Hot Topics: May/June 2016

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  1. No surprise here: Obese children between the ages of 6- and 19-years-old are at high risk for high blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and elevated fasting glucose levels, placing them at high risk for heart disease and diabetes, state researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Childhood Obesity 2016; January 19th.
  2. Diets with high glycemic index scores, suggesting increased intake of processed and refined foods, are associated with a greater risk for depression, according to a study from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2016;103:201-209.
  3. Astaxanthin, a carotenoid related to beta carotene, has potent antioxidant capabilities, state researchers at the University of Kiel in Germany. International Journal of Molecular Science 2016; January 14th.
  4. Eye drops containing co-enzyme Q10 promote corneal epithelial wound healing in the eyes, state researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Eyes & Contact Lens 2016; January 16th.
  5. A study from Harvard where more than 124,000 men and women were followed for 24 years found that diets rich in flavonoid-containing foods, such as apples, pears, berries, and peppers, helped with weight loss. For every 10 milligrams of flavonoids consumed daily there was a quarter-pound drop in weight over the years. British Medical Journal 2016; January 27th.
  6. Four carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and astaxanthin, appear to show benefits in reducing metabolic complications associated with diabetes, state researchers at the University of Connecticut. Advances in Nutrition 2016;7:14-24.
  7. Just one week of supplementing with the omega-3 DHA (3,000 mg/day) reduced muscle soreness and stiffness, and protected against the loss of joint range of motion caused by strenuous exercise in a group of 27 women, according to a study from St. Louis University. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine 2016;15:176-183.
  8. According to a study from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute in Barcelona, when people increase the amount of money they spend on food, especially if that reflects increased intake of colorful fruits and vegetables, they maintain healthier weights and lowered risks for health issues, such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. British Journal of Nutrition 2016; January 27th.
  9. Exposure to the chemical in plastics and can linings, called bisphenol A or BPA, increases fertility problems in women. However, consuming soy-based foods, such as tofu, soymilk, or edamame, might protect women from reproductive health issues caused by this chemical. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2016; January 27th.
  10. According to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who are overweight are at risk for developing asthma. Current Asthma Prevalence by Weight Status Among Adults 2016; March 16th.
  11. Long-distance athletes who drink too much water during competition could risk low blood sodium levels, according to a study from the University Hospital of Cologne. New England Journal of Medicine 2016; March 10th.
  12. Drinking more water helps a person cut back on sugar, salt, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories, state researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 2016; March 1st.
  13. Coffee might lower risk for multiple sclerosis with people who drink at least 30 ounces of coffee a day being almost one-third less likely to develop the disease compared to non-drinkers, state researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2016; March 3rd.
  14. Supplementing the diet with aged garlic extract improves immune function and may be responsible for a reduced severity of colds and flu, state researchers at the University of Florida. Journal of Nutrition 2016; January 13th. Climate change resulting in lower production of fruits and vegetables could lead to half a million more deaths in adults worldwide, especially in China and India, by 2050, state researchers at The Future of Food at the University of Oxford in England. Lancet 2016; March 2nd.
  15. The carotenoid, cryptoxanthin, found in tangerines, red peppers, and pumpkin, lowers the risk of some cancers, degenerative diseases, and possibly osteoporosis, state researchers at the University of California, Davis. Nutrition Reviews 2016;74:69-82.
  16. Consumption of a diet that mimics the Western diet in fat, refined carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin and mineral levels escalated aging and increased dementia in a study on mice at Tufts University in Boston. Scientific Reports 2016; February 18th.
  17. Vitamin B12 deficiency was prevalent in patients with chronic tinnitus, while improvements in symptoms were noted when they supplemented with the vitamin, in a study from Integral University in India. Noise & Health 2016; 18:93-97. Seniors with mild cognitive impairment who were given daily multivitamins showed improvements in cognitive function and reductions in blood homocysteine levels and depression, in a study from Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 2016; February 15th.
  18. Researchers at the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine in Oxford, UK warn consumers that despite the health halo,  there is no definition for many of the words used on food labels or in the press, including “neutraceutical,” “health food,” “functional food,” and “natural.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2016; March 16th.
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