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Period: August 1, 2014 to August 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

Diet Is Only One Factor Contributing To Brain Health

Lifestyle factors may be more important for brain health than specific food ingredients, a U.S. study has found. The data indicated that people who ate baked or broiled fish at least once a week had greater grey matter brain volumes in areas of the brain responsible for memory (4.3 percent) and cognition (14 percent) and were more likely to have a college education than those who didn't eat fish regularly. Whether the fish was rich in omega 3 fatty acids didn't seem to matter. The researchers concluded that they may have tapped into a general set of lifestyle factors affecting brain health, only one of which is diet.

"Regular Fish Consumption and Age-Related Brain Gray Matter Loss. ", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 04, 2014

Resistant Starch Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk Of Red Meat Diet

Researchers in Australia report that resistant starches – e.g., slightly green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, whole grains, beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc. – reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in people whose diet is rich in red meat. Participants in the study ate 300 g of lean red meat a day for four weeks. Levels of certain genetic molecules increased by 30 percent along with an increase in cell proliferation. For another four weeks they ate 40 g of butyrated resistant starch each day with the red meat. Levels of the molecules returned to normal. Resistant starches are not digested in the stomach and small intestine, but pass through to the colon where they act like fiber.

"Dietary Manipulation of Oncogenic MicroRNA Expression in Human Rectal Mucosa: A Randomized Trial. ", Cancer Prevention Research, August 04, 2014

Analysis Finds That Some Weight Loss Programs And Pills Are Much More Cost-Effective

As insurance companies consider covering commercial diet plans and weight loss drugs, U.S. researchers who studied three of each found that some are more cost-effective than others. The Weight Watchers plan and the drug Qsymia offer the most weight loss bang for the buck. People on the Jenny Craig program lost the most weight, but Jenny Craig was the most expensive of the plans tested. Other programs/pills that met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis were Vtrim, and the drugs Lorcaserin and Orlistat. Weight Watchers is the cheapest intervention, costing an average of $377 a year. Jenny Craig cost more than $2,500. Annual costs for the diet pills are $1,743 for Lorcaserin; $1,518 for Orlistat; and $1,336 for Qsymia.

"Meta- and cost-effectiveness analysis of commercial weight loss strategies. ", Obesity, August 02, 2014

Federal Nutrition Standards Raise Havoc In School Fundraising World

A federal anti-obesity law that takes effect this fall will put a crimp in school fundraising efforts like bake sales and candy sales. The sales must adhere to nutrition requirements meant to lower calorie, fat, sugar and salt consumption by schoolchildren. The rules govern food and beverages sold during the school day in vending machines, snack carts and daytime fundraisers. "Infrequent" fundraisers are okay, and states can decide themselves how many questionable bake sales would be allowed. School administrators, parents and others worry that the well-meaning federal standards will not only hurt fundraising, they will push schools to sell more processed-food products to raise money.

"Put Down the Cupcake: New Ban Hits School Bake Sales", The Wall Street Journal, August 01, 2014

Private Label Makes Headway In Consumer Health Product Markets

More consumers around the globe are choosing private label vitamin and dietary supplements (VDS), Euromonitor reports, as companies in the sector increasingly offer high quality, value-added products that are non-GMO, gluten free, organic, vegetarian and vegan. The trend in the VDS market reflects what’s happening in consumer health generally, where the CAGR of private label products in the U.S. has reached eight percent, and 2013 retail sales of $13.9 billion, significantly outpacing consumer health industry growth. Private label health products are gaining ground in other regions, particularly Australasia and Western Europe. Price (i.e., cheapest) seems to be the main determinant in selection of OTC drugs, while quality-plus-price weigh  heavily in selection of VDS products.

"Premium Private Label Vitamins and Dietary Supplements to Capture Greater Market Share", Report, Euromonitor International, July 30, 2014

Caffeine Detector For Beverages Could Help Prevent Dangerous Overdoses

With the introduction of new caffeine-rich beverages and foods reaching flood stage, the risk of caffeine overdosing has increased as well. Caffeine is normally well tolerated, but in excessive doses it can lead to insomnia, hallucinations, vitamin deficiency, several types of cancer, and even death. Now U.S. scientists report progress in developing a rapid, in-home test to detect even low levels in beverages. An enzyme called caffeine dehydrogenase can detect caffeine in a variety of drinks – with the exception of teas – in one minute, in concentrations as low as 1 to 5 parts per million.

"Validation of Caffeine Dehydrogenase from Pseudomonassp. Strain CBB1 as a Suitable Enzyme for a Rapid Caffeine Detection and Potential Diagnostic Test. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 30, 2014

Nutrients In Dairy Products Help Preserve Bone, Muscle In Aging Population

A study by scientists in North America and Europe finds four nutrients found in dairy products are especially beneficial in preserving bone and skeletal muscle. Calcium, inorganic phosphate, vitamin D, and protein interact with each other through cellular and physiological pathways. The nutrients are abundant in dairy foods, which should be an important dietary component, especially among the aging population. Combining the four nutrients with physical activity decreases the likelihood of bone and muscle degeneration-related injury in older adults, the researchers said.

"Dairy in Adulthood: From Foods to Nutrient Interactions on Bone and Skeletal Muscle Health. ", Journal of the American College of Nutrition, July 28, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Study Concludes That Low-Carb Diet Is Best For Diabetics

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes would benefit greatly from following a diet that is low in carbohydrates, according to a new U.S. study. The researchers said low-fat diets do not improve obesity, cardiovascular risk or general health, and there have been persistent reports of serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetes medications. The research found that: caloric increases linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been due almost entirely to increased carbohydrate consumption; carb restriction works the best at decreasing blood glucose levels; and the benefits of carb restriction do not require weight loss – but no dietary intervention works better for losing weight.

"Dietary Carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base. ", Nutrition, August 07, 2014

Pistachios Improve Cardiovascular Health Among Type 2 Diabetics

Pistachios are rich in fiber, potassium and antioxidants, and they are high in fat, but they are healthful fats, and may help type 2 diabetics keep their blood pressure under control, according to a study by Penn State researchers. The study compared isocaloric diets, one of which included 150 pistachios a day. Participants alternated between the diets, and measurements of stress responses were taken. With the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests. Measures of blood pressure were significantly lower after the pistachio diet. Average sleep blood pressure was reduced by about four points, lowering workload on the heart.

"Pistachio Nut Consumption Modifies Systemic Hemodynamics, Increases Heart Rate Variability, and Reduces Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Trial. ", Journal of the American Heart Association, August 05, 2014

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Schizophrenia

As evidence of the adverse health effects of vitamin D deficiency mounts, researchers in Iran have added a psychiatric impact. People who are vitamin D deficient are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people with normal levels. The researchers analyzed findings of 19 observational studies on vitamin D and schizophrenia, finding that vitamin D deficiency is “quite common” among schizophrenics: people with low vitamin D were 2.16 times more likely to have schizophrenia than those with sufficient vitamin D. Sixty-five percent of study participants who had schizophrenia were also vitamin D deficient.

"Serum Vitamin D Levels in Relation to Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. ", The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, August 02, 2014

Probiotics May Help Slow Accumulation Of Fat In The Liver

Spanish researchers have discovered in animal studies an intriguing connection between probiotics and fat accumulation in the liver (steatosis), a symptom of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease associated with obesity and diabetes. Probiotics are living or nonliving microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) that exert healthful effects on individuals who consume them in adequate doses. The three strains tested have all been shown to be safe for humans. The obese animals ingested probiotics for 30 days, after which lower values of pro-inflammatory molecules were found in the animals’ blood, an indication of diminished fat accumulation in the liver.

"Effects of Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-4034, Bifidobacterium breve CNCM I-4035 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-4036 on Hepatic Steatosis in Zucker Rats. ", PLoS ONE, August 02, 2014

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