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Period: November 1, 2015 to November 15, 2015
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Millennials Not Content With Popping Nutritional Supplement Pills

Younger generations of Americans, particularly Millennials, are no longer content with knowing that their vitamin C tablet contains, well, vitamin C. They want to know more about the dietary supplements they take, and because they grew up in an age of information explosion, they know they can get that information somewhere, if not from the manufactuer. Where Boomers are content to know what’s in a supplement, Millennials want to know how the pill was made and where the ingredients were sourced. They want, in other words, transparency and traceability. Other important desirables: whole food ingredients (like nutritional greens), and functional foods and beverages delivered – not by pills – but alternatives like gummies, satchels, powders, etc.

"Millennials demand transparency in supplements", NewHope360.com, October 20, 2015

Energy Drinks Are A – Potentially Harmful – “Guy” Thing

The main consumers of energy drinks are men, suggesting a connection between “masculinity ideology” and energy drink use, according to a U.S. study. Drinking energy beverages may be a way of “performing masculinity... a way to raise masculine capital." The researchers analyzed data from 467 adult males who were asked if they agreed with statements that suggested traditional masculine attitudes. They also asked what participants expected from energy drinks and whether they felt that the drinks affected sleep patterns. Young white men especially associated the drinks with participation in extreme sports or leading an active and competitive lifestyle. But the researchers warned that the high caffeine content of the drinks can have adverse health effects, especially when it comes to sleep.

"Moderated mediation of the relationships between masculinity ideology, outcome expectations, and energy drink use.", Health Psychology, November 04, 2015

Products & Brands  

Promising – And Delivering – Gluten-Free Cereals Is No Easy Task

General Mills is betting heavily that gluten-free food products – a hot industry trend – will help revive its slumping cereal sales. So it’s no surprise that the company acted quickly when reports started coming in that some Cheerios buyers were experiencing intestinal discomfort, a symptom of celiac disease, an immune response to gluten. Oats, of course, do not contain gluten. But oats mills and cereal manufacturing plants can often be contaminated with wheat, rye or barley flour. General Mills spent tens of millions of dollars to make sure its huge Fridley, Minn., flour mill was itself gluten-free. But the fail-safe systems in place somehow failed. The company last week recalled 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios made at a plant in Lodi, Calif., after discovering the cereal accidentally contained wheat.

"Cheerios gluten-free misstep prompts quick actions by General Mills", Star Tribune (Minn.), October 11, 2015

Wide Variety Of Breads Contain Carcinogenic Compound

The Environmental Working Group reports that 86 breads and baked goods it analyzed contained a possible carcinogenic ingredient known as potassium bromate. The compound, linked in animal studies to cancer and development of tumors, is added to flour to firm up the dough, help it rise and give the finished bread an appealing white color. California is the only U.S. state that regulates potassium bromate. It requires a warning label on food containing it. Among the 86 products containing the potentially harmful compound are Hormel Foods breakfast sandwiches, Weis Kaiser rolls and French toast, and Goya turnover pastry dough.

"Scores of Baked Goods Contain Possible Cancer-Causing Additive", Report, Environmental Working Group, October 14, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

Excess Fructose In The Intestines Linked To Bronchitis

A U.S. study reports that drinking beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is associated with an increased prevalence and risk of chronic bronchitis in American adults. Adults who drink non-diet soda five or more times per week are 1.8 times as likely to develop chronic bronchitis as people who drink them only once or twice a month. And it doesn’t matter if smoking is involved. The researchers suggested that poorly absorbed excess fructose in the gut interacts with proteins to form antigens (“enFruAGEs”) that work their way to the lungs, triggering an immune response and causing bronchitis. More research is needed to prove the connection.

"Intake of high fructose corn syrup sweetened soft drinks is associated with prevalent chronic bronchitis in U.S. Adults, ages 20–55 y", Nutrition Journal, October 16, 2015

Diet Rich In Soluble Fiber Reduces Risk Of Damaging Inflammation, Obesity

New U.S. research in mice suggests that intestinal inflammation caused by a microbiome that lacks soluble fiber may be a key factor in obesity and in obesity-related diseases like diabetes. The researchers found that adding more soluble fiber to the diet restores the gut microbiome and intestinal health. For the study, researchers tested the effects of various diets (i.e., soluble and insoluble fiber, protein and fat) on the intestinal tracts of mice. Among other things, the researchers found that improvements in gut structure from a soluble fiber-rich diet were due to changes in the gut microbiota that produced anti-inflammatory molecules (short chain fatty acids) used as fuel by intestinal cells.

"Lack of soluble fiber drives diet-induced adiposity in mice. ", American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, November 13, 2015

More Fiber In Diet Is Good, Except When The Bacteria Control System Is Defective

Some studies have linked metabolic syndrome with the fermentation activities of bacteria on soluble fiber in the intestines. The bacteria digest the fiber, creating short chain fatty acids that control inflammation and reduce the risk of obesity. So it is usually healthful to increase fiber consumption. But a new U.S. study found a link between unchecked bacterial fermentation, increased short-chain fatty acids and increased liver lipids in people (and mice) with a compromised “TLR5” function. A defect in the TLR5 receptor reduces control of bacteria volumes. Bacteria multiply, lipids rise, as does the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver damage.

"Microbiota-Dependent Hepatic Lipogenesis Mediated by Stearoyl CoA Desaturase 1 (SCD1) Promotes Metabolic Syndrome in TLR5-Deficient Mice", Cell Metabolism, November 13, 2015

Count Your Bites, Then Count Your (Weight Loss) Blessings

A small U.S. pilot study has determined that weight loss could be as simple a matter as counting – but not steps, or minutes of exercise, or calories. The 41 participants who completed the study counting bites as they ate lost about four pounds on average (a healthful pound per week). Participants also committed to taking 20 to 30 percent fewer bites over four weeks. They changed nothing else about their eating or exercising patterns. Those who didn’t finish the program blamed the difficulty of keeping count, so computer scientists developed an algorithm for that. The technology was licensed to a local Utah startup (SmartBites) that is working on an app for wearable devices such as Android Wear and WatchOS devices.

"Pilot Test of A Bites-Focused Weight Loss Intervention. ", Advances in Obesity, Weight Management & Control, November 13, 2015

Intake of macro- and micronutrients in Danish vegans

Nutrition Journal, October 30, 2015

Obese people need more vitamin E, but actually get less

Oregon State University, November 02, 2015


China: Many Barriers To Health Food Land Of Milk And Honey

Health food marketers may think of China as a sort of “promised land” of sales opportunities, if a Chinese food industry five-year plan is to be believed. By 2019, health food sales in the country are expected to reach $48 billion, for several reasons: a growing overall obesity rate (up 67 percent between 2002 and 2012), a doubling of the obesity rate for children and adolescents, severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and mounting high blood pressure and cancer rates. Though Chinese consumers want high-quality foreign health foods, it’s still a daunting procedure for multinationals to get their products to market. It can take two to three years, and up to $15,800, to get one health food product registered under China’s blue hat system. The new Food Safety Law, now in effective, adds other hurdles.

"Chinese New Regulation for Health Food Products", Natural Products Insider, October 20, 2015

Dietary Supplements Are Popular, Safe, According to Dietary Supplement Makers

More than two-thirds of American adults say they take dietary supplements, and a large majority (84 percent) believe supplements are safe, according to a survey sponsored by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade organization representing dietary supplement makers. Americans have the most confidence in the vitamins and minerals category. The survey found that between 2014 and 2015, overall usage of vitamins and minerals and “specialty supplements” remained flat. Usage of “herbals & botanicals” and “sports nutrition & weight management” supplements grew five percent.

"Most U.S. Adults Take Dietary Supplements, According to New Survey", News release, Council for Responsible Nutrition, November 23, 2015

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