Laughter is said to be the best medicine. But it also, a study finds, may provide the best exercise. U.S. researchers tested a mixture of laughter and exercise in a way that got older adults to not only start exercising but also stick to it. For six weeks, assisted-living participants attended two 45-minute physical activity sessions a week that included eight to 10 laughter exercises lasting 30 to 60 seconds each. The exercises used eye contact and playful behaviors with other participants. Laughter started as simulated, but usually ended up as genuine. The researchers found significant improvements among participants in mental health, aerobic endurance and perceived benefit of exercise. More than 96 percent said they liked the... More
"Evaluation of a Laughter based Exercise Program on Health and Self-efficacy for Exercise", The Gerontologist, September 22, 2016
U.S. researchers have come up with a quick, more accurate way to detect dangerous Salmonella bacteria in food samples. Using artificially contaminated food, the researchers used Salmonella-specific antibodies coupled with a signal amplification technique (tyramide signal amplification) after only 15 hours, instead of the two to three days it takes using a Petri dish culture. The test provides a simple monitoring system for foodborne pathogens, especially in beef and poultry. Contamination of food with pathogens causes 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
"Magnetic Bead-Based Immunoassay Coupled with Tyramide Signal Amplification for Detection of Salmonellain Foods", Journal of Food Safety, September 22, 2016
A Belgian study involving 27 “moderately trained” athletes who were given nitrate supplements prior to interval training in hypoxic conditions found significant muscle benefits after only five weeks. The sprint interval sessions consisted of short, intense cycling sessions three times a week, in both normal oxygen and reduced oxygen (hypoxia) conditions. After five weeks of training, muscle fiber composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions. This indicated the ability to perform well at higher elevations where oxygen is reduced. The researchers cautioned that there is very little information about the effects of extended use of nitrate supplements. Leafy green vegetables, however, are... More
". Nitrate Intake Promotes Shift in Muscle Fiber Type Composition during Sprint Interval Training in Hypoxia", Frontiers in Physiology, September 22, 2016
A year ago, the FDA issued final rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. The rules established enforceable safety standards for produce farms and made importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. It took a while but the agency is now making available to states financial aid to help them assist farmers in complying with the FSMA rules. FDA announced $21.8 million will be allotted to 42 states to help them plan, establish and enhance produce safety programs.
"States Get $21.8 Million from FDA to Help Farms Comply with Produce Rule", Food Safety News, September 13, 2016
Several big food companies are moving forward with their own GMO ingredient labeling initiatives as they await USDA rules implementing the new federal law. Some companies – Campbell, Mars, et al. – acted earlier this year to voluntarily comply with Vermont’s short-lived law (in effect on July 1 but superseded by the July 29 federal law). Campbell’s relabeled products were distributed nationwide, not just to Vermont. Though compliance with the federal law is not required for three years, Dannon has also committed to GMO labeling and to reformulating its product line by 2019 to include “fewer and more natural ingredients that are not synthetic and non-GMO.”
"Big Food Companies Volunteer GMO Info", Supermarket News, August 22, 2016