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Period: October 15, 2012 to November 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

Legume Diet Reduces Risk Of Heart Disease Among Diabetics

People with type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by eating more legumes as part of a low-glycemic index (GI) diet, a three-month clinical study by Canadian researchers has found. The study tested the effects of eating more legumes – beans, chickpeas or lentils – on 121 type 2 diabetes patients. Patients were assigned randomly to eat either a low-GI legume diet (one cup a day) or a diet with increased soluble fiber in the form of whole wheat products. The low-GI legume diet had a positive impact on glycemic control, blood lipid levels and blood pressure, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

"Effect of Legumes as Part of a Low Glycemic Index Diet on Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus", Archives of Internal Medicine, October 22, 2012

Press Release  

Study Finds That Plant-Based Flavonoids Reduce Risk Of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Researchers who analyzed data from questionnaires completed by nearly 2,000 African-American and European men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer found a link between consumption of plant-based flavonoids prior to diagnosis and a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer. What made the difference was consuming a variety of plant-based foods and beverages, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and tea. The researchers found that no individual subclass of flavonoids worked better than the others. So “it is important to consume a variety of plant-based foods in the diet, rather than to focus on one specific type of flavonoid or flavonoid-rich food."

"Increased Flavonoid Intake Reduced Risk for Aggressive Prostate Cancer", News release, presentation at the AACR International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, October 17, 2012

Kretschmer Launches Web Site Promoting Health Benefits, Versatility Of Its Wheat Germ

Wheat germ brand Kretschmer (Sun Country Foods) believes its “superfood” should play a bigger role in America’s breakfast, lunch and dinner plans. The brand has launched a Web site that provides wheat germ recipes and healthy lifestyle tips designed to upgrade wheat germ’s profile as a nutrition-packed and versatile meal ingredient. Wheat germ is derived from the most nutrient rich part of the wheat kernel and is an excellent – low-calorie – source of vitamin E, the B vitamins, folic acid, protein and fiber. MyWheatGerm.com suggests adding wheat germ to morning yogurt or cereal, a salad or smoothie at lunch, or using it as an alternative to bread crumbs at dinner time.

"Look Who's Coming To Dinner, Lunch And Breakfast: Wheat Germ Is One Of This Year's Rising Health Food Stars", News release, Kretschmer/Sun Country Foods, October 09, 2012

Research, Studies, Advice  

Meals High In Saturated Fats Do Immediate Damage To Blood Vessels

A Canadian clinical trial that measured the effects of different types of meals on the inner lining of blood vessels in 28 nonsmoking men found that a meal loaded with saturated fats damages arteries. In contrast, a Mediterranean-style meal rich in good (mono- and polyunsaturated) fats caused no damage at all to blood vessels, and may even have had a beneficial effect. For the study, the men ate a meal composed of salmon, almonds, and vegetables cooked in olive oil. Arteries of the study participants dilated normally. The second meal included a sausage sandwich, an egg, cheese, and three hash browns. Arteries dilated 24 percent less than in the fasting state.

"Does the Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet Influence Baseline and Postprandial Endothelial Function?", Canadian Journal of Cardiology, October 30, 2012

Young Adults Can Improve Working Memory With Omega-3 Supplements

Numerous studies have linked omega-3 fatty acids to a variety of health benefits. But a new U.S. clinical study found that 11 healthy young adults (ages 18 to 25) boosted their memory by increasing omega-3 intake. Participants in the study, which was not placebo-controlled, took an omega-3 fish oil supplement (FDA-approved Lovaza) daily for six months after various tests were performed, including brain imaging scans. At six months, participants underwent blood tests and completed working memory tests, including the “n-back test”. The working memory of the participants was shown to be greatly improved over pre-study results. The researchers were disappointed, however, that brain imaging  tests did not reveal the mechanism of enhanced memory.

"Improved Working Memory but No Effect on Striatal Vesicular Monoamine Transporter Type 2 after Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation", PLoS ONE, October 25, 2012

Some Herbal/Dietary Supplements Are Dangerous When Taken With Prescription Medications

A comprehensive research review by Chinese and U.S. scientists has found that certain herbal and dietary supplements can be harmful when taken with prescription medications. The researchers analyzed 54 review articles and 31 original studies, finding particularly serious adverse effects when prescription drugs were taken with St. John’s Wort, magnesium, calcium, iron or ginkgo biloba. The greatest number of supplement interaction problems were with Warfarin, insulin, aspirin, digoxin and ticlopidine. Most of the interaction problems were caused by the supplements altering the way a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized and eliminated by the body.

"Evaluation of documented drug interactions and contraindications associated with herbs and dietary supplements: a systematic literature review", International Journal of Clinical Practice, October 24, 2012

Organic Produce Not Healthier Than Conventional – Until You Take Into Account Pesticide Levels

The American Academy of Pediatrics has conducted an in-depth analysis of scientific evidence regarding the nutritional benefit of organic fruits and vegetables, finding that they have the same vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc., as conventionally grown produce – but without the pesticide residues. The AAP said that low pesticide levels could be a significant factor for young children. The researchers said no one really knows whether differences in pesticide levels have an adverse health impact over a lifetime, but "we do know that children – especially young children whose brains are developing – are uniquely vulnerable to chemical exposures."

"Organic Foods: Health and Environmental Advantages and Disadvantages", Pediatrics, October 22, 2012

Higher Calcium Intake Lowers Risk Of Thyroid Problems In Older Women

Women whose diet is low in calcium run the risk of developing primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT), a condition in which an overactive thyroid secretes too much parathyroid hormone, leading to weak bones, fractures and kidney stones, a study finds. U.S. researchers collected data beginning in 1986 on 58,354 women aged 39 to 66 years. They measured calcium intake from dietary sources and supplements every four years. Women with the highest intake of dietary calcium had a 44 percent lower risk of developing PHPT than those with the lowest intake. Even women who took a modest 500 mg/day of calcium supplements had a 59 percent lower risk than those who took no supplement.

"Calcium intake and risk of primary hyperparathyroidism in women: prospective cohort study", BMJ, October 18, 2012

Antioxidant-Rich Diet Of Fruits, Vegetables Significantly Reduces Heart Attack Risk In Women

Researchers in Sweden who tracked the dietary patterns of 32,561 women over ten years in a population-based cohort study found that total dietary antioxidant intake from fruits, vegetables, coffee, chocolate and whole grains, was important in the prevention of heart attack (myocardial infarction). A diet of fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants reduced the risk of heart attack in women aged 49 to 83 by as much as 29 percent. The researchers acknowledged that the study was conducted among women and therefore could not be generalized to men.

"Total Antioxidant Capacity from Diet and Risk of Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort of Women", American Journal of Medicine, October 17, 2012

Daily Multivitamin Reduces Cancer Risk In Men

Taking a daily multivitamin seems to significantly reduce the risk of cancer in men, according to the results of the first long-term clinical trial on the impact of multivitamins on cancer. Researchers tracked nearly 15,000 men who took either a multivitamin or a placebo for more than 10 years. The men themselves reported whether they had been diagnosed with cancer. The researchers found that those who took a daily multivitamin had eight percent fewer cancer diagnoses compared with the group taking the placebo. The multivitamins were also associated with an apparent reduction in cancer deaths.

"Multivitamins in the Prevention of Cancer in Men: The Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial", JAMA, October 17, 2012

Cognitive Impairment In Elderly Is Worse If Diet Is Heavy In Carbs, Sugar

Mayo Clinic scientists who tracked 940 people aged 70 to 89 who provided regular information about their diets found that those who consumed a lot of carbohydrates were significantly more likely to experience mild cognitive impairment. The risk was even greater among those whose diet was heavy in sugar. Those who consumed a lot of protein and fat relative to carbohydrates were less likely to become cognitively impaired. At the start of the study participants showed no signs of cognitive impairment. But after four years 200 of those 940 were beginning to show mild cognitive impairment. When total fat and protein intake were taken into account, people with the highest carbohydrate intake were 3.6 times likelier to become cognitively impaired.

"Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia", Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, October 16, 2012

Overeating Impairs The Brain’s Ability To Detect Insulin Signals, Which Can Lead To Diabetes

A U.S. study in animals has found a connection between overeating and a brain malfunction associated with poor insulin control and eventually diabetes. Overeating impairs the ability of brain insulin to suppress glucose release from the liver and lipolysis in fat tissue. When a person  overeats, the brain becomes unresponsive to important clues such as insulin, which then leads to diabetes. According to the researchers, the study shows “that it is really the brain that is harmed first [in overeating] which then starts the downward spiral."

"Short Term Voluntary Overfeeding Disrupts Brain Insulin Control of Adipose Tissue Lipolysis", Journal of Biological Chemistry, October 16, 2012

Premature Babies With Damaged Intestines Could Benefit From Prebiotic Feeding

Children who have suffered from intestinal failure could benefit from adding the right prebiotics to their diet, a U.S. study has found in piglets. The researchers fed the newborn pigs the carbohydrate fructooligosacharide (FOS) as a prebiotic. Many premature infants develop necrotizing enterocolitis, a kind of gangrene of the intestine and have to be fed intravenously once the damaged parts of the intestine are surgically removed. The new research found that by adding FOS to the piglets’ diet, the gut grew and increased in function. FOS enters the intestines where bacteria convert it into butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that increases the size of the intestines and their ability to digest and absorb nutrients.

" Intestinal Adaptation Is Stimulated by Partial Enteral Nutrition Supplemented With the Prebiotic Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharide in a Neonatal Intestinal Failure Piglet Model", Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, October 15, 2012

This Is Your Brain On Food: Studies Reveal How Diet Affects Brain Functions

News release, presentations at the annual meeting of the Society For NeuroScience, October 16, 2012

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