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Period: February 1, 2013 to February 15, 2013
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

Computer Models Show Significant Long-Term Health Benefit Of Reducing Sodium Consumption

U.S. scientists who used three different computer models to project the overall impact of steady annual reductions (totaling 40 percent) of sodium consumption in the U.S. diet found that between 280,000 to 500,000 lives could be saved over 10 years. The optimum scenario would reduce sodium consumption to about 2,200 mg/day. Three research groups took different approaches for their simulations: one used observational cardiovascular outcome follow-up data; the other two inferred the cardiovascular effects of reducing sodium from data about the relationship of blood pressure to cardiovascular disease. “All three methods consistently show a substantial health benefit for reductions in dietary sodium,” the researchers concluded.

"Mortality Benefits From US Population-wide Reduction in Sodium Consumption Projections From 3 Modeling Approaches", Hypertension, February 11, 2013

Frequent Consumption Of Southern Cuisine Significantly Boosts The Risk Of Stroke – Study

Frequent consumption of fried chicken, fried fish, fried potatoes, bacon, ham, liver and gizzards – foods characteristic of Southern U.S. cuisine – significantly raises the risk of stroke, a U.S. study finds. Researchers who analyzed dietary data on more than 20,000 black and white adults found that the frequency of stroke was directly proportional to how much Southern food they ate. Those who ate Southern foods six times a week had a 41 percent higher stroke risk compared to those who ate it once a month. The Southern diet accounted for 63 percent of the higher risk of stroke among African-Americans above whites. Likewise, those who ate more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains had a 29 percent lower risk of stroke risk than those who ate these foods less often.

"Southern Diet Could Raise Your Risk of Stroke", News release, study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, February 07, 2013

Diet Rich In Fruits And Vegetables Can Help Reduce Acid Build-Up, Control Kidney Disease

A diet that is based on animal and grain products – like the classic Western diet – tends to be highly acidic and can lead to metabolic acidosis, a condition common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Now a study by U.S. scientists among 71 patients with advanced CKD found that adding either fruits and vegetables or an alkaline solution (bicarbonate) to their diets had a favorable response by reducing urinary kidney injury markers. The study suggests that these interventions in people with too much acid build-up could help maintain kidney health.

"A Comparison of Treating Metabolic Acidosis in CKD Stage 4 Hypertensive Kidney Disease with Fruits and Vegetables or Sodium Bicarbonate", Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, February 07, 2013

Sleep Duration Linked To Dietary Patterns

A U.S. study finds that certain nutrients seem to play a fundamental role in whether people sleep a long time or only a short time. The researchers say their data show that people whose diet is diverse and well-balanced – basically, a healthy diet – had the healthiest sleep patterns. Data were gathered from the CDC’s NHANE survey, which included dietary and health-related questions. Participants were grouped according to their usual; sleep pattern: very short (less than five hours), short (five to six hours), etc. Long sleep was associated with less intake of theobromine (found in chocolate and tea), dodecanoic acid (a saturated fat), choline (found in eggs and fatty meats), total carbohydrates – and more alcohol.

"Dietary nutrients associated with short and long sleep duration. Data from a nationally representative sample", Appetite, February 06, 2013

Higher Intake Of Calcium Among Men Increases Risk Of Death From Cardiovascular Disease

Men are at much higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) when taking greater amounts of supplemental calcium, according to a prospective U.S. study that analyzed diet and health data collected on 388,000 middle-aged men and women. The greater risk was not found among women, however. After an average of 12 years of follow-up, 51 percent of men and 70 percent of women were found to have taken calcium supplements. Men who took more than 1,000 mg/day of supplemental calcium had a significantly increased risk of total CVD death, especially from heart disease.

"Dietary and Supplemental Calcium Intake and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality", JAMA Internal Medicine, February 04, 2013

Vitamin D Levels Among Canadians Have Dropped Sharply Since 2009 – Study

Blood levels of vitamin D among Canadians are dropping dramatically across all age groups, according to a study by Statistics Canada, putting them at greater risk of serious disease. Canadians between the ages of 6 and 70 experienced a drop of 6.2 percent in average vitamin D levels between 2009 and 2011. The researchers encouraged implementation of public health action programs to urge vitamin D production and recommended that people get their vitamin D blood serum levels to between 100-150 nmol/L for best overall health and disease prevention

"Vitamin D levels dropping dramatically, study finds", Engredea News & Analysis / Newhope 360, February 04, 2013

Men Who Take Vitamin C Supplements Have Twice The Risk Of Developing Kidney Stones

Men who take vitamin C supplements regularly run a higher risk of developing kidney stones, according to Swedish research. The research analyzed data from 23,000 men who had no history of kidney stones and who took either no dietary supplements or supplements in the form of vitamin C only. The researchers found that men who take vitamin C supplements (typically 1000 mg per tablet) are twice as likely to develop kidney stones as men who do not take any dietary supplements. The risk increased with greater frequency of use as well. Regular use of multivitamins was not associated with the risk of kidney stones.

"Ascorbic Acid Supplements and Kidney Stone Incidence Among Men: A Prospective Study", JAMA Internal Medicine, February 04, 2013

Canadian Study Suggests That Middle-Aged Men Need More Protein To Maintain Muscle Mass

A study by Canadian researchers finds that middle-aged men need more than current recommended daily amounts of protein in their diets to maintain muscle mass that is lost with aging. The study measured muscle protein synthesis in 35 men who exercised but did not lift weights. Researchers found that eating a six-ounce serving of 85 percent lean ground beef significantly improved the rate of muscle protein synthesis following exercise. Canada’s Food Guide currently recommends eating about three ounces of meat per serving to provide adequate protein to maintain muscle mass.

"Dose-dependent responses of myofibrillar protein synthesis with beef ingestion are enhanced with resistance exercise in middle-aged men", Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, February 04, 2013

New Technology Boosts Omega-3 Content Of Ground Beef

A U.S. scientist has developed a technique to enhance ground beef with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have a positive impact on heart disease, cholesterol and blood pressure. A Kansas company is now selling the enriched meat under the brand name GreatO Premium Ground Beef in stores in Buffalo, N.Y.  A four-ounce serving of the enhanced hamburger delivers 200 mg of omega-3s and tastes the same as regular ground beef, according to the scientist. The enriched ground beef offers an alternative to people who want omega-3s in their diet but don’t want to eat fish or take supplements.

"Omega-3-Rich Ground Beef Available Soon", News release, Kansas State University, February 04, 2013

Higher Vitamin D Levels Decrease The Risk Of Adult-Onset Type 1 Diabetes

U.S. researchers who studied health data collected from eight million active-duty U.S. military personnel beginning in the 1980s found a significant association between adequate levels of dietary vitamin D and a reduced risk of adult-onset type 1 – or insulin-dependent – diabetes. The researchers said that the risk of type 1 diabetes seems to be higher even at vitamin D levels commonly regarded as normal. This suggests that a substantial proportion of the population could benefit from increased vitamin D intake.

"Preclinical Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Risk of Type 1 Diabetes in a Cohort of U.S. Military Personnel", American Journal of Epidemiology, February 04, 2013

People Can Reduce The Probability Of Heart Disease With A Vegetarian Diet

An Oxford University study concludes that a vegetarian diet significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, the single largest cause of death in developed countries. Researchers analyzed health and diet data from questionnaires submitted during the 1990s by 45,000 British volunteers, 34 percent of whom were vegetarian. They found that the risk of hospitalization or death from heart disease was 32 percent lower in vegetarians than in people who eat meat and fish, after accounting for factors such as age, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, educational level and socioeconomic background. Vegetarians also tended to have a lower body mass index (BMI) and fewer cases of diet-related diabetes.

"Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 30, 2013

Outdoor Fast-Food Ads Linked To Higher Obesity Rates In Urban Areas

A study by scientists at UCLA finds a significant correlation between outdoor advertisements promoting fast food and soft drinks in any given census tract and the likelihood the area’s residents are overweight or obese. For this study, researchers looked at two densely populated areas in Los Angeles and New Orleans with a mix of high- and low-income residents. They linked the occurrence of outdoor fast-food ads with telephone-survey data on height, weight, self-reported body mass index (BMI) and soda consumption. They found that the higher the percentage of outdoor ads for food in a given census area, the higher the odds of obesity in those areas.

"Outdoor advertising, obesity, and soda consumption: a cross-sectional study", BMC Public Health, January 30, 2013

Yogurt’s Popularity As A Breakfast Food Among Young Adults Drives Phenomenal Growth

NPD Group research finds that yogurt’s phenomenal growth over the last decade was primarily driven by an increase in the number of eating occasions – especially breakfast – featuring the product as well as penetration of the young adult market. Another key factor in its success has been innovation, especially in packaging and development of new varieties, such as Greek-style. Since 2008, yogurt has become a breakfast staple, as well as a popular snack and lunch item. Yogurt’s growth as a  breakfast food can be attributed to consumers in the 18-to-34 and 45-to-64 age groups, NPD says, noting that per capita consumption has nearly doubled since 2003.

"Yogurt’s Growth Primarily Sources to Young Adults and In-Home Breakfast, Reports NPD", NPD Group Blog, January 29, 2013

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