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Period: August 15, 2012 to September 1, 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
Comment & Opinion  

Believing The Mythology Surrounding Prostate Cancer Can Be Dangerous For Men

A mythology has grown up around the causes, preventive measures and treatment of prostate cancer, according to a U.S. expert. For example, consuming lycopene – the nutrient that gives tomatoes their red color – does not prevent prostate cancer. Nor does fish oil, with its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, or selenium or vitamin E. In fact, studies have shown that selenium and vitamin supplements actually increase the risk of prostate cancer. As to PSA diagnosis, one in ten men screened for prostate cancer using PSA tests actually do benefit from treatment, not one in 50 as reported by some researchers.

"Prostate Cancer: Six Things Men Should Know About Tomatoes, Fish Oil, Vitamin Supplements, Testosterone, PSA Tests", Prostate Cancer Six Things Men Should Know About Tomatoes, Fish Oil, Vitamin Supplements, Testosterone, PSA Tests, August 22, 2012

Diet Plan Advocates Eating Whole Wheat Bread

Losing weight – and losing an obesity problem – is the goal of The Healthy Way, a weight loss video program that advocates eating nutritional whole grain bread, which is much higher in fiber than white bread. The higher fiber content “helps your body eliminate toxins, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and has been found to lower risk of heart disease and cancer.” The diet plan suggests replacing butter and mayo with ketchup, mustard, or homemade hummus. Likewise, spreading olive oil on bread and adding natural herbs and spices is a great substitute for butter.

"Including Bread in a Diet, Is It a Weight Loss Idea for Good Health", SBWIRE, August 17, 2012

Research, Studies, Advice  

Microgreens Found To Have Higher Concentrations Of Micronutrients Than Mature Plants

Many of the currently trendy seedlings – known as microgreens – of green vegetables and herbs are actually more nutritious than the mature versions, according to U.S. research. Microgreens have gained popularity in recent years, a culinary trend that has blossomed in many upscale markets and restaurants. Seedlings of spinach, lettuce, red cabbage and other vegetables are usually one to three inches tall and harvested 14 days after germination. The researchers found that microgreens generally have higher concentrations of healthful vitamins and carotenoids than their mature counterparts.

"Assessment of Vitamin and Carotenoid Concentrations of Emerging Food Products: Edible Microgreens", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 29, 2012

Leftover Antibiotics In Sausage Meat Can Actually Boost Pathogen Production

Residues of antibiotics often weaken or kill beneficial bacteria added to uncured pepperoni or salami sausages to make them safe for consumption, according to Danish and Irish researchers. Sausage meat is commonly inoculated with lactic-acid-producing bacteria to control the fermentation process. The final product is then acidic enough to kill pathogens that might have existed in the raw meat. But antibiotics residues kill the bacteria that produce lactic acid, thus allowing pathogenic bacteria to proliferate. Unfortunately, the leftover antibiotic is not potent enough to kill the harmful pathogens. The researchers note that good quality controls in processing plants can catch fermentation problems.

"Residual Antibiotics Disrupt Meat Fermentation and Increase Risk of Infection", mBio, August 28, 2012

Older Men Who Take Their Vitamins Have Healthier Sperm

U.S. researchers have found that men older than age 44 who consumed the most vitamins C and E, zinc and folate had 20 percent less sperm DNA damage than those who consumed the least. The findings were based on an analysis of 80 healthy male volunteers between the ages of 22 and 80. According to the researchers, consuming greater quantities of micronutrients – either from  supplements or their diet – “helps turn back the clock for older men,” who generally have an increased risk of sperm DNA damage. The research comes as more men over 35 have children, which raises public health concerns, the scientists said.

"Micronutrients intake is associated with improved sperm DNA quality in older men", Fertility and Sterility, August 27, 2012

Poor Kids And Couch Potatoes Love Sugary Drinks – Canadian Study

A thirst for sugary drinks is the common denominator of preschoolers from low-income neighborhoods and couch potato kids mesmerized by TV and video games, according to Canadian research. Researchers who surveyed parents about the dietary and lifestyle habits of 1,800 Canadian preschoolers found that 54.5 percent of four- and five-year-olds from poor neighborhoods drank at least one soda or fruit juice a week. Only 40.8 percent of kids from wealthier neighborhoods drank that many sugary beverages. Similar drinking habits were found among preschoolers who spent more than two hours a day watching TV or playing video games.

"Food Consumption Patterns in Preschool Children", Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, August 24, 2012

Gluten-Free Diet Does Not Lead To Weight Loss – Study

A U.S. scientist reports that he could find no evidence that a gluten-free diet offers health benefits or promotes weight loss in the general population. Only one percent of Americans suffers from celiac disease, and another six percent suffers from gluten sensitivity. These people need to avoid gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – in all foods they eat. For the rest of the population, gluten may provide important benefits, such as supporting heart, gut and immune system health. A gluten-free diet does not lead to weight loss, either. In fact, according to Glenn Gaesser, Ph.D., it may promote weight gain, because gluten-free products contain more added fats and sugars.

"New Research Debunks Gluten-free Diet for Weight Loss", Press release, Grain Foods Foundation, August 23, 2012

Coconut Water Makes A Great Sports Drink, But Maybe Not For Super-Athletes

A U.S. researcher recently presented evidence that coconut water lives up to its reputation as a natural sports drink, but perhaps not for super-athletes. Chhandashri Bhattacharya said coconut water provides everything that the big commercial sports drinks offer, including five times the potassium of either Gatorade or Powerade. Coconut water, however, had only 400 mg/liter of sodium compared to 600 for the other two drinks, which is the main reason why it may not be suited for those who participate in strenuous exercise. However, it had comparable quantities of magnesium and carbohydrates as the other drinks.

"Coconut Water Is an Excellent Sports Drink -- For Light Exercise", News release, presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 20, 2012

Local Illinois Wines Prove To Have Anti-Carb Properties

Scientists at the University of Illinois who analyzed the anti-carb effects of some local wines found that they compared favorably with the anti-diabetes drug acarbose, which inhibits enzymes responsible for carbohydrate absorption and assimilation. Alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase enzymes were inhibited by the bioactive compounds of blueberry and blackberry wines in a range of 91.8 percent for alpha-amylase compared to acarbose, and 103.2 percent for alpha-glucosidase compared to acarbose. That could someday mean a tasty – and dealcoholized – way to help people with diabetes decrease their blood sugar.

"Comparison of Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Capacity of Commercially Available Blueberry and Blackberry Wines in Illinois", Journal of Food Science, August 20, 2012

Electricity Supercharges Antioxidant And Polyphenol Content Of Sweet Potatoes

Japanese researchers report that sending an electrical charge through an average sweet potato can greatly boost its nutritional value. Supercharging the sweet potato, which is already considered one of the most nutritious of vegetables and a global dietary staple for millennia, offers a way to further increase the role of the vegetable in “relieving hunger and improving nutrition and health,” the researchers said. The study found that passing 0.2 amps of current through a salt solution containing sweet potatoes increased antioxidant activity by 1.4 times and total polyphenol content by 1.6 times.

"Electrifying success in raising antioxidant levels in sweet potatoes", News release, presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 20, 2012

Resveratrol Might Someday Help Prevent Dangerous Falls Among Elderly

Experiments in mice have found that resveratrol, a natural antioxidant found in red wine and dark-skinned fruits, could someday be used to improve mobility and prevent life-threatening falls in older people. U.S. researchers acknowledged, however, that though the results are encouraging, resveratrol does have a major drawback: it is poorly absorbed by the body. That means a 150-pound person would have to drink almost 700 four-ounce glasses of red wine a day to absorb enough resveratrol to get any beneficial effects. The researchers are looking to develop a synthetic version that mimics the effects of resveratrol and might be more bioavailable.

"Red wine could help balance...but only with 700 glasses a day", News release, presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 19, 2012

Eating Meat Cooked At High Temperatures Increases Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Pan frying red meats at high temperatures may increase the risk of advanced prostate cancer by as much as 40 percent, according to a new U.S. study. For the study, researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,000 men who participated in a California prostate cancer study. They found that men who ate more than 1.5 servings of pan-fried red meat per week increased their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 30 percent. Men who ate more than 2.5 servings of red meat cooked at high temperatures were 40 percent more likely to have advanced prostate cancer. The researchers said the higher risk may be a result of potent carcinogens formed when meats are cooked at high temperatures.

"Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer", Carcinogenesis, August 16, 2012

Some Foods Contain Mood-Enhancing Ingredients Similar To Antidepressant Drugs

Some food flavors may have mood-enhancing effects because of ingredients whose chemical composition is similar to valproic acid, a widely used prescription mood-stabilizing drug, U.S. scientists report. Molecules in chocolate, a variety of berries and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have shown positive effects on mood. Valproic acid – sold under brand names such as Depakene, Depakote and Stavzor – is used to smooth out mood swings of people with manic-depressive disorder and related conditions.

"Good Mood Foods: Some Flavors in Some Foods Resemble a Prescription Mood Stabilizer", News release, presentation at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, August 16, 2012

Daily Intake Of Walnuts Boosts Sperm Health

Young men who eat 75 grams of walnuts – about two handfuls – a day improve the health of their sperm, a new U.S. study reports. The news offers hope to the 70 million or so couples who are experiencing subfertility or infertility worldwide. Thirty to 50 percent of the cases can be traced to the male partner. For the study, 117 healthy men between the ages of 21 and 35 either avoided eating tree nuts, or ate 75 grams of walnuts each day for 12 weeks. Tests of the sperm in both groups found that those who ate walnuts had improved sperm quality: greater vitality, motility, and morphology.

"Walnuts improve semen quality in men consuming a Western-style diet: randomized control dietary intervention trial", Biology of Reproduction, August 15, 2012

Mediterranean Diet Found To Boost Bone Formation In Older People

Eating a Mediterranean diet enriched with olive oil over a long period of time may have a protective effect on bones, an Italian study to be published in October finds. The study – it was originally designed to determine the diet’s impact on cardiovascular disease – included 127 men aged 55 to 80 years whose diet patterns were followed for two years. Researchers measured a variety of biomarkers, including cholesterol, triglycerides and osteocalcin, a bone formation marker. They found that only consumption of the Mediterranean diet with olive oil was associated with a significant increase in concentration of total osteocalcin and other bone formation markers.

"A Mediterranean Diet Enriched with Olive Oil Is Associated with Higher Serum Total Osteocalcin Levels in Elderly Men at High Cardiovascular Risk", Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, August 15, 2012

Preschoolers Who Learn Self-Control Gain Many Benefits As They Mature

Preschoolers who learn self-control when eating do better in school and are more likely to control their weight as they get older, a U.S. study finds. The study was based on data collected between 1968 and 1974, when 653 four-year-olds completed a delay of gratification test. They were given one treat and were told that they would be given a second treat if they could wait to eat the first for 15 minutes. Follow-up studies found that delaying gratification as a preschooler was associated with adolescent academic strength, social competence, planfulness, ability to handle stress, higher SAT scores and lower body mass.

" 'Preschoolers’ Delay of Gratification Predicts Their Body Mass 30 Years Later", The Journal of Pediatrics, August 15, 2012

Yo-Yo Dieters Should Not Give Up On Healthy Diet, Physical Activity

Constantly shedding and regaining pounds – a common phenomenon known as weight cycling or “yo-yo dieting” – does not adversely affect metabolism or reduce the ability to lose weight over the long term, a U.S. study has found. Researchers analyzed data from 439 overweight-to-obese  sedentary women, ages 50 to 75, who were assigned to diet-exercise plans or no plan at all. Eighteen percent were severe weight cyclers who had lost 20 or more pounds at least three times; 24 percent were moderate weight cyclers. Reason for optimism: all of the dieters-exercisers lost weight, and cyclers did not differ from the non-cyclers in the amount of weight loss.

"History of weight cycling does not impede future weight loss or metabolic improvements in postmenopausal women", Metabolism, August 14, 2012

Cocoa Flavanol Intake Linked To Improvement Of Cognitive Impairment In Elderly

An Italian study of elderly people with mid cognitive impairment has found that daily intake of the  flavanols from cocoa significantly improved memory and cognitive scores, and reduced insulin resistance, blood pressure and oxidative stress. Flavanols are also found in tea, grapes, red wine, and apples, but for the study the source of the flavanols was restricted to cocoa. The researchers acknowledged that they weren’t sure whether the improvements in cognitive impairment were the direct result of the flavanols, or the indirect result of improvements in cardiovascular function.

"Protective Effects of Flavanol-Rich Dark Chocolate on Endothelial Function and Wave Reflection During Acute Hyperglycemia", Hypertension, August 09, 2012

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