the ORTHO-15) and the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (the MBSRQ). Relationships between scores on the ORTHO-15 and MBSRQ were explored in the 213 students who had high levels of preoccupation with a healthy food intake (68.55% women and 43.18% men, respectively).

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the levels of orthorexia behaviours between females and males. In female students with orthorexia nervosa, preoccupation with consuming healthy food was significantly correlated with the MBSRQ subscale scores for overweight preoccupation, appearance orientation, fitness orientation, health orientation, body areas satisfaction and appearance evaluation. Conversely, in male students with orthorexia nervosa there were no correlations between orthorexic behaviours and the MBSRQ subscales. In female students with orthorexia nervosa multivariable linear regression analysis found high body areas (parts) satisfaction, low fitness orientation, low overweight preoccupation and low appearance orientation were independent predictors of greater fixation on eating healthy food. In male students, we found that aspects of body image were not associated with preoccupation with healthy eating.

Conclusion: A strong preoccupation with healthy and proper food was not associated with an unhealthy body-self relationship among Polish female student with orthorexia nervosa.
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March 2015

A cross-sectional survey on dietary supplements consumption among Italian teen-agers.

PLoS One 2014 2;9(7):e100508. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Research Unit of Food Science and Human Nutrition, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: In the last decades, dietary supplements consumption has increased in the Western world for all age groups. The long-term potentially dangerous effects related to an indiscriminate consumption of dietary supplements are still unknown and are becoming a matter of public health concern. Therefore, the aims of the present study were: to explore the contribution of dietary supplements to micronutrient daily intake, and to evaluate awareness and knowledge about dietary supplements.

Methods: Participants (age ranging from 14 to 18 years) were recruited among students attending 8 high schools in the province of Frosinone (Italy). An anonymous questionnaire, composed of 12 multiple-choice items, was administered to all the participants. T-test and the analysis of variance (ANOVA) were performed to describe differences between means of the groups, while the chi-square test was used to compare observed and expected frequencies. The logistic regression model, aimed at identifying the characteristics of potential consumers of dietary supplements.

Results: A total of 686 teenagers (288 males and 398 females, average age: 17,89±0,91 years) participated in the study. The 83,6% of participants affirmed to be aware of dietary supplements. 239 participants consumed dietary supplements: 118 males and 121 females. 49,1% of females consumed dietary supplements less than twice a week, whereas 43,6% of males consumed dietary supplements from 2 to 5 times per week. Statistically significant differences emerged between the genders with respect to the source of information regarding dietary supplements, the perceived indications for their use, and the choice of the store/place to purchase them.

Discussion: Findings in the present study provide insight into the consumption of dietary supplements among young Italians, highlighting the need to foster further awareness among adolescents about the correct use of dietary supplements, especially in terms of indications and contraindications.
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February 2015

Abdominal Fat and Sarcopenia in Women Significantly Alter Osteoblasts Homeostasis In Vitro by a WNT/ β -Catenin Dependent Mechanism.

Int J Endocrinol 2014 20;2014:278316. Epub 2014 May 20.

Section of Health Sciences, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, "Foro Italico" University of Rome, Largo Lauro De Bosis 15, 00195 Rome, Italy.

Obesity and sarcopenia have been associated with mineral metabolism derangement and low bone mineral density (BMD). We investigated whether imbalance of serum factors in obese or obese sarcopenic patients could affect bone cell activity in vitro. To evaluate and characterize potential cellular and molecular changes of human osteoblasts, cells were exposed to sera of four groups of patients: (1) affected by obesity with normal BMD (O), (2) affected by obesity with low BMD (OO), (3) affected by obesity and sarcopenia (OS), and (4) affected by obesity, sarcopenia, and low BMD (OOS) as compared to subjects with normal body weight and normal BMD (CTL). Patients were previously investigated and characterized for body composition, biochemical and bone turnover markers. Then, sera of different groups of patients were used to incubate human osteoblasts and evaluate potential alterations in cell homeostasis. Exposure to OO, OS, and OOS sera significantly reduced alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, and BMP4 expression compared to cells exposed to O and CTL, indicating a detrimental effect on osteoblast differentiation. Interestingly, sera of all groups of patients induced intracellular alteration in Wnt/ β -catenin molecular pathway, as demonstrated by the significant alteration of specific target genes expression and by altered β -catenin cellular compartmentalization and GSK3 β phosphorylation. In conclusion our results show for the first time that sera of obese subjects with low bone mineral density and sarcopenia significantly alter osteoblasts homeostasis in vitro, indicating potential detrimental effects of trunk fat on bone formation and skeletal homeostasis.
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June 2014

Treatment of body composition changes in obese and overweight older adults: insight into the phenotype of sarcopenic obesity.

Endocrine 2014 Dec 22;47(3):699-716. Epub 2014 Jun 22.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Food Science and Human Nutrition Research Unit, "CASCO" High Specialization Center for Obesity Care, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro n. 5, 00185, Rome, Italy,

In recent years, mounting interest has been directed to sarcopenic obesity (SO), given the parallel increase of life expectancy and prevalence of obesity in Western countries. The phenotype of SO is characterized by the coexistence of excess fat mass and decreased muscle mass, leading to the impairment of physical performance. The aim of the present review was to summarize the impact of different treatment strategies contrasting body composition changes in older obese and overweight subjects, providing insight into the SO phenotype. Revision questions were formulated; relevant articles were identified from Pubmed through a systematic search strategy: definition of the search terms (sarcopenic obesity, diet, nutritional supplements, physical activity, exercise, pharmacological treatment); limits: papers published in the last 10 years; humans; age ≥ 60 years old; body mass index >25 kg/m(2); language: English. Studies dealing with sarcopenia associated to cancer cachexia or neurological diseases, any malignant disease, inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, corticosteroids for systemic use, bedridden subjects, and syndromic obesity were excluded. 14 articles were identified for inclusion in the present systematic review, and were grouped basing on the type of the main intervention: data assessing body composition changes after combined lifestyle interventions, exercise/physical activity, dietary interventions, and pharmacological treatment. Most of the studies were randomized, controlled. Sample size ranged from 12 to 439 subjects, and study duration varied from 6 weeks to 12 months. Weight loss based on diet combined with exercise seems to be the best strategy to adopt for treatment of phenotypic aspects of SO, improving metabolic consequences related to excess fat, preserving lean mass, and allowing functional recovery.
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December 2014

Health-related quality of life and quality of sexual life in obese subjects.

Int J Endocrinol 2014 23;2014:847871. Epub 2014 Feb 23.

Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Department of Experimental Medicine, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.

The increased prevalence of obesity represents, currently, one of the major public health issues, due to its consequences on physical and psychological health status as well as on the psychosocial functioning. As defined by the World Health Organization, sexual health is "a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality." The aim of the present study was to explore the relationship between sexual life in obese subjects and quality of life, psychological status, and disability. Methods. 95 obese subjects were recruited from June 2012 to February 2013 and underwent physical examination and measures for the assessment of quality of life, sexual life, psychological status, and disability. Results. In obese subjects sexual life was related to gender, age, psychological status, disability, and quality of life. Conclusion. As obesity is a multifactorial disease, and is accompanied by multiple comorbidities, it is difficult to identify a single causative factor responsible for the impairment of sexual life in obese subjects; thus, a thorough, multidimensional evaluation including sexual function assessment should be performed in obese people.
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April 2014

Adaptation of the ORTHO-15 test to Polish women and men.

Eat Weight Disord 2014 Mar 22;19(1):69-76. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

, 40-326, Katowice, Poland,

Objective: There is a lack of Polish tools to measure behaviour related to orthorexia nervosa. The purpose of the present study was to validate the Polish version of the ORTHO-15 test.

Methods: 341 women and 59 men (N = 400) were recruited, whose age ranged from 18 to 35 years. Mean age was 23.09 years (SD = 3.14) in women and 24.02 years (SD = 3.87) in men. The ORTHO-15 test and the EAT-26 test were used in the present study.

Results: Factor analysis (exploratory and confirmatory analysis) was used in the present study. Exploratory factor analysis performed on the initial 15 items from a random split half of the study group suggested a nine-item two-factor structure. Confirmatory factor analysis performed on the second randomly selected half of the study group supported this two-factor structure of the ORTHO-15 test. The Polish version of the ORTHO-15 test demonstrated an internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) equal to 0.644.

Conclusion: The Polish version of the ORTHO-15 test is a reliable and valuable instrument to assess obsessive attitudes related to healthy and proper nutrition in Polish female and male population.
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March 2014

Disability affects the 6-minute walking distance in obese subjects (BMI>40 kg/m(2)).

PLoS One 2013 11;8(10):e75491. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Department of Experimental Medicine-Medical Physiopathology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, "Sapienza" University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: In obese subjects, the relative reduction of the skeletal muscle strength, the reduced cardio-pulmonary capacity and tolerance to effort, the higher metabolic costs and, therefore, the increased inefficiency of gait together with the increased prevalence of co-morbid conditions might interfere with walking. Performance tests, such as the six-minute walking test (6MWT), can unveil the limitations in cardio-respiratory and motor functions underlying the obesity-related disability. Therefore the aims of the present study were: to explore the determinants of the 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) and to investigate the predictors of interruption of the walk test in obese subjects.

Methods: Obese patients [body mass index (BMI)>40 kg/m(2)] were recruited from January 2009 to December 2011. Anthropometry, body composition, specific questionnaire for Obesity-related Disabilities (TSD-OC test), fitness status and 6MWT data were evaluated. The correlation between the 6MWD and the potential independent variables (anthropometric parameters, body composition, muscle strength, flexibility and disability) were analysed. The variables which were singularly correlated with the response variable were included in a multivariated regression model. Finally, the correlation between nutritional and functional parameters and test interruption was investigated.

Results: 354 subjects (87 males, mean age 48.5 ± 14 years, 267 females, mean age 49.8 ± 15 years) were enrolled in the study. Age, weight, height, BMI, fat mass and fat free mass indexes, handgrip strength and disability were significantly correlated with the 6MWD and considered in the multivariate analysis. The determination coefficient of the regression analysis ranged from 0.21 to 0.47 for the different models. Body weight, BMI, waist circumference, TSD-OC test score and flexibility were found to be predictors of the 6MWT interruption.

Discussion: The present study demonstrated the impact of disability in obese subjects, together with age, anthropometric data, body composition and strength, on the 6-minute walking distance.
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July 2014

How to estimate fat mass in overweight and obese subjects.

Int J Endocrinol 2013 10;2013:285680. Epub 2013 Apr 10.

Medical Physiopathology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Food Science and Human Nutrition Research Unit, Experimental Medicine Department, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Background. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing and represents a primary health concern. Body composition evaluation is rarely performed in overweight/obese subjects, and the diagnosis is almost always achieved just considering body mass index (BMI). In fact, whereas BMI can be considered an important tool in epidemiological surveys, different papers stated the limitations of the use of BMI in single individuals. Aim. To assess the determinants of body composition in overweight and obese subjects. Methods. In 103 overweight or obese subjects (74 women, aged 41.5 ± 10 years, and 29 men, aged 43.8 ± 8 years), a multidimensional evaluation was performed including the assessment of body composition using Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA), anthropometry, bioimpedance analysis (BIA), and biochemical parameters (total cholesterol, triacylglycerol, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, free fatty acids and glycerol, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein, plasma acylated and unacylated ghrelin, adiponectin, and leptin serum levels). Results. BMI does not represent the main predictor of FM estimated by DXA; FM from BIA and hip circumference showed a better association with FM from DXA. Moreover, models omitting BMI explained a greater part of variance. These data are confirmed by the predictive value analysis where BMI showed a performance similar to a "coin flip."
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May 2013

Anorexia and eating patterns in the elderly.

PLoS One 2013 2;8(5):e63539. Epub 2013 May 2.

Department of Experimental Medicine, Medical Physiopathology, Food Science and Endocrinology Section, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Objectives: To evaluate the change in eating habits occurring in community-dwelling and institutionalized elderly subjects with senile anorexia.

Design: Cross-sectional, observational.

Setting: Community, nursing homes and rehabilitation or acute care facilities in four Italian regions.

Participants: A random sample of 526 subjects, aged 65 years and older (217 free living individuals, 213 residents in nursing homes, and 93 patients in rehabilitation and acute wards).

Measurements: All subjects underwent a multidimensional geriatric evaluation of: nutritional status, anthropometric parameters, health and cognitive status, depression, taste, chewing and swallowing function, and some hormones related to appetite. Diet variety was assessed, considering the frequency of consumption of different food groups (milk and dairy products; meat, fish, and eggs; cereals and derivatives; fruit and vegetables).

Results: In anorexic elderly subjects the global food intake was reduced, and the eating pattern was characterized by the reduced consumption of certain food groups ("meat, eggs and fish" and "fruit and vegetables") whereas the frequency of consumption of milk and cereals remained almost unchanged. Nutritional parameters were significantly better in normal eating subjects and correlated with diet variety.

Conclusion: Because of the high prevalence of senile anorexia in the geriatric population and its impact on the nutritional status, further research should be prompted to establish an intervention. protocol allowing the early diagnosis of anorexia of aging, aimed at identifying its causes and at optimizing treatment of anorexic patients.
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December 2013

Nutritional care in a nursing home in Italy.

PLoS One 2013 6;8(2):e55804. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Experimental Medicine Department, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Introduction: Malnutrition is a clinical condition due to the imbalance among needs, intake and use of nutrients, leading to the increase of morbidity and mortality, and to the impairment of quality of life. Even in industrialized countries undernutrition is becoming an alarming phenomenon, especially involving elderly institutionalized subjects. A multicentric study called PIMAI (Project Iatrogenic MAlnutrition in Italy), was carried out in Italy over 2005. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of malnutrition in hospitals and in nursing care homes (NH), to assess the level of nutritional attention and to measure the perceived quality in food and nutritional care. This paper represents a preliminary analysis of data collected in a NH included in the PIMAI project.

Materials And Methods: A total of 100 subjects (29 males and 71 females, aged 80.2±10 years), were recruited from January to June 2005 at the Clinical Rehabilitation Institute "Villa delle Querce" in Nemi (Rome), among patients in the NH facility. All the participants underwent a multidimensional geriatric evaluation (considering nutritional, clinical, functional and cognitive parameters), and a survey on "perceived quality" of nutritional care.

Results And Discussion: According to nutritional status defined by the Mini Nutritional Assessment®, data analysis showed a high prevalence of malnutrition (36%) especially related to advanced age, chewing, cognitive and functional impairments. Patients seemed to consider nutrition to be important for their health; on the other hand, they were not thoroughly satisfied with the quality of food. Particularly, it was observed scarce attention to nutritional status from medical and nursing staff.

Conclusions: Our study confirms the need to pay greater attention to nutritional status in elderly institutionalized subjects. Medical and nursing teams need to be aware of the importance to perform an evaluation of nutritional status in these subset of subjects.
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August 2013

Indirect calorimetry in obese female subjects: Factors influencing the resting metabolic rate.

World J Exp Med 2012 Jun 20;2(3):58-64. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Theresa Hagedorn, Claudia Savina, Cecilia Coletti, Maddalena Paolini, Luciano Scavone, Rehabilitation Clinical Institute "Villa delle Querce", Nemi, 00040 Rome, Italy.

Aim: To evaluate selected factors influencing resting energy expenditure (REE) in obese female subjects.

Methods: Seventy seven 61 obese Caucasian women [mean age of 52.93 ± 13.45 years, and mean body mass index (BMI) of 41.78 ± 11.54 kg/m(2)] were enrolled; measurements of resting metabolic rate (RMR) by a ventilated, open-circuit system, indirect calorimeter were performed after an overnight fast. Body composition as well as medications, physical parameters, blood samples, disease pattern, and smoking were considered.

Results: RMR was significantly associated with body weight (r = 0.732, P < 0.001), body height (r = 0.401, P = 0.008), BMI (r = 0.504, P < 0.001), waist circumference (r = 0.602, P < 0.001), mid-upper arm circumference (r = 0.417, P = 0.006), mid-upper arm muscle circumference (r = 0.344, P = 0.028), total body water (r = 0.339, P = 0.035), body temperature (r = 0.409, P = 0.007), smoking (P = 0.031), serum T4 levels (r = 0.331, P = 0.036), obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS; P = 0.023), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT; P = 0.017) and impaired glycaemic status, including hyperinsulinism, IGT and diabetes mellitus (P = 0.003).

Conclusion: Future research should be prompted to optimize the procedure of indirect calorimetry to achieve clinical benefits in obese subjects.
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June 2012

Pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A clinical and laboratory challenge.

World J Hepatol 2010 Jul;2(7):275-88

Lucia Pacifico, Eleonora Poggiogalle, Flavia Ferraro, Claudio Chiesa, Departments of 1 Pediatrics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00161, Italy.

The true prevalence of pediatric nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is unknown. Challenges in determining the population prevalence of NAFLD include the type of test (and the reference intervals used to define normal and abnormal), the type of population (general population, hospital series), the demographic characteristics of the population sampled, and the nature of the study design. The natural history of pediatric NAFLD remains uncertain. The issue of when to perform a liver biopsy in children with suspected NAFLD remains controversial. Children with NAFLD but normal alanine aminotransferase are rarely investigated. However, evidence of alterations in glucose metabolism parameters should prompt a better understanding of the natural history of pediatric NAFLD not only in terms of the progression of liver disease but also regarding its potential relationship with other health outcomes such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. This evidence could make liver biopsy mandatory in the majority of cases at risk of progressive and severe hepatic and extrahepatic disease. This conclusion, however, raises the question of the feasibility of liver biopsy assessment in an extremely large at risk population, and of the cost/effectiveness of this policy. There is a considerable, continuous interest in reliable, noninvasive alternatives that will allow the prognosis of pediatric NAFLD to be followed in large community or population-based studies.
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July 2010

Acylated and nonacylated ghrelin levels and their associations with insulin resistance in obese and normal weight children with metabolic syndrome.

Eur J Endocrinol 2009 Dec 22;161(6):861-70. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Department of Pediatrics, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy.

Background: Ghrelin, a peptide mainly derived from the stomach, plays a pivotal role in the regulation of food intake, energy metabolism, and storage, as well as in insulin sensitivity. Ghrelin circulates in acylated (A-Ghr) and nonacylated (NA-Ghr) forms, and their potential differential associations with insulin resistance (IR) in childhood obesity remain undefined.

Objective: We investigated the associations of ghrelin forms with IR in normal weight and obese children and the impact of metabolic syndrome (MS) on their plasma values.

Design: A total of 210 children in four subgroups of normal weight/obese children with and without components of MS were studied. Fasting blood glucose, insulin, lipid profile, and acylated and total ghrelin were examined. IR was determined by a homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) of IR.

Results: In the entire population, plasma insulin and HOMA-IR were associated negatively with T-Ghr and NA-Ghr, but positively with the ratio of A/NA-Ghr after adjustment for age, gender, and Tanner stage. Obese metabolically abnormal children had lower T-Ghr and NA-Ghr, but comparable A-Ghr and a higher A/NA-Ghr ratio than obese metabolically normal subjects. Compared with lean healthy children, lean metabolically abnormal subjects had higher A-Ghr and the A/NA-Ghr ratio, but comparable T-Ghr and NA-Ghr. A multiple regression analysis showed that A-Ghr and the A/NA-Ghr ratios were positively associated with HOMA-IR, independent of age, gender, Tanner stage, and body mass index (or waist circumference) and other components of MS.

Conclusions: A-Ghr excess may negatively modulate insulin action in obese and nonobese children, and may contribute to the association of IR and MS.
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December 2009

Relationships of acylated and des-acyl ghrelin levels to bone mineralization in obese children and adolescents.

Bone 2009 Aug 21;45(2):274-9. Epub 2009 Apr 21.

Department of Pediatrics, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Aims: Bodyweight is a significant predictor of bone mass. Hormonal factors are thought to play a role in the mechanisms controlling the association of body weight and fat mass with bone mass. Very recently, the orexigenic hormone ghrelin has also been implicated in bone metabolism. In this study we examined the associations of circulating acylated and des-acyl ghrelin concentrations with measures of bone in a group of obese children and adolescents as well as in a group of healthy control children. We also determined whether the associations were independent of body composition, chronological age, gender, Tanner stage, and leptin, glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1 levels.

Methods: We performed a prospective cross-sectional study of 100 obese children [age, 8.9 (8.3 to 9.4); BMI-Standard Deviation Score (SDS), 2.2 (2.0 to 2.3)], and 100 age-matched lean healthy subjects. Fasting insulin, leptin, IGF-1, acylated and total ghrelin were measured by radioimmunoassay. Des-acyl ghrelin values were calculated as total ghrelin minus acylated ghrelin. Whole body (WB) and lumbar spine (LS) BMD, and BMC as well as body composition were assessed by DXA (Hologic QDR-4500W). LS volumetric BMD (BMAD) was estimated using the formula of Katzman (BMC/area(1.5)), while WB BMC data were expressed as BMC/height.

Results: Backward linear regression analysis was performed for individual groups, with age, gender, Tanner stage, weight, height, body composition (lean and fat mass), acylated ghrelin, des-acyl ghrelin, leptin, glucose, insulin, and IGF-1, entered into the model. In healthy children, acylated ghrelin was a significant and independent negative predictor of WB BMD, and WB BMC/height, while lean mass was positively associated significantly with these bone measures. In contrast, in obese children, a positive significant association was observed between des-acyl ghrelin and WB BMD as well as WB BMC/height, along with lean mass, and to a lesser degree, with fat mass. Acylated as well as des-acyl ghrelin were not significant predictors of LS BMD and LS BMAD in obese as well as control children.

Conclusions: The results of this investigation indicate that the influence of the two distinct isoforms of ghrelin on BMD is mediated by specific body composition parameters in obese and control healthy children.
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August 2009