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Period: July 1, 2012 to July 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  

“Natural” Stimulant Found In Nutritional Supplements Is Actually Synthetic – And Dangerous

A substance known as DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine), which is marketed as a “natural” stimulant in a variety of pre-workout and nutritional supplements, is actually a synthetic compound, U.S. researchers have found. Some DMAA products claim the compound is derived from geranium plants. But the deaths of two U.S. soldiers after using DMAA-based supplements led to closer scrutiny. Investigators not only found no DMAA in geranium plants, they determined that DMAA comprises four synthetic compounds called stereo-isomers. They recommended that the FDA either regulate or ban “products in which significant amounts of pharmacological compounds are added.”

"1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA) in supplements and geranium products: natural or synthetic?", Drug Testing and Analysis, July 12, 2012

Menopausal Symptoms May Be Reduced By Losing Weight, Eating Low-Fat Diet

Hot flashes and night sweats are frequently experienced by women before or after menopause as their estrogen levels decline. But U.S. researchers who looked at the effects of a low-fat diet and weight loss on nearly 49,000 postmenopausal women found that those who lost ten or more pounds (or 10 or more percent of their weight) were more likely to eliminate hot flashes and night sweats after a year. It especially helped if their diet was low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. “Weight loss or weight gain prevention may offer a viable strategy to help eliminate hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause," the researchers said.

"Effects of a dietary intervention and weight change on vasomotor symptoms in the Women's Health Initiative", Menopause, July 11, 2012

Daily Iron Supplements Not Necessary To Prevent Anemia In Pregnant Women

Pregnant women need not take iron supplements every day to get the same health benefits, according to a review of clinical studies. In addition, they experience  fewer side effects. Iron supplements are taken during pregnancy to prevent anemia, a condition that harms not only mothers but their infants. But an analysis of 18 clinical trials involving more than 4,000 women found that iron supplements taken only two or three times a week were just as beneficial; and women were less likely to experience side effects like nausea, constipation and high hemoglobin levels.

"Intermittent oral iron supplementation during pregnancy", Cochrane Reviews, July 11, 2012

Study Finds Out Why Sleep Deprivation Can Lead To Weight Gain

German researchers who investigated the possible link between short term sleep deprivation and weight gain have found that sleep-deprived people eat more calories because they are hungrier. They also tend to burn fewer calories because physical activity is reduced. Both phenomena increase the risk of weight gain. Sleep deprivation increased feelings of hunger and raised the amount of the "hunger hormone" ghrelin detected in their blood. After just one night of disrupted sleep volunteers moved around less, decreasing calorie burning, because they felt more tired. Lastly, staying awake for one whole night reduced the amount of energy used by the body when resting.

"Should We Sleep More to Lose Weight?", News release, presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior , July 10, 2012

Moderate But Regular Drinking Reduces Risk Of Rheumatoid Arthritis By Half In Women

Swedish research finds that women who regularly consume more than three alcoholic drinks a week for at least 10 years cut their risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in half, compared with non-drinkers. The study analyzed detailed dietary and lifestyle data on 34,141 women born between 1914 and 1948. After adjusting for factors such as age, smoking and dietary habits, women who drank more than three standard glasses of alcohol per week in both 1987 and 1997 had a 52 percent reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis compared with non-drinkers. One standard glass of alcohol was defined as about 500 ml (16.9 oz.) of beer, 150 ml (5.1 oz.) of wine or 50 ml (1.7 oz.) of liquor. The reduced risk was similar for all three types of alcoholic drink.

"Long term alcohol intake and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in women: a population based cohort study", BMJ, July 10, 2012

“Reward Sensitivity” May Explain Why Some People Are More Vulnerable To Overeating

An Australian psychologist has found that “reward sensitivity” is the personality trait in women that is most closely associated with a greater liking of junk food images found in, for example, television ads, and with an increased urge to eat junk food. The study monitored 75 men and women who watched a 30 minute film embedded with junk food, healthy food, or no food in the commercials. Participants rated the pleasantness of food images and their desire to eat after watching the films. Reward-sensitive women – but not men – experienced greater pleasure and a stronger urge to eat after watching TV ads featuring junk food, compared with ads showing healthy food or no food at all.

"Reward Sensitivity Increases Food “Wanting” Following Television “Junk Food” Commercials", News release, presentation at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, July 10, 2012

Meta-Analysis Of Clinical Trials Finds That Cranberry Products Protect Against UTI

U.S. and Chinese scientists who reviewed 13 clinical trials involving 1,616 individuals found significant evidence that consumption of cranberry-containing products protects against urinary tract infections (UTI) in certain populations. Cranberry products were more effective in women with recurrent UTI, females generally, cranberry juice drinkers, “and people using cranberry-containing products more than twice daily,” the authors wrote. They urged caution in interpreting the conclusions from the analysis, however, “because of the substantial heterogeneity across trials.”

"Cranberry-Containing Products for Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Susceptible Populations", Archives of Internal Medicine, July 09, 2012

Glycemic Index Of Many Varieties Of Rice Is A Healthy Low To Medium

A British study of 235 types of rice finds that the glycemic index can vary from 48 to 92 – with an average of 64. The low to medium GI of many varieties of rice means they can be a healthy part of the everyday diet, especially for people like diabetics who need to control blood sugar levels. Rice varieties like India's most widely grown rice variety, swarna, have a low GI; varieties like doongara and basmati from Australia have a medium GI. Low GI foods are those that measure 55 and less; medium GI measures between 56 and 69; and high GI foods measure at 70 and above.

"Identification of a Major Genetic Determinant of Glycemic Index in Rice", Rice, July 09, 2012

No Link Between Weight Gain And Short-Term Mortality – Study

A new U.S. study seems to belie earlier research linking higher short-term mortality with weight gain. The researchers analyzed national data from 2000 to 2005 from nearly 51,000 adults aged 18 to 90 years who participated in surveys on health-care utilization and costs. They found that people who were overweight or obese had no higher risk of death during a six-year follow-up period compared to normal weight individuals. The researchers said their results should not be construed to mean obesity is not a threat to individual or public health. In fact, weight loss is advisable because obesity has a significant impact on quality of life.

"Body Mass Index, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Short-Term Mortality: A Population-Based Observational Study", The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, July 06, 2012

Study Finds That Higher Doses Of Vitamin D Reduce Fracture Risk Among Elderly

Higher doses of vitamin D – between 800 and 2,000 IUs a day – help reduce bone fractures in both men and women aged 65 and older, according to a Swiss-funded multinational study. The researchers pooled results of 11 randomized clinical trials investigating vitamin D supplementation and the risk of bone fracture among 31,000 older adults. They also found no benefit in taking vitamin D supplements in doses lower than 800 IUs a day for fracture prevention. In the U.S., the dietary reference intake (DRI) for vitamin D in older adults is a minimum of 600 IUs a day for adults between 51 and 70 years-old and 800 IUs in adults over 70.

"A Pooled Analysis of Vitamin D Dose Requirements for Fracture Prevention", New England Journal of Medicine, July 05, 2012

Scientists Figure Out Why A Protein Meal Leaves People Feeling Fuller

French scientists report that they now understand the back-and-forth signaling loop between the brain and gut that generates a feeling of fullness after eating a high-protein meal. Stimulating certain receptors (mu-opioid) on the major blood vessel in the gut enhances food intake, while blocking them suppresses intake. Peptides produced by digestion of dietary proteins block the receptors, curbing appetite. The researchers say that this finding not only explains why people feel fuller after a high-protein meal, it paves the way for new approaches to the treatment or prevention of obesity.

"Mu-Opioid Receptors and Dietary Protein Stimulate a Gut-Brain Neural Circuitry Limiting Food Intake", Cell, July 05, 2012

Research Shows Organic Tomatoes Are Richer In Healthy Nutrients

Spanish researchers have shown that organically-grown tomatoes are richer than conventional  tomatoes in compounds that are beneficial to human health. Known as polyphenols, the compounds have been associated with prevention of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases, as well as some forms of cancer. The researchers say the difference between organic and conventional tomatoes is found in the manure used as fertilizer in organic farming. Plants respond to the manure by activating defense mechanisms that increase the levels of all antioxidants. “The more stress plants suffer, the more polyphenols they produce,” the authors said.

"Evaluation of a Method To Characterize the Phenolic Profile of Organic and Conventional Tomatoes", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 03, 2012

Saturated Fats Adversely Affect Fertility Treatment Outcomes

A U.S. study investigating the impact of various types of dietary fats on in vitro fertilization (IVF) has found that women who eat higher amounts of saturated fats tend to have fewer mature eggs available for the IVF process. Dietary fats studied in 147 women included saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega 6, omega 3 and trans fats. Women with higher intakes of total fat had fewer acceptable eggs (oocytes) retrieved than women with lower intakes. Fat consumption was also inversely associated with embryo quality and number of live births.

"A High Intake of Certain Dietary Fats Associated With Lower Live Birth Rates in IVF", News release, presentation at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, July 03, 2012

Eating At Campus Dining Facilities Has A Positive Impact On Freshmen

First-year college students who eat together in a campus dining facility not only feel they have more social support, they also get better grades, according to a Kansas State University professor’s survey. The professor polled more than 300 freshmen who ate in a dining center that served several dormitories at the school. Sixty-two percent of students said eating in the dining center made them feel more socially connected; 77 percent said they were rarely or never lonely when people sat near them. Students who ate at least 11 times a week in the center earned an average GPA of 3.4; those who ate fewer than seven times per week in the center earned an average GPA of 3.0.

"Campus Dining Centers Make the Grade in Boosting Students' Academics, Social Support", News feature, Kansas State University, July 03, 2012

Maintaining “Energy Balance” Is Key To Winning Obesity Battle

The U.S. should be focusing less on food restriction and weight loss to fight obesity, and should instead pay closer attention to “energy balance”: a combination of food intake, energy expenditure through physical activity and energy (fat) storage. The researchers argue that obesity cannot be reduced simply by dieting, there has to be a physical activity component. The proposal is based on the idea of a “regulated zone,” where energy balance is managed by using strategies that match food and beverage intake to a higher level of energy expenditure than is typical in the U.S. today. “Without increasing physical activity in the population we are simply promoting unsustainable levels of food restriction,” they said

"Energy Balance and Obesity", Circulation, July 03, 2012

Study Seems To Confirm “Obesity Paradox”: Being Overweight Protects Heart Patients

A new U.S. study confirms the so-called “obesity paradox”: in both men and women with advanced heart failure, obesity (determined by body mass index) reduced the risk for adverse outcomes, including death, the need for a heart transplant, and the need for ventricular assist device placement. Researchers analyzed data on 2,718 advanced heart failure patients treated at UCLA Medical Center from 1983 to 2011. Conversely, both men and women with a normal BMI and waist circumference were at a substantially higher risk for adverse outcomes.

"The Obesity Paradox in Men Versus Women With Systolic Heart Failure", American Journal of Cardiology, July 03, 2012

Higher Levels Of Coffee Consumption Are Detrimental To IVF

A Danish study involving 4,000 in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) patients has found that drinking larger amounts of coffee has an adverse effect on pregnancy rates. The study found that drinking five or more cups of coffee a day reduced the clinical pregnancy rate by 50 percent and the live birth rate by 40 percent. The researchers said they were not surprised by the link between pregnancy rates and coffee drinking, but “we were surprised by the magnitude of the effect.”

"Five or More Cups of Coffee a Day Reduce the Chance of IVF Success by Around 50 Percent", News release, presentation at European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting, July 03, 2012

Fast Food Diet Puts Chinese In Singapore At Extreme Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

A study conducted by U.S. scientists in Singapore has found that a diet that includes large amounts of fast food significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. People who eat fast food meals only once a week increase the diabetes risk by 20 percent compared to those who avoid fast food altogether. The risk skyrockets to 80 percent when people consume fast food items four or more times a week. The findings were based on data from a 16-year study of the eating habits of 52,000 Chinese residents of Singapore who experienced a recent and sudden transition from traditional foods to Western-style fast food.

"Western-Style Fast Food Intake and Cardio-Metabolic Risk in an Eastern Country", Circulation, July 02, 2012

Babies Benefit When Mothers Are Taught Healthy Eating Habits

A four-year study involving 667 first-time Australian mothers and their infants has found that a series of eight home-based nutrition education “interventions” – essentially visits by specially trained nurses – reduced the average body mass index of children by age two. The study was undertaken to see if there are practical ways to reduce the rate of childhood obesity, which among Australian children aged 2-3 years has reached 20 percent. The interventions also improved children’s vegetable consumption, reduced the practice of giving food as reward and reduced TV viewing time. Participating mothers increased their vegetable consumption and physical activity.

"Effectiveness of home based early intervention on children’s BMI at age 2: randomised controlled trial", British Medical Journal (BMJ), June 26, 2012

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