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Period: September 1, 2013 to September 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

U.K. Commercial Baby Foods Are Pushed On Infants Too Early, Study Finds

Commercial baby foods in the U.K. that are promoted as a way to wean children from breast milk are actually sweet foods that provide little extra nutritional benefit over breast milk or formula,  according to new research. British government guidelines say infants should not be weaned before six months, and the foods they eat – cereals, vegetables, fruits and proteins – should be introduced gradually. The researchers looked at products from four manufacturers, finding that commonly used commercial foods supplied no more energy than breast or formula milk and are promoted at an age – four months– when babies should be consuming breast or formula milk.

"Nutritional content of infant commercial weaning foods in the U.K.", Archives of Disease in Childhood, September 09, 2013

Studies That “Prove” A Link Between Breakfast And Weight Loss Are Faulty

U.S. researchers say that studies designed to find an association between eating a nutrient-dense breakfast and losing weight do not prove that one causes the other. The researchers examined 92 studies that looked at the effect of breakfast on obesity, finding that many were either biased or simply did not advance knowledge about the issue beyond the status quo. They said a number of the research articles tended to overstate the strength of study designs and “ignored evidence that did not support” their hypothesis.

"Belief beyond the evidence: using the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity to show 2 practices that distort scientific evidence", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 09, 2013

Program That Encourages Healthier Eating Among Low-Income Families Is Effective

Access to healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables is often limited in low-income communities. Now a study by a North Carolina medical center shows that community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs that link consumers to a local farm’s produce during the growing season may provide an solution to the problem. The small feasibility study involved low-income women with children evenly divided into an intervention group and a control group. Intervention participants – but not the control group – received a free box of fresh produce for 16 weeks, educational sessions, a farm tour and a grocery store tour. The researchers observed a significant increase in the number of different fruits and vegetables in the intervention households as well as increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.

"Feasibility of Using a Community-Supported Agriculture Program to Improve Fruit and Vegetable Inventories and Consumption in an Underresourced Urban Community", Preventing Chronic Disease, September 03, 2013

Vinegar Beats Prescription Drugs In Reducing Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

A small clinical study by U.S. researchers has found that ingesting a small amount of vinegar at mealtime twice a day may benefit people at risk for type 2 diabetes. Participants, who were otherwise healthy, either drank 750 mg (one tablespoon) of acetic acid or ingested a placebo pill at two meals each day for 12 weeks. Blood sugar was measured daily. Those who ingested the vinegar showed greater reductions in fasting blood sugar levels than those from taking diabetes drugs metformin or rosiglitazone. The researchers concluded that vinegar, “a simple addition to meals, has antiglycemic effects in adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, possibly related to carbohydrate maldigestion”.

"Vinegar ingestion at mealtime reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations in healthy adults at risk for type 2 diabetes", Journal of Functional Foods, August 30, 2013

Changes In Intestinal Bacteria After Quitting Smoking Cause Weight Gain

Weight gain after quitting smoking is not due to increased caloric intake, according to new Swiss research, but to a shift in the microbial composition of the intestines. The small study involved 20 participants – five nonsmokers, five smokers and ten who had quit smoking a week before. An analysis of the genetic composition of fecal material showed that the intestinal microbial content of those who had quit smoking shifted dramatically. They gained an average of 2.2 kilos, though their eating and drinking habits stayed the same. The researchers suggested that the changes in the bacteria in the intestines after giving up smoking provided the body with more calories, resulting in weight gain.

"Smoking Cessation Induces Profound Changes in the Composition of the Intestinal Microbiota in Humans", PLoS ONE, August 29, 2013

Canada Allows Kellogg’s To Fortify More Cereals With Vitamin D

Health Canada has given Kellogg’s Canada permission to fortify its line of breakfast cereals with vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin”. The company began adding the vitamin to some of its cereals last year, driven mainly by scientific reports of increased vitamin D deficiencies and the broader “functional food” trend. The Canadian government has been careful to allow fortification of some foods – especially milk and margarine – to reduce deficiencies, but not others for fear of overconsumption of the vitamin. Kellogg says the government’s decision to allow vitamin D fortification in more cereals is part of a three-year study to see if adding the vitamin to more foods “would benefit Canadians”.

"Kellogg given OK to add ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ to cereal", Toronto Star, August 24, 2013

Research, Studies, Advice  

Caloric Restriction Seems To Improve Chances Of Cancer Survival

Studies have shown a relationship between excess caloric intake and the onset of cancer, but a new French study shows that restricting caloric intake may improve the body’s response to cancer treatment. The study in mice proved that reducing caloric intake inhibited the overexpression of the protein Mcl-1, which is associated with several cancers. The researchers said that understanding the link between metabolism and the body's natural cancer suppressors and activators could lead to more effective therapies and improved survival for cancer patients.

"Caloric restriction modulates Mcl-1 expression and sensitizes lymphomas to BH3 mimetic in mice", Blood, September 07, 2013

Vitamin D Deficiency Is A Global Problem

A German review of studies that reported on patterns of vitamin D status at the population level globally found that more than a third of the studies reviewed reported mean serum vitamin D levels that are considered inadequate by world health authorities. They also found that vitamin D values were higher in North America than in Europe or the Middle-East and there were age-related differences for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, but not elsewhere. Vitamin D deficiencies have a potentially serious impact on health, particularly on bone and muscle health.

"A systematic review of vitamin D status in populations worldwide", British Journal of Nutrition, September 04, 2013

Study Finds Improved Mental Health Among Women Who Gained Weight Over Time

German researchers report that female participants in a study of the relationship between body weight and health-related quality of life actually experienced improved mental well-being when they gained weight, despite deterioration of physical health. Data for the study were collected over seven years from 3,000 men and women. The researchers said their findings indicate the complexity of the relationship between body weight and physical and mental health. But understanding the relationship is important for developing medically effective and cost-effective strategies to prevent and manage obesity.

"The longitudinal association between weight change and health-related quality of life", International Journal of Public Health, September 03, 2013

Small Changes At The Molecular Level Have A Big Impact On How The Body Uses Flavonoids

British researchers studying dietary molecules produced by plants have found that even very small modifications to flavonoids can have a large effect on bioactivity and the human immune system. Using a newly developed assay system involving human cells, the researchers showed that the way in which a flavonoid scaffold was arranged significantly affected the production of inflammatory mediators stimulated by microbes. The research has important implications for diet and in the development of new pharmaceuticals from plant natural products, the researchers said.

"Regiospecific Methylation of a Dietary Flavonoid Scaffold Selectively Enhances IL-1 Production following Toll-like Receptor 2 Stimulation in THP-1 Monocytes", Journal of Biological Chemistry, August 30, 2013

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