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Company Says Its Clinical Trial Shows Its Product Reduces Fatigue

November 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A clinical study conducted by the maker of a nutraceutical ingredient shows that it is “effective against both physical and mental fatigue.” According to AstaReal (Burlington, NJ), the double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its product astaxanthin, published in a Japanese scientific journal, involved activities designed to mimic everyday mental fatigue and physical stress. Participants performed various timed calculations that evaluate concentration and mental clarity. They also pedaled a bicycle ergometer. Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) analysis showed that AstaReal astaxanthin significantly reduced symptoms of mental and physical fatigue compared to the placebo, the company claims.
"Clinical Study Shows AstaReal® Astaxanthin Effective in Reducing both Physical and Mental Fatigue", News release, AstaReal, November 04, 2016, © AstaReal Holdings Co., Ltd.
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People Feel Better About HIIT If They Can Also Listen To Music

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Canadian study finds that moderate exercisers exposed for the first time to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are more likely to enjoy it if they can listen to music during the workout. HIIT is an exercise strategy that allows people to work out in brief alternating periods of intense anaerobic exercise and less-intense recovery periods. According to the researchers, as little as 10 minutes of intense HIIT three times a week can lead to meaningful health benefits. It is usually recommended that people get 150 minutes a week of traditional aerobic exercise.
Matthew J. Stork et al., "Listening to music during sprint interval exercise: The impact on exercise attitudes and intentions. ", Journal of Sports Sciences, October 26, 2016, © Informa Group plc
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Diet Rich In Fruit And Caffeine Reduces Risk Of Blindness-Causing Condition

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Portuguese researchers have demonstrated that following the Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on antioxidant-rich fruit cuts the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a debilitating eye condition that leads to blindness. The researchers also reported that caffeine seems to be especially protective against AMD. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and healthy fats and fish. Studies have shown the diet improves heart health and reduces cancer risk. The researchers followed 883 people age 55 or older, 449 of whom had AMD in its early stages before vision loss. They found that those who stuck closely to the Mediterranean diet – especially consuming more fruit and caffeine – had a 35 percent lower risk of AMD.
Rufino Silva et al., "Fruit-rich Mediterranean diet with antioxidants may cut age-related macular degeneration risk by more than a third", News release, study presented at annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, October 26, 2016, © Silva et al.
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Dairy Proteins Decrease Risk Factors For Heart Disease

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
British researchers have determined in a clinical trial that whey protein supplements may have significant health benefits for regular people, not just bodybuilders. Participants in the study with mild hypertension drank two protein shakes a day for eight weeks. They decreased their risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as eight percent. They had lower blood pressure and cholesterol and healthier blood vessels. The study is good news for people who not only take whey protein supplements, but who eat or drink dairy foods rich in protein.
Ảgnes A. Fekete et al., "Whey Protein Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Endothelial Function and Lipid Biomarkers in Adults with Prehypertension and Mild Hypertension: Results from the Chronic Whey2Go Randomized Controlled Trial", The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 26, 2016, © Fekete et al.
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Type 2 Diabetics Lose Weight After Switching From Diet Soda To Water

October 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A study involving obese women with type 2 diabetes found that those who substituted water for diet beverages after lunch for six months lost more weight than those who stuck to diet drinks. The 81 overweight and obese women were divided into two groups, one of which continued to drink diet beverages. The women who substituted water for diet soda lost 6.40 kg (compared to 5.25 kg) and experienced a greater decrease in BMI (2.49 kg/m2 compared to 2.06 kgm2). Other benefits from drinking water: greater improvements in fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
Ameneh Madjd et al., "Beneficial effects of replacing diet beverages with water on type 2 diabetic obese women following a hypo-energetic diet: A randomized, 24-week clinical trial. ", Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, October 26, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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New Company Offers Personalized Nutrition Plans

October 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
An entrepreneur who was warned by a doctor that he was in dangerously poor health is launching a company that will help customers get back on track with a personalized nutrition plan. The $299 plan includes a blood test – you have to draw your own blood at home and mail it in – then analysis of 60 biomarkers, including amino acids, vitamin levels, blood sugar, and some genetic variants. The genetic information suggests how you may respond to diet. A metabolic rate "challenge" involves drinking a special milkshake and sending in more blood to determine response to fats, carbs and sugars. Lastly, the company provides a 30-minute consultation with a registered dietitian who offers nutrition advice (but not disease diagnosis).
Christina Farr, "This Startup Sells You Meal Plans Based On Your Nutrition Type", Fast Company, October 25, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Even Moderate Physical Fitness Can Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Normal physical fitness is usually characterized by a smaller waist, no diabetes or hypertension, and no excess weight or obesity – the chief risk factors for heart disease. But Canadian researchers have determined that lower physical fitness – even as much as 20 percent below the healthy population average – can also serve to prevent those five risk factors. The study involved 205 men and 44 women with heart disease who took a stationary bicycle stress test. The researchers said the easiest way to achieve normal physical fitness is to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization: 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Maxime Caru et al., "Preventive fraction of physical fitness on risk factors in cardiac patients", Study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress on October 21, 2016, October 24, 2016, © Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.
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Significant Reduction In Heart Disease Risk When Switching To Polyunsaturated Fats

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Substituting commonly used foods containing saturated fats with foods containing polyunsaturated fats significantly reduces cholesterol levels and heart disease risk after only two months, according to a Norwegian study. The clinical trial involved 115 people who had moderately high cholesterol levels who were randomly assigned to either a polyunsaturated fat diet group or a high-saturated fat group. For the polyunsaturated diet group, common foods such as spread for bread, cooking fats, cheese, bread and cereals contained only polyunsaturated fats. After eight weeks, total cholesterol dropped in this group by nine percent, and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol dropped 11 percent. These changes correspond to a 27 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Stine M. Ulven et al., "Exchanging a few commercial, regularly consumed food items with improved fat quality reduces total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol: A double-blind, randomized controlled trial. ", British Journal of Nutrition, October 24, 2016, © Ulven et al.
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Lots Of Steps Is Healthy, But Fewer – More Rapid – Steps Work Too

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walking 10,000 steps a day is an ideal health goal, but significant health benefits can come from fewer steps as long as 3,000 of them are at a brisk pace.  The U.S. researchers analyzed data from 3,388 participants age 20 and older from a national health survey. The found that a good target for healthy adults is 150 minutes a week at a level of 100 or more steps a minute, with as little sedentary time as possible during the day. A tempo of 100 steps a minute or greater is considered the threshold for moderate-intensity activity in adults.
Catrine Tudor-Locke et al., "Step-based Physical Activity Metrics and Cardiometabolic Risk. ", Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, October 24, 2016, © American College of Sports Medicine
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Supplement Makers Enter New Era Of Transparency, Nutritionally-Rich Ingredients

October 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Consumers increasingly demand not only greater effectiveness from dietary supplements but also greater transparency. Supplement makers, in turn, are benefiting from advances in nutrition science and recent botanical discoveries that make it easier to respond to those demands. Innovations affecting the industry include, for example, whole-food supplements and green powders that support health and wellness, enhance energy or promise vitality. In terms of bioavailability of nutrients, new liposome (fat) “bubbles” make it easy to deliver high levels of nutrients while bypassing destructive gastric juices and liver enzymes. Lastly, forward-thinking supplement makers are paying greater attention to transparency: origin of ingredients, nutrients within them, non-nutritive fillers, and even the brand’s business practices.
Todd Runestad, "Supplement Trendspotting", New Hope Network, October 24, 2016, © Penton
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Nutritious Profile Spurs Growth Of Mushrooms As Healthful Drink Ingredient

October 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Beverages made with mushrooms are becoming a booming market, according to industry watchers. Products include teas, powdered lemonade mixes, broth, and protein shakes. Their growing popularity is mainly due to people searching for alternatives to animal-based nutrition. Mushrooms are fat-free, low in calories, and rich in protein, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. The king of the mushroom market right now is a variety known as reishi (left). Sales of reishi-based foods are up 91 percent for the 52 weeks ending September 4. But sales growth is also impressive for chaga (up 46 percent), cordycep (up 19 percent) and shiitake (up 26 percent).
Stephen Daniells, "Reishi Reigns! Mushroom Products Continue Impressive Growth in Food and Beverage Space", FOODnavigator-USA.com, October 23, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Gluten-Free Market Is Booming, For No Good Reason

October 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. sales of gluten-free foods hit $1.57 billion, in 2015, an increase of 11 percent from 2014. That’s a slower increase than the 81 percent in 2013, but still beats overall grocery sales growth of three percent. The explosion of gluten-free products is a “blessing” for celiac disease sufferers. The odd fact, however, is that only one percent of the U.S. population actually suffers from gluten intolerance. Surveys have found that the rest buy gluten-free foods because they believe they are “generally healthier” or will help them lose weight. About 25 percent of consumers think "gluten-free is good for everyone." Health professionals, however, say this is a misconception, and that those without a diagnosis of gluten intolerance don't need to avoid gluten.
Deena Shanker, "You Can Eat Gluten Again, America", Bloomberg, October 14, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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School Systems Abandoning Bake Sales As Fundraising Vehicles

October 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The health and wellness trend is affecting a cherished tradition of the U.S. education system: school fundraisers. More and more school systems are rejecting junk food sales – cakes, cookies, brownies, etc. – and turning to other activities to raise needed cash. Among these are athletic events, including jog-athons and fun runs, to scratch up money needed to support programs ignored by the school system budget. A main reason for the trend is growing concerns about childhood obesity. But it is being driven by the availability of sophisticated social media-based marketing programs that bring in larger amounts of cash and don’t really need the help of parent volunteers.
"Fewer Bake Sales, More Fun Runs", Orange County Register (California), October 05, 2016, © The Orange County Register
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Antimicrobial Packaging Becoming Major Weapon In Clean-Label Trend

October 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The clean-label movement in the food industry – which is partly a quest to get rid of unsavory chemical preservatives – is driving the growth of the in-pack antimicrobial market, as well as other “active packaging” technologies, according to a U.S. market research firm. The company studied the technologies being used today, and those in development, to meet clean-label shelf-life requirements and fend off specific pathogens. Lux Research looked at 35 systems, including Addmaster’s Biomaster silver ion technology. Linpac Packaging uses the technology in trays for meat, poultry and other protein to protect against various pathogens, but it is especially effective against campylobacter. Other technologies being considered include Wasauro allyl isothiocyanate from Mitsubishi-Kagaku and ethanol vapor generators.
Paul Gander, "Antimicrobial growth led by clean-label", Food Manufacture, October 05, 2016, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestle’s New Beverage Helps IBS Sufferers Follow Low-FODMAP Diet

October 4, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Health Science has introduced a nutritional beverage targeting people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other gastrointestinal disorders. ProNourish contains no fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides or polyols (FODMAPs), which are specific types of short-chain carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in severe abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea and excess gas in some people. ProNourish drinks contain six grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein, 3 grams of low-FODMAP fiber, 25 vitamins and minerals, and 170 calories. The company says its product is also suitable for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, and lactose intolerance; but not galactosemia.
"Nestlé Health Science Unveils Pronourish™ Low Fodmap Nutritional Drink (USA)", News release, Nestlé, October 04, 2016, © Nestlé Health Science
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Newly-Developed Gastric Gas Sensor May Reliably Diagnose Gut Disorders

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Australian researchers have determined in a pig study that a swallowable gas sensor capsule might be a useful tool in accurately diagnosing gastrointestinal problems. Using the sensor capsule, the researchers were able to detect the effect of cinnamon and heat-stress on the various gases produced in the gut during digestion. They found, for example, that consuming cinnamon cools the body a couple of degrees and improves overall health. Under normal feeding conditions at room temperature, CO2 gas increases in the stomach, but decreases in the presence of cinnamon. The researchers concluded the capsule could be “a highly reliable device for monitoring/diagnostics of gastrointestinal disorders.”
Jian Zhen Ou et al., "Potential of in vivo real-time gastric gas profiling: a pilot evaluation of heat-stress and modulating dietary cinnamon effect in an animal model. ", Scientific Reports, October 02, 2016, © Macmillan Publishers Limited
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Ancient Grains Significantly Reduce Risk Factors For Heart Disease

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Ancient grains have a major advantage over modern grain varieties: because they are not heavily refined, they retain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and contain more vitamins B and E, magnesium, iron and potassium. Confirming these benefits is an Italian study that proves breads made with ancient grains significantly reduce the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The randomized crossover trial involved 45 healthy adults (average age 50) who ate breads made from conventional flour and ancient grains in three separate 8-week sessions. Researchers found that ancient grains breads significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as levels of blood glucose.
Alice Sereni et al., "Cardiovascular benefits from ancient grain bread consumption: findings from a double-blinded randomized crossover intervention trial. International ", Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, October 02, 2016, © Sereni et al.
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Genetic Makeup Can’t Be Blamed For Excess Weight Retention

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The carriers of a certain gene associated with an increased risk of obesity do not have a harder time losing their excess weight through diet and exercise, according to a new British study. Carriers of the FTO gene tend to be on average of seven pounds heavier than their peers, and are 70 percent more likely to be obese. However, the researchers found in a review of eight studies involving more than 9,500 people that the gene did not prevent carriers from losing weight if they improved their diet and were more physically active. Said one of the researchers: "You can no longer blame your genes” for retention of excess pounds.
Katherine M Livingstone et al., "FTO genotype and weight loss: systematic review and meta-analysis of 9563 individual participant data from eight randomized controlled trials. ", BMJ, October 02, 2016, © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd
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New Weight Loss Training Technique Shows Significantly Better Results

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A study by U.S. researchers as found that treating obesity through improved diet and greater exercise could be more effective if supplemented with an approach called
Acceptance-Based Behavioral Treatment (ABT). The approach trains people to create weight loss goals that link to personal values, like living a long and healthy life; helps dieters accept that losing weight involves discomfort and reduced pleasure (e.g., taking a walk instead of watching TV); and, lastly, teaches people about the “cues” in life that affect eating and exercising. Participants who received ABT along with standard behavioral training (SBT) lost 13.3 percent of their weight at one year, compared to 9.8 percent weight loss among those who received SBT only.
Evan M. Forman et al., "Acceptance-based versus standard behavioral treatment for obesity: Results from the mind your health randomized controlled trial. ", Obesity, October 02, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Study By McNeil Nutrionals Finds Sucralose Not Carcinogenic

October 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A study funded by the creator of sucralose, McNeil Nutrionals, has found that the artificial sweetener does not cause cancer. The British researchers said earlier studies found a link between sucralose and cancer only after administering extremely high amounts unlikely to be reflective of everyday use. The acceptable daily intake (ADI) for sucralose established by the World Health Organization is a maximum of 15 mg per kilogram of body weight a day (or about 1.5 grams a day for someone weighing 104 kg). In the reviewed studies, exposure levels several orders of magnitude – hundreds to thousands of times – greater than the ADI did not cause cancer.
Colin Berry et al., "Sucralose Non-Carcinogenicity: A Review of the Scientific and Regulatory Rationale. ", Nutrition and Cancer, October 02, 2016, © Informa Group plc
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For A Healthier Diet, Eliminate Processed – Not Whole – Grains

September 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
People who try to eliminate all grains from their diet – many say it makes them feel better – are missing the point. Grains are in fact an excellent source of nutrients, but only when they are not highly processed. Whole grains retain B vitamins and fiber, minerals like selenium and copper, as well as carbohydrates and varying amounts of protein. Processed grains contain significantly lower amounts of these nutrients. Studies have shown that eating whole grains is associated with lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death from all causes. But diets high in refined grains seem to increase the risk of these health problems.
Jenna Flannigan, "Is a Grain-Free Diet Healthy?", Healthline, September 30, 2016, © Healthline Media
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Nitrate Supplements Benefit Muscles When Exercising In Low Oxygen

September 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Belgian study involving 27 “moderately trained” athletes who were given nitrate supplements prior to interval training in hypoxic conditions found significant muscle benefits after only five weeks. The sprint interval sessions consisted of short, intense cycling sessions three times a week, in both normal oxygen and reduced oxygen (hypoxia) conditions. After five weeks of training, muscle fiber composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions. This indicated the ability to perform well at higher elevations where oxygen is reduced. The researchers cautioned that there is very little information about the effects of extended use of nitrate supplements. Leafy green vegetables, however, are naturally rich in nitrates.
Stefan De Smet et al., ". Nitrate Intake Promotes Shift in Muscle Fiber Type Composition during Sprint Interval Training in Hypoxia", Frontiers in Physiology, September 22, 2016, © De Smet et al.
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Simple Test Provides Fast Way To Detect Salmonella Contamination

September 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have come up with a quick, more accurate way to detect dangerous Salmonella bacteria in food samples. Using artificially contaminated food, the researchers used Salmonella-specific antibodies coupled with a signal amplification technique (tyramide signal amplification) after only 15 hours, instead of the two to three days it takes using a Petri dish culture. The test provides a simple monitoring system for foodborne pathogens, especially in beef and poultry. Contamination of food with pathogens causes 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
Gene P. D. Herzig et al., "Magnetic Bead-Based Immunoassay Coupled with Tyramide Signal Amplification for Detection of Salmonellain Foods", Journal of Food Safety, September 22, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Just A Teaspoon Of Laughter Makes The Exercise Go Down

September 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Laughter is said to be the best medicine. But it also, a study finds, may provide the best exercise. U.S. researchers tested a mixture of laughter and exercise in a way that got older adults to not only start exercising but also stick to it. For six weeks, assisted-living participants attended two 45-minute physical activity sessions a week that included eight to 10 laughter exercises lasting 30 to 60 seconds each. The exercises used eye contact and playful behaviors with other participants. Laughter started as simulated, but usually ended up as genuine. The researchers found significant improvements among participants in mental health, aerobic endurance and perceived benefit of exercise. More than 96 percent said they liked the laughter-based exercise sessions.
Celeste M. Greene et al., "Evaluation of a Laughter based Exercise Program on Health and Self-efficacy for Exercise", The Gerontologist, September 22, 2016, © Greene et al.
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FDA Releases Funds To States To Help Farmers Comply With Food Safety Rules

September 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A year ago, the FDA issued final rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. The rules established enforceable safety standards for produce farms and made importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards. It took a while but the agency is now making available to states financial aid to help them assist farmers in complying with the FSMA rules. FDA announced $21.8 million will be allotted to 42 states to help them plan, establish and enhance produce safety programs.
"States Get $21.8 Million from FDA to Help Farms Comply with Produce Rule", Food Safety News, September 13, 2016, © Food Safety News/Marler Clark
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Study Proves That Omega-3 Intake Can Cut Risk Of Diabetic Blindness By Nearly Half

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Older people with type 2 diabetes can reduce the risk of an eyesight-threatening condition known as diabetic retinopathy by eating a healthy diet and increasing their intake of omega-3 fatty acids, according to a study by Spanish scientists. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish like salmon and in nuts. The study gathered dietary data between 2003 and 2009 from 3,614 type 2 diabetics 55 to 80 years old. They were told to eat at least 500 mg of omega-3s a day, a target that can be achieved by consuming two meals of fatty fish a week. After six years of follow-up, it was found that the 2,611 participants who stuck to the omega-3 recommendation had cut their risk of diabetic retinopathy by 48 percent.
Emilio Ros et al. , "Dietary Marine ω-3 Fatty Acids and Incident Sight-Threatening Retinopathy in Middle-Aged and Older Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes: Prospective Investigation From the PREDIMED Trial. ", JAMA Ophthalmol., September 11, 2016, © American Medical Association
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Some Cooking Methods Significantly Increase Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Obese people showing signs of insulin resistance that portends diabetes improved their condition simply by avoiding the byproducts of dry heat-cooked or heat-processed foods, a U.S. study has found. High levels of “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs) not only cause pre-diabetes by increasing insulin resistance, they lead to brain changes similar to Alzheimer’s disease. For the study, one obese group was allowed to eat foods cooked by high-AGE grilling, frying or baking. The second group was told to avoid those methods in favor of poaching, stewing, or steaming. At the end of the study, the low-AGE group showed significantly improved insulin resistance, slightly decreased body weight, and much lower AGE levels in the body.
Helen Vlassara et al., "Oral AGE restriction ameliorates insulin resistance in obese individuals with the metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.", Diabetologia, September 11, 2016, © Springer International Publishing
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Citrus Fruit Antioxidants Fend Off Obesity-Related Conditions

September 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Brazilian scientists predicted at a scientific meeting that someday the antioxidants known as citrus flavanones will be used to prevent or delay chronic obesity-related diseases. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes are particularly rich in these flavanones. Working with mice, the research team fed 50 animals with or without citrus flavanones (hesperidin, eriocitrin and eriodictyol) while feeding them a standard or high-fat diet. They found that a high-fat diet without flavanones significantly increased biomarkers of cell damage. However, mice fed citrus flavanones were healthier with lower oxidative stress, less liver damage, lower blood lipids and lower blood glucose.
Thais B. Cesar, "Citrus fruits could help prevent obesity related heart disease, liver disease, diabetes", News release, study presented at an American Chemical Society meeting, September 11, 2016, © American Chemical Society
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Brazil

“Dairy-Free” Tops List of Better-For-You Food Claims

September 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A national health food survey by Earth Balance finds that the top better-for-you food claim is dairy-free. Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents cited dairy-free as their favorite, followed by (at 28 percent) superfoods (e.g., chia, acai and quinoa), alternative snacks (e.g., gluten-free crackers, nut butters and Greek yogurt) and alternative oils (e.g., avocado, coconut and sunflower). Plant-based proteins, such as hemp hearts, lentils and spirulina, came in at 18 percent. Important considerations when shopping were buying local (37 percent), organic (33 percent) and non-GMO (30 percent). Foods most often consumed were green tea (33 percent), dairy alternatives (31 percent), kale (21 percent) and quinoa (16 percent). “Plant-based eating” was also shown to be a major trend.
"New Study Reveals More Americans Embracing Plant-Based, Organic and Non-GMO Foods", News release, Earth Balance, September 07, 2016, © Earth Balance
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Food & Nutrition
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Genetically Modified Foods
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Enzymes Found In Saliva May Someday Treat Gluten Intolerance

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have determined that a novel class of gluten-degrading enzymes found in saliva may have the potential to treat celiac disease, a severe allergic reaction to the protein found in wheat-based products. The enzymes were isolated from Rothia bacteria, which are natural colonizers of the oral cavity. The enzymes (subtilisins) belong to the S8 family of peptidases. Food-grade Bacillus species also produce such subtilisins, and these were also able to break down gluten compounds that cause the immune response. The main course of treatment for people with celiac disease is adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.
Guoxian Wei et al., "Identification of Food-grade Subtilisins as Gluten-degrading Enzymes to Treat Celiac Disease. ", American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, September 06, 2016, © American Physiological Society
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Gluten-Free Dieting Grows, But Incidence Of Celiac Disease Is Steady

September 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Six years of health survey data collected from more than 22,000 people shows that celiac disease remains a problem, but not a growing one, contrary to some reports. The proportion of people diagnosed with the disease, characterized by an allergic reaction to the gluten protein found in wheat-based products, has stayed the same. But U.S. researchers noted that the number of non-celiac people following a gluten-free diet has grown. The numbers gleaned from the sample were extrapolated to the general population: about 1.76 million Americans have celiac disease; 2.7 million non-celiacs follow a gluten-free diet. This may be due to public perception that gluten-free may be healthier; that gluten-free products are increasingly available; or that some people self-diagnose a gluten sensitivity.
Sushil K. Ahlawat et al. , "Time Trends in the Prevalence of Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Diet in the US Population: Results From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2009-2014.", JAMA Intern Med., September 06, 2016, © American Medical Association
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Saturated Ice Cream Market Still Has Room For Quality, Wholesomeness, Smaller Portions

September 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Market researcher Mintel has found that 92 percent of Americans have bought frozen treats of various kinds in the last six months, but 22 percent indicated they are buying less than before. Portion control is becoming a significant purchase consideration – 32 percent now buy single-serve products – and consumers are more concerned about quality. That means they are willing to pay more for ice cream that tastes better. A Mintel analyst says the saturated ice cream market leaves little room for expansion of the customer base. But there is an opportunity to promote products that communicate quality, health and wholeness, as well as smaller, snack-like portions.
"Less Is More: Americans are Eating Less Ice Cream but are Willing to Pay a Premium", News release, Mintel, September 01, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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People Worldwide Want Healthier Foods, And Are Willing To Pay More For Them

August 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Nielsen global consumer research finds that seven in ten consumers worldwide consciously choose foods that will help them avoid obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. But consumers can’t achieve the goal of healthier eating without the help of food manufacturers, retailers and the medical community, Nielsen says. Consumers need foods formulated with good-for-you ingredients. Retailers need to stock shelves with right-priced healthful options. And the medical community needs to provide guidance on diets that ensure a healthy way of life. The survey also found that 68 percent of global respondents are willing to pay more for foods and drinks that don’t contain undesirable ingredients.
"Ingredient Inspectors: Consumers Embrace Dietary Diligence", News release, Nielsen, August 30, 2016, © The Nielsen Company
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Paleo Diet May Help Protect People From Heart Disease

August 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A small U.S. study presented at a recent heart disease conference found that people who stuck to the Paleo diet of minimally processed foods for eight weeks showed signs of improvement in heart health. The eight participants in the study – there was no control group – experienced a 35 percent increase in levels of interlukin-10 (IL-10), a signaling molecule secreted by immune cells. Low levels of IL-10 predict increased heart attack risk in people who also have high levels of inflammation. High IL-10 levels may counteract inflammation, providing a protective effect for blood vessels. The increase in IL-10 could suggest a lower risk for cardiovascular disease after following the Paleo diet.
Charlotte Libov , "Could the Paleo Diet Benefit Heart Health? ", Newsmax Health, August 29, 2016, © Newsmax Health
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Studies Show Some Oral Care Practices Just Aren’t Worth The Time Or Expense

August 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A review of the evidence regarding current dental health practices finds only a few are effective. Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, using a rotating powered toothbrush, prevents gingivitis and cavities. Using fluoride varnish or sealants can be powerful tools to prevent cavities in children. But the evidence just doesn’t support a lot of other common practices. Flossing, though it does seem to prevent gingivitis and is cheap and easy to do, does not prevent cavities. Really questionable practices include expensive (and often painful) scaling and polishing, yearly dental X-rays, semiannual teeth cleanings, filling cavities with costly bonded amalgams, and interdental (WaterPik) brushing in addition to tooth brushing.
Aaron E. Carroll, "Surprisingly Little Evidence for the Accepted Wisdom About Teeth", The New York Times , August 29, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Mushroom-Based Drinks Are A Growing Market

August 28, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Mushroom-based functional beverages have been used medicinally as therapies since ancient times. Companies that make flavored mushroom coffees and teas – based on the species lion’s main, chaga, reishi and cordyceps – today are seeing significant sales growth thanks to the perceived health benefits, especially among Millennials. Lion’s mane, for example, is said to improve memory, boost creativity and foster concentration. Unfortunately, these and other purported benefits of mushrooms, have not been proven to the satisfaction of European or U.S. regulatory bodies. So companies can’t make specific health claims in advertising or packaging.
Maria Mascaraque, "Mushroom Drinks Increasingly Trendy", Blog entry, Euromonitor International, August 28, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Lawsuit: Use Of Glyphosate Disqualifies General Mills' Use Of The Term “100% Natural”

August 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
General Mills is misleading consumers by claiming that its Nature Valery granola bars are “made with 100% natural whole grain oats,” three nonprofit organizations allege in a lawsuit. In fact, the suit charges, the company’s granola bars contain traces of the herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. The suit was filed in Washington, D.C., under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act. The plaintiffs are asking a jury to find that General Mills’ “natural” claim is unlawfully deceptive and misleading and should be removed from the market. Participants in the suit are Moms Across America, Beyond Pesticides, and Organic Consumers Association with the Richman Law Group.
"Nonprofits Sue General Mills for False and Misleading Use of ‘Natural’", News release, Beyond Pesticides, August 25, 2016, © Beyond Pesticides
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India’s Food Safety Regulator Announces Initiatives To Promote Safe Food

August 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has unveiled a set of initiatives to promote safe food in a variety of venues. The ten initiatives, launched on the anniversary of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006, will target homes, schools, offices, trains and railway stations, restaurants and religious facilities. FSSAI, for example, will provide a comprehensive guide to households and create a dedicated website for safe and nutritious food at home. It will  prepare a list of high fat, sugary and salty junk foods to ensure food safety and nutrition in schools. And it will require businesses that provide mid-day meals to be licensed by the FSSAI.
"FSSAI Announces Initiatives to Promote Safe Food Culture", The Economic Times, August 23, 2016, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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GMO Labeling Continues Though Federal Law Gives Companies Three Years To Comply

August 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Several big food companies are moving forward with their own GMO ingredient labeling initiatives as they await USDA rules implementing the new federal law. Some companies – Campbell, Mars, et al. – acted earlier this year to voluntarily comply with Vermont’s short-lived law (in effect on July 1 but superseded by the July 29 federal law). Campbell’s relabeled products were distributed nationwide, not just to Vermont. Though compliance with the federal law is not required for three years, Dannon has also committed to GMO labeling and to reformulating its product line by 2019 to include “fewer and more natural ingredients that are not synthetic and non-GMO.”
Julie Gallagher, "Big Food Companies Volunteer GMO Info", Supermarket News, August 22, 2016, © Penton
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U.K. Unveils Details Of Plan To Deal With Childhood Obesity

August 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The British government has crafted a plan to fight childhood obesity that asks food and beverage manufacturers to voluntarily trim sugar levels by 20 percent within five years, and five percent in the first year. “Other levers” will be applied if the voluntary targets are not met. The plan includes a two-level sugar tax that treats sugar content of five grams per 100 milliliters differently from sugar content of eight grams per 100 milliliters. The plan does not include a ban on advertising sugary drinks. Lastly, the plan stresses exercise in school, calling for primary school children to get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day.
Becky Waller-Davies, "Sugar Tax Included In Strategy To Tackle Childhood Obesity", Retail Week, August 18, 2016, © EMAP PUBLISHING LIMITED
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Big Food Needs To Adjust To Needs Of Millennials To Stay Competitive

August 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A new report by business management consultant A.T. Kearney and The Hartman Group, a food and beverage industry researcher, finds that the largest companies are experiencing slow growth because of the success of small and medium-sized purveyors of products that meet younger consumers' needs. Big Food is growing at a rate of 1.8 percent a year compared with 11 to 15 percent growth for smaller companies. The key to success? Products are delivered when and where Millennials shop and with transparency and authenticity in sourcing, production, and marketing. To compete, big food companies need to provide real food that maintains heart health, digestive health, and higher energy levels.
"Major Food Industry Players Struggle as Smaller Companies Gain a Competitive Edge", News release, A.T. Kearney, August 17, 2016, © A.T. Kearney Holdings Limited
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Toothpastes Come With Toxic Chemicals, Report Says

August 16, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Toothpastes and mouthwashes sold in the US contain potentially toxic chemical ingredients that pose serious health risks to consumers, according to the Cornucopia Institute. Data from the organization's report, "Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste?," revealed so-called "natural" toothpaste are not necessarily free of these toxic chemicals. Some leading "natural" brands are manufactured by mass-marketed brands, such as Tom's of Maine, which is owned by Colgate-Palmolive. Toothpastes sold in European markets have safer formulations, compared with their US counterparts. According to the Cornucopia Institute, the American Dental Association is "heavily subsidized" by the personal and beauty care industry, raising a conflict of interest.
"Behind the Dazzling Smile: Toxic Ingredients in Your Toothpaste", The Cornucopia Institute, August 16, 2016, © The Cornucopia Institute
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Well-Intentioned Government-Funded School Meals Programs Are Making Kids Fat

August 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Low-income students in the Northeast, South, and rural U.S. who participate in federally-subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs are at the greatest risk of becoming overweight, a study has found. The researchers noted that the meal programs are well-intentioned, but are actually contributing to the obesity epidemic among schoolchildren. According to the study, nutrition standards of the subsidized meals programs need to be raised, but in a way that makes the food acceptable and appetizing to children. The study was based on data collected from 21,260 students whose dietary habits were monitored from kindergarten to eighth grade.
Kristen Capogrossi et al., "The Influence of School Nutrition Programs on the Weight of Low-Income Children: A Treatment Effect Analysis", Health Economics, August 11, 2016, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Trend Toward Sugar Substitutes Takes Hold In N.Z.’s Soft Drink Industry

August 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Last year, two of New Zealand’s big soft drink manufacturers began offering their flagship colas with the sweetener stevia substituting for sugar. Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) launched Coca-Cola Life; Frucor Beverages followed with Pepsi Next. Both brands contain fewer calories and could have a major impact on cola carbonates generally, and strong growth expected in low-calorie cola carbonates. Euromonitor expects that low-calorie colas will account for almost 50 percent of total cola sales within four years. Energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juices are also expected join the no-sugar bandwagon. With that in mind, Euromonitor sees increased efforts to find other sugar substitutes besides stevia.
Sara Agostino, "Commitment from New Zealand Manufacturers to Reduce Sugar Content in Soft Drinks", Blog post, Euromonitor International, August 07, 2016, © Euromonitor International
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New Federal GMO Labeling Law Gives Food Companies A QR Code Option

August 3, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The new federal GMO labeling bill signed into law recently by Pres. Obama requires food manufacturers to list GMO ingredients either in plain writing, via an FDA-created icon, or through a digitally-readable QR (quick-response) code requiring a smartphone app. The app would link the shopper with more detailed information on GMO ingredients. Food manufacturers are happy about the QR code option. But non-GMO advocates argue that looking up GMO ingredient info on a smartphone is an unwieldy process that shoppers are likely to ignore. Consumer research seems to support the contention: a poll of 1,011 U.S. adults found that 59 percent weren’t likely to use their phones or an in-store scanner to find GMO data. Forty percent said they were likely to do so. Eighty-one percent approved of the push to disclose GMO ingredients on labels.
Heather Haddon, "Consumer Advocates Wary of Digitally Coded Food Labels", The Wall Street Journal, August 03, 2016, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Adding Nuts To Diet Reduces Inflammation That Worsens Chronic Diseases

July 29, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Inflammation tends to worsen the impact of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. U.S. researchers report that eating nuts three to five times a week reduces the biomarkers of inflammation and, in turn, the effects of those diseases. Though the researchers aren’t sure which ingredients exactly are responsible for the improvement, peanuts and tree nuts contain magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids. All are known to protect against inflammation. The study analyzed data from food-frequency questionnaires and plasma biomarkers from 5,013 participants.
Stephen Feller, "Regular Nut Consumption Linked To Less Inflammation", United Press International, July 29, 2016, © United Press International, Inc.
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Nestle Launches Initiative Encouraging Innovative Projects In Health, Wellness, Nutrition

July 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched its Henri@Nestlé open innovation platform to expedite entrepreneurial solutions that respond to social and business challenges, especially in nutrition, health, and wellness. The platform, open to startups worldwide, allows young companies to collaborate with Nestlé teams to tackle projects that “matter both to Nestlé” and millions of customers. The program is designed to streamline innovation, making it faster, more transparent and less bureaucratic. Four new projects are posted on the platform for startups to review and offer their solutions to. Each project will be open for 45 days, after which the Henri@Nestlé teams will review submissions within 30 days and pick five startups to pitch their ideas.
"Open innovation! Henri@Nestlé is live", News release, Nestlé, July 22, 2016, © Nestlé
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Meat Producers Angry About Turin’s Embrace Of Veganism

July 21, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The meat producers of Italy’s Piedmont region are upset with Chiara Appendino, the new mayor of Turin and a major figure in the anti-establishment, populist, environmentalist Five Star Movement (M5S). Appendino has pledged to make vegetarianism and vegan diets a priority in her administration, though meat dishes have formed the foundation of northern Italy’s cuisine for hundreds of years. Details of the mayor’s strategy are few and far between, but observers expect the city to create educational programs in schools to teach students about animal welfare and nutrition. Last year, Italian meat producers fumed over the World Health Organization’s labeling of cured meats such as ham, sausage and salami as carcinogenic, calling it “meat terrorism.”
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, "Five Star mayor of Turin to Create Italy’s First ‘Vegetarian City’", The Guardian, July 21, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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E.U. Bans Food Claim “Suitable For Diabetics”

July 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
New regulations from the European Union prohibit food manufacturers from labeling products as “diabetic” or “suitable for diabetics.” The U.K. is still under the jurisdiction of the E.U. until it leaves (due to the Brexit vote), at which time the country will need to decide which laws and regulations it will keep. Diabetes U.K. welcomed theban, noting that the labels incorrectly suggested a health benefit for diabetics, though many contain polyols and are not lower in fats or calories than standard products. The organization advises diabetics to check ingredient labels for polyol sweeteners such as sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, isomalt and mannitol, even if the foods are no longer labeled “suitable for diabetics.” Such products are higher in calories, more expensive, and can act as laxatives.
"‘Suitable For Diabetics’ Labels Off The Shelves From Today", News release, Diabetes UK, July 20, 2016, © Diabetes UK
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Company’s Allergen-Free Frozen Snacks Hit Northeast Supermarket Shelves

July 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Incredible Foods said its line of non-dairy, allergen-free frozen treats are now available in supermarkets in New England, New York, and other mid-Atlantic states as far south as Washington D.C. Food allergies affect more than 15 million Americans, including one in every 13 children under 18 years of age, or about two children in every classroom. The low-calorie – 25 to 35 calories each – “perfectly free” frozen treats contain no dairy, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, or shellfish. In addition, they are gluten-free and kosher. The bite-sized snacks comprise a vanilla core covered by a layer of real cherry and blueberry, cocoa or salted caramel.
"perfectly free Allergy-Friendly Frozen Treats Hit Shelves of Major Supermarkets in New England, NY, NJ, Mid-Atlantic States", News release, Incredible Foods, July 13, 2016, © Incredible Foods
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