January 2007 Archives

Major Link in Brain-obesity Puzzle Found

obesityA single protein in brain cells may act as a linchpin in the body's weight-regulating system, playing a key role in the flurry of signals that govern fat storage, sugar use, energy balance and weight, University of Michigan Medical School researchers report.

And although it's far too early to say how this protein could be useful in new strategies to fight the world?s epidemic of obesity, the finding gives scientists an important system to target in future research and the development of anti-obesity medications.

In the February issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, U-M researcher Liangyou Rui, Ph.D. and his team report their findings on a protein called SH2B1, and specifically on its activity in brain cells.

cloudy apple juiceNEW YORK - When it comes to apple juice, “cloudier” may mean healthier, according to a study published Monday.

In a head-to-head comparison of apple juices, Polish researchers found that pulpy, non-clarified juice carried a greater antioxidant punch than clear juice. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals, molecules that can damage body cells and contribute to disease.

Unlike cloudy apple juice, the much more common clear variety undergoes additional processing to remove any apple solids. Manufacturers typically think the public will favor the more attractive, clear juice over its cloudy cousin, and retailers prefer the clear variety for its longer shelf life.

But the new findings suggest that health-conscious consumers should reach for the cloudy variety, according to Dr. Jan Oszmianski, the study’s lead author.

Cauliflower Gene Eyed as Nutrition Booster

cauliflowerWashington - Can a gene from an orange cauliflower found three decades ago be the key to making food crops more nutritious?

Quite possibly, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Li Li. She's using cauliflower to identify genes and define molecular mechanisms that regulate nutrients in plant-based foods.

Li, a molecular biologist at the ARS U.S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory (PSNL) in Ithaca, N.Y., is making significant headway using this gene--dubbed "Or" for the color orange--to induce high levels of beta-carotene in food crops. She and colleagues at Cornell University isolated the gene last year.

Diet Pill Scams: An In Depth Analysis

Fat burners have become very popular in today’s society, especially in America. It seems that everyone is looking for a “quick fix” to their problem…and that is why they, therefore, turn to those “awesome” fat burners where you can just pop a pill and “lose 30 pounds in 10 days!”

However, Here we will investigate some of the claims that they make such as:

- increased thermogenesis
- decreased appetite
- weight loss without exercising
- increased energy

Weight Loss Surgery Soars in U.S.

surgeryJan. 11, 2007 -- Weight loss surgery is soaring in the U.S., especially among baby boomers and women, a government report shows.

Weight loss, or bariatric, surgery is for morbidly obese people and those who are obese with serious medical conditions related to their weight. Perhaps the best known type of this surgery is gastric bypass surgery.

The new report shows bariatric surgery was nine times more common in 2004 than in 1998 in the U.S.

Tea is good for you, but skip the milk

tea with milkLONDON - Drinking tea can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke but only if milk is not added to the brew, German scientists said on Tuesday.

Research has shown that tea improves blood flow and the ability of the arteries to relax but researchers at the Charite Hospital at the University of Berlin in Mitte found milk eliminates the protective effect against cardiovascular disease.

“The beneficial effects of drinking black tea are completely prevented by the addition of milk, said Dr Verena Stangl, a cardiologist at the hospital.

“If you want to drink tea to have the beneficial health effects you have to drink it without milk. That is clearly shown by our experiments,” she told Reuters.

nestle ZURICH (AFX) - Nestle SA said it aims for 10 pct annual organic growth in its nutrition segment while also seeking acquisitions, citing Novartis AG's Gerber unit as a potential target.

'We are aiming for 10 pct organic growth in the nutrition business,' a spokesman for the Swiss food giant said.

He added that Nestle was still seeking acquisitions and that the group might well be interested in Novartis (nyse: NVS)' Gerber unit, should the pharma group put Gerber up for sale.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) Jan 04 - Bayer AG and several smaller companies agreed to pay the U.S. government almost $26 million to settle allegations of false weight-loss advertising claims, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

The settlements involve Bayer's One-A-Day WeightSmart multi-vitamin, as well as the diet pills CortiSlim, TrimSpa and Xenadrine EFX, which are made and sold by other companies.

"You're not going to find weight loss in a bottle of pills," FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras told reporters. "These ads are encouraging consumers to postpone the tougher choices that have to be made when one wants to lose weight."

soft drinksNutrition studies of beverages funded solely by industry are four to eight times more likely to report favourable conclusions for the sponsors than studies with no industry funding, say researchers from the US.

The results, published on-line in the journal Public Library of Science – Medicine, are based on a review of 206 review and research articles that focussed on studies using soft drinks, fruit juices, and milk with health-related outcomes. 

“The main finding of this study is that scientific articles about commonly consumed beverages funded entirely by industry were approximately four to eight times more likely to be favourable to the financial interests of the sponsors than articles without industry-related funding,” wrote lead author Lenard Lesser from the Children 's Hospital, Boston.

surveyFood safety scares could result in a long lasting impact on purchasing decisions, with new research revealing that 15 percent of consumers stop eating a product entirely after a food safety incident.

The findings come as the industry is already battling to recover from several cases of food poisoning in recent months, which resulted in serious illness and severe market consequences.

According to a new survey conducted last month, over one in ten adults say they or someone in their household have been affected by food poisoning, although only a third of these incidents were reported.

EUFood industry and consumer groups are poles apart over the question of mandatory nutrition labelling, according to the results of a public consultation conducted last year, with government opinion somewhere between the two.

Nutrition labelling for the bloc is governed by the Council Directive 90/496/EC, and a subsequent amendment in 2003. In November 2004 the EC published an impact assessment on the topic conducted by European Advisory Services on the mandatory nutrition labelling for pre-packaged food products.

The findings of the consultation industry are in line with those of EAS: while most consumer and health NGOs said they were in favour of a mandatory approach, the food industry continues to press for a voluntary approach.

American Heart AssociationDALLAS, Texas (AP) -- With an eye on Americans who spend too much time sitting behind computer screens and not enough time getting exercise, the American Heart Association is pitching fitness with an online nutrition tracker.

The group hopes its new free Start! program will inspire Americans to follow through on those resolutions to get in shape. With its online fitness and nutrition tracker, participants can enter what they eat each day and how much exercise they get, then get a summary of calories in and calories out.

"I think we all know that as a nation, we are not active enough," said Dr. Raymond J. Gibbons, president of the heart association, which announced its campaign Monday.

weightloss(PRWeb) January 5, 2007 -- What do Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Katie Holmes all have in common? Besides the obvious- money- these ladies possess an uncanny ability to lose weight fast. But health author Nicole "Naweko" Dial warns, "Before you brush quick celebrity weight loss to just possessing youthful genes, possible illicit drug use, or pure luck… Take a closer, more psychological look at how these ladies and celebrities like them manage to seemingly melt away pounds of fat."

According to "Skinny Fat Chicks" author Dial, movie stars possess strong emotional, psychological, social reasons to lose weight fast. Dial explains, "Stars lose weight fast- to gain more attention and more money. And there is no need to hate movies stars for their dietary motivations. But we should at least appreciate the real reasons for their dieting success."

Britney Spears' recent rapid weight loss serves as a clear illustration of effective celebrity-style dieting. A few months ago Britney Spears was sporting baby fat and there were rumors that she was on the verge of a divorce.

Federal Trade CommissionNEW YORK, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Reality Council, a group of experts on obesity, nutrition, diabetes and healthcare policy, today comments on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) settlement with four leading weight loss pill manufacturers. The settlement requires the companies to change their advertising claims and pay a total of $25 million for civil penalties and consumer redress.

The settlement comes less than three months after the Reality Council issued a White Paper, "Help Not Hype: Getting Real About Weight Loss," that called on regulators to enforce existing laws and regulations that prohibit companies from making unsubstantiated weight loss claims.

The Reality Council applauds the efforts of the FTC, shining a national spotlight on the obesity epidemic and one of its underlying causes -- the false hope that lasting weight loss can be achieved rapidly or by taking a "magic" pill. Obesity -- America's largest and potentially most expensive epidemic -- hits home hard, impacting America's health and economy.

Weight Loss Pill Ads Draw Costly Fine

lawsuitJan. 4, 2007 -- The marketers of four weight-control pills will pay $25 million in false advertising claims alleged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The FTC today announced that marketers of the four products -- Xenadrine EFX, CortiSlim, TrimSpa, and One-A-Day WeightSmart -- settled their cases and agreed to limit their future advertising claims.

"The common theme in these cases is the marketers made claims that their products contain new, breakthrough ingredients which are proven to cause weight loss or control weight. But the claims aren't supported by sound science," FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras told reporters in a teleconference.

"Paying for fad science and miracle ingredients is a good way to lose nothing but your cash," Majoras says.

Ratatouille and your teeth

ratatouilleRatatouille is a great way to get your veggies. But if you roast the dish, you increase the acidity of its eggplant, zucchini and green bell peppers, according to recent research from Britain.

That makes the vegetables more likely to erode your tooth enamel. Stewing is better for teeth but hard on nutrients.

If you prefer using the oven, experts say go ahead and roast — just be sure to brush or rinse your mouth with water right after you eat to keep your chompers healthy.

source Kansas City Star

omega-2 fatty acids in fish 04/01/2007- Ocean Nutrition Canada (ONC) is looking beyond its current focus of omega-3 ingredients, investigating marine microbial species to produce carotenoids and co-enzyme Q10.

Despite having successfully built up its Meg-3 branded ingredient over the past couple of years, ONC is not ignoring the potential of other marine-sourced nutrients. It recently published research results for its Thraustochytrid strain ONC-T18, currently used as a source of DHA, with a new area of research revolving around potential carotenoid and co-enzyme Q10 production.

Dr. Colin Barrow, ONC’s vice president of research and development and co-author of the study, told NutraIngredients.com that this organism or others currently being studied could lead to “value added DHA”, which is to say DHA plus carotenoids.

healthy shoppingAs 2006 slips deeper into the past, as resolutions are committed to paper and we look into the formless ether of the coming year, what everybody wants to know, of course, is, what's next?

Edible trends, especially, are slippery devils to predict, which is why futurists and prognosticators are paid bucks deluxe to consult with restaurant groups and food manufacturers to give them a leg up on the competition. Still, their foresight may only be as good as the next bend in the path, since growing cycles and ingredient procurement can make quick turns difficult when it comes to what ends up on your plate.

nutrition pyramidCaliforina - In a research report released today on the state of students in California's public schools, children's fitness level was targeted as the system's biggest failure.

In the "2006-07 California Report Card: The State of the State's Children," the Oakland-based nonprofit Children Now gave low marks for the state's ability to keep children within healthy weight limits. While after-school programs merited a B+ grade, children's obesity earned a dismal D+ mark. Currently one in three children between the ages of 6 and 17 is obese or overweight, according to the report's analysis.

"It's hard to look at that statistic and say anything other than, 'We've got a crisis on our hands,'" said former state Assemblyman Ted Lempert, now the president of Children Now. He said the grade was actually an improvement over last year's D assessment.

10 small steps for a longer life

health New Year is a time many of us resolve to make dramatic health improvements, such as joining the gym and giving up alcohol for ever (or for at least a month). But some of the most dramatic changes we can make are incredibly simple.

Here with the help of leading experts, Good Health offers a guide to the ten easy steps that really will make a difference to your life:


Flossing at least twice a day is essential to prevent decay says Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation.

9 healthy foods that may surprise you

chocolateEating healthy may be virtuous, but it just doesn't seem like that much fun.

The feast-filled holidays were a great excuse for blowing off your strict diet and indulging. Why else bother with a healthy New Year's resolution? Most of us prefer the taste of french fries and peanut brittle over that of oat bran. A glass of burgundy sounds more tantalizing than a cup of wheat grass juice. And while a nice piece of fruit is no punishment, chocolate is exceedingly more tempting.

The good news: Not all of those seemingly unhealthy choices actually are.

Cheese fries may never be a part of your recommended diet, but Russet potatoes alone are nothing to fear. In fact, they're full of disease-fighting antioxidants. Eating the whole box of chocolates still isn't a good idea. A square a day, however, may help prevent cancer and stave off weight gain.

red wineOrder from a menu of vegetables, fish, wine and chocolate, but hold the trans fats and sugary sodas. That might best sum up the diet headlines of 2006.

The year’s biggest nutrition news sometimes echoed what moms and food scientists have been harping on for years. Other times, it seemed too good to be true.

Often, the news centered on food choices many want removed from the table, but in a year that included white-bread icon Wonder Bread baking two whole-wheat versions, there were still plenty of healthy options available.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2006 is the previous archive.

February 2007 is the next archive.

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