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Diet News Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<12345678910>> Total issues:125

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June 15, 2017, to July 15, 2017

Customized Dietary Supplements, Thanks To 3D Printing Technology

A company funded by the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund has figured out a way to use 3D printing technology to mix several ingredients and print customized dietary supplements. An example of the ingredient combinations – and one of the more popular among its test customers – is vitamin D, omega-3 and caffeine. The caffeine is released later in the day, “something a mass-produced pill cannot do,” one of the researchers said. The 3D technology permits small batches, which in turn permits personalization of a customer’s order after a dietary nutrient analysis. Other FDA-approved ingredients that the Multiply Labs technology can mix include calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc; vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and folic acid.

Study Warns That Too Much Vitamin D Can Be Harmful

Vitamin D supplements are beneficial for bone health, but a new study that analyzed data on more than 39,000 adults finds that Americans may be overdoing it. The number of U.S. adults taking daily vitamin D supplements between 1999 and 2014 increased by more than 17 percent, with three percent of the population exceeding the recommended upper dosage limit. Too much vitamin D poses a risk of adverse effects, including abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood and soft tissue, leading to vascular calcification. The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU/d for adults 70 years or younger and 800 IU/d for those older than 70 years.

Olive Oil Protects Memory, Learning Ability

U.S. and Italian researchers have determined in an animal study that extra virgin olive oil, a major component of the Mediterranean diet, protects memory and learning ability and reduces the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Olive oil reduces brain inflammation but most importantly activates a process known as autophagy, the process by which cells break down and clear out intracellular debris and toxins. The researchers now plan to see whether olive oil added to the diet after the onset of brain disease will stop or reverse it.

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May 15, 2017, to June 15, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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April 01, 2017, to May 15, 2017

Osteoporosis Risk Drops When People Eat More Yogurt

A large study – 3,881 women, 2,053 men – by researchers at Trinity College Dublin has determined that people who eat more yogurt tend to have denser hip bones and thus a reduced risk of osteoporosis, a chronic condition leading to weaker bones and more bone fractures. The researchers looked at a wide array of possible risk factors, including BMI, kidney function, physical activity, servings of milk or cheese, calcium or vitamin D supplements, smoking, inactivity, and alcohol use. After adjusting for these, they found that a unit increase in yogurt intake in women was associated with a 39 percent lower risk of osteoporosis, and a 52 percent lower risk in men. Vitamin D supplements also helped reduce osteoporosis risk.

Compounds Left In Gut After Wine Digestion Protect Neuronal Cells

Scientists have known for years that drinking wine in moderation seems to delay the onset of brain disorders and cognitive impairment associated with aging. A multinational research team investigating the phenomenon has come up with some tentative insights into why this happens. They didn’t examine the wine itself, but took a close look at the compounds – they’re called wine-derived human gut metabolites – that remain after the wine exits the stomach and enters the gut. Wine metabolites with the right composition were found to protect neuronal cells from stress, but only if the composition of the gut microbiota (i.e., probiotic profile) was just right.

Alternate-Day Fasting Has No Advantage Over A Calorie-Restricted Diet

Dieters who switch to one of the popular alternate-day fasting schemes from a simple daily calorie restriction routine may be kidding themselves, a U.S. study finds. Researchers organized 100 participants into three groups for a year: one that tried alternate-day fasting (25 percent of calorie needs on fast days); daily calorie restriction (75 percent of recommended calories every day); or no diet at all. The trial showed that, compared to a simple calorie-restricted diet, alternate-day fasting did not keep people on the diet, did not result in better weight loss or weight maintenance, and did not improve risk indicators for heart disease.  

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March 01, 2017, to April 01, 2017

Family Meals Without TV Watching Are Linked To Lower Obesity Rates

A U.S. study of data collected in phone surveys of nearly 13,000 Ohioans – a third of whom were obese – found that those who ate home-cooked family meals, regardless of how often, were less likely to be obese. More than half said they eat family meals on most days, 35 percent on some days, and 13 percent on few days per week. A third watched TV or videos most of the time during family meals; 36 percent said they never did. Especially important was what the families were doing during their dinnertimes. The odds of obesity were much lower among adults who never watched TV or videos during family meals, and who prepared their own dinners, at least a couple of times a week.

Eight Servings Of Fruits, Vegetables Daily Is Better For You

Norwegian and British scientists report that nearly eight million deaths a year could be prevented if people ate eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day. The researchers scoured 142 publications from 95 population studies that examined the relationship between consumption of fruits and vegetables and the risk of chronic diseases. Each analysis included information on several hundred thousand people. They found that the risk of dying prematurely from all causes was reduced by almost a third, and the risk of cardiovascular disease by about a quarter in people who ate 800 grams of fruit and vegetables every day. The greatest benefit came from eating apples, pears, citrus fruit, fruit juice, green leafy vegetables, and fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.

Handbook On Brain Health Encourages Older Adults To Focus On Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is associated with retention of cognitive function among older people. But there is a lot of misinformation out there about what constitutes healthy eating, so scientists at a Canadian center for brain health put together a handbook for people over 50. The book encourages older adults to eat berries or cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, rather than a specific type of berry, vegetable or other “superfood.” It’s the overall pattern of healthy eating that improves brain health, such as fish, beans, olive oil, nuts, and stir-fried foods. Beans or legumes should be added to soups and stews.

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February 15, 2017, to March 01, 2017

A Pasta-Rich Mediterranean Diet Is A Healthful Diet

A pasta-rich diet is an indicator of a more healthful diet generally, according to a study presented at a recent scientific meeting. Pasta eaters tend to consume more minerals and nutrients like folate, iron, magnesium, and dietary fiber. All of these help reduce blood cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Because it is a low glycemic index food, pasta, a major component of the Mediterranean diet, also helps to manage blood sugar levels. Pasta consumption is also associated with less intake of saturated fat and sugar that adds calories but no essential nutrients. 

Online Weight Loss Support Forums Help Dieters Keep Up Their Spirits

A Norwegian researcher who studied the diary of an online weight loss forum has determined that participants who are active in such groups, actually “confessing” to their diet failures, receive a form of “forgiveness” from other forum participants. In other words, the “self-blaming posts elicited absolutional replies.” The encouraging replies to reports of “challenges, problems and failures” seem to make the long and stressful road to shedding pounds a little easier to follow. In many cases, a dieter’s confessional post elicits a large number of responses because users support each other, and hope to get support when they need it. Researcher Ingeborg Grønning says: “Losing weight is a long process, you have to work hard and persistently to succeed. Encouragement from others helps keep spirits up.”

Europe’s Soft Drink Makers To Lower Sugar Content Another Ten Percent

Responding to evolving consumer preferences regarding sugar consumption, European soft drink manufacturers have agreed to cut sugar levels another ten percent within three years. The decision is also a response to pressure from Member States and the European Commission for coordinated product reformulation. UNESDA Soft Drinks Europe, which represents European makers of nonalcoholic drinks such as carbonates, fruit-based beverages and dilutables, announced the decision. UNESDA members say they will try various approaches to achieving the goal, including innovation, reformulation, using smaller pack sizes and encouraging consumers to choose low- and no-calorie drinks. UNESDA represents 80 percent of the European soft drinks industry by value.

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February 01, 2017, to February 15, 2017

Foods Rich In Resistant Starch Offer Several Health Benefits

Resistant starch, found in bananas, potatoes, grains, and legumes, is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a form of dietary fiber. Over the last decade, resistant starch has been the subject of numerous studies showing it has a significant impact on post-meal blood sugar metabolism, satiety, and intestinal health. This new comprehensive review of these studies summarizes the effects of resistant starch consumption and looks at potential mechanisms of action that underpin them. One possible conclusion is that resistant starch foods may be particularly useful for managing diabetes. However, the British researchers found no evidence of an impact on other metabolic markers, such as blood pressure and blood lipids. 

Study Throws Cold Water On Assumptions About Exercise And Weight Gain

Regular exercise offers many health benefits – reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer and improved mental health and mood – but preventing weight gain or boosting weight loss are not among them, according to a new U.S. study that collected data from the U.S. and four other countries. The study among young adults of African descent also found that sedentary time was not associated with weight gain. At the first visit, Ghana participants had the lowest average weights, and were also fitter than Americans. Ghanaians were more likely to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week (U.S. guidelines). The researchers were surprised to find, however, that total weight gain in every country over two years was actually greater among participants who met the physical activity guidelines.  

Scientists Find Dangerous, Illegal Substances In Herbal Supplements

A British chemist and a team of scientists who have been examining ways to detect illegal ingredients in herbal supplements have come up with some disturbing findings. Many over-the-counter supplements labeled as fully herbal often include potentially dangerous pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label. For example, the scientists found that weight loss supplements often contain sibutramine (once sold as Reductil). The substance was taken off the market in 2010 in Europe and the U.S. because of an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Another example: tadalfil and sulfoaildenafil were frequently found, but not listed on the label, in herbal supplements for erectile dysfunction. When taken with other medicines containing nitrates, they can lower blood pressure drastically and cause serious health problems.  

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November 15, 2016, to February 01, 2017

Fans Of Black Coffee Save A Lot Of Calories, Study Finds

About half of America’s 325 million people drink coffee or tea regularly, and many of them add sugar, cream, syrups or other caffeine-rich additives. A new U.S. study that analyzed 12 years of data from a national health and nutrition survey found that about two-thirds of the coffee drinkers and one-third of the tea drinkers put sugar, cream, flavorings or other calorie-rich additives in their drinks. The sample included 13,185 adults who reported drinking coffee and 6,215 adults who reported drinking tea in the 24 hours prior to being surveyed. People who drink black coffee consume an average of about 69 fewer total calories a day than those who add sweeteners, cream or other substances to their coffee. More than 60 percent of those calories come from sugar, the rest from fat. Tea drinkers tend to add fewer calorie-dense substances to their beverages. 

Fructose Seems To Be The Sweetener That Increases Health Risks

Glucose may deliver more calories than fructose, but fructose contributes more to weight gain and other health problems, according to a study in lab animals by Spanish scientists.Animals that were fed fructose in addition to their regular diet showed more markers of vascular disease and liver damage than the glucose group (and the control group). These markers included high triglycerides, increased liver weight, decreased fat burning in the liver (contributing to fatty liver disease) and impaired relaxation of the aorta, which affects blood pressure. The findings suggest that increased calories from sweeteners isn’t the only factor in long-term health risks. The type of sweetener may be more important in increasing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. 

New Urine Test Accurately Profiles A Person’s Diet

British scientists have developed a five-minute urine test that can determine accurately whether a person is eating a nutritious diet or junk food. The test measures hundreds of biomarkers known as metabolites that appear in urine when red meat, chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables are digested. It measures how much fat, sugar, fiber and protein a person has eaten. The test was applied to urine samples in 291 participants from a previous study and found to accurately predict diet. The scientists say that the test will help dieters – whose food diaries are often inaccurate – properly record intake of unhealthy food as well as fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that about 60 percent of people misreport what they eat to some extent. 

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November 01, 2016, to November 15, 2016

Daily Consumption Of Sugary Drinks Puts People At Great Risk Of Diabetes

A 14-year U.S. study involving 1,685 middle-age adults found that those who regularly drank at least one can of sugary soda a day were 46 percent more likely to develop symptoms of prediabetes, including insulin resistance. Sugary beverages included colas and other carbonates, and non-carbonated fruit drinks (but not fruit juice) such as lemonade and fruit punch. The researchers said the risk of diabetes could be lowered substantially by a simple lifestyle change: replace sugary beverages with water or unsweetened coffee or tea.

Compound Produced By Protein Digestion Controls Appetite

Hormones play a key role in regulating appetite and hunger. Ghrelin, for example, tells us when we are hungry, and GLP-1 tells us when we are sated and can stop eating. New British research in mice and rats has now found that phenylalanine, an end-product of protein digestion, increases levels of GLP-1 while decreasing ghrelin. In the experiments, a single-dose of phenylalanine reduced food intake by modulating the two hormones, and repeated administration caused weight loss in obese mice and spurred rats to move around more, which could further help weight loss.

Restricting Eating To Early In The Day Has Significant Metabolic Benefits

A U.S. study that followed eleven overweight men and women over four days of eating the same number of calories, but only between 8 am and 2 pm, found some significant benefits. Eating earlier in the day followed by 18 hours of fasting resulted in reduced daily hunger swings and increased fat burning during several hours at night. It also improved metabolic flexibility, which is the body's ability to switch between burning carbs and fats. The researchers said more research on early-time restricted feeding in humans is needed to create a more complete picture of whether it can help prevent and treat obesity.

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September 15, 2016, to November 01, 2016

Diet Rich In Fruit And Caffeine Reduces Risk Of Blindness-Causing Condition

Portuguese researchers have demonstrated that following the Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on antioxidant-rich fruit cuts the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a debilitating eye condition that leads to blindness. The researchers also reported that caffeine seems to be especially protective against AMD. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and healthy fats and fish. Studies have shown the diet improves heart health and reduces cancer risk. The researchers followed 883 people age 55 or older, 449 of whom had AMD in its early stages before vision loss. They found that those who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet – especially consuming more fruit and caffeine – had a 35 percent lower risk of AMD.

Type 2 Diabetics Lose Weight After Switching From Diet Soda To Water

A study involving obese women with type 2 diabetes found that those who substituted water for diet beverages after lunch for six months lost more weight than those who stuck to diet drinks. The 81 overweight and obese women were divided into two groups, one of which continued to drink diet beverages. The women who substituted water for diet soda lost 6.40 kg (compared to 5.25 kg) and experienced a greater decrease in BMI (2.49 kg/m2 compared to 2.06 kgm2). Other benefits from drinking water: greater improvements in fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Significant Reduction In Heart Disease Risk When Switching To Polyunsaturated Fats

Substituting commonly used foods containing saturated fats with foods containing polyunsaturated fats significantly reduces cholesterol levels and heart disease risk after only two months, according to a Norwegian study. The clinical trial involved 115 people who had moderately high cholesterol levels who were randomly assigned to either a polyunsaturated fat diet group or a high-saturated fat group. For the polyunsaturated diet group, common foods such as spread for bread, cooking fats, cheese, bread and cereals contained only polyunsaturated fats. After eight weeks, total cholesterol dropped in this group by nine percent, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol dropped 11 percent. These changes correspond to a 27 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease.

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September 01, 2016, to September 15, 2016

Study Proves That Omega-3 Intake Can Cut Risk Of Diabetic Blindness By Nearly Half

Older people with type 2 diabetes can reduce the risk of an eyesight-threatening condition known as diabetic retinopathy by eating a healthy diet and increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study by Spanish scientists. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish like salmon and in nuts. The study gathered dietary data between 2003 and 2009 from 3,614 type 2 diabetics 55 to 80 years old. They were told to eat at least 500 mg of omega-3s a day, a target that can be achieved by consuming two meals of fatty fish a week. After six years of follow-up, it was found that the 2,611 participants who stuck to the omega-3 recommendation had cut their risk of diabetic retinopathy by 48 percent.

Citrus Fruit Antioxidants Fend Off Obesity-Related Conditions

Brazilian scientists predicted at a scientific meeting that someday the antioxidants known as citrus flavanones will be used to prevent or delay chronic obesity-related diseases. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes are particularly rich in these flavanones. Working with mice, the research team fed 50 animals with or without citrus flavanones (hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol) while feeding them a standard or high-fat diet. They found that a high-fat diet without flavanones significantly increased biomarkers of cell damage. However, mice fed citrus flavanones were healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose.

Some Cooking Methods Significantly Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Obese people showing signs of insulin resistance that portends diabetes improved their condition simply by avoiding the byproducts of dry heat-cooked or heat-processed foods, a U.S. study has found. High levels of “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs) not only cause pre-diabetes by increasing insulin resistance, they lead to brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease. For the study, one obese group was allowed to eat foods cooked by high-AGE grilling, frying or baking. The second group was told to avoid those methods in favor of poaching, stewing, or steaming. At the end of the study, the low-AGE group showed significantly improved insulin resistance, slightly decreased body weight, and much lower AGE levels in the body.
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