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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    Beneficial Role of Replacing Dietary Saturated Fatty Acids with Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Sarcopenia: Findings from the NU-AGE Cohort
    Montiel-Rojas, Diego ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Nilsson, Andreas ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Capri, Miriam ; Bazzocchi, Alberto ; Battista, Giuseppe ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. De; Feskens, Edith J.M. ; Berendsen, Agnes A.M. ; Bialecka-Debek, Agata ; Surala, Olga ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan ; Jennings, Amy ; Capel, Frederic ; Kadi, Fawzi - \ 2020
    Nutrients 12 (2020)10. - ISSN 2072-6643
    Dietary fat subtypes may play an important role in the regulation of muscle mass and function during ageing. The aim of the present study was to determine the impact of isocaloric macronutrient substitutions, including different fat subtypes, on sarcopenia risk in older men and women, while accounting for physical activity (PA) and metabolic risk. A total of 986 participants, aged 65–79 years, completed a 7-day food record and wore an accelerometer for a week. A continuous sex-specific sarcopenia risk score (SRS), including skeletal muscle mass assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and handgrip strength, was derived. The impact of the isocaloric replacement of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) by either mono- (MUFAs) or poly-unsaturated (PUFAs) fatty acids on SRS was determined using regression analysis based on the whole sample and stratified by adherence to a recommended protein intake (1.1 g/BW). Isocaloric reduction of SFAs for the benefit of PUFAs was associated with a lower SRS in the whole population, and in those with a protein intake below 1.1 g/BW, after accounting for age, smoking habits, metabolic disturbances, and adherence to PA guidelines. The present study highlighted the potential of promoting healthy diets with optimised fat subtype distribution in the prevention of sarcopenia in older adults.
    Dietary fibre may mitigate sarcopenia risk: Findings from the NU-AGE cohort of older european adults
    Montiel-Rojas, Diego ; Nilsson, Andreas ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Bazzocchi, Alberto ; Battista, Giuseppe ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Feskens, Edith J.M. ; Berendsen, Agnes ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Januszko, Olga ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan ; Jennings, Amy ; Nicoletti, Claudio ; Kadi, Fawzi - \ 2020
    Nutrients 12 (2020)4. - ISSN 2072-6643
    C-reactive protein - Exercise - Metabolic syndrome - Muscle mass - Protein intake - Systemic inflammation

    Sarcopenia is characterised by a progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and physical function as well as related metabolic disturbances. While fibre-rich diets can influence metabolic health outcomes, the impact on skeletal muscle mass and function is yet to be determined, and the moderating effects by physical activity (PA) need to be considered. The aim of the present study was to examine links between fibre intake, skeletal muscle mass and physical function in a cohort of older adults from the NU-AGE study. In 981 older adults (71 ± 4 years, 58% female), physical function was assessed using the short-physical performance battery test and handgrip strength. Skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was derived using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Dietary fibre intake (FI) was assessed by 7-day food record and PA was objectively determined by accelerometery. General linear models accounting for covariates including PA level, protein intake and metabolic syndrome (MetS) were used. Women above the median FI had significantly higher SMI compared to those below, which remained in fully adjusted models (24.7 ± 0.2% vs. 24.2 ± 0.1%, p = 0.011, η2p = 0.012). In men, the same association was only evident in those without MetS (above median FI: 32.4 ± 0.3% vs. below median FI: 31.3 ± 0.3%, p = 0.005, η2p = 0.035). There was no significant impact of FI on physical function outcomes. The findings from this study suggest a beneficial impact of FI on skeletal muscle mass in older adults. Importantly, this impact is independent of adherence to guidelines for protein intake and PA, which further strengthens the potential role of dietary fibre in preventing sarcopenia. Further experimental work is warranted in order to elucidate the mechanisms underpinning the action of dietary fibre on the regulation of muscle mass.

    Mediterranean diet intervention alters the gut microbiome in older people reducing frailty and improving health status : The NU-AGE 1-year dietary intervention across five European countries
    Ghosh, Tarini Shankar ; Rampelli, Simone ; Jeffery, Ian B. ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Neto, Marta ; Capri, Miriam ; Giampieri, Enrico ; Jennings, Amy ; Candela, Marco ; Turroni, Silvia ; Zoetendal, Erwin G. ; Hermes, Gerben D.A. ; Elodie, Caumon ; Brugere, Corinne Malpuech ; Pujos-Guillot, Estelle ; Berendsen, Agnes M. ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. De; Feskens, Edith J.M. ; Kaluza, Joanna ; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Bielak, Marta Jeruszka ; Comte, Blandine ; Maijo-Ferre, Monica ; Nicoletti, Claudio ; Vos, Willem M. de; Fairweather-Tait, Susan ; Cassidy, Aedin ; Brigidi, Patrizia ; Franceschi, Claudio ; O'Toole, Paul W. - \ 2020
    Gut 69 (2020)7. - ISSN 0017-5749
    ageing - diet - enteric bacterial microflora - inflammation - intestinal bacteria

    Objective: Ageing is accompanied by deterioration of multiple bodily functions and inflammation, which collectively contribute to frailty. We and others have shown that frailty co-varies with alterations in the gut microbiota in a manner accelerated by consumption of a restricted diversity diet. The Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) is associated with health. In the NU-AGE project, we investigated if a 1-year MedDiet intervention could alter the gut microbiota and reduce frailty. Design: We profiled the gut microbiota in 612 non-frail or pre-frail subjects across five European countries (UK, France, Netherlands, Italy and Poland) before and after the administration of a 12-month long MedDiet intervention tailored to elderly subjects (NU-AGE diet). Results: Adherence to the diet was associated with specific microbiome alterations. Taxa enriched by adherence to the diet were positively associated with several markers of lower frailty and improved cognitive function, and negatively associated with inflammatory markers including C-reactive protein and interleukin-17. Analysis of the inferred microbial metabolite profiles indicated that the diet-modulated microbiome change was associated with an increase in short/branch chained fatty acid production and lower production of secondary bile acids, p-cresols, ethanol and carbon dioxide. Microbiome ecosystem network analysis showed that the bacterial taxa that responded positively to the MedDiet intervention occupy keystone interaction positions, whereas frailty-associated taxa are peripheral in the networks. Conclusion: Collectively, our findings support the feasibility of improving the habitual diet to modulate the gut microbiota which in turn has the potential to promote healthier ageing.

    Changing from a Western to a Mediterranean-style diet does not affect iron or selenium status : results of the New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of the Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe (NU-AGE) 1-year randomized clinical trial in elderly Europeans
    Jennings, Amy ; Tang, Jonathan ; Gillings, Rachel ; Perfecto, Antonio ; Dutton, John ; Speakman, Jim ; Fraser, William D. ; Nicoletti, Claudio ; Berendsen, Agnes A.M. ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Pietruszka, Barbara ; Jeruszka-Bielak, Marta ; Caumon, Elodie ; Caille, Aurélie ; Ostan, Rita ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Fairweather-Tait, Susan J. - \ 2020
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 111 (2020)1. - ISSN 0002-9165 - p. 98 - 109.
    elderly - Europeans - fish - iron - meat - Mediterranean-style diet - randomized controlled trial - selenium

    BACKGROUND: Mediterranean diets limit red meat consumption and increase intakes of high-phytate foods, a combination that could reduce iron status. Conversely, higher intakes of fish, a good source of selenium, could increase selenium status. OBJECTIVES: A 1-y randomized controlled trial [New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of the Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe (NU-AGE)] was carried out in older Europeans to investigate the effects of consuming a Mediterranean-style diet on indices of inflammation and changes in nutritional status. METHODS: Selenium and iron intakes and status biomarkers were measured at baseline and after 1 y in 1294 people aged 65-79 y from 5 European countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom) who had been randomly allocated either to a Mediterranean-style diet or to remain on their habitual, Western diet. RESULTS: Estimated selenium intakes increased significantly with the intervention group (P < 0.01), but were not accompanied by changes in serum selenium concentrations. Iron intakes also increased (P < 0.001), but there was no change in iron status. However, when stratified by study center, there were positive effects of the intervention on iron status for serum ferritin for participants in Italy (P = 0.04) and France (P = 0.04) and on soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) for participants in Poland (P < 0.01). Meat intake decreased and fish intake increased to a greater degree in the intervention group, relative to the controls (P < 0.01 for both), but the overall effects of the intervention on meat and fish intakes were mainly driven by data from Poland and France. Changes in serum selenium in the intervention group were associated with greater changes in serum ferritin (P = 0.01) and body iron (P = 0.01), but not sTfR (P = 0.73); there were no study center × selenium status interactions for the iron biomarkers. CONCLUSIONS: Consuming a Mediterranean-style diet for 1 y had no overall effect on iron or selenium status, although there were positive effects on biomarkers of iron status in some countries. The NU-AGE trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01754012.

    Combination of bioelectrochemical systems and electrochemical capacitors: Principles, analysis and opportunities
    Caizán-Juanarena, Leire ; Borsje, Casper ; Sleutels, Tom ; Yntema, Doekle ; Santoro, Carlo ; Ieropoulos, Ioannis ; Soavi, Francesca ; Heijne, Annemiek ter - \ 2020
    Biotechnology Advances 39 (2020). - ISSN 0734-9750
    Capacitance - Electrical double-layer - Microbial fuel cell - Power output - Scaling up - Supercapacitor

    Bioelectrochemical systems combine electrodes and reactions driven by microorganisms for many different applications. The conversion of organic material in wastewater into electricity occurs in microbial fuel cells (MFCs). The power densities produced by MFCs are still too low for application. One way of increasing their performance is to combine them with electrochemical capacitors, widely used for charge storage purposes. Capacitive MFCs, i.e. the combination of capacitors and MFCs, allow for energy harvesting and storage and have shown to result in improved power densities, which facilitates the up scaling and application of the technology. This manuscript summarizes the state-of-the-art of combining capacitors with MFCs, starting with the theory and working principle of electrochemical capacitors. We address how different electrochemical measurements can be used to determine (bio)electrochemical capacitance and show how the measurement data can be interpreted. In addition, we present examples of the combination of electrochemical capacitors, both internal and external, that have been used to enhance MFC performance. Finally, we discuss the most promising applications and the main existing challenges for capacitive MFCs.

    The Elderly-Nutrient Rich Food Score Is Associated With Biochemical Markers of Nutritional Status in European Older Adults
    Kramer, Charlotte S. ; Szmidt, Maria K. ; Sicinska, Ewa ; Brzozowska, Anna ; Santoro, Aurelia ; Franceschi, Claudio ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. De; Berendsen, Agnes A.M. - \ 2019
    Frontiers in Nutrition 6 (2019). - ISSN 2296-861X
    Background: In order to prevent age-related degenerative diseases in the aging population, their diets should be nutrient dense. For this purpose, the Elderly-Nutrient rich food (E-NRF7.3) score has been developed to assess nutrient density of diets by capturing dietary reference values for older adults. To demonstrate its practical importance such score should be validated against markers of nutritional status and health. Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the association between the E-NRF7.3 score and markers of nutritional status and inflammation. Design: This study was carried out in a sample of the NU-AGE study including 242 Dutch and 210 Polish men and women, aged 65–79 years. Dietary intake was assessed by means of 7-day food records and structured questionnaires collected data on supplement use, lifestyle, and socio-economic information. Baseline measurements included anthropometrics, physical and cognitive function tests, and a fasting venipuncture. E-NRF7.3 scores were calculated to estimate nutrient density of foods and the diet. Associations between the E-NRF7.3 scores and micronutrient status of vitamin D, folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine, and c-reactive protein (CRP) were examined using linear regression analysis while adjusting for confounders. Results: Each one unit increase in E-NRF7.3 score was associated with a 2.2% increase in serum folate in Dutch and 1.6% increase in Polish participants in the fully adjusted models (both p < 0.01). Each one unit increase in E-NRF7.3 was significantly associated with a 1.5% decrease in homocysteine levels in Dutch participants (p < 0.01), whereas, a 0.9% increase in vitamin B12 levels was observed in Polish participants only (p < 0.01). Higher E-NRF7.3 scores were not associated with vitamin D or CRP levels. Adjustment for potential confounders did not substantially alter these results. Discussion: The E-NRF7.3 was developed to reflect dietary intake of relevant nutrients for older adults. Its association with markers of nutritional status could be confirmed for folate (both populations), vitamin B12 (Poland only), and homocysteine (the Netherlands only). There was no association with vitamin D and CRP. To further demonstrate its validity and practical implication, future studies should include a wider range of nutritional status makers, health outcomes, and inflammation markers.
    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
    Forest biomass retrieval approaches from earth observation in different biomes
    Rodríguez-Veiga, Pedro ; Quegan, Shaun ; Carreiras, Joao ; Persson, Henrik J. ; Fransson, Johan E.S. ; Hoscilo, Agata ; Ziółkowski, Dariusz ; Stereńczak, Krzysztof ; Lohberger, Sandra ; Stängel, Matthias ; Berninger, Anna ; Siegert, Florian ; Avitabile, Valerio ; Herold, Martin ; Mermoz, Stéphane ; Bouvet, Alexandre ; Toan, Thuy Le; Carvalhais, Nuno ; Santoro, Maurizio ; Cartus, Oliver ; Rauste, Yrjö ; Mathieu, Renaud ; Asner, Gregory P. ; Thiel, Christian ; Pathe, Carsten ; Schmullius, Chris ; Seifert, Frank Martin ; Tansey, Kevin ; Balzter, Heiko - \ 2019
    International Journal of applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 77 (2019). - ISSN 0303-2434 - p. 53 - 68.
    The amount and spatial distribution of forest aboveground biomass (AGB) were estimated using a range of regionally developed methods using Earth Observation data for Poland, Sweden and regions in Indonesia (Kalimantan), Mexico (Central Mexico and Yucatan peninsula), and South Africa (Eastern provinces) for the year 2010. These regions are representative of numerous forest biomes and biomass levels globally, from South African woodlands and savannas to the humid tropical forest of Kalimantan. AGB retrieval in each region relied on different sources of reference data, including forest inventory plot data and airborne LiDAR observations, and used a range of retrieval algorithms. This is the widest inter-comparison of regional-to-national AGB maps to date in terms of area, forest types, input datasets, and retrieval methods. The accuracy assessment of all regional maps using independent field data or LiDAR AGB maps resulted in an overall root mean square error (RMSE) ranging from 10 t ha−1 to 55 t ha−1 (37% to 67% relative RMSE), and an overall bias ranging from −1 t ha−1 to +5 t ha−1 at pixel level. The regional maps showed better agreement with field data than previously developed and widely used pan-tropical or northern hemisphere datasets. The comparison of accuracy assessments showed commonalities in error structures despite the variety of methods, input data, and forest biomes. All regional retrievals resulted in overestimation (up to 63 t ha−1) in the lower AGB classes, and underestimation (up to 85 t ha−1) in the higher AGB classes. Parametric model-based algorithms present advantages due to their low demand on in situ data compared to non-parametric algorithms, but there is a need for datasets and retrieval methods that can overcome the biases at both ends of the AGB range. The outcomes of this study should be considered when developing algorithms to estimate forest biomass at continental to global scale level.
    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.
    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.
    Land-use and land-cover change carbon emissions between 1901 and 2012 constrained by biomass observations
    Li, Wei ; Ciais, Philippe ; Peng, Shushi ; Yue, Chao ; Wang, Yilong ; Thurner, Martin ; Saatchi, Sassan S. ; Arneth, Almut ; Avitabile, Valerio ; Carvalhais, Nuno ; Harper, Anna B. ; Kato, Etsushi ; Koven, Charles ; Liu, Yi Y. ; Nabel, Julia E.M.S. ; Pan, Yude ; Pongratz, Julia ; Poulter, Benjamin ; Pugh, Thomas A.M. ; Santoro, Maurizio ; Sitch, Stephen ; Stocker, Benjamin D. ; Viovy, Nicolas ; Wiltshire, Andy ; Yousefpour, Rasoul ; Zaehle, Sönke - \ 2017
    Biogeosciences 14 (2017)22. - ISSN 1726-4170 - p. 5053 - 5067.
    The use of dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs) to estimate CO2 emissions from land-use and land-cover change (LULCC) offers a new window to account for spatial and temporal details of emissions and for ecosystem processes affected by LULCC. One drawback of LULCC emissions from DGVMs, however, is lack of observation constraint. Here, we propose a new method of using satellite- and inventory-based biomass observations to constrain historical cumulative LULCC emissions (ELUCc) from an ensemble of nine DGVMs based on emerging relationships between simulated vegetation biomass and ELUCc. This method is applicable on the global and regional scale. The original DGVM estimates of ELUCc range from 94 to 273 PgC during 1901–2012. After constraining by current biomass observations, we derive a best estimate of 155 ± 50 PgC (1σ Gaussian error). The constrained LULCC emissions are higher than prior DGVM values in tropical regions but significantly lower in North America. Our emergent constraint approach independently verifies the median model estimate by biomass observations, giving support to the use of this estimate in carbon budget assessments. The uncertainty in the constrained ELUCc is still relatively large because of the uncertainty in the biomass observations, and thus reduced uncertainty in addition to increased accuracy in biomass observations in the future will help improve the constraint. This constraint method can also be applied to evaluate the impact of land-based mitigation activities.
    Land use change impacts on floods at the catchment scale : Challenges and opportunities for future research
    Rogger, M. ; Agnoletti, M. ; Alaoui, A. ; Bathurst, J.C. ; Bodner, G. ; Borga, M. ; Chaplot, Vincent ; Gallart, F. ; Glatzel, G. ; Hall, J. ; Holden, J. ; Holko, L. ; Horn, R. ; Kiss, A. ; Kohnová, S. ; Leitinger, G. ; Lennartz, B. ; Parajka, J. ; Perdigão, R. ; Peth, S. ; Plavcová, L. ; Quinton, John N. ; Robinson, Matthew R. ; Salinas, J.L. ; Santoro, A. ; Szolgay, J. ; Tron, S. ; Akker, J.J.H. van den; Viglione, A. ; Blöschl, G. - \ 2017
    Water Resources Research 53 (2017)7. - ISSN 0043-1397 - p. 5209 - 5219.
    Catchment scale - Floods - Land use change
    Research gaps in understanding flood changes at the catchment scale caused by changes in forest management, agricultural practices, artificial drainage, and terracing are identified. Potential strategies in addressing these gaps are proposed, such as complex systems approaches to link processes across time scales, long-term experiments on physical-chemical-biological process interactions, and a focus on connectivity and patterns across spatial scales. It is suggested that these strategies will stimulate new research that coherently addresses the issues across hydrology, soil and agricultural sciences, forest engineering, forest ecology, and geomorphology.
    Effect Of The NU-AGE Individually Tailored Diet On Cognitive Function: A Randomized Control Trial
    Marseglia, Anna ; Xu, Weili ; Santoro, A. ; Scurti, M. ; Berendsen, A.M. ; Pietruszka, B. ; Jennings, A. ; Meunier, N. ; Caumon, E. ; Fairweather-Tait, S. ; Brzozowska, A. ; Groot, C.P.G.M. de; Franceschi, C. - \ 2017
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