top of page

הפרסומים המדעיים שלי

American Journal of Health Promotion.jpg

Blending Towards Healthier Lifestyles: The Impact of Regular Fruit and Vegetable Smoothie Consumption on Dietary Patterns and Sustainable Health Behaviors

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 3 June 2024

Purpose: This research aimed to characterize the nutritional, health and basic sustainability practices among regular smoothies’ consumers (RSC; ≥ 1-2 servings/week for ≥ 2 months).


Design: Cross-sectional survey.


Setting: Self-report online multiple-choice questionnaire survey of random sample of adults from online retailer database and community.


Sample: 193 healthy Israeli adults (75.6% females, mean age 40.65 ± 14.36) completed an online multiple-choice validated survey from May 2022 to August 2023.

Association of BDNF polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus risk: a novel insight into genetic predisposition

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 13 May 2024


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a prevalent metabolic disorder during pregnancy with potential long-term health implications for the mother and child. The interplay between genetics and GDM susceptibility remains an area of active research. Recently, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was investigated in relation to obesity and impaired glucose metabolism and pathogenesis. We aimed to investigate the association of common BDNF polymorphisms, with GDM risk in Israeli females.


A cohort of 4,025 Israeli women data for BDNF common SNPs was analyzed for potential association with GDM using binary logistic regressions analysis (SPSS 29.0 and R) adjusted for confounding variables (age, T1DM, T2DM, PCOS) under different genetic models.

Deciphering the Interplay between Genetic Risk Scores and Lifestyle Factors on Individual Obesity Predisposition

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 26 April 2024


Obesity’s variability is significantly influenced by the interplay between genetic and environmental factors. We aimed to integrate the combined impact of genetic risk score (GRSBMI) with physical activity (PA), sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), wine intake, and eating habits score (EHS) on obesity predisposition risk. Adults’ (n = 5824) data were analyzed for common obesity-related single nucleotide polymorphisms and lifestyle habits. The weighted GRSBMI was constructed and categorized into quartiles (Qs), and the adjusted multivariate logistic regression models examined the association of GRSBMI with obesity (BMI ≥ 30) and lifestyle factors. GRSBMI was significantly associated with obesity risk. Each GRSBMI unit was associated with an increase of 3.06 BMI units (p ≤ 0.0001). PA markedly reduced obesity risk across GRSBMI Qs. Inactive participants’ (≥90 min/week) mean BMI was higher in GRSBMI Q3–Q4 compared to Q1 (p = 0.003 and p < 0.001, respectively). Scoring EHS ≥ median, SSBs (≥1 cup/day), and non-wine drinking were associated with higher BMI within all GRSBMI Qs compared to EHS < median, non-SSBs, and non-wine drinkers. Mean BMI was higher in GRSBMI Q4 compared to other quartiles (p < 0.0001) in non-wine drinkers and compared to Q1 for SSB’s consumers (p = 0.07). A higher GRSBMI augmented the impact of lifestyle factors on obesity. The interplay between GRSBMI and modifiable lifestyle factors provides a tailored personalized prevention and treatment for obesity management.

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene rs925946 associates with Israeli females' obesity predisposition: an interaction between genetics, eating habits, and physical inactivity

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 23 February 2024

The global obesity pandemic presents a pressing health challenge, with an increasing prevalence shaped by an intricate interplay of genetics and environment. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays a pivotal role in regulating feeding behavior and energy expenditure. BDNF single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been linked to obesity risk. We hypothesized that BDNF rs925946 is positively associated with obesity susceptibility in the Israeli population. We aimed to study BDNF rs925946 association with obesity susceptibility and its interaction with environmental factors, including eating habits, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), and physical activity (PA). A data cohort of 4668 Israeli adults (≥18 years, Jewish) was analyzed. Participants' genotypic data for the BDNF rs925946 and lifestyle and eating behavior questionnaire data were analyzed for the association between obesity predisposition and gene-environment interactions. Female (n=3259) BDNF rs925946 T allele carriers had an elevated obesity odd [odds ratio (OR)= 1.2 (95%CI 1.03-1.4, p=0.02)]. BDNF rs925946 genotype interacted significantly with physical inactivity, SSBs consumption, and eating habits score (EHS) to enhance obesity odds (OR= 1.4, 95%CI 1.14-1.7, OR= 1.54, 95%CI 1.1-2.15 and OR= 1.4, 95%CI 1.2-2.11, respectively). Our data demonstrated a significant association between BDNF rs925946 T allele female carriers and a higher obesity predisposition, affected by modifiable lifestyle factors.

Predisposition of the Common MC4R rs17782313 Female Carriers to Elevated Obesity and Interaction with Eating Habits

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 25 October 2023

The global rise in obesity is attributed to genetic predisposition interaction with an obesogenic environment. Melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) rs17782313 polymorphism has been linked to common obesity with varying influence across different populations. MC4R is a crucial player in the leptin proopiomelanocortin pathway that regulates weight hemostasis. We aimed to study MC4R rs17782313 and its interaction with eating behaviors on obesity predisposition in the Israeli population. Adults' (n = 5785, >18 y) genotype and anthropometric and demographic data were analyzed using logistic regression models adjusting for age, sex, T1DM, and T2DM. MC4R rs17782313 significantly predisposes to elevated obesity risk under the recessive and additive models (OR = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.1-1.72, p = 0.005 and OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.01-1.2, p = 0.03, respectively) adjusted for confounders (age, sex, T1DM, and T2DM). Stratification by sex demonstrated that carrying the common MC4R rs17782313 is significantly associated with an elevated predisposition to obesity under the recessive model among females only (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.09-1.82, p = 0.01), with an average of 0.85 BMI increment compared with wild type and one risk allele carriers. MC4R rs17782313 significantly interacted with several eating behaviors to enhance the risk of obesity. Our findings demonstrate that MC4R rs17782313 homozygous female carriers are significantly predisposed to obesity amplified by eating behaviors.

Drinking Habits and Physical Activity Interact and Attenuate Obesity Predisposition of TMEM18 Polymorphisms Carriers

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 4 January 2023


The transmembrane protein 18 (TMEM18) gene plays a central and peripheral role in weight regulation. TMEM18 genetic polymorphisms have been identified as an important risk factor for obesity, depending on ethnic population and age. This research aimed to study the association of common TMEM18 polymorphisms with obesity and their interactions with modifiable factors, namely drinking habits (sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), flavored water and wine) and physical activity (PA) in the Israeli population. Adults (n = 3089) were analyzed for common TMEM18 polymorphisms and lifestyle and nutrition habits were obtained from questionnaires using adjusted (age, sex) binary logistic regression models. TMEM18 rs939583 and rs1879523 were significantly associated with increased obesity risk (OR = 1.35, 95% CI (1.17–1.57) and OR = 1.66, 95% CI (1.29–2.15), respectively). TMEM18 rs939583 interacted with consumption of 1–3 weekly glasses of wine and PA to attenuate obesity risk (OR = 0.82 95% CI (0.74–0.9; p < 0.001) and OR = 0.74 95% CI (0.68–0.8), respectively), while physical inactivity, SSBs and flavored water consumption significantly enhanced obesity risk (OR = 1.54 95% CI (1.41–1.67), OR = 1.31 95% CI (1.14–1.51) and OR = 1.35 95% CI (1.13–1.62), respectively). PA duration was significantly associated with a lower BMI for rs939583 risk carriers, with a PA cutoff of >30 min/week (p = 0.005) and >90 min/week (p = 0.01). Common TMEM18 SNPs were significantly linked with adult obesity risk and interacted with modifiable lifestyle factors.

FTO Common Obesity SNPs Interact with Actionable Environmental Factors: Physical Activity, Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Wine Consumption

by Danyel Chermon and Ruth Birk

Nutrition Department, Health Science Faculty, Ariel University, Israel

Published: 9 October 2022


Genetic background is estimated to play >50% in common obesity etiology. FTO single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are strongly associated with BMI, typically in European cohorts. We investigated the interaction of common FTO SNPs with actionable environmental factors, namely physical activity, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) and wine consumption, and verified FTO common SNPs predisposition to obesity in the Israeli population. Adults’ (>18 years old, n = 1720) FTO common SNPs data and lifestyle and nutrition habits questionnaires were analyzed using binary logistic regression models, adjusted for confounding variables (age, sex) assuming dominant, recessive and additive genetic models. Eighteen FTO SNPs were associated with significant increased obesity risk and interacted with physical activity (p < 0.001), wine consumption (p < 0.014) and SSB consumption (p < 0.01). Inactive rs9939609 risk-allele carriers had significantly higher obesity risk compared to their active counterparts (OR = 2.54, 95% CI 1.91–3.39 and OR = 3.77, 95% CI 2.47–5.75; p < 0.001 with 3.1 and 3.5 BMI increment for heterozygotes and homozygotes, respectively). SSB consumption (≥1 serving/day) significantly raised obesity risk and wine consumption (1–3 drinks/weekly) significantly lowered obesity risk for rs9939609 risk-allele carriers (OR = 1.54, 95% CI 1.05–2.27; p = 0.028 and OR = 0.61, 95% CI 0.47–0.79; p < 0.001, respectively). Our findings demonstrate that actionable lifestyle factors modify the common FTO obesity risk in predisposed carriers, and they have personal and public health implications.

Potential role of indolelactate and butyrate in multiple sclerosis revealed by integrated microbiome-metabolome analysis

Izhak Levi (1,2) Michael Gurevich (3) Gal Perlman (1,2) David Magalashvili (3) Shay Menascu (3,4) Noam Bar (1,2)
Anastasia Godneva (1,2) Liron Zahavi (1,2) Danyel Chermon (3) Noa Kosower (1,2) Bat Chen Wolf (1,2) Gal Malka (1,2)
Maya Lotan-Pompan (1,2) Adina Weinberger (1,2) Erez Yirmiya (1,2) Daphna Rothschild (1,2) Sigal Leviatan (1,2) Avishag Tsur (3)
Maria Didkin (3) Sapir Dreyer (3) Hen Eizikovitz (3) Yamit Titngi (3) Sue Mayost (3) Polina Sonis (3) Mark Dolev (3) Yael Stern (3) Anat Achiron (3,4,5) and Eran Segal (1,2,5,6)

(1) Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel

(2) Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 7610001, Israel

(3) Multiple Sclerosis Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Ramat-Gan 526200, Israel

(4) Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

(5) These authors contributed equally

(6) Lead contact

Published: 20 April 2021


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease whose precise etiology is unknown. Several studies found alterations in the microbiome of individuals with MS, but the mechanism by which it may affect MS is poorly understood. Here we analyze the microbiome of 129 individuals with MS and find that they harbor distinct microbial patterns compared with controls. To study the functional consequences of these differences, we measure levels of 1,251 serum metabolites in a subgroup of subjects and unravel a distinct metabolite signature that separates affected individuals from controls nearly perfectly (AUC = 0.97). Individuals with MS are found to be depleted in butyrate-producing bacteria and in bacteria that produce indolelactate, an intermediate in generation of the potent neuroprotective antioxidant indolepropionate, which we found to be lower in their serum. We identify microbial and metabolite candidates that may contribute to MS and should be explored further for their causal role and therapeutic potential.

bottom of page