Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vegetarians: Don't Use the Climate Change Argument


What Is a Certified Nutrition Specialist?

The Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS) has made sure that their Certified Nutrition Specialist credential is the best clinical nutrition certification.

They’ve achieved third party accreditation from the National Commission on Certifying Agencies (NCCA)—the same accreditation that the registered dietitian credential has.

They’re also listed with the Department of Labor. When you look at the Department of Labor’s definition of dietitian and nutritionists, for dietetics, they refer to the Registered Dietitian credential, and for advanced nutrition, they refer to the Certified Nutrition Specialist credential.

Another critical missing component that needed to be put in place was ensuring practice rights and benefits- making sure there’s a path toward legal practice and recognition in the states for clinical nutrition practitioners, and ultimately, insurance reimbursement for nutrition therapy.

The Center for Nutrition Advocacy was created by BCNS to advocate on behalf of all nutrition practitioners. The essence of that work is to ensure that all nutrition practitioners can practice to the level of their training.

The advocacy center works to make sure that states have inclusionary, regulatory regimes that do not exclude qualified people from practicing to the level of their training.

"We've had phenomenal success over the last four years through Center of Nutrition Advocacy and all of our allies that have helped us with that to defeat all attempts to achieve an exclusionary regulatory regime. Over the last four years there were 17 attempts, sometimes multiple attempts in a given state, [to achieve exclusionary regulation]," he says.

The BCNS’ Certified Nutrition Specialist credential is really the top level credential at this point. To become a registered dietitian (RD) you need an undergraduate degree. To become a Certified Nutrition Specialist, you need an advanced degree. According to Michael, many RDs are now going on to get additional training in clinical nutrition therapy, and then are able to become Certified Nutrition Specialists.

BCNS is also working toward ensuring that nutritional professionals will be reimbursed by insurance companies for their nutrition-related services. As noted by Michael, nutrition simply isn’t recognized as being an important part of health care, and this is a systemic issue that is being tackled by many different groups, including BCNS and its Center for Nutrition Advocacy.

Whistleblower Speaks Out Against USDA, Corruption and Systemic Pesticides


Thursday, December 24, 2015

What's up-and-coming in superfoods?

Moringa is a tropical tree native to Asia and Africa, where people have eaten its long, drumstick-like seed pods for years. Nutritionally, gram-per-gram, the plant contains two times the protein of yogurt, three times the potassium of bananas, four times the vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of milk and seven times the vitamin C of oranges. Although traditional wisdom holds that moringa has many medicinal benefits, they have yet to be scientifically proven.

Moringa is attracting enough attention that a four-day moringa symposium in November will bring together about 300 scientists from around the world. One concern is sustainably growing the tree in a way that supports the farmers. In the U.S., New Global Energy, which believes in the potential of moringa and already uses it in fish feed, has planted trees in California, with plans to expand.

Currently, moringa is available in the U.S. mostly in supplements, from companies such as Moringa America, and in energy bars and teas, although specialty Asian and Indian markets often have fresh plants for sale.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Congress demands that FDA label GM salmon

Why are they just focused on salmon, and not demanding that all GM foods be labeled? Because Congress can dictate to a small aquaculture company with no power. They can't dictate to behemoth's Monsanto and ADM, which line the pocketbooks of many lawmakers in Congress and plays the FDA like Pinocchio!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What is a SNP?

A SNP (pronounced "snip") is a single nucleotide polymorphism, or a genetic mutation involving just one unit of the DNA sequence. SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation among people. There are about 10 million SNPs in the human genome.

Certain SNPs have been identified that affect the enzymes that are critical to the body's detoxification processes. Central to detoxification in the body are two chemical reactions: methylation and sulfation. Methylation is the transfer of a methyl group – a carbon atom linked to 3 hydrogen atoms (CH3) – from one molecule to another. It occurs billions of times per second and is the means by which the body repairs its DNA, controls homocysteine levels, and recycles molecules necessary to detoxification. Sulfation is the process by which sulfate groups are attached to chemicals called phenols to enable their elimination. When phenolic compounds build up in the body due to an impaired ability to handle them, neurotransmitter function is diminished. Effects include impaired detoxification of heavy metals and environmental toxins, diminished digestive enzymes, limited levels of a hormone that regulates socialization, and leaky gut. Sulfation also produces glutathione, a critical antioxidant.

Methylation and sulfation processes are driven by enzymatic activity. Certain SNPs have been identified that either reduce or upregulate the activity of particular enzymes related to methylation and sulfation, thus compromising an individual's methylation and sulfation capacity. We are interested in these SNPs in part because they may make an individual more vulnerable to environmental toxins and toxicants, and certain nutrient deficiencies. All individuals – healthy or not – can benefit from practices that regulate enzymatic activity to support methylation and sulfation processes.

Good, Bad, and the Ugly Pet Food Guide

Pet Food Guide

Decoding Pet Food

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Salmon

Steve - Even more reason now to purchase wild caught whenever possible. GMO salmon does not have to be labeled, so a trusting relationship with your fish purveyor is of the utmost importance.


Use light therapy for SAD, Depression

Steve - Just saw a light therapy device at Costco that was very economical!


Thursday, November 05, 2015

Potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce make up close to 60 percent of U.S. vegetable and legume availability


When consumers are advised in the produce aisle that “More Matters,” they are not just being encouraged to eat a greater quantity of fruits and vegetables, but more variety as well. Restricting one’s diet to a limited set of vegetables precludes the desired variety that would supply more diverse, healthful nutrients. According to ERS’s Food Availability data, just three vegetables—white potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce—accounted for 59 percent of the vegetables and legumes that were available for consumption in 2013. White potatoes accounted for 30 percent of the 384.4 pounds per person of vegetables and legumes available in 2013. Tomatoes had a 22-percent share, with 20.2 pounds per person of fresh tomatoes and 65.9 pounds per person of processed tomatoes. Fresh lettuce (head lettuce, romaine, and leaf lettuce) rounded out the top 3 vegetables at 25.5 pounds per person—7 percent of 2013’s total vegetable and legume availability. This chart appears in “Potatoes and Tomatoes Account for Over Half of U.S. Vegetable Availability” in the September 2015 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Long-term use of reflux medications: Doc's perspective

The only part we do not agree with is about Tums and Rolaids. They do block vitamin and mineral absorption.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

UK Panel: Safer to have baby at home than in hospital


BMJ calcium study: our thoughts

Bonnie and Steve: While many of you have experienced media sensationalism over a supplement study before, others may have not. So once again, we will try to explain the correct position on calcium.

This week, BMJ published a meta-analysis with the conclusion: "Increasing calcium intake from dietary sources or by taking calcium supplements produces small non-progressive increases in BMD, which are unlikely to lead to a clinically significant reduction in risk of fracture." This is not the first negative study BMJ has published about calcium, and it will not be the last.

Of course, the media picked up on the authors' suggestion that excess calcium can cause kidney stones, heart attacks, and scared the heck out of everyone.

Too much malabsorbed calcium can cause kidney stones and calcification in the arteries, including those in the heart. However, too little calcium has also been implicated in increased death risk. It is all about the calcium source, the amount, and if it is accompanied by vitamin D and magnesium.

The concluding statement that "unlikely to lead to clinically significant reduction in risk of fracture". The authors state that on average, an individual over 50 can get a 5-10% reduction in fracture risk from extra dietary and supplemental calcium. In the medical world, this is clinically significant.

Total calcium recommendations by the medical community and the Institute of Medicine are too high. We have been fighting these calcium recommendations for years.

You and I could look at all the calcium data over time and pick the studies we want to use to steer it to our desired outcome. This is called a meta-analysis. We are very wary of these authors because they discuss better effectiveness with bone resorptive drugs without mentioning the severe side effects that come with them. The authors failed to mention that bone resorptive drugs should never be taken for more than five years because they have minimal effectiveness past five years and troubling side effects.

Missing In Action
As with just about every study ever done on calcium, while these authors did include a few with vitamin D, magnesium was never considered. Why have there never been any major studies, even meta-analyses on bone fracture prevention for subjects taking calcium, vitamin D, AND magnesium? We do not know. However, any nutritional expert will tell you that the effectiveness of calcium is dependent upon not only vitamin D, but magnesium.

For example, magnesium blocks entry of calcium into brain neurons until the appropriate moment to avoid ion imbalance. Not enough magnesium allows calcium to enter our neurons willy-nilly, causing them to misfire and act erratically.

Inadequate magnesium intake depletes the extracellular magnesium ion and consequently leads to the activation of inflammatory macrophages and influx of calcium ions into cells. The increased calcium level in the cells causes whatever magnesium is still there to try to block the influx of calcium ion, which leads to more inflammation.

The worst that can come of this media storm is that people will stop taking calcium supplementally or lower their dietary intake. This would be a huge mistake. Numerous studies have shown that taking too little calcium can be more detrimental than taking too much. Even the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans admit that most do not get enough calcium from their diet.

As we have always said, nutrient intakes should always be based upon individual needs. However, the range of total calcium that we recommend to our clients are as follows:

Women: 800-1200 mg.
Men: 800 mg.
Kids 1-10 years: 800 mg.
Kids 11-18 years: 1000 mg.

Women: 500-600 mg.
Men: 500 mg.
Kids: health professional recommendation

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Niman Ranch Bought By Perdue Farms


Artificial sweeteners found in breast milk

Nonnutritive Sweeteners in Breast Milk.
Sylvetsky AC1, Gardner AL, Bauman V, Blau JE, Martin Garraffo H, Walter PJ, Rother KI.
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health A. 2015 Aug 12:1-4.

Nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), including saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame-potassium, are commonly consumed in the general population, and all except for saccharin are considered safe for use during pregnancy and lactation. Sucralose (Splenda) currently holds the majority of the NNS market share and is often combined with acesulfame-potassium in a wide variety of foods and beverages. To date, saccharin is the only NNS reported to be found in human breast milk after maternal consumption, while there is no apparent information on the other NNS. Breast milk samples were collected from 20 lactating volunteers, irrespective of their habitual NNS intake. Saccharin, sucralose, and acesulfame-potassium were present in 65% of participants' milk samples, whereas aspartame was not detected. These data indicate that NNS are frequently ingested by nursing infants, and thus prospective clinical studies are necessary to determine whether early NNS exposure via breast milk may have clinical implications.

FDA is basically approving everything


Thursday, September 03, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My Kind of Cravings Buster!

Playing Tetris for as little as three minutes at a time can weaken cravings for drugs, food and activities such as sex and sleeping by approximately one fifth, according to new research.

In the first test of its kind to study people in natural settings outside of a laboratory, participants were monitored for levels of craving and prompted to play the block-shifting puzzle game at random intervals during the day.

Psychologists from Plymouth University and Queensland University of Technology, Australia, found that playing Tetris interfered with desires not only for food, but also for drugs, including cigarettes, alcohol and coffee, and other activities. The benefits of playing Tetris were maintained over the seven-day study period.

In a report published in the international journal Addictive Behaviors, the authors say playing the game could help people to manage their cravings, and they have recommended further research, including testing people dependent on drugs.

Professor Jackie Andrade, from the School of Psychology and the Cognition Institute at Plymouth University, said: "Playing Tetris decreased craving strength for drugs, food, and activities from 70% to 56%. This is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be used outside the lab to reduce cravings for substances and activities other than eating.

"We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance or indulging in a particular activity. Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery; it is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time."

During the experiment, 31 undergraduates, aged 18-27, were prompted seven times a day via text message to report on any cravings they were feeling. They were also encouraged to report cravings proactively, independently of the prompts. Fifteen members of the group were required to play Tetris on an iPod for three minutes, before reporting their craving levels again.

Craving was recorded in 30% of occasions, most commonly for food and non-alcoholic drinks, which were reported on nearly two-thirds of those occasions. Twenty-one percent of cravings were for substances categorised as drugs, including coffee, cigarettes, wine and beer, and 16% were for miscellaneous activities such as sleeping, playing videogames, socialising with friends, and sexual intercourse. Food cravings tended to be slightly weaker than those in the other categories.

"The impact of Tetris on craving was consistent across the week and on all craving types," said Professor Jon May, also of Plymouth University. "People played the game 40 times on average but the effect did not seem to wear off. This finding is potentially important because an intervention that worked solely because it was novel and unusual would have diminishing benefits over time as participants became familiar with it."

"As a support tool, Tetris could help people manage their cravings in their daily lives and over extended time periods," added Professor Andrade.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Plymouth.

Journal Reference:

Jessica Skorka-Brown, Jackie Andrade, Ben Whalley, Jon May. Playing Tetris decreases drug and other cravings in real world settings. Addictive Behaviors, 2015; 51: 165 DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.07.020

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

FODMAP disappoints

There is very little evidence to recommend avoiding certain types of dietary carbohydrate, known as the FODMAP diet, to ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS for short, concludes a review of the available data in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (dtb).

IBS is characterized by abdominal pain/discomfort and altered bowel frequency in the absence of any obvious gut abnormalities. Symptoms can include abdominal bloating, which eating can worsen.

Up to one in five of the population is thought to be affected, with women twice as likely to develop IBS symptoms as men.

Treatment options include dietary and lifestyle advice, psychotherapy, and drugs to curb painful spasms and associated diarrhea and/or constipation.

Dietary advice usually includes the recommendation to reduce intake of insoluble fibre, limit fresh fruit to three portions a day, take regular meals, avoid rushing food or eating on the go, and to steer clear of the artificial sweetener sorbitol.

The low FODMAP diet, which was developed in Australia, is based on the observation that certain types of short chain carbs are poorly absorbed by the small intestine and that IBS symptoms worsen when these are eaten.

These short chain carbs are present in wheat, onions, and legumes; milk; honey, apples, and high fructose corn syrup; and the artificial sweeteners used in confectionery (sorbitol and mannitol). They are rapidly fermented in the gut, increasing water volume and gases.

After assessing the available published evidence and the three UK guidelines on the management of IBS, dtb says that all the trials provide some evidence that patients feel the diet reduces some of the symptoms.

And one study indicates that the diet changes the profile of the bacteria in the gut, although what the clinical implications of this are, or, indeed, what the long term effects might be, are unclear, says dtb.

But data to back the use of a low FODMAP diet as an effective treatment to control symptoms "is based on a few relatively small, short term unblinded or single blinded controlled trials of varying duration," it cautions.

And dietary manipulation is not without its drawbacks as some people fail to maintain a balanced diet when trying dietary exclusions, says dtb.

While some guidelines suggest that a low FODMAP diet might be appropriate for motivated patients for whom other treatments have failed to relieve symptoms, this should only be done under the supervision of a dietitian with specialist expertise in this type of dietary intervention, it recommends.

And it concludes: "However, we believe that patients should be advised that there is very limited evidence for its use, the ideal duration of treatment has not been assessed in a clinical trial, and its place in the management of IBS has not been fully established."

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by BMJ. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

Does a low FODMAP diet help IBS? Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, August 2015 DOI: 10.1136/dtb.2015.8.0346

Flu Vaccine: Eventually a Thing of the Past?


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Plants benefit from probiotics as well

Just as humans can benefit from the good bacteria of probiotics, plants can benefit from certain microbes. And that benefit is also good for the environment.

In plants, beneficial bacteria and fungi are endophytes. Scientists have known for decades that plants like legumes (peas, beans, and lentils) have beneficial bacteria in nodules attached to their roots. These bacteria "fix" vital nitrogen, turning it into a form the plant can easily use. However, researchers in Crop Science have recently found some nitrogen-fixing bacteria actually live inside plant tissue--in the leaves, stems, and roots -- with impressive results.

Plants have a limited ability to genetically adapt to rapid environmental changes (heat, drought, toxins, or limited nutrients) and so they may use microbes that do have this capacity to rapidly evolve due to their vastly shorter life cycles. By having the right microbes for the conditions, the plants are healthier. That is how it is similar to humans taking probiotics to improve their health.

The next steps in this work have practical applications, including seed coating or spraying.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Zinc Lozenges Greatly Reduce Cold Symptoms

According to a study in BMC Family Practice, high dose zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of common-cold.

The researchers believe that when zinc acetate lozenges dissolve in the mouth, zinc ions are released into the saliva of the pharyngeal region where the levels are consequently high. The high dose zinc acetate lozenges shortened the duration of nasal discharge by 34%, nasal congestion by 37%, sneezing by 22%, scratchy throat by 33%, sore throat by 18%, hoarseness by 43%, and cough by 46%. Furthermore, they found strong evidence that zinc lozenges also shortened the duration of muscle ache by 54%.

Quercetin Strikes Again

Consumption of flavonoid-rich foods such as cocoa and tea may reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The flavonoids epicatechin (in cocoa and tea) and quercetin (in tea) probably play a role by reducing endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, two main determinants of atherosclerosis.

Researchers in a study from The Journal of Nutrition studied the effects of supplementation of pure epicatechin and quercetin on biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation in healthy men and women.

Epicatechin contributed to the cardioprotective effects of cocoa and tea through improvements in endothelial function. Quercetin contributed to the cardioprotective effects of tea by improving endothelial function and reducing inflammation.

Cod Liver Oil in older persons

Steve: Cod liver oil is a traditional source of vitamin D in Iceland, and regular intake is recommended partly for the sake of health. A British Journal of Nutrition study discovered that intake of aged participants was positively associated with serum vitamin D3 25(OH)D levels. Individuals with intakes of less than once/week, one to six time(s)/week and daily intake had concentrations of approximately 40, 50 and 60 nmol/l respectively. This is awesome!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Get Ready for Spam Snacks and Other Hormel Treats

How About Jennie-O Turkey Breast Sticks?

Cannot find the ingredients anywhere on the web for these products. I wonder why?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

GM cows to produce beef that make more omega-3s

Chinese scientists have successfully reared beef cattle rich in the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA - which are traditionally associated with fish oils. Scientists introduced a gene known as fat1 into fetal cells from Luxi Yellow cattle. The gene, which was isolated from a nematode worm, codes for desaturase enzymes that are involved in the conversion of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
Writing in Biotechnology Letters, the team reveal that introducing the fat1 gene to cattle increased the levels of beneficial oils by over five times.

Steve: We are staying way away from this one until it is rigorously tested in human trials and is out on the market for several years.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Big Food "Scrambling" Because of Egg Shortage

With the avian fly wiping out a significant portion of the chickens in the midwest, Big Food is looking for alternatives. One product they are turning to is Hampton Creek's Just Mix, which is a vegan egg substitute. Here's the issue: the ingredients for this product are not listed anywhere, even on the company's website. We have not gotten a response to our inquiry.

If you have severe allergies, make sure you ask any food preparers if they are using real eggs or egg substitutes. Also, look at labels of packaged food because the label you ae used to seeing may change in short order!

New milk variety hits US shelves


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Glucosamine/Chondoitin versus Cox-2 inhbitors

A randomized, double-blind, study in Annals of Rheumatic Disease found that patients randomized to receive either 400 mg chondroitin sulfate (CS) plus 500 mg glucosamine hydrochloride (GH) 3 times per day or 200 mg COX-2 selective inhibitor celecoxib (Celebrex) once a day for 6 months reported the same osteoarthritis index pain score (50% reduction). Of course, glucosamine and chondoitin is a much safe choice!

Infants Eating Junk

More than four out of 10 (43%) American infants aged 12-23 months eat cookies, cakes or pastries on any given day; almost a third (32%) eat chips, popcorn or pretzels; 19%eat candy; and 31%consume soda, fruit or sports drinks; according to dietary intake data collected by the USDA’s agricultural research service.

Jelly Belly Joins the Party

Everyone is seeming to get the idea now that better ingredients equal more satisfied customers. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are removing artificial ingredients from their menus. Now, even the Jelly Belly Candy Company is launching a line of USDA certified­ organic candies, including fruit flavored snacks, gourmet jelly beans and other confections.

The organic fruit flavored snacks will launch in the fall and will be made with real fruit juice and puree and also will be gluten-­free and vegetarian.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Repeal of COOL Imminent?

How important is it for you to be able to read on a label where your meat, fish, and poultry come from? I know I look for it every single time. The World Trade Organization thinks our Country of Origin Labeling law (COOL) is unfair and is trying to sue the US to repeal it.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement also has a clause that demands the repeal of COOL for the agreement to be ratified. However, 92% of Americans want the labeling to stay in place. Who's going to win: the consumer or Big Meat? Let your politicians know how you feel at this link.

Do you need to wash new clothes before wearing them?


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Eating out may lead to high blood pressure

A recent study on university-going young adults is the first ever to show an association between meals eaten away from home and high blood pressure. These findings highlight lifestyle factors that can affect hypertension and emphasise the importance of being aware of the salt and calorie content in food, to facilitate better meal choices when eating out.

Pre-hypertension was found in 27.4% of the total subject population, and 38% ate more than 12 meals away from home per week; while the gender breakdown showed that pre-hypertension was more prevalent in men (49%) than in women (9%). Those who had pre-hypertension or hypertension were more likely to eat more meals away from home per week, have a higher mean body mass index, have lower mean physical activity levels, and be current smokers. What is also significant is that even eating one extra meal out, raised the odds of prehypertension by 6%. The study appeared in this month's American Journal of Hypertension.

Boomers Living Longer, Not Healthier

America's aging baby boomers are not exactly the picture of health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) 38th annual report on the nation's health, which this year includes a special section focusing on the health of Americans aged 55 to 64 years, the heart of the "baby boom" generation.

Nearly 1 in 5 baby boomers has diabetes, 40% are obese, more than half take prescription medication for hypertension, and most will be covered by Medicare within the next 10 years, which poses challenges to the country's healthcare system, the report notes.

However, the report also finds that the overall death rate in this age group has declined during the past decade.

"Health, United States, 2014" includes 123 tables on key health measures from a number of sources within the federal government and in the private sector. Topics covered include birth rates and reproductive health, life expectancy and leading causes of death, health risk behaviors, healthcare use and insurance coverage, and health expenditures.

Between 2003 and 2013, life expectancy at birth, a measure often used to gauge the overall health of a population, increased 1.2 years for white women, 1.6 years for white men, 2.7 years for black women, and 3.4 years for black men, the report says.

For the period 1980 and 2013, life expectancy rose from 70.0 to 76.4 years for men and from 77.4 to 81.2 years for women. Racial disparities in life expectancy at birth persisted for both sexes in 2013 but continue to narrow. By 2013, life expectancy at birth was 78.1 years for black non-Hispanic women, 81.2 years for white non-Hispanic women, and 83.8 years for Hispanic women. The corresponding figures for men were 71.8, 76.5, and 79.1 years.

Americans with chronic diseases are living longer, with the exception of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Between 2003 and 2013, the overall all-cause age-adjusted death rate fell 15% among men and 13% among women.

During this 10-year period, age-adjusted death rates in men declined 34% for stroke, 27% for heart disease, 17% for cancer, and 11% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, but increased 6% for Alzheimer's disease and held steady for unintentional injuries. Among women, the age-adjusted death rates declined 34% for stroke, 31% for heart disease, and 14% for cancer, but increased 8% for Alzheimer's disease and 10% for unintentional injuries.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Sweetened Milk Drinks Under Fire

A new study in Diabetologia indicates, for the first time, a link between the consumption of sweetened milk drinks and type 2 diabetes, indicating that efforts to reduce intake of sugar-sweetened beverages should be extended to include milkshakes and flavored milk, say the researchers.

As well as the association between type 2 diabetes and sweetened milk drinks, the study also calculated that, for each 5% increase of a person's total energy intake provided by sweet drinks, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes may increase by 18%.

And replacing the daily consumption of one serving of a sugary drink with either water or unsweetened tea or coffee can lower the risk of developing diabetes by between 14% and 25%, the scientists stress.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

People less focused on recurrent bad feelings when taking probiotics

People focus less on bad feelings and experiences from the past, according to psychologists publishing in Brain, Behavior and Immunity. The researchers administered multispecies probiotics in half the subjects and placebo in the other half for at least 4 weeks. Compared to subjects who received the placebo intervention, participants who received the multispecies probiotics intervention showed significantly reduced ruminative thoughts.

Bonnie: Probiotics can improve serotonin levels, much of which exist in the digestive system. So this would make sense.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why Were 1977 and 1983 So Damaging to Our Health?

According to a review in this month's issue of Open Heart, national dietary guidelines were introduced in 1977 and 1983, by the US and UK governments, respectively, with the ambition of reducing coronary heart disease (CHD) by reducing fat intake. To date, no analysis of the evidence base for these recommendations has been undertaken.

In evaluating all evidence since, there were no differences in all-cause mortality and non-significant differences in CHD mortality, resulting from the dietary interventions. The reductions in mean serum cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the intervention groups; this did not result in significant differences in CHD or all-cause mortality.

What's worse: government dietary fat recommendations were untested in any trial prior to being introduced. The authors conclude that dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million US and 56 million UK citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from randomly controlled trials.

Bonnie: You can thank a good portion of our obesity epidemic for these decisions. When everyone went fat-free, we had to replace those calories with something right? Of course, we replaced fat with carbohydrates, mostly in grain form.

While the thinking on fat is changing rapidly, the damage has been done. It will take a few more generations to right the ship.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Novel therapy for meningitis prevention

Probiotic nose drops reduced the likelihood of students being colonized with the bacteria that cause meningitis, according to a study published online March 25 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The nose drops contained Neisseria lactamica, a non-disease-causing relative of the bacterium that causes meningitis, Neisseria meningitidis. Epidemiological studies had previously shown that people who carry N lactamica in their nose and throat are both less likely to be colonized with N meningitidis and less likely to contract meningitis than people who do not, possibly because colonization with one species prevents colonization with the other.

This work was supported by Life for a Cure, a charity established by Michelle and John Bresnahan in memory of their son Ryan; and Meningitis UK (now Meningitis Now).

Weedkiller alert over cancer


Is There a Right Time to Eat Fast Food?

A new study, recently published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found there was no significant difference in glycogen recovery when cyclists ate fast food after a workout versus when they ingested traditional sports supplements such as Gatorade, Powerbar and Clif products.

Male cyclists completed two experimental trials, including a 90-minute glycogen-depletion ride followed by a four-hour recovery period. Immediately following each ride and again two hours later, researchers provided participants with either sports supplements or fast food, such as hamburgers, french fires and hash browns. Following a four-hour recovery period, participants completed a 12.4-mile (20-kilometer) time trial.

Researchers analyzed muscle biopsies and blood samples taken in between the two rides and found no differences in blood glucose and insulin responses. Rates of glycogen recovery from the feedings also were not different between the diets. Most importantly, there were no differences in time-trial performance between the two diets.

The participants ate small servings of the fast-food products, not giant orders of burgers and fries. Moderation is the key to the results we got.

Steve: I'd still opt not to go with fast food. It just shows that when your body is in a state of vigorous activity, any calorie will do!

Smoking's Atonishingly Unintended Consequence

Passive smoking isn't only something that people have to cope with, but plants too. This is because some plants are actually able to take up nicotine from cigarette smoke, while others that grow in contaminated soil absorb it via the roots as well. This might explain why high concentrations of nicotine are often found in spices, herbal teas and medicinal plants, despite the fact that this alkaloid is no longer permitted in insecticides. The findings are published in Agronomy for Sustainable Development.

They used peppermint plants, which contain minimal traces of nicotine, in a series of mulching and fumigation experiments. Tremendously elevated nicotine levels were detected after fumigation with cigarette smoke. Peppermint plants can also take up high concentrations of nicotine from contaminated soils evidenced after mulching with cigarette tobacco for more than nine days. The resulting nicotine concentrations were several times higher than the maximum residue levels.

Steve: In addition to the significance for the food industry, these results have a tremendous relevance for basic science: they prove that substances, such as alkaloids, can be transferred from one plant, after its death, to another. Such "horizontal transfer of natural products" sheds light on the unexplained success behind farming practices such as crop rotation and the co-cultivation of certain vegetables. It also shows how intricate and intelligent plants are.

Quercetin Slows the Aging Process: Study

A research team from The Scripps Research Institute, Mayo Clinic and other institutions has identified a new class of drugs that in animal models dramatically slows the aging process -- alleviating symptoms of frailty, improving cardiac function and extending a healthy lifespan, according to a study in an upcoming issue of journal Aging Cell.

The scientists coined the term "senolytics" for the new class of drugs. "The prototypes of these senolytic agents have more than proven their ability to alleviate multiple characteristics associated with aging," said Mayo Clinic Professor James Kirkland, MD, PhD, senior author of the new study. "It may eventually become feasible to delay, prevent, alleviate or even reverse multiple chronic diseases and disabilities as a group, instead of just one at a time."

Senescent cells -- cells that have stopped dividing -- accumulate with age and accelerate the aging process. The team homed in on two available compounds -- the cancer drug dasatinib (sold under the trade name Sprycel®) and quercetin, a natural compound sold as a supplement that acts as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.

Further testing in cell culture showed these compounds do indeed selectively induce death of senescent cells. The two compounds had different strong points. Dasatinib eliminated senescent human fat cell progenitors, while quercetin was more effective against senescent human endothelial cells and mouse bone marrow stem cells. A combination of the two was most effective overall.

The compounds improved cardiovascular function and exercise endurance, reduced osteoporosis and frailty, and extended healthspan," said one of the researchers. "Remarkably, in some cases, these drugs did so with only a single course of treatment."

Bonnie: How exciting! I cannot wait until they get to the testing in humans already. Oh wait, they should screen the thousands of clients of ours who have taken quercetin over the years!

Listeria Recall for Sabra Hummus SKUs


Thursday, April 02, 2015

Men Have Twice As Many Reasons to Eat Organic Produce


Vitamin D level linked to depression

Low serum levels of vitamin D are associated with clinically significant symptoms of depression in otherwise healthy individuals, a new study from Psychiatry Research shows.

Making a series of assessments of healthy women during a 1-month period, investigators found that more than one third of participants had depressive symptoms, that almost half had vitamin D insufficiency, and that depressive symptoms were predicted by vitamin D levels.

Noting that vitamin D supplementation is a low-cost, simple, and low-risk intervention, the authors state, "Given the lifespan health risks associated with insufficiency, supplementation is warranted whether or not the modest role of vitamin D in depression observed here generalizes more broadly."

Like cooking shows? You'd better not read this.

Sourcing recipes online, in print and in person may be healthier than from television could shed light on marketing opportunities for food and beverage companies with healthier or better-for-you

A team researchers found that of the 501 women aged 20-35 years they surveyed those who obtained recipes from cooking shows and cooked from scratch weighed an average of 11 pounds more
than those who watched television shows about food but did not often cook. In addition, the mean body mass index of cooking show viewers and doers was 27.48 compared to only 25.66 for those
who watched the shows but did not cook, according to the study published in Appetite.

This finding contradicts the common belief that cooking from scratch results in healthier eating and slimmer waistlines, but the correlation also makes sense given that many cooking shows feature high fat, indulgent meals that have excessive calories, the researchers noted.

The findings are important for food and beverage manufacturers because understanding where young women obtain information about new foods may be important when attempting to influence or shape their food preferences. Furthermore, it may be that watching a ‘healthy’ cooking show or viewing ‘health’ recipes from social media could nudge viewers toward preparing healthy meals, which could be a powerful tool for improving public health.

This was the idea behind baby carrot and fresh juice company Bolthouse Farms’ recent social media “Fruit and Veggie Takeover” campaign , which encouraged people to post about eating fruits and veggies instead of unhealthy foods.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pregnant Women: How Vit D Deficiency Can Harm Your Unborn Child

Findings from a recent study in Pediatrics demonstrate:
  • An association of vitamin D deficiency with respiratory disease is due to an impact on lung development.
  • A significant association with language development at ages 5 and 10 years. The risk of having a child with clinically significant language impairment was increased by nearly twofold in women with the lowest vitamin D levels at 18 weeks' gestation compared with those in the highest percentage of the 25-OH-D distribution.
  • An increased risk for high scores in early adulthood on the Attention Switching subscale of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient for children of vitamin D-deficient mothers.
  • A significant predictive relationship between lower maternal vitamin D status and eating disorder risk in female offspring.
  • A significant association between maternal vitamin D deficiency and lower peak bone mass in offspring at 20 years. Total body bone mineral content was reduced by 2.7% and total body bone mineral density was reduced by 1.7% compared with children of vitamin D-sufficient mothers.

Which Blood Type Has the Highest Diabetes Risk?

A study of more than 80,000 women has uncovered different risks of developing type 2 diabetes associated with different blood groups, with the biggest difference a 35% increased risk of type 2 diabetes found in those with group B+. Published in Diabetologia,  researchers found that compared with women with group O blood, women with group A were 10% more likely to develop T2D, AB group was 17% more likely, and those with group B 21% more likely. 

Bonnie: Because group B's cannot handle corn properly, and it is endemic the western diet, I am not surprised it led the group.

Coffee and mortality risk

Despite the rising consumption of coffee worldwide, few studies have assessed the association of coffee intake with mortality including total and major causes of death. A study in the March issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigated the association between habitual coffee drinking and mortality from all causes, cancer, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, injuries, and other causes of death in a large-scale, population-based cohort study in Japan.

The results showed an reduced association between coffee intake and total mortality in both men and women. Total death in subjects who consumed coffee compared with those who never drank coffee were The strongest association seen were in those drinking 3–4 cups/day and more than 5 cups/day.

Specifically, coffee was reduced mortality from heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and respiratory disease.

Bonnie: Sorry folks, black coffee only!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Iodine recommended for all multi prenatals through lactation

Endocrinology groups are applauding a new recommendation from a dietary-supplement trade association that calls for iodine supplementation in all prenatal vitamins prescribed for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

In addition, the public health committee of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) recently published a statement reiterating the ATA recommendation that women take a daily multivitamin containing 150 mg of iodine during prepregnancy, pregnancy, and lactation. The statement also warns of the potential risks of excess iodine consumption and exposure, particularly through the use of unregulated kelp supplements.

The US Council for Responsible Medicine's new guidelines call for all dietary-supplement manufacturers and marketers to begin including at least 150 μg of iodine in all daily multivitamin/mineral supplements intended for pregnant and lactating women in the United States within the next 12 months.

Is Carrageenan That Bad?

According to a study in the upcoming April issue of Food and Chemical Toxicity, the common food additive carrageenan, vilified by some in the food industry, does not bind to Toll-Like-Receptor 4, does not stimulate NF-KB inflammatory responses, and is tightly bound to protein, which limits interactions with cells.

Carrageenan (CGN) is widely used in the food manufacturing industry as an additive that stabilizes and thickens food products. Standard animal safety studies in which CGN was administered in diet showed no adverse effects. However, several in vitro studies have reported that intestinal inflammation is caused by CGN and that this effect is mediated through Toll-Like-Receptor 4 (TLR4). The purpose of the study was to evaluate this issue.

The results show that CGN does not bind to TLR4 and is not cytotoxic to the HEK293 cells at the concentrations and experimental conditions tested and that CGN binds tightly to serum proteins. Thus, intestinal inflammation is not a byproduct of CGN consumption in this study.

Greater Food Variety = Less Obesity

Consuming a wider variety of nutrient-dense foods may promote adherence to healthful dietary patterns, leading to improved dietary quality and enhanced metabolic health.

Higher-protein diets are associated with lower BMI and waist circumference and higher HDL cholesterol compared to protein intakes at RDA levels. According to a study in the March issue of The Journal of Nutrition, data suggest that Americans who consume dietary protein between 1.0 and 1.5 grams/kilogram of body weight have a lower risk of developing cardiometabolic disease.

In a second study from the same issue, greater healthful food variety was associated with lower odds of Metabolic Syndrome and some Metabolic Syndrome components in the total population. Steve: the problem is that the majority of the Standard American Diet is made up of soy, wheat, corn, and dairy, basically monolculture!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Things that help or harm HDL

Recent data suggest that an increased level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is not protective against heart disease on its own, but sub-phenotypes of HDL are. Prior work on the effects of dietary intakes has focused largely on HDL-C. The goal of a Nutrition and Metabolism study was to identify the dietary intakes that affect HDL-related measures: HDL-C, HDL-2, HDL-3, and apoA1. Here's the results:

  • Dietary folate intake was positively associated with HDL-C, HDL-3, and apoA1.
  • Alcohol intake and myristic acid, a saturated fat, were each significantly associated with increased levels of all HDL-related measures studied.
  • Dietary carbohydrate and iron intake were significantly associated with decreased levels of all HDL-related measures.
  • Magnesium intake was positively associated with HDL-C, HDL-2, and HDL-3 levels, but not apoA1 levels
  • Vitamin C was only associated with apoA1 levels.
  • Dietary fiber and protein intake were both positively associated with HDL-3 levels alone.

Given the shifting focus away from HDL-C, these first-of-its-kind data will prove valuable for future epidemiologic investigation of the role of diet and multiple HDL phenotypes in heart disease.