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Frequent Dining Out May Be Hazardous To Your Heart

April 13, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A joint U.S.-Singapore study has found evidence that frequent dining out is associated with hypertension, a serious risk factor for cardiovascular disease. For the study, conducted among 501 Singapore college students, researchers analyzed survey data on blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), lifestyle, physical activity levels and frequency of eating out. The analysis showed that 27.4 percent of the students had pre-hypertension, 49 percent of males and 9 percent of females had hypertension, and 38 percent ate more than 12 meals away from home each week. Students with hypertension or pre-hypertension ate out more often, had a higher BMI, were less physically active, and were more likely to be smokers.
Dominique Y.B. Seow et al., "The Association of Prehypertension With Meals Eaten Away From Home in Young Adults in Singapore", American Journal of Hypertension, April 13, 2015, © American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.
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Peanuts Protect Blood Vessels When Eating High-Fat Meals

April 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Including peanuts in a high-fat meal protects blood vessels, a small clinical trial has found. Researchers monitored the lipid profile, glucose and insulin levels of 15 overweight men who ate meals with or without peanuts. Vascular function was assessed using flow-mediated dilatation (FMD). The researchers found that the peanut meal maintained normal vascular function while the high fat-matched control meal impaired vascular function acutely. Vascular dysfunction plays a major role in the development of atherosclerosis, and the formation of coronary plaques and lesions that lead to coronary artery disease.
Xiaoran Liu, "Adding peanuts to a meal benefits vascular health", News release, study presented at the American Society for Nutrition's scientific sessions & annual meeting , April 10, 2015, © American Society for Nutrition
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Vitamin K-Rich Leafy Veggies Shown To Protect Against Dementia

April 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that linked vitamin K consumption to slower cognitive decline found that eating foods rich in vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene could be a simple, affordable way to protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Scientists monitored the diets and cognitive abilities of 954 older adults – average 81 years -- for two to ten years. They noted a significant decrease in the rate of cognitive decline among study participants who consumed greater amounts of green leafy vegetables. Those who ate one to two servings a day had the cognitive ability of a person 11 years younger than those who consumed none.
Martha Clare Morris et al., "Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp", News release, study presented at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) annual meeting, April 10, 2015, © Morris et al.
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Study Finds Evidence Of Anti-Cancer Potential Of Omega-3s

April 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 1,125 colorectal cancer cases found that high intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a lower risk of a certain kind of tumor known as a microsatellite instable tumor. Omega-3s were not linked, however, to a lower risk of another kind of colorectal tumor known as a microsatellite stable tumor, nor were they associated with colorectal cancer overall. Nevertheless, the authors said the findings suggest that omega-3s have “potential anticancer activity” and might someday be used to prevent colorectal cancer.
M. Song et al., "Marine -3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Colorectal Cancer According to Microsatellite Instability. ", Journal of the National Cancer Institute, April 10, 2015, © Song et al.
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Blueberries May Be An Effective Therapy For PTSD

April 10, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In a study using animal models of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), U.S. researchers have demonstrated that blueberries might be a more effective treatment than antidepressant drugs. The only approved therapy for the condition is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Zoloft and Paxil, but their effectiveness is marginal at best. The main reason seems to be an increase in norepinephrine (NE) when taking SSRIs. But blueberries increase beneficial serotonin without increasing norepinephrine. About eight percent of Americans suffer from PTSD.
Philip J. Ebenezer et al., "The Neuro-Protective Efficacy of Blueberry in an Animal Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)", News release, research presented at the 2015 Experimental Biology Meeting, April 10, 2015, © Ebenezer et al.
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Mind
Depression
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Effect Of Cheese On Gut Microbes May Account For “French Paradox”

April 8, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Danish researchers say cheese metabolism – not red wine -- is the real reason for the "paradox” of low heart disease rates in France despite a high-fat diet. The researchers looked at urine and fecal samples from 15 healthy men who ate either cheese or milk, or ate butter but no other dairy products. Those who ate cheese had more gut microbiota-related metabolites like butyrate, hippurate, and malonate in their feces. Elevated butyrate levels are linked to reduced cholesterol levels. The researchers concluded that microbial and lipid metabolism “could be involved in the dairy-induced effects on blood cholesterol level” that lead to the “French paradox.”
Hong Zheng et al., "Metabolomics Investigation To Shed Light on Cheese as a Possible Piece in the French Paradox Puzzle", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, April 08, 2015, © American Chemical Society
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Omega-3s Lacking In Diet Of Canadian Mothers-To-Be

April 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Most of the first 600 (of 2,000) expectant mothers surveyed in a Canadian pregnancy and nutrition study did not include  enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. It is recommended that healthy adults, including pregnant and lactating women, consume at least 500 mg of omega-3s daily. The European Commission recommends a minimum of 200 mg of DHA daily for pregnant and lactating women. Only 27 percent of women during pregnancy, and 25 percent at three months post-delivery, met the recommendation for DHA. Seafood, fish and seaweed products contributed to 79 percent of overall omega-3 fatty acids intake, with the most coming from salmon.
Xiaoming Jia et al., "Women who take n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements during pregnancy and lactation meet the recommended intake. ", Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, April 03, 2015, © Canadian Science Publishing
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Strength Training Offers Many Benefits For Senior Citizens

April 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
An Austrian study that tested the impact of the Healthy for Life exercise project on older people found that regular strength training by people 65 and older had many health benefits, including strengthening of their hands, which makes independent living easier. Muscle mass declines starting at age 30, and by age 80 reaches 50 percent. Participants in the study increased their hand strength by three kilograms, or 20 percent. Researchers also noted major increases in mobility and physical activity, quality of life and cognitive functions.
Thomas Dorner, "Strength training still advisable in older age", News release, Medical University of Vienna, April 03, 2015, © Medical University of Vienna
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Louis Pasteur Had It Right: Drinking Raw Milk Is Hazardous To Your Health

April 3, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Promoters of raw milk claim it contains more natural antibodies, proteins and bacteria, and is healthier, cleaner, tastes better and reduces lactose intolerance and allergies. But drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow’s milk is a dangerous practice, according to U.S. researchers who issued a report to the Maryland House of Delegates. The researchers screened 1,000 articles and reviewed 81 journal articles, finding that people are nearly 100 times more likely to get sick from foodborne pathogens -- infectious Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and E. coli -- when drinking raw milk.
Benjamin Davis et al., "A Literature Review of the Risks and Benefits of Consuming Raw and Pasteurized Cow's Milk", Special report to Maryland House of Delegates, April 03, 2015, © Johns Hopkins University
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Consuming High-Fat Dairy Products Lowers Diabetes Risk

April 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Recent studies have shed light on the link between consuming dairy products and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. New Swedish research confirms that eating high-fat dairy products is particularly associated with a reduced risk. Researchers analyzed data from 27,000 middle-aged and older adults, finding that those who ate the most high-fat dairy products had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least. They also found that those who ate a lot of meat were much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, no matter how much fat was in the meat.
Ulrika Ericson et al., "Food sources of fat may clarify the inconsistent role of dietary fat intake for incidence of type 2 diabetes. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 02, 2015, © American Society for Nutrition
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EU Extends Healthy Blood Vessel Claim For Company’s Cocoa Flavanols

April 1, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Chocolate and cocoa manufacturer Barry Callebaut received a five-year EU extension of a health claim for its cocoa flavanols and cocoa extracts. The EU said the company could say on product labels and elsewhere that cocoa flavanols “help maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, which contributes to normal blood flow.” The claim can be used specifically on capsules and tablets that contain high-flavanol cocoa extract. The company provided evidence in 2013 that a daily intake of 200 mg of cocoa flavanols (provided by 2.5 g ACTICOA cocoa powder or 10 g ACTICOA dark chocolate) contributes to normal blood circulation.
"European Commission extends Barry Callebaut’s health claim on ACTICOA® products to extracts", Barry Callebaut, April 01, 2015, © Barry Callebaut
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New Diet Shown To Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease

March 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who tracked the eating habits of nearly a thousand people over ten years have used the data to develop a new diet that reduces the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. The MIND diet is a sort of mash-up of the Mediterranean and DASH (anti-hypertension) diets, but reduces Alzheimer’s risk significantly more than either one alone. To follow the diet you eat 10 "brain-healthy” food groups: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine; and avoid five unhealthy groups: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.
Martha Clare Morris et al., "MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease. ", Alzheimer's & Dementia, March 30, 2015, © The Alzheimer's Association
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Body
Food & Nutrition
Mind
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Study Offers Detailed Look At Global Economic Impact Of Diabetes

March 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers who analyzed data from 109 studies found that diabetes, in addition to imposing a severe cost burden, also makes it significantly more difficult to find employment or earn a decent wage. The study on the global economic impact of diabetes found that the disease hits the poor hardest, with higher costs for people in low and middle income countries. Detailed information includes the direct costs of the disease (i.e., doctor and hospital visits, medication, lab test costs, and equipment costs), but also indirect costs such as income lost due to early retirement, and lost work hours due to illness. In the U.S., diabetics have the highest healthcare costs, an estimated $283,000 over a lifetime, much higher than in other countries with comparable per capita income levels.
Till Seuring et al., "The Economic Costs of Type 2 Diabetes: A Global Systematic Review.", PharmacoEconomics, March 30, 2015, © Springer International Publishing
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Diabetes
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Study Sheds Light On Relationship Between Bicarbonate And Vision

March 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study finds that bicarbonate, which comes mostly from carbon dioxide waste in our cells, changes the way we see by modifying the visual signal generated by rod and cone photoreceptors that detect light. Bicarbonate opposes the effect of light, limiting the size of the photon response and speeding its recovery. Thus, sensitivity to light is slightly lower but our ability to track moving objects is improved. The researchers say they want to see whether controlling bicarbonate levels in the eye might slow the progress of, or even prevent, eye diseases.
Teresa Duda et al., "Bicarbonate Modulates Photoreceptor Guanylate Cyclase (ROS-GC) Catalytic Activity. ", Journal of Biological Chemistry, March 30, 2015, © The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Body
Food & Nutrition
Eyes
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Zinc Deficiency May Contribute To Chronic Diseases Of Aging

March 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The micronutrient zinc, found in protein-rich foods such as meat and shellfish, is essential in many biological processes, including growth, development, neurological function and immunity. New U.S. research confirms that zinc affects the way the immune system responds to inflammation. The researchers suggest a potential link between zinc deficiency and increased inflammation that can occur with age, primarily because older people eat less zinc-rich foods. The inflammation shows up in chronic diseases of aging, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. Unfortunately, there is no easy test for zinc deficiency.
Carmen P. Wong et al., "Zinc deficiency enhanced inflammatory response by increasing immune cell activation and inducing IL6 promoter demethylation. ", Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, March 30, 2015, © WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
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Drug Combo Effective At Preventing Colon Cancer

March 30, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Promising results from animal studies have convinced U.S. researchers to plan clinical trials testing metformin and vitamin D3 combined for the prevention, and even treatment, of colorectal cancer. The prospects for such trials are good because both compounds have already been tested separately for safety. In experiments involving two animal models, metformin and vitamin D3 together were much more potent in preventing new colon tumors than either one alone. The researchers also found that it is not necessary to take huge doses of the drugs to prevent cancer. If the results translate to humans, “that will be a highly significant finding in colorectal cancer prevention."
Wan Li et al., "Combined Use of Vitamin D3 and Metformin Exhibits Synergistic Chemopreventive Effects on Colorectal Neoplasia in Rats and Mice", Cancer Prevention Research, March 30, 2015, © Li et al.
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Americans Buy A Lot Of Processed Foods High In Fat, Sugar And Salt

March 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A twelve-year U.S. study – 2000 to 2012 -- that collected barcode data on groceries purchased by 157,000 households found that 60 percent of the foods bought were highly processed and contained much higher levels of fat, sugar, and salt on average than unprocessed foods. There was a significant increase in the proportion of calories purchased in “ready-to-heat” foods -- about 15.2 percent in 2012. The study also found that more than 80 percent of calories were purchased in ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat form in 2012.
Jennifer M. Poti, "Highly processed foods dominate U.S. grocery purchases", News release, study presented at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) annual meeting , March 29, 2015, © FASEB
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Potential Treatment Of Aggressive Breast Cancer Discovered

March 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
In lab experiments, U.S. scientists who treated triple negative breast cancer tissues with rosehip extract found a significant reduction in growth and migration of cells. Exposure to the highest concentration of rosehip extract cut triple negative breast cancer cell proliferation by 50 percent. The result was reduced with smaller concentrations. Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant; triple negative breast cancer is a particularly aggressive form that resists current treatments. When combined with the breast cancer chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, the extract enhanced its ability to decrease cell multiplication and migration.
Patrick Martin, "Natural extract shows promise for preventing breast cancer, study suggests", News release, study presented at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) annual meeting, March 29, 2015, © FASEB
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Eggs + Raw Veggie Salad = Significant Nutrition Enhancement

March 29, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study that looked at how eggs affect absorption of nutritious carotenoids found that absorption increased significantly when cooked eggs were added to a vegetable salad. The small clinical study involved 16 men who ate one of three salads of uncooked vegetables: one without eggs, one with 1.5 scrambled eggs, and one with three scrambled eggs. Those who ate the most eggs with tomatoes, shredded carrots, baby spinach, romaine lettuce, and Chinese wolfberry (goji berry) increased absorption of carotenoids 3-9 fold. Lutein and zeaxanthin were boosted by adding eggs, and nutrients from the vegetables were enhanced.
Wayne Campbell et al., "Consuming eggs with raw vegetables increases nutritive value", News release, study presented at the American Society for Nutrition's annual meeting, March 29, 2015, © FASEB
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Herbal Remedy Is Effective In Treating Depression, Without Side Effects

March 26, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A clinical trial among patients diagnosed with mild to moderate major depressive disorder found a significant improvement in symptoms after taking roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) extract. The improvement was comparable to that experienced when taking the SSRI antidepressant sertraline, but with fewer side effects, especially among patients with milder symptoms. Sixty-three percent of the patients on sertraline experienced side effects – most commonly nausea and sexual dysfunction – compared to only 30 percent of patients taking roseroot. The U.S. researchers said the results were preliminary, but suggest that an herbal remedy might be the better choice for MDD patients who experience severe side effects from traditional antidepressants.
Jay D. Amsterdam et al., "Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. ", Phytomedicine, March 26, 2015, © Elsevier GmbH
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Kansas Farmers Fund Research To Solve The Gluten Puzzle

March 24, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A Kansas research project hopes to identify the substance in wheat’s DNA that triggers the painful immune system response experienced by people with celiac disease. The Kansas Wheat Commission has authorized $200,000 for the first two years of the project, the ultimate goal mof which is to develop a variety of wheat whose gluten does not damage the small intestine of celiac sufferers. Gluten allergy is experienced by only a tiny percentage of people, but it has triggered a gluten-free industry already worth a billion dollars in the U.S.
Roxana Hegeman , "Amber waves of gluten-free grain?", Lewiston Morning Tribune (Idaho), March 24, 2015, © The Lewiston Tribune
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Vegetarian Diet Lowers Risk Of Colorectal Cancer

March 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
An analysis of the dietary habits and cancer incidence of vegetarians shed light on a significant health advantage over the non-vegetarian diet. The evidence found among nearly 78,000 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women suggests that vegetarians are much less likely to get colorectal cancer. Previous studies have shown that the vegetarian diet potentially reduces the risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes and mortality. Compared with non-vegetarians, vegetarians had a 22 percent lower risk for all colorectal cancers, 19 percent lower risk for colon cancer and 29 percent lower risk for rectal cancer. The researchers suggested that these findings should be considered carefully in making dietary choices and in giving dietary guidance.
Michael J. Orlich et al., "Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Colorectal Cancers. ", JAMA Internal Medicine, March 23, 2015, © American Medical Association
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“Traffic Light” Nutritional Labeling Leads To More Healthful Food Buying

March 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
German researchers have found that “traffic light” symbols – red, green, yellow – on food labels effectively help shoppers make healthful product choices. For the study, 35 adults (19 women) were shown 100 food products while lying in a brain scanner. Products showed nutritional information in familiar form (numbers, ingredients) or in traffic light format, with green signifying the lowest percentage of fat, salt or sugar. Participants indicated how much they would pay for each product. They were willing to pay significantly more money for the same product when the traffic light label was "green" compared to an information-based label. But if the label was "red," the willingness to pay dropped more compared to the conventional label.
Laura Enax et al., "Nutrition labels influence value computation of food products in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. ", Obesity, March 23, 2015, © The Obesity Society
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Even With Normal Blood Pressure, Excess Salt Can Be Harmful

March 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Too much salt in the bloodstream is not only bad for blood pressure, it can also damage several organs, a U.S. study finds. But this should also serve as a warning to so-called “salt resistant” people who consume a lot of salty snacks and convenience foods, but still have low blood pressure. Potential effects on the arteries include reduced function of the endothelium, the lining of vessels; on the heart, enlargement of the muscle tissue of the main pumping chamber; on the kidneys, reduced renal function; and on the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the fight-or-flight response.
William B. Farquhar et al., "Dietary Sodium and Health. ", Journal of the American College of Cardiology, March 23, 2015, © American College of Cardiology Foundation
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A Basic – Scientifically Proven – List Of Nutritious Seeds, Superfruits

March 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A food writer who surveyed recent scientific studies found nine seeds and so-called “superfruits” that are packed with nutrients and minimally processed. At the top of her list are chia seeds, once smeared over novelty plant pottery, but now used in yogurt, baked goods, nutrition bars, etc. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, phytonutrients and other good things. Also on the list: flax seeds (protein, antioxidants), sunflower seeds (protein, fiber), pumpkin seeds, blueberries, acai berries, tart cherries, avocados, and cranberries.
Linda Ohr, "The Rising Status of Superfruits and Super Seeds", Food Technology, March 22, 2015, © Institute of Food Technologists
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Body
Food & Nutrition
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Dieting & Weight Control
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Serious Health Issues Arise When Vitamin D Is Too Low, Or Too High

March 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A statistical study of the vitamin D levels and mortality rates of nearly 250,000 Danes confirms a correlation between earlier death and too low levels of vitamin D, but also finds a connection between too high levels and a greater risk of death by stroke or heart attack. The researchers found that a vitamin D level below 50 or over 100 nanomol per liter is associated with higher mortality rates. “We should use this information to ask ourselves whether or not we should continue to eat vitamins and nutritional supplements as if they were sweets,” the researchers said.
Darshana Durup et al., "A reverse J-shaped association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and cardiovascular disease mortality – the CopD-study.", The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, March 22, 2015, © Endocrine Society
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Denmark

Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise Slow Cognitive Decline Among Seniors

March 22, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Older people (age 60 to 77) at risk of dementia benefited significantly from a program of healthy eating and exercise, according to a randomized, controlled clinical trial. Half of the 1,260 participants in the two-year trial in Finland met regularly with physicians, nurses, and other health professionals to get advice on a healthy diet, and participate in exercise and brain training programs. They also managed metabolic and vascular risk factors through regular blood tests. Subsequent tests showed that, compared to the control group, cognitive decline slowed down considerably. Overall test scores in the intervention group were 25 percent higher than in the control group.
Tiia Ngandu et al., "A 2 year multidomain intervention of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk monitoring versus control to prevent cognitive decline in at-risk elderly people (FINGER): a randomised controlled trial. ", The Lancet, March 22, 2015, © Elsevier Limited
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Finland

Snack Bar Makers Are Missing An Opportunity In The Heart-Healthy Market

March 17, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Despite growing consumer demand for heart-healthy and convenient – “grab-and-go” – foods, like bars and snacks, few food manufacturers are developing such products. A recent article notes the tremendous opportunity awaiting snack and bar makers who have yet to take advantage of FDA-approved heart health claims for ingredients like soy protein, phytosterols, fiber, nuts and omega-3s. Marketers, of course, also need to pay attention to the taste of products – consumers won’t swap flavor for health -- but adding ingredients (e.g., high fructose corn syrup, sugar alcohols, etc.) that may be perceived as unhealthy is risky. Still, the author of the article says, “not to be building bars that target heart health is the definition of a missed opportunity."
Alissa Marrapodi, "Grab-and-Go Heart Health", Food Product Design, March 17, 2015, © Informa Exhibitions LLC
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Food & Nutrition
Better For You
Heart & Cardiovascular
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Researchers Pan Flawed Study That Claims B Vitamins Do Not Help Early Dementia

March 12, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A recent study that concluded that early-stage dementia patients do not benefit from taking vitamin B-12 or folic acid supplements was “inaccurate and misleading”, according to British scientists who analyzed the data on which the study was based. The unjustified claim in the flawed study that B vitamins were “sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer’s disease” would not only have a negative impact on patient welfare, the scientists said, it could also bias research funding and health policy. Dr. Peter Garrard said there is “first-rate scientific evidence” that B vitamins have biological and neuropsychological benefits for people over 70 who have noticed a recent decline in cognitive abilities.
P. Garrard, R. Jacoby, "B-vitamin trials meta-analysis: less than meets the eye. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 12, 2015, © American Society for Nutrition
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Intermittent Fasting Is Beneficial, Except When Antioxidants Are Consumed

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Fasting has been shown in animal studies to extend lifespan and thwart diseases related to aging. Now U.S. researchers have shown that a feast-or-famine – or intermittent fasting – diet pattern offers some of the same benefits of long-term fasting for people, though the benefits may be lost in the presence of antioxidants. Intermittent fasting causes oxidative stress, which activates a protein called SIRT3 that, when increased in mice, extends lifespan. In a small clinical study, SIRT3 was indeed activated by intermittent fasting, but the benefits vanished when high levels of antioxidants were added to the diet. This reinforces research that has shown that flooding the system with supplemental antioxidants neutralizes the benefits of fasting or exercise.
Martin P. Wegman et al., "Practicality of Intermittent Fasting in Humans and its Effect on Oxidative Stress and Genes Related to Aging and Metabolism. ", Rejuvenation Research, March 07, 2015, © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
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HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
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United States of America

Nurture More Important Than Nature When It Comes To Obesity

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Though some research has shown that mom's unhealthful diet in pregnancy may preordain a child’s poor diet and health issues, a new study in mice suggests other factors play a bigger role. Having too many food choices, the U.S. researchers found, increases the obesity problem. For the study, two sets of mothers were fed a high-fat diet or a low-fat diet. The offspring then ate a high-fat diet, low-fat diet, or a choice of foods. The offspring that had a choice experienced an increase in body weight, body fat, and glucose levels. The researchers said their findings suggest the possibility that a human's natural environment can affect food choices, and ultimately a person's weight, much more than their mother’s diet during pregnancy.
Bonnie Brenseke et al., "Mitigating or Exacerbating Effects of Maternal-Fetal Programming of Female Mice Through the Food Choice Environment. ", Endocrinology, March 07, 2015, © Endocrine Society
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Salt Supplementation Might Help Fight Microbial Attacks In Skin

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A German study in mice has found that a high-salt diet, normally considered risky for heart health, protects tissues from microbial infections. A diet rich in sodium has been proven time and again to be detrimental for cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies have shown that it also worsens autoimmune diseases. But the researchers became intrigued when they noticed a high concentration of salt in the infected skin of mice bitten by cage mates. They also noted that human patients with bacterial skin infections showed remarkably high salt accumulation at the lesion sites. While not recommending a salty diet, the researchers nevertheless said salt supplementation might provide a therapeutic option when there is too little of it at infection sites.
Jonathan Jantsch et al., "Cutaneous Na Storage Strengthens the Antimicrobial Barrier Function of the Skin and Boosts Macrophage-Driven Host Defense. ", Cell Metabolism, March 07, 2015, © Elsevier Inc.
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Big Breakfast, Small Dinner Benefit Type 2 Diabetics

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Sweden and Israel show that type 2 diabetics can better control their blood sugar levels by timing their intake of calories. The study was conducted among eight men and 10 women between 30 and 70 years with type 2 diabetes and a normal to high body mass index. Some were being treated with the antidiabetic drug metformin. The study found that a calorie-loaded breakfast and a low-calorie dinner were associated with a significantly lower overall post-meal glucose level over the entire day. The researchers said the pattern may help achieve optimal metabolic control and “may have the potential for being preventive for cardiovascular and other complications of type 2 diabetes”.
Daniela Jakubowicz et al., "High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner decreases overall daily hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomised clinical trial. ", Diabetologia, March 07, 2015, © Springer International Publishing AG
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Mussel-Derived Omega-3 Supplement Prevents Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage

March 7, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A small U.S. clinical trial among non-athletic men finds that taking a pre-exercise supplement of an omega-3 fatty acid derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel reduces post-workout muscle damage. In prior testing, Pharmalink International’s Lyprinol, (Omega XL in the U.S.) has reduced the effects of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and exercise-induced asthma. For this study, participants took either the supplement or a placebo for 26 days. Then the body's reaction to a muscle-damaging treadmill regimen was tested immediately, and at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours afterwards. Those given the supplement had less muscle soreness and pain, less strength loss, less fatigue and fewer inflammatory proteins in their blood.
Timothy D Mickleborough et al., "The effects PCSO-524®, a patented marine oil lipid and omega-3 PUFA blend derived from the New Zealand green lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus), on indirect markers of muscle damage and inflammation after muscle damaging exercise in untrained men: a ra. ", Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, March 07, 2015, © Mickleborough et al.
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Study Adds More Evidence That Sitting Is Bad For the Heart

March 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A new U.S. study confirms earlier research findings that sitting for long periods of time, regardless of exercise, is bad for the heart. Too much sitting is associated with coronary artery calcification, according to the researchers who noted that other studies have linked excessive sitting with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and early death. The researchers analyzed heart scans and physical activity records of more than 2,000 adults living in Dallas, Texas. They found that each hour of sedentary time a day was on average associated with a 14 percent increase in coronary artery calcification. The association had nothing to do with exercise activity or other traditional heart disease risk factors.
Jacquelyn Kulinski, "Excess sitting linked to coronary artery calcification, an early indicator of heart problems", News release, study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session, March 05, 2015, © American College of Cardiology
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GM Soybean Oil Has Only One Metabolic Advantage Over The Regular Kind

March 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Contrary to the hype, genetically modified (GM) soybean oil is as bad for your health as regular soybean oil, except in one key area, according to a U.S. study. Researchers found in mouse experiments that GM soybean oil – which is about 55 percent linoleic acid and contains no trans fats – induces obesity, diabetes and fatty liver, like regular soybean oil. Its one advantage is that it does not cause insulin resistance, which is the inability of the body to use the hormone insulin efficiently. The test results indicate that GM soybean oil is not as healthy as olive oil or even coconut oil, which is primarily saturated fat.
Frances Sladek, "How healthy is genetically modified soybean oil?", News release, study presented at the Endocrine Society annual meeting, March 05, 2015, © Endocrine Society
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Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk By Nearly Half

March 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A 10-year study conducted in Greece found a strong connection between heart health and the Mediterranean diet, which limits unhealthy fats and emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and olive oil. Adults who closely followed the diet were 47 percent less likely to develop heart disease. In fact, the diet was more protective than physical activity, researchers found. They also said the diet has indirect benefits in managing diabetes, hypertension and inflammation.
Ekavi Georgousopoulou, "Adherence to Mediterranean is the Most Important Protector Against the Development of Fatal and Non-Fatal Cardiovascular Event: 10-Year Follow-up (2002-12) Of the Attica Study", Study presented at the American College of Cardiology's scientific session, March 04, 2015, © American College of Cardiology
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High Dose Of Omega-3 Supplement Reduces Inflammation In Weeks After Heart Attack

March 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study among 374 heart attack patients within weeks of the infarction found that taking a prescription-strength omega-3 supplement (Lovaza, 4,000 mg) lowered inflammation and seemed to protect against further declines in heart function. Researchers used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to look at changes in patients' hearts and see the disease process before and after treatment. The researchers acknowledged that the study did not explore the association between omega-3 fatty acids and post-attack cardiac events, nor did it evaluate the treatment immediately after a heart attack.
Raymond W. Kwong, "Omega 3 fatty acids appear to protect damaged heart after heart attack", News release, study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session, March 04, 2015, © American College of Cardiology
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Endurance Athletes Perform Better When Taking Salt Tablets

March 4, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Athletes who participate in demanding endurance sports such as long distance running and cycling benefit greatly from taking salt supplements, Spanish researchers report. Resistance sports and activities carried out in hot weather disrupt the body’s careful balance of water and electrolytes, especially sodium and chloride. Scientists analyzed the effectiveness of taking salt capsules during a medium distance triathlon that included swimming, cycling and running. Triathletes who ingested the salt during the event finished an average of 26 minutes before the control group that drank sports drinks but did not ingest the salt. The control group was only able to replace 20 percent of lost sodium, researchers found.
J. Del Coso et al., "Effects of oral salt supplementation on physical performance during a half-ironman: A randomized controlled trial. ", Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, March 04, 2015, © John Wiley & Sons A/S
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Athletes Benefit From Nitrate Supplements That Boost Blood Flow

March 2, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Athletes and fitness fanatics have been taking nitrate supplements for years to increase endurance by improving oxygen use by muscles. A new British study in rats shows that nitrates decrease the viscosity of blood, boosting blood flow, while ensuring proper oxygen delivery. Researchers found that the effects were due to a complex balancing act involving the liver and kidneys, oxygen, hemoglobin in the blood and the hormone erythropoietin. The findings may lead to development of therapeutics for dietary intervention in dangerous blood volume diseases like polycythemia and other conditions that warrant a reduction in red cell mass and improvement in blood flow.
T. Ashmore et al., "Suppression of erythropoiesis by dietary nitrate. ", The FASEB Journal, March 02, 2015, © FASEB
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Damage To Brains Of Vitamin D-Deficient Stroke Patients Is Far Greater

February 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Stroke does the most brain damage when patients are deficient in vitamin D, a U.S. study shows. In addition, stroke patients with low vitamin D levels were found to be less likely than those with normal levels to have good outcomes in the three months following stroke. The area of dead tissue in the brains of vitamin D-deficient patients resulting from blood supply obstruction was about twice as large as in patients with normal levels. The findings apply equally to patients who suffer brain artery strokes (lacunar) and patients whose strokes are caused by carotid disease or a clot that originates somewhere else in the body (non-lacunar).
Nils Henninger, "Low vitamin D predicts more severe strokes, poor health post-stroke ", News release, study presented at the 2015 American Heart Association stroke conference, February 27, 2015, © American Heart Association
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New “Precision Medicine” Approach May Help Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

February 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A team of U.S. researchers has developed a way to predict who might benefit from diabetes-prevention drugs, or lifestyle changes like weight loss and frequent exercise. The team analyzed data from more than 3,000 people in a study, all of whom had a high body mass index and abnormal results on two fasting blood sugar tests. The researchers looked at 17 health factors to create a “precision medicine” approach to diabetes prevention. Seven of the factors had the greatest impact: fasting blood sugar, long-term blood sugar (A1C level), total triglycerides, family history of high blood sugar, waist measurement, height, and waist-to-hip ratio.
Rodney A Hayward et al. , "Improving diabetes prevention with benefit based tailored treatment: risk based reanalysis of Diabetes Prevention Program. ", BMJ Online, February 27, 2015, © Hayward et al.
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Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease Should Avoid A High-Acid Meaty Diet

February 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients who eat more meat than fruits or vegetables are at much higher risk of kidney failure than patients who eat less meat, according to a long-term study of 1,486 CKD adults. Meats increase the dietary acid load on kidneys, which can be debilitating. Patients who consumed high acid diets were three times more likely to develop kidney failure than patients who consumed low acid diets. The researchers recommended that CKD patients reduce their intake of meats and increase intake of fruits and vegetables, which are low-acid foods.
T. Banerjee et al., "High Dietary Acid Load Predicts ESRD among Adults with CKD. ", Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, February 27, 2015, © American Society of Nephrology
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Report Sheds Light On Disturbing Global Dietary Trends

February 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A British study assessing diet quality in 187 countries found that high-income countries had the biggest improvement in diet quality (i.e., more fruits and vegetables) between 1990 and 2010. But the highest scores for healthful foods were found in several low-income countries (e.g., Chad and Mali) and Mediterranean nations (e.g., Turkey and Greece), perhaps because of the more healthful Mediterranean diet. Unfortunately, dietary improvements have been outpaced by the increased intake of unhealthy foods, including unprocessed meats, processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks, saturated fat, trans fat, dietary cholesterol, and sodium in most world regions. Unless countries act to change the situation, “undernutrition” will be superseded by obesity and non-communicable diseases, “as is already being seen in India, China, and other middle-income countries”.
Fumiaki Imamura et al., "Dietary quality among men and women in 187 countries in 1990 and 2010: a systematic assessment. ", The Lancet Global Health, February 27, 2015, © Imamura et al.
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Timing Of Exercise By Type 2 Diabetics Is As Important As Frequency, Intensity

February 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
People have known for some time that more frequent, and more intense, physical activity can reduce levels of sugars and fats in the blood of type 2 diabetics, reducing heart disease risk. But U.S. researchers have now determined that people with type 2 diabetes get the most benefit when they work out after eating dinner. Study participants performed different types of resistance exercises (e.g., leg curls, seated calf raises, abdominal crunches) at different times during the day. The study showed that the exercises had the most powerful effect on reducing plasma glucose and fat levels when performed after dinner.
T. D. Heden et al., "Post-dinner resistance exercise improves postprandial risk factors more effectively than pre-dinner resistance exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes. ", Journal of Applied Physiology, February 27, 2015, © Journal of Applied Physiology
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Physicians Castigate Harmful, Addictive “White Foods”

February 27, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
A growing number of physicians warn of the health dangers of white bread, pasta and other high-glycemic “white foods” like potatoes, rice and sugar. A neurosurgeon who specializes in treating back pain says he won’t eat bread or pasta because they are high on the glycemic index, are not whole foods, and are “tremendously delicious and addictive”. A child psychiatrist says bleaching flour removes the nutrients. “Best to eat fresh breads made from whole or sprouted grains,” says Dr. Rohit Chandra. And Dr. Michael Hirt, a board-certified nutritionist, says GMO standard wheat is particularly harmful, adding that, "If Americans gave up gluten and dairy, 75 percent of the world’s health problems would go away."
Lauren Gordon , "Delicious but Addictive: Why Some Doctors Avoid Eating Bread", The Daily Meal, February 27, 2015, © Spanfeller Media Group, Inc.
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When Treating Mental Disorders, Don’t Ignore Diet And Nutrition

February 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Australian scientists who systematically reviewed earlier studies show a strong link between nutritional deficiency and mental health that should not be ignored. In fact, psychiatry can only go only so far in treating psychological problems without taking into account diet quality. There is “emerging and compelling evidence”, they argue, that nutrition is as important in diagnosing and treating mental disorders as it is in treating heart or digestive problems. The researchers conclude that “nutrient-based prescription” could help with the management of mental disorders “at the individual and population level”, and even among children and adolescents.
Jerome Sarris et al., "Nutritional medicine as mainstream in psychiatry. ", The Lancet Psychiatry, February 11, 2015, © Elsevier Limited
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FDA Approves Implantable Electrical Anti-Hunger Device For Obese Patients

February 11, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA has approved the use of an electrical device to treat obese patients – BMI higher than 35 -- age 18 and older who have not been able to diet away their excess pounds. The Enteromedics Maestro Rechargeable System targets the nerve pathway between the brain and stomach that controls feelings of hunger and fullness. A rechargeable electrical pulse generator, wire leads and electrodes implanted surgically into the abdomen send intermittent electrical pulses to the abdominal vagus nerve. A clinical study testing safety and effectiveness found that after 12 months, the experimental group (with an activated implanted Maestro) lost 8.5 percent more excess weight than the control group (whose Maestro was implanted but not activated).
"FDA approves first-of-kind device to treat obesity", News release, FDA, February 11, 2015, © USFDA
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Why Carbs – Refined Or Otherwise – Are Not Necessarily A Dietary Desperado

February 9, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
The current “wisdom” about beneficial versus harmful foods may not be so "wise" after all. There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about carbohydrates, the glycemic index (GI), etc. The foodie trend these days is to avoid white bread, pasta, refined sugar and other high GI foods to feel better and live healthier. But the fact is that carbs can be healthful or harmful, “depending on which, and how many, you eat”. The real problem is overconsumption, experts note. There’s no rational reason to avoid bread, pasta and refined sugar – regardless of the GI rating – as long as they are consumed in moderation. Another key fact: low-GI foods like whole grain bread or legumes contain more nutrients. That may be the main reason – not the low GI rating – scientific studies have found that disease risk is lower when you eat them.
Tamar Haspel, "Is it really worth not eating bread, pasta and other carbs?", The Washington Post, February 09, 2015, © The Washington Post Company
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Overweight Kiwis Present A Marketing Opportunity For Healthful Food Manufacturers

February 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Manufacturers of healthful foods should find reasons for optimism in a Nielsen survey taken recently in New Zealand. Nearly 60 percent felt they were overweight and would probably pay a premium for foods that were more healthful or would help them lose weight. Four out of five New Zealanders trying to lose weight are changing their diet to shed pounds. Nielsen says suppliers and retailers should take advantage of the opportunity to offer consumers “innovative, tasty foods with health benefits”.
Lance Dobson, "A Hunger For Healthy: New Zealand's Appetite To Battle The Bulge", Report, Nielsen, February 05, 2015, © The Nielsen Company
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