Publications

The latest list of publications from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre with a brief summary. 

If you are publishing research which has had funding and / or support from the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, please complete this form

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Publication: Osteoporosis International 

A.M. Constable, D. Vlachopoulos, A.R. Barker, S.A. Moore, S. Soininen, E.A. Haapala, J. Väistö, K. Westgate, S. Brage, A. Mahonen &  T.A. Lakka

5 February 2021


Summary

It is unclear how physical activity intensity and vitamin D status are related to bone health in prepubertal children. We found positive associations between vitamin D status and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity with bone in boys and girls. This highlights the importance of lifestyle factors for skeletal health prepuberty.

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Publication: EBioMedicine

Olga L, van Diepen J, Bobeldijk-Pastorova I, Gross G, Prentice P, Snowden S et al.

7 January 2021


Altered lipid metabolism in early life has been associated with subsequent weight gain and predicting this could aid in obesity prevention and risk management. Here, a lipidomic approach was used to identify circulating markers for future obesity risk in translational murine models and validate in a human infant cohort.

From murine models to human setting, the ratios of circulating lipid species indicating key desaturase activities in lipid metabolism were associated with subsequent body size increase, providing a potential tool to predict early life weight gain.

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Publication: Nutrients

Haynes E, Bhagtani D, Iese V, Brown CR, Fesaitu J, Hambleton I, Badrie N et al

30 October 2020


Summary

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have high and increasing rates of diet-related diseases. This situation is associated with a loss of food sovereignty and an increasing reliance on nutritionally poor food imports. A policy goal, therefore, is to improve local diets through improved local production of nutritious foods. Researchers aim in this study was to develop methods and collect preliminary data on the relationships between where people source their food, their socio-demographic characteristics and dietary quality in Fiji and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in order to inform further work towards this policy goal.
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Publication: Diabetes Care

Ibsen D, Steur M, Imamura F, Overvad K, Schulze M, Bendinelli B et al.

22 June 2020


Summary

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Publication: BMJ Open

Saman Khalatbari-Soltani, Pedro Marques-Vidal, Fumiaki Imamura, G. Forouhi

22 December 2020


Summary:

In an international study, with researchers from Cambridge and Switzerland, researchers reviewed a Mediterranean-style diet to see if it may lower the risk of developing fatty liver disease.

Fatty liver, defined as fat accumulation of more than 5% of liver volume, is common especially among obese and diabetic individuals. Fatty liver is the first stage for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is a major cause of liver disease worldwide, and may also predispose to higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The Mediterranean diet is thought to be beneficial but research was limited to people with established fatty liver disease. Researchers

In 2288 study participants without NAFLD at baseline, when we assessed their dietary habits and scaled their levels of adherence to the well-established Mediterranean diet. After an average of 5.3-years of follow-up in the study, we tested for the presence of fatty liver disease based on two indices called “fatty liver index” and “NAFLD score”.

Results showed that those who adhered more to the Mediterranean diet had lower risk of developing new-onset fatty liver disease based on fatty liver index.

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Publication: BMJ Nutrition

Aljuraiban G, Chan Q, Gibson R, Stamler J, Daviglus M, Dyer A et al.

8 July 2020


Summary

Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases; however, little is known how the healthiness of the diet may be associated with blood pressure (BP). Researchers aimed to modify three plant -based diet indices: overall plant-based diet index (PDI), healthy PDI (hPDI), and unhealthy PDI (uPDI) according to country-specific dietary guidelines to enable use across populations with diverse dietary patterns – and assessed their associations with BP.

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Publication: Scientific Reports

Ottaviani JI, Britten A, Lucarelli D, Luben R, Mulligan AA, Lentjes MA, Fong R et al

21 October 2020


Summary

Flavan-3-ols are a group of bioactive compounds that have been shown to improve vascular function in intervention studies. They are therefore of great interest for the development of dietary recommendation for the prevention of cardio-vascular diseases. However, there are currently no reliable data from observational studies, as the high variability in the flavan-3-ol content of food makes it difficult to estimate actual intake without nutritional biomarkers. In this study, researchers investigated cross-sectional associations between biomarker-estimated flavan-3-ol intake and blood pressure and other CVD risk markers, as well as longitudinal associations with CVD risk in 25,618 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) Norfolk cohort.

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Publication: Human Molecular Genetics

Mann J, Pietzner M, Wittemans L, Rolfe E, Kerrison N, Imamura F et al.

15 October 2020


Summary

Several genetic discoveries robustly implicate five single-nucleotide variants in the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis (NASH-fibrosis), including a recently identified variant in MTARC1. To better understand these variants as potential therapeutic targets, researchers aimed to characterize their impact on metabolism using comprehensive metabolomics data from two population-based studies

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Publication: PLOS Medicine

Atabaki-Pasdar N, Ohlsson M, Viñuela A, Frau F, Pomares-Millan H, Haid M et al.

19 June 2020


Summary

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is highly prevalent and causes serious health complications in individuals with and without type 2 diabetes (T2D). Early diagnosis of NAFLD is important, as this can help prevent irreversible damage to the liver and, ultimately, hepatocellular carcinomas. Researchers sought to expand etiological understanding and develop a diagnostic tool for NAFLD using machine learning.

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Publication: American Journal of Human Biology

Skottrup P, Kallemose T, Espino D, Infante‐Ramirez R, Brage S, Terzic D et al.

9 September 2020


Summary

Previous studies have suggested that acute exercise-induced cardiac and kidney damage following ultra-distance running is low in Mexican Tarahumara even though C-reactive protein (CRP) remained elevated 24 hours post-race. Researchers aimed to study if the plasma biomarker, soluble urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR), could replace or complement CRP as a systemic inflammation biomarker in Tarahumara men and women following ultra-distance running.

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Publication: PLOS Medicine

Corder K, Sharp S, Jong S, Foubister C, Brown H, Wells E et al.

23 July 2020


Summary

Less than 20% of adolescents globally meet recommended levels of physical activity, and not meeting these recommended levels is associated with social disadvantage and rising disease risk. The determinants of physical activity in adolescents are multilevel and poorly understood, but the school’s social environment likely plays an important role. Researchers conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a school-based programme (GoActive) to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among adolescents.

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Publication: AHA Stroke

Kathrine J. Vinknes, Helga Refsum, Cheryl Turner, Kay-Tee Khaw, Nicholas J. Wareham, Nita G. Forouhi, Fumiaki Imamura

22 December 2020


B-vitamin supplements lower circulating concentrations of homocysteine and may reduce stroke incidence. Homocysteine concentrations are associated with the incidence of stroke but other sulfur-containing compounds in the related metabolic pathway have not yet been investigated for an association with incident cerebrovascular diseases.

Nested within the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition)-Norfolk cohort, we established a case-control study with 480 incident cases of cerebrovascular diseases and 480 controls matched by age, sex, and year of baseline examination (1993–1997).

Using baseline plasma samples, we assayed sulfur-containing compounds including methionine, homocysteine, cystathionine, cysteine, glutathione, and taurine with liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. We examined the association of concentrations of each of the compounds and the ratio of methionine to homocysteine (representing activity of one-carbon metabolism) with risk of incident cerebrovascular diseases, adjusted for potential confounders.

Plasma methionine and the methionine/homocysteine ratio were inversely associated with risk of cerebrovascular diseases, with odds ratios per 1 SD of 0.83 and 0.82, respectively. The association of methionine remained significant after adjustment for homocysteine. None of the other examined compounds was significantly associated with incident cerebrovascular diseases.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that greater availability of methionine, an essential amino acid, may play a role in the prevention of cerebrovascular diseases and explain the previously recognized link between elevated homocysteine and stroke. Further research is needed to determine causation and the potential of circulating methionine as a target in cerebrovascular disease prevention.

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