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Period: October 15, 2015 to November 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
Products & Brands  

Science Has Abandoned Its Advice To Avoid All Whole Fats... Will The Feds?

Science has gradually reversed the conclusion first drawn by a scientist in the 1950s – namely, that America’s consumption of fat was the cause of the heart disease epidemic. Study after study over the last ten years has concluded that – contrary to the federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans – fat is not a cause of cardiovascular disease or obesity. And now a study shows that whole milk is not only not bad for you, it actually offers cardio-protective benefits. So, the question becomes, will the new federal dietary guidelines back off the warnings against consuming all fats? Will they suggest avoiding trans fats and encourage eating unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts and vegetable oils? One thing is sure, says one scientist: it is okay to have whole fat food, including whole fat milk, and that message “is slowly seeping into consciousness.”

"For decades, the government steered millions away from whole milk. Was that wrong?", The Washington Post, October 06, 2015

More Whole Grain Pastas Are Appearing On Grocery Shelves

Nutritionists, dieticians and other food experts advise against eating white pasta because it’s made with white flour that loses its healthful bran and germ – along with fiber, protein, iron and B vitamins – when it is milled. It ends up as a high-glycemic, quickly digested carbohydrate. Food manufacturers know all this, too, and so have been developing alternative pastas made with whole grains rich in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Shoppers can now find at least six types of whole grain pastas that are more heart healthy: whole wheat, quinoa, sprouted grain, buckwheat noodles, spelt and brown rice.

"The Healthiest Pastas: From Quinoa to Buckwheat Noodles", US News & World Report, October 02, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

Calcium Supplements Increase Risk Of Kidney Stone Formation

After reviewing urine collections and CT scans of 1,486 kidney stone patients, U.S.  researchers concluded that calcium supplements – but not foods rich in calcium – increase the risk of a recurrence of stones. Patients who took calcium supplements had lower levels of the components of kidney stones in their urine. However, they also had a faster rate of kidney stone growth. Vitamin D supplements, however, may help prevent stone formation.

"Calcium supplements may increase the risk of kidney stone recurrence", News release, study to be presented at ASN Kidney Week, October 30, 2015

Adding Pumpkin Flavor Doesn’t Make Doughnuts A Health Food

Pumpkin-flavored treats and foods containing pumpkin – pies, breads, etc. – pop up frequently at this time of the year. Pumpkin has some healthful properties but not everything flavored with pumpkin is good for you, except in moderation. Pumpkin itself is rich in fiber and low in cholesterol It also contains vitamin A, phytosterols, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, protein, zinc and iron. But pumpkin snacks and desserts, not to mention the lattes and coffees, offer none of the benefits of pumpkins, and may contain a lot of salt, fat and sugar.

"Pumpkin foods may not live up to healthy reputation", News release, Baylor University, October 30, 2015

Fatty Diet Upsets Metabolism and Causes Anxiety, Depression

A diet of fatty foods can adversely affect more than the body, according to new French research in mice. Immoderate fat consumption can increase body weight and boost blood sugar leading to anxiety, depression and measurable brain changes. The study also showed that a fatty diet can thwart the beneficial effects of an antidepressant. The researchers noted that the metabolic impairments were reversed when the mice were taken off a high-fat diet, and their anxious symptoms decreased.

"High fat diet-induced metabolic disorders impairs serotonergic function and anxiety-like behaviors in mice. ", British Journal of Pharmacology, October 29, 2015

Vitamin D/Calcium Supplements Do Not Prevent Regrowth Of Intestinal Polyps

Vitamin D and calcium supplements do not prevent the regrowth of colorectal polyps, the precursors of cancerous tumors, a large U.S. study has found. The random, controlled study was conducted at 11 hospitals and involved 2,200 adults aged 45-75 who took 1,000 IU of calcium and/or 1,200 mg of vitamin D each day, or a placebo. Each study participant had a history of colorectal polyps without any remaining polyps after colonoscopy. After 3-5 years, researchers found that daily supplementation did not reduce the risk of recurrent colorectal adenomas.

"A Trial of Calcium and Vitamin D for the Prevention of Colorectal Adenomas. ", New England Journal of Medicine, October 29, 2015

Red Wine Safely Improves Cholesterol Balance, Reduces Cardiovascular Risks

A two-year multinational study has determined that drinking a glass of wine each night could help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their cholesterol and cardiac health. Researchers said red wine was found to be not only safe, it was superior in improving overall metabolic profiles by modestly improving the lipid profile and increasing good (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1 (a major constituent of HDL). It also decreased the ratio between total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Diabetics are more susceptible to developing cardiovascular diseases than the general population and have lower levels of "good" cholesterol.

"Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. ", Annals of Internal Medicine, October 29, 2015

Increased Calcium Intake Offers No Bone Benefits For Older Adults

For many years, physicians have advised older patients to increase their intake of calcium, either through food sources or supplements, to strengthen bones and prevent fractures. But two studies by New Zealand researchers now confirm that the advice was worthless: boosting calcium intake neither improves bone health nor prevents broken bones. Increasing intake of calcium and vitamin D – recommended for older adults by some guidelines – provides no meaningful health benefit and may increase the risk of adverse outcomes linked to calcium supplements. A balanced diet provides enough calcium and vitamin D for most people, they said.

"Calcium intake and risk of fracture: systematic review. ", BMJ, October 24, 2015

Avoid Toxic Bacteria This Fall: Refrigerate Those Caramel Apples

U.S. researchers have found that a dangerous bacterium known as Listeria monocytogenes increased 1,000-fold on a favorite fall treat: unrefrigerated caramel apples with sticks. By contrast, listerial growth was delayed on caramel apples without sticks stored at room temperature for three days. Refrigeration was the key difference, the scientists said. Caramel apples with sticks had no listerial growth for up to a week, and only a little growth over the next three weeks. Those without sticks had no listerial growth during four weeks of storage.

"Growth of Listeria monocytogenes within a Caramel-Coated Apple Microenvironment", Blog entry, study to be published in October 2015 issue of mBio, October 24, 2015

Milk Boosts Bioavailability Of Vitamin E In Obese People

A new U.S. study finds an association between vitamin E absorption and metabolic syndrome, the cluster of symptoms like obesity and high blood pressure that are a precursor of type 2 diabetes. The researchers at Ohio State University discovered that people with metabolic syndrome – 35 percent of Americans – do not absorb vitamin E. But that problem can be solved by adding cow’s milk to the diet. Study participants who drank milk along with the natural form of vitamin E – found in spinach, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. – absorbed between 26.1 and 29.5 percent of the vitamin. Participants with metabolic syndrome absorbed less vitamin E than healthy people. The bioavailability of vitamin E when taken with a glass of milk was nearly three times higher than expected.

"Metabolic syndrome leads one in three Americans to need more vitamin E", News release, scientific study, October 23, 2015

Packaged Food Purchases Are On The Rise – An Unhealthful Trend

American consumers are buying more packaged foods, but the packaged foods they buy – especially at non-grocery sources – are less healthful than fresh foods purchased at supermarkets, according to a U.S. study. Packaged food purchases (PFPs) accounted for 78 percent of store-based food expenditures. Mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs and convenience stores are seeing an increase in food purchases. The top sources of calorie purchases are savory snacks, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks and juices, fresh plain milk, and regular soft drinks across all types of stores, including grocery stores. But these food and beverage groups are major sources of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.

"The Nutrient Content of U.S. Household Food Purchases by Store Type. ", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, October 23, 2015

Evidence Of Health Benefits Of Tea Is A Little Weak

A New York Times health columnist recently assessed studies that examined the benefits of coffee, finding that drinking coffee is indeed healthful. He then looked at studies regarding tea’s benefits, finding that most of the research has been conducted in Asia, and conclusions may not apply to Americans (who drink a lot less tea daily). Studies, for example, somewhat inconclusively linked tea drinking with less risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, liver steatosis, cirrhosis, chronic liver disease, depression, stroke, heart disease, cardiac death, cerebral infarction and intracerebral hemorrhage. The upshot is that Aaron Carroll is “a little less impressed with the body of evidence regarding tea.” He says the data are not enough to “strongly recommend” drinking tea, but there may be some potential benefits, and no harms.

"Health Benefits of Tea? Here’s What the Evidence Says", The New York Times, October 05, 2015

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