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Period: April 1, 2013 to April 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

Carnitine Found In Red Meat, Energy Drinks, Promotes Hardening Of The Arteries

A compound added to energy drinks and dietary supplements – and abundant in red meat – has been shown to promote hardening of the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Beneficial bacteria in the gut convert carnitine into a metabolite (trimethylamine-N-oxide, or TMAO ) that has been linked in a previous study to atherosclerosis. A diet rich in red meat actually promotes the growth of the bacteria that metabolize carnitine, compounding the problem. The study further found that vegans and vegetarians have much less ability to synthesize TMAO from carnitine, “which may explain the cardiovascular health benefits of these diets”.

"Intestinal microbiota metabolism of l-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis", Nature Medicine, April 07, 2013

Canada Approves Stress Reduction/Weight Management Supplement For Sale

Next Pharmaceuticals, a maker of natural raw materials for dietary supplements, announced that its weight management supplement Relora has been licensed by Health Canada for sale in the country. Sold in the U.S. since 2000, Relora purportedly alleviates stress, curbs stress-related eating and promotes weight management by “quieting the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis without causing drowsiness”. The product’s ingredients include Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense bark extracts used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Relora is a powder available for use in capsule form for oral administration.

"Health Canada Approves Sales of Relora® in Canada", Marketwire , April 01, 2013

Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish Oils Shown To Bolster Immune System

Scientists have known for some time that the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) in fish oils can reduce harmful inflammation, but a new U.S. study shows they actually boost the immune system. The study in mice found that DHA-enriched fish oil enhanced white blood cell activation and antibody production. This bolsters immune responses associated with pathogens, and possibly dampens the entire inflammatory response. The immune-enhancing properties of fish oils could benefit people whose immune systems have been compromised, such as those with AIDS or with cancer undergoing radiation treatment.

"DHA-enriched fish oil targets B cell lipid microdomains and enhances ex vivo and in vivo B cell function", Journal of Leukocyte Biology, April 01, 2013

“Reality Check” Urges Researchers To Avoid Hyping “Miracle Foods” For Preventing Cancer

Nutritional scientists and media professionals should be careful about publicizing single-study findings on the effects of so-called “miracle foods” on cancer risk, a “Reality Check” commentary by U.S. health scientists warns. The commentary mentions a show by TV’s Dr. Oz in which he said studies had shown that endive, red onion, and sea bass can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 75 percent. “However, the scientific evidence supporting these recommendations is limited,” the authors wrote. Researchers should be explaining to the public that miracle foods do not exist, but achieving and maintaining an ideal weight and regular physical activity are critical to lowering cancer risk, even though these are “not as ‘sexy’ as Dr. Oz would like.”

"Reality Check: There is No Such Thing as a Miracle Food", Nutrition and Cancer, April 01, 2013

Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish Add Years To Lifespan Of Elderly – Study

Add older adults to the list of people who can benefit from eating omega-3-rich fish and seafood, a U.S. study says. In fact, people aged 65 and older can cut their mortality risk by as much as 27 percent, and their risk of death by heart attack by as much as 35 percent. Older adults with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (DHA,DPA, or EPA) survived 2.2 years longer on average than those with lower levels. Researchers looked at 16 years of data from about 2,700 U.S. adults aged 65 or older who participated in a long-term heart study. DHA was most strongly related to lower risk of coronary heart disease; DPA with lower risk of stroke death; and EPA with lower risk of nonfatal heart attack.

" Plasma Phospholipid Long-Chain ω-3 Fatty Acids and Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in Older Adults: A Cohort Study", Annals of Internal Medicine, April 01, 2013

American Consumers Are Worried About Sodium Intake, But Confused About How To Cut Back

Mintel reports that 58 percent of Americans say they monitor their salt intake at home, but are not necessarily buying less processed food or eating out less often – where the real salt threats lie. Seventy-two percent of consumers limiting their sodium intake say they cook with less salt and 64 percent say they add less salt to their meals. The researcher says these patterns show that Americans are confused about how to reduce sodium intake. Most of the sodium people consume comes from packaged foods and restaurant fare, “not what they are preparing at home”. Mintel advises restaurants and packaged food makers to enhance the flavor of low-sodium foods by using herbs and spices.

"Don’t put down the salt shaker yet; American consumers confused on how to best reduce sodium intake", Mintel Oxygen Reports, March 31, 2013

Canola Oils Found To Reduce Abdominal Fat, Lower Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome

The monounsaturated fats in canola oil and high-oleic canola oils appear to reduce abdominal fat, in turn reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome, U.S. researchers have found. For the randomized, controlled trial, 121 participants at risk for metabolic syndrome consumed a smoothie containing 40 grams (1.42 oz.) of one of five oils as part of a weight maintenance, heart-healthy, 2000-calorie per day diet. Results showed that those who consumed canola or high-oleic canola oils every day for four weeks lowered their belly fat by 1.6 percent compared to those who consumed a flax/safflower oil blend.

"Monounsaturated Fats Reduce Metabolic Syndrome Risk", News release, presentation at the American Heart Association's EPI/NPAM scientific sessions, March 29, 2013

Eating Foods Rich In Fiber Reduces Risk Of All Types Of Stroke

Greater intake of fiber-rich foods – whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts – has been shown to reduce blood pressure and levels of “bad” cholesterol, both of which are risk factors of stroke. A new study that analyzed previously-published research has quantified the association, finding that a seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a seven percent drop in first-time stroke risk. There are seven grams of fiber in a serving of whole wheat pasta, plus two servings of fruits or vegetables. The eight studies involving more than 327,000 people were published between 1990-2012, and reported on all types of stroke.

"Dietary Fiber Intake and Risk of First Stroke: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis", Stroke, March 28, 2013

Market News  

Large Food, Beverage Makers Need To Boost Availability Of Nutritious Products Globally

A report from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition urgesmultinational food and beverage makers to do more to increase access to nutritious products and use their influence to improve consumer food and beverage choices and behaviors. The Global Access to Nutrition Index ranks the nutrition-related commitments, performance and disclosure practices of 25 big food and beverage makes according to international guidelines, norms and accepted best practices. Danone, Unilever and Nestlé were ranked the highest in the report, receiving the highest scores on both the obesity and under-nutrition criteria.

"The Access to Nutrition Index – Global Index 2013", Report, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition , April 01, 2013

Americans See Nutrients As Important To Their Food Choices

Statistics from a variety of market researchers show that Americans are paying closer attention to the nutrient ingredients of the foods they purchase. The Food Marketing Institute says 33 percent more shoppers are buying foods and beverages because of their healthy components. A Gallup nutrition study finds that 86 percent of adults in 2012 “made a strong effort” to eat more nutrients, including vitamins, specialty ingredients, herbs and botanicals, and minerals. HealthFocus reports that 90 percent of adults say it is important to get nutrients naturally from foods. Nutrients now important to Americans: calcium, vitamin D, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, choline, prebiotics, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols/cocoa flavanols, and protein.

"Hot Nutritional Ingredients for 2013", Institute of Food Technologists, March 31, 2013

Why US Adults Use Dietary Supplements

JAMA Internal Medicine, March 11, 2013

Research, Studies, Advice  

Substance In Green Coffee Beans Helps Control Blood Sugar, Could Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Natural substances known as chlorogenic acids obtained from green coffee beans – and widely available as dietary supplements –  help control high blood sugar levels associated with type 2 diabetes, a U.S. researcher says. A small clinical study involving 56 men and women showed that 100, 200, 300 or 400 milligrams (mg) doses of green coffee extract significantly reduced blood sugar. According to Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton, "a simple natural pill or capsule” containing extract of green coffee would both help control blood sugar and foster weight loss, and be “a major advance in the treatment of type 2 diabetes”. Coffee is rich in chlorogenic acids, but most of them are broken down during roasting. Green coffee beans do not have that liability.

"New Evidence That Natural Substances in Green Coffee Beans Help Control Blood Sugar Levels", News release, presentation at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, April 09, 2013

Studies Advise: Reduce Salt Intake, Increase Potassium Intake, For Better Health

More new studies link improved health globally – and reduced health care costs – to lowering sodium intake. One study says the most benefit would come from decreasing sodium intake and increasing potassium intake. Researchers analyzed data on potassium intake and health from 33 trials involving over 128,000 healthy participants. Increased potassium intake reduced blood pressure with no adverse effects on blood lipids, hormone levels or kidney function. Another study analyzing 34 clinical trials involving 3,000 adults found that reducing salt moderately for at least four weeks led to declines in blood pressure in hypertensive patients, regardless of race or sex.

" Effect of longer term modest salt reduction on blood pressure: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials", BMJ, April 04, 2013

Scientists Track Changes In Gene Expression Induced By Variations In Diet

In an animal study, U.S. researchers found that even the smallest changes in diet produce differences in gene expression linked to physiological changes. When transparent roundworms of the species C. elegans were fed different types of bacteria, their gene expression programs changed dramatically: one diet variation led to fewer offspring, shorter lives and faster development than a standard diet. The researchers said that use of a “very tractable system” like the roundworm may allow scientists to pinpoint precise questions about how certain foods could effect gene expression, physiological traits and disease in humans.

"Diet-Induced Developmental Acceleration Independent of TOR and Insulin in C. elegans", Cell, March 28, 2013

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