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

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

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

Heart Association Creates Cloud-Based Data Bank For Cardiovascular Research

The American Heart Association has launched a cloud-based, secure data discovery platform for use by researchers, physicians, computational biologists, and computer engineers in researching cardiovascular disease. The global resource, developed with the help of Amazon Web Services, contains cardiovascular and stroke data that can be used to accelerate care of heart patients. The AHA is asking dataset owners and stewards in the field to share their data on heart failure, stroke, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation and other cardiovascular diseases. This would include aata from clinical trials, long-running epidemiologic studies, registries and real-time health data acquired through wearable devices and technology. [ Image credit: © ...  More

"Precision Medicine Platform now Open for Collaborative Discovery about Cardiovascular Diseases", News release, American Heart Association, March 16, 2017

Low- Or No-Content Claims Mislead Food Shoppers About Nutritional Content

People should not assume that food package claims -- no salt, no fat, low fat, no sugar, etc. -- guarantee that the foods are nutritious. In fact, these claims hardly ever reflect the actual nutritional quality of food, U.S. researchers concluded. The findings come at a time when food regulators, producers, and interest groups debate nutrition claim rules for packaged foods and beverages. The study analyzed data that included more than 80 million food and beverage purchases from more than 40,000 households from 2008 to 2012. Products with the least nutritional value – high in calories, sodium, sugar or fat – were more likely to have low- or no-content claims. They concluded: “Claims may have differential utility for certain foods or ...  More

"No Fat, No Sugar, No Salt . . . No Problem? Prevalence of “Low-Content” Nutrient Claims and Their Associations with the Nutritional Profile of Food and Beverage Purchases in the United States. ", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 15, 2017

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

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

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

Gluten-Free Diet Increases Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

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

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

Evidence Suggests Vitamin C May Someday Be Used To Treat Cancer

British researchers who tested the effect of several substances, including natural compounds, on cancer stem cells found that vitamin C was significantly better at stopping cell growth. The researchers tested seven substances in the lab: the clinically-approved drug stiripentol, three natural products – caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE), silibinin and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) – and experimental pharmaceuticals actinonin, FK866 and 2-Deoxy-D-glucose molecule (2-DG). Vitamin C was found to be ten times more effective at stopping cancer stem cell growth than pharmaceuticals. The researchers believe vitamin C inhibits glycolysis in cancer stem cells, the process that fuels energy production in mitochondria, the "powerhouse" of the cell. [ ...  More

"NADH autofluorescence, a new metabolic biomarker for cancer stem cells: Identification of Vitamin C and CAPE as natural products targeting “stemness”", Oncotarget, March 08, 2017

Indian Research Uncovers Health Benefits Of Baking With Coconut Flour

Research by Indian scientists has found evidence that coconut flour would make a healthful substitute for wheat flour in baking. The researchers said coconut flour is gluten-free, rich in dietary fiber and protein, low in digestible carbohydrates, and may help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes. They said it can be added into oatmeal to slow the sudden increase in blood sugar. It can also be mixed with beverages, soups, hot cereals and be used for making cookies and biscuits (rusk).[ Image credit: © Bob's Red Mill ]

"Coconut Flour a Healthy Product, Say Researchers", Business Standard, March 08, 2017

Older People Who Do Interval Training Rejuvenate At The Cellular Level

Any exercise that raises your heart rate will improve your health, but high intensity interval training (HIIT) is especially good because it rebuilds cell organelles responsible for energy production, U.S. researchers report. HIIT pushes cells to make more proteins for the energy-producing mitochondria – actually reversing cell aging, something that cannot be done using drugs or medicines. Volunteers in the study included 36 men and 36 women: half 18-30 years old and half 65-80. One group did HIIT biking, one did strength training with weights, and one did both. Strength training improved muscle mass in young and older people. But younger volunteers in the HIIT group saw a 49 percent increase in mitochondrial capacity; older HIIT ...  More

"Enhanced Protein Translation Underlies Improved Metabolic and Physical Adaptations to Different Exercise Training Modes in Young and Old Humans", Cell Metabolism, March 07, 2017

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

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

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

Retail Food Chain Says All House Brands Are Non-GMO

Natural and organic food retailer Earth Fare (Asheville, N.C.) announced that none of its 500 house brand foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMO). The decision to sell only non-GMO foods was made after considering numerous customer requests. Earth Fare’s product line is also free of high fructose corn syrup, artificial fats, artificial trans-fats, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners, bleached or bromated flour, antibiotics, and growth hormones. The chain also tries to incorporate locally produced fruits and vegetable, meat, beer and wine, dairy products, and specialty items. [ Image credit: © Earth Fare ]

"Earth Fare Unveils New Non-GMO Product Line, Continues Decades-Long Commitment to Healthy Food", News release, Earth Fare, February 17, 2017

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