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Period: January 1, 2014 to January 15, 2014
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

Algal Culture Extract Shown To Increase Good Cholesterol, Even In High-Fat Diet

A proprietary algal culture – known as “PAZ” or “ProAlgaZyme” – was found to support healthy cholesterol balance by increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL) and reducing non-HDL cholesterol while consuming a high-fat diet. The testing in lab animals showed that PAZ helped remove excess cholesterol from cell storage and transported it to the liver for excretion from the body. Health Enhancement Products, Inc., maker of the algal culture extracts, says  the effects of its product in improving "good" cholesterol, and therefore cardiovascular health, “are significant and potentially wide-reaching”.

"ProAlgaZyme sub-fraction improves the lipoprotein profile of hypercholesterolemic hamsters, while inhibiting production of betaine, carnitine, and choline metabolites", Journal of Nutrition & Metabolism, January 09, 2014

Conclusions Drawn From Multivitamin Studies Are Useless, Thanks To Flawed Methodologies

Poor methodology used in large clinical studies probing the value of vitamin supplements has rendered them mostly useless, according to U.S. scientists. Whether the studies defend or disparage the use of multivitamin and other micronutrient supplements, flaws in study design torpedo their value. Many studies have tried to analyze nutrients that are naturally available in the human diet the same way they would a powerful prescription drug, leading  to conclusions that have little scientific meaning, even less accuracy and often defy a wealth of other evidence, said one researcher. What is needed are new methodologies that accurately measure baseline nutrient levels, provide supplements or dietary changes only to participants who clearly are inadequate or deficient, and then study the resulting changes in their health.

"Myths, Artifacts, and Fatal Flaws: Identifying Limitations and Opportunities in Vitamin C Research", Nutrients, January 08, 2014

Weight Loss Supplement Companies Socked With Millions In Penalties In FTC Crackdown

Three companies that claimed – fraudulently – that their weight loss products helped people trim pounds effortlessly have agreed to a $34 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The largest settlement – $26.5 million – was against Sensa Productions LLC, which advertised that its Sensa supplement sprinkled on food would spur weight loss. One of their bogus ads said Sensa would "help you lose 30 lbs. without dieting or spending all your time working out”. A $450,000 settlement was reached with L’Occitane, which promised that its Almond Beautiful Shape cream could “trim 1.3 inches in just 4 weeks” and that it was a “cellulite fighter”. The FTC is setting up a process for distributing the settlement money to consumers who purchased the products.

"FTC Cracks Down on Weight-Loss Product Marketers", The Wall Street Journal, January 07, 2014

Organic Milk Shown To Be Much Heart-Healthier Than Conventional Milk

Organic milk contains significantly higher concentrations of heart-healthy fatty acids than milk from cows fed conventionally, U.S. researchers report. The study compared 400 samples of organic and conventional milk over 18 months. The researchers were surprised to find that conventional milk had an average omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 5.8, more than twice that of organic milk's ratio of 2.3. The heart-healthier ratio of fatty acids in organic milk is due to a greater reliance on pasture and forage-based feeds – grass and legumes – on organic dairy farms.

"Organic Production Enhances Milk Nutritional Quality by Shifting Fatty Acid Composition", PLoS ONE, January 03, 2014

Fortified Indian Snack May Help Solve India’s Child Nutrition Problem

A nutrient-dense version of a traditional Indian snack could go a long way toward relieving the child malnutrition problem in the country. About 45,000 children die of malnutrition in the state of Maharashtra each year. In a recent pilot study, half of the participating children were diagnosed as severely malnourished. For the study, a researcher developed a recipe for laddoos, donut-hole shaped snacks served at Indian festivals, consisting of whole wheat flour, roasted peanuts, milk, cardamom, butter, sesame seed, and cane juice pressed into cakes. During the study, more than half of the children who regularly ate the fortified laddoos went from severely malnourished to moderately malnourished.

"A Small, Round Indian Dessert With Hidden Malnutrition-Fighting Powers", Co.Exist, January 02, 2014

Allergy Rates Lower Among Children Whose Moms Ate Peanuts While Pregnant

Contrary to traditional medical opinion, pregnant women should not worry that eating peanuts will cause a peanut allergy in their child, U.S. researchers report. For years women were advised to avoid highly allergenic foods such as peanuts and tree nuts during pregnancy and while nursing. In addition, it was suggested that children three years old and younger should not be allowed to eat peanuts. The researchers noted that despite the advice, from 1997 to 2007 the number of peanut allergy cases in the U.S. tripled. Researchers analyzed data collected from  8,205 children, finding that peanut allergy rates were significantly lower among children whose mothers ate peanuts before and during pregnancy.

"Prospective Study of Peripregnancy Consumption of Peanuts or Tree Nuts by Mothers and the Risk of Peanut or Tree Nut Allergy in Their Offspring", JAMA Pediatrics, December 23, 2013

Harmful Dietary Supplements Contribute To Alarming Rise In Drug-Related Liver Injuries In U.S.

Drug-related liver injuries are on the rise, thanks to increased use of dietary supplements, a $32 billion industry in the U.S. largely unregulated and built on often-unproven claims that products will help people lose weight, build muscle or ward off a host of chronic illnesses. According to new U.S. research, dietary supplements account for nearly 20 percent of drug-related liver injuries serious enough to require hospital care. That’s a seven percent increase, and may actually undercount the total number of cases. Studies show that the market has been deluged with adulterated and mislabeled products, and products packaged in potentially unsafe dosages.
The supplement industry says most products are safe, but acknowledges that harmful, contaminated products – often bodybuilding supplements tainted with steroids – are sold by a “criminal” fringe of suppliers.

"Spike in Harm to Liver Is Tied to Dietary Aids", The New York Times, December 21, 2013

CDC Says That, Except For Young Kids, Most Americans Still Consume Too Much Salt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report on eight years of data (2003 – 2010) on sodium intake in the U.S. says there were small declines in the prevalence of excess sodium intake among children through age 13, but none in adolescents or adults. “Despite slight declines in some groups, the majority of the U.S. population aged greater than or equal to one year consumes excess sodium,” the CDC notes. The agency adds that reducing sodium intake is a national health priority because excess sodium intake can lead to hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

"Trends in the Prevalence of Excess Dietary Sodium Intake — United States, 2003–2010 ", Report, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, December 20, 2013

Multivitamins “Should Be Avoided”, Studies Say

Two new clinical trials testing the health impact of dietary and other supplements found that most, including multivitamins, not only are useless at preventing chronic disease or death, some increase the risk of death among generally well-nourished populations. In an editorial accompanying the studies, clinicians and public health experts said the use of supplements is “not justified, and they should be avoided”. Vitamin industry representatives countered by saying a study reported last year on 15,000 men found that multivitamins reduced cancer risk. Worldwide vitamin industry sales in 2012 were $23.4 billion, up three percent from 2011. Forty percent of Americans say they took multivitamins or minerals between 2003 and 2006.

"Multivitamins Found to Have Little Benefit", The Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2013


Dietary Solutions To Health Problems Vary Globally By Economic Status, Region

Research by Euromonitor finds significant differences in healthy eating trends – and solutions to health problems associated with overweight and obesity – between developed and emerging markets, and between geographic regions in the Western Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific. In developed countries, consumers are more likely to stop eating foods containing certain ingredients, like gluten or lactose. On the other hand, consumers in both developed and emerging markets gravitate toward traditional health or eating behaviors, like eating vegan or vegetarian.  In terms of regional differences, gluten-free is very popular in the U.S. and Canada; lactose-free prevails in Latin America; and avoiding allergen exposure during pregnancy is a key concern in the Asia-Pacific region.

"Gluten-free, Lactose-free, and Other Popular Eating Trends Around the World", Report, Euromonitor International, December 31, 2014

Obesity Epidemic Not Just A Western Phenomenon

A British think tank reports that more than a third of adults globally were overweight or obese in 2008, a 23 percent increase from 1980. Adults in the developing world did not escape the phenomenon, of course: over the last 30 years, obese adults in these countries quadrupled to 904 million, more than are found in the developed countries. But the surprise is how the trend has invaded emerging economies. According to the Overseas Development Institute, the increase in  obesity is associated with a "creeping homogenization" of diets globally, thanks to rising incomes, the impact of advertising and globalization.

"Future diets: Implications for agriculture and food prices", Overseas Development Institute, January 03, 2014

Anti-Wheat Sentiment Persists, At Least Among America’s Dietitians

A survey of more than 500 dietitians finds 14 trends that will make, headlines, influence food purchases and “shape Americans’ waistlines”. At the top of the list is a persistent negative attitude toward wheat. Americans will avoid wheat-based food products, turning instead to diets like the Paleo diet, gluten-free and “wheat belly”, a plan based on a popular anti-wheat book. Other trends highlighted by dietitians include: ancient grains; kale, coconut and chia seeds; low carb diets; eco-conscious eats; and fruits and vegetables.

"14 Top Diet Trends For 2014", News release, Today's Dietitian, December 26, 2013

Sustainable Resolutions for Your Diet

The New York Times , December 31, 2013

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