Thursday, May 29, 2014

Look out! ADM Ventures Into Omega 3 Land

Homogenization of your groceries

Tesco bans sweets from checkouts in all stores

The UK's largest retailer, Tesco, is to ban sweets and chocolates from its checkouts after a survey of customers showed overwhelming support for the move.

Research for Tesco found that 65% of shoppers wanted confectionery removed from checkouts to help them make healthier choices when shopping. Even more (67%) said it would help them choose healthier options for their children.

Tesco removed sweets and chocolates from checkouts at its 740 larger Tesco stores 20 years ago, but they will now be removed from checkouts at all stores, including 1,800 Tesco Metro and Express convenience stores in Britain and Ireland. The retailer committed to removing them by the end of December 2014, but has brought forward the move after surveying its customers.

This doctor agrees with us re: school meals

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Helping You Get 7-a-Day

Eating seven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day reduces your risk of death at any point in time by 42% compared to eating less than one portion, according to a new study from Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Eating seven or more portions reduces the specific risks of death by cancer and heart disease by 25% and 31% respectively. The research also showed that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruit.

This is the first study to link fruit and vegetable consumption with all-cause, cancer and heart disease deaths in a nationally-representative population, the first to quantify health benefits per-portion, and the first to identify the types of fruit and vegetable with the most benefit.

Compared to eating less than one portion of fruit and vegetables, the risk of death by any cause is reduced by 14% by eating one to three portions, 29% for three to five portions, 36% for five to seven portions and 42% for seven or more.

Fresh vegetables had the strongest protective effect, with each daily portion reducing overall risk of death by 16%. Salad contributed to a 13% risk reduction per portion, and each portion of fresh fruit was associated with a smaller but still significant 4% reduction.

There was no benefit from fruit juice.

Bonnie: The recipe is easy: 1 vegetable AND fruit serving with breakfast. 1 vegetable AND fruit serving with lunch. 1 vegetable AND fruit serving with dinner. 1 vegetable serving with a morning or afternoon snack. If you don't snack, just add 1 extra vegetable serving at a meal of your choice.

If you want, have three servings with each meal. Why? A study presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting followed 18-30 year-old women from the 1980's to the present with the aim of tracking heart health. Women who reported eating eight to nine servings a day of fruits and vegetables were 40 percent less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries in their 40s, compared with those who ate three to four servings a day.

Is carbon dioxide depleting crop protein?

Elevated levels of carbon dioxide inhibit plants' assimilation of nitrate into proteins, indicating that the nutritional quality of food crops is at risk as climate change intensifies.

Findings from a wheat field-test study were reported in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Protein concentrations in the grain of wheat, rice and barley -- as well as in potato tubers -- decline, on average, by approximately 8 percent under elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

When this decline is factored into the respective portion of dietary protein that humans derive from these various crops, it becomes clear that the overall amount of protein available for human consumption may drop by about 3 percent as atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches the levels anticipated to occur during the next few decades.

Glucosamine extends life span in animal study

Glucosamine extends life span in evolutionary distinct species by mimicking a low-carbohydrate diet, according to a study in the April 8 issue of Nature Communications.

The current findings indicate that glucosamine at pharmacologically relevant concentrations is capable of extending life span in C. elegans (worm) and aging mice. This appears to be a result of decreased glycolysis and a compensatory increase of amino-acid turnover.

Unlike  most other life span-extending compounds, extensive published evidence indicates that glucosamine is safe for human use even at high doses, making it readily available for interventions to extend human healthspan particularly because, on an observational and uncontrolled basis, it has been repeatedly suggested that supplementation with glucosamine may decrease overall mortality in humans.

Low back pain approaches

24 things you can clean with a lemon

Nutrition labeling changes may affect your supplements

Lurking within the 108 pages of the FDA’s proposed rule changes for food labels are some deeply concerning issues.
  • The FDA wants to prevent the term ‘folate’ being applied on the labels of any supplements. This presumably means that reduced folate forms will no longer be eligible – only the synthetic and oxidised form, folic acid, will be permitted on labels. Is this because the FDA means to reserve calcium methylfolate – the stabilized form of folate manufactured by Merck – for use as a medical food or drug?
  • The FDA incorrectly assumes that all supplements and fortified foods currently contain only the synthetic, oxidized form of folate, folic acid, which many of us don’t metabolize fully.
  • The FDA is proposing big changes to the way in which dietary reference intakes (DRIs) are calculated – reducing them, in many cases, below the already very low levels. The FDA wants to reduce the existing DRI of 14 out of 27 essential vitamins, one of them by 10 times (biotin, from 300 mcg to 30 mcg). Despite increasing evidence of the effects of deficiency of vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins) on Alzheimer's disease risk, the FDA sees fit to reduce the DRI of vitamin B12 to 40% of its existing level (from 6 mcg to tiny 2.4 mcg, just below the EU’s 2.5 mcg Recommended Daily Allowance).
  • The FDA claims there are no benefits for supplements when taking levels greater than the Tolerable Upper Level – something any nutritionist or functional medicine practitioner will tell you is false.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Produce and Cereal: Stating the Obvious

Two reports in the last week made major headlines. However, none of us should be surprised by the results.

Produce Lowers Stroke Risk
Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce stroke risk by almost a third, according to a fresh look at recent evidence. The benefits rose along with the amounts of produce consumed. Stroke risk fell by 32 percent for every 200 grams per day of fruit people ate, and 11 percent with every 200 g of vegetables.

Kids' Cereals Loaded With Sugar
Eating a bowl of kids’ cereal every day would add up to eating 10 pounds of sugar a year, according to a new Environmental Working Group analysis of more than 1,500 cereals, including 181 marketed for children. 

Virtually all of the cold cereals contained added sugar, but kids’ cereals were especially prone to extreme sweetening. The average “serving” – an unrealistically small amount, in most cases – had nearly as much sugar as three Chips Ahoy! cookies. Children’s cereal contained an average of 40 percent more sugar per “serving” than adult cereals.

Resveratrol study underwhelms

A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol -- the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries -- finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant, as described in the May 12 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Despite the negative results, researchers say, studies have shown that consumption of red wine, dark chocolate and berries does reduce inflammation in some people and still appears to protect the heart. It's just that the benefits, must come from other polyphenols or substances found in those foodstuffs.

We have never jumped on the resveratrol bandwagon. While we do recommend many of the foods that contain resveratrol, we do not endorse them because of resveratrol.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Here comes maple water

As we alerted out NCI Well Connect subscribers to over a year ago, maple water is starting to pop up on shelves.

FDA gets it right with aspirin

In the latest development in a long-simmering debate, the FDA has announced that aspirin should not be marketed for the prevention of a first heart attack or stroke in people with no history of cardiovascular disease. The announcement follows FDA’s rejection on Friday of Bayer Healthcare’s decade-old  petition requesting approval of a primary prevention indication.

In its statement the FDA said it had “reviewed the available data and does not believe the evidence supports the general use of aspirin for primary prevention of a heart attack or stroke. In fact, there are serious risks associated with the use of aspirin, including increased risk of bleeding in the stomach and brain.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Food Addiction Deflects Weight Bias?

A study in the June issue of Appetite examined the impact of the food-addiction model of obesity on weight stigma directed at obese people. Randomly assigned participants were asked to evaluate four stories of obese people.

The food-addiction model produced less stigma, less blame, and lower perceived psychopathology. The food-addiction model also produced less blame toward obese people in general and less fear of fat.

The finding suggests that presenting obesity as an addiction does not increase weight bias and could even be helpful in reducing the widespread prejudice against obese people.

What do you think? Would this be helpful?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Sorry Angelenos. You Can't have it All.

Los Angeles has the worst smog in the nation, despite California's tight environmental standards and years of progress fighting pollution, according to a new report by the American Lung Association.

The report, released on Wednesday, also said another California city, Fresno, has the highest level of pollution from particles in the air, mostly caused by vehicle exhaust.

"We've made significant improvements, but we still have a long ways to go," said John Balmes, a medical doctor and professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California at Berkeley.

The Los Angeles metropolitan area had the highest levels of ozone pollution, or smog, formed by a combination of sunlight and other pollutants in the atmosphere, according to the report.

The report looked at levels of pollutants in major U.S. cities from 2010 through 2012. Results can be viewed at:

Outside of California, Houston, the Washington-Baltimore-area and Las Vegas had some of the worst problems with ozone pollution, which can create or worsen lung conditions like asthma, the report said.

Atlanta and Pittsburgh registered high levels of particle pollutants, which have also been linked to many health issues, including breathing difficulties and heart attacks.

10 reasons to think twice before going to a doc

Thanks Karen for forwarding this to us.

Eat Healthy, Help the Environment

Courtesy of Reuters Health - Foods with the largest environmental footprint tend to also provide less nutrition and cost more per unit than foods with a smaller impact on the environment, a recent French study found. But that isn't the rule across the board.

Cutting meat intake has been one recommended strategy for curbing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming. For the first time, researchers aimed to compare the nutrient density, environmental impact and price of common foods.

"The food system accounts for approximately one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and global obesity is on the rise," said Gabriel Masset, lead author of the study and a research assistant at Aix-Marseille Universite in Marseille.

"Identifying foods more likely to be part of healthy and low-carbon diets could be an effective way to help consumers in their daily choices," Masset told Reuters Health in an email. The study was published April 7 online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Masset and his team used a French dietary survey conducted in 2006 and 2007 to identify the 391 foods and beverages most commonly consumed in that country by more than 1,900 people between the ages of 18 and 79. The environmental impact of these items was gauged based on three measures: greenhouse gas emissions, emissions to the atmosphere that lead to acid rain and ion buildup in water, which can cause the development of undesired algae.

Next, the researchers evaluated the nutritional quality of the foods by calculating a ratio of "good" nutrients, such as fiber, iron and protein, to "bad" ones, including sodium and added sugars. Food prices were assessed using information from a 2006 French consumer panel, which is based on 12,000 households.

The results reiterated previous findings that animal-based products are tougher on the environment than plant foods. Fruits and vegetables packed the most nutrition, while fruits, vegetables and meats tended to be pricy. Starchy foods, including pasta, cooked beans and mashed potatoes, were the cheapest, both by weight and calorie count.

Sugary foods with little nutritional value, including pastries and soft drinks, were inexpensive sources of calories with an environmental footprint on the average to smaller side.

"Our results highlighted that it would be overly simplistic and misleading to affirm that low-carbon foods and diets are healthier," Masset said.

The study "reinforces that we need to continue to focus on ways that the food sector affects our environment," said Alicia Romano, a dietitian at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, in an email. Romano was not involved in the study.

The impact of animal products on the planet means that the "greenest" diet is one with less meat and dairy - or none at all. For the sake of the environment, the authors said, diets should include more plant-based foods.

"People should be aware that foods of animal origin, despite being essential sources of nutrients, do have a higher carbon footprint than plant-based foods," Masset said.

In addition, healthcare providers should be prepared to help patients make changes to their diets.

"They should be more inclined towards (meatless) choices and be ready to assist individuals trying to reduce their meat, fish and egg intake," Masset said.

Energy Drinks Makes Kids Lazier

Probiotics on the duration of illness for acute respiratory infection

In the April issue of British Journal of Nutrition, the effect of probiotics, specifically Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, on the duration of acute respiratory infections in otherwise healthy children and adults was significant. There were significantly fewer numbers of days of illness per person, shorter illness episodes by almost a day, and fewer numbers of days absent from day care/school/work in participants who received a probiotic intervention than in those who had taken a placebo.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

1 in 25 hospitalized come out with infection

Calorie Counting Dying a Slow Death

Statin Users Often Stray From Well Eating Habits

Individuals prescribed statin therapy for high cholesterol levels have increased their caloric intake by nearly 10% and their intake of fat by 14% over a recent 10-year period, while no changes in eating habits have been observed among statin nonusers, a new study shows. In addition, researchers report that individuals prescribed a statin had a larger increase in body-mass index (BMI) than those who weren't taking the lipid-lowering medication.

Presenting their findings April 24, 2014 here at the Society of General Internal Medicine Meeting , the researchers say the study showed that statin users were consuming an extra 192 kcal per day in 2009–2010 than they were in 1999–2000, and this could have contributed to the increase in BMI, which was the equivalent of a 3- to 5-kg weight gain.

Dr Rita Redberg (University of California, San Francisco), the editor of JAMA: Internal Medicine, said she has treated many patients with statins over the years and has observed a "false reassurance" among those who receive the cholesterol-lowering medications. There is a perception, she writes, that "statins can compensate for poor dietary choices and a sedentary life." The new data raise concerns of a potential hazard with statins, where the focus on "cholesterol levels can be distracting from the more beneficial focus on healthy lifestyle to reduce heart-disease risk," suggests Redberg.

Gluten Indicated in Migraines

Migraines May Be a Sign of Gluten Intolerance.

The following LA Times article confirms what we have known for a while. Of course, migraines are just one of the multitude of symptoms brought on by gluten for those who are intolerant.,0,6515753.story#axzz30BoozVtm