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Period: July 15, 2015 to September 1, 2015
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
Comment & Opinion  

Science Is Building A Case Against Fructose

Though some governmental agencies – the European Food Safety Authority, for example – have given the seal of approval to fructose as a healthful ingredient, a growing body of evidence suggests that the sugar may someday go the way of trans fats. There has been solid evidence for many years now that trans fatty acids (TFA) adversely affect cardiovascular health. A fructose study published in 2014 found that it does not harm insulin production, but does increase cholesterol and triglycerides after eating. A newer study reported that added sugars, especially fructose, are fueling the obesity epidemic and the rise of type 2 diabetes. Lastly, a June 2015 study reported that fructose stimulates overeating because it does not create a satiety response as effectively as glucose.

"Is Fructose the new Trans Fats?", Euromonitor International, August 12, 2015

Dietary Guidelines Need To Be Revised To Stress Protein Consumption

Protein is essential for a healthy diet, but the type of protein eaten is just as important as the amount, according to Canadian researchers who say national nutrition guidelines are outdated and should probably be revised to take that fact into account. Eating a moderate amount of high-quality protein at each meal optimizes muscle protein synthesis and protects muscle mass, and should be a key component, along with physical activity, of any weight loss strategy. Policy makers trying to control the obesity epidemic need to stress adequate high-quality protein along with moderate caloric intake to preserve muscle mass without adding fat mass.

"Protein: A nutrient in focus. ", Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, July 22, 2015

To Shed Pounds, Going Vegetarian Or Vegan May Help

National Public Radio, July 29, 2015


No Scientific Evidence Supporting Health Claims Of Vitamin Industry

The author of a book on America’s obsession with vitamins and other supplements says any benefit derived from popping the pills is probably a placebo effect. Most foods we eat – even donuts, cakes, and cookies, all made with enriched flour – provide all the vitamins we need. The only time supplementary vitamins should be taken is when there is evidence of a deficiency, such as vitamin C to cure or prevent scurvy. The fact is, there is almost no scientific evidence supporting the supplement industry’s health claims for its products. And thanks to the federal government, they don’t have to provide such evidence.

"Put down the Emergen-C — vitamin C does not ward off colds", Public Radio International, August 18, 2015

Dietary “Patterns” Figure Prominently In Upcoming Guidelines For Americans

A nutritional advisory panel has taken a different stance in its recommendations to the federal government for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Rather than offer advice on individual foods and nutrients, the committee based its recommendations on general dietary practices that correlate with positive health outcomes. What’s important is “the totality of diet” because we eat complex meals with combinations of foods and nutrients. The panel focused on three dietary patterns: the healthful U.S.-style, the healthful Mediterranean-style, and the healthful vegetarian. The three encourage a high intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, legumes and nuts; moderate intake of low-fat and nonfat dairy products and alcohol; and low intake of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and refined grains.

"For new dietary guidelines, U.S. panel looks at the whole plate", Los Angeles Times, August 01, 2015

Products & Brands  

Splenda Dominates Sweetener Market, But Johnson & Johnson Will Sell Product Line

Heartland Food Products Group, which already sells sweeteners based on sucralose, will acquire the Splenda product line from Johnson & Johnson’s McNeil Nutritionals business unit for an undisclosed amount. Sucralose recently surpassed aspartame as the sweetener market leader. But despite safety approval by the FDA and more than a hundred scientific studies, sucralose has fallen victim to a rising tide of food activist and consumer sentiment against artificial ingredients. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, for example, now tags sucralose as “caution” instead of “safe.”

"Johnson & Johnson Will Sell Splenda Sweetener to Heartland Food", Bloomberg Business, August 26, 2015

Wrongheaded Advice From Unqualified “Experts” Spurs “Clean Eating” Trend

Supermarkets have become “shrines” to “clean eating,” a nutritional trend that has brought us gluten-free bread (and other products), lactose-free milk, chia-based egg substitutes, etc. The “gurus” of the trend are mostly female bloggers without proper health or nutritional training. They have garnered thousands of online followers who wait with baited breath for the next tidbit of exotic – and often wrongheaded -- nutritional advice: avoid this food, eat that food. One such guru is 23-year-old Ella Woodward. She warns her disciples to stay away from milk because it saps the bones of calcium. Nutritionists, however, refute that advice. Drinking too much – “absurdly excessive quantities” – of milk can cause milk-alkali syndrome. But the condition is much more likely to come from taking too many calcium supplements.

"'Clean food' is a dangerous fad", The Spectator, August 22, 2015

From Alberta, Canada: A Ray Of Hope For Celiac Sufferers

Canadian scientists say they have found a potential solution to the debilitating intolerance to gluten known as celiac disease. They developed antibodies in chicken egg yolks that bind with gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. A Canadian human safety trial has completed successfully, and a clinical trial is being conducted to test its effectiveness on gluten intolerance. The researchers say the product, which is taken in pill form before eating wheat-based foods, could be on the market in two or three years, thanks to an injection of research funding from a British venture capital firm.

"Pill developed from egg yolk research at U of A could crack gluten intolerance", Edmonton Journal, August 13, 2015

Breakfast protein is key to weight loss

NewHope360.com, July 19, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

Science Does Not Support Old Maxim That People Need Eight Glasses Of Water Day

A pediatrician who has looked closely at the scientific evidence says that dehydration is simply not the common problem, not even remotely the global epidemic, some researchers (and water vendors) keep saying it is. Yet people are constantly being told to drink eight glasses of water a day. The truth is that people are hydrated by almost any liquid they drink – beer, coffee, tea, etc. – and an awful lot of foods they eat, including fruits and vegetables. Says Dr. Aaron E. Carroll: “Contrary to many stories you may hear, there’s no real scientific proof that, for otherwise healthy people, drinking extra water has any health benefits.”

"No, You Do Not Have to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day", The New York Times, August 24, 2015

Exercise Is Good For You, But It Doesn’t Help You Shed Pounds

The authors of a U.S. study that analyzed data on the relationship between exercise and obesity say there is no doubt physical activity is beneficial to humans, but “there is limited evidence to suggest that it can blunt the surge in obesity.” In other words, they argue, limiting calorie intake, with or without exercise, is the only way to shed pounds. A large number of clinical trials have shown that exercise plus calorie restriction achieves the same weight loss as calorie restriction alone. The key reason? Increasing your physical activity tends to increase your appetite. That leads to eating more food, and gaining – or simply not losing – weight.

"Physical activity does not influence obesity risk: time to clarify the public health message. ", International Journal of Epidemiology, August 20, 2015

Synthetic Compounds In Fish Oil Capsules Do Not Reduce Inflammation

Compounds known as resolvins, maresins and protectins formed from oily fish have been shown to reduce inflammation. Synthetic versions of the compounds have been tested successfully in lab dishes and in animals. But a new U.S. study comparing synthetic fish oil compounds found in supplements to those naturally occurring in fish finds that the synthetic versions are not nearly as absorbable or digestible by the human gut as natural versions. That means they are less likely to offer any anti-inflammatory benefits that would reduce the risk of heart disease. After rigorous testing, the researchers “found no evidence” that fish oil capsules play any role in reducing inflammation.

"Bioactive products formed in humans from fish oils. ", Journal of Lipid Research, August 19, 2015

Low Doses Of Resveratrol Effectively Check Tumor Growth In Mice

A low rather than a high dose of the antioxidant resveratrol prevents tumor growth in mice and alters metabolic pathways in human tissues, a study by British and U.S. researchers has found. Earlier studies looked at the impact of high doses of resveratrol, a compound found in red grapes and wine, on cancer prevention. This study analyzed the effects of a lower daily dose – the amount of resveratrol found in a large (250 ml, or 8.5 ounce) glass of red wine – compared to a dose 200 times higher. The researchers cautioned that drinking a glass of wine a day will not necessarily prevent cancer. The problem: you can’t separate resveratrol in wine from the alcohol which itself can be cancer-inducing. Much more research is needed, they said.

"Cancer chemoprevention: Evidence of a nonlinear dose response for the protective effects of resveratrol in humans and mice. ", Science Translational Medicine, August 19, 2015

Depression Linked To Refined Carbohydrates Diet In Older Women

Postmenopausal women whose diet includes a lot of refined carbohydrates are at greater risk for depression, U.S. researchers report. The scientists studied factors such as dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, types of carbohydrates, and instances of depression in survey data compiled among 70,000 women between 1994 and 1998. Higher dietary GI scores and consumption of added sugars and refined grains were associated with increased risk of depression, while dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables and non-juice fruits were linked to a decreased risk. The findings suggest potential therapeutic strategies for treating depression among post-menopausal women.

"High Glycemic Index Diet as a Risk Factor for Depression: Analyses from the Women’s Health Initiative. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 18, 2015

Compound In Spinach Extract Benefits Blood Pressure, Weight

No one disputes the health benefits of vitamin-rich spinach, but a new U.S.study says an extract of the green leafy vegetable delivers an extra health punch: satiety, or a reduced appetite. Researchers studied the impact of thylakoid-rich spinach extract on the satiety, food intake, lipids and glucose of thirty men and thirty women, all categorized as either overweight or obese. Blood tests were taken before breakfast, after extract (Appethyl) consumption, after lunch and later after dinner. Researchers noted a drop not only in hunger but also in the desire for salty. The findings suggest that taking thylakoids might be useful for people with high blood pressure and associated weight problems.

"Acute Effects of a Spinach Extract Rich in Thylakoids on Satiety: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial. ", Journal of the American College of Nutrition, August 18, 2015

Low-Fat Diet Burns Flab More Effectively Than Low-Carb Diet

Diets that restrict fat consumption are much more effective at reducing overall body fat, U.S. researchers have found in a small clinical study. Nineteen obese adults lived in a metabolic ward for two 2-week periods. Researchers monitored and controlled every bite of food they ate. In each period they ate either a carb-restricted diet or a fat-restricted diet. Measurements of how much fat each participant ate and burned were taken, and the data were used to calculate the rate of body fat loss. Body fat lost with dietary fat restriction was greater compared with carbohydrate restriction, even though more fat was burned with the low-carb diet. The researchers cautioned, for a variety of reasons, against making sweeping conclusions about how to diet from the study.

"Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity. ", Cell Metabolism, August 14, 2015

Go Ahead, Researchers Say, Skip Breakfast To Lose Weight

Researchers, nutritionists and even governments have bought into the hypothesis that skipping breakfast leads to a waterslide-fast descent into obesity. The notion probably gained traction because many scientists relied heavily on observational studies linking breakfast skipping to weight gain, ignoring evidence from randomized controlled studies. Researchers at a New York City hospital, however, recently conducted a small clinical trial. Three groups of participants ate either a bowl of oatmeal, a bowl of cornflakes, or nothing at 8:30 every morning for four weeks. The only group that lost weight by the end of the study was the group that skipped breakfast. The researchers hope their findings might have an impact on upcoming federal nutritional guidelines.

"The science of skipping breakfast: How government nutritionists may have gotten it wrong", The Washington Post, August 10, 2015

Eating Spicy Foods Reduces Risk Of Death

Using data compiled from half a million people, Chinese scientists conducted an observational study that found that regularly eating spicy foods reduces the risk of death from cancer, ischemic heart disease and respiratory disease. Earlier studies had shown that fresh chilies, which contain capsaicin, have anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive effects. The researchers followed a total of 487,375 participants aged 30 to 79 who completed a questionnaire about their health and consumption of spicy foods, red meat, vegetables and alcohol. During follow up, frequent consumption of spicy food was linked to a 14 percent reduced risk of death.

"Consumption of spicy foods and total and cause specific mortality: population based cohort study", The British Medical Journal, August 04, 2015

Americans Need To Eat More, And More Types, Of Fiber

Americans are not only not eating enough fiber, they’re not eating enough different types of fiber, according to U.S. researchers. Proper daily fiber intake -- 38 grams for men, 25 for women – regulates the digestive system and helps control cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, insulin and excess weight. To get the right amount of fiber, people should eat the recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables. But they should also expand beyond plant-based fiber sources, to fiber that has been added to food in the manufacturing process. Some examples include fiber-fortified bread, cereals, yogurt and pasta.

"Consumers should seek a variety of fiber sources to get the maximum health benefits", News release, symposium presentation at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation, July 28, 2015

Scientists Say Inactive Lifestyle Is Not Linked To A Poor Diet

Scientists have been accumulating evidence for some time that excessive time spent TV viewing, automobile commuting, or sitting at home or on the job – i.e., sedentary behavior – is linked to adverse health outcomes. But U.S. researchers who analyzed health survey data on 4,910 adults found that sitting and doing nothing was not linked to poorer diets. They did find a significant correlation between physical activity and better overall diet quality, and concluded that physical activity should be encouraged along with adherence to dietary guidelines. But they suggested that sedentary behavior and dietary quality should be targeted independently.

"Accelerometer determined sedentary behavior and dietary quality among US adults. ", Preventive Medicine, July 25, 2015

Americans Willing To Pay A Premium For U.S. Organic Broccoli

A U.S. research team that analyzed national survey data and information from the USDA  determined that Americans will buy organic broccoli from American or foreign suppliers but they’re willing to pay a significant premium for organic American broccoli. Packages of organic broccoli must label them as such, but they also must show a “country-of-origin” label. This has confused consumers because they’re not sure if the overseas broccoli meets USDA organic standards. Americans will pay as much as $1 more a pound for U.S. organic broccoli than for broccoli from China and Mexico, and 32 cents more a pound for broccoli from Canada.

"Consumers’ preferences for fresh broccolis: interactive effects between country of origin and organic labels. ", Agricultural Economics, July 25, 2015

New Scoring System Links Beverage Intake To Health

U.S. researchers have developed a way to assess beverage intake and correlate it to health status. The Healthy Beverage Index (HBI), based on dietary data from 16,000 adults, takes into account 10 factors, such as total energy from beverages and total fluid requirements. It also recommends limits for subgroups, such as low-fat milk, fruit juice, and alcohol. Some components of the HBI are weighted more heavily because they contribute to good health. Water, for example, should constitute at least 20 percent of total fluid intake. The data were correlated with risk factors such as obesity/overweight, hypertension, high fasting insulin, etc. The sample population was assigned scores ranging from 0 to 100. The higher the score, the better the adherence to beverage guidelines and a healthier beverage intake pattern in both men and women. The average HBI score was 63±16.

"The Healthy Beverage Index Is Associated with Reduced Cardiometabolic Risk in US Adults: A Preliminary Analysis", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, July 24, 2015

Further Evidence Of The Benefits Of Drinking Beet Juice

A clinical trial involving 14 healthy males found that drinking beet juice for 15 days lowered their blood pressure and dilated their blood vessels while at rest or exercising. In addition, the nitrate-rich juice helps the heart consume less oxygen during exercise, increasing endurance. The U.S. and Korean researchers concluded that exercise can be "performed at a given workload for a longer period of time before the onset of fatigue" when regularly drinking beet juice.

"Effects of Chronic Dietary Nitrate Supplementation on the Hemodynamic Response to Dynamic Exercise. ", American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, July 22, 2015

Soybean Oil Diet Is The Villain In The Obesity Epidemic

A study in mice by U.S. scientists shows that a soybean oil-rich diet is much more likely to induce obesity and other pre-diabetic symptoms than coconut oil or fructose-rich foods and beverages. Four groups of animals ate different diets, each containing 40 percent fat and the same number of calories. One diet was high in coconut oil, another had equal amounts of coconut oil and soybean oil (roughly the equivalent of the amount in the American diet). Two diets included added fructose. Mice on the high soybean oil diet showed increased weight gain, larger fat deposits, diabetes and insulin resistance, compared to the coconut oil diet. Mice on the fructose diet had less severe metabolic effects, but more negative effects in the kidney and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

"Soybean Oil Is More Obesogenic and Diabetogenic than Coconut Oil and Fructose in Mouse: Potential Role for the Liver. ", PLoS ONE, July 22, 2015

Two Antioxidants Reduce Heart Damage From Anti-Cancer Drug

Research has associated the powerful polyphenol antioxidant resveratrol, found in red wine, with a reduced risk of heart disease despite a high-fat diet. Now U.S. researchers have found that resveratrol, along with the polyphenol quercetin, may also prove to be a potent anti-cancer treatment. They developed a system to make the two water soluble and thus injectable into the blood stream. Levels in the body would thus be much higher than by eating the right foods or taking supplements. The two compounds appear to reduce the cardiac toxicity of the widely used cancer drug Adriamycin, which unfortunately can only be used for a limited time in humans. Administering the two polyphenols at the same time as Adriamycin might make it safer and increase its effectiveness.

"Combinatorial resveratrol and quercetin polymeric micelles mitigate doxorubicin induced cardiotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. ", Journal of Controlled Release, July 16, 2015

Dining Out Is Not A Healthy Choice

A U.S. scientist who analyzed eight years of data from a national health survey reports that Americans who eat at fast food and full service restaurants generally consume 200 more calories a day, compared to eating at home. In addition, they tend to take in more cholesterol, sodium, fat, and saturated fat. Restaurant diners tend to take in more healthy nutrients (e.g., certain vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids) than at-home or fast food diners, but they also also consume a lot more sodium and cholesterol. Fast food adds an average of 300 milligrams of sodium to the daily intake, while restaurant food adds 412 milligrams.

"Fast-food and full-service restaurant consumption and daily energy and nutrient intakes in US adults", European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 09, 2015

For Evolving Brains, a ‘Paleo’ Diet of Carbs

The New York Times, August 13, 2015

Stress May Sabotage Diet Willpower

Live Science, August 05, 2015


Vegan Cinnamon Roll Bakery Takes Its Success Formula Nationwide

A four-year-old bakery that won major funding ($200,000) on an entrepreneurial TV show announced a deal with a franchising agent and commitments from 25 franchisees. Hugely popular California-based Cinnaholic Vegan Bakery specializes in vegan cinnamon rolls that can be customized with 30 flavors and toppings. An Atlanta Franchise Group spokesman said it got involved with Cinnaholic because it is riding the trend away from “cheap sweets into gourmet desserts,” and a growing preference for quality over quantity. The first franchise locations will open in Southlake, Texas, and Ocean City, Md., to be followed by shops in Las Vegas, Anaheim and Dallas. 

"Vegan Gourmet Bakery Cinnaholic set to Open 25 Locations", News release, Cinnaholic Vegan Bakery, August 11, 2015

More Diversity In Human Diet Would Reduce Diabetes, Obesity

People may be getting fatter and more prone to chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes because their homogeneous diet has disrupted the microbiota environment in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Over the years agricultural methods and climate change have narrowed dietary choices to five animal species and 12 plant species. Rice, maize and wheat account for 60 percent of all the calories consumed 75 percent of the global population. Diet regulates the GI microbiome, the ecosystem of the human gut that needs a diversity to function optimally. A U.S. scientist developed and tested one food containing inulin, beta glucan and antioxidants, and another with whole soybean pods. He found that the concoctions shifted the composition of the microbiome of study participants with beneficial health effects.

"Diversifying your diet may make your gut healthier", News release, lecture presented at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation, July 28, 2015

The Military Is Making You Fat

New Republic, August 10, 2015

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