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עמוד בית
Fri, 14.06.24

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November 2021
Tal David Berger MD, Anna Gorodnichenko MD, Akiva Fradkin MD, and Batia Weiss MD

Background: Adequate dietary habits and physical activity during childhood and adolescence may promote growth and cognitive development and contribute to the prevention of chronic disease in later life. School is considered an important social environment that can promote healthy eating habits and life-style changes.

Objectives: To evaluate the effects of a school-based intervention on nutritional knowledge, eating habits, and physical activity of adolescents.

Methods: We conducted a prospective questionnaire-based study. Anonymous questionnaires were administered at the beginning of the academic year (September 2014) in one high school. During the following year, vending machines containing milk products were installed within the school facility, and students were given two informative nutrition lectures regarding proper nutrition for age, calcium requirement and importance, and physical activity. One active sports day was initiated. At the beginning of the following academic year (September 2015), the students completed the same questionnaires.

Results: The study was comprised of 330 teenagers, mean age 15.1 ± 1.39 years, 53% males. Response rate was 83.6% ± 0.4% to multiple choice questions, 60.7% ± 0.5% to multiple section tables, and 80.3% ± 0.9% to open questions. Post-intervention, respondents reported an increase in eating breakfast (57% vs. 47.5%, P = 0.02) and a decrease in purchasing food at school (61.6% vs. 54.3%, P = 0.03). No changes were observed in consumption of milk products, knowledge regarding calcium and vegetable consumption, or sports activities.

Conclusions: Short-term high school-based interventions may lead to improvements in eating habits but are not sufficient for changing nutritional knowledge and physical activity

June 2016
Tzippora Shalem MD, Akiva Fradkin MD, Marguerite Dunitz-Scheer MD, Tal Sadeh-Kon Dsc RD, Tali Goz-Gulik MD, Yael Fishler MD and Batia Weiss MD

Background: Children dependent on gastrostomy tube feeding and those with extremely selective eating comprise the most challenging groups of early childhood eating disorders. We established, for the first time in Israel, a 3 week intensive weaning and treatment program for these patients based on the "Graz model."

Objectives: To investigate the Graz model for tube weaning and for treating severe selective eating disorders in one center in Israel. 

Methods: Pre-program assessment of patients’ suitability to participate was performed 3 months prior to the study, and a treatment goal was set for each patient. The program included a multidisciplinary outpatient or inpatient 3 week treatment course. The major outcome measures were achievement of the target goal of complete or partial tube weaning for those with tube dependency, and expansion of the child's nutritional diversity for those with selective eating. 

Results: Thirty-four children, 28 with tube dependency and 6 with selective eating, participated in four programs conducted over 24 months. Their mean age was 4.3 ± 0.37 years. Of all patients, 29 (85%) achieved the target goal (24 who were tube-dependent and 5 selective eaters). One patient was excluded due to aspiration pneumonia. After 6 months follow-up, 24 of 26 available patients (92%) maintained their target or improved. 

Conclusions: This intensive 3 week program was highly effective in weaning children with gastrostomy tube dependency and ameliorating severe selective eating. Preliminary evaluation of the family is necessary for completion of the program and achieving the child’s personal goal, as are an experienced multidisciplinary team and the appropriate hospital setup, i.e., inpatient or outpatient. 

 

February 2010
B. Weiss, I. Barshack, N. Onaca, I. Goldberg, Z. Berkovich, E. Melzer, A. Jonas and R. Reifen

Background: Vitamin A and its derivative retinoic acid regulate various aspects of cell behavior as growth, differentiation, and proliferation. Retinoic acid derivatives have been suggested to play a role in processes such as hepatic regeneration and fibrosis.

Objectives: To evaluate the influence of vitamin A on rat liver epithelial cell proliferation.

Methods: We performed common bile duct ligation in rats that had been subjected to differing vitamin A diets and compared their livers to control rats. Proliferation, apoptosis, and retinoic acid receptors were evaluated by histology and immunohistochemistry in bile duct cells and hepatocytes.

Results: Vitamin A deficiency was found to be associated with enhanced proliferation of bile duct epithelial cells following CBD[1] ligation. The proliferation was manifested by increased numbers of ducts, by aberrant extended ductal morphology, and by elevated numbers of nuclei expressing the proliferation marker Ki67. The amount of vitamin A in the rat diet did not affect detectably ductal cell apoptosis. We observed up-regulated expression of the retinoid X receptor-alpha in the biliary epithelium of vitamin A-deficient rats that had undergone CBD ligation, but not in vitamin A-sufficient rats.

Conclusions: We speculate that the mechanism underlying the ductal proliferation response involves differential expression of RXR[2]-alpha. Our observations suggest that deficiency of vitamin A may exacerbate cholestasis, due to excessive intrahepatic bile duct proliferation.






[1] CBD = common bile duct



[2] RXR = retinoid X receptor


July 2008
C. Hartman, D. Berkowitz, B. Weiss, R. Shaoul, A. Levine, O. Eshach Adiv, R. Shapira, A. Fradkin, M. Wilschanski, A. Tamir and R. Shamir

Background: A polymeric diet rich in transforming growth factor-beta 2 used as a single nutrient has been shown to induce remission in 79% of children with Crohn's disease.

Objectives: To summarize the experience of several pediatric gastroenterology units in Israel using a TGFβ2[1]-enriched polymeric diet (Modulen IBD) supplementation in children and adolescents with Crohn's disease.

Methods: In a retrospective study we reviewed the charts of 28 children with Crohn's disease (10 girls, 18 boys) who received, in addition to conventional treatment, Modulen IBD™ as a supplement to their regular nutrition. These children were compared with 18 children supplemented with standard polymeric formula (Ensure Plus®) and 18 children without formula supplementation. We recorded clinical manifestations, growth, and the Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index before and after initiation of the polymeric diet.

Results: The Modulen-treated children showed a significant decrease in PCDAI[2] from 34.3 to 15.7 (P < 0.0001). A significant decrease in PCDAI was recorded also in the Ensure Plus group, from 35 to 22 (P = 0.02) but not in the non-supplemented group. Significant improvements in body mass index (P = 0.01) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (P = 0.03) were recorded at follow-up (median 3.4 months) only in the Modulen IBD group.

Conclusions: In this cohort of children with Crohn's disease, supplementation of the diet with Modulen IBD as well as supplementation with Ensure Plus was associated with a decrease in PCDAI. The children supplemented with Modulen IBD also showed improvement in BMI[3], suggesting an additional advantage of nutritional therapy in children with this disease.






[1] TGF-β2 = transforming growth factor-β2

[2] PCDAI = Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index

[3] BMI = body mass index


January 2004
B. Weiss, Y. Bujanover, B. Avidan, A. Fradkin, I. Weintraub and B. Shainberg

Background: Screening for celiac disease is based on the sequential evaluation of serologic tests and intestinal biopsy; an optimal screening protocol is still under investigation. The screening policy of one of the main healthcare providers in Israel (Maccabi) consists of measuring total immunoglobulin A and tissue transglutaminase IgA[1] antibodies and confirming positive results by endomysial antibodies. For IgA-deficient patients antigliadin IgG is measured.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of tTGA[2] as a first-level screening test in patients suspected of having celiac disease

Methods: The results of tTGA and EMA[3] tests over a 3 month period were obtained from the laboratory computer. Letters were sent to the referring physicians of patients with positive tests, requesting clinical information and small intestinal biopsy results. tTGA was performed using an anti-guinea pig tTG-IgA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit.

Results: Overall, 2,505 tTGA tests were performed: 216 (8.6%) were tTGA-positive of which 162 (75%) were EMA-negative (group 1) and 54 (25%) EMA-positive (group 2). Clinical information was obtained for 91 patients in group 1 and 32 in group 2. Small intestinal biopsy was performed in 33 (36%) and 27 patients (84%) in groups 1 and 2, respectively. Celiac disease was diagnosed in 4 biopsies (12%) in group 1 and 23 (85%) in group 2 (P < 0.0001). The positive predictive value was 45% for tTGA and 85% for EMA.

Conclusions: Symptomatic patients with positive tTGA and negative EMA have a low rate of celiac disease compared to those who are tTGA-positive and EMA-positive. Confirmation with EMA is advised when tTGA is performed as a first-level screening for suspected celiac disease.






[1] Ig = immunoglobulin



[2] tTGAa = transglutaminase IgA antibodies



[3] EMA = endomysial antibodies


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