G Ferretti

Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, The Marches, Italy

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Publications (117)337.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Functional foods that provide benefits beyond their traditional nutritional value have attracted much interest. Aim of the study was to evaluate the nutritional and the functional properties of a frozen ready-to-eat soup containing barley and pigmented vegetables. Both glycaemic index and the glyceamic load of ready-to-eat soup were evaluated in vivo. Moreover the bioavailability of carotenoids (lutein and beta-carotene) and the effect on lipid profile and lipid peroxidation were studied in 38 volunteers whose diet was supplemented for two weeks with a daily portion (250 g) of the ready-to-eat soup. Plasma levels of carotenoids (lutein and beta-carotene) and plasma total antioxidant capacity significantly increased after 2 weeks of treatment. Furthermore, we observed a decrease in the levels of lipids (total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol) and of markers of lipid peroxidation (oxidized low density lipoprotein and lipid hydroperoxides) in plasma of all subjects. The glyceamic index of the product was 36, therefore it could be considered a low glyceamic index food. An accurate selection of vegetable foods results in a palatable and healthy product that provides benefits on plasma lipids and lipid peroxidation (Protocol number 211525).
    Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition 07/2015; 57(1). DOI:10.3164/jcbn.15-11 · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with oxidative damage of low density lipoproteins (ox-LDL). In order to investigate whether higher levels of ox-LDL are related to alterations of the activity of enzymes involved in lipid metabolism, we studied the activity of paraoxonase-1 (PON1) and platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase (PAF-AH) in AD patients and the relationship between biochemical markers and severity of the disease. Levels of ox-LDL, PON1 (paraoxonase, arylesterase, and lactonase activities), and PAF-AH activity were evaluated in plasma from 49 patients affected by AD and from 34 control subjects matched for gender and age. Our results demonstrated alterations in the activities of PON1 and PAF-AH in AD patients compared to controls and showed, for the first time, a relationship between the activities of these enzymes, ox-LDL levels, and severity of the disease. A significant negative correlation was observed between the ratio PON1/PAF-AH and ox-LDL. Whatever the causes that contribute to a systemic oxidative stress in AD, our results have shown that AD patients exhibit higher PAF-AH activity than control subjects and higher ox-LDL. This phenomenon, in combination with diminished PON1 in these patients and, consequently, the relatively lower ratio PON1/PAF-AH activity, could contribute to inflammations and oxidative stress of plasma lipoproteins.
    Journal of Alzheimer's disease: JAD 02/2015; 46(1). DOI:10.3233/JAD-143096 · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Metabolic syndrome is a complex disorder characterized by the presence of insulin resistance (IR), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), plus at least two of the following conditions-hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity, and microalbuminuria. Metabolic syndrome exposes patients to a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and is often associated with elevated levels of homocysteine (Hcy). In the current work, we analyzed the expression of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT). Because NNMT is involved in Hcy metabolism and participates in the regulation of the cellular and plasma levels of this compound, we explored the role played by the enzyme in metabolic syndrome. Methods: Real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, western blot analysis, and catalytic activity assay were performed to evaluate NNMT expression levels in adipose tissue from 10 Wistar Ottawa Karlsburg W (WOKW) rats, which are an animal model for metabolic syndrome, and from 10 Dark Agouti (DA) rats as the disease-resistant control strain. Results: NNMT mRNA, protein, and activity levels were significantly higher in adipose tissue obtained from WOKW rats compared with those observed in adipose tissue of DA rats. Conclusion: Data reported in this study represent the first evidence supporting the hypothesis that NNMT could play an important role in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome and could have a potential for the development of a targeted therapy.
    Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders 02/2015; 13(4). DOI:10.1089/met.2014.0134 · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background and aim: Oxidative stress is associated with insulin resistance pathogenesis, insulin secretion deficiency, and complication onset. Fermented papaya preparation (FPP), a dietary supplement obtained by fermentation of the papaya fruit, may be used as an antioxidant in the prevention of diabetic complications. Methods and results: Platelets from 30 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM 2) and 15 healthy subjects were analyzed to evaluate the in vitro effects of FPP incubation. Na+/K+-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) activity, membrane fluidity, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and conjugated diene levels were determined. In vitro FPP incubation improved platelet function, by enhancing Na+/K+-ATPase activity and membrane fluidity, and ameliorated the antioxidant system functionality, through an increase in TAC and SOD activity and a parallel decrease in conjugated diene levels in patients with DM 2. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the incubation with FPP may have a protective effect on platelets from patients with DM 2, by preventing the progression of oxidative damage associated with diabetes and its complications.
    Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 11/2014; 25(2). DOI:10.1016/j.numecd.2014.10.013 · 3.88 Impact Factor
  • T Bacchetti · Letizia Saturni · Imma Turco · gianna ferretti
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the present paper is to evaluate the post-prandial response to some varieties of gluten free (GF) pasta that are commonly consumed in Italy. The glycaemic responses were compared against a glucose standard in healthy subjects and gluten-free diet celiac subjects. Subjects were served portions of the test foods and a standard food (glucose), on separate occasions, each containing 50 g available carbohydrates. Capillary blood glucose was measured from finger-prick samples in fasted subjects and at 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minute after the consumption of each test food. For each type of pasta, glycaemic index (GI) was calculated by expressing the incremental area under the blood glucose curve as a percentage of each subject's average incremental area under the blood glucose curve (AUC) for the standard food. Gluten free pasta exhibited a range of GI values from 46 to 66. Glycaemic load (GL) and glycaemic profile (GP) were also calculated. The higher GI value was observed in pasta containing rice flour as main ingredient. Lower values were observed in pasta obtained using corn or a mixture of corn and rice flour as main ingredients. The results have been confirmed in celiac subjects. The information presented in this paper may be useful in helping celiac people to select low-GI pasta.
    08/2014; 5(11). DOI:10.1039/C4FO00745J
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    ABSTRACT: The bioavailability of carotenoids and the protective effect exerted by Brassica vegetables against lipoprotein peroxidation has not previously been investigated in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the bioavailability of carotenoids in black (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala subvar. Laciniata L) and red cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata L.f. rubra) and their protective effect against LDL oxidation. Moreover, we studied the effect on plasma lipid profile. Thirty-eight healthy volunteers (23 females and 15 males) participated in the 2-week intervention study which included a daily portion (300 g) of black and red cabbage. Plasma lutein and β-carotene levels and total antioxidant capacity after dietary intervention were significantly increased. The results obtained demonstrated that Brassica supplementation favourably influenced serum lipid profile with a significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and oxidized LDL. Moreover, our results strengthen the hypothesis that the effect of dietary intervention could be modulated by baseline conditions of the subjects.
    Journal of Functional Foods 05/2014; 8(1):129–138. DOI:10.1016/j.jff.2014.02.020 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite brilliant successes that have been achieved with the applications of genetic engineering in food production to sustain large monocultures and to compete in a global market economy, the chronic crises affecting agriculture have not been resolved. Rather, biotechnologies and an expansion of mechanized, modern agriculture with intensive use of chemicals have contributed to a quasi-collapse of the farming population worldwide thus, destabilizing local economies and food security in the name of progress and modernity. Nevertheless, the emerging bioeconomy is supporting very passionately the cultivation of GM crops with the ambitious promises of improving quality of life for all, while resolving successfully the foreseeable, global challenges of providing adequate food, fiber and renewable energy for a growng human population. The global hectarage grown with GM crops has more than doubled worldwide in the last decade, especially in developing countries, and resulted in a reduction of the cultivated germplasm, generally limited to what was ruled by international companies and directed toward the global market. GMOs’ research foci are purposefully oriented to make crops withstand harsh environmental conditions as the effects of global climate change are rapidly altering the attributes of agricultural landscapes. Also, crops are genetically modified to yield more food, fiber and renewable energy and withstand the effects of pests and disease. These are additional, desirable goals of the GM research agenda, yet they can be meaningless if they are not delivered to local farmers with all the advice and the integration which are the basis for achieving a sustainable agriculture. Therefore, we remain skeptical that the promises emerging from this ambitious vision can be fulfilled successfully, on a global scale and maintained through time by their operators and supporters, without the introduction of a better approach, which looks at creating a more integrated paradigm for sustainable crop management. Without denying the value that genetic engineering in agriculture may possess for certain agrarian contexts, we make a case that superseding the millenarian cultures of practicing agriculture with a homogeneous modus operandi worldwide, at the expense of biodiversity and the ecological services naturally cultivated systems provide can be disastrous for mankind and the whole ecosphere.
    Sustainable Food Production Includes Human and Environmental Health, Edited by Bruce W. Campbell, Silvia Lopez Ortiz, 01/2014; Springer., ISBN: 9400774532
  • Gianna Ferretti · Davide Neri · Tiziana Bacchetti
    Food and Nutrition Sciences 01/2014; 05(16):1568-1576. DOI:10.4236/fns.2014.516170
  • Gianna Ferretti · Imma Turco · Tiziana Bacchetti
    Food and Nutrition Sciences 01/2014; 05(13):1234-1246. DOI:10.4236/fns.2014.513134
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    ABSTRACT: Methylglyoxal (MG), a reactive carbonyl compound formed primarily from triose phosphates, appears to be involved in the molecular mechanisms of diabetes, end-stage renal disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Methylglyoxal exerts several biological activities. Among these it promotes advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are crucial in pathogenesis of human disease. Previous studies have demonstrated that MG reacts with proteins and compositional modifications reflect loss of biological activity. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of in vitro MG-induced glycation on human high density lipoprotein (HDL) and on the activity of the enzyme paraoxonase-1 (PON1).
    Metabolism: clinical and experimental 11/2013; 63(3). DOI:10.1016/j.metabol.2013.10.013 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective Obesity and / or psychopathological disorders of parents represent risk factors for childhood obesity. The aim of the study was to investigate the link between obesity in pregnancy and oxidative stress. Methods. Venous blood was collected from 37 women at the eighth month of gestation (19 obese e 28 normal weight). Cord blood was obtained at birth from newborns of obese mothers and controls. Cord blood and maternal blood was used to separate plasma to be used for the evaluation of leptin, oxidized LDL and paraoxonase (PON1) activity. Results Higher levels of leptin were observed both in maternal blood and cord blood of children of obese women compared to normal weight women. The data showed also lower levels of PON1 activity in plasma of obese women and in the cord blood of their children. Furthermore, a positive correlation was established between levels of PON1 activity in maternal blood and cord blood, suggesting a relationship between PON1 in maternal plasma and fetal cord blood. Conclusions Essential obesity in pregnancy is associated with hyperleptinemia. PON1 exerts an antioxidant role therefore our results demonstrated that obesity exposes to an increased susceptibility to oxidative damage in both mothers and newborns.
    The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine: the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians 10/2013; 27(13). DOI:10.3109/14767058.2013.858319 · 1.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition associated with a high frequency of cardiovascular events. Modifications of plasma lipids, and an increase in the levels of biochemical markers of inflammation and lipid peroxidation have been reported in subjects with psoriasis, suggesting a relationship between psoriasis, inflammation and oxidative damage. Objectives To investigate whether modulation of inflammatory activity by tumour necrosis factor-α inhibitors in patients with psoriasis is associated with modification of lipid profiles, oxidative stress and paraoxonase (PON)1 activity. Methods The levels of plasma lipids and lipoprotein(a), and the levels of the markers of inflammation and lipid peroxidation were evaluated in subjects with psoriasis (n = 23) before and after 24 weeks of treatment with etanercept. In the same subjects plasma total antioxidant capacity and the activity of PON1, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory enzyme associated with the high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), were investigated. Results The results showed that clinical improvement in patients with psoriasis treated with etanercept is associated with a reduction in the levels of inflammatory markers [C-reactive protein (CRP)] and lipid peroxidation, and also with increased antioxidant capacity in the serum of patients with psoriasis. These modifications are associated with a significant increase in the activity of PON1. A significant increase in the PON1/CRP ratio has also been observed in patients with psoriasis after treatment. The significant inverse correlation between CRP and PON1 activity suggests a relationship between PON1 activity and inflammation. Conclusions Treatment with etanercept is associated with a reduction in lipid peroxidation and an improvement in HDL antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
    British Journal of Dermatology 05/2013; 168(5):984-9. DOI:10.1111/bjd.12144 · 4.10 Impact Factor
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    Dataset: reprint SM
    Gianna Ferretti · Tiziana Bacchetti
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    ABSTRACT: Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) represents the most common form of genetic obesity. Several studies confirm that obesity is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and impairment of antioxidant systems; however, no data are available concerning PWS subjects. We compared levels of plasma lipids and C-reactive protein (CRP) in 30 subjects of 'normal' weight (18.5-25 kg/m(2)), 15 PWS obese (>30 kg/m(2)) subjects and 13 body mass index (BMI)-matched obese subjects not affected by PWS. In all subjects, we evaluated the levels of lipid hydroperoxides and the activity of paraoxonase-1 (PON1), an enzyme involved in the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties exerted by high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). Furthermore, using the fluorescent molecule of Laurdan, we investigated the physicochemical properties of HDLs isolated from normal weight and obese individuals. Altogether, our results demonstrated, for the first time, higher levels of lipid hydroperoxides and a lower PON1 activity in plasma of obese individuals with PWS with respect to normal-weight controls. These alterations are related to CRP levels, with a lower PON1:CRP ratio in PWS compared with non-PWS obese subjects. The study of Laurdan fluorescence parameters showed significant modifications of physicochemical properties in HDLs from PWS individuals. Whatever the cause of obesity, the increase of adiposity is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and alterations in HDL compositional and functional properties.
    Disease Models and Mechanisms 07/2012; 5(5):698-705. DOI:10.1242/dmm.009209 · 5.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Celiac disease (CD), a common heritable chronic inflammatory condition of the small intestine caused by permanent intolerance to gluten/gliadin (prolamin), is characterized by a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Developments in proteomics have provided an important contribution to the understanding of the biochemical and immunological aspects of the disease and the mechanisms involved in toxicity of prolamins. It has been demonstrated that some gliadin peptides resistant to complete proteolytic digestion may directly affect intestinal cell structure and functions by modulating gene expression and oxidative stress. In recent years, the creation of the two research fields Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics, has enabled the elucidation of some interactions between diet, nutrients and genes. Various dietary components including long chain ω-3 fatty acids, plant flavonoids, and carotenoids have been demonstrated to modulate oxidative stress, gene expression and production of inflammatory mediators. Therefore their adoption could preserve intestinal barrier integrity, play a protective role against toxicity of gliadin peptides and have a role in nutritional therapy of celiac disease.
    Nutrients 04/2012; 4(4):243-57. DOI:10.3390/nu4040243 · 3.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Paraoxonase-1 (PON1) plays an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory role. Aim of the study was to investigate the alteration of paraoxonase-1 activity in celiac disease (CD), an intestinal disorder characterized by toxic injury exerted by gluten peptides. Activities of PON1, levels of biochemical markers of lipid peroxidation and total antioxidant capacity were evaluated in serum obtained from 27 celiac patients (11 at diagnosis, 16 treated with gluten free diet) and 25 healthy subjects. Moreover, the serum susceptibility of Cu(2+)-induced lipid peroxidation was investigated in controls and patients. The results showed a lower PON1 activity in serum of both groups of celiac patients with respect to control subjects. PON1 activity in CD was related with markers of disease severity and was negatively correlated with the levels of lipid hydroperoxide and with the susceptibility of serum to lipid peroxidation induced in vitro by metal ions. The alteration of PON1 activity and markers of lipid peroxidation realized at lower extent in patients who were on a gluten-free diet.
    03/2012; 2012:587479. DOI:10.1155/2012/587479
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    E Trevisi · P Grossi · T Bacchetti · G Ferretti · G Bertoni
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    ABSTRACT: Paraoxonase-1 (PON) is an antioxidant enzyme synthesized by liver and mainly associated with high density lipoproteins (HDL). Aim of this study was to investigate the alterations of PON1 activity in plasma (pPON) or bound to HDL (HDL-PON) in relation to inflammatory conditions and physiological stages. Between -30 to +300 days from calving, 9 cows were monitored for metabolic and inflammatory profiles, milk yield, body condition score and feed intake. Cows were divided in 2 groups based on their response to postpartum inflammatory stimulus (high and low Liver Functionality Index: HI-LFI and LO-LFI). pPON decreased after calving (P<0.05) and was directly correlated with milk yield (r=0.48; P<0.01), albumins and other indirect indexes of negative acute phase proteins (-APP: cholesterol and retinol binding protein). On the contrary, pPON was inversely related with the +APP (haptoglobin, ceruloplasmin) and related indexes (bilirubin, ROM). The correlation between pPON and HDL-PON was low. After calving, the HI-LFI vs LO-LFI group had higher –APP and pPON levels, lower HDL-PON level and displayed better performances. Overall results demonstrated that pPON has a similar behavior in comparison to –APP, confirming previous data. The results suggested that pPON activity could represent an useful marker to assess the severity of postpartum inflammatory phenomena and their consequences.
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    Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 12/2011; 22(2):e9-e10. DOI:10.1016/j.numecd.2011.08.008 · 3.88 Impact Factor
  • T. Bacchetti · S. Masciangelo · V. Bicchiega · E. Bertoli · Gianna Ferretti
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    ABSTRACT: Phytosterols, phytostanols and their esters are a group of steroid alcohols that occur naturally in plants. As natural constituents of plant structures, phytosterols contribute to the regulation of the fluidity and permeability of cell membranes. They are found mostly in vegetable oils, fruits, nuts, cereals and legumes. The most abundant phytosterols are β-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol. During the last 15years the market for phytosterols, as dietary supplements, has lead to a rapidly growing worldwide market for functional foods containing phytosterols and stanols. Even though many different clinical trials have clearly demonstrated that phytosterols reduce LDL-cholesterol, it is unclear whether phytosterols have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease. Until now, there are no data related to the effect of phytosterol consumption on the development of cardiovascular diseases. This review focuses on the biochemistry of phytosterols, their metabolism and role in health and in pathological conditions. KeywordsPhytosterols–Phytostanols–Functional foods
    Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 12/2011; 4(3):165-172. DOI:10.1007/s12349-010-0049-0
  • G Ferretti · T Bacchetti
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of the paper was to summarize the literature about the effect of dietary lipids on activity of paraoxonase-1 (PON1), a multifunctional enzyme associated with high density lipoprotein (HDL). PON1 exerts a protective effect against oxidative damage of cells and lipoproteins and modulates the susceptibility of HDL and LDL to atherogenic modifications such as homocysteinylation. The present review shows evidence that the amount and the composition of dietary lipids are key factors in the modulation of PON1. The effect of dietary lipids is also modulated by PON1 polymorphisms. The molecular mechanisms involved include an effect on PON1 hepatic synthesis or secretion and/or modification of PON1 interactions with HDL. Changes of PON1 activity could also be related to dietary intake of oxidized lipids that behave as PON1 inhibitors. Dietary fatty acids by the modulation of PON1 gene expression and activity could constitute an useful approach for the prevention of human diseases associated with oxidative damage.
    Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 11/2011; 22(2):88-94. DOI:10.1016/j.numecd.2011.08.011 · 3.88 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
337.02 Total Impact Points


  • 1983–2015
    • Università Politecnica delle Marche
      • • Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences (DISCO)
      • • Department of Biochemistry, Biology and Genetics
      • • Chair of Gastroenterology
      • • Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
      Ancona, The Marches, Italy
  • 1993
    • Università degli Studi di Siena
      Siena, Tuscany, Italy