[1] Fruit and vegetables, and cardiovascular disease: a review

Increased interest in the potential cardio-protective effects of fruit and vegetables is currently unsupported by systematic reviews of the reported associations of these foods with risk. METHOD: All ecological, case-control, cohort studies and unconfounded trials in humans were eligible for inclusion. Eligible outcomes were symptomatic coronary heart disease, stroke and total circulatory disease. Only studies of diet that reported on fresh fruit and vegetables or a nutrient which could serve as a proxy (reversing the usual direction of inference) were included. MEDLINE (1966-1995) and EMBASE (1980-1995) were searched using the terms cerebrovascular disorder, coronary heart disease, fruit(s) and vegetable(s) as keywords. Personal bibliographies, books and reviews were also searched, as were citations in located reports. RESULTS: For coronary heart disease nine of ten ecological studies, two of three case-control studies and six of 16 cohort studies found a significant protective association with consumption of fruit and vegetables or surrogate nutrients. For stroke three of five ecological studies, none (of one) case-control study and six of eight cohort studies found a significant protective association with consumption of fruit and vegetables or surrogate nutrients.

[2] Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals 

Cardiovascular disease and cancer are ranked as the first and second leading causes of death in the United States and in most industrialized countries. Regular consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer disease, cataracts, and some of the functional declines associated with aging. Prevention is a more effective strategy than is treatment of chronic diseases. Functional foods that contain significant amounts of bioactive components may provide desirable health benefits beyond basic nutrition and play important roles in the prevention of chronic diseases. The key question is whether a purified phytochemical has the same health benefit as does the whole food or mixture of foods in which the phytochemical is present. Our group found, for example, that the vitamin C in apples with skin accounts for only 0.4% of the total antioxidant activity, suggesting that most of the antioxidant activity of fruit and vegetables may come from phenolics and flavonoids in apples. We propose that the additive and synergistic effects of phytochemicals in fruit and vegetables are responsible for their potent antioxidant and anticancer activities, and that the benefit of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is attributed to the complex mixture of phytochemicals present in whole foods.

[3] Fruit and Vegetables in Cancer Prevention

Our aim was to review the epidemiological literature on possible cancer-preventive effects of the consumption of fruits and vegetables in humans, to quantify the effect of high versus low consumption of fruits and vegetables, and to give an overall assessment of the existing evidence. We based our work on an expert meeting conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2003. A qualitative reading and evaluation of relevant articles on the cancer-preventive effect of the consumption of fruits and vegetables was made followed by the calculation of the mean relative risk and range for cohort and case-control studies separately. The possible population-preventable fraction for modifying diet in relation to fruit and vegetable consumption was calculated as well as an overall statement about the degree of evidence for the cancer-preventive effect of fruit and vegetable consumption for each cancer site. There is limited evidence for a cancer-preventive effect of the consumption of fruits and vegetables for cancer of the mouth and pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum, larynx, lung, ovary (vegetables only), bladder (fruit only), and kidney. There is inadequate evidence for a cancer-preventive effect of the consumption of fruits and vegetables for all other sites. Applying this range of risk difference to the range of prevalence of low intake, the preventable fraction for low fruit and vegetable intake would fall into the range of 5–12%.

[4] Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria Isolated from Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Using Nested PCR Analysis

Aims: The study investigated the diversity and identities of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) isolated from different fresh fruits and vegetables using Molecular Nested PCR analysis with the view of identifying LAB with anti-microbial potentials.
Study Design: Nested PCR approach was used in this study employing universal 16S rRNA gene primers in the first round PCR and LAB specific Primers in the second round PCR with the view of generating specific Nested PCR products for the LAB diversity present in the samples.
Place and Duration of Study: Biotechnology Centre of Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria, between January 2011 and February 2012.
Methodology: Forty Gram positive, catalase negative strains of LAB were isolated from fresh fruits and vegetables on Man Rogosa and Sharpe agar (Lab M) using streaking method. Standard molecular methods were used for DNA extraction (Norgen Biotek kit method, Canada), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Amplification, Electrophoresis, Purification and Sequencing of generated Nested PCR products (Macrogen Inc., USA).
Results: The partial sequences obtained were deposited in the database of National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Isolates were identified based upon the sequences as Weissella cibaria (5 isolates, 27.78%), Weissella kimchi (5, 27.78%), Weissella paramensenteroides (3, 16.67%), Lactobacillus plantarum (2, 11.11%), Pediococcus pentosaceus (2, 11.11%) and Lactobacillus pentosus (1, 5.56%) from fresh vegetable; while Weissella cibaria (4, 18.18%), Weissella confusa (3, 13.64%), Leuconostoc paramensenteroides (1, 4.55%), Lactobacillus plantarum (8, 36.36%), Lactobacillus paraplantarum (1, 4.55%) and Lactobacillus pentosus (1, 4.55%) were identified from fresh fruits.
Conclusion: This study shows that potentially LAB can be quickly and holistically characterized by molecular methods to specie level by nested PCR analysis of the bacteria isolate genomic DNA using universal 16S rRNA primers and LAB specific primer.

[5] Geohelminths Contamination of Fruits and Vegetables Sold in Lafia Markets

Fruits and vegetables are important in human diets as they help the body system function optimally but could also pose risk to human health when taken unhygienically. This study assessed geohelminths contamination on some common fruits and vegetables sold in Lafia markets and also obtained information on people’s knowledge about fruits and vegetables contamination with geohelminth parasites using structured questionnaire. A total of 500 samples of fruits and vegetables (comprising 250 fruits and 250 vegetables) including mango, cashew, carrot, garden egg, tomato, fluted pumpkin, cabbage, lettuce, spinach and bitter leaf were sampled from five different markets in Lafia, Nasarawa state, Nigeria from May to July 2015. The studied samples were categorised into two; this include 300 washed and 200 unwashed samples. These samples were checked for geohelminths contamination using standard floatation and sedimentation techniques. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) and fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis) had the highest proportion of geohelminths contamination (30.43%), lettuce (17.39%) and bitter leaf had no contamination among the vegetables sampled; however, contamination occurred highest in carrot (Daurus carota) (34.48%) within the fruit category and least contamination was found in tomato and cashew (20.69%). Geohelminth parasites eggs and larvae identified include Ascaris lumbricoides, Hookworm, Strongyloides stercoralis and Trichuiris trichiura with A. lumbricoides occurring highest. Information obtained indicated that 65% of the respondents have never heard of geohelminth parasites. Effective health and hygiene education is necessary in order to overcome the continued spread of geohelminths infections through eating unhygienic fruits and vegetables.



[1] Ness, A.R. and Powles, J.W., 1997. Fruit and vegetables, and cardiovascular disease: a review. International Journal of epidemiology26(1), pp.1-13.

[2] Liu, R.H., 2003. Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals. The American journal of clinical nutrition78(3), pp.517S-520S.

[3] Vainio, H. and Weiderpass, E., 2006. Fruit and vegetables in cancer prevention. Nutrition and cancer54(1), pp.111-142.

[4] Emerenini, E.C., Afolabi, O.R., Okolie, P.I. and Akintokun, A.K., 2013. Isolation and molecular characterization of lactic acid bacteria isolated from fresh fruits and vegetables using nested PCR analysis. Microbiology Research Journal International, pp.368-377.

[5] Abe, E.M., Ajah, L.J., Ayuba, S.O., Mogaji, H. and Ekpo, U.F., 2016. Geohelminths contamination of fruits and vegetables sold in Lafia markets. Annual Research & Review in Biology, pp.1-8.

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