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Period: May 15, 2016 to June 1, 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

FDA Survey: Consumers Do Check The Food Nutrition Label

An FDA health and diet survey regarding the usefulness of food label nutrition information found that 78 percent check the label at least sometimes before purchasing, and 50 percent check it most of the time or always. The agency is putting the finishing touches on a new version of the ubiquitous nutrition facts label found on foods and beverages to help achieve the goal of reducing obesity and salt intake. Almost 90 percent of adults surveyed indicated they consumed more sodium than was healthy. Seventy-five percent said supermarket foods had more, or about the same amount of, sodium they did five years ago.

"2014 FDA Health and Diet Survey", U.S. Food and Drug Administration, May 06, 2016

Purveyors Of Nutrition Information Are Changing America’s Mind About Food

A survey of a thousand American adults discovered that many have changed their minds or behaviors about food and nutrition in the past year, to a great extent because of information obtained from news or other media. Sponsored by the Food Information Council, the survey found an average of 31 percent had changed their minds about at least one dietary component, “for better or worse.” Media information turned many people against enriched refined grains, saturated fat, added sugars, and low-calorie sweeteners. At the same time, the media helped persuade consumers of the healthfulness of whole grains, protein from plant sources, and natural sugars. Forty-four percent indicated that reading a book or article, or watching a movie or documentary, had altered their beliefs about diet.

"2016 Food and Health Survey", International Food Information Council Foundation, May 11, 2016

As Court Battles Rage Over GMO Label Law, Some Companies Quietly Comply

Some food companies have made a big deal of their decision to comply with a Vermont law requiring GMO ingredient labeling. But unlike Mars, Campbell Soup, and General Mills, PepsiCo is adding the labeling with no fanfare. Consumers Union said it noticed cans of Pepsi in New Hampshire whose label said the soda was “Partially Produced With Genetic Engineering.” The same notice was also found on Lay’s potato chips bags. All of this is occurring against a backdrop of litigation as food trade groups struggle to prevent the Vermont law from taking effect on July 1. So far their efforts have been stymied in the courts, but it’s anyone’s guess how the issue will be resolved.

"Pepsi, Frito-Lay Quietly Adding GMO Ingredient Labels To Some Foods", Consumerist, May 11, 2016

ConAgra’s Alexia Frozen Foods Moving Quickly Toward Non-GMO

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

Dietitian Recommends P&G Probiotic Product For Gut Health

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

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Reverses Fructose-Caused Genetic Damage

A U.S. study finds that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) reverses the harmful changes to hundreds of genes, especially in the brain, caused by consumption of the common sugar fructose. Diseases linked to fructose-induced genetic changes include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). DHA, however, changes the entire gene pattern back to normal, researchers said, and strengthens synapses in the brain associated with learning and memory. DHA occurs naturally in brain cells, but there is not enough of it to ward off diseases. So it has to come through diet. It is abundant in wild (not farmed) salmon and some other fish and fish oil, as well as walnuts, flaxseed, fruits, and vegetables.

"Systems Nutrigenomics Reveals Brain Gene Networks Linking Metabolic and Brain Disorders. ", EBioMedicine, May 18, 2016

Flavonoid Found In Hops Could Someday Treat Metabolic Syndrome

A U.S. study has identified specific intake levels of a natural flavonoid found in hops and beer that significantly improved the underlying markers of metabolic syndrome in laboratory animals and also reduced weight gain. The findings on xanthohumol suggest a possible new approach to issues such as human obesity, high cholesterol and elevated glucose. These problems are linked to some of the major health issues and causes of death, especially cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The study was conducted in obesee mice who were fed different levels of xanthohumol in a high-fat diet. Further research is needed to determine safety and effectiveness in humans.

"Xanthohumol improves dysfunctional glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice. ", Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, May 18, 2016

Older Adults Who Work Out With Weights Lower Risk Of Premature Death

Many studies have shown that older adults who exercise regularly have a better quality of life and lower risk of untimely death. Now a new U.S. study shows that strength training improves strength, increases muscle mass and physical function, and improves chronic conditions such as diabetes, osteoporosis, low back pain and obesity – in addition to reducing the odds of dying. Researchers examined data from the 1997-2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which included information on more than 30,000 adults age 65 and older. Nine percent reported doing strength training at least twice a week. These people had a 46 percent lower risk of death for any reason, 41 percent lower risk of cardiac death, and 19 percent lower risk of dying from cancer.

"Is strength training associated with mortality benefits? A 15year cohort study of US older adults. ", Preventive Medicine, May 18, 2016

Boulangeries In Paris Find A Different Way To Make Gluten-Free Baguettes

It may seem unthinkable, but gluten-free baked goods, including bread, have begun to appear in the bakeries, cafes, and supermarkets of Paris. They are, however, a bit different from the gluten-free products selling in the U.S. In Paris boulangeries, bakers do not use food-grade gums, starches or preservatives, relying instead on natural wheat alternatives such as rice and buckwheat flours and different seeds. Unfortunately, however, the French version of gluten-free baking does not translate to one cherished delicacy. The multilayered croissant cannot be properly created without gluten.

"Even Parisian Bakeries Are Going Gluten-Free", Eater, May 19, 2016

Dietary Supplement Comprising Three Key Nutrients Could Prevent Heart Disease

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

Soy Compounds Kill Antimicrobial-Resistant Food Germs Effectively, Safely

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

Dark Chocolate Linked To Reduced Risk Of Insulin Resistance, Diabetes

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

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