Life expectancy can increase by up to 10 years following sustained shifts towards healthier diets in the United Kingdom

Adherence to healthy dietary patterns can prevent the development of non-communicable diseases and affect life expectancy. Here, using a prospective population-based cohort data from the UK Biobank, we show that sustained dietary change from unhealthy dietary patterns to the Eatwell Guide dietary recommendations is associated with 8.9 and 8.6 years gain in life expectancy for 40-year-old males and females, respectively. In the same population, sustained dietary change from unhealthy to longevity-associated dietary patterns is associated with 10.8 and 10.4 years gain in life expectancy in males and females, respectively. The largest gains are obtained from consuming more whole grains, nuts and fruits and less sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meats. Understanding the contribution of sustained dietary changes to life expectancy can provide guidance for the development of health policies.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-023-00868-w


Pediatric oral food challenges in the outpatient setting: A single-center experience

Background: Oral food challenge (OFC) is the criterion standard for diagnosing food allergy (FA). It is important to have parameters to aid in selecting ideal OFC candidates. Objective: We sought to characterize outcomes and predictors of OFCs for common food allergens. Methods: We completed a retrospective chart review of all OFCs for IgE-mediated FA performed at Duke University pediatric allergy clinics from June 2017 through May 2022. Patients were deemed eligible for milk, egg, and nut OFC if testing revealed a specific IgE level not exceeding 2 kU/L and a skin prick test (SPT) resulting in a wheal size not exceeding 5 mm. Different parameters were followed for selecting candidates for baked challenge. Results: A total of 663 OFCs were conducted on 510 patients (59% male). The most common foods challenged were peanut (26%), plain egg (23%), baked egg (8%), and milk (8%), with pass rates of 84%, 88%, 62%, and 84%, respectively. Of the patients who failed OFC, 84% had objective symptoms, 23% had multisystemic reactions, and 15% required epinephrine. Although the presence of a personal or family history of atopy or prior failed OFC was not associated with outcomes, a history of anaphylaxis (regardless of the trigger) was associated with increased risk of failure. Conclusion: Although there are no established consensus guidelines, our study provides a benchmark illustrating that cutoffs of a specific IgE level not exceeding 2 kU/L and SPT finding not exceeding 5 mm result in a failure rate of approximately 13% for nonbaked milk, nonbaked egg, and nuts. The high rate of failed baked egg OFCs is likely related to selection bias, but our results illustrate the low negative predictive value of ovomucoid.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacig.2023.100187


Screening of probiotic Lactobacillus to reduce peanut allergy and with potential anti-allergic activity

Background: Peanut is a significant source of nutrition and a valuable oilseed crop. It is also a serious allergy source, which poses a threat to 1.1% of the population. This study aimed to screen lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with the capacity to alleviate peanut allergenicity and exhibit anti-allergic properties. Result: The results show that LAB can make use of substances in peanuts to reduce the pH of peanut milk from 6.603 to 3.593-4.500 by acid production and that it can utilize the protein in peanuts to reduce the allergenic content (especially Ara h 1) and improve biological activity in peanut pulp. The content of Ara h 1 peanut-sensitizing protein was reduced by 74.65% after fermentation. The protein extracted from fermented peanut pulp is more readily digestible by gastrointestinal juices. The inhibitory activity assay of hyaluronidase (an enzyme with strong correlation to allergy) increased from 46.65% to a maximum of 90.57% to reveal that LAB fermentation of peanut pulp exhibited a robust anti-allergic response. Conclusion: The strains identified in this study exhibited the ability to mitigate peanut allergenicity partially and to possess potential anti-allergic properties. Lactobacillus plantarum P1 and Lactobacillus salivarius C24 were identified as the most promising strains and were selected for further research. © 2023 Society of Chemical Industry.
https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.13089


Nuts, vegetables, fruits, and protein dietary pattern during pregnancy is inversely associated with risk of childhood allergies: a case-control study

Allergic diseases are prevalent chronic conditions among children and can lead to significant health and economic issues. It is hypothesized that healthy and high quality diet during pregnancy can prevent the onset of allergic diseases in offspring. This study aimed to investigate the potential relationship between major dietary patterns during pregnancy and allergies in children under one year of age. This case-control study was conducted involving 244 participants (122 mothers of allergic children and 122 healthy controls) who visited pediatricians and allergy outpatient clinics in Khuzestan Province, Iran, between June 2022 and March 2023. Demographic information was recorded using a socio-demographic questionnaire. A food frequency questionnaire was used to identify the foods consumed during pregnancy. Major dietary patterns were extracted using principal component analysis, and the potential relationship between these patterns and childhood allergies was investigated using multivariable logistic regression models. The crude odds ratio (OR) analysis showed that the fourth quartile of "Nut, vegetables, fruits, and protein" dietary pattern was associated with lower occurrence of childhood allergies (OR: 0.214, 95% CI = 0.068-0.679; P trend = 0.211). After adjusting for cofactors in Model 3, this association was still observed in the fourth quartile (OR = 0.108, 95% CI = 0.019-0.613; P trend, 0.001). However, no significant association was observed between "Carbohydrate and cereals" and "Salty" dietary patterns and childhood allergies. The study findings suggest that a maternal dietary pattern rich in nuts, vegetables, and fruits during pregnancy may reduce the risk of allergic diseases in offspring.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-024-51488-8


Phase 1 trial supports safety and mechanism of action of peptide immunotherapy for peanut allergy

Background: Food allergy is a leading cause of anaphylaxis worldwide. Allergen-specific immunotherapy is the only treatment shown to modify the natural history of allergic disease, but application to food allergy has been hindered by risk of severe allergic reactions and short-lived efficacy. Allergen-derived peptides could provide a solution. PVX108 comprises seven short peptides representing immunodominant T-cell epitopes of major peanut allergens for treatment of peanut allergy. Methods: Pre-clinical safety of PVX108 was assessed using ex vivo basophil activation tests (n = 185). Clinical safety and tolerability of single and repeat PVX108 doses were evaluated in a first-in-human, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in peanut-allergic adults (46 active, 21 placebo). The repeat-dose cohort received six doses over 16 weeks with safety monitored to 21 weeks. Exploratory immunological analyses were performed at pre-dose, Week 21 and Month 18 after treatment. Results: PVX108 induced negligible activation of peanut-sensitised basophils. PVX108 was safe and well tolerated in peanut-allergic adults. There were no treatment-related hypersensitivity events or AEs of clinical concern. The only events occurring more frequently in active than placebo were mild injection site reactions. Exploratory immunological analyses revealed a decrease in the ratio of ST2+ Th2A:CCR6+ Th17-like cells within the peanut-reactive Th pool which strengthened following treatment. Conclusion: This study supports the concept that PVX108 could provide a safe alternative to whole peanut immunotherapies and provides evidence of durable peanut-specific T-cell modulation. Translation of these findings to clinical efficacy in ongoing Phase 2 trials would provide important proof-of-concept for using peptides to treat food allergy.
https://doi.org/10.1111/all.15966


Cashew Nutshells: A Promising Filler for 3D Printing Filaments

Cashew nutshells from the northern region of Colombia were prepared to assess their potential use as a filler in polymer matrix filaments for 3D printing. After drying and grinding processes, cashew nutshells were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR), and thermogravimetric analyses (TGA). Three different filaments were fabricated from polylactic acid pellets and cashew nutshell particles at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 weight percentages using a single-screw extruder. Subsequently, single-filament tensile tests were carried out on them. SEM images showed rough and porous particles composed of an arrangement of cellulose microfibrils embedded in a hemicellulose and lignin matrix, the typical microstructure reported for natural fibers. These characteristics observed in the particles are favorable for improving filler-matrix adhesion in polymer matrix composites. In addition, their low density of 0.337 g/cm3 makes them attractive for lightweight applications. ATR-FTIR spectra exhibited specific functional groups attributed to hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin, as well as a possible transformation to crystalline cellulose during drying treatment. According to TGA analyses, the thermal stability of cashew nutshell particles is around 320 °C. The three polylactic acid-cashew nutshell particle filaments prepared in this work showed higher tensile strength and elongation at break when compared to polylactic acid filament. The characteristics displayed by these cashew nutshell particles make them a promising filler for 3D printing filaments. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15224347


Characterization of Artificial Stone Produced with Blast Furnace Dust Waste Incorporated into a Mixture of Epoxy Resin and Cashew Nut Shell Oil

The demand for materials with improved properties and less negative impact on the environment is growing. Artificial stones are examples of these materials produced with up to 90% of particulate material joined by a binder. This article evaluates the physical and mechanical properties of two artificial stones produced with processing steel residue (blast furnace dust waste) and quartz powder. Two binders were used: pure epoxy resin, denoted as ASPB100, or a mixture of 70 wt% epoxy resin with 30 wt% cashew nut shell oil, denoted as ASPB7030. The process took place under vibration, compression (3 MPa/20 min and 90 °C) and vacuum (80 Pa). ASPB100 showed water absorption of 0.07%, while for ASPB7030, it was 0.54%. They were classified as having high mechanical strength associated with bending stress values equal to 32 and 25 MPa, respectively. Stain resistance indicated that both artificial stones had their stains removed with the tested cleaning agents. In this way, the novel artificial stones produced are sustainable alternatives for the application of blast furnace waste and cashew nut shell oil, reducing their negative impacts on the environment. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym15204181


Valorization of walnut green husk (Juglans regia L.) through sequential electrohydrodynamic extraction of pectin and phenolics: Process optimization and multidimensional analysis

This study aimed to optimize the extraction of pectin and phenolics from walnut green husk using the electrohydrodynamic method (EHD) and assess its impact on the chemical structure and properties of pectin. A comparative analysis was conducted with acidified water as the conventional extraction method. The results revealed significant improvements under the optimal EHD conditions (36.8 min, 17.5 kV, 90 °C), leading to a remarkable increase of over 64 % in pectin yield and >20 % in total phenolic content in half the extraction time. Chemical analysis showed that pectin samples contain 1.4-1.7 % ash, 3.6-4.6 % protein, over 90 % carbohydrates, and a galacturonic acid content ranging from 67.7 to 68.2 g/g. Both extraction methods yielded pectin with a high methoxyl degree, comparable thermal stability, and amorphous structure. EHD treatment resulted in reduced molecular weight, degree of esterification, water-holding capacity, and emulsion stability of pectin while enhancing its solubility and emulsion capacity. In summary, EHD treatment significantly improved extraction yield and changed the functionality of pectin, particularly in terms of emulsion activity. This alteration should be considered when utilizing pectin for specific applications. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2023.127545


Land Suitability Assessment for Pistachio Cultivation Using GIS and Multi-Criteria Decision-Making: A Case Study of Mardin, Turkey

Site selection for pistachio orchards is an important issue for sustainable agricultural policies, crop productivity, agricultural planning, and communities. This study aims to investigate suitable places for pistachio in the Mardin Province (SE Turkey) by considering several variables, such as meteorological data, topographic conditions, economic factors, and soil characteristics, using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. Pistachio farmers, expert opinions, and literature data were used to determine the requirements for pistachio cultivation. Four main assessment criteria (thirteen sub-criteria), sixty value ranges, and fourteen exclusion criteria were determined for the pistachio land suitability assessment. The weighting of the evaluation criteria was calculated using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). Farmers and experts have stated that meteorological factors are more important than soil, topography, and economic factors. All data were transferred to the GIS environment, and a land suitability map was created using the weighted linear combination method. The results show that Mardin province has very suitable lands for pistachio cultivation. The resulting map determined that the 228,891.59 ha area in Mardin province is very suitable for pistachio. To evaluate the accuracy of the land suitability map generated for pistachio, the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve was used. The value of the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated to be 0.806, which indicates that the study is consistent. The created suitability map will be an essential data source for developing sustainable agricultural strategies in the Southeastern Anatolia region.
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-023-11899-y


Mixed nut consumption improves brain insulin sensitivity: a randomized, single-blinded, controlled, crossover trial in older adults with overweight or obesity

Background: Improving brain insulin sensitivity, which can be assessed by measuring regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) responses to intranasal insulin, may prevent age-related metabolic and cognitive diseases. Objective: This study aimed to investigate longer-term effects of mixed nuts on brain insulin sensitivity in older individuals with overweight/obesity. Methods: In a randomized, single-blinded, controlled, crossover trial, twenty-eight healthy adults (mean±SD; 65±3 years; BMI: 27.9±2.3 kg/m2) received either daily 60 g mixed nuts (15 g of walnuts, pistachio, cashew, and hazelnuts) or no nuts (control) for 16 weeks, separated by an 8-week washout period. Throughout the study, participants were instructed to adhere to the Dutch food-based dietary guidelines. During follow-up, brain insulin action was assessed by quantifying acute effects of intranasal insulin on regional CBF using arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, effects on peripheral insulin sensitivity (oral glucose tolerance test), intrahepatic lipids, and cardiometabolic risk markers were assessed. Results: Body weight and composition did not change. Compared with control, mixed nut consumption improved regional brain insulin action in five clusters located in the left (difference in CBF responses to intranasal insulin: -4.5±4.7 mL/100g/min; P<0.001; -4.6±4.8 mL/100g/min; P<0.001; and -4.3±3.6 mL/100g/min; P=0.007) and right occipital lobe (-4.3±5.6 mL/100g/min; and -3.9±4.9 mL/100g/min; P=0.028). A fifth cluster was part of the left frontal lobe (-5.0±4.6 mL/100g/min; P<0.001). Peripheral insulin sensitivity was not affected. Intrahepatic lipid content (-0.7 %-point; 95%CI: -1.3 to -0.1; P=0.027), serum LDL cholesterol (-0.24 mmol/L; 95%CI: -0.44 to -0.04; P=0.019), and systolic blood pressure (-5 mmHg; 95%CI: -8 to -1; P=0.006) were lower after the mixed nut intervention. Conclusions: Longer-term mixed nut consumption affected insulin action in brain regions involved in the modulation of metabolic and cognitive processes in older adults with overweight/obesity. Intrahepatic lipid content and different cardiometabolic risk markers also improved, but peripheral insulin sensitivity was not affected.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajcnut.2023.12.010