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Period: March 1, 2017 to April 1, 2017
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

Study Demonstrates How Fasting-Mimicking Diet Suppresses Diabetes

U.S. researchers have developed a diet food available commercially that imitates the effects of fasting and appears to reverse diabetes. Earlier studies have shown that periodic cycles of fasting reprogram pancreatic cells and restore insulin production. The new study in mice shows that a fasting-like diet (using a food product called L-Nutra) promotes the growth of insulin-producing pancreatic cells. The researchers placed diabetes-model mice on the L-Nutra diet for four days each week. The diet switched on genes that spur production of a protein (neurogenin-3) that, in turn, generated healthy, insulin-producing beta cells. The mice regained healthy insulin production, reduced insulin resistance and demonstrated more stable levels of blood glucose. The researchers look forward to a clinical trial of L-Nutra among diabetics.

"Fasting-Mimicking Diet Promotes Ngn3-Driven b-Cell Regeneration to Reverse Diabetes", Cell, February 23, 2017

EC Urges Schools In Member States To Help Curb Rising Childhood Obesity Rates

The EurActive media network reports that the European Commission, responding to an alarming increase in childhood obesity rates, is calling on member states to take action in the procurement of healthy food for schools. The EC advises its members to focus on improving student eating behaviors in schools, where children eat at least one main meal a day. Better access to healthy food in schools would lead to development of better childhood dietary habits, lower rates of childhood obesity, and better school attendance and performance, the EC said.

"EU Urges Member States to Target Childhood Obesity in Schools", Report, EurActiv.com, February 24, 2017

Company Launches Crisp Ingredient That Is 60 Percent Pea Protein

Food ingredients supplier PGP International has launched a snackcrisp that is 60 percent pea protein. The new crisp is targeted at food manufacturers developing snacks and other foods that will meet consumer demand for protein and clean foods. The company says the new chip can be incorporated into cereals, snack bars, energy foods and confectionery. The company uses an advanced extrusion technology that ensures the chips contain high levels of protein but are free from hexane, a neurotoxic petrochemical solvent. The chips are gluten free, vegan, kosher, easily digested, and hypoallergenic for those intolerant to animal-based proteins or soy.

"PGP International Launches New 60% Pea Protein Crisp", News release, PGP International, February 28, 2017

It’s Really Not More Expensive To Eat Healthful Foods

Are poor diets and obesity the direct result of the unaffordability of healthful food? According to one analyst, the answer is no, though many people believe it. One reason for that is that some studies have looked at food prices on a price-per-calorie basis, which makes many high-calorie foods seem inexpensive. For example, a low-calorie yogurt would appear more expensive than an identical high-calorie yogurt even though their retail prices are the same. Christopher Snowdon says his report compares directly the prices of healthy and less healthy food substitutes and also compares them by “edible weight.” He found almost no difference between the price of regular food products and their healthier substitutes. Analyzing by edible weight, healthier supermarket food tends to be cheaper than less healthy food.

"Cheap As Chips", Report, The Institute of Economic Affairs, March 01, 2017

Lower-Carb Diet Provides An Effective Way To Manage Diabetes - Study

Diabetics who follow a lower-carb diet will manage their disease more effectively, according to a study that reviewed previous intervention research. The British researchers focused on changes to participants’ glycated hemoglobin levels – a measurement of long-term blood glucose levels – after changing to a lower-carb diet. Glycated hemoglobin dropped when carbs were limited to 120 g a day, and fell the most when limited to 30 g a day. The researchers suggest that the findings warrant new guidelines for diabetes management that promote lower-carb diets.

"Should a Low Carbohydrate Diet Be Recommended for Diabetes Management? ", Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, March 07, 2017

Gluten-Free Diet Increases Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

A small percentage of Americans cannot tolerate the protein gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley) due to Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. But a multibillion-dollar industry has sprouted up in recent years because many people believe eating gluten-free foods is healthier, though they are often less nutritious and more expensive. Harvard University researchers now report that gluten-free diets may actually be less healthful. In a 30-year observational study that took into account the potential effect of cereal fiber, individuals in the highest 20 percent of gluten consumption had a 13 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in comparison to those with the lowest daily gluten consumption (less than four grams).

"Low gluten Diets may be Associated with Higher Risk of Type 2 Diabetes", American Heart Association, March 09, 2017

Consortium To Accelerate Technology That Turns Plant Protein Into “Beefsteak”

Several food companies, including Unilever, have formed a consortium with a Dutch university to advance a technology that transforms vegetable protein into a layered fiber structure that mimics the taste, texture, and appearance of beefsteak. The Plant Meat Matters consortium comprises Swiss flavor house Givaudan, French agri-food giant Avril, and plant protein supplier Ingredion. Wageningen University researchers developed the shear-cell technology that can use protein from soy, wheat, pea, rapeseed or corn. The consortium hopes to scale the technology to produce industrial quantities, and to make it available to industry as well as chefs and consumers. Global sales of meat substitutes increased from 163,000 tons in 2015 to 183,000 tons in 2016, according to Euromonitor.

"Plant Meat Matters: Unilever, Givaudan and Ingredion Invest in Vegetarian Steak", FOODnavigator-USA.com, March 13, 2017

People Who Eat Healthy Diet Don’t Benefit Much From Probiotic Supplements

New findings from Australian research suggest that supplementing a healthy diet with probiotics may do more harm than good. Rats in the study were fed either a healthy diet or one high in saturated fat and sugar, both with a probiotic supplement. The probiotics improved the bacterial make-up in the “grossly disregulated” digestive tract of obese rats eating the junk food diet. They also improved brain function: spatial memory loss was prevented. Not so for the rats on the healthy diet. The probiotics had almost no impact on microbial diversity and actually impaired recognition memory.

"Cafeteria diet and probiotic therapy: cross talk among memory, neuroplasticity, serotonin receptors and gut microbiota in the rat. ", Molecular Psychiatry, March 14, 2017

Handbook On Brain Health Encourages Older Adults To Focus On Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is associated with retention of cognitive function among older people. But there is a lot of misinformation out there about what constitutes healthy eating, so scientists at a Canadian center for brain health put together a handbook for people over 50. The book encourages older adults to eat berries or cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, rather than a specific type of berry, vegetable or other “superfood.” It’s the overall pattern of healthy eating that improves brain health, such as fish, beans, olive oil, nuts, and stir-fried foods. Beans or legumes should be added to soups and stews.

"Canadian Scientists Create Food Guide for Brain Health in Older Adults", Nutrition Insight, March 17, 2017

Eight Servings Of Fruits, Vegetables Daily Is Better For You

Norwegian and British scientists report that nearly eight million deaths a year could be prevented if people ate eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day. The researchers scoured 142 publications from 95 population studies that examined the relationship between consumption of fruits and vegetables and the risk of chronic diseases. Each analysis included information on several hundred thousand people. They found that the risk of dying prematurely from all causes was reduced by almost a third, and the risk of cardiovascular disease by about a quarter in people who ate 800 grams of fruit and vegetables every day. The greatest benefit came from eating apples, pears, citrus fruit, fruit juice, green leafy vegetables, and fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.

" Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality–a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies", International Journal of Epidemiology, March 23, 2017

Family Meals Without TV Watching Are Linked To Lower Obesity Rates

A U.S. study of data collected in phone surveys of nearly 13,000 Ohioans – a third of whom were obese – found that those who ate home-cooked family meals, regardless of how often, were less likely to be obese. More than half said they eat family meals on most days, 35 percent on some days, and 13 percent on few days per week. A third watched TV or videos most of the time during family meals; 36 percent said they never did. Especially important was what the families were doing during their dinnertimes. The odds of obesity were much lower among adults who never watched TV or videos during family meals, and who prepared their own dinners, at least a couple of times a week.

"Television, Home-Cooked Meals, and Family Meal Frequency: Associations with Adult Obesity", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 31, 2017

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