Leslie M Fischer

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, United States

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Publications (23)136.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Choline is essential for fetal brain development, and it is not known whether a typical American diet contains enough choline to ensure optimal brain development. OBJECTIVE: The study was undertaken to determine whether supplementing pregnant women with phosphatidylcholine (the main dietary source of choline) improves the cognitive abilities of their offspring. DESIGN: In a double-blind, randomized controlled trial, 140 pregnant women were randomly assigned to receive supplemental phosphatidylcholine (750 mg) or a placebo (corn oil) from 18 wk gestation through 90 d postpartum. Their infants (n = 99) were tested for short-term visuospatial memory, long-term episodic memory, language development, and global development at 10 and 12 mo of age. RESULTS: The women studied ate diets that delivered ∼360 mg choline/d in foods (∼80% of the recommended intake for pregnant women, 65% of the recommended intake for lactating women). The phosphatidylcholine supplements were well tolerated. Groups did not differ significantly in global development, language development, short-term visuospatial memory, or long-term episodic memory. CONCLUSIONS: Phosphatidylcholine supplementation of pregnant women eating diets containing moderate amounts of choline did not enhance their infants' brain function. It is possible that a longer follow-up period would reveal late-emerging effects. Moreover, future studies should determine whether supplementing mothers eating diets much lower in choline content, such as those consumed in several low-income countries, would enhance infant brain development. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00678925.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11/2012; · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is an essential nutrient for humans, and part of this requirement is met by endogenous synthesis catalyzed by hepatic phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT). PEMT activity is difficult to estimate in humans because it requires a liver biopsy. Previously, we showed that mice that lack functional PEMT have dramatically reduced concentrations of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3) in plasma and of liver phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho)-a phospholipid formed by PEMT. The objective was to evaluate plasma PtdCho-DHA concentrations as a noninvasive marker of liver PEMT activity in humans. Plasma PtdCho-DHA concentrations were measured in 72 humans before and after they consumed a low-choline diet, and correlations were analyzed in relation to estrogen status, PEMT polymorphism rs12325817, the ratio of plasma S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) to S-adenosylhomocysteine (AdoHcy), and dietary choline intake; all of these factors are associated with changes in liver PEMT activity. PtdCho-DHA and PEMT activity were also measured in human liver specimens. At baseline, the portion of PtdCho species containing DHA (pmol PtdCho-DHA/nmol PtdCho) was higher in premenopausal women than in men and postmenopausal women (P < 0.01). This ratio was lower in premenopausal women with the rs12325817 polymorphism in the PEMT gene (P < 0.05), and PtdCho-DHA concentration and PEMT activity were lower in human liver samples from women who were homozygous for PEMT rs12325817 (P < 0.05). The ratio of DHA-PtdCho to PtdCho in plasma was directly correlated with the ratio of AdoMet to AdoHcy (P = 0.0001). The portion of PtdCho species containing DHA in plasma was altered in subjects who consumed a low-choline diet. PtdCho-DHA may be useful as a surrogate marker for in vivo hepatic PEMT activity in humans. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00065546.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 03/2011; 93(5):968-74. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE . To describe the collaborative process between a grocery retailer and a panel of nutrition experts used to develop a nutrition guidance system (Guiding Stars) that evaluates the nutrient profile of all edible products in the supermarket, and to report the results of the food and beverage ratings. DESIGN . A collaboration between a private retailer and members of the scientific community that led to the development of a scoring algorithm used to evaluate the nutritional quality of foods and beverages. SETTING/SUBJECTS . Northeast supermarkets (n  =  160). MEASURES . Food and beverage nutrition ratings and distribution of stars across different grocery categories. ANALYSIS . Descriptive statistics for rating distributions were computed. T-tests were conducted to assess differences in mean nutrient values between foods with zero versus three stars or a dichotomized variable representing all foods with one to three stars. RESULTS . All edible grocery items (n  =  27,466) were evaluated, with 23.6% earning at least one star. Items receiving at least one star had lower mean levels of sodium, saturated fat, and sugars and higher amounts of fiber than products not earning stars. CONCLUSION . The Guiding Stars system rates edible products without regard to brand or manufacturer, and provides consumers with a simple tool to quickly identify more nutritious choices while shopping. The low percentage of products qualifying for stars reflects poorly on the food choices available to Americans.
    American journal of health promotion: AJHP 01/2011; 26(2):e55-63. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease affects up to 30% of the US population, but the mechanisms underlying this condition are incompletely understood. We investigated how diet standardization and choline deficiency influence the composition of the microbial community in the human gastrointestinal tract and the development of fatty liver under conditions of choline deficiency. We performed a 2-month inpatient study of 15 female subjects who were placed on well-controlled diets in which choline levels were manipulated. We used 454-FLX pyrosequencing of 16S ribosomal RNA bacterial genes to characterize microbiota in stool samples collected over the course of the study. The compositions of the gastrointestinal microbial communities changed with choline levels of diets; each individual's microbiome remained distinct for the duration of the experiment, even though all subjects were fed identical diets. Variations between subjects in levels of Gammaproteobacteria and Erysipelotrichi were directly associated with changes in liver fat in each subject during choline depletion. Levels of these bacteria, change in amount of liver fat, and a single nucleotide polymorphism that affects choline were combined into a model that accurately predicted the degree to which subjects developed fatty liver on a choline-deficient diet. Host factors and gastrointestinal bacteria each respond to dietary choline deficiency, although the gut microbiota remains distinct in each individual. We identified bacterial biomarkers of fatty liver that result from choline deficiency, adding to the accumulating evidence that gastrointestinal microbes have a role in metabolic disorders.
    Gastroenterology 12/2010; 140(3):976-86. · 12.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is obtained from the diet and from the biosynthesis of phosphatidylcholine. Phosphatidylcholine is catalyzed by the enzyme phosphatidylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PEMT), which is induced by estrogen. Because they have lower estrogen concentrations, postmenopausal women are more susceptible to the risk of organ dysfunction in response to a low-choline diet. A common genetic polymorphism (rs12325817) in the PEMT gene can also increase this risk. The objective was to determine whether the risk of low choline-related organ dysfunction increases with the number of alleles of rs12325817 in premenopausal women and whether postmenopausal women (with or without rs12325817) treated with estrogen are more resistant to developing such symptoms. Premenopausal women (n = 27) consumed a choline-sufficient diet followed by a very-low-choline diet until they developed organ dysfunction (or for 42 d), which was followed by a high-choline diet. Postmenopausal women (n = 22) were placed on the same diets but were first randomly assigned to receive estrogen or a placebo. The women were monitored for organ dysfunction and plasma choline metabolites and were genotyped for rs12325817. A dose-response effect of rs12325817 on the risk of choline-related organ dysfunction was observed in premenopausal women: 80%, 43%, and 13% of women with 2, 1, or 0 alleles, respectively, developed organ dysfunction. Among postmenopausal women, 73% who received placebo but only 18% who received estrogen developed organ dysfunction during the low-choline diet. Because of their lower estrogen concentrations, postmenopausal women have a higher dietary requirement for choline than do premenopausal women. Choline requirements for both groups of women are further increased by rs12325817. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00065546.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11/2010; 92(5):1113-9. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is essential for infant nutrition, and breast milk is a rich source of this nutrient. Common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) change dietary requirements for choline intake. The aim of this study was to determine whether total choline intake and/or SNPs influence concentrations of choline and its metabolites in human breast milk and plasma. We gave a total of 103 pregnant women supplemental choline or a placebo from 18 wk gestation to 45 d postpartum and genotyped the women for 370 common SNPs. At 45 d postpartum, we measured choline metabolite concentrations in breast milk and plasma and assessed the dietary intake of choline by using a 3-d food record. On average, lactating women in our study ate two-thirds of the recommended intake for choline (Adequate Intake = 550 mg choline/d). Dietary choline intake (no supplement) correlated with breast-milk phosphatidylcholine and plasma choline concentrations. A supplement further increased breast-milk choline, betaine, and phosphocholine concentrations and increased plasma choline and betaine concentrations. We identified 5 SNPs in MTHFR that altered the slope of the intake-metabolite concentration relations, and we identified 2 SNPs in PEMT that shifted these curves upward. Individuals who shared sets of common SNPs were outliers in plots of intake-metabolite concentration curves; we suggest that these SNPs should be further investigated to determine how they alter choline metabolism. Total intake of choline and genotype can influence the concentrations of choline and its metabolites in the breast milk and blood of lactating women and thereby affect the amount of choline available to the developing infant. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00678925.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 08/2010; 92(2):336-46. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is an essential nutrient, and deficiency causes liver and muscle dysfunction. Common genetic variations alter the risk of developing organ dysfunction when choline deficient, probably by causing metabolic inefficiencies that should be detectable even while ingesting a normal choline-adequate diet. We determined whether metabolomic profiling of plasma at baseline could predict whether humans will develop liver dysfunction when deprived of dietary choline. Fifty-three participants were fed a diet containing 550 mg choline/70 kg/d for 10 d and then fed < 50 mg choline/70 kg/d for up to 42 d. Participants who developed organ dysfunction on this diet were repleted with a choline-adequate diet for > or = 3 d. Plasma samples, obtained at baseline, end of depletion, and end of repletion, were used for targeted and nontargeted metabolomic profiling. Liver fat was assessed using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Metabolomic profiling and targeted biochemical analyses were highly correlated for the analytes assessed by both procedures. In addition, we report relative concentration changes of other small molecules detected by the nontargeted metabolomic analysis after choline depletion. Finally, we show that metabolomic profiles of participants when they were consuming a control baseline diet could predict whether they would develop liver dysfunction when deprived of dietary choline.
    The FASEB Journal 04/2010; 24(8):2962-75. · 5.70 Impact Factor
  • Lisa A Sutherland, Lori A Kaley, Leslie Fischer
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    ABSTRACT: To improve diet quality and overall population health, the need to develop nutritional rating systems that are comprehensive in scope and easy for the consumer to understand and use at the point-of-purchase has emerged. Our aim was to examine the effect of a comprehensive storewide supermarket point-of-purchase nutrition navigation intervention by using a shelf-label 3-tiered star icon on consumer food and beverage choices and their associated nutritional quality. By using a natural experiment design, purchasing data from 2006 to 2008 were obtained from a Northeast supermarket chain with 168 stores located in northern New England and New York and examined at preimplementation and at 1- and 2-y follow-up periods. The nutrition navigation system studied showed significant changes in food purchasing immediately after implementation, and these changes continued to be significant 1 and 2 y later. When the same 8-mo period (January-August) each year was compared, in 2006, 24.50% of items purchased earned a star rating; this proportion increased to 24.98% (P < 0.001) and 25.89% (P < 0.0001) at the 1- and 2-y follow-up periods, respectively. For a 4-wk period, 1 y after program implementation, consumers purchased significantly more ready-to-eat cereals with stars (eg, less added sugars and more dietary fiber) and fewer no-star, high-sugar, low-fiber cereals. Increasing rates of obesity and declining diet quality for Americans strongly support the need for effective supermarket point-of-purchase programs, such as the Guiding Stars nutrition navigation program, that provide clear, concise, and simplified nutrition information to guide consumer food and beverage choices.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 02/2010; 91(4):1090S-1094S. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diethanolamine (DEA) is a common ingredient of personal care products. Dermal administration of DEA diminishes hepatic stores of the essential nutrient choline and alters brain development. We previously reported that 80 mg/kg/day of DEA during pregnancy in mice reduced neurogenesis and increased apoptosis in the fetal hippocampus. This study was designed to establish the dose-response relationships for this effect of DEA. Timed-pregnant C57BL/6 mouse dams were dosed dermally from gestation day 7-17 with DEA at 0 (controls), 5, 40, 60, and 80 mg/kg body/day. Fetuses (embryonic day 17 [E17]) from dams treated dermally with 80 mg/kg body/day DEA had decreased neural progenitor cell mitosis at the ventricular surface of the ventricular zone (hippocampus, 54.1 +/- 5.5%; cortex, 58.9 +/- 6.8%; compared to controls; p < 0.01). Also, this dose of DEA to dams increased rates of apoptosis in E17 fetal hippocampus (to 177.2 +/- 21.5% of control; measured using activated caspase-3; p < 0.01). This dose of DEA resulted in accumulation of DEA and its metabolites in liver and in plasma. At doses of DEA less than 80 mg/kg body/day to dams, there were no differences between treated and control groups. In a small group of human subjects, dermal treatment for 1 month with a commercially available skin lotion containing 1.8 mg DEA per gram resulted in detectable plasma concentrations of DEA and dimethyldiethanolamine, but these were far below those concentrations associated with perturbed brain development in the mouse.
    Toxicological Sciences 10/2008; 107(1):220-6. · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A phase I double-blind clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of a high oral dose of soy isoflavones administered daily for 84 days to healthy postmenopausal women. Principal outcome measures included DNA damage, apoptosis, and changes indicative of estrogenic stimulation. After eligibility and equol-producer status were determined, stratified randomization was used to assign women to the isoflavone (active) or placebo group. Of the 30 women who completed the study, 18 were in the active group. DNA damage was assessed via COMET and apurinic/apyrimidinic site assays in lymphocytes. Apoptosis was evaluated via terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling and activated caspase-3 assays in lymphocytes. Estrogenic/antiestrogenic effects were assessed using a self-report questionnaire and by assaying for estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and sex hormone-binding globulin in blood. In treated postmenopausal women, there was no indication that high doses of soy isoflavones caused DNA strand breakage, increased apurinic/apyrimidinic sites, or increased apoptosis in peripheral lymphocytes. There were no significant changes in mean values for estrogenic effects or other laboratory measurements. Very few adverse events occurred, and the only drug-related adverse events were mild or grade 1 in severity. Unconjugated soy isoflavones appear to be safe and well tolerated in healthy postmenopausal women at doses of 900 mg/day.
    Menopause 05/2008; 15(4 Pt 1):684-92. · 3.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Some humans fed a low-choline diet develop hepatosteatosis, liver and muscle damage, and lymphocyte apoptosis. The risk of developing such organ dysfunction is increased by the presence of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in folate and choline metabolism. We investigated whether these changes that occur in the expression of many genes when humans are fed a low-choline diet differ between subjects who develop organ dysfunction and those who do not. We also investigated whether expression changes were dependent on the presence of the SNPs of interest. Thirty-three subjects aged 20-67 y were fed for 10 d a baseline diet containing the recommended adequate intake of choline. They then were fed a low-choline diet for up to 42 d or until they developed organ dysfunction. Blood was collected at the end of each phase, and peripheral lymphocytes were isolated and used for genotyping and for gene expression profiling with the use of microarray hybridization. Feeding a low-choline diet changed the expression of 259 genes, and the profiles of subjects who developed and those who did not develop signs of organ dysfunction differed. Group clustering and gene ontology analyses found that the diet-induced changes in gene expression profiles were significantly influenced by the SNPs of interest and that the gene expression phenotype of the variant gene carriers differed significantly even with the baseline diet. These findings support our hypothesis that a person's susceptibility to organ dysfunction when fed a low-choline diet is modulated by specific SNPs in genes involved in folate and choline metabolism.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 08/2007; 86(1):230-9. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human and animal studies suggest that dietary soy isoflavones reduce cancer risk, ameliorate postmenopausal syndrome and decrease bone resorption in postmenopausal women. The capacity to form the metabolite equol from daidzein is suggested as an important modulator of response to isoflavones; this capacity depends on gut colonization with appropriate bacteria. We administered a dietary supplement containing high-dose purified soy isoflavones (genistein, 558 mg/day; daidzein, 296 mg/day; and glycitein, 44 mg/day) to 30 postmenopausal women for 84 days and collected peripheral lymphocytes at timed intervals. Using microarray analysis, we determined whether changes in gene expression associated with this treatment support existing hypotheses as to isoflavones' mechanisms of action. Expression of a large number of genes was altered by isoflavone treatment, including induction of genes associated with cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) signaling and cell differentiation and decreased expression of genes associated with cyclin-dependent kinase activity and cell division. We report that isoflavone treatment in subjects who have the capacity to produce equol differentially affects gene expression as compared with nonproducers, supporting the plausibility of the importance of equol production. In general, isoflavones had a stronger effect on some putative estrogen-responsive genes in equol producers than in nonproducers. Our study suggests that, in humans, isoflavone changes are related to increased cell differentiation, increased cAMP signaling and G-protein-coupled protein metabolism and increased steroid hormone receptor activity and have some estrogen agonist effects; equol-production status is likely to be an important modulator of responses to isoflavones.
    The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 07/2007; 18(6):380-90. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although humans require dietary choline for methyl donation, membrane function, and neurotransmission, choline can also be derived from the de novo synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, which is up-regulated by estrogen. A recommended Adequate Intake (AI) exists for choline; however, an Estimated Average Requirement has not been set because of a lack of sufficient human data. The objective of the study was to evaluate the dietary requirements for choline in healthy men and women and to investigate the clinical sequelae of choline deficiency. Fifty-seven adult subjects (26 men, 16 premenopausal women, 15 postmenopausal women) were fed a diet containing 550 mg choline x 70 kg(-1) x d(-1) for 10 d followed by <50 mg choline x 70 kg(-1) x d(-1) with or without a folic acid supplement (400 microg/d per randomization) for up to 42 d. Subjects who developed organ dysfunction during this diet had normal organ function restored after incremental amounts of choline were added back to the diet. Blood and urine were monitored for signs of toxicity and metabolite concentrations, and liver fat was assessed by using magnetic resonance imaging. When deprived of dietary choline, 77% of men and 80% of postmenopausal women developed fatty liver or muscle damage, whereas only 44% of premenopausal women developed such signs of organ dysfunction. Moreover, 6 men developed these signs while consuming 550 mg choline x 70 kg(-1) x d(-1), the AI for choline. Folic acid supplementation did not alter the subjects' response. Subject characteristics (eg, menopausal status) modulated the dietary requirement for choline, and a daily intake at the current AI was not sufficient to prevent organ dysfunction in 19 of the subjects.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 05/2007; 85(5):1275-85. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Humans eating diets deficient in the essential nutrient choline can develop organ dysfunction. We hypothesized that common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved in choline metabolism influence the dietary requirement of this nutrient. Fifty-seven humans were fed a low choline diet until they developed organ dysfunction or for up to 42 days. We tested DNA SNPs for allelic association with susceptibility to developing organ dysfunction associated with choline deficiency. We identified an SNP in the promoter region of the phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase gene (PEMT; -744 G-->C; rs12325817) for which 18 of 23 carriers of the C allele (78%) developed organ dysfunction when fed a low choline diet (odds ratio 25, P=0.002). The first of two SNPs in the coding region of the choline dehydrogenase gene (CHDH; +318 A-->C; rs9001) had a protective effect on susceptibility to choline deficiency, while a second CHDH variant (+432 G-->T; rs12676) was associated with increased susceptibility to choline deficiency. A SNP in the PEMT coding region (+5465 G-->A; rs7946) and a betaine:homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT) SNP (+742 G-->A; rs3733890) were not associated with susceptibility to choline deficiency. Identification of common polymorphisms that affect dietary requirements for choline could enable us to identify individuals for whom we need to assure adequate dietary choline intake.
    The FASEB Journal 08/2006; 20(9):1336-44. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Whereas deficiency of the essential nutrient choline is associated with DNA damage and apoptosis in cell and rodent models, it has not been shown in humans. The objective was to ascertain whether lymphocytes from choline-deficient humans had greater DNA damage and apoptosis than did those from choline-sufficient humans. Fifty-one men and women aged 18-70 y were fed a diet containing the recommended adequate intake of choline (control) for 10 d. They then were fed a choline-deficient diet for up to 42 d before repletion with 138-550 mg choline/d. Blood was collected at the end of each phase, and peripheral lymphocytes were isolated. DNA damage and apoptosis were then assessed by activation of caspase-3, terminal deoxynucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling, and single-cell gel electrophoresis (COMET) assays. All subjects fed the choline-deficient diet had lymphocyte DNA damage, as assessed by COMET assay, twice that found when they were fed the control diet. The subjects who developed organ dysfunction (liver or muscle) when fed the choline-deficient diet had significantly more apoptotic lymphocytes, as assessed by the activated caspase-3 assay, than when fed the control diet. A choline-deficient diet increased DNA damage in humans. Subjects in whom these diets induced liver or muscle dysfunction also had higher rates of apoptosis in their peripheral lymphocytes than did subjects who did not develop organ dysfunction. Assessment of DNA damage and apoptosis in lymphocytes appears to be a clinically useful measure in humans (such as those receiving parenteral nutrition) in whom choline deficiency is suspected.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 08/2006; 84(1):88-94. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is a required nutrient, and some humans deplete quickly when fed a low-choline diet, whereas others do not. Endogenous choline synthesis can spare some of the dietary requirement and requires one-carbon groups derived from folate metabolism. We examined whether major genetic variants of folate metabolism modify susceptibility of humans to choline deficiency. Fifty-four adult men and women were fed diets containing adequate choline and folate, followed by a diet containing almost no choline, with or without added folate, until they were clinically judged to be choline-deficient, or for up to 42 days. Criteria for clinical choline deficiency were a more than five times increase in serum creatine kinase activity or a >28% increase of liver fat after consuming the low-choline diet that resolved when choline was returned to the diet. Choline deficiency was observed in more than half of the participants, usually within less than a month. Individuals who were carriers of the very common 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase-1958A gene allele were more likely than noncarriers to develop signs of choline deficiency (odds ratio, 7.0; 95% confidence interval, 2.0-25; P < 0.01) on the low-choline diet unless they were also treated with a folic acid supplement. The effects of the C677T and A1298C polymorphisms of the 5,10-methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase gene and the A80C polymorphism of the reduced folate carrier 1 gene were not statistically significant. The most remarkable finding was the strong association in premenopausal women of the 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase-1958A gene allele polymorphism with 15 times increased susceptibility to developing organ dysfunction on a low-choline diet.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2005; 102(44):16025-30. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT) catalyzes phosphatidylcholine synthesis. PEMT knockout mice have fatty livers, and it is possible that, in humans, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) might be associated with PEMT gene polymorphisms. DNA samples from 59 humans without fatty liver and from 28 humans with NAFLD were genotyped for a single nucleotide polymorphism in exon 8 of PEMT, which leads to a V175M substitution. V175M is a loss of function mutation, as determined by transiently transfecting McArdle-RH7777 cells with constructs of wild-type PEMT open reading frame or the V175M mutant. Met/Met at residue 175 (loss of function SNP) occurred in 67.9% of the NAFLD subjects and in only 40.7% of control subjects (P<0.03). For the first time we report that a polymorphism of the human PEMT gene (V175M) is associated with diminished activity and may confer susceptibility to NAFLD.
    The FASEB Journal 09/2005; 19(10):1266-71. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Choline is an essential nutrient for humans that is used to synthesize membrane phospholipids and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Betaine, a metabolite of choline, functions as a methyl-group donor in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, and is important for renal function. Accurate analysis of choline intake was previously not possible because the choline content of most foods was not known. Using new and recently published data on the concentrations of choline in common foods, we measured the choline content of diets consumed ad libitum by healthy adult volunteers housed in a clinical research center and compared these with estimates of choline intake derived from 3-d food records kept by subjects immediately before study enrollment. Mean choline intake in this subject population met or slightly exceeded the current Adequate Intake (AI) of 7 mg/(kg . d) set by the Institute of Medicine. Men and women consumed similar amounts of choline per day (8.4 and. 6.7 mg/kg, respectively; P = 0.11). Choline intakes estimated from the 3-d food records were significantly lower than this (when expressed as mg/kg, or as total mg, but not when normalized to energy intake), suggesting underreporting of food intake. Intake of betaine, which may spare choline utilization as a methyl-group donor, was 5.3 mg/(kg . d) in men and 4.7 mg/(kg . d) in women. Intake of folate, vitamin B-12, and methionine + cysteine, were similar and sufficient in all subjects. The current recommended AI for choline seems to be a good approximation of the actual intake of this nutrient.
    Journal of Nutrition 05/2005; 135(4):826-9. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Elevated concentrations of homocysteine in blood may be an independent risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. Elevated homocysteine concentrations can be caused by decreased methylation of homocysteine to form methionine, as occurs in folate deficiency. A parallel pathway exists for methylation of homocysteine, in which choline, by way of betaine, is the methyl donor. Our goal was to determine whether choline deficiency results in a decreased capacity to methylate homocysteine. C57BL/6J mice were fed diets containing 0, 10, or 35 mmol choline/kg diet for 3 wk. We then administered an oral methionine load to the animals and measured plasma homocysteine concentrations. Also, in a pilot study, we examined 8 men who were fed a diet providing 550 mg choline/d per 70 kg body weight for 10 d, followed by a diet providing almost no choline, until the subjects were clinically judged to be choline deficient or for <or=42 d. A methionine load was administered at the end of each dietary phase. Two hours after the methionine load, choline-deficient mice had plasma homocysteine concentrations twice those of choline-fed mice. Four hours after the methionine load, clinically choline-depleted men had plasma homocysteine concentrations that were 35% greater than those in men not choline depleted. These results suggest that choline, like folate, plays an important role in the metabolism of homocysteine in humans and that response to a methionine load may be useful when assessing choline nutriture.
    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 02/2005; 81(2):440-4. · 6.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the development of a series of choline- and betaine-controlled diets that were served to research subjects as part of an ongoing study of diet requirements in humans. These diets were developed based on the analysis of choline and betaine in individual foods. The calculated diets were compared with analyses of all foods combined into a single sample for each day. The laboratory analyses of choline and betaine in the whole-diet aliquots matched the estimated amounts in the diets that were calculated from the analyses of individual foods. These diets were adjusted for several levels of choline and betaine and were well accepted by research subjects who consumed them for a time period of up to 2 months. This article describes applications of this diet for use in clinical research on methyl-group requirements in humans and for use in clinical practice for counseling the client who requires a choline-controlled diet.
    Journal of the American Dietetic Association 01/2005; 104(12):1836-45. · 3.80 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

822 Citations
136.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003–2012
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • • Department of Psychology
      • • Department of Nutrition
      • • Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
      Chapel Hill, NC, United States
  • 2010
    • Dartmouth College
      Hanover, New Hampshire, United States
    • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
      Charlotte, North Carolina, United States