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Period: September 1, 2012 to September 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
Companies, Organizations  

One Million Americans Now Using USDA’s Diet Planning/Tracking Tool

A free online diet planning and tracking tool developed by the USDA has garnered more than a million registered users, according to Secretary Tom Vilsack. SuperTracker, unveiled in December 2011 along with the My Plate icon, features updated food and physical activity databases, a tool that allows users to set personal calorie goals and a system for tracking personal physical activity. SuperTracker incorporates both the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines and is designed to help Americans put the guidelines into practice in day to day activities.

"USDA's SuperTracker Diet Planning and Tracking Tool Reaches One Million Registered Users", Press release, USDA, September 06, 2012

Soluble Corn Fiber Shown To Be Beneficial For Health, And Well-Tolerated In High Amounts

New research sponsored by U.K. food ingredients provider Tate & Lyle provides evidence that diets rich in soluble corn fiber can be both well-tolerated and healthful. One study in adolescents showed that soluble corn fiber significantly increased beneficial bacteria in the gut and increased calcium absorption. A second study among adults found that 40 grams of soluble corn fiber consumed in a single dose, or up to 65 grams consumed in multiple doses throughout the day, were well-tolerated. The doses exceeded daily recommendations for fiber, and far exceeded average actual daily intake. Neither children nor adults consume anywhere near the recommended 19-38 grams per day.

"New Research Indicates Soluble Corn Fibre Plays an Important Role in Promoting Gut Health and Increasing Calcium Absorption", Press release, Tate & Lyle, September 06, 2012

Research, Studies, Advice  

“Scheduled” High-Fat Feedings Prevent Obesity

Animal-based research conducted in Israel has found that the timing of consumption of a high-fat diet is important to its impact on weight loss. A carefully scheduled high-fat diet can reduce body weight and induce changes metabolism: ingested fat is not stored but is used as energy between meals. For 18 weeks, mice fed a high-fat diet on a fixed schedule were compared to mice that ate scheduled and unscheduled low-fat diets, and a high-fat diet on a fixed schedule. The mice on the scheduled high-fat diet had a lower final body weight than mice on an unscheduled high-fat diet, as well as mice on the unscheduled low-fat diet, though both consumed the same number of calories.

"Timed high-fat diet resets circadian metabolism and prevents obesity", The FASEB Journal, September 12, 2012

Omega-3 Supplements Do Not Lower Risk Of Death From Cardiovascular Disease

Greek researchers who reviewed study data on 70,000 heart patients found no statistically significant association between omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and a lower risk of all-cause death, cardiac death, sudden death, heart attack, and stroke. The conclusions were based on 20 studies. The researchers said their findings do not justify the use of omega-3 supplements “as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 fatty acid administration.”

"Association Between Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation and Risk of Major Cardiovascular Disease Events: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis", JAMA, September 11, 2012

Ginkgo Biloba Supplement Does Not Improve Cognitive Impairment In MS Patients

A new study that followed up on earlier more promising research has found that the Chinese herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba does not improve cognitive function in multiple sclerosis patients. Between 40 and 60 percent of MS patients have memory problems, lower mental processing speed and reduced executive brain skills. Participants in the placebo-controlled study took 120 mg of Ginkgo biloba twice a day. The U.S. researchers acknowledged that participants were treated for only 12 weeks – perhaps not long enough to modify the disease. They said it is possible that Ginkgo may improve cognitive function if administered earlier in the MS process.

"Ginkgo biloba does not improve cognitive function in MS: A randomized placebo-controlled trial", Neurology, September 11, 2012

Non-Alcoholic Red Wine Significantly Reduces Blood Pressure – Study

Non-alcoholic red wine turns out to be a healthier choice for wine drinkers with high blood pressure, according to new research. The study involved 67 men who had diabetes and at least three risk factors for heart disease, including hypertension. After each of three four-week phases – drinking regular wine, non-alcoholic wine and gin while eating a normal diet – the participants were tested. The red wine had very little impact on blood pressure, while gin had no impact. But after drinking non-alcoholic red wine, blood pressure dropped by about 6mmHg in systolic and 2mmHg in diastolic blood pressure. The decrease in blood pressure could over time reduce the risk of heart disease by 14 percent and stroke by 20 percent.

"Pressure and Increases Plasma Nitric Oxide", Circulation Research, September 06, 2012

Study Will Test Whether Vitamin E-Rich Soups In Pregnancy Reduce Child Asthma

Researchers at Scotland’s University of Aberdeen are recruiting mothers-to-be for a study to determine whether eating soups bolstered with vitamin E-rich foods can prevent childhood asthma. The three super-soups -- developed with Scottish food manufacturer Baxters Food Group -- nearly double the daily intake of vitamin E (to 15 mg). The soups are made from sundried tomatoes, sunflower oil, beans, lentils and wheat germ. The soups will be tested – three servings a week – among expectant mothers from 12 weeks into their pregnancy through delivery. The study is based on earlier findings that pregnant women whose diet is low in vitamin E have babies more prone to asthma.

"Can souped-up soup tackle childhood asthma?", News release, University of Aberdeen, September 06, 2012

Defeatist Attitude Of Overweight Women Often Leads To Failure Of Weight Loss Drugs

A British researcher reports that obese patients who fail to lose weight while taking an anti-obesity drug are hampered by their own perceptions about themselves and about the weight loss process. Dr. Amelia Hollywood interviewed 10 overweight patients who had been prescribed the weight loss medication Orlistat. Over 18 months the patients had all gained weight while on the drug. The women told Dr. Hollywood that their failure to lose weight was an inevitable part of their identity, and reflected a self-fulfilling belief that they would always be on a diet. She recommended that doctors who prescribe weight loss drugs stress the importance of a proper –i.e., low fat – diet to avoid adverse consequences.

"When Psychology Trumps Anti Obesity Drugs", News release, presentation at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology, September 05, 2012

Organic Foods May Be Safer To Eat, But Not More Nutritious – Study

Organically grown food may be safer – limiting a person’s exposure to chemical fertilizers and pesticides – but it is not really healthier than conventionally grown foods, a U.S. analysis of more than 200 studies has found. The researchers could find no real differences between organic and conventional food in terms of nutritional content. But organic food was 30 percent less likely to contain pesticides. Some of the studies reported that organic milk contained more omega-3 fatty acids, and some reported that organic foods contained more nitrogen, probably because of differences in fertilizer use. Extra nitrogen is unlikely to confer any health benefit, however.

"Are Organic Foods Safer or Healthier Than Conventional Alternatives?: A Systematic Review", Annals of Internal Medicine, September 04, 2012

Metabolic Disorder Linked To Adolescent Brain Impairments

The increase in childhood obesity in the U.S. has led to an increased occurrence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), a precursor of diabetes. A new U.S. study has now uncovered an association between metabolic syndrome and cognitive impairments in adolescents. Researchers compared 49 adolescents with metabolic syndrome to 62 teens without the disorder. They conducted endocrine, MRI and neuropsychological evaluations on the adolescents and found that those classified as having MetS showed significantly lower math and spelling scores, as well as decreased attention span and mental flexibility.

"Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome and Functional and Structural Brain Impairments in Adolescence", Pediatrics, September 03, 2012

Vitamin D Supplementation Does Not Lower Cholesterol

Researchers who studied people with vitamin D deficiency taking large doses (50,000 IU) of vitamin D3 for eight weeks found no decrease in cholesterol levels of the participants. Vitamin D therapy did result in decreased parathyroid hormone levels and increased calcium levels, changes that were linked to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, bad cholesterol). The U.S. researchers recommended longer-term studies on the impact of the changes in LDL cholesterol with vitamin D therapy. They also wondered whether exposure to sunlight, the predominant natural source of vitamin D, would have a different effect than supplements.

"The Short-Term Effects of Vitamin D Repletion on Cholesterol: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial", Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, August 31, 2012

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