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Period: January 15, 2014 to February 1, 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

High-Protein Diet Is Risky Without Fruits And Vegetables

A Spanish study in rats shows that high-protein diets, like Dukan and Atkins, boost the risk of developing kidney problems, unless supplemented with fruits and vegetables. Animals on a high-protein diet lost as much as 10 percent of their body weight over the 12-week study, but the protein had a negative effect on kidney structure, a signal of an increased risk of kidney disease and serious pathologies like calcium kidney stones. High protein foods drastically reduce urinary citrate, an inhibitor of calcium salt crystallization and urinary pH. The researchers noted, however, that fruits and vegetables added to the diet reduce the risk of kidney stones forming. Why? Potassium and magnesium compensate for the acidity of the high-protein diet.

"High-protein diets and renal status in rats", Nutricion Hospitalaria, January 29, 2014

Impulsive Behavior Linked To Food Addiction, And To Obesity

People with impulsive personalities are more likely to report higher levels of food addiction and obesity, a U.S. study has found. Food addiction, a relatively new disorder, is a compulsive pattern of eating similar to drug addiction. The study used two different scales to determine levels of food addiction and impulsivity among the 233 participants, then compared these results with body mass index, a measure of obesity. Researchers said impulsive behavior was not necessarily associated with obesity, but impulsive behaviors can lead to food addiction, which is an indicator of obesity.

"Interrelationships among impulsive personality traits, food addiction, and Body Mass Index", Appetite, January 24, 2014

Lingonberries Prevent Weight Gain, Lower Blood Sugar And Insulin, In Animal Study

The Scandinavian fruit lingonberries prevented weight gain in mice that ate a high-fat diet, a Swedish study reports. The berries also reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Lingonberries were tested against other berries: bilberry, raspberry, crowberry, blackberry, prune, blackcurrant or açai berry in mice fed high-fat and low-fat diets. After three months, the lingonberry group had not put on more weight than the low-fat mice, their blood sugar and insulin readings were similar, and cholesterol levels and levels of fat in the liver were lower. Blackcurrants and bilberries also produced good effects, though not as pronounced as the lingonberries, researchers said.

"Evaluation of Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Berries in High-Fat Fed C57BL/6J Mice", Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, January 23, 2014

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Benefit Liver Metabolism In Many Unforeseen Ways, Study Finds

Omega-3 fatty acids – especially DHA – could be significantly effective in preventing fatty liver disease and other metabolic problems caused by the Western diet, according to scientists at Oregon State University. In a study in mice that used a technology known as “metabolomics”, DHA supplements produced many unanticipated benefits, including changes in vitamin and carbohydrate metabolism, protein and amino acid function and lipid metabolism. DHA supplementation prevented metabolic damage caused by the Western diet: excessive consumption of red meat, sugar, saturated fat and processed grain.

"A Metabolomic Analysis of Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Mediated Attenuation of Western Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis in LDLR-/- Mice", PLoS ONE, January 23, 2014

Consumers Eating Less Red Meat For Health Reasons, Or They’re Buying Better Quality Cuts

A lot of consumers surveyed by Mintel say they ate less red meat -- or better quality meat -- in 2013. Thirty-nine percent say they ate less beef or other red meat, and 25 percent ate less pork. Despite the trend, some 10 percent ate more red meat, and 13 percent ate more pork. According to the market researcher, the drop in red meat consumption is due almost totally to concerns about eating too much fat and cholesterol. Of those who continue to eat red meat regularly, about 16 percent admit to trading up to higher quality cuts of meat, an “opportunity” for marketers.

"More than one-third of Americans cut back on red meat for health reasons", Report, Mintel, January 22, 2014

Tests Show Some Popular Fish Oil Supplements Do Not Contain Promised Levels Of Omega-3s

A chemical testing company that analyzed 30 top-selling brands of fish oil supplements found six whose levels of omega-3 fatty acids were 30 percent lower than stated on the labels. The tests also showed that at least 12 products contained levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – promoted as beneficial for brain and heart health – that were 14 percent lower than stated. Fish oil products – a largely unregulated market that – generated about $1.2 billion in sales among millions of consumers in the United States in 2013, “making them among the most popular dietary supplements on the market”.

"What’s in Your Fish Oil Supplements?", The New York Times, January 22, 2014

Higher Levels Of Omega-3s In Blood Prevents Brain Shrinkage From Aging, Disease

A long-term clinical study of 1,111 women by U.S. researchers shows that people with higher levels of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may tend to have larger brain volumes as they age, preserving one to two years of brain health. One of the signs of Alzheimer’s disease – and normal aging – is a decrease in brain volume. Researchers measured levels of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA in red blood cells in the women, following up eight years later with an MRI to measure brain volume. By that time, the women – average age of 78 – with levels of fatty acids twice that of other women had a 0.7 percent larger brain volume.

"Higher RBC EPA DHA corresponds with larger total brain and hippocampal volumes", Neurology, January 22, 2014

Celiac Patients Tolerate Quinoa Added To Gluten-Free Diet

Despite evidence from lab experiments that the nutritious grain quinoa can cause some digestive problems for celiac disease patients, a new British study in patients themselves shows that the grain, when added to a gluten-free diet, is actually well-tolerated and does not worsen the condition. Celiac is an immune-based reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The new study, which tracked 19 celiac patients over six weeks, shows that eating about 50 grams of quinoa every day led to normal blood test ranges, and even improved the structure of the small intestine. Patients were allowed to cook the grain any way they wished.

"Gastrointestinal Effects of Eating Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) in Celiac Patients", The American Journal of Gastroenterology, January 21, 2014

Fortified Mediterranean Diet Cuts Risk Of Artery-Blocking Disease

A seven-year clinical trial conducted in Spain among more than 7,000 men and women over age 55 has found a significant association between a fortified Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD). In peripheral arterial disease plaque – fat, cholesterol, calcium, etc. – builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening). The study confirmed that a Mediterranean diet fortified either with extra virgin olive oil or nuts reduced the risk of PAD in participants.

"Association of Mediterranean Diet With Peripheral Artery Disease", JAMA, January 21, 2014

“Diet” Sodas Actually Work Against A Dieter’s Weight Loss Plan

Drinking diet soda is not the answer to losing weight, according to U.S. scientists who analyzed national data and determined that artificial sweeteners activate reward centers in the brain in a way that causes the sweet sensors to malfunction. The brain's sweet sensors can’t gauge energy consumption accurately because the artificial sweeteners disrupt appetite control, resulting in increased food intake overall. Bottom line: overweight and obese adults who drink diet beverages consume more calories from food than obese or overweight adults who drink regular soda or other sugary beverages.

"Diet Beverage Consumption and Caloric Intake Among US Adults Overall and by Body Weight", American Journal of Public Health, January 16, 2014

Researchers Determine Why A Fiber-Rich Diet Reduces Risk Of Colon Inflammation, Cancer

U.S. researchers have determined that a high-fiber diet cuts the risk of colon problems because fiber – which supports good bacteria in the gut – activates a receptor that helps prevent colon inflammation and cancer (while protecting the cardiovascular system).  The same receptor is activated by high levels of niacin, administered by doctors when a patient has abused antibiotics, destroying beneficial bacteria. Good bacteria in the colon thrive on fiber and its digestion produces butyrate, a fatty acid that naturally activates the receptor, Gpr109a. The relationship is limited to the colon, where butyrate levels can soar with a high-fiber diet.

"Activation of Gpr109a, Receptor for Niacin and the Commensal Metabolite Butyrate, Suppresses Colonic Inflammation and Carcinogenesis", Immunity, January 16, 2014

Fast Food Diet Is A Symptom Of The Childhood Obesity Problem, Not The Cause

Eating fast food is not the root cause of the childhood obesity problem, as some have suggested, but only a symptom of a deeper problem that begins at home, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina who examined data collected on 4,466 children who two years to 18 years of age. In other words, it’s basically the parents’ fault. Kids do not eat adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables as they’re growing up, chowing down instead on large amounts of processed food and sugar-sweetened beverages. These meal patterns are in turn enforced at school. “This is what is really driving children’s obesity,” concluded one researcher.

"The association of fast food consumption with poor dietary outcomes and obesity among children: is it the fast food or the remainder of the diet?", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 15, 2014

More Good News About Omega-3s: Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

A Finnish university study finds that high blood levels of long chain omega-3  fatty acids – found in fish and fish oils – are associated with a significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in men. The study collected dietary data on 2,212 men between 42 and 60 years of age, beginning in 1984. Thhose with the highest concentrations of omega-3s in their blood were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Along with weight management, exercise, and a well-rounded diet, the researchers recommended at least two fish meals a week, preferably fatty fish like salmon, rainbow trout, herring, anchovy, sardine or mackerel.

"Serum Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes in Men", Diabetes Care, January 15, 2014

Higher Levels Of All Forms Of Vitamin E Protect Against Memory Disorders In Elderly

There are eight natural forms of vitamin E – from tocopherols to tocotrienols. All of them have antioxidant properties and all seem to play a role in memory processes, according to a Finnish study. Researchers in fact found that elderly people with higher levels of the various forms of vitamin E in their blood are less at risk for memory disorders. The eight-year study followed 140 people aged 65 or older who had no memory problems at the start. After eight years, those with higher total serum levels of γ-tocopherol, β-tocotrienol and total tocotrienols, suffered less from memory disorders.

"Serum levels of vitamin E forms and risk of cognitive impairment in a Finnish cohort of older adults", Experimental Gerontology, January 07, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Vitamin D Associated With Milder Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms

Higher levels of vitamin D in the blood of Parkinson’s disease patients are associated with less severe symptoms, especially among patients who are not suffering from dementia, a U.S. study finds. Investigators tested  286 patients with Parkinson’s, finding that all patients with higher plasma vitamin D levels had lower symptom severity, better cognition, and less depression, but the relationships were even stronger in those who were not demented. Of the 286 subjects, 61 were considered to be demented. The researchers found that higher levels of serum vitamin D3 in the non-demented patients were associated with greater fluency for naming vegetables and animals, and immediate and delayed recall on a verbal learning test.

"Memory, Mood, and Vitamin D in Persons with Parkinson’s Disease", Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, January 16, 2014

Fiber-Rich Diet Reduces Risk Of Asthma, Study FInds

A Swiss study finds that the risk of developing asthma rises if a person’s diet lacks the fiber found in fruits and vegetables. The immune response in the lungs is influenced by the fatty acids in the blood stream created when intestinal bacteria ferment dietary fiber. The study conducted in mice shows that a lack of fermentable fibers in the diet paves the way for allergic inflammatory reactions in the lungs. The problem is growing in areas of the world where the Western diet prevails because fruit and vegetables are playing an ever smaller role in people's diets.

"Gut microbiota metabolism of dietary fiber influences allergic airway disease and hematopoiesis", Nature Medicine, January 06, 2014

Key To Keeping Weight Off Is Maintaining Healthy Behaviors

It is possible for people to keep off the weight they have lost if they continue to pursue healthy behaviors, especially physical activity, self-weighing, low-fat diet and avoiding overeating. The observational U.S. study involved nearly 3,000 participants who had lost at least 30 pounds and had kept it off for at least a year. The participants were followed for ten years. On average, participants kept most of the weight off during the ten years. Decreases in physical activity, dietary restraint and self-weighing along with increases in fat intake were associated with greater weight regain.

"Weight-Loss Maintenance for 10 Years in the National Weight Control Registry", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, January 06, 2014

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