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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Cross-Lagged Associations Between Children's Stress and Adiposity: The Children's Body Composition and Stress Study.
Psychosom Med
PUBLISHED: 10-25-2014
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The public health threats stress and adiposity have previously been associated with each other. Longitudinal studies are needed to reveal whether this association is bidirectional and the moderating factors.
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Intake of phytosterols from natural sources and risk of cardiovascular disease in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-the Netherlands (EPIC-NL) population.
Eur J Prev Cardiol
PUBLISHED: 10-12-2014
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Phytosterols (PSs) are known to lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), an established risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Whether a high intake of PS reduces CVD risk is unknown. This observational study aimed to investigate the associations between intake of naturally occurring PSs, blood lipids and CVD risk.
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Longitudinal Association Between Child Stress and Lifestyle.
Health Psychol
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2014
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Objective: Psychosocial stress has been linked with an unhealthy lifestyle but the relation's direction remains unclear. Does stress induce sleeping problems, comfort food consumption, and lower physical activity, or do these unhealthy lifestyle factors enhance stress? This study examined the bidirectional stress-lifestyle relation in children. Method: The relation between stress and lifestyle was examined over 2 years in 312 Belgian children 5-12 years old as part of the Children's Body Composition and Stress study. Stress-related aspects were measured by questionnaires concerning negative events, negative emotions, and behavioral problems. The following lifestyle factors were assessed: physical activity (by accelerometers), sleep duration, food consumption (sweet food, fatty food, snacks, fruits and vegetables), and eating behavior (emotional, external, restrained). Bidirectional relations were examined with cross-lagged analyses. Results: Certain stress aspects increased physical activity, sweet food consumption, emotional eating, restrained eating, and external eating (?s = .140-.319). All relations were moderated by sex and age: Dietary effects were mainly in the oldest children and girls; stress increased physical activity in the youngest, whereas it tended to decrease physical activity in the oldest. One reversed direction effect was found: Maladaptive eating behaviors increased anxiety feelings. Conclusions: Relations were mainly unidirectional: Stress influenced children's lifestyle. Stress stimulated eating in the absence of hunger, which could facilitate overweight. Consequently, families should realize that stress may influence children's diet, and problem-solving coping skills should be acquired. In contrast to recent findings, stress might also stimulate physical activity in the youngest as positive stress coping style. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Determinants of bisphenol A and phthalate metabolites in urine of Flemish adolescents.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2014
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As part of the second Flemish Environment and Health Study (FLEHS II), bisphenol-A (BPA) and different phthalate metabolites were analyzed, for the first time, in the urine of 210 adolescents in Flanders, Belgium. All chemicals had a detection frequency above 90%. For all compounds, except the sum of DEHP, highest levels were detected during spring. Average values for the Flemish adolescents were in an agreement with concentrations found in different international studies, all confirming the ubiquity of BPA and phthalate exposure. There was a significant correlation between BPA and the different phthalate metabolites (r between 0.26 and 0.39; p<0.01). Shared sources of exposure to BPA and phthalates, such as food packaging, were suggested to be responsible for this positive correlation. Different determinants of exposure were evaluated in relation to the urinary concentrations of these chemicals. For BPA, a significant association was observed with household income class, smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. For phthalates, the following significant associations were observed: age (MBzP), educational level of the adolescent (MBzP), equivalent household income (MnBP), use of personal care products (MnBP and MBzP), wall paper in house (MnBP and MBzP) and use of local vegetables (MnBP and MBzP).
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TDS exposure project: Relevance of the Total Diet Study approach for different groups of substances.
Food Chem. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2014
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A method to validate the relevance of the Total Diet Study (TDS) approach for different types of substances is described. As a first step, a list of >2800 chemicals classified into eight main groups of relevance for food safety (natural components, environmental contaminants, substances intentionally added to foods, residues, naturally occurring contaminants, process contaminants, contaminants from packaging and food contact materials, other substances) has been established. The appropriateness of the TDS approach for the different substance groups has then been considered with regard to the three essential principles of a TDS: representativeness of the whole diet, pooling of foods and food analyzed as consumed. Four criteria were considered for that purpose (i) the substance has to be present in a significant part of the diet or predominantly present in specific food groups, (ii) a robust analytical method has to be available to determine it in potential contributors to the dietary exposure of the population, and (iii) the dilution impact of pooling and (iv) the impact of everyday food preparation methods on the concentration of the substance are assessed. For most of the substances the TDS approach appeared to be relevant and any precautions to be taken are outlined.
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Determination of contamination pathways of phthalates in food products sold on the Belgian market.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-17-2014
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As numerous studies have indicated that food ingestion is the most important exposure pathway to several phthalates, this study aimed to determine possible contamination pathways of phthalates in food products sold on the Belgian market. To do this, concentrations of eight phthalates (dimethyl phthalate (DMP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP), dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP), di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP)) were determined in 591 foods and 30 packaging materials. In general, the four most prominent phthalates in Belgian food products were DEHP, DiBP, DnBP and BBP. Special attention was given to the origin of these phthalates in bread, since high phthalate concentrations (especially DEHP) were determined in this frequently consumed food product. Phthalates seemed to occur in Belgian bread samples due to the use of contaminated ingredients (i.e. use of contaminated flour) as well as due to migration from phthalate containing contact materials used during production (e.g. coated baking trays). Also the results of the conducted concentration profiles of apple, bread, salami and two cheese types revealed the important role of processing - and not packaging - on phthalate contents in foods.
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The influence of parenting style on health related behavior of children: findings from the ChiBS study.
Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2014
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Exploring associations between parenting behavior and children's health related behavior including physical activity, sedentary behavior, diet and sleep.
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Assessment of mycotoxin exposure in the Belgian population using biomarkers: aim, design and methods of the BIOMYCO study.
Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess
PUBLISHED: 04-10-2014
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Mycotoxins are harmful food contaminants. Currently, human exposure assessment to these toxins is often based on calculations combining mycotoxin occurrence data in food with population data on food consumption. Because of limitations inherent to that approach, biomarkers have been proposed as a suitable alternative whereby a more accurate assessment of exposure at the individual level can be performed. The BIOMYCO study is designed to assess human mycotoxin exposure using urinary biomarkers of exposure. Over the different seasons of 2013 and 2014, morning urine is gathered in a representative part of the Belgian population according to a designed study protocol, whereby 140 children (3-12 years old) and 278 adults (19-65 years old) are selected based on random cluster sampling stratified for sex, age and geographical areas. Every participant completes a food frequency questionnaire to assess the consumption of relevant foodstuffs (n = 43) of both the day before the urine collection and the previous month. Validated multi-toxin LC-MS/MS methods are used to analyse aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, trichothecenes, zearalenone and their metabolites in morning urine. The study protocol is approved by the ethical committee of the Ghent University Hospital. Within this paper, study design and methods are described. The BIOMYCO study is the first study whereby a multi-toxin approach is applied for mycotoxin exposure assessment in adults and children on a large scale. Moreover, it is the first study that will describe the exposure to an elaborated set of mycotoxins in the Belgian population. In first instance, descriptive analysis will be performed, describing the exposure to mycotoxins for the child and adult group. Exposure of different subgroups will be compared. Furthermore, correlations between the mycotoxin concentrations measured and the food consumption reported will be estimated to explore whether the mycotoxin exposure could be explained by the consumption of certain foods.
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Prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants and body composition at age 7-9 years.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2014
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The study aim was to investigate the association between prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the body composition of 7 to 9 year old Flemish children. The subjects were 114 Flemish children (50% boys) that took part in the first Flemish Environment and Health Study (2002-2006). Cadmium, PCBs, dioxins, p,p'-DDE and HCB were analysed in cord blood/plasma. When the child reached 7-9 years, height, weight, waist circumference and skinfolds were measured. Significant associations between prenatal exposure to EDCs and indicators of body composition were only found in girls. After adjustment for confounders and covariates, a significant negative association was found in girls between prenatal cadmium exposure and weight, BMI and waist circumference (indicator of abdominal fat) and the sum of four skinfolds (indicator of subcutaneous fat). In contrast, a significant positive association (after adjustment for confounders/covariates) was found between prenatal p,p'-DDE exposure and waist circumference as well as waist/height ratio in girls (indicators of abdominal fat). No significant associations were found for prenatal PCBs, dioxins and HCB exposure after adjustment for confounders/covariates. This study suggests a positive association between prenatal p,p'-DDE exposure and indicators of abdominal fat and a negative association between prenatal cadmium exposure and indicators of both abdominal as well as subcutaneous fat in girls between 7 and 9 years old.
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Neurobehavioral function and low-level metal exposure in adolescents.
Int J Hyg Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2014
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An excessive metal exposure is harmful to the brain. However, many aspects of metal neurotoxicity remain unclear including the magnitude of the low-level exposure effects and the level of exposure that can be assumed safe. The aim of our study was to investigate the association between a low-level metal exposure and three neurobehavioral domains (sustained attention, short-term memory, and manual motor speed). We measured Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, and Tl in blood, Cd, Ni, and toxicologically relevant As in urine and methyl Hg in hair in 606 adolescents between 13.6 and 17 years of age. A two-fold increase in blood Cu was associated with a 0.37 standard deviations decrease in sustained attention (95% CI: -0.67 to -0.07, p=0.02) and 0.39 standard deviations decrease in short-term memory (95% CI: -0.70 to -0.07, p=0.02), accounting for gender, age, smoking, passive smoking, household income per capita, occupation of the parents, and education level of the mother. None of the other metals was significantly associated with the neurobehavioral domains that were measured. The observed associations between blood Cu and neurobehavioral performance are in line with recent studies in elderly. However, the relevance of our results for public health remains to be elucidated.
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Trace metals in blood and urine of newborn/mother pairs, adolescents and adults of the Flemish population (2007-2011).
Int J Hyg Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2014
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The Flemish Centre for Environment and Health started with human biomonitoring in 2002 (FLEHS I: 2002-2006). The main goal of the second human biomonitoring cycle (FLEHS II: 2007-2011), was to determine mean values for a large number of pollutants in a representative sample of the general Flemish population. Values for Cd and Pb were updated, and a group of previously undetermined metals and metalloids (As, Mn, Cu and Tl) were included in some of the age groups. In this human biomonitoring program, three different age groups of the general Flemish population were monitored: 255 newborns and their mothers, 210 adolescents aged 14-15, and 204 adults between 20 and 40 years old. Trace elements were determined in cord blood and maternal blood of the mothers, in blood and urine of adolescents and in urine of adults. Determinants of life-style and personal factors were taken into account. The levels of trace elements in cord blood and maternal blood were for most elements at the lower end of the range found in literature. For Pb, As and Tl, a strong correlation (respectively r=0.43, 0.55 and 0.33; p<0.05) was found between levels in cord blood (respectively 8.6, 0.54 and 0.017 ?g/L) and maternal blood (11.1, 0.64 and 0.028 ?g/L), indicating that they are transported via the placenta from mother to fetus. The levels found in the adolescents and adults were compared with results from international biomonitoring studies, and were found to be in the same ranges. With the exception of Pb, all trace elements increased with increasing age group population. Finally, the results also showed that the levels of Cd and Pb in blood for this campaign (e.g. for Pb 8.6 and 14.8 ?g/L in neonates and adolescents respectively) were lower compared to the first campaign (e.g. for Pb 14.7 and 21.7 ?g/L in neonates and adolescents respectively), indicating a decrease over time. However, differences in sampling strategies might partially explain this observed trend.
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The influence of dairy consumption and physical activity on ultrasound bone measurements in Flemish children.
J. Bone Miner. Metab.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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The study's aim was to analyse whether children's bone status, assessed by calcaneal ultrasound measurements, is influenced by dairy consumption and objectively measured physical activity (PA). Moreover, the interaction between dairy consumption and PA on bone mass was studied. Participants of this cross-sectional study were 306 Flemish children (6-12 years). Body composition was measured with air displacement plethysmography (BodPod), dairy consumption with a Food Frequency Questionnaire, PA with an accelerometer (only in 234 of the 306 children) and bone mass with quantitative ultrasound, quantifying speed of sound (SOS), broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and Stiffness Index (SI). Regression analyses were used to study the associations between dairy consumption, PA, SOS, BUA and SI. Total dairy consumption and non-cheese dairy consumption were positively associated with SOS and SI, but no significant association could be demonstrated with BUA. In contrast, milk consumption, disregarding other dairy products, had no significant effect on calcaneal bone measurements. PA [vigorous PA, moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and counts per minute] was positively associated and sedentary time was negatively associated with BUA and SI, but no significant influence on SOS could be detected. Dairy consumption and PA (sedentary time and MVPA) did not show any interaction influencing bone measurements. In conclusion, even at young age, PA and dairy consumption positively influence bone mass. Promoting PA and dairy consumption in young children may, therefore, maximize peak bone mass, an important protective factor against osteoporosis later in life.
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Validity of parentally reported versus measured weight, length and waist in 7- to 9-year-old children for use in follow-up studies.
Eur. J. Pediatr.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2014
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The aim of this prospective cohort study was to assess the validity of parentally reported anthropometric data compared to measured data in 7- to 9-year-old Flemish children especially for use in follow-up studies. The subjects were 116 Flemish children of a birth cohort recruited in the first Flemish Environment and Health Study (2002-2003). Data about anthropometric measures (waist circumference (WC), weight and length) were obtained by a postal parentally reported questionnaire and during a home visit. Our study showed that parents tend to overreport their child's WC and underreport the BMI, especially in children with large WC and high BMI. The median difference between measured and parentally reported WC was 1.6% of the median measured WC; for BMI, the median difference was 2.8% of the median measured BMI. Both for WC and BMI, we observed a good agreement between parentally reported values and measured values to classify children in the highest 10 and 20% of the study population. When classifying the children in 'overweight' and 'not overweight', there were less misclassifications when parentally reported WC was used compared to parentally reported BMI.
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Expression of the sFLT1 gene in cord blood cells is associated to maternal arsenic exposure and decreased birth weight.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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There is increasing epidemiologic evidence that arsenic exposure in utero is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and may contribute to long-term health effects. These effects may occur at low environmental exposures but the underlying molecular mechanism is not clear. We collected cord blood samples of 183 newborns to identify associations between arsenic levels and birth anthropometric parameters in an area with very low arsenic exposure. Our core research aim was to screen for transcriptional marks that mechanistically explain these associations. Multiple regression analyses showed that birth weight decreased with 47 g (95% CI: 16-78 g) for an interquartile range increase of 0.99 ?g/L arsenic. The model was adjusted for child's sex, maternal smoking during pregnancy, gestational age, and parity. Higher arsenic concentrations and reduced birth weight were positively associated with changes in expression of the sFLT1 (soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1) gene in cord blood cells in girls. The protein product of sFLT1 is a scavenger of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the extracellular environment and plays a key role in the inhibition of placental angiogenesis. In terms of fetal development, inhibition of placental angiogenesis leads to impaired nutrition and hence to growth retardation. Various genes related to DNA methylation and oxidative stress showed also changed expression in relation to arsenic exposure but were not related to birth outcome parameters. In conclusion, this study suggests that increased expression of sFLT1 is an intermediate marker that points to placental angiogenesis as a pathway linking prenatal arsenic exposure to reduced birth weight.
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Childrens Sleep and Autonomic Function: Low Sleep Quality Has an Impact on Heart Rate Variability.
Sleep
PUBLISHED: 12-03-2013
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Short sleep duration and poor sleep quality in children have been associated with concentration, problem behavior, and emotional instability, but recently also with disrupted autonomic nervous function, which predicts cardiovascular health. Heart rate variability (HRV) was used as noninvasive indicator of autonomic function to examine the influence of sleep.
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Childrens heart rate variability as stress indicator: association with reported stress and cortisol.
Biol Psychol
PUBLISHED: 08-25-2013
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Stress is a complex phenomenon coordinated by two main neural systems: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system with cortisol as classical stress biomarker and the autonomic nervous system with heart rate variability (HRV) as recently suggested stress marker. To test low HRV (5 minute measurements) as stress indicator in young children (5-10 y), associations with self-reported chronic stress aspects (events, emotions and problems) (N=334) and salivary cortisol (N=293) were performed. Peer problems, anger, anxiety and sadness were associated with lower root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD) and high frequency power (i.e. lower parasympathetic activity). Anxiety and anger were also related to a higher low frequency to high frequency ratio. Using multilevel modelling, higher cortisol levels, a larger cortisol awakening response and steeper diurnal decline were also associated with these HRV patterns of lower parasympathetic activity. Conclusion: Low HRV (lower parasympathetic activity) might serve as stress indicator in children.
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Factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in european adolescents: the HELENA study.
J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol.
PUBLISHED: 07-26-2013
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Evidence indicates low 25-hydroxyvitamin D [(25(OH)D] concentrations in European adolescents. Identification of potential determinants is therefore essential to guide public health initiatives aiming at optimizing vitamin D status across Europe. The aim of the study was to identify potential influencing factors of 25(OH)D concentrations in European adolescents aged 12.5 to 17.5 y, participating in the multi-centre cross-sectional Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence (HELENA) study. A subset of 1,006 participants (46.8% males) was drawn from the main study. Measures of body composition, biochemical markers, socioeconomic status, dietary intake, physical activity, fitness, sleep time and vitamin D genetic polymorphism (rs1544410) were assessed. Stepwise multivariate linear regression analysis was conducted stratified by gender. In males, linear regression of 25(OH)D, suggested that (1) winter season (?=-0.364; p<0.01), (2) higher latitudes (?=-0.246; p<0.01), (3) BMI z-score (?=-0.198; p<0.05) and (4) retinol concentration (?=0.171; p<0.05) independently influenced 25(OH)D concentrations. In females, (1) winter season (?=-0.370; p<0.01), (2) sleep time (?=-0.231; p<0.01), (3) supplement intake (?=0.221; p<0.05), (4) flexibility (?=0.184; p<0.05), (5) body fat % (?=0.201; p<0.05) (6), BMI z-score (?=-0.272; p<0.05), (7) higher latitudes (?=-0.219; p<0.01) and (8) handgrip strength (?=0.206; p<0.05) independently influenced 25(OH)D concentrations. Season, latitude, fitness, adiposity, sleep time and micronutrient supplementation were highly related to 25(OH)D concentrations found in European adolescents.
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Prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants and behavioural problems at age 7-8years.
Environ Int
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2013
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Animal studies showed that the developing brain is particularly sensitive to chemical exposure. Human studies carried out in areas with high exposures have proven neurodevelopmental disorders in relation to e.g. lead and PCBs. Whether these chemicals are associated with behavioural problems in childhood at current environmental levels is not well known. Therefore, we assessed the association between prenatal exposure to lead, cadmium, PCBs, dioxin-like compounds, HCB and p,p-DDE and behavioural problems in 7-8year old children. Prenatal exposure data were obtained from the Flemish mother-new-born cohort. Lead, cadmium, PCBs, dioxin-like compounds, HCB and p,p-DDE were analysed in cord blood. When the child reached 7-8years, 270 mothers completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire assessing their childrens behavioural health. We found that doubling the prenatal lead exposure (cord blood lead levels) was associated with a 3.43 times higher risk for hyperactivity in both boys and girls. In addition, total difficulties were 5.08 times more likely in the highest tertile for prenatal lead exposure compared to the lowest tertile. In girls, total difficulties were 4.92 more likely when doubling cord blood p,p-DDE, whereas no significant association was found in boys. Further, we noted in boys a 1.53 times higher risk for emotional problems when doubling cord blood cadmium, whereas no significant association was found in girls. These results indicate that the presence of environmental contaminants influences the mental health of the next generation.
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Health effects in the Flemish population in relation to low levels of mercury exposure: From organ to transcriptome level.
Int J Hyg Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2013
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Due to possible health risks, quantification of mercury accumulation in humans was included in the Flemish biomonitoring programmes FLEHS I (2002-2006) and FLEHS II (2007-2011). The general objective of FLEHS I was to assess regional exposure levels in order to link possible differences in these internal exposure levels to different types of local environmental pressure. Therefore, Hg and MMHg (methylmercury) were only measured in pooled blood samples per region and per age class. In FLEHS II, mercury concentrations were measured in hair of each participant. About 200 adolescents and 250 mothers (reference group) and two times 200 adolescents (2 hotspots) were screened. The main objectives of the FLEHS II study were: (1) to determine reference levels of mercury in hair for Flanders; (2) to assess relations between mercury exposure and possible sources like fish consumption; (3) to assess dose-effect relations between mercury exposure and health effect markers. The results showed that mercury concentrations in the Flemish population were rather low compared to other studies. Mercury levels in the Flemish populations were strongly related to the age of the participants and consumption of fish. Significant negative associations were observed between mercury in hair and asthma, having received breast feeding as a newborn, age at menarche in girls, allergy for animals and free testosterone levels. Significant correlations were also observed between mercury in hair and genes JAK2, ARID4A, Hist1HA4L (boys) and HLAdrb5, PIAS2, MANN1B1, GIT and ABCA1 (girls).
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Multimycotoxin analysis in urines to assess infant exposure: a case study in Cameroon.
Environ Int
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2013
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This study was conducted to investigate mycotoxin exposure in children (n=220, aged 1.5-4.5years) from high mycotoxin contamination regions of Cameroon and to examine the association between the mycotoxin levels (in total 18 analytes) and several socio-demographic factors and anthropometric characteristics. A cross-sectional study was conducted in six villages in Cameroon with 220 children. Mycotoxins and their metabolites were detected in 160/220 (73%) urine samples. There were significant differences in the mean contamination levels of ochratoxin A (p=0.01) and ?-zearalenol (p=0.017) between the two agro-ecological zones investigated. Likewise significant differences were observed in the mean levels of aflatoxin M1 (p=0.001) across the weaning categories of these children. The mean concentration of aflatoxin M1 detected in the urine of the partially breastfed children (1.43ng/mL) was significantly higher (p=0.001) than those of the fully weaned children (0.282ng/mL). Meanwhile, the mean concentrations of deoxynivalenol (3.0ng/mL) and fumonisin B1 (0.59ng/mL) detected in the urine of the male children was significantly (p value 0.021 for deoxynivalenol and 0.004 for fumonisin B1) different from the levels detected in the urine of female children; 0.71ng/mL and 0.01ng/mL for deoxynivalenol and fumonisin B1 respectively. In this study, there was no association between the different malnutrition categories (stunted, wasting and underweight) and the mycotoxin concentrations detected in the urine of these children. However, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that children in Cameroon under the age 5 are exposed to high levels of carcinogenic substances such as fumonisin B1, aflatoxin M1 and ochratoxin A through breastfeeding. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of its kind carried out in West Africa to determine multi-mycotoxin exposure in infants.
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Dietary intake and food sources of total and individual polyunsaturated fatty acids in the Belgian population over 15 years old.
Lipids
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2013
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Advances in our knowledge of the physiological functions of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have led to an increased interest in food sources and the level of dietary intake of these nutrients. Up to now, no representative data was available for the Belgian adult population. This study aimed to describe data on the intake and food sources of total and individual omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA for the Belgian population over 15 years old. PUFA intakes were assessed for 3,043 Belgian adults, based on two non-consecutive 24 h recalls. Usual intakes were calculated using the multiple source method. The results showed that the intake of linoleic acid (LA) is in accordance with the recommendation for almost all Belgian adults. However, the intake of omega-3 PUFA is suboptimal for a large part of the studied population and also the intake of total PUFA should be increased for a part of the population. The main food source of LA and ?-linolenic acid (ALA) was the group of fats and oils (60.6 % for LA and 53.1 % for ALA). Fish and fish products were the most important sources of long chain omega-3 PUFA. Age influenced fatty acids intake, with higher intake of omega-3 PUFA in the older age groups. To fill the gap between the intake and recommendation of total PUFA, and in particular omega-3 PUFA, sustainable strategies and efficient consumer communication strategies will be needed.
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Cortisone in hair of elementary school girls and its relationship with childhood stress.
Eur. J. Pediatr.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2013
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Children may be exposed to stressful situations with adverse effects on their physiological and psychological health. As cortisone may be a useful additional biomarker for stress research and as it has been shown to be detectable in human hair, this study measured physiological concentrations of hair cortisone in 223 elementary school girls and explored its relationship with child-reported estimates of stress, more specifically questionnaires on major life events (i.e., Coddington Life Events Scale for Children), emotions (i.e., anger, anxiety, sadness, and happiness), and coping strategies (i.e., emotion- versus problem-focused coping). Cortisone concentrations were positively correlated with the overall life event score for the past 6 months (rho?=?0.223, p?=?0.004), as well as with the negative event score for this period (rho?=?0.227, p?=?0.003; N?=?165). Cortisone did not correlate with emotions or coping styles reported by the children. Conclusion: Despite its exploratory nature, this study may suggest elevated hair cortisone concentrations under psychosocial stress in young children. Although the observed findings should be interpreted with prudence, this study may encourage further research elucidating the potential importance and relevance of hair cortisone analysis as an additional or substituting stress biomarker for hair cortisol.
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Relation between salivary cortisol as stress biomarker and dietary pattern in children.
Psychoneuroendocrinology
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2013
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Psychological stress has been suggested to result in hormonal effects (e.g. changes in cortisol pattern) that may change food selection in unhealthy ways. This study examines whether childrens dietary pattern is indeed related to salivary cortisol levels.
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Understanding the links among neuromedin U gene, beta2-adrenoceptor gene and bone health: an observational study in European children.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Neuromedin U, encoded by the NMU gene, is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that regulates both energy metabolism and bone mass. The beta-2 adrenergic receptor, encoded by the ADRB2 gene, mediates several effects of catecholamine hormones and neurotransmitters in bone. We investigated whether NMU single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes, as well as functional ADRB2 SNPs, are associated with bone stiffness in children from the IDEFICS cohort, also evaluating whether NMU and ADRB2 interact to affect this trait. A sample of 2,274 subjects (52.5% boys, age 6.2 ± 1.8 years) from eight European countries, having data on calcaneus bone stiffness index (SI, mean of both feet) and genotyping (NMU gene: rs6827359, rs12500837, rs9999653; ADRB2 gene: rs1042713, rs1042714), was studied. After false discovery rate adjustment, SI was significantly associated with all NMU SNPs. rs6827359 CC homozygotes showed the strongest association (recessive model, ?=?-1.8, p=0.006). Among the five retrieved haplotypes with frequencies higher than 1% (range 2.0-43.9%), the CCT haplotype (frequency=39.7%) was associated with lower SI values (dominant model, ?=?-1.0, p=0.04) as compared to the most prevalent haplotype. A non-significant decrease in SI was observed in in ADRB2 rs1042713 GG homozygotes, while subjects carrying SI-lowering genotypes at both SNPs (frequency?=?8.4%) showed much lower SI than non-carriers (?=?-3.9, p<0.0001; p for interaction=0.025). The association was more evident in preschool girls, in whom SI showed a curvilinear trend across ages. In subgroup analyses, rs9999653 CC NMU or both GG ADRB2 genotypes were associated with either lower serum calcium or ?-CrossLaps levels (p=0.01). This study in European children shows, for the first time in humans, a role for NMU gene through interaction with ADRB2 gene in bone strength regulation, more evident in preschool girls.
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Dietary exposure assessments for children in europe (the EXPOCHI project): rationale, methods and design.
Arch Public Health
PUBLISHED: 10-24-2011
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The number of dietary exposure assessment studies focussing on children is very limited. Children are however a vulnerable group due to their higher food consumption level per kg body weight. Therefore, the EXPOCHI project aims 1 to create a relational network of individual food consumption databases in children, covering different geographical areas within Europe, and 2 to use these data to assess the usual intake of lead, chromium, selenium and food colours.
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Concept of the Flemish human biomonitoring programme.
Int J Hyg Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2011
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Since 2002 a human biomonitoring network has been established in Flanders (Belgium) as part of a programme on environmental health surveillance. The human biomonitoring network should support environmental health policy by identifying priorities for further action. The first cycle of the programme (2002-2006) confirmed the hypotheses that living in areas with different environmental pressure is reflected in different loads of environmental chemicals in the residents. In the second cycle of the programme (2007-2011) the number of environmental chemicals for which human biomonitoring data were obtained was expanded substantially. The goal of the Flemish programme is to use and translate the scientific results into policy actions. Its further orientation in the second cycle to human biomonitoring in hot spots and sensitive age groups or susceptible persons with underlying complications (e.g. persons with diabetes) are linked to these goals. Interaction with stakeholders is embedded in the programme emphasizing transparency of the choices that are made and direct communication. The Flemish human biomonitoring programme is organized centrally with major involvement of research partners from different disciplines which allows engrafting environmental health research on the programme. One of the major focuses is the question whether combinations of pollutants in the general population are associated with biological effects. The objective of this paper is to review and discuss the options that were taken in the human biomonitoring programme in order to achieve its goals.
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Socioeconomic status and bone mass in Spanish adolescents. The HELENA Study.
J Adolesc Health
PUBLISHED: 04-18-2011
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Socioeconomic status (SES) has been frequently associated with body composition, particularly fat mass and obesity. However, the SES-bone mass association is not clear. We aimed to evaluate the associations between different SES indicators (Family Affluence Scale, parental education, and occupation) and bone mineral content in Spanish adolescents.
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Consumption of plant sterols in Belgium: estimated intakes and sources of naturally occurring plant sterols and ?-carotene.
Br. J. Nutr.
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2011
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The objective of the present study was to assess the intake of naturally occurring plant sterols and ?-carotene via the overall diet of Belgian pre-school children and adults. Two different Belgian food consumption databases were used: (1) one with consumption data of pre-school children (2·5-6·5 years old) and (2) one with consumption data of adults ( ? 15 years old). These consumption data were combined with a newly developed database containing the plant sterol and ?-carotene content in all relevant food items based on international food composition databases and scientific literature. The results show that Flemish pre-school children have a median plant sterol intake of 172 (interquartile range (IQR) = 47) and 184 (IQR = 52) mg/d for girls and boys, respectively. Their median ?-carotene intake was 1857 (IQR = 1250) ?g/d, without significant difference between girls and boys. Belgian women and men have a median plant sterol intake of 218 (IQR = 113) and 280 (IQR = 158) mg/d, respectively, and a median ?-carotene intake of 2086 (IQR = 1254) ?g/d (not significantly different between the sexes). The main food source of naturally occurring plant sterols was bread and other cereal products. For ?-carotene, the main food source was vegetables.
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Levels of physical activity that predict optimal bone mass in adolescents: the HELENA study.
Am J Prev Med
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2011
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Physical activity is necessary for bone mass development in adolescence. There are few studies quantifying the associations between physical activity and bone mass in adolescents.
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Consumption of plant sterols in Belgium: consumption patterns of plant sterol-enriched foods in Flanders, Belgium.
Br. J. Nutr.
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2011
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The present study describes the consumption of foods enriched with plant sterols (PS) and supplements containing PS, and evaluates PS intakes via the current consumption and for specific consumption scenarios. A market inventory was performed to collate different PS-enriched food items and supplements available in Belgium. An FFQ was developed to investigate the consumption of PS-enriched foods and supplements. A total of 139 pre-school children (2·5-7 years old) and 569 adults (308 women and 261 men) living in Flanders (the northern, Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) participated in the study. Of these, 21 % (Flemish pre-school children) and 28·5 % (Flemish adults) consume PS-enriched food products, leading to a mean PS intake in the consumer group of 0·70 (sd 0·61) g/d for pre-school children and 1·51 (sd 1·42) g/d for adults. Of the adult PS consumers, 23·2 % did not suffer from elevated blood cholesterol levels; 50 % of them had a PS intake less than or equal to 1 g/d and 16·4 % had a PS intake above 3 g/d and 7·8 % even had an intake above 4 g/d. Scenario studies assessed the intake when all Belgian adults would consume PS-enriched margarines without (scenario 1) or with (scenario 2) a daily consumption of a PS-enriched yoghurt drink. This resulted in an intake above 3 g/d in 17 % (women) and 29 % (men) for scenario 1 and 40 % (women) and 53 % (men) for scenario 2. The results indicate that PS-enriched food products are also consumed by the non-target group. Efficient communication tools are needed to inform consumers better about the target group of PS-enriched products, the advised dose per day and alternative dietary strategies to lower the blood cholesterol level.
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Consuming organic versus conventional vegetables: the effect on nutrient and contaminant intakes.
Food Chem. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2010
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The health benefits of consuming organic compared to conventional foods are unclear. This study aimed at evaluating the nutrient and contaminant intake of adults through consumption of organic versus conventional vegetables, namely carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach and potatoes. A probabilistic simulation approach was used for the intake assessment in two adult populations: (1) a representative sample of Belgians (n=3245) and (2) a sample of Flemish organic and conventional consumers (n=522). Although significant differences in nutrient and contaminant contents were previously found between organic and conventional vegetables, they were inconsistent for a component and/or vegetable. These findings were translated here into inconsistent intake assessments. This means that the intake of specific nutrients and contaminants can be higher or lower for organic versus conventional vegetables. However, when considering the consumption pattern of organic consumers, an increase in intake of a selected set of nutrients and contaminants is observed, which are explained by the general higher vegetable consumption of this consumer group. In public health terms, there is insufficient evidence to recommend organic over conventional vegetables. The general higher vegetable consumption of organic compared to conventional consumers outweighs usually the role of differences in nutrient and contaminant concentrations between organic and conventional vegetables.
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The influence of n-3 PUFA supplements and n-3 PUFA enriched foods on the n-3 LC PUFA intake of Flemish women.
Lipids
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2010
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Food consumption data of Flemish women of reproductive age collected in 2002 showed a large deficit for ALA and n-3 LC PUFA compared to the recommendations (mean ALA and EPA + DHA intake 1.4 g/day and 209 mg/day, respectively) and indicated a need to tackle the problem of low n-3 PUFA intake. Another recent Belgian study demonstrated that enrichment of commonly eaten food items with n-3 PUFA provides the opportunity to increase the n-3 PUFA intake up to 6.5 g/day and decrease the n-6/n-3 ratio. Since a large supply of n-3 PUFA supplements and n-3 PUFA enriched foods exists on the Belgian market, this study aimed at assessing the influence of these products on the n-3 LC PUFA intake for Flemish women of reproductive age. It was found that n-3 supplements are consumed by 5% of the Flemish women. Of all the n-3 PUFA enriched foods on the Flemish market, margarines and cooking fat are most frequently consumed by young women. The results indicated that a big gap remains between the EPA&DHA intake (mean = 276 mg/day) and the recommendation. Seafood remains the most important source of EPA&DHA. Only 11.6% of the population sample reached an intake level of 500 mg EPA&DHA per day. The study showed that other strategies will be needed to increase the EPA&DHA intake in the long term.
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Effect of ALA-enriched food supply on cardiovascular risk factors in males.
Lipids
PUBLISHED: 04-22-2009
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The outcome of a total dietary approach using a wide range of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) enriched food items on cardiovascular diseases called for further investigation. The study objective was to assess the effect of an ALA-enriched food supply on cardiovascular risk factors in healthy males. A dietary intervention (single-blind field trial with pre- and post-measurements) was performed with 59 healthy males in a Belgian prison. Over a period of 12 weeks they were supplied with an n-3 enriched diet (containing 6.5 g n-3 PUFA/day compared to 4 g n-3 PUFA/day in the standard diet) that was substituted for their regular diet, increasing mainly the alpha-linolenic acid intake (from 2.8 to around 5 g/day). The results indicated no impact on subjects waist circumference, weight and BMI or systolic blood pressure. In contrast, the diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased during the intervention period (from 74.6 +/- 8.2 to 71.7 +/- 10.1 mmHg; P < 0.02). Moreover, the HDL-cholesterol level increased in non-smoking participants (from 0.97 +/- 0.25 to 1.06 +/- 0.23 mmol/l; P < 0.03). In summary, the study demonstrated that enrichment of commonly eaten food items with n-3 fatty acids provides the opportunity to increase the n-3 fatty acid intake and to decrease the n-6/n-3 ratio which results in a decreasing diastolic blood pressure and an increase of HDL-cholesterol (in non-smokers).
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Comparison of the nutritional-toxicological conflict related to seafood consumption in different regions worldwide.
Regul. Toxicol. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2009
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This article discusses the seafood consumption worldwide as well as the related nutritional-toxicological conflict. An exposure assessment was performed using seafood consumption data from the Global Environment Monitoring System and nutrient and contaminant concentration data. The data indicated that the region of Japan, Korea, Madagascar and Philippines have the highest seafood consumption, followed by the Nordic-Baltic countries and South-East Asia. In Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Philippines and the Nordic-Baltic countries, pelagic marine fishes are highly consumed compared to fresh water fishes in South-East Asia. Because pelagic fishes are oily fishes, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Philippines and the Nordic-Baltic countries have high omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D intake. Iodine intake is influenced by the demersal fish consumption. The current intake of these nutrients via seafood consumption is still below the recommendations. From the toxicological side, the data indicate that none of the seafood groups had a median contaminant concentration above the EU maximum limits. Though, the results show that in some regions the contaminant intake exceeded the international health-based guidance values, mainly focussing on sensitive subpopulations. In contrast, when using less stringent guidance values relevant for non-sensitive subpopulations, the results show that the benefits of increased seafood consumption outweigh the risks.
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Determinants and reference values of short-term heart rate variability in children.
Eur. J. Appl. Physiol.
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This paper provides age- and sex-specific reference values for short-term heart rate variability (HRV) data in children by time domain and frequency domain methods. Furthermore, HRV determinants will be determined. In 460 children (5-10 years), 5-minute HRV measurements in supine position were undertaken with Polar chest belts. The data were manually edited and processed with time and frequency domain methods. Age, time point, physical activity (accelerometry), physical fitness (cardiopulmonary fitness, upper and lower limb muscular fitness) and body composition (body mass index, fat%, fat and fat-free mass) were analysed as determinants using multiple regression analysis stratified by sex. Sex- and age-specific reference values were produced. Overall, girls had lower HRV. Age-related parasympathetic increases and sympathetic decreases were seen with sometimes age-related year-to-year wave-like changes in boys. The time point of recording had limited influence on HRV. Of the lifestyle related factors, fatness (only 7 % overweight) was not associated with HRV but fat-free mass, physical activity and in particular physical fitness (over and above activity) had a favourable association by increased parasympathetic activity. Future HRV studies in children should consider age, sex and physical fitness.
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Neurobehavioral function and low-level exposure to brominated flame retardants in adolescents: a cross-sectional study.
Environ Health
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Animal and in vitro studies demonstrated a neurotoxic potential of brominated flame retardants, a group of chemicals used in many household and commercial products to prevent fire. Although the first reports of detrimental neurobehavioral effects in rodents appeared more than ten years ago, human data are sparse.
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Caucasian childrens fat mass: routine anthropometry v. air-displacement plethysmography.
Br. J. Nutr.
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The present paper will use fat mass percentage (FM%) obtained via BOD POD® air-displacement plethysmography (FMADP%) to examine the relative validity of (1) anthropometric measurements/indices and (2) of FM% assessed with equations (FMeq%) based on skinfold thickness and bioelectrical impedance (BIA). In 480 Belgian children (aged 5-11 years) weight, height, skinfold thickness (triceps and subscapular), body circumferences (mid-upper arm, waist and hip), foot-to-foot BIA (Tanita®) and FMADP% were measured. Anthropometric measurements and calculated indices were compared with FMADP%. Next, published equations were used to calculate FMeq% using impedance (equations of Tanita®, Tyrrell, Shaefer and Deurenberg) or skinfold thickness (equations of Slaughter, Goran, Dezenberg and Deurenberg). Both indices and equations performed better in girls than in boys. For both sexes, the sum of skinfold thicknesses resulted in the highest correlation with FMADP%, followed by triceps skinfold, arm fat area and subscapular skinfold. In general, comparing FMeq% with FMADP% indicated mostly an age and sex effect, and an increasing underestimation but less dispersion with increasing FM%. The Tanita® impedance equation and the Deurenberg skinfold equation performed the best, although none of the used equations were interchangeable with FMADP%. In conclusion, the sum of triceps and subscapular skinfold thickness is recommended as marker of FM% in the absence of specialised technologies. Nevertheless, the higher workload, cost and survey management of an immobile device like the BOD POD® remains justified.
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Validity of hip-mounted uniaxial accelerometry with heart-rate monitoring vs. triaxial accelerometry in the assessment of free-living energy expenditure in young children: the IDEFICS Validation Study.
J. Appl. Physiol.
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One of the aims of Identification and Prevention of Dietary- and Lifestyle-Induced Health Effects in Children and Infants (IDEFICS) validation study is to validate field measures of physical activity (PA) and energy expenditure (EE) in young children. This study compared the validity of uniaxial accelerometry with heart-rate (HR) monitoring vs. triaxial accelerometry against doubly labeled water (DLW) criterion method for assessment of free-living EE in young children. Forty-nine European children (25 female, 24 male) aged 4-10 yr (mean age: 6.9 ± 1.5 yr) were assessed by uniaxial ActiTrainer with HR, uniaxial 3DNX, and triaxial 3DNX accelerometry. Total energy expenditure (TEE) was estimated using DLW over a 1-wk period. The longitudinal axis of both devices and triaxial 3DNX counts per minute (CPM) were significantly (P < 0.05) associated with physical activity level (PAL; r = 0.51 ActiTrainer, r = 0.49 uniaxial-3DNX, and r = 0.42 triaxial ?3DNX). Eight-six percent of the variance in TEE could be predicted by a model combining body mass (partial r(2) = 71%; P < 0.05), CPM-ActiTrainer (partial r(2) = 11%; P < 0.05), and difference between HR at moderate and sedentary activities (ModHR - SedHR) (partial r(2) = 4%; P < 0.05). The SE of TEE estimate for ActiTrainer and 3DNX models ranged from 0.44 to 0.74 MJ/days or ?7-11% of the average TEE. The SE of activity-induced energy expenditure (AEE) model estimates ranged from 0.38 to 0.57 MJ/day or 24-26% of the average AEE. It is concluded that the comparative validity of hip-mounted uniaxial and triaxial accelerometers for assessing PA and EE is similar.
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Stress, emotional eating behaviour and dietary patterns in children.
Appetite
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Psychological stress has been suggested to change dietary pattern towards more unhealthy choices and as such to contribute to overweight. Emotional eating behaviour could be an underlying mediating mechanism. The interrelationship between stress, emotional eating behaviour and dietary patterns has only rarely been examined in young children. Nevertheless, research in children is pivotal as the foundations of dietary habits are established starting from childhood and may track into adulthood. In 437 children (5-12years) of the ChiBS study, stress was measured by questionnaires on stressful events, emotions (happy, angry, sad, anxious) and problems (emotional, peer, conduct and hyperactivity). Data were collected on childrens emotional eating behaviour and also on dietary patterns: frequency of fatty foods, sweet foods, snacks (fat and sweet), fruit and vegetables. Stressful events, negative emotions and problems were positively associated with emotional eating. Positive associations were observed between problems and both sweet and fatty foods consumption. Negative associations were observed between events and fruit and vegetables consumption. Overall, stress was associated with emotional eating and a more unhealthy dietary pattern and could thus contribute to the development of overweight, also in children. Nevertheless, emotional eating behaviour was not observed to mediate the stress-diet relation.
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Influence of birth weight on calcaneal bone stiffness in Belgian preadolescent children.
Calcif. Tissue Int.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the relation between birth weight and calcaneal bone stiffness in a large sample of Belgian, healthy, preadolescent children. Participants were 827 children (3.6-11.2 years, 51.6 % boys) from the Belgian cohort of the IDEFICS study. Birth weight was obtained using a parental questionnaire, and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) measurements were performed to determine calcaneal broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), speed of sound (SOS), and stiffness index (SI) using the Lunar Achilles device. Average birth weights were 3435.7 ± 512.0 g for boys and 3256.9 ± 471.1 g for girls. Average calcaneal QUS measurements were 89.6 ± 24.0 (23.3-153.9) dB/MHz for BUA, 1621.4 ± 49.6 (1516.3-1776.5) m/s for SOS, and 92.8 ± 15.6 (49.0-163.0) for SI. Birth weight was positively associated with BUA (r = 0.13, p = 0.002) and SOS (r = -0.16, p < 0.001). The associations remained after correcting for age and sex in multiple regression analyses but disappeared after correcting for anthropometric covariates. Our findings suggest that birth weight, as a rough proxy indicator for genetic and environmental influences during intrauterine life, is associated with BUA and SOS in preadolescent children and may therefore influence the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Further studies using QUS are needed to investigate the consistency of the results of this study.
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Mineral concentrations in hair of Belgian elementary school girls: reference values and relationship with food consumption frequencies.
Biol Trace Elem Res
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Although evidence suggests that hair elements may reflect dietary habits and/or mineral intake, this topic remains controversial. This study therefore presents age-specific reference values for hair concentrations of Ca, Cu, Fe, Na, Mg, P and Zn using the LMS method of Cole, and investigates the relationship between dietary habits (i.e. food consumption frequencies) and hair mineral concentrations in 218 Belgian elementary school girls by reduced rank regression (RRR). Hair minerals were quantitatively determined via inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry after microwave-assisted acid digestion of 6-cm long vertex posterior hair samples. The Childrens Eating Habits Questionnaire-Food Frequency Questionnaire was used to obtain information on food consumption frequency of 43 food items in the month preceding hair collection. The established reference ranges were in line with data for other childhood or adolescent populations. The retained RRR factors explained 40, 50, 45, 46, 44 and 48 % of the variation of Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, P and Zn concentrations in hair, respectively. Although this study demonstrated that a large proportion of hair mineral variation may be influenced by food consumption frequencies in elementary school girls, a number of food groups known to be rich sources of minerals did not show a relation with certain hair minerals. Future research should focus on mechanisms and processes involved in mineral incorporation and accumulation in scalp hair, in order to fully understand the importance and influence of diet on hair minerals.
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Relationship between markers of body fat and calcaneal bone stiffness differs between preschool and primary school children: results from the IDEFICS baseline survey.
Calcif. Tissue Int.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between markers of body fat and bone status assessed as calcaneal bone stiffness in a large sample of European healthy pre- and primary school children. Participants were 7,447 children from the IDEFICS study (spread over eight different European countries), age 6.1 ± 1.8 years (range 2.1-9.9), 50.5 % boys. Anthropometric measurements (weight, height, bioelectrical impedance, waist and hip circumference, and tricipital and subscapular skinfold thickness) as well as quantitative ultrasonographic measurements to determine calcaneal stiffness index (SI) were performed. Partial correlation analysis, linear regression analysis, and ANCOVA were stratified by sex and age group: preschool boys (n = 1,699) and girls (n = 1,599) and primary school boys (n = 2,062) and girls (n = 2,087). In the overall study population, the average calcaneal SI was equal to 80.2 ± 14.0, ranging 42.4-153. The results showed that preschool children with higher body fat had lower calcaneal SI (significant correlation coefficients between -0.05 and -0.20), while primary school children with higher body fat had higher calcaneal SI (significant correlation coefficients between 0.05 and 0.13). After adjusting for fat-free mass, both preschool and primary school children showed an inverse relationship between body fat and calcaneal stiffness. To conclude, body fat is negatively associated with calcaneal bone stiffness in children after adjustment for fat-free mass. Fat-free mass may confound the association in primary school children but not in preschool children. Muscle mass may therefore be an important determinant of bone stiffness.
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Associations of dietary calcium, vitamin D, milk intakes, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D with bone mass in Spanish adolescents: the HELENA study.
J Clin Densitom
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Adequate nutrition is needed for the accrual of bone mass during the pre- and postpubertal growth periods. This study aimed to examine the associations between dietary calcium, vitamin D (calciferol), and milk intakes and 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] status and bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) in Spanish adolescents, aged 12.5-17.5 years, participating in the Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence Cross-Sectional Study (HELENA-CSS). Bone mass was measured with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and diet via 2 nonconsecutive 24-h dietary recalls (n=227; 48% males). A random subsample of 101 adolescents (46% males) had available measures of 25(OH)D. Multiple linear regression was applied. Significant adjusted associations were observed in males, among milk intakes and BMC and BMD. Also in males, whole-body, head, and right arm BMD were positively related to calcium intakes. In females, 25(OH)D was positively related among others to whole-body, subtotal, and left and right arm BMC and BMD. It could be speculated that diet is not a limiting factor of bone mass development in this group of healthy adolescents, and further research on the effect of other factors in addition to diet in a larger sample should be undertaken.
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Phthalates dietary exposure and food sources for Belgian preschool children and adults.
Environ Int
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Numerous studies have indicated that for phthalates, the intake of contaminated foods is the most important exposure pathway for the general population. Up to now, data on dietary phthalate intake are scarce and - to the authors knowledge - not available for the Belgian population. Therefore, the purpose of this study was: (1) to assess the long-term intake of the Belgian population for eight phthalates considering different exposure scenarios (benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP); di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP); dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP); di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP); diethyl phthalate (DEP); diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP); dimethyl phthalate (DMP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP)); (2) to evaluate the intake of BBP, DnBP, DEP and DEHP against tolerable daily intake (TDI) values; and (3) to assess the contribution of the different food groups to the phthalate intake. The intake assessment was performed using two Belgian food consumption databases, one with consumption data of preschool children (2.5 to 6.5 years old) and another of adults (?15 years old), combined with a database of phthalate concentrations measured in over 550 food products sold on the Belgian market. Phthalate intake was calculated using the Monte Carlo Risk Assessment programme (MCRA 7.0). The intake of DEHP was the highest, followed by DiBP. The intake of BBP, DnBP and DEP was far below the TDI for both children and adults. However, for DEHP, the 99th percentile of the intake distribution of preschoolers in the worst case exposure scenario was equal to 80% of the TDI, respectively. This is not negligible, since other exposure routes of DEHP exist for children as well (e.g. mouthing of toys). Bread was the most important contributor to the DEHP intake and this may deserve further exploration, since the origin of this phthalate in bread remains unclear.
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Intercorrelations between serum, salivary, and hair cortisol and child-reported estimates of stress in elementary school girls.
Psychophysiology
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To evaluate the impact of stress on childrens well-being, it is important to have valid and reliable stress assessment methods. Nevertheless, selection of an appropriate method for a particular research question may not be straightforward, as there is currently no consensus on a reference method to measure stress in children. This article examined to what extent childhood stress can be estimated accurately by stressor questionnaires (i.e., Coddington life events scale) and biological markers (serum, salivary, and hair cortisol) using the Triads (a triangulation) method in 272 elementary school girls. Salivary cortisol was shown to most accurately indicate true childhood stress for short periods in the past (i.e., last 3 months), whereas hair cortisol may be preferred above salivary measurements for periods more distant and thus for chronic stress assessment. However, applicability should be confirmed in larger and more heterogeneous populations.
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Negative life events, emotions and psychological difficulties as determinants of salivary cortisol in Belgian primary school children.
Psychoneuroendocrinology
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This paper describes whether childrens life events, emotions and psychological difficulties are related to their salivary cortisol patterns and whether this is different between sexes.
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Prevalence of psychosomatic and emotional symptoms in European school-aged children and its relationship with childhood adversities: results from the IDEFICS study.
Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
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The prevalence of childhood stress and psychosomatic and emotional symptoms (PES) has increased in parallel, indicating that adverse, stressful circumstances and PES in children might be associated. This study describes the prevalence of PES in European children, aged 4-11 years old, and examines the relationship among PES, negative life events (NLE) and familial or social adversities in the childs life. Parent-reported data on childhood adversities and PES was collected for 4,066 children from 8 European countries, who participated in the follow-up survey of IDEFICS (2009-2010), by means of the IDEFICS parental questionnaire. A modified version of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, the KINDL Questionnaire for Measuring Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire were incorporated in this questionnaire, as well as questions on socio-demographics, family lifestyle and health of the child. Chi-square analyses were performed to investigate the prevalence of PES among survey centres, age groups and sex of the child. Odds ratios were calculated to examine the childhood adversity exposure between PES groups and logistic regression analyses were conducted to investigate: (a) the contribution of the number and (b) the specific types of experienced adversities on the occurrence of PES. 45.7% of the children experienced at least one PES, with low emotional well-being during the last week being most frequently reported (38.2%). No sex differences were shown for the prevalence of PES (P = 0.282), but prevalence proportions rose with increasing age (P < 0.001). Children with PES were more frequently exposed to childhood adversities compared to children without PES (e.g. 13.3 and 3.9% of peer problems and 25.4 and 17.4% of non-traditional family structure in the PES vs. no PES group, respectively, P < 0.001). An increasing number of adversities (regardless of their nature) was found to gradually amplify the risk for PES (OR = 2.85, 95% CI = 1.98-4.12 for a number of ?3 NLE), indicating the effect of cumulative stress. Finally, a number of specified adversities were identified as apparent risk factors for the occurrence of PES, such as living in a non-traditional family structure (OR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.30-1.79) or experiencing peer problems (OR = 3.55, 95% CI = 2.73-4.61). Childhood adversities were significantly related to PES prevalence, both quantitatively (i.e. the number of adversities) and qualitatively (i.e. the type of adversity). This study demonstrates the importance and the impact of the childs family and social context on the occurrence of PES in children younger than 12 years old.
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The Association Between Childhood Stress and Body Composition, and the Role of Stress-Related Lifestyle Factors-Cross-sectional Findings from the Baseline ChiBS Survey.
Int J Behav Med
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BACKGROUND: Stress has been hypothesised to be involved in obesity development, also in children. More research is needed into the role of lifestyle factors in this association. PURPOSE: This study investigates the cross-sectional relationship between stress and body composition and, more importantly, the possible moderating or mediating role of lifestyle factors. METHODS: A total of 355 Belgian children (5-10 years old) participating in the baseline Childrens Body composition and Stress survey were included in this study. The following variables were studied: psychosocial stress (i.e. stressful events, emotions and behavioural/emotional problems, salivary cortisol), stress-related lifestyle factors (high-caloric snack consumption frequency, screen exposure time and sleep duration) and body composition parameters [BMI z-score, waist to height ratio (WHtR)]. Using linear regression analyses (adjusted for sex, age and socio-economic status), the relation between stress and body composition and, more importantly, the possible moderating or mediating role of lifestyle factors was tested. RESULTS: No association was observed between body composition and negative emotions, conduct and emotional problems and salivary cortisol. However, negative life events were positively and happiness was negatively associated with BMI z-score and WHtR. Peer problems and WHtR were positively associated in girls only. These associations were not significantly reduced after correction for lifestyle factors. Nevertheless, all lifestyle parameters moderated one or more stress-body composition associations, resulting in even more significant relations after subgroup analysis. CONCLUSION: Childhood stress was positively related to both overall and central adiposity measures with lifestyle factors acting as moderators but not as mediators. Thus, lifestyle could be a vulnerability factor in stress-induced adiposity, creating a perspective for multi-factorial obesity prevention, targeting stress and lifestyle factors in parallel.
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