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Caloric Restriction Seems To Improve Chances Of Cancer Survival

September 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Studies have shown a relationship between excess caloric intake and the onset of cancer, but a new French study shows that restricting caloric intake may improve the body’s response to cancer treatment. The study in mice proved that reducing caloric intake inhibited the overexpression of the protein Mcl-1, which is associated with several cancers. The researchers said that understanding the link between metabolism and the body's natural cancer suppressors and activators could lead to more effective therapies and improved survival for cancer patients.
O. Meynet et al., "Caloric restriction modulates Mcl-1 expression and sensitizes lymphomas to BH3 mimetic in mice", Blood, September 07, 2013, © American Society of Hematology
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Obese Teenagers Who Lose Weight Often Experience Eating Disorders

September 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Formerly overweight adolescents tend to have more medical complications from eating disorders, according to a Mayo Clinic study, and it takes longer to diagnose the disorders. The researchers said adolescents with a history of being overweight or obese make up a substantial portion of adolescents who are treated for eating disorders. The study looked at two examples of eating disorders that developed after obese adolescents reduced their weight. Both examples showed how difficult it was to identify eating disorders in formerly obese children and the subsequent delay in getting appropriate medical help.
Leslie A. Sim et al., "Eating Disorders in Adolescents With a History of Obesity", Pediatrics, September 05, 2013, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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Vitamin D Deficiency Is A Global Problem

September 4, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A German review of studies that reported on patterns of vitamin D status at the population level globally found that more than a third of the studies reviewed reported mean serum vitamin D levels that are considered inadequate by world health authorities. They also found that vitamin D values were higher in North America than in Europe or the Middle-East and there were age-related differences for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions, but not elsewhere. Vitamin D deficiencies have a potentially serious impact on health, particularly on bone and muscle health.
Jennifer Hilger et al., "A systematic review of vitamin D status in populations worldwide", British Journal of Nutrition, September 04, 2013, © Hilger et al.
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Program That Encourages Healthier Eating Among Low-Income Families Is Effective

September 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Access to healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables is often limited in low-income communities. Now a study by a North Carolina medical center shows that community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs that link consumers to a local farm’s produce during the growing season may provide an solution to the problem. The small feasibility study involved low-income women with children evenly divided into an intervention group and a control group. Intervention participants – but not the control group – received a free box of fresh produce for 16 weeks, educational sessions, a farm tour and a grocery store tour. The researchers observed a significant increase in the number of different fruits and vegetables in the intervention households as well as increases in fruit and vegetable consumption.
Sara A. Quandt et al., "Feasibility of Using a Community-Supported Agriculture Program to Improve Fruit and Vegetable Inventories and Consumption in an Underresourced Urban Community", Preventing Chronic Disease, September 03, 2013, © Quandt et al.
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Study Finds Improved Mental Health Among Women Who Gained Weight Over Time

September 3, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
German researchers report that female participants in a study of the relationship between body weight and health-related quality of life actually experienced improved mental well-being when they gained weight, despite deterioration of physical health. Data for the study were collected over seven years from 3,000 men and women. The researchers said their findings indicate the complexity of the relationship between body weight and physical and mental health. But understanding the relationship is important for developing medically effective and cost-effective strategies to prevent and manage obesity.
Michael Laxy et al., "The longitudinal association between weight change and health-related quality of life", International Journal of Public Health, September 03, 2013, © Springer Basel
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Labeling Food As “Low Fat” Is A Powerful Inducement For Consumers

September 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In a study involving 175 female college students, researchers at the University of Hawaii found that the label “low fat” on candy (M&M's) conveyed an impression that the food was not only healthier but better tasting than regular M&M's. (All of the M&M's in the study were regular versions.) They also found that participants significantly underestimated the caloric content of candy labeled as low fat. Those who did not know the calorie content underestimated the calories of supposedly low fat M&M's by an average of 71 calories, and  overestimated the caloric value of regular M&M's by an average of 38 calories. “The study findings may be related to the ‘health halo’ associated with low fat foods,” the researchers concluded.
Daria S. Ebnetera et al., "Is less always more? The effects of low-fat labeling and caloric information on food intake, calorie estimates, taste preference, and health attributions ", Appetite (Volume 68, 1 September 2013, Pages 92–97), September 01, 2013, © Elsevier B. V.
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Small Changes At The Molecular Level Have A Big Impact On How The Body Uses Flavonoids

August 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers studying dietary molecules produced by plants have found that even very small modifications to flavonoids can have a large effect on bioactivity and the human immune system. Using a newly developed assay system involving human cells, the researchers showed that the way in which a flavonoid scaffold was arranged significantly affected the production of inflammatory mediators stimulated by microbes. The research has important implications for diet and in the development of new pharmaceuticals from plant natural products, the researchers said.
E.-K. Lim et al., "Regiospecific Methylation of a Dietary Flavonoid Scaffold Selectively Enhances IL-1 Production following Toll-like Receptor 2 Stimulation in THP-1 Monocytes", Journal of Biological Chemistry, August 30, 2013, © The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
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Vinegar Beats Prescription Drugs In Reducing Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

August 30, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A small clinical study by U.S. researchers has found that ingesting a small amount of vinegar at mealtime twice a day may benefit people at risk for type 2 diabetes. Participants, who were otherwise healthy, either drank 750 mg (one tablespoon) of acetic acid or ingested a placebo pill at two meals each day for 12 weeks. Blood sugar was measured daily. Those who ingested the vinegar showed greater reductions in fasting blood sugar levels than those from taking diabetes drugs metformin or rosiglitazone. The researchers concluded that vinegar, “a simple addition to meals, has antiglycemic effects in adults at risk for type 2 diabetes, possibly related to carbohydrate maldigestion”.
Carol S. Johnston et al., "Vinegar ingestion at mealtime reduced fasting blood glucose concentrations in healthy adults at risk for type 2 diabetes", Journal of Functional Foods, August 30, 2013, © Elsevier B.V.
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Whole Fruits, But Not Fruit Juices, Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

August 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The first study to examine the impact of individual fruits on the risk of type 2 diabetes has found that blueberries, grapes and apples are particularly effective at preventing the disease. However, the U.S. study found, drinking fruit juices significantly increased the risk. Researchers examined diet and health data gathered between 1984 and 2008 from 187,382 participants in threMore than 12,000 participants developed diabetes during the study period. People who ate at least two servings a week of certain whole fruits reduced their risk 23 percent compared to those who ate less than one serving a month. Those who consumed one or more servings of apple, orange, grapefruit, or other fruit juices each day increased their risk by 21 percent.
Isao Muraki et al., "Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies", BMJ, August 29, 2013, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
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Healthy Diet, Adequate Exercise – Plus Twice The RDA Of Protein – Prevent Muscle Loss

August 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Eating twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein while regularly exercising and eating a healthy diet prevents muscle loss and promotes fat loss, according to a U.S. study. The caloric intake and exercise levels of the men and women in the study were tightly controlled. In addition, they were assigned to groups that ate the normal RDA of protein, twice the RDA and three times the RDA. The researchers concluded that eating twice the RDA of protein helps prevent muscle loss when trying to lose fat, along with adequate exercise and a well balanced diet.
S. M. Pasiakos et al., "Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial", The FASEB Journal, August 29, 2013, © Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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Changes In Intestinal Bacteria After Quitting Smoking Cause Weight Gain

August 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Weight gain after quitting smoking is not due to increased caloric intake, according to new Swiss research, but to a shift in the microbial composition of the intestines. The small study involved 20 participants – five nonsmokers, five smokers and ten who had quit smoking a week before. An analysis of the genetic composition of fecal material showed that the intestinal microbial content of those who had quit smoking shifted dramatically. They gained an average of 2.2 kilos, though their eating and drinking habits stayed the same. The researchers suggested that the changes in the bacteria in the intestines after giving up smoking provided the body with more calories, resulting in weight gain.
Luc Biedermann et al., "Smoking Cessation Induces Profound Changes in the Composition of the Intestinal Microbiota in Humans", PLoS ONE, August 29, 2013, © Biedermann et al.
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Broccoli Compound Seems To Improve Joint Health

August 27, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The compound sulforaphane, which is found in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and particularly broccoli, slows the destruction of cartilage in joints affected by osteoarthritis, a British study in mice has found. Earlier research suggested that sulforaphane has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. But in this study researchers showed that sulforaphane blocks the enzymes that cause joint destruction by stopping a key molecule known to cause inflammation. The researchers are launching a small clinical trial to test the impact of sulforaphane on the joints of patients slated to have knee replacement surgery.
Rose K Davidson et al., "Sulforaphane represses matrix-degrading proteases and protects cartilage from destruction in vitro and in vivo", Arthritis & Rheumatism, August 27, 2013, © American College of Rheumatology
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Canada Allows Kellogg’s To Fortify More Cereals With Vitamin D

August 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Health Canada has given Kellogg’s Canada permission to fortify its line of breakfast cereals with vitamin D, known as the “sunshine vitamin”. The company began adding the vitamin to some of its cereals last year, driven mainly by scientific reports of increased vitamin D deficiencies and the broader “functional food” trend. The Canadian government has been careful to allow fortification of some foods – especially milk and margarine – to reduce deficiencies, but not others for fear of overconsumption of the vitamin. Kellogg says the government’s decision to allow vitamin D fortification in more cereals is part of a three-year study to see if adding the vitamin to more foods “would benefit Canadians”.
Carys Mills , "Kellogg given OK to add ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ to cereal", Toronto Star, August 24, 2013, © Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd
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Animal Study Finds That Omega-3 Supplements Reduce ADHD Symptoms

August 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A Norwegian study in young rats with hyperactivity, poor ability to concentrate and impulsiveness – all symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in humans – has found that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids led to a decline in the symptoms. The rats were given omega-3 supplements while in the womb and from the earliest stages of life. Monitoring of the animals found substantial differences in the behavior of those given the omega-3 supplements as fetuses and as baby rats and those that had not. Male rats showed improved ability to concentrate, while all of the omega-3 rats showed reduced hyperactivity. The researchers cautioned that these findings might not translate to human beings for a variety of reasons.
Kine S Dervola et al., "Marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids induce sex-specific changes in reinforcer-controlled behavior and neurotransmitter metabolism in a spontaneously hypertensive rat model of ADHD", Behavioral and Brain Functions, August 23, 2013, © Dervola et al.
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Europeans Feel Personalized Nutrition Programs Are Better For Health And Fitness

August 21, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A European focus group study has found that consumers believe personalized nutrition – whereby diets are customized for individuals – is better for their health and fitness. Researchers at the Food4Me project also found that consumers liked the programs because they are convenient and payment-based. But at the same time the 126-person group worried about the security of the health data gathered by regulators and nutrition service providers. Personalized nutrition takes into account genetic differences among individuals, including how certain genes affect the risk of diet-related diseases. The goal  of the Food4Me project, funded by the European Commission, is to find the best ways to deliver information and services.
"Personalized Nutrition Perceived Positively by Consumers", Nutrition Horizon , August 21, 2013, © CNS Media BV
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Exercise Can Prevent Some Unhealthy Results Of A Junk Food Diet

August 20, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study  finds a link between the Western junk food diet – high in saturated fat, vegetable oil fats and sugar – and erectile and coronary artery dysfunction , particularly with a sedentary lifestyle. The study was conducted in rats who ate either a healthy diet or a fat-rich diet, and who either exercised or remained sedentary. The findings showed that rats who ate the Western diet but stayed sedentary developed erectile dysfunction and poorly relaxing coronary arteries. But those who ate a junk food diet – and exercised – were able to prevent these problems. Animals who ate a healthy diet avoided both erectile and coronary artery dysfunction.
J. D. La Favor et al., "Exercise prevents Western diet-associated erectile dysfunction and coronary artery endothelial dysfunction: response to acute apocynin and sepiapterin treatment", AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, August 20, 2013, © American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
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Caffeine Shown To Have Therapeutic Effect On Fatty Liver Disease

August 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in the U.S. and Singapore have found evidence that increasing caffeine intake could reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Results from lab culture and animal tests showed that caffeine stimulates the metabolism of lipids stored in liver cells, decreasing the fatty liver of lab animals. The U.S. researchers said that consuming the equivalent caffeine intake of four cups of coffee or tea a day may help prevent and protect against the progression of NAFLD in humans. Their findings may lead to the development of caffeine-like drugs that do not have caffeine side effects, but do retain the therapeutic effects on the liver.
Rohit Anthony Sinha et al., "Caffeine stimulates hepatic lipid metabolism via autophagy-lysosomal pathway", Hepatology, August 16, 2013, © American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
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Mediterranean Diet Coupled With Low GI Carbs Reduces Risk Of Diabetes

August 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Italian researchers who studied more than 22,000 Greek patients for 11 years found that those who followed the Mediterranean diet more closely – and especially ate more low glycemic index foods – were 12 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who followed the diet less closely. Those whose diet was more rich in high glycemic index carbohydrates were 21 percent more likely to develop diabetes. The researchers said the Mediterranean diet was not associated with weight loss, but with “dietary characteristics”. They suggested that a Mediterranean diet whose foods were low on the glycemic index “may reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes".
Carlo La Vecchia et al., "Mediterranean diet and glycaemic load in relation to incidence of type 2 diabetes: results from the Greek cohort of the population-based European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)", Diabetologia, August 15, 2013, © Diabetologia
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Gluten-Free Baked Goods Among Best New Products At Fancy Food Show

August 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Food writer Ruth Taber sampled a lot of innovative foods and beverages at last month’s Fancy Food Show in New York City, but was especially fond of some tasty gluten-free baked snacks. Among her  favorite products: Barry Novick’s award winning All Parmesan Gourmet Wafer Crisps made entirely of cheese; Just The Crumbs – created by a woman with celiac disease – combining brown rice, quinoa, flax, and sesame seeds and suitable for any recipe calling for crumbs; and Israeli firm Osem’s Gratify gluten-free pretzels made with rice and soy flour (and wheat, milk, casein and egg free).
Ruth Taber, "Ruth Taber: Food finds", El Paso Times, August 15, 2013, © MediaNews Group
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Diet Rich In Vegetable Oils May Reduce Risk Of Blindness Caused By Retinopathy

August 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Incubating retinal cells with vegetable oils, particularly olive oil, induces biochemical and biophysical changes in the cell membrane that seem to prevent and slow development of retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness. Vegetable oil fatty acids are absorbed into cells of the retina, increasing plasma membrane fluidity. This in turn increases the flexibility of the membrane and makes it easier for light to pass through the eye. A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids and olive oil may reduced the risk of retinopathy, they said. 
Toihiri Said et al., "Effects of vegetable oils on biochemical and biophysical properties of membrane retinal pigment epithelium cells", Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, August 15, 2013, © Canadian Science Publishing
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Healthy Diet Associated With Lower Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer

August 15, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed questionnaire data from an NIH-sponsored diet and health study involving 537,218 people found a 15 percent lower risk of pancreatic cancer among those who ate a healthier diet. The authors evaluated how closely study participants' diets matched the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2005). The  association between a higher HEI score (indicating a healthier diet) and lower incidence of pancreatic cancer was stronger among overweight or obese men compared to men of normal weight, researchers said. But there was no difference for normal vs. overweight or obese women.
R. Ballard-Barbash et al., "Potential to Link Dietary Patterns in the Food Supply and Populations to Health", JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute, August 15, 2013, © Oxford University Press
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Watermelon Juice Rich In Specific Amino Acid Relieves Muscle Soreness After Exercise

August 14, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Spain who tested the effects of watermelon juice on people who exercised found that it actually reduced post-exercise muscle soreness. The effect is probably due to an amino acid known as L-citrulline in the juice. Researchers tested natural juice, juice enhanced with L-citrulline and a placebo drink. Both the natural and enhanced versions of the juice relieved muscle soreness, but the L-citrulline in the natural juice seemed to be more bioavailable – i.e., in a form the body can use more easily.
Martha P. Tarazona-Díaz et al., "Watermelon Juice: Potential Functional Drink for Sore Muscle Relief in Athletes", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 14, 2013, © American Chemical Society
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Proactive Consumer Healthcare Trend Drives Increases In Nutritional Supplement Intake

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A study by market researcher NMI finds that over the past five years American adults have steadily increased their use of nutritional supplements. About 73 percent now use them, compared to 62 percent in 2009. Millennials are also jumping on the nutritional supplement bandwagon – they show the highest increases in supplement use over the past several years. According to NMI, the increase in supplement use – a sign of the consumer directed, proactive  healthcare trend – is driven by several factors, including the aging population, the desire for “anti-aging” remedies, and the uncertainty of the healthcare system.
Siobhan Hawthorne, "Nutritional Supplement/OTC/Rx Consumer Insight & Market Opportunity Report", NMI, August 13, 2013, © NMI
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Mediterranean Diet Affects Gene Associated With Type 2 Diabetes And Stoke Susceptibility

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A new study by U.S. and Spanish researchers has found a genetic reason to follow the Mediterranean diet: the food apparently interacts with a gene variant associated with type 2 diabetes and eliminates increased stroke susceptibility. The diet puts people who carry the gene variant on an even playing field with people with one or no copies of the variant. The randomized, controlled trial enrolled more than 7,000 men and women who ate either a Mediterranean or low fat control diet and monitored them for cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack for almost five years. Researchers said the findings boost the science of nutrigenomics, the study of the links between nutrition, gene function and human health.
Corella D et al., "Mediterranean Diet Reduces the Adverse Effect of the TCFL2-rs7903146 Polymorphism on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Stroke Incidence", Diabetes Care, August 13, 2013, © American Diabetes Association
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Soda Consumption Linked To Aggressive Behavior Among Five-Year-Olds

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Five-year-olds who drink a lot of soft drinks are more likely to have serious behavioral problems, a new U.S. study has determined. Researchers found a distinct correlation between higher soda consumption – more than one soda a day up to four or five a day – and aggression, attention problems and withdrawn behavior. The researchers acknowledged that they were unable to determine which ingredients in soft drinks –  carbonated water, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sodium benzoate, phosphoric or citric acid, or caffeine – caused the behavior problems. But the association was definite: “Children with higher soda consumption … were more likely to destroy other people’s belongings, get into fights, and physically attack people”.
Shakira F. Suglia et al., "Soft Drinks Consumption Is Associated with Behavior Problems in 5-Year-Olds", The Journal of Pediatrics, August 13, 2013, © Mosby Inc.
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Sugar-Rich Diet Proves Deadly For Mice In Experiments

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
In a study in mice, U.S. researchers found that a 25 percent increase in sugar – half dextrose and half fructose – in the diet caused serious health problems. That sugar increase, comparable to three cans of sugary soda added to an otherwise healthy human diet, caused a higher rate of mortality and reduced fertility, the researchers said. The same unhealthy results were seen when mice were inbred and when they consumed the added sugar. To conduct the study, researchers used 377-square-foot "mouse barns" enclosed by 3-foot walls to closely approximate the actual living conditions – and breeding, feeding, and competitive behavior – of house and field mice.
James S. Ruff et al., "Human-relevant levels of added sugar consumption increase female mortality and lower male fitness in mice", Nature Communications, August 13, 2013, © Nature Publishing Group
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Boosting Daily Dietary Fiber Is Only A Matter Of Smart Food Substitutions

August 13, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
By making simple substitutions of high-fiber foods for low-fiber ones, Americans can easily boost their fiber consumption to recommended healthy levels, according to a recently published article. The key is choosing higher fiber varieties of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, the authors say. Simple substitutions can also play a role. For example, a person consuming around 13 grams of fiber and 1,600 calories a day could double fiber intake easily by exchanging a low-fiber breakfast cereal for a high-fiber breakfast cereal, chocolate chip cookies for a high-fiber chocolate chip snack bar, and white bread for whole wheat bread.
"New Study Shows How To Easily Get More Fiber In Your Diet Without Increasing Calories", News release, Kellogg's, August 13, 2013, © Kellogg Company
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Only 7 Percent Of US Consumers Say They're Vegetarian, 36 Percent Use Meat Alternatives

August 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
While only 7 percent of consumers in the United States identify themselves as vegetarian, 36 percent say they use meat alternatives, according to a research from Mintel. Half of consumers who use meat alternatives are using them to replace real meat and 16 percent say they use the products together with meat products. Data also showed health concerns are a major factor encouraging consumers to use meat alternatives, with one-third of consumers say they are using meat alternatives because they are healthy. Also, 31 percent of respondents said they are trying to cut their meat consumption, while another 31 percent said they like the taste of meat alternatives.
"More than one-third of Americans consume meat alternatives, but only a fraction are actually vegetarians", Mintel, August 12, 2013, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Healthy Diet, Moderate Alcohol, Reduce Risk Of Chronic Kidney Disease With Type 2 Diabetes

August 12, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Patients with type 2 diabetes who ate a healthier diet and drank moderate amounts of alcohol reduced their risk of chronic kidney disease, according to a Canadian study. For the study, researchers examined the association of a healthy diet, alcohol, protein and sodium in 6,213 patients. A lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease and mortality was associated with: higher quality diet (including at least three servings of fruit a week), higher intake of animal protein, and moderate intake of alcohol. Sodium intake was not linked to kidney disease.
Daniela Dunkler et al., "Diet and Kidney Disease in High-Risk Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus", JAMA Internal Medicine, August 12, 2013, © American Medical Association
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Poor Food Choices Linked To Sleep Deprivation

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at the brain regions that control food choices found unusual activity patterns in the brains of sleep-deprived individuals. Activity in the frontal lobe of sleep-deprived individuals – the area involved in complex decision making – was impaired, while activity in areas deeper in the brain that respond to rewards increased. The researchers said that high-calorie foods become significantly more desirable when participants are sleep-deprived, “which may help explain why people who sleep less also tend to be overweight or obese”.
Stephanie M. Greer et al., "The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain", Nature Communications, August 06, 2013, © Nature Publishing Group
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Scientists Report On A Simple Way To Revive Frozen Broccoli’s Anti-Cancer Benefits

August 6, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. scientists who earlier reported that frozen broccoli lacks the anti-cancer properties of fresh broccoli have now reported that there’s a simple, inexpensive way to fix the problem. In one study, the researchers showed how the process of freezing broccoli – heating to high temperatures to inactivate damaging enzymes – removes the ability of the vegetable to form a cancer-fighting phytochemical known as sulforaphane. But in a new study, the same researchers demonstrated that food processing companies can still blanch and freeze broccoli, but they can then sprinkle it with a minute amount of a cruciferous vegetable – radish, cabbage, etc. That process joins two chemicals that create sulforaphane, reviving broccoli’s cancer-fighting benefits.
Elizabeth Jeffery et al., "Modifying the processing and handling of frozen broccoli for increased sulforaphane formation ", Journal of Food Science, August 06, 2013, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Sugary Beverages Linked To Obesity In Young Kids

August 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers who analyzed survey data from 9,600 children ages two to five found a significant link between a high body mass index (BMI) and drinking eight or more ounces of sugary drinks a day. Two-year-olds who regularly drank sugar-sweetened beverages had larger increases in BMI over their next two years than those who rarely or never drank sugary beverages. Researchers also found that kids who regularly drank sugary beverages drank less milk and watched more television daily than children who rarely or never drank sugary beverages. 
DeBoer et al., "Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain in 2- to 5-Year-Old Children", Pediatrics, August 05, 2013, © American Academy of Pediatrics
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No Evidence That Taking Antioxidants Increases The Likelihood Of Pregnancy

August 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A review of scientific studies on antioxidants and fertility found no evidence that women are more likely to conceive when taking oral antioxidants. Women being treated for infertility often take dietary supplements, including antioxidants, to boost their chances of becoming pregnant. The researchers analyzed data from 28 clinical trials involving 3,548 patients of fertility clinics, finding no clear connection between antioxidant intake and the chance of conception. The researchers acknowledged that the quality of the trials was generally poor and the number of different antioxidants involved made it difficult to make comparisons. "We could not assess whether one antioxidant was better than another," said one researcher.
Marian G Showell et al., "Antioxidants for female subfertility", The Cochrane Library, August 05, 2013, © The Cochrane Collaboration
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Continual Exposure To Isoflavone In Soy Foods Reduces Risk Of Colon Cancer

August 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Soy-rich diets containing a bioactive isoflavone known as genistein are capable of repressing signals in the intestine that promote uncontrolled cell growth and malignancies, according to a U.S. study. Soy genistein apparently represses aberrant Wnt signaling through epigenetic modifications at the regulatory regions of certain genes. Continual exposure to genistein reduced the number of pre-cancerous lesions in the colons of laboratory rats by 40 percent and reduced Wnt signaling to normal levels, researchers said. The findings confirm that colon cancer is an epigenetic disease: dietary and environmental factors can influence genes to be switched on or off, leading to a change in disease susceptibility.
Y. Zhang et al., "DNA methylation and histone modifications of Wnt genes by genistein during colon cancer development", Carcinogenesis, August 05, 2013, © Zhang et al.
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Eating A Large Breakfast Is Much Better For Weight Loss And Waist Reduction

August 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Israeli researchers report that women who eat the largest meal of the day at breakfast are much more likely to lose weight and reduced their waist lines than those who eat large dinners. The study was conducted with 93 obese women who consumed 1,400 calories a day, eating either 700 calories at breakfast and 200 calories at dinner, or 200 calories at breakfast and 700 calories at dinner. Those who consumed the large breakfast and light dinner had lower insulin, glucose and triglyceride levels during the day, which translates to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Daniela Jakubowicz et al., "High Caloric intake at breakfast vs. dinner differentially influences weight loss of overweight and obese women", Obesity, August 05, 2013, © The Obesity Society
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Transparent Packaging Has An Effect On Snack Eating, Depending On Different Factors

August 5, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A new study confirms that transparent food packages influence snacking habits in different ways, but it depends on the size, visual appeal and healthiness of the food. Participants were placed in a room with snacks – nuts, cookies, M&Ms, Cheerios and Fruit Loops packaged in either transparent or opaque bags –  to watch episodes of “The Office”. The participants were told they would be evaluating ads, but the researchers were only interested in their food consumption. The results? Participants ate fewer large, visually appealing snack foods from transparent packages, ate more small foods (like M&Ms) from transparent packages, and ate fewer carrots from transparent packages. "The health food results were somewhat surprising to us," one researcher said.
"The See-Food Diet: How Transparent Packaging Affects Eating", News release, American Marketing Association, August 05, 2013, © American Marketing Association
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Study Identifies Enzyme Critical To Peanut Allergy

August 1, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have identified an enzyme, Cyp11a1, that is essential to the allergic reaction to peanuts. The study in mice found that blocking the enzyme in mice sensitized to peanuts prevented diarrhea and inflammation while reducing levels of several proteins associated with allergies. The researchers believe that identifying the critical enzyme will make it easier to develop a preventative therapy for the increasingly common and potentially deadly peanut allergy, and perhaps for other food allergies. Food allergies have become more common in recent decades, affecting about eight percent of the U.S. population.
Meiqin Wang et al., "The steroidogenic enzyme Cyp11a1 is essential for development of peanut-induced intestinal anaphylaxis", Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, August 01, 2013, © American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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Will Fitness Fans Flock To Dr. Zak’s High-Protein Bread?

July 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
MuscleFood.com has launched a high-protein, lower-carb bread targeted at bread loving fitness fanatics. Made in the U.K. from wholemeal (whole grain) flour, Dr. Zak’s Protein Bread contains 15 grams of wheat and pea protein and 13.9 grams of carbohydrates per slice, as well as omega-3 fatty acids. A loaf is denser than sliced white bread, weighing in at 850 grams, triple the weight of a normal loaf. Food writer Bianca London says the bread has a pleasant aroma, more depth of flavor than regular bread, and left her feeling full and satisfied. But at £5 ($7.64) a loaf, it would probably appeal only to a specialty market.
Bianca London, "The bread that can help you get fitter, not fatter: Loaf contains SEVEN TIMES as much protein as regular bread - and it's full of Omega 3 too", Daily Mail Online, July 29, 2013, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Vegan Mexican Dish Finds A Place On Chipotle’s Fast-Food Menu

July 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
It may be hard to believe, but the vegan culinary culture that shuns all animal products is inching its way into the world of fast food. Chipotle Mexican Grill, whose menu includes organic ingredients and naturally raised meats, is now selling vegan Sofritas in its restaurants in the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia. The chain had been offering the item – basically shredded, organic tofu braised with chipotle chilies and roasted poblanos in burritos, tacos or bowls – only in California. If the $6.50 vegan dish is a hit, the company says it will it out across all of its 1,450 restaurants.
Bruce Horovitz, "Chipotle unwraps vegan burrito", USA TODAY, July 29, 2013, © USA TODAY
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Diet Poor In Omega-3s Leads To Health Problems Among Teens And Their Parents

July 29, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
New U.S. research finds that teens especially – but also their parents – who eat fewer foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are more prone to anxiety and hyperactivity, as well as impaired memory and cognition. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon and sardines, eggs, and meat from grass-fed livestock. The researchers, whose study was conducted among multiple generations of lab animals, said the health problems occur not just in the teens themselves but also in parents born in the 1960s and 1970s, when omega-3-deficient oils like corn and soy oil became prevalent, and farm animals began eating grain instead of grass.
Corina O. Bondi et al., "Adolescent Behavior and Dopamine Availability Are Uniquely Sensitive to Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency", Biological Psychiatry, July 29, 2013, © Society of Biological Psychiatry
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Skinnygirl Introduces Liquid Sweeteners

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The start-up company known mainly for its low-calorie alcoholic beverages targeted at women has launched a line of zero-calorie liquid sweeteners made with monk fruit, agave, and stevia. The concentrated sweeteners from Skinnygirl, founded by former Real Housewives of New York cast member Bethenny Frankel, are zero-calorie, gluten-free and carb-free. They come in 1.68 ounce bottles that contain 80-160 servings. The sweeteners are available nationwide in Walmart and other stores.
"Skinnygirl™ Makes Life a Little Sweeter by Launching Zero Calorie Stevia, Agave, and Monk Fruit Liquid Sweeteners", PRNewswire , July 24, 2013, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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New Gadget Measures Acetone Expelled From Lungs When Fat Is Burned

July 24, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Japanese scientists have developed a pocket-sized breathalyzer that measures -- not alcohol -- in the breath, but acetone, an indicator of fat metabolism. Acetone is expelled through the lungs when fat is broken down. The new device can detect acetone at concentration sin  the range of 0.2 to 50 parts-per-million. It weighs only 4.5 ounces and uses two AA batteries. It uses a pressure sensor to detect exhaled breath and two types of semiconductor-based sensors to detect acetone. The researchers believe their device will be useful in estimating fat loss from changes in breath acetone concentrations and determining whether diets are really working.
Toyooka et al., "A prototype portable breath acetone analyzer for monitoring fat loss", Journal of Breath Research, July 24, 2013, © Toyooka et al.
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For Peak Performance, Athletes Should Eat A High-Fiber, Low-Fat Diet While Training

July 23, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Too many athletes are pushed into fad diets or diets that restrict calorie intake too much in a way that is unhealthy and unsustainable, according to a U.S. researcher who reviewed scientific literature. Instead, to maintain a healthy weight and remain performance-ready, athletes need to adopt a low-energy-dense diet that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, and low-fat dairy. Sugary beverages like soda and alcohols should be avoided. Half of a plate of food should contain fruits and veggies, and processed food should be avoided. Lastly, opt for the food over the drink: instead of drinking orange juice, eat an orange. It has more fiber, and fills you up more.
Melinda Manore, "Athletes Need to Be Careful to Monitor Diet, Weight to Maintain Muscle Mass", News release, literature review published in the Nestlé Nutritional Institution Workshop Series, July 23, 2013, © Nestlé Nutritional Institution
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Antioxidants May Block The Benefits Of Good Bodily Stress, Like Exercise

July 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
The natural antioxidant resveratrol, found in red grapes and other plants and available as a dietary supplement, has been touted as an anti-aging compound. But new research finds that, in older men especially, eating a diet rich in antioxidants may actually counteract many of the health benefits derived from exercise, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The researchers suggest that antioxidants are not a panacea: some oxidative stress is necessary for the body to function effectively. Too many antioxidants may block healthy adaptations to stress, including beneficial exercise stress.
Lasse Gliemann et al., "Resveratrol Blunts the Positive Effects of Exercise Training on Cardiovascular Health in Aged Men", The Journal of Physiology, July 22, 2013, © The Physiological Society
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Eating Breakfast Is Important For Heart Health

July 22, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Missing breakfast in the morning, or eating a meal late at night, can cause metabolic effects that lead to coronary heart disease, according to a U.S. study. Researchers analyzed data from a food frequency questionnaire, tracking health outcomes from 1992 to 2008, on nearly 27,000 males aged 45 to 82.  Men who reported they skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who reported they didn't. Men who reported eating late at night (eating after going to bed) had a 55 percent higher coronary heart disease risk than those who didn't. Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more heart disease risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
L. E. Cahill et al., "Prospective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals", Circulation, July 22, 2013, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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Eating Eggs Does Not Increase Risk Of Heart Disease Among Adolescents

July 19, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A European study conducted in nine countries found that adolescents who ate larger amounts of eggs did not have higher serum cholesterol nor worse cardiovascular health, regardless of their levels of physical activity. Health experts have long followed the 1973 American Heart Association recommendation that egg consumption be limited to three a week, because of the higher cholesterol levels. But most foods rich in cholesterol are usually also rich in saturated fats. A medium-size egg contains 200 milligrams of cholesterol but has more unsaturated fats than saturated fats and only 70 calories.
A. Soriano-Maldonado et al., " Ingesta de huevo y factores de riesgo cardiovascular en adolescentes; papel de la actividad física", Nutrición Hospitalaria, July 19, 2013, © Soriano-Maldonado et al.
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More Frequent Exercise Associated With Lower Risk Of Stroke Among Men

July 18, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study involving 27,000 stroke-free blacks and white older than 45  found that physical inactivity, which was reported a 33 percent of participants, was associated with a 20 percent greater risk of stroke. Men who exercised four or more times a week had a lower stroke risk, but the link between exercise frequency  and stroke among women was less clear. The researchers acknowledged that a limitation of the study was the self-reporting aspect. Results based on self-reported levels of physical activity may not reflect the truth.
McDonnell M N et al., "Frequency and Risk of Incident Stroke in a National US Study of Blacks and Whites", Stroke, July 18, 2013, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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There Are Numerous Sources Of Key Nutrients For Vegetarian Athletes

July 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Vegetarian athletes have to find ways to boost macronutrient levels in their diet, without consuming animal-based foods. The good news is that predominantly or exclusively plant-based foods do indeed provide those needed nutrients, . Eating orange/yellow and green leafy vegetables, fruits, fortified breakfast cereals, soy drinks, nuts and milk products (for vegetarians who consume dairy) can provide the iron, creatine, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium usually provided by animal foods. The formula for acceptable macronutrient distribution for all athletes, including marathon runners, is carbs (45-65 percent), fat (20-35 percent) and protein (10-35 percent).
Dilip Ghosh, "Monitoring Nutrient Intake Can Help Vegetarian Athletes Stay Competitive", News release, study presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Expo, July 17, 2013, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Consumers Should Be Careful About Eating Seafood, But Should Not Ignore Its Health Benefits

July 17, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers should be concerned about whether the seafood they eat is safe, but nutritionists say the health value of seafood far outweighs the risks. Eating two 3- to 5-ounce servings a week of fish such as salmon, oysters and rainbow trout provide an average of 250 mg/day of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. A professor at the University of Southern California said consumers can safely eat 12 ounces of a variety of cooked seafood a week, so long as they heed local seafood advisories “and limit their intake of large, predatory fish like shark”.
Roger Clemens, "Seafood Still Considered a Good Source of Nutrients but Consumers Confused On Safety", News release, panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo, July 17, 2013, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Healthy Snacks Help Control Appetite, Lower Caloric Intake

July 16, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
Dieters who can control their hunger can reduce overall energy intake during the day and lose weight, according to a British nutrition research manager. A good way to control appetite is to eat healthy snacks between meals, especially peanuts, nuts and other high-fiber snacks. In a recent study, participants who regularly consumed almonds as a mid-morning snack said they felt fuller and ended up eating less for lunch and dinner. Another study found that participants lowered their daily caloric intake after eating a snack of cereal each day.
Roberta Re, "The Right Snack May Aid Satiety, Weight Loss", News release, study presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting & Food Expo, July 16, 2013, © Institute of Food Technologists
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