Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Bog Bodies in Context: Developing a Best Practice Approach
Beek, R. van; Chapman, Henry ; Gearey, Ben ; Jennings, Ben ; Smith, D. ; Helt Nielsen, Nina ; Zein Elabdin, Zena - \ 2019
European Journal of Archaeology (2019). - ISSN 1461-9571 - p. 1 - 23.
Bog bodies are among the best-known archaeological finds worldwide. Much of the work on these often extremely well-preserved human remains has focused on forensics, whereas the environmental setting of the finds has been largely overlooked. This applies to both the ‘physical’ and ‘cultural’ landscape and
constitutes a significant problem since the vast spatial and temporal scales over which the practice appeared demonstrate that contextual assessments are of the utmost importance for our explanatory frameworks.
In this article we develop best practice guidelines for the contextual analysis of bog bodies, after assessing the current state of research and presenting the results of three recent case studies including the well-known finds of Lindow Man in the United Kingdom, Bjældskovdal (Tollund Man and Elling Woman) in Denmark, and Yde Girl in the Netherlands. Three spatial and chronological scales
are distinguished and linked to specific research questions and methods. This provides a basis for further discussion and a starting point for developing approaches to bog body finds and future discoveries, while facilitating and optimizing the re-analysis of previous studies, making it possible to compare deposition sites across time and space.
High Levels of Food Intake in Harbor Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena): Insight into Recovery from Disturbance
Kastelein, Ronald A. ; Helder-hoek, Lean ; Booth, Cormac ; Jennings, Nancy ; Leopold, Mardik - \ 2019
Aquatic Mammals 45 (2019)4. - ISSN 0167-5427 - p. 380 - 388.
If harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are impaired in their foraging ability because they need to move away from anthropogenic sound sources, their fitness may be reduced. Understanding how much harbor porpoises can eat after a disturbance, and how quickly they can replenish their energy reserves, is important for assessing the significance of disturbances. After fasting for various time periods (2 to 24 h), four captive harbor porpoises, housed in water and air temperatures similar to those encountered by wild conspecifics, were fed a structured diet of meals larger than usual (each normal meal was 20% of the daily food mass requirement). A few times they were fed ad libitum, but this led to severe constipation, so this feeding method was abandoned for welfare and health reasons. The food ingested over a period of one hour following fasting for 2 to 24 hours was quantified (i.e., mass, volume, and as a percentage of normal daily food mass intake in that period). The results show that, in contrast to established belief, harbor porpoises can eat a large percentage (up to ~98%) of their normal daily food mass intake in a single feeding bout without showing physical problems. Adult animals of around 155 cm in body length can eat up to ~3 kg (~2,700 ml) in one feed. If food is abundantly available after a period of fasting due to a disturbance, wild harbor porpoises could eat a large percentage of their daily energetic requirement in one feeding bout to compensate for the period of fasting. However, if food availability is limited in terms of prey numbers, size, or species, or if the fish are widely dispersed (so that more time is required to find and capture them), this may limit or reduce the speed of the recovery of body mass and blubber layer.
Saving water for the future: Public awareness of water usage and water quality
Seelen, Laura M.S. ; Flaim, Giovanna ; Jennings, Eleanor ; Senerpont Domis, Lisette N. De - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Management 242 (2019). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 246 - 257.

Fresh water is a limited resource under anthropogenic threat. Europeans are using an average of 3550 L per capita per day and this amount is increasing steadily as incomes rise. Water saving options are being actively promoted, but these intensified measures do not yet come close to saving enough water to prevent water shortages that may seriously affect our way of life in the near future. With projected increases in demands for good quality fresh water, educating the public about sustainable personal water use and water quality threats becomes an absolute necessity. One way to achieve this is through engaging citizens in water issues, e.g. through citizen science projects. Using snowball convenience sampling, we distributed a questionnaire among 498 people in 23 countries to investigate whether people were aware of how much water they used, what they perceived as threats to water quality and whether they would like to help improve water quality. Our results showed that the amount of daily water use was greatly underestimated among respondents, especially indirect use of water for the production of goods and services. Furthermore, the effects of climate change and detrimental habits such as feeding ducks were underestimated, presumably because of environmental illiteracy. However, eighty-five percent (85%) of our participants indicated an interest in directly working together with scientists to understand and improve their local water quality. Involving citizens in improving local lake quality promotes both environmental and scientific literacy, and can therefore result in a reduction in daily personal water use. The next iteration of the Water Framework Directive legislation will be launched shortly, requiring water managers to include citizens in their monitoring schemes. Engaging citizens will not only help improve surface water quality, and educate about cause and effect chains in water quality, but will also reduce the personal fresh water usage.

A Novel Approach to Improve the Estimation of a Diet Adherence Considering Seasonality and Short Term Variability – The NU-AGE Mediterranean Diet Experience
Giampieri, Enrico ; Ostan, Rita ; Guidarelli, Giulia ; Salvioli, Stefano ; Berendsen, A.M. ; Brzozowska, Anna ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Jennings, Amy ; Meunier, Nathalie ; Caumon, Elodie ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan J. ; Sicinska, Ewa ; Feskens, E.J.M. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Franceschi, Claudio ; Santoro, Aurelia - \ 2019
Frontiers in Physiology 10 (2019). - ISSN 1664-042X
In this work we present a novel statistical approach to improve the assessment of the adherence to a 1-year nutritional intervention within the framework of the NU-AGE project. This was measured with a single adherence score based on 7-days food records, under limitations on the number of observations per subject and time frame of intervention. The results of the NU-AGE dietary intervention were summarized by variations of the NU-AGE index as described in the NU-AGE protocol. Food and nutrient intake of all participants was assessed by means of 7-days food records at recruitment and after 10 to 14 months of intervention (depending on the subject availability). Sixteen food groups and supplementations covering the dietary goals of the NU-AGE diet have been used to estimate the NU-AGE index before and after the intervention. The 7-days food record is a reliable tool to register food intakes, however, as with other tools used to assess lifestyle dietary compliance, it is affected by uncertainty in this estimation due to the possibility that the observed week is not fully representative of the entire intervention period. Also, due to logistic limitations, the effects of seasonality can never be completely removed. These variabilities, if not accounted for in the index estimation, will reduce the statistical power of the analyses. In this work we discuss a method to assess these uncertainties and thus improve the resulting NU-AGE index. The proposed method is based on Hierarchical Bayesian Models. This model explicitly includes country-specific averages of the NU-AGE index, index variation induced by the dietary intervention, and country based seasonality. This information is used to evaluate the NU-AGE index uncertainty and thus to estimate the “real” NU-AGE index for each subject, both before and after the intervention. These corrections reduce the possibility of misinterpreting measurement variability as real information, improving the power of the statistical tests that are performed with the resulting index. The results suggest that this method is able to reduce the short term and seasonal variability of the measured index in the context of multicenter dietary intervention trials. Using this method to estimate seasonality and variability would allow one to obtain better measurements from the subjects of a study, and be able to simplify the scheduling of diet assessments.
Gender-specific association of body composition with inflammatory and adipose-related markers in healthy elderly Europeans from the NU-AGE study
Santoro, Aurelia ; Guidarelli, Giulia ; Ostan, Rita ; Giampieri, Enrico ; Fabbri, Cristina ; Bertarelli, Claudia ; Nicoletti, Claudio ; Kadi, Fawzi ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. De; Feskens, Edith ; Berendsen, Agnes ; Brzozowska, Anna ; Januszko, Olga ; Kozlowska, Katarzyna ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan ; Jennings, Amy ; Meunier, Nathalie ; Caumon, Elodie ; Napoli, Alessandro ; Mercatelli, Daniele ; Battista, Giuseppe ; Capri, Miriam ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Bazzocchi, Alberto - \ 2019
European Radiology 29 (2019)9. - ISSN 0938-7994 - p. 4968 - 4979.
ObjectivesThe aim of this work was to examine the cross-sectional relationship between body composition (BC) markers for adipose and lean tissue and bone mass, and a wide range of specific inflammatory and adipose-related markers in healthy elderly Europeans. Methods A whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan was made in 1121 healthy (65–79 years) women and men from five European countries of the “New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of elderly population for a healthy aging in Europe” project (NCT01754012) cohort to measure markers of adipose and lean tissue and bone mass. Pro-inflammatory (IL-6, IL-6Rα, TNF-α, TNF-R1, TNF-R2, pentraxin 3, CRP, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, albumin) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10, TGF-β1) molecules as well as adipose-related markers such as leptin, adiponectin, ghrelin, and resistin were measured by magnetic bead-based multiplex-specific immunoassays and biochemical assays. Results BC characteristics were different in elderly women and men, and more favorable BC markers were associated with a better adipose-related inflammatory profile, with the exception of skeletal muscle mass index. No correlation was found with the body composition markers and circulating levels of some standard pro- and anti-inflammatory markers like IL-6, pentraxin 3, IL-10, TGF-β1, TNF-α, IL-6Rα, glycoprotein 130, TNF-α-R1, and TNF-α-R2.Conclusions The association between BC and inflammatory and adipose-related biomarkers is crucial in decoding aging and pathophysiological processes, such as sarcopenia. DXA can help in understanding how the measurement of fat and muscle is important, making the way from research to clinical practice.
Mediterranean-Style Diet Improves Systolic Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Older Adults
Jennings, A. ; Berendsen, A.M. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Feskens, E.J.M. ; Brzozowska, A. ; Sicinska, Ewa ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Meunier, N. ; Caumon, Elodie ; Malpuech-Brugère, Corinne ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Ostan, Rita ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Gillings, Rachel ; O'Neill, C.M. ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan J. ; Minihane, Anne-Marie ; Cassidy, Aedin - \ 2019
Hypertension 73 (2019)3. - ISSN 0194-911X - p. 578 - 586.
We aimed to determine the effect of a Mediterranean-style diet, tailored to meet dietary recommendations for older adults, on blood pressure and arterial stiffness. In 12 months, randomized controlled trial (NU-AGE [New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe]), blood pressure was measured in 1294 healthy participants, aged 65 to 79 years, recruited from 5 European centers, and arterial stiffness in a subset of 225 participants. The intervention group received individually tailored standardized dietary advice and commercially available foods to increase adherence to a Mediterranean diet. The control group continued on their habitual diet and was provided with current national dietary guidance. In the 1142 participants who completed the trial (88.2%), after 1 year the intervention resulted in a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (−5.5 mm Hg; 95% CI, −10.7 to −0.4; P=0.03), which was evident in males (−9.2 mm Hg, P=0.02) but not females (−3.1 mm Hg, P=0.37). The −1.7 mm Hg (95% CI, −4.3 to 0.9) decrease in diastolic pressure after intervention did not reach statistical significance. In a subset (n=225), augmentation index, a measure of arterial stiffness, was improved following intervention (−12.4; 95% CI, −24.4 to −0.5; P=0.04) with no change in pulse wave velocity. The intervention also resulted in an increase in 24-hour urinary potassium (8.8 mmol/L; 95% CI, 0.7–16.9; P=0.03) and in male participants (52%) a reduction in pulse pressure (−6.1 mm Hg; 95% CI, −12.0 to −0.2; P=0.04) and 24-hour urinary sodium (−27.1 mmol/L; 95% CI, −53.3 to −1.0; P=0.04). In conclusion, a Mediterranean-style diet is effective in improving cardiovascular health with clinically relevant reductions in blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
Assessing bottom trawling impacts based on the longevity of benthic invertebrates
Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Sciberras, Marija ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Cambiè, Giulia ; McConnaughey, Robert A. ; Mazor, Tessa ; Hilborn, Ray ; Collie, Jeremy S. ; Pitcher, C.R. ; Parma, Ana M. ; Suuronen, Petri ; Kaiser, Michel J. ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. - \ 2019
Journal of Applied Ecology 56 (2019)5. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 1075 - 1084.
benthic invertebrates - bottom trawl - fisheries management - impact assessment - life-history meta-analysis - seabed disturbance - systematic review

Bottom trawling is the most widespread human activity directly affecting seabed habitats. Assessment and effective management of the effects of bottom trawling at the scale of fisheries requires an understanding of differences in sensitivity of biota to trawling. Responses to disturbance are expected to depend on the intrinsic rate of increase in populations (r), which is expected to be linearly related to the reciprocal of longevity. We examine the relationship between the longevity of benthic invertebrates and their response to bottom trawling; both in terms of the immediate mortality following a trawl pass and their subsequent rates of recovery. We collate all available data from experimental and comparative trawling studies, and test how longevity influences these aspects of sensitivity. The shortest lived organisms (<1 year) increased in abundance shortly after experimental trawling but showed no response to trawling in long-term comparative studies. Conversely, the abundance of biota with a life span >1 year decreased by ~9% immediately following a trawl pass. The effect of bottom trawling in comparative studies increased with longevity, with a 2–3× larger effect on biota living >10 years than on biota living 1–3 years. We attribute this difference to the slower recovery rates of the long-lived biota. The observed relationship between the intrinsic rate of population increase (r, our metric of recovery rate) and the reciprocal of longevity matches theoretical expectation and predicts that the sensitivity of habitats to bottom trawling is higher in habitats with higher proportions of long-lived organisms. Synthesis and applications. Where the longevity of a species or the longevity distribution of a community is known or can be inferred, our estimates of depletion and intrinsic rate of increase can be combined with high-resolution maps of trawling intensity to assess trawling impacts at the scale of the fishery or other defined unit of assessment. Our estimates of r may also be used to estimate recovery times following other forms of seabed disturbance.

An affordable and reliable assessment of aquatic decomposition: Tailoring the Tea Bag Index to surface waters
Seelen, Laura M.S. ; Flaim, Giovanna ; Keuskamp, Joost ; Teurlincx, Sven ; Arias Font, Raquel ; Tolunay, Duygu ; Fránková, Markéta ; Šumberová, Kateřina ; Temponeras, Maria ; Lenhardt, Mirjana ; Jennings, Eleanor ; Senerpont Domis, Lisette N. de - \ 2019
Water Research 151 (2019). - ISSN 0043-1354 - p. 31 - 43.
Carbon cycle - Citizen science - Decomposition constant - European lakes - Lake management - Standardized ecological assay

Litter decomposition is a vital part of the global carbon cycle as it determines not only the amount of carbon to be sequestered, but also how fast carbon re-enters the cycle. Freshwater systems play an active role in the carbon cycle as it receives, and decomposes, terrestrial litter material alongside decomposing aquatic plant litter. Decomposition of organic matter in the aquatic environment is directly controlled by water temperature and nutrient availability, which are continuously affected by global change. We adapted the Tea Bag Index (TBI), a highly standardized methodology for determining soil decomposition, for lakes by incorporating a leaching factor. By placing Lipton pyramid tea bags in the aquatic environment for 3 h, we quantified the period of intense leaching which usually takes place prior to litter (tea) decomposition. Standard TBI methodology was followed after this step to determine how fast decomposition takes place (decomposition rate, k1) and how much of the material cannot be broken down and is thus sequestered (stabilization factor, S). A Citizen Science project was organized to test the aquatic TBI in 40 European lakes located in four climate zones, ranging from oligotrophic to hypereutrophic systems. We expected that warmer and/or eutrophic lakes would have a higher decomposition rate and a more efficient microbial community resulting in less tea material to be sequestered. The overall high decomposition rates (k1) found confirm the active role lakes play in the global carbon cycle. Across climate regions the lakes in the warmer temperate zone displayed a higher decomposition rate (k1) compared to the colder lakes in the continental and polar zones. Across trophic states, decomposition rates were higher in eutrophic lakes compared to oligotrophic lakes. Additionally, the eutrophic lakes showed a higher stabilization (S), thus a less efficient microbial community, compared to the oligotrophic lakes, although the variation within this group was high. Our results clearly show that the TBI can be used to adequately assess the decomposition process in aquatic systems. Using “alien standard litter” such as tea provides a powerful way to compare decomposition across climates, trophic states and ecosystems. By providing standardized protocols, a website, as well as face to face meetings, we also showed that collecting scientifically relevant data can go hand in hand with increasing scientific and environmental literacy in participants. Gathering process-based information about lake ecosystems gives managers the best tools to anticipate and react to future global change. Furthermore, combining this process-based information with citizen science, thus outreach, is in complete agreement with the Water Framework Directive goals as set in 2010.

Data from: Assessing bottom-trawling impacts based on the longevity of benthic invertebrates
Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Sciberras, Marija ; Bolam, Stefan G. ; Cambiè, Giulia ; Mcconnaughey, Robert A. ; Mazor, Tessa ; Hilborn, Ray ; Collie, Jeremy S. ; Pitcher, C.R. ; Parma, Ana M. ; Suuronen, Petri ; Kaiser, Michel J. ; Rijnsdorp, A.D. - \ 2018
fisheries management - bottom trawl - benthic invertebrates - impact assessment - meta-analysis - systematic review - life history - seabed disturbance
Bottom trawling is the most widespread human activity directly affecting seabed habitats. Assessment and effective management of the effects of bottom trawling at the scale of fisheries requires an understanding of differences in sensitivity of biota to trawling. Responses to disturbance are expected to depend on the intrinsic rate of increase of populations (r), which is expected to be linearly related to the reciprocal of longevity. 2. We examine the relationship between the longevity of benthic invertebrates and their response to bottom trawling; both in terms of the immediate mortality following a trawl pass and their subsequent rates of recovery. We collate all available data from experimental and comparative trawling studies, and test how longevity influences these aspects of sensitivity. 3. The shortest-lived organisms (<1yr) increased in abundance shortly after experimental trawling, but showed no response to trawling in longer-term comparative studies. Conversely, the abundance of biota with a life-span >1yr decreased by ~9% immediately following a trawl pass. The effect of bottom trawling in comparative studies increased with longevity, with a 2-3× larger effect on biota living >10yr than on biota living 1-3yr. We attribute this difference to the slower recovery rates of the longer-lived biota. 4. The observed relationship between the intrinsic rate of population increase (r, our metric of recovery rate) and the reciprocal of longevity matches theoretical expectation and predicts that the sensitivity of habitats to bottom trawling is higher in habitats with higher proportions of long-lived organisms. 5. Synthesis and Applications. Where the longevity of a species or the longevity distribution of a community is known or can be inferred, our estimates of depletion and intrinsic rate of increase can be combined with high-resolution maps of trawling intensity to assess trawling impacts at the scale of the fishery or other defined unit of assessment. Our estimates of r may also be used to estimate recovery times following other forms of seabed disturbance.
Data from: An affordable and reliable assessment of aquatic decomposition: tailoring the Tea Bag Index to surface waters
Seelen, Laura ; Flaim, Giovanna ; Keuskamp, Joost ; Teurlincx, Sven ; Arias Font, Raquel ; Tolunay, Duygu ; Fránková, Markéta ; Šumberová, Kateřina ; Temponeras, Maria ; Lenhardt, Mirjana ; Jennings, Eleanor ; Senerpont Domis, L.N. de - \ 2018
carbon cycle - citizen science - decomposition constant - european lakes - lake management - standardized ecological assay
Litter decomposition is a vital part of the global carbon cycle as it determines not only the amount of carbon to be sequestered, but also how fast carbon re-enters the cycle. Freshwater systems play an active role in the carbon cycle as it receives, and decomposes, terrestrial litter material alongside decomposing aquatic plant litter. Decomposition of organic matter in the aquatic environment is directly controlled by water temperature and nutrient availability, which are continuously affected by global change. We adapted the Tea Bag Index (TBI), a highly standardized methodology for determining soil decomposition, for lakes by incorporating a leaching factor. By placing Lipton pyramid tea bags in the aquatic environment for 3 hours, we quantified the period of intense leaching which usually takes place prior to litter (tea) decomposition. Standard TBI methodology was followed after this step to determine how fast decomposition takes place (decomposition rate, k1) and how much of the material cannot be broken down and is thus sequestered (stabilization factor, S). A Citizen Science project was organized to test the aquatic TBI in 40 European lakes located in four climate zones, ranging from oligotrophic to hypereutrophic systems. We expected that warmer and/or eutrophic lakes would have a higher decomposition rate and a more efficient microbial community resulting in less tea material to be sequestered. The overall high decomposition rates (k1) found confirm the active role lakes play in the global carbon cycle. Across climate regions the lakes in the warmer temperate zone displayed a higher decomposition rate (k1) compared to the colder lakes in the continental and polar zones. Across trophic states, decomposition rates were higher in eutrophic lakes compared to oligotrophic lakes. Additionally, the eutrophic lakes showed a higher stabilization (S), thus a less efficient microbial community, compared to the oligotrophic lakes, although the variation within this group was high. Our results clearly show that the TBI can be used to adequately assess the decomposition process in aquatic systems. Using “alien standard litter” such as tea provides a powerful way to compare decomposition across climates, trophic states and ecosystems. By providing standardized protocols, a website, as well as face to face meetings, we also showed that collecting scientifically relevant data can go hand in hand with increasing scientific and environmental literacy in participants. Gathering process-based information about lake ecosystems gives managers the best tools to anticipate and react to future global change. Furthermore, combining this process-based information with citizen science, thus outreach, is in complete agreement with the Water Framework Directive goals as set in 2010.
Changes in Dietary Intake and Adherence to the NU-AGE Diet Following a One-Year Dietary Intervention among European Older Adults-Results of the NU-AGE Randomized Trial
Berendsen, A.M. ; Rest, O. van de; Feskens, E.J.M. ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Ostan, R. ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Brzozowska, A. ; Stelmaszczyk-Kusz, A. ; Jennings, A. ; Gillings, Rachel ; Cassidy, A. ; Caille, A. ; Caumon, Elodie ; Malpuech-Brugère, Corinne ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de - \ 2018
Nutrients 10 (2018). - ISSN 2072-6643
Background: The Mediterranean Diet has been proposed as an effective strategy to reduce inflammaging, a chronic low grade inflammatory status, and thus, to slow down the aging process. We evaluated whether a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern specifically targeting dietary recommendations of people aged over 65 years (NU-AGE diet) could be effective to shift dietary intake of older adults towards a healthful diet. Methods: Adults aged 65–80 years across five EU-centers were randomly assigned to a NU-AGE diet group or control group. The diet group followed one year of NU-AGE dietary intervention specifying consumption of 15 food groups plus the use of a vitamin D supplement. Participants in the diet group received counselling and individually tailored dietary advice, food products and a vitamin D supplement. Dietary intake was assessed by means of seven-day food records at baseline and one-year follow-up. A continuous NU-AGE index (0–160 points) was developed to assess NU-AGE diet adherence. Results: In total 1296 participants were randomized and 1141 participants completed the intervention (571 intervention, 570 control). After one year, the diet group improved mean intake of 13 out of 16 NU-AGE dietary components (p < 0.05), with a significant increase in total NU-AGE index (difference in mean change = 21.3 ± 15.9 points, p < 0.01). Conclusions: The NU-AGE dietary intervention, based on dietary recommendations for older adults, consisting of individual dietary counselling, free healthy foods and a vitamin D supplement, may be a feasible strategy to improve dietary intake in an aging European population.
A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Body Composition Among Healthy Elderly From the European NU-AGE Study: Sex and Country Specific Features
Santoro, Aurelia ; Bazzocchi, Alberto ; Guidarelli, Giulia ; Ostan, Rita ; Giampieri, Enrico ; Mercatelli, Daniele ; Scurti, M. ; Berendsen, A.M. ; Surala, Olga ; Jennings, Amy ; Meunier, Nathalie ; Caumon, Elodie ; Gillings, Rachel ; Kadi, Fawzi ; Capel, Frederic ; Cashman, Kevin D. ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Feskens, E.J.M. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Battista, Giuseppe ; Salvioli, Stefano ; Franceschi, Claudio - \ 2018
Frontiers in Physiology 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-042X - 16 p.
Body composition (BC) is an emerging important factor for the characterization of metabolic status. The assessment of BC has been studied in various populations and diseases such as obesity, diabetes, endocrine diseases as well as physiological and paraphysiological conditions such as growth and aging processes, and physical training. A gold standard technique for the assessment of human BC at molecular level is represented by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which is able to precisely assess the body mass (and areal bone mineral density-aBMD) on a regional and whole-body basis. For the first time, within the framework of the NU-AGE project, BC has been assessed by means of a whole-body DXA scan in 1121 sex-balanced free-living, apparently healthy older adults aged 65–79 years enrolled in 5 European countries (Italy, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Poland). The aim of this analysis is to provide a complete profile of BC in healthy elderly participants from five European countries and to investigate country- and sex-related differences by state-of-the-art DXA technology. To compare BC data collected in different centers, specific indexes and ratios have been used. Non-parametric statistical tests showed sex-specific significant differences in certain BC parameters. In particular, women have higher fat mass (FM) (Fat/Lean mass ratio: by 67%, p < 2.2e-16) and lower lean mass (Lean Mass index: by -18%, p < 2.2e-16) than men. On the other hand, men have higher android FM than women (Android/gynoid FM ratio: by 56%, p < 2.2e-16). Interesting differences also emerged among countries. Polish elderly have higher FM (Fat/Lean mass ratio: by 52%, p < 2.2e-16) and lower lean mass (Skeletal Mass index: by -23%, p < 2.2e-16) than elderly from the other four countries. At variance, French elderly show lower FM (Fat/Lean mass ratio: by -34%, p < 2.2e-16) and higher lean mass (Skeletal Mass index: by 18%, p < 2.2e-16). Moreover, five BC profiles in women and six in men have been identified by a cluster analysis based on BC parameters. Finally, these data can serve as reference for normative average and variability of BC in the elderly populations across Europe.
A Mediterranean-like dietary pattern with Vitamin D3 (10 μg/d) supplements reduced the rate of bone loss in older Europeans with osteoporosis at baseline : Results of a 1-y randomized controlled trial
Jennings, Amy ; Cashman, Kevin D. ; Gillings, Rachel ; Cassidy, Aedin ; Tang, Jonathan ; Fraser, William ; Dowling, Kirsten G. ; Hull, George L.J. ; Berendsen, Agnes A.M. ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Wierzbicka, Elzbieta ; Ostan, Rita ; Bazzocchi, Alberto ; Battista, Giuseppe ; Caumon, Elodie ; Meunier, Nathalie ; Malpuech-Brugère, Corinne ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan J. - \ 2018
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 108 (2018)3. - ISSN 0002-9165 - p. 633 - 640.
bone - Mediterranean diet - older adults - Osteoporosis - Vitamin D supplementation

Background: The Mediterranean diet (MD) is widely recommended for the prevention of chronic disease, but evidence for a beneficial effect on bone health is lacking. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a Mediterranean-like dietary pattern [NU-AGE (New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of the Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe)] on indexes of inflammation with a number of secondary endpoints, including bone mineral density (BMD) and biomarkers of bone and collagen degradation in a 1-y multicenter randomized controlled trial (RCT; NU-AGE) in elderly Europeans. Design: An RCT was undertaken across 5 European centers. Subjects in the intervention group consumed the NU-AGE diet for 1 y by receiving individually tailored dietary advice, coupled with supplies of foods including whole-grain pasta, olive oil, and a vitamin D3 supplement (10 μg/d). Participants in the control group were provided with leaflets on healthy eating available in their country. Results: A total of 1294 participants (mean ± SD age: 70.9 ±4.0 y; 44% male) were recruited to the study and 1142 completed the 1-y trial. The Mediterranean-like dietary pattern had no effect on BMD (site-specific or whole-body); the inclusion of compliance to the intervention in the statistical model did not change the findings. There was also no effect of the intervention on the urinary biomarkers free pyridinoline or free deoxypyridinoline. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D significantly increased and parathyroid hormone decreased (P < 0.001) in the MD compared with the control group. Subgroup analysis of individuals with osteoporosis at baseline (site-specific BMD T-score ≤ -2.5 SDs) showed that the MD attenuated the expected decline in femoral neck BMD (n = 24 and 30 in MD and control groups, respectively; P = 0.04) but had no effect on lumbar spine or whole-body BMD. Conclusions: A 1-y intervention of the Mediterranean-like diet together with vitamin D3 supplements (10 μg/d) had no effect on BMD in the normal age-related range, but it significantly reduced the rate of loss of bone at the femoral neck in individuals with osteoporosis. The NU-AGE trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01754012.

Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Correlation Between Daily Nutrient Intake Assessed by 7-Day Food Records and Biomarkers of Dietary Intake Among Participants of the NU-AGE Study
Ostan, Rita ; Guidarelli, Giulia ; Giampieri, Enrico ; Lanzarini, Catia ; Berendsen, Agnes A.M. ; Januszko, Olga ; Jennings, Amy ; Lyon, Noëlle ; Caumon, Elodie ; Gillings, Rachel ; Sicinska, Ewa ; Meunier, Nathalie ; Feskens, Edith J.M. ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Fairweather-Tait, Susan ; Capri, Miriam ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Santoro, Aurelia - \ 2018
Frontiers in Physiology 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-042X
Methods for measuring diet composition and quantifying nutrient intake with sufficient validity are essential to study the association between nutrition and health outcomes and risk of diseases. 7-day food records provides a quantification of food actually and currently consumed and is interesting for its use in intervention studies to monitor diet in a short-term period and to guide participants toward changing their intakes. The objective of this study is to analyze the correlation/association between the daily intake of selected nutrients (collected by a 7-day food records plus a mineral/vitamin supplementation questionnaire) and estimates of energy expenditure as well as blood and urine biomarkers of dietary intakes in 1,140 healthy elderly subjects (65–79 years) at baseline of the NU-AGE intervention study (NCT01754012, clinicaltrials.gov). The results show that: the daily intake of energy correlated significantly with predicted total energy expenditure (pTEE) (ρ = 0.459, p < 0.001, and q < 0.001); protein intake correlated significantly with the ratio of 24 h urinary urea to creatinine excretion (ρ = 0.143 for total protein intake, ρ = 0.296 for animal protein intake, and ρ = 0.359 for protein intake/body weight, p < 0.001 and q < 0.001 for each correlation); vitamin B12 and folate intakes correlated significantly with their serum concentrations (ρ = 0.151 and ρ = 0.363, respectively; p < 0.001 and q < 0.001 for each correlation); sodium and potassium intakes correlated significantly with their 24 h urinary excretion (ρ = 0.298 and ρ = 0.123, respectively; p < 0.001 and q < 0.001 for each correlation); vitamin B12 and folate intakes were negatively associated with plasma homocysteine measure (p = 0.001 and p = 0.004, respectively); stratifying subjects by gender, the correlations between energy intake and pTEE and between potassium intake and its 24 h urinary excretion lost their significance in women. Even if the plasma and urinary levels of these nutrients depend on several factors, the significant correlations between daily reported intake of nutrients (protein, vitamin B12, folate, and sodium) and their blood/urinary markers confirmed that the 7-day food records (plus a supplementation questionnaire) provides reliable data to evaluate short-term current dietary intake in European elderly subjects and it can be exploited to guide and monitor NU-AGE participants through the shift of their diet according NU-AGE recommendations.
Short Telomere Length Is Related to Limitations in Physical Function in Elderly European Adults
Montiel Rojas, Diego ; Nilsson, Andreas ; Ponsot, Elodie ; Brummer, Robert J. ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan ; Jennings, Amy ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. De; Berendsen, Agnes ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Madej, Dawid ; Caumon, Elodie ; Meunier, Nathalie ; Malpuech-Brugère, Corinne ; Guidarelli, Giulia ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Kadi, Fawzi - \ 2018
Frontiers in Physiology 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-042X
The present study aims to explore the potential influence of leucocyte telomere length (LTL) on both a single indicator and a composite construct of physical functioning in a large European population of elderly men and women across diverse geographical locations. A total of 1,221 adults (65–79 years) were recruited from five European countries within the framework of NU-AGE study. The physical functioning construct was based on the 36-item Short Form Health Survey. Handgrip strength was used as a single indicator of muscle function and LTL was assessed using quantitative real-time PCR. Women had significantly longer (p < 0.05) LTL than men. Participants in Poland had significantly shorter LTL than in the other study centers, whereas participants in the Netherlands had significantly longer LTL than most of the other centers (p < 0.01). An analysis of LTL as a continuous outcome against physical functioning by using linear models revealed inconsistent findings. In contrast, based on an analysis of contrasting telomere lengths (first vs. fifth quintile of LTL), a significant odds ratio (OR) of 1.7 (95% CI: 1.1 – 2.6; p < 0.05) of having functional limitation was observed in those belonging to the first LTL quintile compared to the fifth. Interestingly, having the shortest LTL was still related to a higher likelihood of having physical limitation when compared to all remaining quintiles (OR: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1 – 2.1; p < 0.05), even after adjustment by study center, age, sex, and overweight status. Collectively, our findings suggest that short LTL is an independent risk factor that accounts for functional decline in elderly European populations. The influence of LTL on functional limitation seems driven by the detrimental effect of having short telomeres rather than reflecting a linear dose-response relationship.
Are Nutrition-Related Knowledge and Attitudes Reflected in Lifestyle and Health Among Elderly People? A Study Across Five European Countries
Jeruszka-Bielak, Marta ; Kollajtis-Dolowy, Anna ; Santoro, A. ; Ostan, R. ; Berendsen, A.M. ; Jennings, A. ; Meunier, N. ; Marseglia, Anna ; Caumon, E. ; Gillings, Rachel ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Franceschi, Claudio ; Hieke, Sophie ; Pietruszka, B. - \ 2018
Frontiers in Physiology 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-042X - 13 p.
Background: Nutrition-related knowledge (NRK) and nutrition-related attitudes (NRAs) are necessary for dietary changes toward healthier dietary patterns. In turn, healthier dietary patterns can be beneficial in maintaining health of older adults. Therefore, the aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether NRK and NRAs were associated with lifestyle and health features among older adults (65+ years) from five European countries (France, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and United Kingdom). Methods: Within the European project NU-AGE, 1,144 healthy elderly volunteers (65–79 years) were randomly assigned to two groups: intervention (NU-AGE diet) or control. After 1-year of follow-up, both NRK and NRAs were assessed during exit interviews, in combination with a number of lifestyle and health variables (e.g., physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, BMI, self-assessed health status). Multivariable linear regression models were used in data analysis. Results: In the NU-AGE study sample, good NRK was associated with lower BMI and higher physical activity. More positive NRAs were related to lower BMI and self-reported very good or good appetite. Moreover, both NRK and NRAs were associated with some socio-economic determinants, like financial situation, age, education, living area (for NRK), and country (for NRAs). Participants in the intervention group showed a better NRK (β = 0.367 [95% CI: 0.117; 0.617], p = 0.004) and more positive NRAs (β = 0.838 [95% CI: 0.318; 1.358], p = 0.002) than those in the control group. Higher self-evaluated knowledge was also significantly related to more positive NRAs (p < 0.001). The most popular sources of nutrition information were food labels, books and magazines on health, the dietitian and the doctor's office, although their importance varied significantly among countries, and, to a lesser extent, between women and men and between intervention and control group. Conclusion: Higher NRK and NRA scores were associated with lower BMI and higher physical activity level. Therefore, a good nutrition-related knowledge and positive nutrition-related attitudes can strongly and positively influence the health status and quality of life among the older population. These results offer a great opportunity for policy makers to implement educational programs in order to counteract the epidemic of obesity and to improve the health span of European population.
Response of benthic fauna to experimental bottom fishing : A global meta-analysis
Sciberras, Marija ; Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Szostek, Claire L. ; Hughes, Kathryn M. ; Kneafsey, Brian ; Clarke, Leo J. ; Ellis, Nick ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. ; Mcconnaughey, Robert A. ; Hilborn, Ray ; Collie, Jeremy S. ; Pitcher, C.R. ; Amoroso, Ricardo O. ; Parma, Ana M. ; Suuronen, Petri ; Kaiser, Michel J. - \ 2018
Fish and Fisheries 19 (2018)4. - ISSN 1467-2960 - p. 698 - 715.
Dredging - Effects of trawling - Fishing impacts - Invertebrate communities - Systematic review - Taxonomic analysis
Bottom-contact fishing gears are globally the most widespread anthropogenic sources of direct disturbance to the seabed and associated biota. Managing these fishing disturbances requires quantification of gear impacts on biota and the rate of recovery following disturbance. We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of 122 experiments on the effects-of-bottom fishing to quantify the removal of benthos in the path of the fishing gear and to estimate rates of recovery following disturbance. A gear pass reduced benthic invertebrate abundance by 26% and species richness by 19%. The effect was strongly gear-specific, with gears that penetrate deeper into the sediment having a significantly larger impact than those that penetrate less. Sediment composition (% mud and presence of biogenic habitat) and the history of fishing disturbance prior to an experimental fishing event were also important predictors of depletion, with communities in areas that were not previously fished, predominantly muddy or biogenic habitats being more strongly affected by fishing. Sessile and low mobility biota with longer life-spans such as sponges, soft corals and bivalves took much longer to recover after fishing (>3 year) than mobile biota with shorter life-spans such as polychaetes and malacostracans (<1 year). This meta-analysis provides insights into the dynamics of recovery. Our estimates of depletion along with estimates of recovery rates and large-scale, high-resolution maps of fishing frequency and habitat will support more rigorous assessment of the environmental impacts of bottom-contact gears, thus supporting better informed choices in trade-offs between environmental impacts and fish production.
Effect of the NU-AGE Diet on Cognitive Functioning in Older Adults : A Randomized Controlled Trial
Marseglia, Anna ; Xu, W. ; Fratiglioni, Laura ; Fabbri, Cristina ; Berendsen, A.M. ; Bialecka-Debek, Agata ; Jennings, A. ; Gillings, Rachel ; Meunier, N. ; Caumon, E. ; Fairweather-Tait, S. ; Pietruszka, B. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Santoro, A. ; Franceschi, Claudio - \ 2018
Frontiers in Physiology 9 (2018). - ISSN 1664-042X
Background: Findings from animal and epidemiological research support the potential neuroprotective benefits from healthy diets. However, to establish diet-neuroprotective causal relations, evidence from dietary intervention studies is needed. NU-AGE is the first multicenter intervention assessing whether a diet targeting health in aging can counteract the age-related physiological changes in different organs, including the brain. In this study, we specifically investigated the effects of NU-AGE’s dietary intervention on age-related cognitive decline.
Materials and Methods: NU-AGE randomized trial (NCT01754012, clinicaltrials.gov) included 1279 relatively healthy older-adults, aged 65–79 years, from five European centers. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups: “control” (n = 638), following a habitual diet; and, “intervention” (n = 641), given individually tailored dietary advice (NU-AGE diet). Adherence to the NU-AGE diet was measured over follow-up, and categorized into tertiles (low, moderate, high). Cognitive function was ascertained at baseline and at 1-year follow-up with the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD)-Neuropsychological Battery and five additional domain-specific single cognitive tests. The raw scores from the CERAD subtests [excluding the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE)] and the single tests were standardized into Z-scores. Global cognition (measured with MMSE and CERAD-total score), and five cognitive domains (perceptual speed, executive function, episodic
memory, verbal abilities, and constructional praxis) were created. Cognitive changes as a function of the intervention were analyzed with multivariable mixed-effects models.
Results: After the 1-year follow-up, 571 (89.1%) controls and 573 (89.8%) from
the intervention group participated in the post-intervention assessment. Both control and intervention groups showed improvements in global cognition and in all cognitive domains after 1 year, but differences in cognitive changes between the two groups were not statistically significant. However, participants with higher adherence to the NU-AGE diet showed statistically significant improvements in global cognition [b 0.20 (95%CI 0.004, 0.39), p-value = 0.046] and episodic memory [b 0.15 (95%CI 0.02, 0.28), p-value = 0.025] after 1 year, compared to those adults with lower adherence.
Discussion: High adherence to the culturally adapted, individually tailored, NU-AGE diet could slow down age-related cognitive decline, helping to prevent cognitive impairment and dementia.
Acoustic dose-behavioral response relationship in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) exposed to playbacks of pile driving sounds
Kastelein, Ronald A. ; Jennings, Nancy ; Kommeren, Aimée ; Helder-Hoek, Lean ; Schop, Jessica - \ 2017
Marine Environmental Research 130 (2017). - ISSN 0141-1136 - p. 315 - 324.
Acoustics - Behavior - Marine fish - Offshore industry - Pile driving - Sea bass - Startle response - Wind park

The foundations of offshore wind turbines are attached to the sea bed by percussion pile driving. Pile driving sounds may affect the behavior of fish. Acoustic dose-behavioral response relationships were determined for sea bass in a pool exposed for 20 min to pile driving sounds at seven mean received root-mean-square sound pressure levels [SPLrms; range: 130-166 dB re 1 μPa; single strike sound exposure level (SELss) range: 122-158; 6 dB steps]. Initial responses (sudden, short-lived changes in swimming speed and direction) and sustained responses (changes in school cohesion, swimming depth, and speed) were quantified. The 50% initial response threshold occurred at an SELss of 131 dB re 1 μPa2 s for 31 cm fish and 141 dB re 1 μPa2 s for 44 cm fish; the small fish thus reacted to lower SELss than the large fish. Analysis showed that there is no evidence, even at the highest sound level, for any consistent sustained response to sound exposure by the study animals. If wild sea bass are exposed to pile driving sounds at the levels used in the present study, there are unlikely to be any adverse effects on their ecology, because the initial responses after the onset of the piling sound observed in this study were short-lived.

Global analysis of depletion and recovery of seabed biota after bottom trawling disturbance
Hiddink, Jan Geert ; Jennings, Simon ; Sciberras, Marija ; Szostek, Claire L. ; Hughes, Kathryn M. ; Ellis, Nick ; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D. ; Mcconnaughey, Robert A. ; Mazor, Tessa ; Hilborn, Ray ; Collie, Jeremy S. ; Pitcher, C.R. ; Amoroso, Ricardo O. ; Parma, Ana M. ; Suuronen, Petri ; Kaiser, Michel J. - \ 2017
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114 (2017)31. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. 8301 - 8306.
logistic recovery model - systematic review - metaanalysis - impacts - trawling
Bottom trawling is the most widespread human activity affecting seabed habitats. Here, we collate all available data for experimental and comparative studies of trawling impacts on whole communities of seabed macroinvertebrates on sedimentary habitats and develop widely applicable methods to estimate depletion and recovery rates of biota after trawling. Depletion of biota and trawl penetration into the seabed are highly correlated. Otter trawls caused the least depletion, removing 6% of biota per pass and penetrating the seabed on average down to 2.4 cm, whereas hydraulic dredges caused the most depletion, removing 41% of biota and penetrating the seabed on average 16.1 cm. Median recovery times posttrawling (from 50 to 95% of unimpacted biomass) ranged between 1.9 and 6.4 y. By accounting for the effects of penetration depth, environmental variation, and uncertainty, the models explained much of the variability of depletion and recovery estimates from single studies. Coupled with
large-scale, high-resolution maps of trawling frequency and habitat, our estimates of depletion and recovery rates enable the assessment of trawling impacts on unprecedented spatial scales.
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