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Period: February 1, 2014 to February 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

Monkeys Fed Omega-3-Rich Diet Have Highly Developed Neural Networks

Oregon researchers who used functional brain imaging in live, older rhesus macaque monkeys show that animals whose diet was rich in omega-3 fatty acids had highly connected and well-organized neural networks compared to those whose diet lacked omega-3s. The imaging data show how similar the brain networks in monkeys and humans are, but “only in the context of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids”. The next step is to see if monkeys with deficits in certain neural networks have behavioral patterns similar to those in humans with neurological conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

"Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Modulate Large-Scale Systems Organization in the Rhesus Macaque Brain", Journal of Neuroscience, February 06, 2014

Novel Dietary Supplement Improves Brain Processing Speed In Older Adults

Scientists in Florida have concocted a dietary supplement rich in antioxidants and other natural components that boosts the speed of information processing in the brains of older adults. The supplement (NT-020) contains extracts of blueberries and green tea combined, as well as vitamin D3 and amino acids like carnosine. The mixture was tested in a two-month clinical trial involving 105 healthy adults aged 65 to 85. Test results at the end of study show modest improvements in two measures of cognitive processing speed for those taking the supplement compared to those taking a placebo. Processing speed – in areas like memory and verbal ability – is most often affected early in cognitive aging.

"Nutraceutical Intervention Improves Older Adults’ Cognitive Functioning", Rejuvenation Research, February 06, 2014

Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk Better Than Low-Fat Diet

Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish – basically the Mediterranean diet – is a better way to reduce cardiovascular risk than by lowering fat intake, according to a review of studies on the subject. Clinical trials conducted over the last fifty years usually compared low fat, low saturated fat, low dietary cholesterol and high polyunsaturated fat eating to conventional meals. Though those diets did reduce cholesterol levels, they did not reduce fatal heart attacks or other coronary heart disease deaths. In their survey of studies, the U.S. researchers found that Mediterranean-style diets prevent heart disease, even though they may not lower total serum or LDL cholesterol.

"Diets to Prevent Coronary Heart Disease 1957- 2013: What Have We Learned? ", The American Journal of Medicine, February 06, 2014

Study Finds That Yogurt Consumption Significantly Cuts Risk Of Adult Diabetes

British researchers who analyzed dietary data collected from more than 25,000 men and women living in Norfolk, U.K., over 11 years, found that those who ate more low-fat fermented dairy products, including cottage cheese and yogurt, reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 24 percent. When the researchers focused on yogurt alone, which comprises 85 percent of fermented dairy products, they found a 28 percent reduced risk of diabetes.

"Dietary dairy product intake and incident type 2 diabetes: a prospective study using dietary data from a 7-day food diary", Diabetologia, February 05, 2014

Mediterranean Diet Linked To Lower Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease

An analysis of dietary questionnaire data provided by 780 U.S. firefighters finds that those who stuck to a modified Mediterranean diet (MMD) were less likely to have metabolic syndrome: a large waistline, high triglyceride levels, low HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar – all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The U.S. researchers said the MMD firefighters showed a 35 percent decreased risk for metabolic syndrome, and also had a 43 percent lower risk of weight gain, compared to others. Consistent with previous research, obese participants in the firefighter study reported eating more fast foods and sugary drinks.

"Modified Mediterranean Diet Score and Cardiovascular Risk in a North American Working Population", PLoS ONE, February 04, 2014

Vitamin C And E Supplementation Hinders Endurance During Athletic Training

Although it’s probably too late to help the Olympic athletes at Sochi, a finding by Norwegian researchers about the negative impact of vitamin E and C supplementation on endurance could help future competitors. An 11-week clinical study involved 54 young and healthy men and women randomly assigned to take vitamin C or vitamin E supplements, or a placebo. The participants were monitored closely as they took part in an endurance training program, mostly running. The study found that the vitamin C and E supplements seemed to blunt the improvement of muscle endurance by disrupting cellular adaptations in exercised muscles.

"Vitamin C and E supplementation hampers cellular adaptation to endurance training in humans: a double-blind randomized control trial", Journal of Physiology, February 03, 2014

American Teens Consume Way Too Much Salt, Study Finds

Almost all adolescents in a cross-sectional U.S. study reported consuming double the amount of salt recommended daily, pretty much the same amount as adults, putting them in danger of obesity and damaging inflammation. Researchers gathered self-reported data from 766 healthy teenagers, finding that 97 percent exceeded the American Heart Association’s recommended daily intake of 1,500 mg of sodium. The study adjusted for what the teens ate and drank, and still found a correlation between salt intake and obesity. The high-sodium consumers also had high levels of a compound secreted by immune cells that contributes to chronic inflammation and to autoimmune diseases like lupus and arthritis.

"Dietary Sodium, Adiposity, and Inflammation in Healthy Adolescents", Pediatrics, February 03, 2014

Glucose And Fructose Have Same Metabolic Impact, So Substitution Would Be Pointless

Canadian researchers report in a review of earlier studies that there’s really no difference between fructose and glucose on human metabolism. Fructose, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup, is used extensively in processed foods, and has been blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic. But when the researchers analyzed the scientific literature, they found that consuming fructose does increase total cholesterol and triglyceride fats found in blood after eating a meal. But it does not appear to affect insulin production, other fat levels in the blood, or markers of fatty liver disease any more than glucose does. So there’s no point in substituting glucose for fructose in foods.

"Fructose vs. glucose and metabolism", Current Opinion in Lipidology, January 31, 2014

Probiotics Supplements Help Women – But Not Men – Lose Weight

Canadian researchers have found in a clinical study that women who took probiotics supplements in pill form lost twice as much weight as women in a non-probiotic control group. Probiotics supplements had no impact on the weight of men in the study, however, a finding that baffled the researchers. The study was conducted among 125 overweight men and women over 24 weeks. The average weight loss was 5.6 kg in women in the probiotic group and 2.6 kg in the placebo group. According to the lead researcher, probiotics may act by altering the permeability of the intestinal wall, keeping certain pro-inflammatory molecules from entering the bloodstream and causing a chain reaction that leads to glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

"Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women", British Journal of Nutrition, January 28, 2014

Vitamin D2 Supplementation Worsens Muscle Damage From Heavy Lifting

Research conducted at a North Carolina university found that “power athletes” – intense weight lifters and auto racing pit crews, for example –  would be better off staying away from vitamin D2 supplements. The study was conducted among NASCAR pit crew athletes, half of whom consumed 3,800 international units (IU) a day of a plant-based vitamin D2, the other half a placebo. The researchers thought taking vitamin D2 would reduce inflammation and speed recovery of muscle damage from heavy lifting. Instead, the supplement increased exercise-induced muscle damage in the pit crew athletes.

"Vitamin D2 Supplementation Amplifies Eccentric Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage in NASCAR Pit Crew Athletes", Nutrients, January 27, 2014

Animal Study Finds Hope For Dietary Treatment For Alzheimer’s

A study in mice finds that even slight changes in the diet of Alzheimer’s patients may, if adopted early and for a long period of time, lead to significant changes in brain metabolism and improved memory. The researchers tested the effects of a fish oil-enriched diet, a plant sterol diet, and a commercially available supplement known as Fortasyn. The diets led to improvements in different ways, including memory and plaque formation, The Finnish researchers concluded that a single cocktail of nutrients would probably not provide the best outcome at this time. But further research, especially in humans, may lead to development of a diet-based treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

"Special lipid-based diets alleviate cognitive deficits in the APPswe/PS1dE9 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease independent of brain amyloid deposition", Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, January 24, 2014

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