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Period: January 1, 2012 to January 15, 2012
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Research, Studies, Advice  

Receptor On The Tongue Makes People More Sensitive To The Taste Of Fat

U.S. researchers report that variations in the gene CD36 make people’s taste buds more or less sensitive to the taste of fat. The study is the first to identify a receptor on the human tongue that can taste fat, and suggests that some people may be more sensitive to the presence of fat in foods. The researchers suggest that as people consume more fat they become less sensitive to it, requiring more intake for the same satisfaction. A better understanding of how CD36, a protein that facilitates the uptake of fatty acids, works in people could provide a clue to the development of more effective ways to fight against obesity.

"The fatty acid translocase gene, CD36, and lingual lipase influence oral sensitivity to fat in obese subjects", The Journal of Lipid Research, January 12, 2012

Levels Of Dietary Iron In Adolescents Affects Structure Of Developing Brain

A lack of iron in the diet in the early years of life can affect the brain’s physical structure, according to a study by U.S. researchers who measured levels of a protein (transferrin) that transports iron throughout the body and the brain in adolescents. They found that transferrin levels were related to detectable differences in the brain’s macro-structure and micro-structure when the adolescents reached young adulthood. The researchers hope that their discovery may shed some light on the neural mechanisms by which iron affects, neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration.

"Brain structure in healthy adults is related to serum transferrin and the H63D polymorphism in the HFE gene", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 12, 2012

Two Compounds In Coffee Block Activity Of Diabetes-Causing Substance

A Chinese study finds that two types of compounds in coffee significantly inhibit a substance that has been determined to be a cause of type 2 diabetes. The misfolding of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) causes type 2 diabetes, and the new research shows that drinking four or more cups of coffee daily cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes in half, mainly because of the blocking activity of two components: caffeic acid (CA) and chlorogenic acid (CGA). “CA shows the highest potency in delaying the conformational transition of the hIAPP molecule with the most prolonged lag time.” Another component of coffee extracts –  caffeine – shows the lowest potency in blocking hIAPP.

"Coffee Components Inhibit Amyloid Formation of Human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide in Vitro: Possible Link between Coffee Consumption and Diabetes Mellitus", Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, January 11, 2012

Recovery From Peripheral Nerve Damage Is Faster When Omega-3 Levels Are High

Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil could play a role in treating peripheral nerve cell damage, according to British researchers. Peripheral nerves transmit signals between the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body. The nerves have the ability to regenerate when damaged, but full recovery only occurs when injuries are minor. The study found that a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped mice recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully. And their muscles were less likely to waste following nerve damage.

"mproved Outcome after Peripheral Nerve Injury in Mice with Increased Levels of Endogenous Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids", Journal of Neuroscience, January 11, 2012

Low Glycemic Load Diet Reduces Biomarker Of Inflammation – And Risk Of Chronic Disease

Overweight and obese individuals who stuck to a “low glycemic load” diet of grains, legumes and other slowly-digested, high-fiber foods experienced a significant reduction in a biomarker of inflammation called C-reactive protein, a U.S. study has found. The biomarker is associated with chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and hardening of the arteries. For the 28-day study, 80 healthy males, half of whom were obese or overweight, ate either a high glycemic load diet (carbohydrates that are typically low-fiber, highly processed carbs) or a low glycemic load diet (carbohydrates higher in fiber). Among participants who followed the low glycemic load diet, the inflammation biomarker was reduced by 22 percent.

" A Low-Glycemic Load Diet Reduces Serum C-Reactive Protein and Modestly Increases Adiponectin in Overweight and Obese Adults", Journal of Nutrition, January 11, 2012

Socioeconomic Factors Are Linked To Lower Daily Consumption Of Fruits And Vegetables

An analysis of data from 94,000 Canadians aged 18 to 69 years has found that many people, especially those with low income or low education, are less likely to eat healthy levels of fruits and vegetables each day. A geographic exception to the finding was people from Quebec, who have a long tradition of farming and eating fruits, vegetables and dairy products. Men, singles, smokers, people in their 40s and households with no children all were less likely to eat fruits. And women tended to snack on fruit and vegetables more frequently (5.4 times a day) than men (4.5 times).

"Disparities in the frequency of fruit and vegetable consumption by socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics in Canada", Nutrition Journal, January 10, 2012

Participating In Lifestyle Change Programs Is Key To Reducing Weight, Risk Of Diabetes

Lifestyle intervention among people at high risk of diabetes could cut the rate of progression to the debilitating disease by as much as 50 percent, according to a U.S. study. Researchers reviewed published literature and studies that tested adaptations of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) trial, in which participants received exercise shoes, meal replacement shakes, one-on-one coaching by exercise physiologists, nutritionists, and nurses, and gym memberships. The researchers found that one year after enrollment the average participant had lost about four percent of baseline body weight, an amount that may offer diabetes protection. Costs associated with diabetes prevention could also be lowered without sacrificing effectiveness. The key to success in weight loss? Motivating higher session attendance.

"The Affordable Care Act Lays The Groundwork For A National Diabetes Prevention And Treatment Strategy", Health Affairs, January 10, 2012

Vitamin D Deficiency Is Major Problem Among Europeans

Europeans reportedly are alarmingly deficient in vitamin D, a nutrient that is essential to the immune system, calcium absorption and other biological processes, researchers in Spain have found. Scientists believe the ideal plasma level of vitamin D is at least 30 ng/ml, but the level in as many as 50 to 70 percent of Europeans is much lower than that, putting them at risk of many diseases and disorders. In menopausal women, a vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, loss of motor coordination and bone fractures. The researchers suggest that vitamin D supplementation would help reduce the risk, especially among postmenopausal women.

"Vitamin D and postmenopausal health", Maturitas, January 10, 2012

Tiny Tax On Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Would Have Health, Economic Benefits

U.S. researchers estimate that a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks would reduce consumption by 15 percent and reduce the occurrence of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to the study, over a ten-year period (2010-2020), the penny-per-ounce tax could reduce new cases of diabetes by 2.6 percent, and prevent as many as 95,000 coronary heart events, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 premature deaths. The health benefits represent more than $17 billion over a decade in medical costs avoided for adults ages 25 to 64, in addition to generating approximately $13 billion in annual tax revenue.

"A Penny-Per-Ounce Tax On Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Would Cut Health And Cost Burdens Of Diabetes", Health Affairs, January 09, 2012

Prevention Of Type 2 Diabetes May Begin In The Womb With Healthy Nutrition

Potential new preventative treatments for type 2 diabetes may begin as early as pre-birth, according to British research. Poor nutrition in the womb can put a person at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other age-related diseases because they are less able to store fats correctly as adults. Storing fats in the right areas of the body is important because otherwise they can accumulate in places like the liver and muscle where they are more likely to lead to disease. The process is controlled by a molecule called miR-483-3p produced at higher levels in individuals who had experienced a poor diet in their mother's wombs than those who were better nourished.

"Programming of adipose tissue miR-483-3p and GDF-3 expression by maternal diet in type 2 diabetes", Cell Death and Differentiation, January 06, 2012

Depression Linked To Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiencies, which have been associated with a wide variety of diseases and disorders, have now been linked to depression, a U.S. study finds. Researchers examined data from 12,600 participants from late 2006 to late 2010. Higher vitamin D levels were associated with a significantly decreased risk of current depression, particularly among people with a prior history of depression. Low vitamin D levels were associated with depressive symptoms, particularly those with a history of depression. The study did not address whether increasing vitamin D levels reduced depressive symptoms. But the researchers say their findings suggest that screening for depression in people with low vitamin D levels “might be useful.”

"Association Between Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Depression in a Large Sample of Healthy Adults", Mayo Clinic Proceedings, January 05, 2012

Fish Oil Capsules Taken During Pregnancy Do Not Prevent Newborn Obesity

A German study of the effect of consuming omega 3 fatty acid supplements during pregnancy on the fat mass of newborns has found no evidence of any association. The study was launched to see whether pregnant mothers could “program” their children to avoid obesity by eating healthy fats. For the study, expectant mothers increased their intake of omega 3 fatty acids with fish oil capsules and fish-based meals during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The diet did not have any discernable impact on the fat mass of the offspring. At 12 months, the babies were as rotund or slim as the children in the control group. The researchers advised that "many of the claims associated with food supplements should be treated with caution."

" Effect of reducing the n−6:n−3 long-chain PUFA ratio during pregnancy and lactation on infant adipose tissue growth within the first year of life", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 04, 2012

BMI Is Most Accurate Way To Calculate Weight Among Kids With Eating Disorders

A U.S. study has found that the body mass index (BMI) percentile method of calculating body weight of adolescents is best for clinical and research purposes. Researchers decided to study the problem because there are no clear guidelines on calculating weight among children and adolescents with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. For the study, they calculated expected body weights using the BMI method along with two other commonly used measures: the McClaren and Moore methods. BMI was the most useful method for children and adolescents of all ages, heights and weights, and could account more accurately for very short and very tall patients as well.

"Calculation of Expected Body Weight in Adolescents With Eating Disorders", Pediatrics, January 04, 2012

Vitamin D Is Essential To Bone And Heart Health, But Too Much Is Harmful

U.S. researchers have found that too much vitamin D – which is necessary for healthy bones and heart protection – may adversely affect cardiovascular health and could actually cause harm. Increasing levels of vitamin D in the blood are linked with lower levels of a marker for cardiovascular inflammation: c-reactive protein, or CRP. But increases in vitamin D beyond normal levels were associated with increases for the inflammation marker, which is linked to stiffening of the blood vessels and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems. “At some point,” the researchers concluded, “[vitamin D] can be too much of a good thing.” The findings were based on an analysis of data from more than 15,000 nutrition and health survey participants.

"Relation Between Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and C-Reactive Protein in Asymptomatic Adults ", American Journal of Cardiology, January 04, 2012

Thinking About What’s Important In Life May Help Prevent Unhealthy Dietary Behaviors

Researchers in Canada and the U.S. who studied 45 overweight and obese women found that women who spent 15 minutes writing about why certain values were most important to them actually lost more weight over four months than women who did not. All of the women ranked their values – e.g., creativity, music, friends, family, etc. – in order of importance. But half of the group wrote about why those values were important, while the other half did not. Those who had written about an important value lost an average of 3.41 pounds, while women in the control group gained an average of 2.76 pounds. The researchers suggested that reminding yourself of what’s important in life may help prevent unhealthy habits, such as snacking.

"The Role of the Self in Physical Health: Testing the Effect of a Values-Affirmation Intervention on Weight Loss", Psychological Science, January 04, 2012

Study Associates Weight Loss Surgery With Reduction In Cardiovascular Events And Deaths

A Swedish study of about 4,000 obese people – half of whom had had bariatric (weight loss) surgery – found that the surgery was associated with a reduced long-term incidence of cardiovascular deaths and events such as heart attack and stroke. After adjustment for several  variables, bariatric surgery was associated with fewer fatal cardiovascular events and a lower incidence of total cardiovascular events. The surgery was also associated both with fewer fatal stroke events and total stroke events. However, the researchers found no significant relationship between weight change and cardiovascular events in either group, perhaps because of “inadequate statistical power to detect this relationship.” Surgery patients underwent gastric bypass (13.2 percent), banding (18.7 percent), or vertical banded gastroplasty (68.1 percent).

"Bariatric Surgery and Long-term Cardiovascular Events", The Journal of the American Medical Association, January 03, 2012

Calories – Not Protein – Contribute To Weight Gain, Study Finds

A U.S. study among 25 healthy people who consumed either low, normal or high protein diets found that those on the low-protein diet gained less weight than those on the normal or high protein diets. In fact, researchers said, calories alone, not protein, appeared to contribute to an increase in body fat. Protein contributed to changes in energy expenditure and lean body mass, but not increases in fat. All participants in the study, both men and women, gained weight. But the rate of weight gain in the low protein diet group was significantly less than in the other two groups: 6.97 lbs. vs. 13.3 lbs for the normal protein diet group and 14.4 lbs in the high protein diet group.

"Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Body Composition During Overeating", Journal of the American Medical Association, December 29, 2011

Study Links Low Vitamin D Levels With Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes In Obese Children

Low vitamin D levels in obese children are a significant predictor of the risk of type 2 diabetes, U.S. researchers find. Past studies have associated low vitamin D levels to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, though the mechanisms of the association are not fully understood. The study shows that obese children with lower vitamin D levels had higher degrees of insulin resistance. The researchers said they could not prove that low vitamin D causes type 2 diabetes, but the findings “suggest that low vitamin D levels may play a role in the development of type 2 diabetes." They noted that poor dietary habits such as skipping breakfast and increased soda and juice intake were associated with the lower vitamin D levels in obese children.

"Vitamin D Deficiency in Obese Children and Its Relationship to Glucose Homeostasis", Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, December 05, 2011

Sympathetic Nervous System Activity is Linked To Dietary Weight Loss In Obese People

Australian researchers who examined 42 overweight and obese people who cut their daily caloric intake by 30 percent for 12 weeks found that those who lost the most weight had significantly higher resting nerve activity compared to those who experienced weight loss resistance. The study showed for the first time that resting muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) measured by microneurographyis is a significant independent predictor of weight loss. Microneurographyis involves the insertion of metal microelectrodes into bundles of nerve fibers. The researchers said their findings suggest a significant contribution of subconscious nervous system activity to the success of dietary weight loss and may help in developing weight loss treatments through stimulating this specific nervous activity.

"Baseline Sympathetic Nervous System Activity Predicts Dietary Weight Loss in Obese Metabolic Syndrome Subjects", Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, December 05, 2011

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