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Low-Fat Dairy Products Linked To Higher Risk Of Parkinson’s

U.S. researchers who analyzed 25 years of diet and health data on nearly 130,000 men and women found that three servings of low-fat dairy products a day were linked with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. No such association was found with whole milk or other full-fat dairy products. People who consumed at least three servings of low-fat dairy a day had a 34 percent greater chance of developing Parkinson's than people who consumed less than one serving a day. Consuming more than one serving of skim and low-fat a day was associated with a 39 percent greater chance of developing Parkinson's. The researchers acknowledged that early Parkinson's symptoms may have affected the dietary behaviors and questionnaire responses of study participants.

"Baseline motor findings and Parkinson disease prognostic subtypes", Neurology, June 11, 2017

Vitamin K: Not Just Found In Leafy Greens

USDA nutrition researchers have shown that the relatively obscure vitamin K, once thought to exist only in leafy green vegetables, is also present in significant amounts in dairy products containing fat, including milk, yogurt, and cheese. Vitamin K, which helps the blood to clot, is found in two natural forms: phylloquinone, which is plant-based, and menaquinones, found in animal products and fermented foods, and produced by bacteria in the human gut. The researchers say more research is needed to determine the role of microbes used in production of dairy products, and their impact on menaquinone content. There is also a need to determine the bioavailability of all menaquinone forms, considering their abundance in the U.S. diet.

"Multiple Vitamin K Forms Exist in Dairy Foods", Current Developments in Nutrition, June 11, 2017

Zinc Could Provide A Simple Way To Prevent Liver Disease

Australian researchers have determined that adequate levels of zinc in the blood inhibit the inflammatory and antiviral effects of a protein associated with tissue damage caused by chronic liver disease, including infections like hepatitis C and influenza. Without adequate zinc in the bloodstream, the protein IFN-λ3 binds to the interferon lambda receptor, which results in decreased antiviral activity and increased viral replication. Zinc also blocks the inflammatory activity of IFN-λ3, which has been strongly linked to liver cirrhosis in viral and non-viral liver disease. The researchers said their findings support the use of zinc as a simple, effective preventative measure against acute and chronic inflammation in the liver.

"Zinc is a potent and specific inhibitor of IFN-λ3 signaling", Nature Communications, June 11, 2017

Coffee, Herbal Tea Consumption Linked To Lower Risk Of Liver Disease

Dutch researchers have shown that drinking coffee and herbal tea could protect against the liver stiffness (fibrosis) associated with extensive scarring of the liver caused by unhealthy lifestyles. These include Western-style processed food diets and heavy alcohol consumption. However, coffee and herbal teas are popular, widely available, and inexpensive, and could become important in the prevention of advanced liver disease. The data were gathered on 2,424 adults in the Rotterdam study, a large population-based cohort study whose participants were 45 years or older.

"Coffee and herbal tea consumption is associated with lower liver stiffness in the general population: The Rotterdam study", Journal of Hepatology, June 11, 2017

U.S. Households Are Buying Packaged Foods/Drinks With Less Sodium

A U.S. study has found that the amount of sodium households acquired from packaged food and beverages decreased between 2000 and 2014 by 396 mg/day per person, from 2,363 mg/day to 1,967 mg/day. In addition, the amount of sodium relative to the amount of food purchased also declined 12 percent (49 mg/100 g). The researchers analyzed data acquired from food and beverage barcode scanning from 2000 to 2014 among a sample of 172,042 U.S. households. The data are somewhat flawed because consumers did not report how much of the food purchased was actually consumed. So there is no way to tell if sodium intake was reduced as well.

"Sodium Reduction in US Households’ Packaged Food and Beverage Purchases, 2000 to 2014", JAMA Internal Medicine, June 11, 2017

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