Health & Nutrition News

“Dodgy food claims”: European consumer group campaigns as “nutrient profiles” delays hit 9-year mark

23 Jan 2018 --- The European Consumer Organization, BEUC and its member organizations from 11 countries (see below) are denouncing what it calls “the EU Commission’s long-standing failure to clear the market of bogus food claims.” It is common to see foods and drinks loaded with sugar, salt or fat with nutrition claims such as “high in fibers,” “B vitamins” or health claims like “boosts your immune system.” Those messages give: “a healthy halo to unhealthy products and mislead consumers as to the actual nutritional content of the food they buy.”

Dietary fiber protects against obesity and metabolic syndrome, study finds

23 Jan 2018 --- Consumption of dietary fiber can prevent obesity, metabolic syndrome and adverse changes in the intestine by promoting growth of "good" bacteria in the colon, according to a study led by Georgia State University. The researchers found enriching the diet of mice with the fermentable fiber inulin prevented metabolic syndrome that is induced by a high-fat diet, and they identified specifically how this occurs in the body.

Active aging: New assessment method developed

23 Jan 2018 --- Researchers at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland have developed a new indicator for assessing active aging. The indicator is called the University of Jyväskylä Active Aging Scale (UJACAS). Active aging refers to having initiative and doing things the aging person considers important. The indicator consists of a series of questions, which can be presented either in an interview or as a questionnaire. A score describing active aging is calculated based on the responses. 

Specific neurons are sufficient to induce dietary preference for carbohydrate over fat

23 Jan 2018 --- The preference for a high-fat diet (HFD) among multiple palatable diets has increased in the modern world, whereas carbohydrate craving is often induced by stressful life events and mood disturbances. However, the mechanism responsible for selection between a high-carbohydrate diet (HCD) and a high-fat diet (HFD) remains unknown.

Herbal extracts (Part 1): Taking value from herbs – Challenges, delivery systems and meeting trends

22 Jan 2018 --- With the popularity of traditional medicine and naturalness, in general, experiencing something a resurgence of late, it is instructive to look at the general space around herbal extracts.

Paleolithic diet healthier for overweight women, Swedish study finds

22 Jan 2018 --- Overweight women after menopause who follow a Paleolithic diet can maintain weight loss in the long term, according to a study at Umeå University in Sweden. Further findings show that the diet also causes the levels of risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases to decrease.

Teens' alcohol consumption can predict risk of liver problems in adulthood

22 Jan 2018 --- Adolescent drinking can predict the risk of developing liver disease later in life, confirms a major new study conducted in Sweden. Alcohol is the leading cause of liver cirrhosis and liver-related deaths, and guidelines for safe alcohol intake in men might have to be revised downwards, the researchers report in the Journal of Hepatology. Current recommended cut-off levels in some countries suggest that safe alcohol consumption for men to avoid alcoholic liver disease is 30 grams per day, roughly equivalent to three drinks.

Caffeine’s sports performance benefits more apparent for infrequent tea and coffee drinkers

22 Jan 2018 --- The performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine are more apparent in athletes who do not drink caffeine-rich drinks such as tea, coffee and energy drinks on daily basis. This according to research led by Dublin City University sports scientists Dr. Brendan Egan and Mark Evans.

Female athletic performance boosted by newly developed mineral supplement, study finds

19 Jan 2018 --- A small-scale study has found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute. The minerals in the study included forms of iron, copper and zinc along with two other nutrients – carnitine (derived from an amino acid) and phosphatidylserine (made up of fatty acids and amino acids). The women who took the supplement also saw improvements in distance covered in 25 minutes on a stationary bike and a third test in which they stepped on and off a bench, according to research from Ohio State University. 

Drinking 100 percent fruit juice has no effect on blood sugar levels, news research finds

19 Jan 2018 --- One hundred percent juice does not have a significant effect on fasting blood glucose, fasting blood insulin, or insulin resistance, according to new research. The findings are consistent with previous research indicating that 100 percent fruit juice is not associated with an increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and support a growing body of evidence that 100 percent fruit juice has no significant effect on glycemic control. The study was conducted on behalf of the Juice Products Association and published in the Journal of Nutritional Science.

Prebiotics in infant formula could improve learning and memory, says new study

18 Jan 2018 --- New mothers often hear the slogan “breast milk is best” and are encouraged to offer breast milk to their newborn babies and that’s because it contains natural sources of prebiotics, the small indigestible fiber molecules that promote the growth of good bacteria in the infant’s gut. However, many families find breastfeeding or completely impossible in some cases and turn to infant formulas. And now, thanks to research from the University of Illinois, infant formulas are getting even closer to the real thing. In a recent study, scientists foudn that prebiotics included in infant formula may enhance memory and exploratory behavior.

Intermittent fasting: The diet to watch in 2018?

17 Jan 2018 --- With rates of obesity continuing to skyrocket, the weight loss market is seeing persistent growth, experiencing an explosion in sales especially around the New Year. In this space, intermittent fasting (IF) is becoming increasingly popular, with organizations such as Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) touting its benefits. IF is an umbrella term encompassing a range of diets where the pattern of calorie restriction and timing of food intake are altered so that individuals undergo frequently repeated periods of fasting or modified fasting (allowing a low calorie intake of approximately 500-600 calories per day). What is the science behind this range of diets, and what sort of opportunities do they offer the food industry?

Cognitive health: High-salt diet linked to dementia, finds mouse study

17 Jan 2018 --- Excessive consumption of salt is known to affect heart health and blood pressures, but research by scientists at Weill Cornell Medicine has now underlined its negative effect of sodium on cognitive health. According to their study, a high-salt diet reduces resting blood flow to the brain and causes dementia in mice. The study, published on Monday in Nature Neuroscience, is the first to unveil a gut-brain connection linking high dietary salt intake to neurovascular and cognitive impairment. The findings illuminate a potential future target for countering harmful effects to the brain caused by excess salt consumption.

Scarring molecule in fat tissue links obesity with distressed and inflamed fat

16 Jan 2018 --- The fat of obese people can become distressed, scarred and inflamed, making weight loss more difficult, according to research at the University of Exeter. An analysis of the health of adipose (fat) tissue in overweight people found that their fat can cease to cope as it increases in size and becomes suffocated by its own expansion.

Bile acids increase fat burning, offering a potential new treatment for obesity

16 Jan 2018 --- A specific group of bile acids could directly burn away the lipids in our fat depots, effectively making it a new therapy against obesity. This is according to a new study led by the lab Kristina Schoonjans at EPFL. Current treatments for obesity try to decrease calorie intake and increase energy expenditure, but the problem is maintaining long-term effects. Non-invasive treatments, like diets and drugs that reduce intestinal ingestion, are widely unpopular among patients, while bariatric surgery seems to be the only reliable treatment for obese people, despite being both expensive and invasive.

Start as you mean to go on – Protein for breakfast key to weight loss: report

15 Jan 2018 --- Eating more protein, especially at breakfast, could be the key to achieving healthy weight loss, according to a new report released by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The report, Protein Balance: New concepts for protein in Weight Management, aims to highlight the benefits of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet for weight control and notes that the latest scientific evidence supports eating at least 25 grams of protein at each main meal to control hunger and enhance muscle metabolism.

Cruciferous vegetables and probiotic combination: New allies in fight against bowel cancer

15 Jan 2018 --- A team of researchers in the National University Singapore (NUS) Medicine lab of Associate Professor Matthew Chang have found a way to turn a mix of bacteria and vegetables into a targeted system that seeks out and kills colorectal cancer cells. According to the researchers, this combination could be used in the prevention of colorectal cancer – one of the most common cancers in the world – and to clean up the cancer cells remaining after surgical removal of tumors, through a sustainable, low-cost therapeutic regimen.

Chr. Hansen reports 10 percent organic growth in Q1, but downgrades year-long outlook for Health & Nutrition

12 Jan 2018 --- Chr. Hansen has reported organic revenue growth of 10 percent in the first three months of 2017/18, but has downgraded its outlook for Health & Nutrition due to challenging market conditions in North America. Food Cultures & Enzymes grew by 12 percent, Health & Nutrition by 10 percent and Natural Colors by 4 percent. EBIT before special items decreased by 1 percent to €65 million, corresponding to an EBIT margin before special items of 25.4 percent. According to the company’s results report, Q1 2017/18 Revenue reached €254.5 million, up from €241.7 million the same period last year, accounting for 5 percent growth. Profit for the period amounted to €46.5 million, up 1 percent from last year’s €47 million. 

Fast food found to make the immune system more aggressive in the long term

12 Jan 2018 --- The immune system reacts similarly to a high fat and high-calorie diet as to a bacterial infection, according to a study by the University of Bonn. What is particularly disturbing is that unhealthy food seems to make the body's defenses more aggressive in the long term. Even long after switching to a healthy diet, inflammation towards innate immune stimulation is more pronounced, the researchers found. These long-term changes may be involved in the development of arteriosclerosis and diabetes, diseases linked to Western diet consumption. The results are to be published in the journal Cell.

BioGaia Protectis probiotics with vitamin D to be launched in the Swedish market 

12 Jan 2018 --- Swedish healthcare company BioGaia has launched chewable tablets with Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis and vitamin D. Launched through its partner Medhouse AB, the products – BioGaia Protectis D3 and BioGaia Protectis D3+ – will soon be available at selected pharmacy chains around Sweden. 

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