Вопросы питания № 2 2024

Problems of Nutrition

scientific and practical journal

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2 . 2024

The role of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in child development


ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are incorporated in cell membranes and play an important role in the development and functioning of organs. Consolidation of data on the role of ω-3 PUFAs in child development may increase the professional’s awareness, help to plan clinical studies, and develop recommendations for supplementation.

The aim of the research was to analyze literature data on the effect of ω-3 PUFAs on the central nervous system, immune system, and vision in children.

Material and methods. 86 literature sources have been analyzed, a keyword search was carried out in the PubMed, Scopus, Elsevier, eLibrary and Google Scholar databases.

Results. ω-3 PUFAs (alpha-linolenic, docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids) are not synthesized in the human organism, and should be obtained from food. The need for ω-3 PUFAs is especially high during periods of rapid growth (the first years of life and adolescence). ω-3 PUFAs play an important role in the anatomical and functional development of the brain, affecting the maturation and functioning of neurons, participating in the processes of neurogenesis, migration, synaptogenesis, and neurotransmission. The results of clinical studies on the effect of ω-3 PUFAs on the cognitive functions of healthy children and patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are contradictory, which requires further research. PUFAs are substrates for the synthesis of bioactive compounds and take part in the control of acute and chronic inflammation, and also have a regulatory effect on immune cells. ω-3 PUFAs supplementation decreases the frequency and duration of acute respiratory viral infections in children. This indicates the potential effectiveness of ω-3 PUFAs in the prevention of acute respiratory viral infections. Сlinical studies demonstrated positive effects of ω-3 PUFAs on retinal development in premature infants.

Conclusion. Adequate intake of ω-3 PUFAs is essential for the development and functioning of the central nervous system, immune system and vision in children. The body content of ω-3 PUFAs is closely related to the nutrition. In the Russian Federation, consumption of fish and other products containing ω-3 PUFAs is traditionally low. The majority of the Russian population has a deficiency in ω-3 PUFA consumption. With an unbalanced diet, supplementation of ω-3 PUFAs is necessary.

Physiology and biochemistry nutrition

Multi-strain probiotic combined with dietary fiber is an effective factor in the nutritional support of immunity in athletes


A priority in the prevention and correction of immune disorders in athletes is the use of products with high nutrient density, fortified with various nutrients or bioactive compounds, as well as probiotic microorganisms. Probiotics help to maintain the gut microbiota, which is actively involved in the absorption of substances and energy and increases the host immune resistance. Dietary fiber, resistant to digestion in the small intestine, is fully or partially fermented in the large intestine and acts as an essential substrate for the growth and regulation of metabolic activity of normal flora, improves peristalsis and digestion.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of a multi-strain probiotic in combination with dietary fiber on the immune status of basketball athletes during the training period.

Material and methods. The study was conducted with the participation of 30 male basketball athletes aged 18 to 24 years. The athletes were randomly divided into 2 groups of 15 people. Athletes in the main group received 1 capsule of multi-strain probiotic (≥1.25×1010 CFU of 10 probiotic strains of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and 40 g of corn bran (as a source of dietary fiber) for 23 days. Athletes in the control group received 1 placebo capsule containing maltodextrin and breadcrumbs (40 g/day). Subpopulations of peripheral blood lymphocytes were studied by flow cytometry: T lymphocytes, T helper cells, T cytotoxic lymphocytes, NK cells, NKT cells, B lymphocytes, as well as lymphocytes carrying activation markers and apoptosis marker antigen. The content of cytokines in blood serum [FGF, Eotaxin, G-CSF, GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-1ra, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-12(p70), IL-13, IL-15, IL-17A, MCP-1, MIP-1α, MIP-1β, PDGF-BB, RANTES, TNF-α, VEGF] was determined using a multiplex immunoassay.

Results. Calculation of the absolute number of lymphocytes revealed a tendency (0.05<p<0.10) to a decrease in T helper cells by the end of the observation period in athletes of the main group (497.60±27.67 vs 632.67±65.20 cells/µL), as well as a decrease (p<0.05) in the expression of the CD95/Fas apoptotic marker on peripheral blood lymphocytes of athletes of the main group compared to the beginning of the study (41.53±5.78 vs 69.53±11.79 cells/µL). At the end of the study, a significant increase in IL-9 level was found in the control group [(Me; min–max) = (0.33; 0.21–0.48) vs (0.26; 0.09–0.38) pg/ml; p<0.05; in comparison with the initial indicator]; as well as the tendency (0.05<p<0.10) towards an increase in the levels of IL-15, IL-1ra and RANTES was revealed. In the main group, at the end of the study, the level of G-CSF significantly decreased [(0.36; 0.03–0.95) vs (0.53; 0.14–1.36) pg/ml, p<0.05]. At the end of the observation period, blood serum levels of FGF, G-CSF, IL-13, IL-2 and RANTES in the athletes of the control group exceeded these indicators in the athletes of the main group whereas no significant differences in the studied cytokines were detected between the control and the main groups at the beginning of the study.

Conclusion. The results of observation of basketball athletes who consumed a multi-strain probiotic in combination with corn bran (sources of arabinoxylans) in addition to the main diet for 23 days indicate a decrease in the inflammatory process activity and peripheral blood lymphocyte apoptosis, which confirms the effectiveness of probiotics and dietary fiber in sports nutrition.

Influence of lactoferrin and enzymatiс hydrolysates of cow’s and mare’s milk proteins on anaphylactic sensitivity and cytokine profile of rats


The development of innovative ingredients of specialized formula for children with intolerance to cow’s milk proteins requires accounting the influence of the protein component on the allergic sensitivity.

The aim of the research was to study the effect of lactoferrin (LF) from cow colostrum, cow’s milk protein hydrolysate (CMPH) and mare’s milk protein hydrolysate (MMPH) on the severity of the systemic anaphylaxis reaction, the levels of specific IgG antibodies and cytokines in rats parenterally sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA).

Material and methods. The experiment was carried out on 4 groups of 26 male Wistar rats, which were sensitized intraperitoneally with chicken egg OVA and a systemic anaphylaxis reaction was induced on the day 29 by intravenous administration of a challenge dose of the antigen (6 mg per kg body weight). LF, CMPH and MMPH were introduced into the diet in doses of 1.4–2 g/kg body weight per day (on an average 1.59±0.04, 1.53±0.05 and 1.48±0.05 g per kg body weight respectively). The content of IgG antibodies in the blood serum was determined by an indirect ELISA; the levels of cytokines IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12(p70), IL-13, GM-CSF, IFN-γ and TNF-α were detected by multiplex immunoassay.

Results. Dietary LF did not have a significant effect on the severity of active anaphylactic shock (AAS), concentrations of antibodies and cytokines in the blood of animals. As a result of CMPH consumption, there were no significant changes in AAS severity and IgG antibodies to OVA but significant increase in TNF-α level was observed as well as a significant decrease in IL-1α (p<0.05). In animals receiving MMPH, there were also no significant changes in the severity of AAS, but a 1.9-fold decrease in the level of IgG antibodies to OVA (p<0.001) was noticed along with a significant increase in IL-12(p70) (p<0.05) and IL-10 (p<0.10) level.

Conclusion. Cosumption of LF by sensitized rats didn’t significantly affect their anaphylactic sensitivity and cytokine profile, while CMPH intake induced some signs of pro-inflammatory processes. Consumption of MMPH was accompanied by the formation of an anti-inflammatory cytokine profile, which corresponds to a decrease in the intensity of the humoral immune response to the model allergen. Differences in the effects of two hydrolisates, which have similar degrees of hydrolysis, may be associated with the specific composition of glycopeptides formed during the enzymatic cleavage of milk protein produced by these two species of dairy animals.

Hygiene of nutrition

Impact of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae biomass on the immune status of rats


The improvement of the novel foods’ safety assessment algorithms is currently one of the food hygiene significant areas. Within the studying of Hermetia illucens insects’ effect, the standard in vivo allergological research integrated in the protocol of medical and biological evaluation of genetically modified food has been used. The protocol was supplemented with cytokine profile indicators and pathomorphologic characteristics of immunocompetent organs’ lymphoid tissue.

The purpose of the research was to study the effect of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae biomass on the rats’ immune status in the experiment on the induced anaphylactic shock model.

Material and methods. The effect of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae biomass was studied in a 29-day experiment on growing (43–72 days of life) male Wistar rats fed with Hermetia illucens biomass – main group (n=29) and semi-synthetic casein diet – control group (n=29). The complex assessment of allergenic potential of Hermetia illucens biomass was carried out in the experiment on the induced anaphylactic shock model in Wistar rats. An expanded pool of immune status indicators was studied including active anaphylactic shock severity (lethality, number of severe anaphylaxis reactions, anaphylactic index); cytokine profile (content of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, as well as regulators of cellular and humoral immune response); IgG1 and IgG4 level before and after administration of ovalbumin permissive dose (4 mg/kg b.w.). In addition to this pathomorphologic characteristics of lymphoid tissue of the main immunocompetent organs (thymus, spleen, Payer’s patches) have been obtained.

Results. The significant systemic anaphylaxis reaction decrease in the main group has been shown. Comparative assessment of the serum cytokines (GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-10, IL-12(p70), IL-13, IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, TNF-α) as well as the level of immunoglobulins of the IgG1, IgG4 class before and after administration of ovalbumin permissive dose did not reveal significant differences in rats of the control and main groups. In the main group, there was a decrease in blood serum proallergic cytokines: the level of IL-4 reduced by 1.3 fold, IL-10 – 1.1 and IL-13 – 1.2 fold (p>0.05), and in animals with mild anaphylactic reaction – by 1.8, 1.4 and 1.4 times, respectively (p>0.05). The morphologic studies of the immune system organs showed no intergroup differences.

Conclusion. Thus, allergological studies of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) larvae in the experiment with the use of systemic anaphylaxis rat model and determination of immune status indicators (anaphylactic shock severity, cytokine profile, IgG1 and IgG4 level, morphologic structure of immunocompetent organs) did not reveal any allergenic effect of the studied product.

Genetics of sucrose metabolism disorders in different population groups


The study of the genetic determinants of the disaccharidase activity opens up new prospects for improving diagnostics and choosing medical tactics in gastroenterology.

The aim of the study was to systematize the data on the role of the sucrase-isomaltase gene (SI) in regulating sucrose metabolism and the contribution of SI mutations to the prevalence of sucrose malabsorption disorders (sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, SID) and certain forms of enterological pathology in different population groups.

Material and methods. A review of the peer-reviewed scientific literature, mainly in the PubMed database (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) and eLibrary (https://elibrary.ru), was conducted using key words: carbohydrate malabsorption, sucrase, sucrase-isomaltase deficiency, sucrase-isomaltase SI gene. The search depth was not specified, but particular attention was paid to recent publications. The gnomAD database (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/snp/rs781470490) was also used.

Results. According to the review results, 37 out of 150 known SI gene mutations have been confirmed to contribute to reduced sucrase activity or restricted sucrase production. The prevalence of point mutations in the SI gene is estimated at 0.0006%, but carrier rates of the SI delAG deletion (rs781470490), manifested as homozygosity in SID, are very high (5–21%) in indigenous populations of Arctic regions in East Asia and America. Medical-genetic research methods improve the accuracy of differential diagnosis of primary and secondary SID and other forms of disaccharide and polysaccharide malabsorption. The formation of databases on the prevalence of genetic determinants of sucrase-isomaltase insufficiency is a promising way to refine the epidemiology of SID. There is an increased (0.2–2.3%) risk of clinical manifestations of SID in homozygous carriers of the SI delAG mutation in the Chukotka, Kamchatka, and Northern Priochotye populations. Verification of reports on a less pronounced tendency to lipid metabolism disorders in SI delAG carriers compared with the control group is recommended.

Conclusion. Manifestations of mutant SI variants in the phenotype are associated with the presence of accompanying carbohydrate malabsorption variants and specific gut microbiota. The SI 15Phe variant (rs9290264) may contribute to the development of irritable bowel syndrome.


The influence of diet therapy and regular physical trainings on monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) secretion by monocytes among obese patients with coronary heart disease


Chronic systemic inflammation is one of the leading pathogenetic pathways for the development of atherosclerosis in obese patients. In this regard, it seems promising to evaluate the effect of the diet and physical exertion on the proinflammatory activity of monocytes.

The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effect of the diet and regular physical trainings on the secretion of monocyte chemotactic factor 1 (MCP-1) by monocytes in obese patients with coronary artery disease.

Material and methods. 27 obese participants (body mass index >30 kg/m2) with a confirmed diagnosis of coronary heart disease were recruited. All participants were prescribed with 12 weeks of a specialized diet with a restriction of simple carbohydrates and salt, a 500-kcal daily energy deficit, and with inclusion of cruciferous (200 g per day), seasonal dark berries (70 g per day) and green tea (200 ml per day). The regular assisted physical trainings were also administered. The body composition, blood biochemical parameters and MCP-1 secretion rates in the primary culture of monocytes isolated from blood samples via the immunomagnetic separation method were assessed before and after the intervention.

Results. As a result, after the 12-weeks intervention the reliable body weight loss (-4.0%), waist circumference (-4.2%), visceral fat (-5.4%), total cholesterol (-9.8%), LDL-cholesterol (-16.6%) and triglycerides (-26.0%), an improvement in the results of the 6-minute walk test (+10.33%) was achieved, as well as an LPS-stimulated monocytes secretion of MCP-1 decreased by 2.8 times (p=0.005).

Conclusion. Overall, the results suggest that diet and regular physical activity in patients with obesity and coronary heart disease may decrease the functional “proinflammatory” activity of monocytes.

Medical nutrition after cholecystectomy


Cholecystectomy (CE) is one of the most frequently performed surgical interventions and the main method of symptomatic gallstone disease treatment. Despite the widespread implementation of minimally invasive surgery techniques, significant proportion of patients develop spectrum of symptoms after CE. These manifestations require correction with different approaches including medical nutrition.

The aim of the research was to perform structured review of recently published data related to diet therapy and nutritional support of patients after CE.

Material and methods. A literature search was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cyberleninka, eLibrary databases using the keywords “Cholecystectomy” in combination with “Diet”, “Medical nutrition”, “Nutritional support” and their Russian-language equivalents for the relevant databases. Correct description of interventions, analyzed outcomes, statistical processing and found effects where necessary for the inclusion to the analysis. Duplicate publications were excluded.

Results and discussion. A review of the recommendations on nutritional support after CE has been conducted, including handbooks and clinical guidelines, results of relevant clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of different measures of nutritional support. The rational of traditionally used dietary approaches for the correction of symptoms that develop after CE has been assessed, as well as recently published data on the effectiveness of nutritional support methods.

Conclusion. Disturbed regulation of bile secretion in the early CE postoperative period may support the need for limitation of fat consumption. Impaired circulation of bile acids and possible changes in the balance of intestinal microbiota may support the need for the use of prebiotics (like dietary fiber), as well as probiotics, especially when antibiotic treatment was administrated for the patient. These interventions may be important from the viewpoint of prevention of late complications after CE.

Specialized fat-and-oil emulsion food systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity


The development of specialized fat-and-oil emulsion food systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity is an important task of health concern in the Russian Federation.

The aim of the study was to develop specialized fat-and-oil emulsion food systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity, the distinctive features of which are the presence of functional ingredients and bioactive compounds that meet modern safety requirements, have a hypolipidemic effect and influence on body weight.

Material and methods. As a source of fucoxanthin, an oil extract from the thallom (stratum) of the annual Undaria pinnatifida brown algae was used, obtained by re-extraction with soy oil for 8 hours from a glycerin extract (extractant – 60% glycerin solution, the duration of the process – 8 h). The determination of organoleptic parameters was carried out at a temperature of 20 °C 12 h after manufacture using standard methods. Organoleptic parameters were determined in the following sequence: consistency, appearance, color, smell, taste. Physical and chemical characteristics (mass content of fat, moisture, egg products in terms of dry yolk, acidity in terms of acetic acid, emulsion stability), acid and peroxide values were studied by standard methods. Fatty acid analysis of lipids was performed by gas-liquid chromatography. The fucoxanthin content was determined by spectrophotometric method.

Results. The presented formulations of lipid compositions as the fat base of specialized oil-fat emulsion food systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity included Schizochytrium sp. microalgae oil in a mass fraction of 3–6% as a source of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids). An oil extract of U. pinnatifida brown algae in a mass fraction of 48–54% was used as a source of fucoxanthin. The total content of PUFA was significantly high – at least 73%, ω-6 PUFA prevailed (48.0–49.1%). However, the high content of ω-3 PUFA (at least 25%) should be also noted. The ratio of ω-3 to ω-6 PUFA was 1:1.72–1:1.90, which is atypical for individual vegetable oils traditionally used as the fat phase in fat-and-oil emulsion systems. The fucoxanthin content in the presented lipid compositions was 6.4–7.2 mg/100 ml. Edible fat-and-oil emulsion food systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity (mayonnaise and mayonnaise sauces) with a given ratio of ω-3:ω-6 PUFA containing eicosopentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, as well as fucoxanthin, have been obtained. The extract of U. pinnatifida brown algae, containing fucoxanthin, significantly slowed down the processes of lipid oxidation and hydrolysis, as evidenced by changes in the peroxide and acid values of fat isolated from specialized fat-and-oil emulsion systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity.

Conclusion. Specialized fat-and-oil emulsion food systems for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and obesity (mayonnaise and mayonnaise sauces with different oil phase content), containing fucoxanthin, having an optimized fatty acid composition, a given ratio of ω-3:ω-6 PUFA, high content of essential PUFA (eicosopentaenoic and docosohexaenoic acids) are safe food products with traditional organoleptic characteristics and specified physical and chemical parameters.

Nutrition of sportsmеn

Comparative analysis of body fat measurement using two bioelectric impedance devices and three household scales (with the function of determining body composition) with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry


Body composition assessment is often used in clinical practice to assess and monitor nutritional status. For example, body fat mass is a predictor of metabolic diseases, and for an athlete it is a criterion of performance. “Gold standard” – the method of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry – in contrast to bioelectrical impedance analysis, is difficult to apply in everyday clinical practice. Therefore, it becomes relevant to compare the consistency of measured body fat mass using densitometry and bioimpedanceometry.

The aim of the study was to perform a comparative analysis of body fat mass estimated by bioimpedanceometry (two bioelectric impedance devices and three household scales with a function of determining body composition) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.

Material and methods. Sixteen healthy, physically active adults aged 25 [23; 26] years, male (n=7) and female (n=9), participated in the cross-sectional study. Body composition was assessed under standard conditions in the morning, after a 12-hour fast, using densitometry (Stratos Dr X-ray densitometer) and bioimpedanceometry [bioelectric impedance devices: Medass ABC-01, Diamant AIST (with manufacturer’s predictive equations); household scales with a function of determining body composition: Tanita BC-718, Picooc Mini, Scarlett SC-216]. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 10 package (StatSoft, USA), and included Friedman’s chi-criterion, Lin’s correlation concordance coefficient, Bland–Altman method, Spearman’s correlation coefficient, and Wilcoxon’s criterion with Bonferroni correction for multiple studies.

Results. None of the bioimpedanceometry devices studied showed a relationship (Bland-Altman coefficient >0.2) or consistency (Lin’s correlation concordance coefficient <0.9) when compared to densitometry, although Spearman correlation was moderate for Tanita BC-718 (r=0.603, p<0.05), Diamant AIST (r=0.641, p<0.01) and Scarlett SC-216 (r=0.609, p<0.05), and notable for Medass ABC-01 (r=0.841, p<0.01) and Picooc Mini (r=0.718, p<0.01).

Conclusion. This study found that no bioelectrical impedance device has consistency with dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in assessing body fat mass. Since the accuracy of body fat mass measurement is critical in body composition diagnosis, the assessment results obtained by bioimpedanceometry should be interpreted with caution.

The impact of a competitive event and the efficacy of a lactic acid bacteria-fermented soymilk extract on the gut microbiota and urinary metabolites of endurance athletes: An open-label pilot study


Diet and exercise can alter the gut microbiota, but recent studies have assessed the impact of athletic competition on gut microbiota and host metabolites. We designed an open-label pilot study to investigate the effects of both official competition and a multi-strain lactic acid bacteria-fermented soymilk extract (LEX) on the gut microbiota in Japanese college endurance athletes. The analysis of fecal 16S rRNA metagenome and urinary metabolites was used to identify changes in gut microbiota composition and host metabolism. When the fecal microbiota were investigated before and after a race without using of a supplement (preobservation period), there was an increase in the phylum Firmicutes and decrease in Bacteroidetes. However, no changes in these phyla were seen before and after a race in those who consumed LEX. Before and after LEX ingestion, changes in urinary metabolites included a significant reduction in yeast and fungal markers, neurotransmitters, and mitochondrial metabolites including the TCA cycle. There were several correlations between urinary metabolites and the composition of fecal microbiota. For example, the level of tricarballylic acid was positively correlated with the composition ratio of phylum Firmicutes (Pearson’s r=0.66; p<0.01). The bacterial species Parabacteroides distasonis was also found to correlate moderately with several urinary metabolites. These findings suggest two possibilities. First, endurance athletes experience significant fluctuations in gut microbiota after a single competition. Second, LEX ingestion may improve yeast and fungal overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract and enhancing mitochondrial metabolic function.

All articles in our journal are distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0 license)

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Viktor A. Tutelyan
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Scientific Director of the Federal Research Centre of Nutrition, Biotechnology and Food Safety (Moscow, Russia)

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