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  • A useful perioperative nutritional therapy for highly invasive esophageal cancer surgical cases needs to be developed. We clarified the usefulness of amino-acid-enriched nutritional therapy using glutamine (Gln)/arginine (Arg)/calcium β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) products on the short-term postoperative outcomes of minimally invasive esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. Altogether, 114 patients (Gln/Arg/HMB group) received perioperative nutritional therapy with Gln/Arg/HMB products, and we retrospectively investigated the change in nutritional parameters including skeletal muscle mass, occurrence of postoperative complications, and short-term postoperative outcomes in this group. The results were compared between the Gln/Arg/HMB and control groups (79 patients not receiving the Gln/Arg/HMB products). The incidence of all postoperative complications, sputum expectoration disorder, and pleural effusion of grade ≥ III was significantly lower in the Gln/Arg/HMB group (62.0% vs. 38.6%, = 0.001; 44.3% vs. 28.1%, = 0.020; 27.8% vs. 13.2%, = 0.011, respectively). The psoas muscle area and postoperative body weight were significantly higher at 1 month and 1 year after surgery in the Gln/Arg/HMB group than in the control group (93.5% vs. 99.9%, < 0.001; 92.0% vs. 95.4%, = 0.006). Perioperative amino-acid-enriched nutritional therapy may improve the short-term postoperative outcomes, nutritional status, and skeletal muscle mass of esophageal cancer surgical patients.

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  • Calcium β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (CaHMB), a functional calcium salt, is used to maintain and improve muscle health. Here, a new hydrogel material prepared from alginate (ALG) with three M/G ratios (1:1, 2:1, and 1:2) and CaHMB (0-2 mg/mL) was investigated. CaHMB regulates the formation and properties of ALG hydrogels through chelation and hydrogen bonding. When the M/G ratio was 2:1, the anionic groups of CaHMB containing carboxyl and hydroxyl groups formed hydrogen bonds with the polysaccharide chains, hindering the capture of Ca by the G-residue fragments of ALG, which in turn retarded the gelation process. The noncalcium cross-linked polysaccharide chain structure of ALG and the anionic group of CaHMB also affected the water distribution in the hydrogel, especially when M residue content ≥G residue content. Lower M/G ratios and higher CaHMB concentrations could increase the number of "egg box" crosslinking junctions of calcium alginate, and the microstructure was denser in the gel pores, resulting in a stronger gel strength and more free water bound in the gel matrix. This study provides a theoretical and methodological basis for the design of novel hydrogels by studying the crosslinking features of ALG/CaHMB.

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  • The continuous stimulation of periodontitis leads to a decrease in the number of stem cells within the lesion area and significantly impairing their regenerative capacity. Therefore, it is crucial to promote stem cell homing and regulate the local immune microenvironment to suppress inflammation for the regeneration of periodontitis-related tissue defects. Here, we fabricated a novel multifunctional bilayer nanofibrous membrane using electrospinning technology. The dense poly(caprolactone) (PCL) nanofibers served as the barrier layer to resist epithelial invasion, while the polyvinyl alcohol/chitooligosaccharides (PVA/COS) composite nanofiber membrane loaded with calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB-Ca) acted as the functional layer. Material characterization tests revealed that the bilayer nanofibrous membrane presented desirable mechanical strength, stability, and excellent cytocompatibility. In vitro, PCL@PVA/COS/HMB-Ca (P@PCH) can not only directly promote rBMSCs migration and differentiation, but also induce macrophage toward pro-healing (M2) phenotype-polarization with increasing the secretion of anti-inflammatory and pro-healing cytokines, thus providing a favorable osteoimmune environment for stem cells recruitment and osteogenic differentiation. In vivo, the P@PCH membrane effectively recruited host MSCs to the defect area, alleviated inflammatory infiltration, and accelerated bone defects repair. Collectively, our data indicated that the P@PCH nanocomposite membrane might be a promising biomaterial candidate for guided tissue regeneration in periodontal applications.

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  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most prevalent causes of chronic liver disease worldwide which is often seen in patients with metabolic abnormalities such as those with obesity and insulin resistance. On the other hand, sarcopenia is a generalized and progressive skeletal muscle disorder characterized by low muscle strength, low muscle quality, low physical performance, or a combination of the three. Both disease entities share several underlying risk factors and pathophysiologic mechanisms. These include: (1) cardiometabolic overlaps such as insulin resistance, chronic systemic inflammation, decreased vitamin D levels, sex hormone modifications; (2) muscle-related factors such as those mitigated by myostatin signaling, and myokines (i.e., irisin); and (3) liver-dysfunction related factors such as those associated with growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 Axis, hepatokines (i.e., selenoprotein P and leukocyte cell-derived chemotaxin-2), fibroblast growth factors 21 and 19 (FGF21 and FGF19), and hyperammonemia. This narrative review will examine the pathophysiologic overlaps that can explain the links between NAFLD and sarcopenia. Furthermore, this review will explore the emerging roles of nonpharmacologic (e.g., weight reduction, diet, alcohol, and smoking cessation, and physical activity) and pharmacologic management (e.g., roles of β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate, branched-chain amino acid supplements, and testosterone therapy) to improve care, intervention sustainability, and acceptability for patients with sarcopenia-associated NAFLD.

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  • 3-Hydroxy-3-methylbutyrate (HMB) is a five-carbon branch-chain hydroxy acid currently used as a dietary supplement to treat sarcopenia and exercise training. However, its current production relies on conventional chemical processes which require toxic substances and are generally non-sustainable. While bio-based syntheses of HMB have been developed, they are dependent on biotransformation of its direct precursors which are generally costly. Therefore, in this work, we developed a synthetic de novo HMB biosynthetic pathway that enables HMB production from renewable resources. This novel HMB biosynthesis employs heterologous enzymes from mevalonate pathway and myxobacterial iso-fatty acid pathway for converting acetyl-CoA to HMB-CoA. Subsequently, HMB-CoA is hydrolyzed by a thioesterase to yield HMB. Upon expression of this pathway, our initial Escherichia coli strain produced 660 mg/L of HMB from glucose in 48 hours. Through optimization of coenzyme A removal from HMB-CoA and genetic operon structure, our final strain achieved HMB production titer of 17.7 g/L in glucose minimal media using a bench-top bioreactor. This engineered strain was further demonstrated to produce HMB from other renewable carbon sources such as xylose, glycerol, and acetate. The results from this work provided a flexible and environmentally benign method for producing HMB.

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  • Adequate diet, physical activity, and dietary supplementation with muscle-targeted food for special medical purposes (FSMP) or dietary supplement (DS) are currently considered fundamental pillars in sarcopenia treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a DS (containing hydroxy-methyl-butyrate, carnosine, and magnesium, for its action on muscle function and protein synthesis and butyrate and lactoferrin for their contribution to the regulation of gut permeability and antioxidant/anti-inflammation activity) on muscle mass (assessed by dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)), muscle function (by handgrip test, chair test, short physical performance battery (SPPB) test, and walking speed test), inflammation (tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), C-reactive protein (CRP), and visceral adipose tissue (VAT)) and gut axis (by zonulin). A total of 59 participants (age 79.7 ± 4.8 years, body mass index 20.99 ± 2.12 kg/m) were enrolled and randomly assigned to intervention ( = 30) or placebo ( = 28). The skeletal muscle index (SMI) significantly improved in the supplemented group compared to the placebo one, +1.02 (CI 95%: -0.77; 1.26), = 0.001; a significant reduction in VAT was observed in the intervention group, -70.91 g (-13.13; -4.70), = 0.036. Regarding muscle function, all the tests significantly improved ( = 0.001) in the supplemented group compared to the placebo one. CRP, zonulin, and TNF-alpha significantly decreased ( = 0.001) in intervention, compared to placebo, -0.74 mg/dL (CI 95%: -1.30; -0.18), -0.30 ng/mL (CI 95%: -0.37; -0.23), -6.45 pg/mL (CI 95%: -8.71; -4.18), respectively. This DS improves muscle mass and function, and the gut muscle has emerged as a new intervention target for sarcopenia.

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  • Nutritional Strategies for Muscle Atrophy: Current Evidence and Underlying Mechanisms.

    Skeletal muscle can undergo detrimental changes in various diseases, leading to muscle dysfunction and atrophy, thus severely affecting people's lives. Along with exercise, there is a growing interest in the potential of nutritional support against muscle atrophy. This review provides a brief overview of the molecular mechanisms driving skeletal muscle atrophy and summarizes recent advances in nutritional interventions for preventing and treating muscle atrophy. The nutritional supplements include amino acids and their derivatives (such as leucine, β-hydroxy, β-methylbutyrate, and creatine), various antioxidant supplements (like Coenzyme Q10 and mitoquinone, resveratrol, curcumin, quercetin, Omega 3 fatty acids), minerals (such as magnesium and selenium), and vitamins (such as vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin E), as well as probiotics and prebiotics (like Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and 1-kestose). Furthermore, the study discusses the impact of a combined approach involving nutritional support and physical therapy to prevent muscle atrophy, suggests appropriate multi-nutritional and multi-modal interventions based on individual conditions to optimize treatment outcomes, and enhances the recovery of muscle function for patients. By understanding the molecular mechanisms behind skeletal muscle atrophy and implementing appropriate interventions, it is possible to enhance the recovery of muscle function and improve patients' quality of life.

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  • Chronic wounds are characterized by prolonged non-healing, significantly affecting patients' quality of life. Oral formulas may enhance the wound healing process and contribute to cost reduction in care. This review aimed to evaluate the effects of oral nutritional supplementation on chronic wound healing and provide insights into formula characteristics. A comprehensive search across Cinahl, Embase, PubMed, and Web of Science databases yielded nine studies from the past decade involving 741 patients ages 52 to 81.7 across various care settings: hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home care. Primary wound types included pressure injuries (58%), diabetic foot ulcers (40%), and venous ulcers (2%). The intervention duration ranged from 2 to 16 wk, with sample sizes varying from 24 to 270 patients. Notably, four studies reported a reduction in wound area and an increased healing rate with a hypercaloric, hyperproteic formula enriched with zinc and vitamins A, C, and E. However, two studies found no significant differences compared with control groups. Two other studies investigated a combination of arginine, glutamine, and β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate; however, they did not yield significant results, and one study favored a hyperproteic formula instead of a hyperproteic formula with arginine. This review provides evidence supporting the potential of oral nutritional supplementation to enhance the healing process of chronic wounds. Based on our findings, a desirable formula should be characterized by a high calorie and protein content and the inclusion of antioxidant micronutrients, including, but not limited to, vitamins A, E, C, and zinc.

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  • Statins, or hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for lowering cholesterol. Myopathic side-effects ranging from pain and soreness to critical rhabdomyolysis are commonly reported and often lead to discontinuation. The pathophysiological mechanism is, in general, ascribed to a downstream reduction of Coenzyme Q10 synthesis. HMG-CoA is a metabolite of leucine and its corresponding keto acid α-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) and β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), however, little is known about the changes in the metabolism of leucine and its metabolites in response to statins.

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