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«PFNDAI Bulletin April 2009 Editorial Staying healthy is extremely important in today’s context as medical care has become very expensive and is ...»

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GOOD FATS VS. BAD FATS: Fats should account for no more than 30 percent of the total calories we consume, but good health also depends on whether those are "good" fats or "bad" fats. Mono-unsaturated fats, like olive oil and canola oil, are considered good because they can help lower cholesterol. Saturated (animal) fats are thought of as bad because they clog the arteries. A third type of fat is made when corn oil or other fats that are usually liquid at room temperature are solidified through heating. This type of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, called trans fatty acid, is a main ingredient in vegetable shortening and margarine. It is the worst kind of fat. In the body, the enzymes responsible for processing fats have trouble breaking down trans fatty acids and spend so much time trying to do so that it interferes with the processing of essential fatty acids.

WHAT ARE EFAs? There are two types of essential fatty acids (EFAs): Omega-3 and Omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods like fish, flax and pumpkin seeds, and walnuts. Omega-6 fatty acids can be found in corn oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil, for example. EFAs have been shown to protect against heart disease, but the body can't make them, so we must consume them in food. Ideally, these should be balanced in the diet at a ratio of 2-to-1; in most Western diets, that ratio is 20-to-1.

WHERE THE BODY STORES FAT: Men and women store fat differently because they have different sex hormones: testosterone and estrogen. Adult men store fat in the chest, abdomen, and buttocks, producing an apple shape. Adult women carry fat in the breasts, hips, waist and buttocks, creating a pear shape.

From: Science Daily January 1, 2006 Simple device can ensure food gets to the store bacteria free WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue University researcher has found a way to eliminate bacteria in packaged foods such as spinach and tomatoes, a process that could eliminate worries concerning some food-borne illnesses.

Kevin Keener designed a device consisting of a set of high-voltage coils attached to a small transformer that generates a room-temperature plasma field inside a package, ionizing the gases inside. The process kills harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella, which have caused major public health concerns.

Keener's process is outlined in an article released online early in LWT - Food Science and Technology, a journal for the Swiss Society of Food and Technology and the International Union of Food Science and Technology.

"Conceptually, we can put any kind of packaged food we want in there," said Keener, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science. "So far, it has worked on spinach and tomatoes, but it could work on any type of produce or other food."

By placing two high-voltage, low-watt coils on the outside of a sealed food package, a plasma field is formed. In the plasma field, which is a charged cloud of gas, oxygen has been ionized and turned into ozone. Treatment times range from 30 seconds to about five minutes, Keener said.

Ozone kills bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. The longer the gas in the package remains ionized, the more bacteria that are killed. Eventually, the ionized gas will revert back to its original composition.

The process uses only 30-40 watts of electricity, less than most incandescent light bulbs.

The outside of the container only increases a few degrees in temperature, so its contents are not cooked or otherwise altered.

Other methods of ozone treatment require adding devices to bags before sealing them to create ozone or pumping ozone into a bag and then sealing it. Keener's method creates the ozone in the already sealed package, eliminating any opportunity for contaminants to enter while ozone is created.

"It's kind of like charging a battery. We're charging that sample," Keener said. "We're doing it without electrode intrusion. We're not sticking a probe in the package. We can do this in a sealed package."

Keener said testing has worked with glass containers, flexible plastic-like food-storage bags and rigid plastics, such as strawberry cartons and pill bottles. He said the technology also could work to ensure pharmaceuticals are free from bacteria.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 40,000 cases of Salmonellosis, an infection caused by salmonella, are reported each year in the United States, causing 400 deaths. The CDC reports that about 70,000 E. coli infections are reported each year, causing dozens of deaths.

From: Eurekalert 2 Mar 09

Effects of Soy Isoflavone Consumption on Bone Structure A new study, 'Effects of soy isoflavone consumption on bone structure and milk mineral concentration in a rat model of lactation-associated bone loss,' is now available (see also http://www.newsrx.com/library/topics/Menopause-Therapy.html"Menopause Therapy).

According to recent research from the United States, "Like menopause, during complete lactation, circulating estrogen concentrations are markedly reduced, resulting in amplified bone resorption. To investigate the effects of soy isoflavones, common dietary components used to mitigate the bone loss of menopause, on the bone loss associated with lactation."

"Lactating rats were randomized to one of four diets supplemented with different levels of soy isoflavones (0, 2, 4, 8 mg aglycone isoflavone/g protein). Milk was collected from all dams between days 12 and 15 of lactation and was analyzed for calcium, phosphorus and genistein concentrations. Serum and bones from half of the animals from each diet group were taken at weaning and from the remaining half at 4 weeks post-weaning.

Bones underwent histomorphometric analysis and serum was used for genistein determinations. Serum genistein and milk concentrations reflected dietary isoflavone dose. Isoflavone intake had no effect on any of the bone changes associated with lactation or recovery. Milk calcium and mineral concentrations were unaffected by dietary isoflavones," wrote C.A. Peterson and colleagues, University of Missouri, Department of Nutritional Sciences.

The researchers concluded: "Consumption of soy isoflavones, in levels that can be readily attained through soy foods, have neither protective effects on bone nor deleterious effects on milk quality or quantity during lactation."

Peterson and colleagues published their study in European Journal of Nutrition (Effects of soy isoflavone consumption on bone structure and milk mineral concentration in a rat model of lactation-associated bone loss. European Journal of Nutrition, 2009;48(2):84From: Soytech E-News March 19, 2009 Fruit and vegetable consumption may lower risk of colorectal cancer A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that a high consumption of fruit and vegetables may be associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, especially of colon cancer. The researchers used the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) data, which had a total of 452,755 subjects (131,985 men and 320,770 women). The subjects completed a dietary questionnaire in 1992–2000 and were followed up for cancer incidence and mortality until 2006. A multivariate Cox proportional hazard model was used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios. After an average follow-up of 8.8 years, 2,819 incident colorectal cancer cases were reported. Consumption of fruit and vegetables was inversely associated with colorectal cancer in a comparison of the highest with the lowest EPIC-wide quintile of consumption, particularly with colon cancer risk. Only after exclusion of the first two years of follow-up were these findings corroborated by calibrated continuous analyses for a 100-g increase in consumption. The association between fruit and vegetable consumption and colorectal cancer risk was inverse in never and former smokers, but positive in current smokers. This modifying effect was found for fruit and vegetables combined and for vegetables alone.

From: IFT Newsletter Apr 15, 2009 NIH Study Finds Calories DO Count for Weight Loss Heart-healthy diets that reduce calorie intake can help overweight and obese adults achieve and maintain weight loss—regardless of differing proportions of fat, protein or carbohydrates—according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers from the Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies (POUNDS LOST) study found similar weight loss after six months and two years among participants assigned to four diets that differed in their proportions of these three major nutrients. The diets were low or high in total fat (20% or 40% of calories) with average or high protein (15% or 25% of calories). Carbohydrate content ranged from 35% to 65% of calories. The diets all used the same calorie reduction goals and were heart-healthy—low in saturated fat and cholesterol while high in dietary fiber.

On average, participants lost 13 pounds at six months and maintained a 9-pound loss at two years. Participants also reduced their waistlines by 1 to 3 inches by the end of the study. Craving, fullness, hunger and diet satisfaction were all similar across the four diets.

“These results show that, as long as people follow a heart-healthy, reduced-calorie diet, there is more than one nutritional approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight,” said Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, director, NHLBI. “This provides people who need to lose weight with the flexibility to choose an approach that they’re most likely to sustain—one that is most suited to their personal preferences and health needs.” In the POUNDS LOST study, 811 overweight and obese adults aged 30 to 70 were assigned to one of four diets, and asked to record their food intake in a diary or an online tool that showed how intake compared with goals. Group diet counseling sessions were held at least twice per month throughout the two years of the study, and individual sessions were held every eight weeks. Participants were given personalized calorie goals, ranging from 1200 to 2400 calories per day, which reduced their overall caloric intake as compared with their daily energy requirement. All participants were asked to do moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 90 minutes per week. Study participants were diverse in gender and ethnicity, with 38% men and 22% representing minorities. Participants did not have diabetes or severe heart disease but could have had other risk factors, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Overweight is defined by having a body mass index (BMI)—a calculation of the relationship between weight and height—greater than 25 and less than 30. Those with a BMI of 30 or higher are considered to be obese. Sixty-six percent of American adults are overweight and of those, 32% are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research was conducted in Boston at Harvard University School of Public Health and at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. Diets were adapted during sessions to the diverse cuisines from these two regions of the country.

“We were encouraged that, in addition to achieving and maintaining weight loss, study participants experienced other positive health changes as well,” said Catherine Loria, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist at NHLBI and co-author of the study. “The findings emphasize the importance of weight loss in reducing heart disease risk.” All diets improved risk factors for cardiovascular disease at both six months and two years in ways consistent with previous studies. Improved risk factors include reduced levels of triglycerides, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, lowered blood pressure and increased HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. All diets decreased the presence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of related conditions, overweight, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and low HDL cholesterol, which increases heart disease risk.

Previous studies have shown that a loss of 5% to10% of body weight will help reduce risk factors for heart disease and other medical conditions. In this study, 15% of patients achieved a 10% weight loss after two years.

“This new information should focus weight loss approaches on reducing calorie intake rather than any particular proportions of fat, protein or carbohydrate. This is important information for health professionals who prescribe weight loss for their patients, and for adults who are seeking ways to sustain a healthful eating pattern,” said Frank Sacks, MD, principal investigator of POUNDS LOST and professor of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in the Nutrition Department at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The target nutrient compositions of the four diets were:

• Low-fat, average protein: 20% fat, 15% protein, 65% carbohydrate

• Low-fat, high protein: 20% fat, 25% protein, 55% carbohydrate

• High-fat, average protein: 40% fat, 15% protein, 45% carbohydrate

• High-fat, high-protein: 40% fat, 25% protein, 35% carbohydrate

From: Nutraceuticals World 2009-02-26

Omega-3 EPA Could Be Sourced From Biodiesel, New Study Says Omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) can be produced by fungal treatment of a biodiesel product which according to the researchers can lead to production of an EPArich biomass that could be used as an omega-3 fortified food. The study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that results indicated the great potential of producing EPA from biodiesel-derived crude glycerol by fungal fermentation but compared with microalgae (e.g., diatom) for EPA production, particularly at heterotrophic conditions, the biomass, EPA content, and EPA yield obtained from this research were still low. Lead researcher Zhiyou Wen states that commercialisation depends on many factors including process optimization, the EPA yield/productivity, the price of EPA in the existing market, and the FDA approval of this product.

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