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New Weight Management Approach Focuses On The Mental Side Of Eating

July 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A new wellness program that focuses more on the mental side of weight loss has gained the approval of scientists at the University of Missouri. This “non-diet” intuitive eating method involves paying attention to internal cues, such as hunger and fullness, rather than external cues, such as calorie counting and weight scales. In their testing of the “Eat for Life” approach, which focuses on mindfulness and intuitive eating as a lifestyle, participants improved their view of their bodies, and decreased eating behaviors – e.g., binging, purging and fasting – that often led to regaining weight lost in traditional diet programs.
Hannah E. Bush et al., "Eat for Life: A Work Site Feasibility Study of a Novel Mindfulness-Based Intuitive Eating Intervention. ", American Journal of Health Promotion, July 17, 2014, © American Journal of Health Promotion
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Mind
Other Mind
Alternative Therapies
Dieting & Weight Control
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Zinc Deficiency Pinpointed As Major Cause Of Sepsis In Hospitals

July 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals is sepsis, a complication resulting from infection when the immune system floods the body with inflammatory chemical signals. This often results in organ failure and death – as many as 20 percent of hospital sepsis victims die. Now U.S. scientists report that a main reason for the overwhelming physical impact of sepsis is zinc deficiency. The findings seem to suggest that zinc supplementation would benefit patients at risk, but the researchers say it isn’t that easy. The body diverts zinc from the blood to the organs when a person is sick, making zinc deficiency difficult to detect. What is needed is a defined set of biomarkers identifying zinc deficiency so correct therapeutic doses could be provided.
Ming-Jie Liu et al., "Zinc Regulates the Acute Phase Response and Serum Amyloid A Production in Response to Sepsis through JAK-STAT3 Signaling. ", PLoS ONE, July 15, 2014, © Ming-Jie Liu et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Other Body
Pills & Supplements
Vitamins
Other Conditions
Geographies
Worldwide
North America

Vitamin B Supplements Offer No Hope For Preventing Alzheimer’s

July 15, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
It seemed logical enough. People with Alzheimer’s disease have high levels of a compound called homocysteine in their blood. Vitamin B-12 and folic acid lower plasma levels of the compound. So vitamin B supplements should help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Not so, according to a new study by a team of European researchers who looked at clinical trial data on 22,000 people. In the studies, those who received B vitamins did indeed experience an average 25 percent reduction in homocysteine levels, but that had no effect on cognitive decline or mental abilities. Said one researcher: “Taking folic acid and vitamin B-12 is sadly not going to prevent Alzheimer's disease.”
R. Clarke et al., "Effects of homocysteine lowering with B vitamins on cognitive aging: meta-analysis of 11 trials with cognitive data on 22,000 individuals. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 15, 2014, © American Society for Nutrition
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Mind
Mental Alertness
Brain
Pills & Supplements
Vitamins
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe

Americans Check Food Labels For Sugar And Protein, But Sodium Not So Much

July 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
American consumers are not as worried about sodium in their diet as they used to be, despite the fact that many regularly eat more than the government-recommended daily amounts, according to NPD Group research. Though 60 percent of U.S. consumers say they are trying to eat less sodium, that number is eight percent less than what it was in 2010. NPD says people aren’t paying as much attention to nutrition label information about sodium, calories, fats and carbs, but are still concerned about sugar and protein. The FDA is preparing to release voluntary guidelines on sodium content for food manufacturers and restaurants.
"U.S. Consumers’ Diminishing Concern About Sodium Intake Will Continue in the Future, Reports NPD", News release, report by NPD Group, July 14, 2014, © The NPD Group, Inc.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Dieting & Weight Control
Heart & Cardiovascular
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Older Women Benefit In Numerous Ways From Regular Vigorous Exercise

July 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian study that collected data from five years of published research has concluded that moderate to vigorous physical activity improves both physical and mental health in postmenopausal women. Older women should exercise intensively 30 to 45 minutes a day five times a week to get the most benefit. The studies surveyed showed that active adults report significantly less disability, better physical function no matter their body mass index, and a longer lifespan. Another linked benefit of regular vigorous activity is improved mental health, the researchers reported.
Debra Anderson et al., "Can physical activity prevent physical and cognitive decline in postmenopausal women? ", Maturitas, July 11, 2014, © Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Mind
Women's Health
Menstruation & Menopause
Mental Alertness
Fitness & Exercise
Preventative Care
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Australia

Diet Is The Key Factor In Severity Of Arthritis

July 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study in mice found that a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids helped heal injured arthritic knee joints. In humans, arthritis that results from injury accounts for 10 to 15 percent of all cases. For the study, mice were fed one of three high-fat diets: saturated fat, omega 6 fatty acids or omega 6 fatty acids plus omega 3s. Those that ate saturated fat or omega 6 fatty acid diets experienced significant worsening of their arthritis. But mice that ate a small supplement of omega 3 fatty acids had healthier joints. The researchers said the severity of the arthritis was associated with diet, not with the weight of the animals, indicating that just being fat does not induce or worsen arthritis.
Farshid Guilak et al., "Dietary fatty acid content regulates wound repair and the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis following joint injury. ", Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, July 11, 2014, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Bones & Joints
Other Food & Nutrition
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

People Whose Exercise Is “Fun” Are Less Likely To Snack Heavily Later

July 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
People who think of their exercise activities as fun rather than a workout are less likely to chow down on calorie-packed snacks and desserts, two U.S. studies have found. In both studies, participants walked around a lake. In the first, some were told it was an exercise walk, others that it was just a scenic walk. At the subsequent lunch, those who thought they’d been exercising ate 35 percent more chocolate pudding than those on the scenic walk. The second study had the same result: those who thought they were exercising ate 124 percent more calories worth of M&Ms than the scenic – “fun” – walkers.
Carolina O. C. Werle et al., " Is it fun or exercise? The framing of physical activity biases subsequent snacking. ", Marketing Letters, July 09, 2014, © Werle et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Dieting & Weight Control
Fitness & Exercise
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Extreme Obesity Significantly Shortens Lifespan

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers who analyzed data from 20 large studies demonstrated that very obese people – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher – were more likely to die young from cancer and a wide array of other diseases and conditions. Six percent of Americans are now classified as extremely obese, i.e., more than 100 pounds over normal weight. In the study, which examined data from 9,500 extremely obese people, the risk of dying overall, and from most major health causes – heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney and liver diseases – rose continuously with increasing BMI. People whose BMI was in the highest range – 55 to 60 – tended to lose nearly 14 years of their lifespan.
C. M. Kitahara et al. , "Association between Class III Obesity (BMI of 40-59 kg/m) and Mortality: A Pooled Analysis of 20 Prospective Studies. ", PLOS Medicine, July 08, 2014, © Kitahara et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Dieting & Weight Control
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Fungal Pathogens Can Be As Dangerous As Bacteria, Viruses

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Last September, Chobani recalled Greek yogurt manufactured in its Idaho plant after customers complained of severe gastrointestinal discomfort. The company said the yogurt had been contaminated by a relatively harmless fungus dangerous only to people with unhealthy immune systems. After complaints from otherwise healthy individuals, however, scientists took a closer look. They found that the yogurt had been tainted by one particular fungal strain that, unlike other strains, showed an ability to cause lethal infections in mice when spores were injected into the bloodstream. They also  survived passage through the GI tract when ingested orally. The conclusion? “Fungal pathogens can threaten our health systems as food-borne pathogens."
Soo Chan Lee et al., "Analysis of a Food-Borne Fungal Pathogen Outbreak: Virulence and Genome of a Mucor circinelloides Isolate from Yogurt. ", mBio, July 08, 2014, © Lee et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Food & Nutrition
Safety
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Swiss Study Confirms The Value Of A Healthy Lifestyle

July 8, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An analysis of data from a Swiss survey of 16,721 people aged 16 to 90 from 1977 to 1993 found that healthful behaviors increase life expectancy considerably. Eating fruit, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol consumption, and exercising regularly all played a part in extending life expectancy. Of all the factors, smoking seems to be the most harmful, the researchers said. Smokers have a 57 percent higher risk of dying prematurely. An unhealthy diet, not enough physical activity, and alcohol abuse each raised the risk of death by about 15 percent. When all four factors are combined, the risk of early death increases by a factor of 2.5.
Eva Martin-Diener et al., "The combined effect on survival of four main behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases. ", Preventive Medicine, July 08, 2014, © Elsevier Inc
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Dieting & Weight Control
Fitness & Exercise
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Switzerland

Excessive Sedentary Behavior Is Bad For The Heart

July 7, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study by researchers in Texas has found that sitting too much increases the risk of cardiovascular problems, even when a person regularly exercises. The findings are based on accelerometer data from 2,223 teens and adults who participated in a national health survey. The researchers said that avoiding sedentary behavior – i.e., excessive sitting, driving, watching television, reading, etc. – may be an important way to improve fitness and health “outside of regular exercise activity”. To combat the negative effects of sitting too long, the researchers recommended shifting positions frequently, standing and stretching occasionally, pacing while on a phone call, replacing a desk chair with a fitness ball, and taking frequent short walks during the day.
Jacquelyn P. Kulinski et al., "Association Between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Accelerometer-Derived Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in the General Population. ", Mayo Clinic Proceedings, July 07, 2014, © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Fitness & Exercise
Heart & Cardiovascular
Preventative Care
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Cocoa-Rich Dark Chocolate Makes Walking Easier For PAD Patients

July 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Reduced blood flow to leg arteries – called peripheral artery disease or PAD – can make it painful for people to walk. A new clinical study in Italy suggests that eating dark chocolate might provide some relief from the pain, cramping and fatigue associated with PAD. Twenty patients aged 60 to 78 walked on a treadmill in the morning and later after eating 40 grams of dark and milk chocolate on separate days. Participants increased their ability to walk unassisted after eating dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa content and rich in polyphenols), compared to eating milk chocolate. The authors suggested that the polyphenols in the dark chocolate reduced oxidative stress and improved blood flow in the leg arteries.
Lorenzo Loffredo et al., "Dark Chocolate Acutely Improves Walking Autonomy in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease", Journal of the American Heart Association, July 02, 2014, © Loffredo et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Aging
Fitness & Exercise
Heart & Cardiovascular
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Italy

Orange Honeydews, Cantaloupes Are Packed With Healthful Beta-Carotenes

July 1, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at the USDA say that orange honeydew and cantaloupe melons are both rich in beta-carotene, the precursor compound of vitamin A, which is involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. People in many parts of the world are deficient in vitamin A and lack access to supplements. The researchers said the beta-carotene found in orange-fleshed honeydews and cantaloupes provides a solution to vitamin A deficiency , because it is as readily bioavailable as the beta-carotene found in carrots.
"Orange-Fleshed Honeydew Melon: Ripe for Beta-Carotene Analysis", Report, USDA, July 01, 2014, © USDA
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Eyes
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Popular Herbal Supplement Used To Treat Depression Has Its Drawbacks

June 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have determined that St. John’s wort, a popular herbal supplement commonly used to treat mild depression, renders some medications dangerously ineffective when they are combined. Patents get a false sense of safety, the researchers, said, believing that because St. John’s wort is natural, it is safe to use. The researchers analyzed data collected in a national health survey from 1993 to 2010. They found that 28 percent of the St. John’s wort combinations with oral contraceptives, blood thinners, cancer chemotherapy and blood pressure medications were potentially harmful because therapeutic concentrations were reduced by the supplement.
Scott A. Davis et al., "Use of St. John's Wort in Potentially Dangerous Combinations", The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, June 30, 2014, © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Mind
Depression
Heart & Cardiovascular
Pills & Supplements
Cancer & Cancer Prevention
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Almonds Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

June 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A daily serving of almonds in the diet boosts the level of antioxidants and reduces the risk of heart disease, according to British scientists. The study tested the impact of an almond-rich diet on both healthy middle-aged and young men, and on younger men who were both overweight and hypertensive. Researchers found that at the end of the study those who had eaten an almond-enriched diet – 50 grams a day – had higher levels of alpha-tocopherol in their bloodstream, improved blood flow and lower blood pressure, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease.
K. Choudhury et al., "An almond-enriched diet increases plasma α-tocopherol and improves vascular function but does not affect oxidative stress markers or lipid levels. ", Free Radical Research, June 30, 2014, © Informa Plc
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Heart & Cardiovascular
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

To Get Kids To Eat Veggies, Start Young, Feed Often

June 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A British clinical study involving 332 kids between four months and three years of age found that the children were more likely to eat vegetables if introduced to them before 24 months. Children that young are more receptive to new eating experiences. After that, they tend to get pickier and more wary of novel foods, especially green ones. For the study, children from the U.K., France and Denmark were fed between five and ten servings (100 grams) of artichoke puree, served straight, sweetened with sugar, or mixed with vegetable oil for added energy. Twenty percent of the kids cleaned their plates, and 40 percent learned to like artichokes. About 16 percent of the children were termed “non-eaters” because they ate less than 10 g even when it was offered for a fifth time.
"Offer vegetables early and often to fussy toddlers, study says", BBC News Health, June 30, 2014, © BBC
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Food & Nutrition
Kid's Health
Babies
Pre-School/School
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom
Denmark

Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency And High Blood Pressure Found

June 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Australian scientists using “Mendelian randomization” techniques to analyze data from 146,500 people of European ancestry have found that vitamin D deficiency seems to actually actually cause high blood pressure. The finding adds weight to the hypothesis that many cases of hypertension can be alleviated simply through vitamin D supplementation. The researchers said randomized controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the causality link and the potential clinical benefits of vitamin D supplementation. So far, results of clinical trials have been inconclusive.
Karani S Vimaleswaran et al., "Association of vitamin D status with arterial blood pressure and hypertension risk: a Mendelian randomization study. ", The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, June 25, 2014, © Vimaleswaran et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Heart & Cardiovascular
Vitamins
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Australia

“Energy Balance”: The New Mantra For Dealing With Obesity?

June 25, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists in the U.S. are now touting the idea that diet plus exercise – or “energy balance” – is the proper way to deal with the obesity problem, and should be encouraged by public health policies. In a recent scientific paper, nutrition and exercise professionals – who currently work “in silos” but need to work together – were encouraged to bone up on the principles of energy balance so that their coaching and teaching include all sides of the energy balance message. The paper provided a list of recommendations for tackling the obesity problem at the school and government levels, incorporating the principles of energy balance in curricula and public policies.
Melinda M. Manore et al., "Energy Balance at a Crossroads. ", Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, June 25, 2014, © American College of Sports Medicine
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Dieting & Weight Control
Fitness & Exercise
Other Food & Nutrition
Diabetes
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Losing Weight Improves Sleep, Mood Patterns

June 24, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A two-year U.S. clinical study involving 400 men and women confirms that being overweight or obese contributes to poor sleep, and losing weight reverses the situation. The study showed that when obese adults lose even a small percentage of their body weight they show significant improvement in their sleep. People who shed five percent of their pounds by month six of the study reported that they gained an average of 21.6 minutes of sleep a night, compared with only 1.2 minutes for those who lost less than five percent. Those who lost more than five percent of initial weight reported even greater improvements in sleep quality and mood, i.e., symptoms of depression.
Nasreen Alfaris et al., "Sleep, mood improves after substantial weight loss", News release, study presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, June 24, 2014, © Alfaris et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Mind
Sleep & Relaxation
Dieting & Weight Control
Other Food & Nutrition
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Weight Loss Myths And Presumptions Contribute To Failed Anti-Obesity Policies

June 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
One reason it’s hard for many people to lose weight – and why public policies tackling obesity are not working – is the prevalence of weight loss myths and unproven presumptions about the weight loss process. Among the nine myths described by U.S. scientists: losing weight quickly, as opposed to more slowly,  predisposes people to greater weight regain; realistic weight loss goals are important to prevent people from getting frustrated and losing less weight. Among the 10 unproven presumptions: eating breakfast every day protects a person from getting fat; eating at bedtime contributes to weight gain. The authors said belief in these myths and presumptions leads to poor policy decisions, inaccurate public health recommendations and wasted resources.
Krista Casazza et al., "Weighing the Evidence of Common Beliefs in Obesity Research. ", Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, June 23, 2014, © Informa UK
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Dieting & Weight Control
Fitness & Exercise
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Some Nutritional Sports Supplements Contain Banned Substances Not Listed On Label

June 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study by Australian scientists shows that some sports-related nutritional supplements sold in that country contain banned substances – specifically androgens – not listed on labels. The undisclosed contents put the general public at risk along with athletes who would test positive for illegal substances. The researchers tested 79 nutritional supplements purchased randomly from Sydney-based stores. They included protein powders, amino acids, creatines, fat metabolizers, "testosterone-boosters”, carbohydrates and stimulant/nitric oxide "pre-workout"-based supplements. Six of the tested products were androgen-positive but androgen was not listed on the label.
Alison Heather et al., "Nutritional sports supplements sold in Australia test positive for banned androgens", News release, study presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, June 23, 2014, © Heather et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Dieting & Weight Control
Fitness & Exercise
Pills & Supplements
Safety
Vitamins
Geographies
Worldwide
Asia-Pacific
Australia

Whole Grain Foods, Refined Grain Foods – Kids Will Eat Either Without A Problem

June 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A new U.S. study finds that, despite parents’ beliefs, kids will eat whole grain foods if they are offered. For the General Mills-funded study, 83 middle school students ate either whole- or refined-grain foods for six weeks in 2010. Foods given to the kids included pasta, rice, bread and other foods to eat at home. They were given whole- and refined-grain snack foods to eat at school. Though the kids liked the whole grain snacks served at school the best, they were generally indifferent to whether the other foods they ate were made from whole grains or refined grains. Starting this fall, federal dietary guidelines require schools to offer only whole-grain rich products.
Allyson Radford et al., "Whole-Grain Intake in Middle School Students Achieves Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate Recommendations when Provided as Commercially Available Foods: A Randomized Trial. ", Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, June 23, 2014, © Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Kid's Health
Pre-School/School
Teen
Dieting & Weight Control
Whole Grains
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Drugs, Surgery Work Better For Some People Determined To Lose Weight

June 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Research presented at a recent scientific meeting shows that diet and exercise simply don’t work for all people who want to lose weight. In fact, obese and overweight Americans were most satisfied with weight loss surgery (gastric bypass or laparoscopic gastric banding) and prescription weight loss medications when it came to shedding pounds. The U.S. study analyzed data from more than 39,000 respondents to a national health survey from 2012. Thirty-nine percent of obese respondents in the surgery/medication group said they were extremely or very satisfied with their weight loss method, compared to only 20.2 percent of those that used “self-modification”. One disturbing fact: 58 percent of obese respondents were not doing anything at all to lose weight. 
Z. Jason Wang et al., "Among weight loss methods, surgery and drugs achieve highest patient satisfaction", News release, study presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, June 23, 2014, © Wang et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Dieting & Weight Control
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Soy Protein Supplements Are Safe For Diabetic Males

June 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists in the U.K. may have settled the question of whether soy protein supplements, which contain hormones chemically similar to female estrogens, reduce male hormone levels. The question is important because studies have shown that men with type 2 diabetes and heart problems benefit from soy protein supplements. The new research, however, found that soy protein and phytoestrogen supplementation is safe for diabetic men with low testosterone levels to take to improve diabetes control and reduce risk factors for heart disease.
Thozhukat Sathyapalan et al., "Soy supplements appear to be safe, beneficial in diabetic men", News release, study presented at a meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society, June 23, 2014, © Sathyapalan et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Heart & Cardiovascular
Pills & Supplements
Diabetes
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
United Kingdom

Polyphenol-Rich Cocoa Extract May Help Prevent Onset Of Alzheimer’s

June 23, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study in genetically altered mice finds that a preparation of cocoa extract prevents the protein  β-amyloid (Aβ) from forming the sticky clumps in the brain that damage nerve cells in Alzheimer’s patients. The mice, which were genetically altered to mimic Alzheimer’s disease, were fed lavado cocoa, which is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. The researchers said that their findings suggest that adequate quantities of specific cocoa polyphenols in the human diet over time may prevent the clustering of Aβ into oligomers that damage the brain, thus possibly preventing the onset of Alzheimer's.
Wang J et al., "Cocoa Extracts Reduce Oligomerization of Amyloid-β: Implications for Cognitive Improvement in Alzheimer's Disease. ", J Alzheimers Dis, June 23, 2014, © IOS Press
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Mind
Mental Alertness
Aging
Brain
Preventative Care
Other Food & Nutrition
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Mediterranean Diet Puts Children At Less Risk Of Obesity

June 19, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Children in eight European countries who ate more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and fish – the basic components of the Mediterranean diet – tended to be less overweight or obese than their counterparts who ate a more Western style diet. Parents of the children completed questionnaires and were interviewed by Swedish researchers to determine dietary habits, especially regarding 43 foods. Children were scored by level of intake of foods typical of the Mediterranean diet, as well as for low intakes of foods such as dairy and meats. Children with high adherence to the Mediterranean diet were 10-15 percent less likely to experience major increases in BMI, waist circumference and body fat.
Gianluca Tognon et al., "Children consuming a Mediterranean diet are 15% less likely to be overweight, study finds", News release, study presented at the European Congress on Obesity, June 19, 2014, © Tognon et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Kid's Health
Pre-School/School
Teen
Dieting & Weight Control
Other Food & Nutrition
Obesity
Geographies
Worldwide
EMEA
Europe
Sweden

Physicians Group Says Diet Supplements Can Be Harmful To The Liver

June 17, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
New guidelines on diagnosis of drug-induced liver injury warn of the impact of herbal and dietary supplements. Most of the products on the market are not well-regulated, the American College of Gastroenterology said, sometimes containing traces of heavy metals and prescription drugs. Drug-induced liver injury has been on the rise over the last decade along with the explosive growth in the use of supplements. The authors of the guidelines cited the example of catechins, a generally safe polyphenol found in green tea, an average cup of which contains 50-150 mg. But some green tea extract pills sold to help with weight loss contain more than 700 mg – particularly dangerous when taken several times a day.
Naga P Chalasani et al., "ACG Clinical Guideline: The Diagnosis and Management of Idiosyncratic Drug-Induced Liver Injury. ", The American Journal of Gastroenterology, June 17, 2014, © The American College of Gastroenterology
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Food & Nutrition
Digestive
Pills & Supplements
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
United States of America

Vitamin A Derivative Shows Potential In Fighting Obesity, Diabetes

June 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Canadian researchers have demonstrated in mice the benefits of using retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, in treating obesity and type 2 diabetes. The study found that retinoic acid reduced the risk of cardiac apoptosis (cell death) in obese and insulin-resistant mice, stimulated the expression of cardio-protective genes reduced by the disease, and protected against the accumulation of collagen in heart muscle. Collagen accumulation is associated with fibrosis and future complications.  The scientists said the findings spotlight  new metabolic effects of retinoids and could lead to development of anti-obesity and anti-diabetic medicines.
Daniel-Constantin Manolescu et al., "All-trans retinoic acid stimulates gene expression of the cardio-protective natriuretic peptide system, and prevents fibrosis and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes of obese ob/ob mice. ", Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, June 16, 2014, © Canadian Science Publishing
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Conditions
Food & Nutrition
Heart & Cardiovascular
Preventative Care
Vitamins
Diabetes
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
Canada

Adults Tend To Underestimate What “Moderate” Or “Vigorous” Exercise Requires

June 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study involving 129 sedentary Canadian adult finds that they were able to correctly tell whether they were exercising lightly, but tended to say they were exercising moderately or vigorously  when they fell short of those levels, even after some instruction. The participants, who used treadmills, were asked to indicate whether they felt they were working out lightly, moderately or vigorously. Exercise guidelines say adult heart rates should be within 64 to 76 percent of their maximum heart rate for moderate activity, and between 77 to 83 percent for vigorous intensity. The researchers said their findings indicate that most adults underestimate the intensity of physical activity needed to achieve healthy results.
Karissa L. Canning et al., "Individuals Underestimate Moderate and Vigorous Intensity Physical Activity. ", PLoS ONE, June 16, 2014, © Canning et al.
Domains
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Body
Fitness & Exercise
Geographies
Worldwide
North America
Canada

“Gluten-Free” Seems To Be America’s Answer To A Laundry List Of Dietary Concerns

June 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Only one percent of Americans – 316,000 – suffer from celiac disease, a severe gastric reaction to gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye flour. Another two million or so are considered gluten intolerant. But more than a quarter of Americans – about 79 million – are trying to become gluten-free, and that’s what’s driving the multi-billion-dollar gluten-free foods market. The trend is here to stay, according to food industry experts. Top restaurants in New York City, for example, are all serving gluten-free versions of their most popular pastas. But why? A “perfect storm” of trends: an increase in food allergies, growing concerns about digestive health, worries about genetic modification of grain, and other dietary qualms “are at an all-time high and food itself is the current cultural currency”. Gluten-free seems to be the panacea.
Kim Severson, "Gluten-Free Eating Appears to Be Here to Stay", The New York Times, June 16, 2014, © The New York Times Company
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Gluten-Free Diet Also Benefits The Brains Of Celiac Patients – Study

June 16, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Celiac disease patients –  who have a severe allergic reaction to the protein gluten found in wheat, barley and rye – benefit both physically and mentally from a gluten-free diet, an Australian study reports. Participants who avoided gluten not only experienced intestinal healing, they experienced improvements in cognition. Celiac patients often report a condition called “brain fog” in addition to the severe intestinal discomfort from eating gluten. “Cognitive performance improves with adherence to the gluten-free diet in parallel to mucosal healing,” the authors concluded.
I. T. Lichtwark et al., "Cognitive impairment in coeliac disease improves on a gluten-free diet and correlates with histological and serological indices of disease severity. ", Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, June 16, 2014, © John Wiley & Sons Ltd
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Bread Made With Canola Oil Reduces Blood Sugar, Bad Cholesterol

June 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study of 141 type 2 diabetics by Canadian researchers has found that eating a low-glycemic diet, including bread made with canola oil, led to a significant reduction in blood glucose levels and in LDL or “bad”, cholesterol. The canola bread diet was compared to a similar diet with whole wheat bread. The results translate into a seven percent reduction in cardiovascular events, or the equivalent of an additional 20 mg dose of the cholesterol-reducing drugs known as statins. Interesting finding: patients on the whole wheat diet seemed to have better blood flow after 12 weeks than those on the canola bread diet. Whole wheat foods have consistently been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
David J.A. Jenkins et al., "Effect of Lowering the Glycemic Load With Canola Oil on Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial. ", Diabetes Care, June 14, 2014, © American Diabetes Association
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A Healthy Diet Alone Can Significantly Cut The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

June 14, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Improving your diet – eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and less sugar and saturated fat – reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a U.S. study. The researchers stressed that diet is associated with diabetes independent of weight loss and physical activity, though lifestyle improvements do reduce diabetes risk even further. Eating a healthy diet reduced the risk for type 2 diabetes by about 20 percent, compared to those who made no changes to their diets. Dietary quality was measured using the 110-point Alternate Healthy Eating Index 2010.
Sylvia Ley et al., "Improving Diet Quality Reduces Risk for Type 2 Diabetes", News release, study presented at the American Diabetes Association's scientific sessions, June 14, 2014, © American Diabetes Association
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Study Associates Intake Of Processed Red Meat With Heart Problems

June 12, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A study that analyzed health data from more than 37,000 adult men of all ages showed that eating processed red meat – smoked, cured, salted, and laced with preservatives or other chemicals – increases the risk of heart failure. Participants in the Swedish study completed questionnaires on food intake and other lifestyle factors from1998 to the date of heart failure diagnosis, death or the end of the study in 2010. Men who ate the most processed red meat (75 grams a day or more) had a 28 percent higher risk of heart failure and a 2-fold increased risk of heart failure death. The risk of heart failure or death among those who ate unprocessed red meat did not increase, however.
Joanna Kaluza et al., "Processed and Unprocessed Red Meat Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A Prospective Study of Men. ", Circulation: Heart Failure, June 12, 2014, © American Heart Association, Inc.
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Older Adults Can Reduce Knee And Hip Pain With Low-Impact Dance Therapy

June 12, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Older adults who can learn to walk faster not only reduce hip and knee pain, they can reduce their chances of falling or otherwise becoming incapacitated, according to a U.S. study. “Gait speed as the sixth vital sign that can help us predict adverse outcomes for older adults,” the researchers said. A good way to speed up walking pace is to spend time dancing, the study found. Study participants who danced didn’t walk dramatically faster, but their pace picked up enough to reduce pain (and reduce consumption of pain medicine). The dance therapy used in the study, known as Healthy-Steps, is a low impact aerobic activity that was adapted for participants with arthritis and pain in their lower extremities.
Jean Krampe et al., "Does dance-based therapy increase gait speed in older adults with chronic lower extremity pain: A feasibility study. ", Geriatric Nursing, June 12, 2014, © Mosby, Inc.
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Gluten-Specific Enzyme: Answer To A Prayer From Celiac Sufferers?

June 12, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A new Finnish study suggests for the first time that there may be a non-dietary therapy for celiac disease sufferers.  Half of the participants in the study were given a dose of the gluten-specific enzyme ALV003 each time a small amount of gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – was eaten. It is very difficult for celiac sufferers to completely avoid gluten because of cross-contamination in food processing. The enzyme decreased gluten-induced intestinal injury without adverse side effects. The control group experienced gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and abdominal pain. The researchers have launched a 500-patient clinical trial to further test the benefits of ALV003.
Marja-Leena Lähdeaho et al., "Glutenase ALV003 Attenuates Gluten-Induced Mucosal Injury in Patients With Celiac Disease. ", Gastroenterology, June 12, 2014, © AGA Institute
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Increased Protein Intake – But Not From Red Meat – Linked To Lower Stroke Risk

June 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Chinese study that analyzed data from previous research finds that a diet moderately high in protein – a minimum of 20 grams a day, especially from fish – tends to protect people from stroke. The researchers looked at seven studies with more than 254,000 participants who were followed for an average of 14 years. Those with the highest amount of protein in their diet were 20 percent less likely to experience a stroke than those with the lowest amount. For every additional 20 grams of protein, the risk dropped 26 percent. The researchers said the findings do not support an increased intake of red meat, however. "Stroke risk may be reduced by replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as fish," the authors said.
Zhizhong Zhang et al., "Quantitative analysis of dietary protein intake and stroke risk. ", Neurology, June 11, 2014, © American Academy of Neurology
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Modified Turmeric Compound Eases Symptoms Of Major Depressive Disorder

June 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian clinical trial that tested a proprietary curcumin-based supplement on 56 people diagnosed with major depressive disorder found that it worked better than a placebo on reducing self-reported depressive and anxiety symptoms. BCM-95 Curcumin, developed by DolCas Biotech, LLC, worked even better on people with atypical depression, which is generally more difficult to treat. Curcumin is the main curcuminoid derived from the spice turmeric. DolCas Biotech scientists developed a way to process curcumin – which is highly insoluble – to make it much more bioavailable and therefore therapeutically useful.
Adrian L. Lopresti et al., "Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: A randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study", Journal of Affective Disorders, June 11, 2014, © Elsevier Inc.
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Good News For Wonder Bread Fans: White Bread Boosts Healthful Gut Bacteria

June 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers in Spain have discovered something that may help restore the tarnished reputation of traditional white bread, long a staple of American households. Thirty-eight healthy adults were questioned about their diets. In addition, stool samples were analyzed to determine the bacteria present in their intestines  A surprising finding was that white bread boosted the levels of Lactobacillus, a group of beneficial bacteria. The analysis also showed that the citrus-derived compound pectin actually reduces levels of some helpful bacteria, contrary to findings of previous research on pectin alone. That revelation led to perhaps the most useful insight derived from the research: the impact of foods on our microbiomes should be analyzed in combinations, rather than discretely.
Adriana Cuervo et al., "Pilot Study of Diet and Microbiota: Interactive Associations of Fibers and Polyphenols with Human Intestinal Bacteria. ", Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, June 11, 2014, © American Chemical Society
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Six Of Ten Households Have At Least One Person Following A Restricted Diet – Harris Poll

June 10, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A Nielsen study finds that six of ten American households have one person who is paying close attention to their diet and restricting their intake of at least one food. The poll, conducted by Harris, found that topping the list of restricted ingredients was sugar (36 percent) and sodium/salt (36 percent), followed by carbohydrates (22 percent), dairy, meat, and gluten. A Nielsen spokesman said that a restriction of an allergen or other risky food for one person in a household “can turn into a household ban”. And that presents both a challenge and an opportunity for food retailers and manufacturers.  The poll also found that 87 percent of Americans are trying to eat a healthful diet.
"Majority of American households have someone monitoring or restricting a part of their daily diet", News release, Nielsen, June 10, 2014, © Nielsen
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Lycopene Shown To Improve Function Of Blood Vessel Lining, Reducing Cardiovascular Risk

June 9, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A British clinical study that focused on the health effects of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes and available in supplement form, discovered significant cardiovascular benefits. Thirty-six cardiovascular disease patients and thirty-six healthy volunteers were given either an off-the-shelf supplement containing 7 mg of lycopene or a placebo. Lycopene improved and normalized endothelial (blood vessel lining) function in the patients, but not in healthy volunteers. Lycopene improved the widening of the blood vessels by 53 percent compared to baseline. However, the supplement had no effect on blood pressure, arterial stiffness or levels of lipids.
Parag R. Gajendragadkar et al., "Effects of Oral Lycopene Supplementation on Vascular Function in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease and Healthy Volunteers: A Randomised Controlled Trial. ", PLoS ONE, June 09, 2014, © Gajendragadkar et al.
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Elderly Men Boost Their Health By Playing Soccer Two Hours A Week

June 6, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
They may not be able to bend it like former British footballer David Beckham, but men in their sixties and seventies reap remarkable fitness rewards by playing soccer, according to Danish research. Soccer is not only a fun social activity, it is also an effective form of high-intensity interval training. Inactive, untrained men 63 to 75 years old improved maximum oxygen uptake by 15 percent and performance during interval exercise by as much as 50 percent by playing soccer for just one hour twice a week for four months. In addition, muscle function improved 30 percent and bone mineralization in the femoral neck increased by two percent. “Intense training such as soccer can change the lives of elderly men," the researchers noted.
T. R. Andersen et al., "A preliminary study: Effects of football training on glucose control, body composition, and performance in men with type 2 diabetes. ", Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, June 06, 2014, © John Wiley & Sons
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Single Protein Is Responsible For Health Benefits Of Short, Intensive Exercise

June 5, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Recent research has demonstrated the health benefits of brief but rigorous exercise, but until a new U.S. study, no one knew why. Intensive physical activity – as little as seven minutes several times a week – improves overall fitness, boosts the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and accelerates weight loss. In a mouse study, researchers showed that high-intensity exercise enlists the sympathetic nervous system's "fight or flight" response and activates a protein known as CRTC2. The protein integrates signals from the adrenaline and calcium pathways to direct muscle adaptation and growth by 15 percent in the contracting muscle. The amount of fuel available to the muscles also increased substantially: triglycerides rose 48 percent and glycogen rose 121 percent.
N. E. Bruno et al., "Creb coactivators direct anabolic responses and enhance performance of skeletal muscle. ", The EMBO Journal, June 05, 2014, © Bruno et al.
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Physical Fitness Links To Mental Fitness In New Study

June 3, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The ancient Roman aphorism mens sana in corpore sano – a sound mind in a sound body –  continues to be proven by scientists to this day. Most recently, researchers at the University of Illinois used electroencephalography (EEG) technology to measure brain wave activity during certain mental exercises. They found that children who were more physically fit (measured by oxygen uptake during exercise) had higher amplitude waves than less-fit peers when reading normal or nonsensical sentences, indicating better reading performance and language comprehension. Brain waves also indicated that kids who were more fit processed the same information more quickly than their peers.
Mark R. Scudder et al., "The association between aerobic fitness and language processing in children: Implications for academic achievement. ", Brain and Cognition, June 03, 2014, © Elsevier B.V.
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Calling Dietary Supplements Worthless Is “Irresponsible”, Scientists Argue

June 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists at Oregon State University say the case against vitamin and mineral supplements is far from “closed” as some researchers declared recently. Last December scientists published three separate studies that said most vitamin and mineral diet supplements have “no clear benefit and may even be harmful” to well-nourished adults. The OSU researchers, however, said many types of dietary supplements fill nutritional gaps, improve general health, may help prevent chronic disease, are not harmful and are very cheap. They agreed that a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables offers the greatest health benefit, but the diet of many Americans is heavy on calories and light on nutrients. The OSU researchers and colleagues called it “irresponsible to ignore decades of nutrition research” on the benefits of dietary supplements.
Balz Frei et al., "Enough Is Enough. ", Annals of Internal Medicine, June 02, 2014, © American College of Physicians
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Men Benefit More From Interval Training On Stationary Bikes

June 2, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Interval training – short bouts of intense exercise in tandem with moderate exercise – benefits men more than women, according to a new U.S. study. Though men and women both experience increases in aerobic capacity through interval training, men create more new proteins than women do. The study involved young, healthy, active men and women who completed sprint interval training on a stationary bike three times a week, for three weeks. Aerobic capacity was measured before and after the study, and the number of new proteins created was measured, especially those created in muscle. The researchers said the study does not extend to other types of exercise, such as running, jogging and cycling, where women may benefit equally or more.
R. L. Scalzo et al., "Greater muscle protein synthesis and mitochondrial biogenesis in males compared with females during sprint interval training. ", The FASEB Journal, June 02, 2014, © FASEB
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Countries Worldwide Have Failed To Come To Grips With The Obesity Epidemic

May 31, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Global obesity is on the rise, and countries are failing to effectively intervene in the problem, according to a U.S. analysis of trend data from 188 countries. In fact, not one country has reported success in combating obesity in the past 33 years. More than 2 billion people – or about 30 percent of the world’s population – are either obese or overweight. Study authors said the rise in global obesity rates over the last three decades is a major public health epidemic in both the developed and the developing world. The highest proportion of obese people (13 percent) live in the United States, while China and India together represent 15 percent of the obese population.
Ng M et al., "Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013", The Lancet, May 31, 2014, © Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation/The Lancet
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Mix Up The Exercise Regimen For Optimum Health Benefits

May 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study finds that more exercise is not really as good for you as more types of exercise. Performing a single type of workout – just running, just cycling, etc. – is less effective for fitness and weight loss than following a regimen of resistance exercises, interval sprints, pilates or yoga stretching, and endurance exercise. The study involved 36 females and 21 males aged 35 to 57 who were obese or overweight -- basically out of shape. For 16 weeks three randomly assigned groups ate the same amount of whey protein daily, but exercised differently: some were sedentary, some did resistance training, and some did multidimensional activities. The researchers found that multidimensional exercisers showed the greatest health improvements, including weight loss, abdominal fat loss and lower blood pressure.
P. J. Arciero et al., "Timed-daily Ingestion of Whey Protein and Exercise Training Reduces Visceral Adipose Tissue Mass and Improves Insulin Resistance: The PRISE Study. ", Journal of Applied Physiology, May 30, 2014, © Journal of Applied Physiology
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Adding High-Fiber Prunes To Diet Helps With Weight Loss

May 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
Adding prunes to a weight loss diet program can help people shed pounds, a British clinical study has found. Scientists tested the impact of prunes for 12 weeks on 100 overweight and obese participants who generally ate a diet low in fiber. Participants either ate prunes every day (140 g for women and 171 g for men), and a control group only given advice on healthy snacking. Those who ate prunes as part of a healthy lifestyle diet lost 2 kg (4.4 lb) and shed 2.5 cm (0.98 in) off their waists, and the prunes were well-tolerated. The people in the control group lost only 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) and 1.7 cm (0.67 in) from their waists.
Joanne Harrold et al., "Dried Fruit (Prune) Consumption Does Not Undermine Active Weight Management Or Produce Adverse Gastrointestinal Effects", Study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Sofia, Bulgaria (HTPO.017), May 30, 2014, © Harrold et al.
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Study Finds That Eating White Bread Increases Risk Of Weight Gain, Obesity

May 30, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
The controversy over the healthfulness of white bread continues. A new as-yet-unpublished Spanish study that tracked the dietary habits of 9,000 college graduates over five years find that those who ate only white bread, especially two or more portions a day, were 40 percent more likely to become overweight or obese than those who ate less. People who ate both white and whole grain breads, however, were not at risk for weight gain. The researchers found no significant connection between whole grain bread consumption and weight gain, probably “because of the types of carbohydrates, fiber content and other ingredients in whole grain bread”.
Robert Preidt, "Could White Bread Be Making You Fat?", Philly.com/HealthDay News, May 30, 2014, © Interstate General Media, LLC
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