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Foods Enriched With Company’s Protein Ingredient Improve Health Profile Of Elderly

September 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
New Zealand dairy company Fonterra says studies it sponsored show that elderly people can improve their health easily – and avoid frailty – by eating protein-enriched foods. In the two studies, conducted in a hospital and an orthopedic rehab center, patients who consumed yogurt drinks and bread enriched with a Fonterra dairy protein upped their daily intake of protein significantly without drastically changing their eating habits. Fonterra said its protein ingredient ”does not change the sensory profile” of the foods and so is easily incorporated into the diet. After three days in one study, the 22 patients who ate high-protein diets were consuming about 75 grams of protein a day, compared to 58 grams for those on the regular diet.
Mark Astley, "Opportunities in protein-enriched 'everyday food' for the elderly: Fonterra", BakeryAndSnacks.com, September 15, 2014, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Dairy Fat Seems To Protect Against Onset Of Type 2 Diabetes

September 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Swedish researchers report that people who eat a lot of high-fat dairy products are much less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who eat very little. The study looked at dietary and other health data collected from nearly 27,000 men and women aged 45-74 years, with 14 years of follow-up. High intake of high-fat dairy products, including cream and high-fat fermented milk, was associated with a 23 percent lower incidence of type 2 diabetes for the highest consuming 20 percent of participants – eight portions of dairy food a day – compared with the lowest consuming 20 percent, who ate one portion a day. The researchers did not find the same association with low-fat dairy products or animal fats in general.
Ulrika Ericson, "Consumption of high fat dairy products associated with lower risk of developing diabetes", News release, research presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes , September 15, 2014, © European Association for the Study of Diabetes
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Supplement Makers Endorse Efforts To Develop Stricter Standards On Adulterated Ingredients

September 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The umbrella group of trade associations representing dietary supplement makers has endorsed the efforts of a consortium of organizations trying to improve standards related to adulterated herb and botanical ingredients. Adulteration – substitution of a supplement ingredient with an undisclosed cheaper ingredient – presents a major challenge in the supplement industry because it cheats the consumer. The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) said the efforts of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program would “help us move forward” to the goal of tighter standards and more trustworthy products. The consortium comprises nonprofit organizations, analytical laboratories, industry members, professional scientists and others.
"IADSA Endorses Botanical Adulterants Program", Natural Products Insider, September 08, 2014, © Informa Exhibitions, LLC.
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Any Weight Loss Diet Can Work, As Long As You Persevere

September 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. meta-study comparing research data on the effectiveness of low-fat and low-carb diets found little weight loss difference. Any diet plan can work as long as people stick to it. The researchers analyzed data from 50 clinical trials involving 7,300 people. All diet routines were superior to no diet at six months. Compared with no diet, low-carb diets had a median difference in weight loss of 19.2 lbs., low-fat diets 17.6 lbs. Weight loss differences between individual diets were minimal. Those on the Atkins diet (low carb) lost 3.8 lbs. more than those on the Zone diet (low fat) at six months, a statistically insignificant difference.
Bradley C. Johnston et al., "Comparison of Weight Loss Among Named Diet Programs in Overweight and Obese Adults. ", JAMA, September 02, 2014, © American Medical Association
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Spinach Extract Suppresses Food Cravings, Boosts Weight Loss

September 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A three-month Swedish clinical study involving 38 overweight women found that taking an extract of spinach containing leaf membranes (thylakoids) reduced food cravings and increased weight loss. The control group that took a placebo lost an average of 3.5 kg while the group that was given five grams of thylakoids daily lost 5 kg. The thylakoid group also found that it was easier to stick to three meals a day, and did not experience any cravings. The researchers said taking thylakoids reinforced the body's production of satiety hormones and suppressed food cravings, leading to better appetite control, healthier eating habits and increased weight loss.
Caroline Montelius et al., "Body weight loss, reduced urge for palatable food and increased release of GLP-1 through daily supplementation with green-plant membranes for three months in overweight women. ", Appetite, September 02, 2014, © Montelius et al.
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The American Diet Is Improving, But Not By Much

September 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An analysis of diet quality trends from 1999 to 2010 found that Americans increasingly ate more healthful foods, but there is a growing diet disparity between the affluent and disadvantaged. Dietary improvement was mainly due to the reduction in consumption of trans fats. Diet quality scores among people with more income and education were consistently higher than among poorer people, and the gap widened over the 11 years analyzed. The researchers stressed that despite improvement, overall dietary quality remains poor, presenting significant challenges for public policy and nutrition education.
Dong D. Wang et al., "Trends in Dietary Quality Among Adults in the United States, 1999 Through 2010. ", JAMA Internal Medicine, September 01, 2014, © American Medical Association
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British GPs, Other Health Leaders, Recommend Urgent Action On Childhood Obesity

September 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A group of British physicians has appealed to the U.K.’s chief medical officer to establish a Child Obesity Action Group to take "radical steps” to get the problem -- one fifth of four-to-five year olds are overweight or obese -- under control. Suggestions for action include levying taxes on sugary drinks to reformulating foods to reduce levels of sugar, salt, fat, etc. Unless urgent action is taken immediately, an entire generation will be "destroyed" by a "diet of junk food and sugary drinks", the Royal College of General Practitioners warned.
Hannah Abdulla, "UK health leaders say obesity threat "severe", call for "emergency task force"", Just-Food, September 01, 2014, © just-food.com
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Drinking Wine Reduces Cardiovascular Risk – If You Exercise, Too

August 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Czech scientists finds that drinking wine does benefit the cardiovascular system, but only if it is accompanied by exercise. Earlier studies have provided evidence that wine increases levels of good cholesterol, but this study is the first long-term clinical trial – 146 people with cardiovascular risk were tracked as they drank red or white wine for a year -- comparing the effects of the wine on markers of atherosclerosis. The conclusion was that both red and white wine lowered cholesterol, but only among participants who also exercised.
"Wine only protects against cardiovascular disease in people who exercise, study finds", News release, study presented at ESC Congress, August 31, 2014, © European Society of Cardiology
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Nutrient-Enhancement Of Popular Regional Condiments Could Improve Global Health

August 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The World Health Organization is working to upgrade the nutritional intake of people around the globe by enhancing the nutritional value of certain popular condiments. The program is modeled after successful nutrient-enhancing initiatives such as adding iodine to common table salt. The WHO hopes to enrich foods – soy sauce, for example, in Southeast Asia – with iron, vitamin A and other micronutrients. Deficiencies are a serious problem in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, West Africa and Central America. The success of the nutrient enhancement program depends to a great extent on a supportive legal framework in individual countries, the researchers say.
Luis A. Mejia et al., "Fortification of Condiments and Seasonings with Vitamins and Minerals in Public Health: From Proof of Concept to Scaling Up", News release, study to be published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science, August 28, 2014, © University of Illinois
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Taxing Sugary Drinks Has Best Chance Of Reducing Adolescent Obesity

August 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Levying federal taxes on sugary drinks would help reduce adolescent obesity in the U.S. more than exercising or banning advertising, according to a study that applied simulation models to 12 years of anti-obesity research data. The significant revenue raised by such taxes could be applied to additional obesity prevention programs. Though more and more states are using laws and regulations to promote healthier eating and exercise, federal taxation would reach larger populations. After school physical activity programs would reduce obesity the most among children ages 6-12; an advertising ban would reduce obesity the least. An excise tax on sugary beverages would reduce obesity the most among adolescents ages 13-18.
Alyson H. Kristensen et al., "Reducing Childhood Obesity through U.S. Federal Policy. ", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 27, 2014, © American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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Eating Lycopene-Rich Tomatoes Cuts Risk Of Prostate Cancer

August 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A British study that analyzed the diets of 1,806 men aged 50 to 69 with prostate cancer and 12,000 men who were cancer free found that those who ate 10 portions of tomatoes a week were 18 percent less likely to have the dreaded disease. The researchers believe the benefit comes from ingesting lycopene -- an antioxidant that wards off toxins that damage DNA -- as well as calcium and selenium. They recommended that the findings be confirmed by clinical trials.
V. Er et al., "Adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations and prostate cancer risk in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) trial. ", Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, August 27, 2014, © American Association for Cancer Research
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TV Food Ads Contribute To Dysfunctional Eating Patterns

August 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study based on two experiments found that TV ads featuring food increased the desire to eat among overweight female participants, but not among normal weight participants. In the first experiment, participants with normal BMI watched TV ads about food and non-food products, then recorded their desire to eat. Participants reported low desire to eat across the board. The second experiment had the same format, but involved overweight participants, who reported stronger desire to eat than those in their control group. The Australian researchers hope further study will lead to methods of helping dysfunctional eaters by training them to avoid food in response to food cues.
Eva Kemps et al., " Exposure to television food advertising primes food-related cognitions and triggers motivation to eat. ", Psychology & Health, August 27, 2014, © Taylor & Francis
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Bakers Need To Solve Technical Issues Before Making Acceptable Low-Carb Breads

August 26, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
More innovative baked goods manufacturers have shown an increasing interest in providing low-carb products, if they can solve technical problems – formulation and processing -- inherent in the endeavor. In an interview, a bakery R&D consultant said low-carb bakery hasn’t yet “proven itself” but is an area of increased development activity and may reach the mainstream soon, thanks to demands from health-conscious consumers. To solve formulation problems, bakers are testing alternative flours to replace wheat, including teff, buckwheat, quinoa, lupin and soy. Processing problems include varying gelation temperatures for different flours, bread staling, moisture content and taste.
Kacey Culliney, "Low-carb bakery to go mainstream, says expert", BakeryAndSnacks.com, August 26, 2014, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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U.K. Vitamin D Intake Estimates Are Inaccurate, Misleading

August 26, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers found significant discrepancies between lists of vitamin D-fortified foods and vitamin D data gathered from industry Web sites, trade associations and manufacturers and government vitamin D databanks. They compared 289 foods fortified with vitamin D catalogued by the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) Nutrient Databank in 2008 and 2010 to the data they compiled. They concluded that the U.K. should update vitamin D food and supplement content estimations because they underestimate population intake levels of the vitamin by about three percent.
Shane Starling, "More vitamin D in UK foods than previously: Study", Food&DrinkEurope.com, August 26, 2014, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Eating Gluten-Free? Avoid This Wheat Replacement Ingredient, FDA Warns

August 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. FDA has issued an alert warning people on gluten-free diets to avoid an increasingly popular food ingredient known as lupin. A legume from the same plant family as peanuts, lupin is used as a replacement for wheat in an increasing number of gluten-free products. Food manufacturers are required to list lupin on the food label. The FDA is urging consumers with peanut and soybean allergies to read labels because of the risk of allergic reactions. Symptoms include hives, swelling of the lips, vomiting, breathing difficulties and anaphylactic shock. Even people without allergies to legume products should be aware of the ingredient.
Karen Blakeslee, "New gluten-free ingredient may cause allergic reaction", News release, Kansas State University, August 25, 2014, © Kansas State University
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Bread Is Not A Brain Food, Neurologist Warns

August 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The neurologist author of “Grain Brain” says most if not all of America’s problems with Alzheimer’s and dementia in general are due to over-consumption of carbs, particularly from grain-based products like bread. David Perlmutter advocates eating more fat, and many fewer carbs (60 to 80 grams a day), basically a return to prehistoric times when people ate a high-fat, low-carb, gluten-free diet. He points to recent studies showing that the risk of dementia is 42 percent lower in people who eat more fat and fewer carbs. The rise in blood sugar caused by eating carbohydrates increases the risk of dementia, so type 2 diabetics are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as the general population.
"Grain Brain May Be Killing Us!", Ivanhoe Newswire, August 25, 2014, © Ivanhoe Newswire
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Enough Testing Already, People Need To Boost Their Blood Vitamin D Levels

August 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Two anesthesiologists writing about a recent observational study say patients who are not deficient in vitamin D are less likely to suffer from complications after surgery. They argue that physicians needn’t wait any longer for evidence of the risk of being vitamin D deficient. There’s enough evidence accumulated – a “cornucopia of improved health outcomes” –  for physicians to advise patients to boost their vitamin D levels. While further testing of the impact of vitamin D supplements on surgical complications would be okay, they say, patients shouldn't wait for the results of clinical trials before taking "reasonable" steps to ensure adequate vitamin D levels.
Michael F Roizen & Jeffrey D. Roizen, "Vitamin D and Your Patients. ", Anesthesia & Analgesia, August 21, 2014, © International Anesthesia Research Society
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Type 2 Diabetics Who Lose Weight Also Reduce Healthcare Costs

August 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have put a price tag – more than $500 a year in healthcare savings – on weight loss among people with type 2 diabetes. In an evaluation of more than 5,000 obese and overweight adults (45 to 76 years old) who participated in an NIH-sponsored diabetes initiative, the researchers found that people involved in intensive lifestyle changes – dieting and exercise – that led to weight loss had 11 percent fewer hospitalizations,15 percent shorter hospital stays, and used fewer prescription drugs. These benefits translated to an average saving of $5,280 per person in healthcare costs over 10 years, or $528 a year.
Mark A. Espeland et al., "Impact of an Intensive Lifestyle Intervention on Use and Cost of Medical Services Among Overweight and Obese Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: The Action for Health in Diabetes. ", Diabetes Care, August 21, 2014, © American Diabetes Association
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Blood Test For Dietary Biomarkers Will Make Future Studies More Reliable

August 21, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A new form of blood test that measures diet-related biomarkers is more accurate in determining dietary compliance than relying on participant questionnaires, according to a multinational team of Scandinavian researchers. Self-reported dietary data are biased and not reliable, making it difficult to tell whether a specific diet is actually working. Dietary biomarkers are compounds related to certain foods or nutrients that are measurable in bodily tissues and fluids, such as blood. In the Nordic SYSDIET study, for example, participants were supposed to eat berries, vegetables, fatty fish, canola oil, and whole grains. The researchers found that several blood biomarkers showed whether the key dietary components were actually being consumed.
M. Marklund et al., "A Dietary Biomarker Approach Captures Compliance and Cardiometabolic Effects of a Healthy Nordic Diet in Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome. ", Journal of Nutrition, August 21, 2014, © American Society for Nutrition
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Studies Seek Root Causes Of Obesity In U.S.

August 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A new $5 million study being conducted at NIH is designed to find out whether we get fat because we overeat or because of the foods we are eating. The Energy Balance Consortium Study is one of the first to be backed by a nonprofit whose goal is to finance meticulous tests of previously overlooked hypotheses. The Nutrition Science Initiative (or NuSI) is sponsoring three studies focused on the root causes of obesity and its related diseases. NuSI has hopes to raise $190 million over three years to fund follow-on studies whose overall goal is to cut obesity in the U.S. by more than half — and diabetes by 75 percent — in less than 15 years.
Sam Apple, "Why Are We So Fat? The Multimillion-Dollar Scientific Quest to Find Out", Wired, August 19, 2014, © Condé Nast
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New Sensor-Packed Cup Helps You Keep Track Of Beverage Calories, Nutrients

August 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A small company has developed a drinking cup packed with sophisticated sensors that can detect the level of certain nutrients in beverages, and then report the calorie content. Vessyl, designed to be used at home or work, displays the type of beverage poured into the cup (i.e., coffee, beer, etc.), the calorie count, and other details, like protein and sugar content. The idea, according to Mark One CEO Justin Lee, is to keep you aware of what you’re ingesting. "If you track what you consume, the likelihood of you achieving your health goal is much higher." A promotional version of Vessyl is available at $99 until next year, when the price will more than double.
Ben Schiller, "This Cup Tells You How Many Calories You're Drinking", Fast Company, August 19, 2014, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC.
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Food Manufacturers Back Away From the “Natural” Claim

August 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
For years there has been a “disconnect” between what consumers think of as “natural” foods and what food manufacturers provide, perhaps because there’s no official definition. The disconnect has led to confusion and litigation – more than 200 lawsuits have been filed in recent years. So, industry experts say, manufacturers are turning away from natural, using instead words such as "simply" and "pure" to suggest the idea that a product contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients. Pillsbury, for example, has "Simply ... Cookies" and Frito-Lay has "Simply Cheetos Puffs". Meanwhile, consumers are being advised to remember that natural should not be confused with healthful. "Natural" potato chips may not have been bleached, but they’re “still a bag of potato chips”.
Mary MacVean , "Food buyers lean toward 'natural,' a claim that's hard to define", Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2014, © Los Angeles Times
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Researchers Warn Of Health Risks Of Eating Too Much Instant Noodles

August 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed the health and diet of 11,000 South Korean adults found that women who ate ramen instant noodles twice a week or more were at higher risk for metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that precedes diabetes. No such association was found among men, perhaps because of the effect of sex hormones and metabolism. The reason for the link to metabolic syndrome appears to be the high levels of fat, salt, and calories in the noodles, the researchers said. “The piece to keep in mind is that it's not a healthy product, and it is a processed food."
Jillian Rose Lim, "Instant Noodles Could Hurt Your Heart", Live Science, August 14, 2014, © LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company.
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Superfoods: A Somewhat Elusive Food Category Despite A Lot Of Publicity

August 13, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
America’s growing love affair with nutrient-rich “superfoods” is apparently grounded in the belief – held by 75 percent of consumers – that health can be managed through nutrition. Marketers of such foods rely heavily on the well-reported findings of scientific and medical researchers. But which foods are superfoods? Nielsen compiled a list of 41 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” that contain at least 10 percent daily value of 17 nutrients per 100 calories. On the list: kale, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, carrots, watercress, Chinese cabbage, chard, beet greens, and spinach. Excluded were raspberries, tangerines, cranberries, garlic, onions, blueberries, pomegranate, quinoa, and wheat berry.
Venessa Wong, "The Church of Superfoods Gains More Believers", Bloomberg Businessweek, August 13, 2014, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Indifference To Brown Rice Puts Malaysians At Greater Risk For Diabetes

August 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Healthier alternatives to white rice – namely, brown rice, low-carb noodles, etc. – have not caught on in Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific countries, intensifying the risk of obesity and diabetes in the region. A study published in May reported that 48.6 percent of Malaysian women and 43.8 percent of men are either overweight or obese, thanks mainly to a diet based heavily on white rice in the “most obese” country in Asia. Malaysian health officials are urging their countrymen to break the white rice habit. But it’s an uphill battle: Euromonitor sees almost no market in the country for more healthful brown rice.
Simone Baroke, "White Rice Exacerbates Diabetes Threat in Asia Pacific", Euromonitor International, August 09, 2014, © Euromonitor International
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Study Concludes That Low-Carb Diet Is Best For Diabetics

August 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes would benefit greatly from following a diet that is low in carbohydrates, according to a new U.S. study. The researchers said low-fat diets do not improve obesity, cardiovascular risk or general health, and there have been persistent reports of serious side effects of commonly prescribed diabetes medications. The research found that: caloric increases linked to type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been due almost entirely to increased carbohydrate consumption; carb restriction works the best at decreasing blood glucose levels; and the benefits of carb restriction do not require weight loss – but no dietary intervention works better for losing weight.
Richard David Feinman et al., "Dietary Carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base. ", Nutrition, August 07, 2014, © Feinman et al.
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Almonds Knock The Shells Off Peanuts In America’s Battle Of The Dietary Nuts

August 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Is it really possible that Americans eat more almonds than peanuts every year? Yes, excluding peanut butter, according to recent research. Demand for almonds has grown by more than 220 percent over the last nine years. Apparently Americans are no longer worried about the fat content of almonds, and are more enamored of the protein content, a fact reflected in the decline in meat consumption. But almonds are also at the nexus of other rising dietary trends. There is a growing demand for healthy, appetite-suppressing snacks, and a growing interest in vegetarianism and veganism.
Roberto A. Ferdman, "The rise of the American almond craze in one nutty chart", The Washington Post, August 06, 2014, © The Washington Post
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Pistachios Improve Cardiovascular Health Among Type 2 Diabetics

August 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Pistachios are rich in fiber, potassium and antioxidants, and they are high in fat, but they are healthful fats, and may help type 2 diabetics keep their blood pressure under control, according to a study by Penn State researchers. The study compared isocaloric diets, one of which included 150 pistachios a day. Participants alternated between the diets, and measurements of stress responses were taken. With the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests. Measures of blood pressure were significantly lower after the pistachio diet. Average sleep blood pressure was reduced by about four points, lowering workload on the heart.
K. A. Sauder et al., "Pistachio Nut Consumption Modifies Systemic Hemodynamics, Increases Heart Rate Variability, and Reduces Ambulatory Blood Pressure in Well-Controlled Type 2 Diabetes: a Randomized Trial. ", Journal of the American Heart Association, August 05, 2014, © Sauder et al.
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Food Industry Loves The Growing American Obsession With Snacking

August 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
It’s a little hard to tell whether food companies are reacting to, or creating, the increased interest in snacking. Whichever, the trend is real. Sales of snack bars are up and chain eateries are doing whatever they can to attract the attention of the P.M. snack crowd. A Nielsen survey of 1,139 consumers finds that 91 percent admit to snacking every day. Twenty-five percent said they snack as much as five times a day. Women prefer chocolate, candy or cookies, while men like the salty fare, including pretzels and chips. “Clearly, snacking is a trend, a positive trend,” says General Mills CEO Ken Powell. “We are very focused on the snacking trend.”
Venessa Wong, "Americans Cannot Stop Snacking", Bloomberg Businessweek, August 04, 2014, © BLOOMBERG L.P.
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Diet Is Only One Factor Contributing To Brain Health

August 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Lifestyle factors may be more important for brain health than specific food ingredients, a U.S. study has found. The data indicated that people who ate baked or broiled fish at least once a week had greater grey matter brain volumes in areas of the brain responsible for memory (4.3 percent) and cognition (14 percent) and were more likely to have a college education than those who didn't eat fish regularly. Whether the fish was rich in omega 3 fatty acids didn't seem to matter. The researchers concluded that they may have tapped into a general set of lifestyle factors affecting brain health, only one of which is diet.
Cyrus A. Raji et al., "Regular Fish Consumption and Age-Related Brain Gray Matter Loss. ", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, August 04, 2014, © American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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Resistant Starch Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk Of Red Meat Diet

August 4, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Australia report that resistant starches – e.g., slightly green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes, whole grains, beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc. – reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in people whose diet is rich in red meat. Participants in the study ate 300 g of lean red meat a day for four weeks. Levels of certain genetic molecules increased by 30 percent along with an increase in cell proliferation. For another four weeks they ate 40 g of butyrated resistant starch each day with the red meat. Levels of the molecules returned to normal. Resistant starches are not digested in the stomach and small intestine, but pass through to the colon where they act like fiber.
K. J. Humphreys et al., "Dietary Manipulation of Oncogenic MicroRNA Expression in Human Rectal Mucosa: A Randomized Trial. ", Cancer Prevention Research, August 04, 2014, © American Association for Cancer Research
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Probiotics May Help Slow Accumulation Of Fat In The Liver

August 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Spanish researchers have discovered in animal studies an intriguing connection between probiotics and fat accumulation in the liver (steatosis), a symptom of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease associated with obesity and diabetes. Probiotics are living or nonliving microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) that exert healthful effects on individuals who consume them in adequate doses. The three strains tested have all been shown to be safe for humans. The obese animals ingested probiotics for 30 days, after which lower values of pro-inflammatory molecules were found in the animals’ blood, an indication of diminished fat accumulation in the liver.
Julio Plaza-Diaz et al., "Effects of Lactobacillus paracasei CNCM I-4034, Bifidobacterium breve CNCM I-4035 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-4036 on Hepatic Steatosis in Zucker Rats. ", PLoS ONE, August 02, 2014, © Plaza-Diaz et al.
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Analysis Finds That Some Weight Loss Programs And Pills Are Much More Cost-Effective

August 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
As insurance companies consider covering commercial diet plans and weight loss drugs, U.S. researchers who studied three of each found that some are more cost-effective than others. The Weight Watchers plan and the drug Qsymia offer the most weight loss bang for the buck. People on the Jenny Craig program lost the most weight, but Jenny Craig was the most expensive of the plans tested. Other programs/pills that met the criteria for inclusion in the analysis were Vtrim, and the drugs Lorcaserin and Orlistat. Weight Watchers is the cheapest intervention, costing an average of $377 a year. Jenny Craig cost more than $2,500. Annual costs for the diet pills are $1,743 for Lorcaserin; $1,518 for Orlistat; and $1,336 for Qsymia.
Eric A. Finkelstein & Eliza Kruger, "Meta- and cost-effectiveness analysis of commercial weight loss strategies. ", Obesity, August 02, 2014, © The Obesity Society
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Vitamin D Deficiency Linked To Schizophrenia

August 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
As evidence of the adverse health effects of vitamin D deficiency mounts, researchers in Iran have added a psychiatric impact. People who are vitamin D deficient are twice as likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia as people with normal levels. The researchers analyzed findings of 19 observational studies on vitamin D and schizophrenia, finding that vitamin D deficiency is “quite common” among schizophrenics: people with low vitamin D were 2.16 times more likely to have schizophrenia than those with sufficient vitamin D. Sixty-five percent of study participants who had schizophrenia were also vitamin D deficient.
Ghazaleh Valipour et al., "Serum Vitamin D Levels in Relation to Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. ", The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, August 02, 2014, © Endocrine Society
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Federal Nutrition Standards Raise Havoc In School Fundraising World

August 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A federal anti-obesity law that takes effect this fall will put a crimp in school fundraising efforts like bake sales and candy sales. The sales must adhere to nutrition requirements meant to lower calorie, fat, sugar and salt consumption by schoolchildren. The rules govern food and beverages sold during the school day in vending machines, snack carts and daytime fundraisers. "Infrequent" fundraisers are okay, and states can decide themselves how many questionable bake sales would be allowed. School administrators, parents and others worry that the well-meaning federal standards will not only hurt fundraising, they will push schools to sell more processed-food products to raise money.
Stephanie Armour, "Put Down the Cupcake: New Ban Hits School Bake Sales", The Wall Street Journal, August 01, 2014, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Caffeine Detector For Beverages Could Help Prevent Dangerous Overdoses

July 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
With the introduction of new caffeine-rich beverages and foods reaching flood stage, the risk of caffeine overdosing has increased as well. Caffeine is normally well tolerated, but in excessive doses it can lead to insomnia, hallucinations, vitamin deficiency, several types of cancer, and even death. Now U.S. scientists report progress in developing a rapid, in-home test to detect even low levels in beverages. An enzyme called caffeine dehydrogenase can detect caffeine in a variety of drinks – with the exception of teas – in one minute, in concentrations as low as 1 to 5 parts per million.
Sujit K. Mohanty et al., "Validation of Caffeine Dehydrogenase from Pseudomonassp. Strain CBB1 as a Suitable Enzyme for a Rapid Caffeine Detection and Potential Diagnostic Test. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, July 30, 2014, © American Chemical Society
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Private Label Makes Headway In Consumer Health Product Markets

July 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
More consumers around the globe are choosing private label vitamin and dietary supplements (VDS), Euromonitor reports, as companies in the sector increasingly offer high quality, value-added products that are non-GMO, gluten free, organic, vegetarian and vegan. The trend in the VDS market reflects what’s happening in consumer health generally, where the CAGR of private label products in the U.S. has reached eight percent, and 2013 retail sales of $13.9 billion, significantly outpacing consumer health industry growth. Private label health products are gaining ground in other regions, particularly Australasia and Western Europe. Price (i.e., cheapest) seems to be the main determinant in selection of OTC drugs, while quality-plus-price weigh  heavily in selection of VDS products.
Mark Strobel, "Premium Private Label Vitamins and Dietary Supplements to Capture Greater Market Share", Report, Euromonitor International, July 30, 2014, © Euromonitor
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Nutrients In Dairy Products Help Preserve Bone, Muscle In Aging Population

July 28, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study by scientists in North America and Europe finds four nutrients found in dairy products are especially beneficial in preserving bone and skeletal muscle. Calcium, inorganic phosphate, vitamin D, and protein interact with each other through cellular and physiological pathways. The nutrients are abundant in dairy foods, which should be an important dietary component, especially among the aging population. Combining the four nutrients with physical activity decreases the likelihood of bone and muscle degeneration-related injury in older adults, the researchers said.
Jean-Philippe Bonjour et al., "Dairy in Adulthood: From Foods to Nutrient Interactions on Bone and Skeletal Muscle Health. ", Journal of the American College of Nutrition, July 28, 2014, © Bonjour et al.
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Cons Of Gluten-Free Diet – If You Do Not Have Celiac Disease

July 27, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
For people diagnosed with celiac disease, staying away from gluten is the only way to avoid the often painful allergic reaction. But many people without the disease have gone gluten-free for a variety of reasons, including weight loss. Nutritionist Juliette Kellow says the weight loss crowd should be aware that some gluten-free products have more calories than gluten-rich products because they often contain more fat, sugar and salt to improve flavor or texture. Other gluten-free cons: they tend to cost more than the regular products; avoiding gluten can make it very difficult to diagnose celiac disease; giving up gluten may actually result in digestive problems because of the low fiber content of flours used; and lastly many gluten-free products use refined carbs, such as tapioca flour, which lack nutrients, including iron, magnesium, folate and thiamin.
Juliette Kellow, "Is the gluten-free ‘health’ craze making you ill... and fat?", Evening Gazette, July 27, 2014, © MGN Ltd
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Higher Levels Of Protein, Including Lean Beef, In Diet Helps Reduce Blood Pressure

July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who clinically tested four isocaloric diets that included different amounts of beef as a protein source among 36 adults (aged 30 to 65) found that the one providing the highest amount of lean beef each day was most effective at reducing blood pressure. Diets tested over five weeks – and alternated among the participants – included  20 grams of beef a day, 28 grams of beef, 113 grams of beef, and153 grams of beef. The latter diet, known as BOLD+, was more effective at reducing blood pressure when compared to the other tested diets. The researchers concluded that “increasing total dietary protein (or decreasing dietary carbohydrate) in combination with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and low-fat dairy appears to play an important role in reducing systolic blood pressure”.
M. A. Roussell et al., "Effects of a DASH-like diet containing lean beef on vascular health. ", Journal of Human Hypertension, July 17, 2014, © Roussell et al.
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Calorie Intake Stays The Same, But Lack Of Physical Activity Drives Obesity Rate Upward

July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
New U.S. research based on data from a national survey on health confirms again that a sedentary lifestyle – not just eating behaviors – is a significant contributor to the obesity problem in this country. The research shows a major decline in physical activity and a sharp increase in body mass index (BMI) over the last two decades. The number of U.S. adult women who said they did not exercise jumped from 19.1 percent in 1994 to 51.7 percent in 2010. The number of men who did not exercise went from 11.4 percent in 1994 to 43.5 percent. By 2010, BMI had increased among both men and women, most dramatically among women aged 18-39. Though the obesity rate rose continuously over those 20 years, total daily intake of calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein did not change significantly.
Pamela Powers Hannley, "Move More, Eat Less: It’s Time for Americans to Get Serious about Exercise. ", The American Journal of Medicine, July 17, 2014, © Elsevier Inc.
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Too Little Protein In Western Diet Has Contributed To Obesity Epidemic

July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
New research on non-human primates suggests that weight management programs focusing too much on calorie intake ignore the complex interaction of carbs, fats and proteins that is so important to appetite regulation and energy intake. Primates – whether spider monkeys, orangutans or humans – “prioritize protein” over carbohydrates and fat. If we eat too little protein, we compensate by eating too much fat and carbs. According to Australian nutritional ecologist David Raubenheimer, obesity in the West has soared over the past 60 years because the proportion of protein in our diet has dropped considerably. Which, he says, is probably why high-protein diets like Atkins have been shown to aid weight loss.
David Raubenheimer, "High-protein weight loss diets can work, scientists show", News release, Society for Experimental Biology, July 17, 2014, © Society for Experimental Biology
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New Weight Management Approach Focuses On The Mental Side Of Eating

July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A new wellness program that focuses more on the mental side of weight loss has gained the approval of scientists at the University of Missouri. This “non-diet” intuitive eating method involves paying attention to internal cues, such as hunger and fullness, rather than external cues, such as calorie counting and weight scales. In their testing of the “Eat for Life” approach, which focuses on mindfulness and intuitive eating as a lifestyle, participants improved their view of their bodies, and decreased eating behaviors – e.g., binging, purging and fasting – that often led to regaining weight lost in traditional diet programs.
Hannah E. Bush et al., "Eat for Life: A Work Site Feasibility Study of a Novel Mindfulness-Based Intuitive Eating Intervention. ", American Journal of Health Promotion, July 17, 2014, © American Journal of Health Promotion
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Americans Check Food Labels For Sugar And Protein, But Sodium Not So Much

July 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers are not as worried about sodium in their diet as they used to be, despite the fact that many regularly eat more than the government-recommended daily amounts, according to NPD Group research. Though 60 percent of U.S. consumers say they are trying to eat less sodium, that number is eight percent less than what it was in 2010. NPD says people aren’t paying as much attention to nutrition label information about sodium, calories, fats and carbs, but are still concerned about sugar and protein. The FDA is preparing to release voluntary guidelines on sodium content for food manufacturers and restaurants.
"U.S. Consumers’ Diminishing Concern About Sodium Intake Will Continue in the Future, Reports NPD", News release, report by NPD Group, July 14, 2014, © The NPD Group, Inc.
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Diet Is The Key Factor In Severity Of Arthritis

July 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study in mice found that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids helped heal injured arthritic knee joints. In humans, arthritis that results from injury accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all cases. For the study, mice were fed one of three high-fat diets: saturated fat, omega 6 fatty acids or omega 6 fatty acids plus omega 3s. Those that ate saturated fat or omega 6 fatty acid diets experienced significant worsening of their arthritis. But mice that ate a small supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints. The researchers said the severity of the arthritis was associated with diet, not with the weight of the animals, indicating that just being fat does not induce or worsen arthritis.
Farshid Guilak et al., "Dietary fatty acid content regulates wound repair and the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis following joint injury. ", Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, July 11, 2014, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism
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People Whose Exercise Is “Fun” Are Less Likely To Snack Heavily Later

July 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
People who think of their exercise activities as fun rather than a workout are less likely to chow down on calorie-packed snacks and desserts, two U.S. studies have found. In both studies, participants walked around a lake. In the first, some were told it was an exercise walk, others that it was just a scenic walk. At the subsequent lunch, those who thought they’d been exercising ate 35 percent more chocolate pudding than those on the scenic walk. The second study had the same result: those who thought they were exercising ate 124 percent more calories worth of M&Ms than the scenic – “fun” – walkers.
Carolina O. C. Werle et al., " Is it fun or exercise? The framing of physical activity biases subsequent snacking. ", Marketing Letters, July 09, 2014, © Werle et al.
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Extreme Obesity Significantly Shortens Lifespan

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 20 large studies demonstrated that very obese people – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher – were more likely to die young from cancer and a wide array of other diseases and conditions. Six percent of Americans are now classified as extremely obese, i.e., more than 100 pounds over normal weight. In the study, which examined data from 9,500 extremely obese people, the risk of dying overall, and from most major health causes – heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases – rose continuously with increasing BMI. People whose BMI was in the highest range – 55 to 60 – tended to lose nearly 14 years of their lifespan.
C. M. Kitahara et al. , "Association between Class III Obesity (BMI of 40-59 kg/m) and Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 20 Prospective Studies. ", PLOS Medicine, July 08, 2014, © Kitahara et al.
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Swiss Study Confirms The Value Of A Healthy Lifestyle

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An analysis of data from a Swiss survey of 16,721 people aged 16 to 90 from 1977 to 1993 found that healthful behaviors increase life expectancy considerably. Eating fruit, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption, and exercising regularly all played a part in extending life expectancy. Of all the factors, smoking seems to be the most harmful, the researchers said. Smokers have a 57 percent higher risk of dying prematurely. An unhealthy diet, not enough physical activity, and alcohol abuse each raised the risk of death by about 15 percent. When all four factors are combined, the risk of early death increases by a factor of 2.5.
Eva Martin-Diener et al., "The combined effect on survival of four main behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases. ", Preventive Medicine, July 08, 2014, © Elsevier Inc
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Eating Gluten-Free Is A Growing Trend, But Is It “A Bunch Of Baloney”?

July 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The gluten-free foods industry is valued at $4 billion, but the movement is generating a backlash – some call it “a bunch of baloney” – against the industry and against people who, for whatever reason, avoid eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. One skeptic calls it a fad pushed by food companies "as a way of making money”. Eating gluten-free is growing in popularity though most people on a gluten-free diet don't have the severe intestinal reaction to gluten known as celiac disease. And, oddly enough, most celiac sufferers – about 300,000 people – don't know that they have the disease and should be avoiding gluten. The backlash “reached an apex”, according to a Washington Post reporter, when late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said that in Los Angeles gluten was "comparable to Satanism”.
Ellen McCarthy , "Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters", The Washington Post, July 06, 2014, © The Washington Post
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Cocoa-Rich Dark Chocolate Makes Walking Easier For PAD Patients

July 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Reduced blood flow to leg arteries – called peripheral artery disease or PAD – can make it painful for people to walk. A new clinical study in Italy suggests that eating dark chocolate might provide some relief from the pain, cramping and fatigue associated with PAD. Twenty patients aged 60 to 78 walked on a treadmill in the morning and later after eating 40 grams of dark and milk chocolate on separate days. Participants increased their ability to walk unassisted after eating dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa content and rich in polyphenols), compared to eating milk chocolate. The authors suggested that the polyphenols in the dark chocolate reduced oxidative stress and improved blood flow in the leg arteries.
Lorenzo Loffredo et al., "Dark Chocolate Acutely Improves Walking Autonomy in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease", Journal of the American Heart Association, July 02, 2014, © Loffredo et al.
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