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Period: November 15, 2013 to December 1, 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

Further Benefits Of Low-Fat Diet Supplemented With Fish Oil For Prostate Cancer Patients

A low-fat – less than 15 percent – diet combined with regular intake of fish oil supplements (five grams a day) lowered the levels of inflammation-causing substances in the blood of prostate cancer patients. The diet also lowered the cell cycle progression score, a measure used to predict the recurrence of the disease. The study is follows up earlier research that found a low-fat diet with fish oil supplements eaten for four to six weeks prior to prostate removal slowed the growth of cancer cells in human prostate cancer tissue compared to a traditional, high-fat Western diet.

"Effect of a Low-fat Fish Oil Diet on Pro-inflammatory Eicosanoids and Cell Cycle Progression Score in Men Undergoing Radical Prostatectomy", Cancer Prevention, November 18, 2013

Posting Calorie Counts In Fast-Food Restaurants Doesn’t Change Eating Habits

Pres. Obama’s Affordable Care Act mandated that restaurant chains with more than 20 locations nationwide post the calorie content of all regular food and drink items on their menus. The idea, of course, was to encourage healthier food choices. Is the strategy working? Not according to a study by New York University researchers. Posting calorie content does not change purchasing habits or decrease the number of calories customers consume, especially among lower-income and less-educated consumers. The researchers said “more robust interventional policies” should be considered in neighborhoods where obesity is most prevalent.

"Mandatory Calorie Postings at Fast-Food Chains Do Not Influence Food Choice", News release, study presented at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting, November 15, 2013

“On-The-Go” Society Demands Nutritious Meals – Especially Protein – In A Bottle

The market for ready-to-drink protein-fortified meals is booming, according to beverage industry observers. Mintel reported recently that 74 beverages containing protein were released in the first six months of 2013, compared to only 49 during the same period of 2012. A Wisconsin company that supplies protein ingredients to the beverage industry says America has become an “on-the-go” society that demands nutritious food – including protein – in a quick, convenient format. Consumers are also looking for “wholesome and natural” ways to consume a balanced diet. The basic trend? Beverages are no longer around just to wash down a meal – they’ve become the meal.

"Protein-fortified beverages carving out niche in beverage market", Beverage Industry, November 15, 2013

Certain Herbs Improve Age-Related Cognitive Decline

A U.S. neuroscientist who tested the effect of different herbs on the brains of mice with age-related cognitive decline – a precursor of Alzheimer’s disease – compiled some interesting findings. She found, for example, that enhanced extracts from special antioxidants in spearmint and rosemary improved learning and memory in the test animals. There were also signs of reduced oxidative stress, a sign of age-related mental decline. The researcher acknowledged, however, that while spearmint and rosemary are probably beneficial for humans, there is still no way to tell how much would have to be consumed for people to see the same benefits. “In other words,” she said, “I’m not suggesting that people chew more gum at this point.”

"Can Certain Herbs Stave Off Alzheimer's Disease?", News release, study presented at the Neuroscience 2013 meeting, November 15, 2013

Mediterranean Sauce Base Is Jam-Packed With Bioactive Micronutrients

A sauce used as a base in Mediterranean, especially Spanish, cooking is rich in bioactive compounds like polyphenols and carotenoids that help prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, according to a study conducted in Spain. Researchers at the University of Barcelona identified the healthy antioxidants in sofrito –a blend of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and onion –  using high resolution mass spectrometry. At least 40 polyphenols were found, including vitamin C, lycopene and beta-carotene. The researchers said eating 120 grams of sofrito a day, added to pasta for example, would provide a total intake of 16 to 24 milligrams of polyphenols per portion and 6 to 10 milligrams of carotenoids.

"Bioactive compounds present in the Mediterranean sofrito", Food Chemistry, November 15, 2013

Coffee Reduces Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes, According To Studies

A report summarizing the latest research on the health effects of coffee says basically that drinking a few cups of coffee a day does reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, although there is conflicting evidence on benefits of caffeinated versus decaffeinated coffee. The report said a couple of recent studies showed that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day lowered type 2 diabetes by 25 percent, compared to drinking none or fewer than two cups a day. One study said caffeine was probably not  responsible for the protective effect of coffee, while another found that regular but not decaffeinated coffee was much more protective against type 2 diabetes in women of all ethnic groups than in men.

"Good things in life: Can coffee help in type 2 diabetes risk reduction?", coffee&health, November 14, 2013

Protein-Rich Breakfasts Curb Hunger Throughout The Morning

A study involving women (aged 18-55) found that the type of breakfast eaten has a lot to do with whether hunger pangs are experienced sooner or later in the day. High-protein breakfasts (e.g., sausage and eggs) stave off hunger longer, the U.S. researchers found, compared to low-protein (pancakes and syrup) breakfasts or no breakfast at all. Breakfasts in the tests all had the same number of calories (about 300), but the protein breakfasts contained 30 to 39 grams of protein. Protein eaters reported lower hunger, more fullness and less desire to eat after breakfast, and ate fewer calories at lunch.

"Protein Rich Breakfast Helps Curb Appetite Throughout The Morning", News release, study presented at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting, November 14, 2013

Make Healthful Snacks Available To Students, And Their Diets Will Improve

Students offered healthful, nutritious snacks in school – whether in vending machines or a la carte – tend to improve their overall dietary intake, according to new research. Michigan State University scientists tested standards similar to the USDA’s new Smart Snacks requirements scheduled to take effect in the summer of 2014. They found that schools that offered healthful snacks at lunchtime boosted students' overall daily consumption of fruit by 26 percent, vegetables by 14 percent and whole grains by 30 percent. Students also increased their consumption of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and C.

"Effects of Changes in Lunch-Time Competitive Foods, Nutrition Practices, and Nutrition Policies on Low-Income Middle-School Children's Diets", Childhood Obesity, November 13, 2013

Artificial Trans Fats Are No Longer Necessary, Should Be Banned

Advanced technological societies no longer need synthetically produced trans fats, nutrition experts say, and the U.S. FDA was correct in urging that they be removed from the American diet. Trans fatty acids, made by infusing vegetable oils with hydrogen, were helpful at one time because the process increases shelf life and makes products like margarine more like butter. But now, because eliminating trans fats from the Western diet would prevent 10,000 to 20,000 heart attacks and as many as 7,000 heart disease deaths a year, they should be banned.

"New FDA Proposal Trying to Eliminate Trans Fat", News release, Houston Methodist , November 11, 2013

U.S. Equity Firm Buys Jenny Crag Brand From Nestlé

A U.S. private equity firm has acquired the North American and Oceania Jenny Craig weight management businesses from Nestlé. The French brand was not part of the sale. Jenny Craig was launched in 1983 and acquired by Nestlé Nutrition in 2006. North Castle Partners, a private equity firm based in Connecticut, invests in high-growth, middle market businesses. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

"Nestlé sells Jenny Craig in North America and Oceania", News release, Nestlé, November 07, 2013

Research, Studies, Advice  

Reversing Obesity Also Reverses Premature Aging At The Genetic Level

Stanford University researchers who analyzed genetic data from 51 patients who had undergone bariatric (weight loss) surgery found that telomere length – chromosomal biomarkers that play a role in cellular aging – increased. This was in addition to declines in body mass index, excess weight, bad cholesterol, and inflammation levels. Researchers found a significant positive correlation between weight loss and telomere length and in increases in HDL, the so called "good cholesterol". The findings, which need further study, indicate that premature aging caused by obesity can be reversed at a genetic level through bariatric surgery and other means.

"Study Shows Bariatric Surgery May Turn Back the Effects of Aging", News release, study presented during ObesityWeek 2013, November 15, 2013

Bariatric Surgery Performed At Non-Accredited Centers Is Far More Dangerous, Study Finds

U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 277,000 weight loss operations performed between 2008 and 2011 found that patients whose surgery was performed at accredited facilities were half as likely to die from the procedure. The mortality rate for bariatric surgery at an accredited surgical center was .08 percent, compared to .19 percent at a non-accredited facility. “This is not a small difference un outcomes,” the lead researcher said, noting that the study “reinforces that accreditation saves lives”. The study was released two months after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services dropped its seven-year-old accreditation requirement for bariatric surgery facilities performing surgery on Medicare patients.

"Significantly Higher Risk of Mortality at Non Accredited Bariatric Surgery Centers", News release, research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, November 13, 2013

Animal-Based Diet Increases “Acid Load”, Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

The Western diet, which tends to be rich in animal products and other highly acidic (acidogenic) foods, induces an acid load on the body that can cause chronic metabolic acidosis and reduce insulin sensitivity, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to French researchers. In a study of more than 66,000 women, the researchers found that it didn’t matter where the acid load came from – though fruits and vegetables were not the problem – the higher the overall acidity of the diet, the greater the risk of diabetes. However, contrary to general belief, “Most fruits, such as peaches, apples, pears, bananas and even lemons and oranges actually reduce dietary acid load once the body has processed them.”

"Dietary acid load and risk of type 2 diabetes: the E3N-EPIC cohort study", Diabetologia, November 11, 2013

Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake and the Risk of Type I and Type II Endometrial Cancer among Postmenopausal Women

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention/American Association for Cancer Research, November 22, 2013

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