Cover image for Vol. 42 Issue 4

Edited By: Angelo Azzi

Impact Factor: 4.504

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 26/131 (Endocrinology & Metabolism); 63/289 (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology)

Online ISSN: 1872-8081

Associated Title(s): Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, IUBMB Life

Nutrition Virtual Issue

Joint Virtual Issue on Nutrition from IUBMB Life and BioFactors

The articles which have been collected in this virtual issue dedicated to Nutrition have been originally printed in IUBMB Life and BioFactors, two journals published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The topic of nutrition has become central in science after it has been clearly realized how many diseases can be prevented by an appropriate intake of nutrients. Some studies have indicated that a large percent (70-90 %) of the most common ailments, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and other major causes of mortality, can be avoided by a change in diet and life style (Willett WC (2002) Science 296, 695-698).

Although in some occasions science has been too quick in providing miraculous solutions to cure all diseases with an appropriate nutrition, in general scientific research is very cautious in providing strong and definite answers; we are well aware of the fact that science is continuously evolving and with it applications and recommendations have to be careful and well-thought-of.

The aim of the present collection of articles appears now clear, to give a scientific basis that goes beyond the miraculous claims, which are frequently and unfortunately reported by the nonscientific press.  In the selected articles particular attention has been given to those which have been highly cited in other scientific publications; additionally, the most topical subjects have been collected, as seen sometimes from different scientists and different angles.

One example is that of the unsaturated fatty acids discussed in the articles “Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and human health outcomes”, “Conjugated linoleic acid isomers: Differences in metabolism and biological effects” and “Gamma-linolenic acid alters Ku80, E2F1, and bax expression and induces micronucleus formation in C6 glioma cells in vitro”.

Another subject that has been selected is that of the so-called "antioxidants", an heterogeneous category of molecules which frequently of antioxidant have only the name: “Present trends in vitamin E research”, “Alpha-tocopherol transport in the lung is affected by the apoE genotype - Studies in transgenic apoE3 and apoE4 mice”, “Mechanism of action of vitamin C in sepsis: Ascorbate modulates redox signaling in endothelium”, “Resveratrol: Biological and pharmaceutical properties as anticancer molecule”, “ Life span extension by resveratrol, rapamycin, and metformin: The promise of dietary restriction mimetics for an healthy aging” and “Naringenin and 17 β-estradiol coadministration prevents hormone-induced human cancer cell growth”. The words "dietary restriction", "life span extension and "healthy aging" represent an obvious attraction not only for the scientists but also for the laymen.

Further on, the issue of "metabolic syndrome" has been dealt with in a series of papers: “Intramuscular lipid metabolism, insulin action, and obesity”, “Adipose tissue: A motor for the inflammation associated with obesity”, and “UCP2, a metabolic sensor coupling glucose oxidation to mitochondrial metabolism?”.

Finally, the importance of vitamins and trace metals in nutrition has been touched in a few articles such as: “Biotin”, “Retinal deimination in aging and disease”, "Low folate transport across intestinal basolateral surface is associated with down-regulation of reduced folate carrier in in vivo model of folate malabsorption”, “The plausibility of maternal nutritional status being a contributing factor to the risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: The potential influence of zinc status as an example”, “Dietary zinc absorption: A play of zips and znts in the gut” and “Influence of copper on early development: Prenatal and postnatal considerations”.

Altogether, this issue does not want to give an exhaustive representation of nutrients and their importance in health and disease; rather, through some examples, the reader should be encouraged to go to the original journals in which much more information is available. The hope of this issue is to give not pleasant illusions but solid scientific information.

Angelo Azzi, MD, PhD
Vascular Biology Laboratory
Office 622
JM USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University
711 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 1 617 556-3271
Mobile: 1 617 642-7539
FAX: 1 617 556-3224