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Period: October 1, 2014 to November 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

The Brain Makes Food Choices Based On Caloric Content

The human brain chooses one food over another because of its caloric content, the higher the better, according to a Canadian study. Researchers based their conclusions on brains scans and other factors of healthy participants who were asked to look at pictures of different foods and then rate them. They also estimated caloric content. Though they weren’t able to accurately guess calories, the foods they said they would like to eat tended to be the highest calorie ones. “We found that brain activity tracked the true caloric content of foods,” the researchers said, noting that understanding why people choose certain foods could help control the factors that lead to obesity.

"Behavioral and Neural Valuation of Foods Is Driven by Implicit Knowledge of Caloric Content", Psychological Science, October 20, 2014

Vitamin D Deficiencies Found In Children Who Drink Cow’s Milk Substitutes

Canadian researchers report that each additional cup of a cow’s milk substitute drunk by children is associated with a five percent drop in vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for the development and strengthening of children’s bones. In North America, every 3.4 ounces of cow's milk is required to be fortified with 40 units of vitamin D. But lately more families are buying rice milk, almond, soy or goat’s milk – they needn’t be vitamin D fortified -- for their perceived health benefits, or because of milk allergies or lactose intolerance. The study involved 3,821 healthy children ages one to six.

"Consumption of non–cow's milk beverages and serum vitamin D levels in early childhood. ", Canadian Medical Association Journal, October 20, 2014

Study Revives Interest In Grapefruit Juice As Weight Loss Strategy

A U.S. study in mice fed a high-fat diet has determined that drinking clarified, pulp-free grapefruit juice reduced weight gain by 18 percent, but the researchers were not able to identify what compound in the juice was responsible. The findings revive interest in a fad diet that was purportedly debunked by earlier studies. The researchers gave one group of mice on a high-fat diet a bioactive compound (naringen) in grapefruit juice identified as a key agent in weight loss, and another group a glucose-lowering drug. The high-fat-diet mice that received naringin had lower blood glucose levels than the control group, but there was no effect on weight, suggesting that some other ingredient in grapefruit juice is also beneficial.

"Consumption of Clarified Grapefruit Juice Ameliorates High-Fat Diet Induced Insulin Resistance and Weight Gain in Mice. ", PLoS ONE, October 12, 2014

Compound In Fruit Is Food For Creative Thought

Dutch research involving 32 men and women has proven the health value of consuming higher levels of the amino acid tyrosine. Participants were given orange juice that contained either tyrosine or a placebo. Tyrosine increases the production of dopamine in the brain, which increases the ability to think creatively. They were then required to solve various puzzles involving two main aspects of creative thinking: divergent thinking and convergent thinking. The test subjects who drank orange juice with added tyrosine were found to be better at solving puzzles than those who were administered a placebo.

"Food for creativity: tyrosine promotes deep thinking. ", Psychological Research, October 12, 2014

Snacking Is Big Business Worldwide, And Chocolate Is King

A survey by Nielsen finds that chocolate is universally favored at snack time. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they reached for chocolate to nibble on between meals, followed by fruits (62 percent), vegetables (52 percent), cookies (51 percent) and bread (50 percent). Americans said they preferred salty snacks over other options, though paradoxically the No. 1 health attribute they prefer in their snacks is “less sodium”. Global snack sales reached $374 billion in the year that ended March 2014. Nielsen polled 30,000 people in 60 countries.

"What the World Eats When It's Snack Time", Bloomberg Businessweek, September 30, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Study Links High-Protein Breakfast With Reduced P.M. Food Cravings

U.S. researchers report that eating a high-protein breakfast boosts levels of the brain chemical dopamine that is associated with feelings of reward. Higher levels of the chemical may reduce cravings and overeating later in the day, leading perhaps to a reduced risk of obesity. People experience a dramatic decline in cravings for sweet foods when they eat breakfast, researchers said. But breakfasts high in protein also reduced cravings for savory (high fat) foods. Because dopamine levels are dulled in overweight and obese individuals, it takes much more stimulation (i.e., food) to elicit feelings of reward, thus further contributing to obesity.

"Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women. ", Nutrition Journal, October 23, 2014

Researchers Urge Development Of Better Way To Process Raw Cow’s Milk

German and other European researchers have found that fresh cow’s milk – as opposed to ultra-high-temperature (UHT) treated or pasteurized milk -- better protects babies from respiratory infections, febrile illness and inflammation of the middle ear. However, because raw cow’s milk can contain harmful microorganisms, the researchers advocated development of a better treatment technology that preserves the protective ingredients in fresh milk. “If the health hazards of raw milk could be overcome, the public health impact of minimally processed but pathogen-free milk might be enormous,” the authors concluded.

"Consumption of unprocessed cow's milk protects infants from common respiratory infections. ", Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, October 20, 2014

Eating Fatty Fish Improves Response To Antidepressants

Almost half of patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) do not respond to a class of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. But a new Dutch study says that response can be significantly increased when fatty fish is introduced into the diet. For the study, fatty acid and cortisol levels were measured in 70 patients with depression and 51 healthy people. The depressed patients were given various doses of an SSRI daily for six weeks. Further testing of the MDD patients found that those who ate fatty fish at least once a week had a 75 percent chance of responding to antidepressants. Those who never ate fatty fish had only a 23 percent chance of responding.

"Fish intake associated with boost to antidepressant response", News release, research presented at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology congress, October 20, 2014

Study To Look At Whether Physical Activity Food Labels Will Motivate Smarter Eating

U.S. researchers, armed with a $2.33 million NIH grant, will be studying whether “physical activity food labels” can help curb the obesity epidemic. The idea is to put the amount of physical activity necessary to burn off the calories consumed in a particular food. The calorie-burning activity would be based on a 30-minute-a-mile pace, not very athletic or vigorous. The researchers believe that physical activity labels will allow people to appreciate “the trade-offs of high-calorie foods” and get them to make smarter food choices.

"Researchers to Study Effects of 'Physical Activity Labels'", Athleticbusiness.com, October 14, 2014

Healthful Behaviors – The More The Better – Reduce Bowel Cancer Risk

It is possible to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by following several healthful lifestyle behaviors, according to German scientists. Colorectal cancer, also called bowel cancer, is the second most common cancer in men, and the third in women, worldwide. Researchers analyzed data on 347,000 people from 10 countries over 12 years. They then constructed what they called a healthy lifestyle index comprising several lifestyle factors: a healthy weight; low abdominal fat; regular physical activity; not smoking and limiting alcohol; a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish, yogurt, nuts, seeds, fiber, but low amounts of red and processed meat. The conclusion: the more lifestyle factors followed by people in the study, the lower the incidence of bowel cancer.

"Combined impact of healthy lifestyle factors on colorectal cancer: a large European cohort study. ", BMC Medicine, October 12, 2014

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