Abstract: Hypertension is a common condition causing cardio
and cerebrovascular complications. Portugal has one of the highest
mortality rates from stroke and a high prevalence of hypertension.
Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP) is an important risk factor for
cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction and stroke) and
premature mortality, particularly in the elderly population. The
present study aims to estimate the prevalence of hypertension in a
Portuguese population living in a coastal city and to identify some of
its determinants (namely gender, age, the body mass index and
physical activity frequency). A total of 91 adults who attended three pharmacies of a coastal
city in the center of Portugal, between May and August of 2013 were
evaluated. Attendants who reported to have diabetes or taking
antihypertensive drugs in the 2 previous weeks were excluded from
the study. Sociodemographic factors, BMI, habits of exercise and BP
were assessed. Hypertension was defined as blood pressure ≥140/90
mmHg. The majority of the studied population was constituted by women
(75.8%), with a mean age of 54.2±1.6 years old, married or living in
civil union and that had completed secondary school or had higher
education (40%). They presented a mean BMI of 26.2±4.76 Kg/m2.,
and were sedentary. The mean BP was 127.0±17.77mmHg- 74.69 ±
9.53. In this population we found 4.3% of people with hypertension
and 16.1% with normal high blood pressure. Men exhibit a tendency to present higher systolic blood pressure
values than women. Of all the factors considered, SBP values also
tended to be higher with age and higher BMI values.
Despite the fact that the mean values of SBP did not present values
higher than 140 mmHg we must be concerned because the studied
population is undiagnosed for hypertension. Although this is a preliminary study, it might be a prelude to the
upcoming research about the underlying factors responsible for the
occurrence of SBP.
Abstract: The growing concerns for physical wellbeing and
health have been reflected in the way we choose food in our table.
Nowadays, we are all more informed consumers and choose healthier
foods. On the other hand, stroke, cancer and atherosclerosis may be
somehow minimized by the intake of some bioactive compounds
present in food, the so-called nutraceuticals and functional foods. The
aim of this work was to make a revision of the published studies
about the effects of some bioactive compounds, namely lycopene in
human health, in the prevention of diseases, thus playing the role of a
functional food. Free radical in human body can induce cell damage
and consequently can be responsible for the development of some
cancers and chronic diseases. Lycopene is one of the most powerful
antioxidants known, being the predominant carotenoid in tomato. The
respective chemistry, bioavailability, and its functional role in the
prevention of several diseases will be object of this work. On the
other hand, the inclusion of lycopene in some foods can also be made
by biotechnology and represents a way to recover the wastes in the
tomato industry with nutritional positive effects in health.
Abstract: In the present study we evaluated the nutritional status of 214 institutionalized elderly residents of both genders, aged 65 years and older of 11 care homes located in the district of Viseu (center of Portugal). The evaluation was based on anthropometric measurements and the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) score.
The mean age of the subjects was 82.3 ± 6.1 years-old. Most of the elderly residents were female (72.0%). The majority had 4 years of formal education (51.9%) and was widowed (74.3%) or married (14.0%).
Men presented a mean age of 81.2±8.5 years-old, weight 69.3±14.5 kg and BMI 25.33±6.5 kg/m2. In women, the mean age was 84.5±8.2 years-old, weight 61.2±14.7 kg and BMI 27.43±5.6 kg/m2.
The evaluation of the nutritional status using the MNA score showed that 24.0% of the residents show a risk of undernutrition and 76.0% of them were well nourished.
There was a high prevalence of obese (24.8%) and overweight residents (33.2%) according to the BMI. 7.5% were considered underweight.
We also found that according to their waist circumference measurements 88.3% of the residents were at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 64.0% of them presented very high risk for CVD (WC≥88 cm for women and WC ≥102 cm for men).
The present study revealed the coexistence of a dual form of malnutrition (undernourished and overweight) among the institutionalized Portuguese concomitantly with an excess of abdominal adiposity. The high prevalence of residents at high risk for CVD should not be overlooked.
Given the vulnerability of the group of institutionalized elderly, our study highlights the importance of the classification of nutritional status based on both instruments: the BMI and the MNA.
Abstract: Broccoli has been widely recognized as a wealthy
vegetable which contains multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer
properties. Lamb’s lettuce has been used as food for many centuries
but only recently became commercially available and literature is
therefore exiguous concerning these vegetables. The aim of this work
was to evaluate the influence of the extraction conditions on the yield
of phenolic compounds and the corresponding antioxidant capacity of
broccoli and lamb’s lettuce. The results indicate that lamb’s lettuce,
compared to broccoli, contains simultaneously a large amount of total
polyphenols as well as high antioxidant activity. It is clearly
demonstrated that extraction solvent significantly influences the
antioxidant activity. Methanol is the solvent that can globally
maximize the antioxidant extraction yield. The results presented
herein prove lamb’s lettuce as a very interesting source of
polyphenols, and thus a potential health-promoting food.
Abstract: The increasing interest in plant sterol enriched foods
is due to the fact that they reduce blood cholesterol concentrations
without adverse side effects. In this context, enriched foods with
phytosterols may be helpful in protecting population against
atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the present
work was to evaluate in a population of Viseu, Portugal, the
consumption habits low-fat, plant sterol-enriched yoghurt. For this
study, 577 inquiries were made and the sample was randomly
selected for people shopping in various supermarkets. The
preliminary results showed that the biggest consumers of these
products were women aged 45 to 65 years old. Most of the people
who claimed to buy these products consumed them once a day. Also,
most of the consumers under antidyslipidemic therapeutics noticed
positive effects on hypercholesterolemia.