British scientists collaborating with a nutritional supplement maker have determined that a combination of omega-3 fatty acids from marine fish oil, cocoa extract flavonols, and phytosterols (plant sterols and stanols) in one supplement may help ward off heart disease. The researchers, using several cell-based experimental models, found that the three ingredients helped inhibit key processes that contribute to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is the major cause of heart disease, responsible for around a third of all deaths worldwide. The study was partially funded by Cultech Ltd.
"A Unique Combination of Nutritionally Active Ingredients Can Prevent Several Key Processes Associated with Atherosclerosis In Vitro. ", PLOS ONE, May 25, 2016
Heavy use of chemical antimicrobial agents over the years has led to some strains of bacteria becoming resistant to them, rendering them largely ineffective. But a new Canadian study has found possible natural replacements for the synthetic antimicrobials. Soy isoflavones and peptides – key ingredients in cooking oils, cheeses, ice cream, etc. – may provide an effective way to eliminate microbial contamination in the food industry. The researchers used microfluidics and high-throughput screening to run millions of tests in a short period. Soy isoflavones are not only good at killing microbes, they are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and non-toxic.
"Investigation of the antimicrobial activity of soy peptides by developing a high throughput drug screening assay. ", Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, May 25, 2016
A multinational study of health data from 1,153 adult participants in Luxembourg found that eating about 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of dark chocolate a day was associated with reduced risk of diabetes and insulin resistance. Eighty percent of participants claimed to eat an average of 24.8 g of chocolate a day. Those who claimed to eat chocolate daily tended to be younger, more physically active and had higher levels of education than those who did not. The researchers said they adjusted their data to take into account those factors.
"Daily chocolate consumption is inversely associated with insulin resistance and liver enzymes in the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Luxembourg study. ", British Journal of Nutrition, May 25, 2016
Procter & Gamble’s Align probiotic supplement brand announced it is partnering with a registered dietitian to teach people with occasional digestive imbalance how to avoid “triggers.” Ashley Koff said summer activities tend to prompt changes that can disrupt the natural balance of good gut bacteria. To mitigate the problem, she recommends Align, which contains the probiotic strain Bifantis, to add good bacteria to the digestive system for intestinal balance. She also recommended staying hydrated, avoiding excess salt, eating potassium-rich foods, and shunning junk food.
"Align Probiotic Teams Up with Registered Dietitian Ashley Koff to Offer Helpful Tips to Bolster Your Digestive Wellness This Summer", News release, Procter & Gamble, May 11, 2016
ConAgra Foods said it hopes to have all of its Alexia brand frozen French fries and other frozen vegetable products GMO-free by the end of the year. According to a company spokesman, the Non-GMO initiative is already 90 percent complete. ConAgra acquired the Alexia brand in 2007, five years after Alexia was founded. Besides premium fries, Alexia markets gourmet potato side dishes and organic vegetables.
"Alexia closes in on full Non-GMO Project verification", Food Business News, May 11, 2016