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Period: April 15, 2016 to May 15, 2016
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

Americans Ask Restaurants: Where’s The Healthful Food?

A Mintel poll of American consumers found nearly half complaining that it is too tough to find healthful food at restaurants. And when they do find it, it tends to be too expensive (64 percent). Sixty-eight percent said restaurants should make it easier by indicating on menus which foods are more healthful. The problem is significant enough for 36 percent of those polled that they’d rather prepare healthful foods at home than try to find them at restaurants.

"Half Of Americans Agree That Finding Healthy Items At Restaurants Is Challenging", News release, Mintel, April 11, 2016

FDA Warns Seven Dietary Supplement Makers About Illegal Ingredient

The FDA has sent warning letters to companies whose dietary supplement products contain alarming levels of an illegal drug chemically similar to the banned heart stimulant ephedrine. The letters were sent in March to seven companies selling products containing ethylsynephrine (also known as oxilofrine). A study published in a scientific journal in April reported that an analysis of 27 brands of over-the-counter dietary supplements found that 14 contained the unapproved stimulant. Supplements containing oxilofrine were linked to 26 health emergencies in The Netherlands, including nausea and vomiting, chest pain and cardiac arrest. Oxilofrine is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency and most major sports organizations.

"Ephedrine-Like Drug Found in Diet/Sports Nutrition Products", Nutraceuticals World, May 02, 2016

Study Finds A Ray Of Hope For Brain Cancer Patients

The low-carb/high-fat “ketogenic” diet has been used for 90 years to control seizures in epileptic patients. But a new U.S. study in mice shows that the diet also slows the growth of an extremely aggressive type of brain tumor. There is no effective treatment for glioblastoma, and patients live only 12 to 15 months after diagnosis. A glioblastoma tumor needs huge amounts of energy to grow. The diet works by drastically reducing the amount of glucose available for tumor growth. The researchers are encouraged enough to continue testing in humans, though they caution it has not been shown to be a cure.

"A Supplemented High-Fat Low-Carbohydrate Diet for the Treatment of Glioblastoma. ", Clinical Cancer Research, May 03, 2016

Common Herb Could Help Treat Microbes Resistant To Antibiotics

The common willow herb with its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties has been used traditionally as a tonic for easing prostate and urinary tract problems. New Romanian research, however, now finds that it may also help reduce antibiotic dosages used to fight microbes increasingly resistant to a wide range of drugs, a global public health problem. The testing showed that blending commonly used antibiotics with willow herb may effectively treat bacterial and fungal infections. Researchers also found that the willow herb/antibiotic blends also led to fewer side effects.

"Herba Extracts Influence the In Vitro Activity of Common Antibiotics on Standard Bacteria. ", Open Chemistry, May 03, 2016

Compound In Dark Chocolate Boosts Athletic Endurance

British researchers found that cyclists who substituted dark chocolate for their regular energy snack used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial. Dark chocolate contains a compound known as epicatechin, which acts on the circulatory system by converting nitrates to nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and reduces oxygen consumption. The effect is similar to that provided by beet juice, which is rich in nitrates. Nine amateur cyclists participated in the experiments, which compared the benefits of dark chocolate to white chocolate on athletic endurance.

"Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling. ", Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, May 03, 2016

Fast Food Fans Are Highly Exposed To Dangerous Chemicals

A study that looked into whether eating fast food exposes people to harmful chemicals found fast foodies had 40 percent more harmful phthalates in their bloodstream. Phthalates are industrial chemicals used in making food packaging, tubing for dairy products, and other items used in the production of fast food. Grain and meat items were the biggest contributors to phthalate exposure. Studies have suggested that phthalates – also found in personal care products, toys, and perfume – can damage the reproductive system and may lead to infertility. The findings were based on U.S. data from 8,877 people who completed questionnaires about their diet in the previous 24 hours.

"Recent Fast Food Consumption and Bisphenol A and Phthalates Exposures among the U.S. Population in NHANES, 2003–2010. ", Environmental Health Perspectives, May 04, 2016

Higher Levels Of Vitamin D Correlate With Lower Cancer Risk

Studies have shown that people with higher levels of “sunshine” vitamin D tend to be less at risk for a variety of cancers. A new U.S. study reports that reduced cancer risk becomes measurable at 40 ng/ml (1,200 IU daily) of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, with additional benefit at higher levels. The researchers combined data from two earlier studies: a randomized clinical trial of 1,169 women and a prospective cohort study of 1,135 women, providing a larger sample size and a greater range of blood serum levels of vitamin D. It didn’t matter whether the vitamin came from sun exposure, diet or supplements.

"Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations ≥40 ng/ml Are Associated with >65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study. ", PLOS ONE, May 04, 2016

Study Highlights Protective Effect Of Sugar On Neurons

Two Canadian college students and their university mentor, curious about the effect of natural substances on neurodegenerative disease, report that, in nematodes (roundworms) at least, maple syrup prevents the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Using nematode worms bred for ALS traits, the researchers added maple syrup to their diet, then compared the effect, hypothesizing that sugar protects neurons. Worms with the lowest concentration of maple syrup – which besides being a sugar also contains antioxidant polyphenols – were paralyzed. The researchers cautioned that humans should not increase their intake of sugar to prevent ALS. The worms only live three weeks, so are spared the long-term effects of increased sugar consumption.

"Maple syrup decreases TDP-43 proteotoxicity in a C. elegans model of ALS. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 04, 2016

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