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Period: June 1, 2014 to June 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

Grain Legumes Are Highly Nutritious, Sustainable, But Unfortunately Not Widely Cultivated

Grain legumes, also known as pulses, are packed with essential micronutrients, and are highly sustainable because they do not require nitrogen fertilization. But unfortunately they are not cultivated on the same scale as cereals in most countries, a joint U.S.-Canadian study reports.  The researchers noted that a 3.5 ounce serving of any of field peas, lentils, chickpeas, and common bean provides a significant amount of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and nickel. The only key micronutrient that the crops lacked is calcium. The researchers recommended that agriculturists and dieticians around the world should encourage Increased production and consumption of grain legume crops, because of their nutrition profile and sustainability.

"Mineral Micronutrient Content of Cultivars of Field Pea, Chickpea, Common Bean, and Lentil Grown in Saskatchewan, Canada. ", Crop Science, June 09, 2014

Lycopene Shown To Improve Function Of Blood Vessel Lining, Reducing Cardiovascular Risk

A British clinical study that focused on the health effects of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes and available in supplement form, discovered significant cardiovascular benefits. Thirty-six cardiovascular disease patients and thirty-six healthy volunteers were given either an off-the-shelf supplement containing 7 mg of lycopene or a placebo. Lycopene improved and normalized endothelial (blood vessel lining) function in the patients, but not in healthy volunteers. Lycopene improved the widening of the blood vessels by 53 percent compared to baseline. However, the supplement had no effect on blood pressure, arterial stiffness or levels of lipids.

"Effects of Oral Lycopene Supplementation on Vascular Function in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Healthy Volunteers: A Randomised Controlled Trial. ", PLoS ONE, June 09, 2014

Adding High-Fiber Prunes To Diet Helps With Weight Loss

Adding prunes to a weight loss diet program can help people shed pounds, a British clinical study has found. Scientists tested the impact of prunes for 12 weeks on 100 overweight and obese participants who generally ate a diet low in fiber. Participants either ate prunes every day (140 g for women and 171 g for men), and a control group only given advice on healthy snacking. Those who ate prunes as part of a healthy lifestyle diet lost 2 kg (4.4 lb) and shed 2.5 cm (0.98 in) off their waists, and the prunes were well-tolerated. The people in the control group lost only 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) and 1.7 cm (0.67 in) from their waists.

"Dried Fruit (Prune) Consumption Does Not Undermine Active Weight Management Or Produce Adverse Gastrointestinal Effects", Study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Sofia, Bulgaria (HTPO.017), May 30, 2014

Red Wine Polyphenols Shown Highly Effective At Killing Harmful Oral Bacteria

Swiss and Spanish researchers have determined that the polyphenols in red wine and grape seed extract are effective in getting rid of the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease, common problems globally. For the study, the researchers grew cultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as a biofilm. The biofilms were immersed for a few minutes in red wine, red wine without alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12 percent ethanol for comparison. They found that red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at eliminating bacteria. The findings could lead to the development of natural products that prevent dental diseases with fewer side effects.

"Red Wine and Oenological Extracts Display Antimicrobial Effects in an Oral Bacteria Biofilm Model. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 28, 2014

Decline In Preschooler Obesity Tied To Fewer Purchases Of Junk Food

One reason childhood obesity rates have stalled and started to drop in recent years is the fact that parents of preschoolers are buying less junk food and sugary drinks, according to a U.S. study. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that obesity rates among preschoolers (aged two to five) have slid from 12.1 percent to 8.4 percent. To find out why, the researchers analyzed food and beverage purchase data between 2000 and 2011 from 43,000 U.S. households with preschool-age children. They identified the top 20 foods and beverages purchased per capita, finding declines especially in milk, soft drinks, juices and juice drinks, and grain-based desserts, all of which include higher calorie solid fats and added sugars.

"Families with preschoolers buying fewer high calorie foods and beverages", News release, upcoming study in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, May 28, 2014

Ultimate Health Food Mix For Busy Office Workers Leaves Something To Be Desired

Blogger Farhad Manjoo recently spent a week taste-testing a new health drink touted by its creators as a scientific solution to a purported need for quick, nutritious meals made from a mix. Soylent, as it’s called, is meant to replace “staple meals” in the lives of people who have too little time to prepare healthful foods. The inventor of Soylent says it’s cheap ($3 a serving), easy to prepare, and more nutritious than the junk most office workers stuff themselves with. The problem, according to Manjoo, is that Soylent is “punishingly boring” and “joyless”. It tastes and looks bland: it is the same color as motel carpets. It may offer complete nourishment, but it does so “at the expense of the aesthetic and emotional pleasures many of us crave in food”.

"The Soylent Revolution Will Not Be Pleasurable", The New York Times, May 28, 2014

Diet Soda Drinkers Lose More Weight Than Water Dieters – Study

A 12-week clinical study subsidized by the U.S. beverage industry finds that drinking diet sodas helps people lose weight. The researchers, two of whom are paid consultants of the Coca-Cola Company, said that those who drank diet beverages during the study “lost more weight and reported feeling significantly less hungry” than participants who drank only water. The study among 303 people showed that people who drank diet sodas lost an average of 13 pounds – 44 percent more than the control group, which lost an average of nine pounds. Sixty-four percent of the diet soda group lost at least five percent of their body weight, compared with only 43 percent of the control group. Both diet soda and water groups saw reductions in waist circumference and blood pressure.

"The effects of water and non-nutritive sweetened beverages on weight loss during a 12-week weight loss treatment program. ", Obesity, May 27, 2014

Vegan Version Of Atkins Diet Helps Drop Pounds, Reduce Heart Disease Risk

The so-called “Eco-Atkins” diet – low carb and vegan – not only helps dieters shed pounds, it also helps lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk, according to a Canadian study. Twenty-three obese men and women completed the six-month diet, in which participants ate only 60 percent of daily weight-maintenance calories, but were allowed to select their own menus, either Eco-Atkins or high carb/low fat. Eco-Atkins participants consumed 26 percent of calories from carbs, 31 percent from proteins and 43 percent from fat, primarily from vegetable oils, avocado, nuts and soy products. Over six months, participants on the Eco-Atkins diet experienced a 10 percent drop in cholesterol and lost an average of four more pounds than the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

"Effect of a 6-month vegan low-carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) diet on cardiovascular risk factors and body weight in hyperlipidaemic adults: a randomised controlled trial. ", BMJ Open, May 22, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

To Get Kids To Eat Veggies, Start Young, Feed Often

A British clinical study involving 332 kids between four months and three years of age found that the children were more likely to eat vegetables if introduced to them before 24 months. Children that young are more receptive to new eating experiences. After that, they tend to get pickier and more wary of novel foods, especially green ones. For the study, children from the U.K., France and Denmark were fed between five and ten servings (100 grams) of artichoke puree, served straight, sweetened with sugar, or mixed with vegetable oil for added energy. Twenty percent of the kids cleaned their plates, and 40 percent learned to like artichokes. About 16 percent of the children were termed “non-eaters” because they ate less than 10 g even when it was offered for a fifth time.

"Offer vegetables early and often to fussy toddlers, study says", BBC News Health, June 30, 2014

Good News For Wonder Bread Fans: White Bread Boosts Healthful Gut Bacteria

Researchers in Spain have discovered something that may help restore the tarnished reputation of traditional white bread, long a staple of American households. Thirty-eight healthy adults were questioned about their diets. In addition, stool samples were analyzed to determine the bacteria present in their intestines  A surprising finding was that white bread boosted the levels of Lactobacillus, a group of beneficial bacteria. The analysis also showed that the citrus-derived compound pectin actually reduces levels of some helpful bacteria, contrary to findings of previous research on pectin alone. That revelation led to perhaps the most useful insight derived from the research: the impact of foods on our microbiomes should be analyzed in combinations, rather than discretely.

"Pilot Study of Diet and Microbiota: Interactive Associations of Fibers and Polyphenols with Human Intestinal Bacteria. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 11, 2014

Six Of Ten Households Have At Least One Person Following A Restricted Diet – Harris Poll

A Nielsen study finds that six of ten American households have one person who is paying close attention to their diet and restricting their intake of at least one food. The poll, conducted by Harris, found that topping the list of restricted ingredients was sugar (36 percent) and sodium/salt (36 percent), followed by carbohydrates (22 percent), dairy, meat, and gluten. A Nielsen spokesman said that a restriction of an allergen or other risky food for one person in a household “can turn into a household ban”. And that presents both a challenge and an opportunity for food retailers and manufacturers.  The poll also found that 87 percent of Americans are trying to eat a healthful diet.

"Majority of American households have someone monitoring or restricting a part of their daily diet", News release, Nielsen, June 10, 2014

Calling Dietary Supplements Worthless Is “Irresponsible”, Scientists Argue

Scientists at Oregon State University say the case against vitamin and mineral supplements is far from “closed” as some researchers declared recently. Last December scientists published three separate studies that said most vitamin and mineral diet supplements have “no clear benefit and may even be harmful” to well-nourished adults. The OSU researchers, however, said many types of dietary supplements fill nutritional gaps, improve general health, may help prevent chronic disease, are not harmful and are very cheap. They agreed that a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables offers the greatest health benefit, but the diet of many Americans is heavy on calories and light on nutrients. The OSU researchers and colleagues called it “irresponsible to ignore decades of nutrition research” on the benefits of dietary supplements.

"Enough Is Enough. ", Annals of Internal Medicine, June 02, 2014

Mix Up The Exercise Regimen For Optimum Health Benefits

A U.S. study finds that more exercise is not really as good for you as more types of exercise. Performing a single type of workout – just running, just cycling, etc. – is less effective for fitness and weight loss than following a regimen of resistance exercises, interval sprints, pilates or yoga stretching, and endurance exercise. The study involved 36 females and 21 males aged 35 to 57 who were obese or overweight -- basically out of shape. For 16 weeks three randomly assigned groups ate the same amount of whey protein daily, but exercised differently: some were sedentary, some did resistance training, and some did multidimensional activities. The researchers found that multidimensional exercisers showed the greatest health improvements, including weight loss, abdominal fat loss and lower blood pressure.

"Timed-daily Ingestion of Whey Protein and Exercise Training Reduces Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass and Improves Insulin Resistance: The PRISE Study. ", Journal of Applied Physiology, May 30, 2014

Natural Sweetener From “Miracle Berry” Needs Work Before It Supplants Sugar In Foods

Though its use as a healthful sweetener in everyday cooking and baking is probably far off in the future, a naturally occurring taste-modifying protein known as “miraculin”, found in the berries of the Synsepalum dulcificum plant, is getting a lot of attention these days. The so-called “miracle fruit” from West Africa provides a “sweet fix” before eating a sugar-free dessert, for example. It is being tested at high-end restaurants around the world, where it turns sour flavors to sweet without the obesity-inducing effects of sugar. But before the full potential of the berry can be realized, some technical problems need to be resolved. Refrigerating and heating miraculin cause the protein to activate long before food can be sampled.

"The 'Miracle' Berry That Could Replace Sugar", The Atlantic, May 29, 2014

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