Hot Topics – January & February 2016


Hot Topics

1 Southern cooking – fried chicken, greens cooked in bacon fat, sweet tea, etc. – increases heart attack risk by at least 56%, according to a study from the University of Alabama. Circulation 2015; August 10th.

2 As vitamin C intake increases, the risk for head and neck cancer decreases, according to a study from Maastricht University in The Netherlands. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2015;102:420-432.

3 Flavanols in cocoa increased blood vessel flexibility and lowered blood pressure in a study from the University of Dusseldorf. British Journal of Nutrition 2015; September 10th.

4 Almost 60% of the vegetables Americans eat are potatoes (typically processed and fried), tomatoes (seldom fresh), and lettuce (usually iceberg), according to a recent report from the US Department of Agriculture, who adds that these are the least nutritious choices and the lack of variety also increases the risk for malnutrition in the face of overnutrition. USDA Economic Research Service report; 2015;September 24th.

5 The chemical in plastics, called BPA, might be linked to low birth weight in baby girls, according to a study from the University of Michigan’s Medical School. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2015; September 25th.

6 Children exposed to second-hand smoke in infancy are twice as likely to have cavities by early childhood compared to children whose parents didn’t smoke, according to a study from Kyoto University in Japan. British Medical Journal 2015;October 21st.

7 A diet where the majority of fat comes from monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, might protect against a type of liver cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma, according to a study from Emory University in Atlanta. International Journal of Cancer 2015; 137:2715-2728.

8 Physically active, healthy-weight kids had lower resting heart rates and performed better on mental tests that required planning and paying attention compared to their inactive, heavier classmates, in a study from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Pediatric Exercise Science 2015; November 2nd.

9 Almost one in every two persons with high blood pressure is not properly controlling the condition, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2015; November 12th.

10 While the American diet remains very poor with huge room for improvement, those people who have made even minor improvements in dietary intakes have accounted for  more than one million fewer premature deaths and lowered the nation’s incidence of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study from Harvard School of Public Health. Health Affairs 2015; November 2nd.

11 Only one in every three pregnant women gain the recommended weight during pregnancy. The rest gain too much, placing their pregnancies and the health of their babies at risk, according to an analysis of national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015;November 6th.

12 High fat diets increase cholesterol in the cell membranes of red blood cells, which promotes systemic inflammation and the development of cardiovascular disease, state researchers at the University of Cincinnati. Circulation 2015; November 16th.

13 Gut bacteria are a factor in how well diabetics respond to dietary interventions, according to a study from the University of Gothenburg. A group of bacteria, called Prevotella, appear to be beneficial and are commonly found in people who eat fiber-rich diets. In contrast, people who eat more animal protein and fats have a type of bacteria called bacteroides. Cell Metabolism 2015; November 10th.

14Use of sugar substitutes aids weight loss, according to a thorough review of studies by researchers at the University of Bristol. International Journal of Obesity 2015; November 10th.

15 Exposure to pesticides, known as organochlorines, in the teenage years might increase the risk for defective sperm later in life, according to a study from George Washington University. Environmental Health Perspectives 2015; November 4th.

16 The World Health Organization warns that processed meats, including bacon, hot dogs, and sausages, increase risk for colon cancer. A study from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found that meats cooked at high temperatures, such as in barbecuing and pan-frying, increases the risk for kidney cancer. Cancer 2015;November 9th.

17 The incidence of spina bifida, a type of neural tube defect, has dropped dramatically in countries around the world that have adopted folic acid fortification programs, while incidence remains high in countries that have not adopted such programs, according to a study from the University of Calgary. American Journal of Public Health 2015; November 12th.

18 Risk for developing kidney cancer decreased as vitamin E intake increased in a meta analysis study from the Third Military Medical University in China. Medical Science Monitor 2015;21:3420-3426.

19 People who drink coffee live longer than those who abstain, with lower risk of early death from heart disease or neurological conditions such as Parkinsons, according to a study from Harvard School of Public Health. Circulation 2015;November 16th.

20 Premature babies who are exclusively breastfed have a 75% lower risk of developing a serious eye problem called retinopathy of prematurity, according to a study from Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai. Pediatrics 2015; November 16th.


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