Author Interviews, Depression, Omega-3 Fatty Acids / 19.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22787" align="alignleft" width="106"]Dr. Roel JT Mocking Program for Mood Disorders Department of Psychiatry Academic Medical Center University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands Dr. RJT Mocking[/caption] Dr. Roel JT Mocking Program for Mood Disorders Department of Psychiatry Academic Medical Center University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation (popularly referred to as fish oil) is being promoted as (add-on) treatment for depression. Thus far, many studies have been performed that tested the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in depression. In order to overcome differences between these results of individual studies, a meta-analysis can be performed. A meta-analysis pools the results of all individual studies, and thereby provides a more definitive conclusion regarding the effect of omega-3 fatty acids in depression. Moreover, using the differences between the individual studies, a meta-analysis can point to factors that are associated with a better effect of the supplementation, for example supplementation dose or duration. There have been meta-analyses performed previously, but they seemed to contain several inconsistencies. For example, they accidentally included the same study two or three times, which results in errors. In addition, these meta-analyses did not only include studies performed in patients with the psychiatric disorder "major depressive episode", but also subjects from the general population with less severe depressive complaints. This makes it more difficult to interpret the results. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis that included only studies performed in patients with major depressive disorder, and corrected errors from earlier meta-analyses.
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 12.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22593" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr.Noelle Noyes Dr.Noelle Noyes[/caption] Noelle R Noyes PhD Department of Clinical Sciences Colorado State University, Fort Collins MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this study is the increasing concern about antibiotic resistant infections, and what we can do as a society to help minimize the development and spread of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is a natural and ancient phenomenon in bacteria, but we can do things to bacterial populations to increase the amount of resistant bacteria and to promote the spread of resistant bacteria. It behooves us to try to identify specific practices that might be contributing to increases in antibiotic resistance, and to understand how we can change them to minimize risk. Towards this end, our study utilized new methods for investigating the ecology of antibiotic resistance throughout the process of beef production, from the time cattle enter feedlots through slaughter to the beef products that we eventually buy in the grocery store. Livestock production is thought to play a role in antibiotic resistance, although we have very little understanding of how important this role may be compared to other sectors like human hospitals, municipal wastewater treatment, daycare facilities, etc… We wanted to use new DNA sequence-based methods to try to get a high-level picture of what was happening with antibiotic resistance genes in feedlots and slaughterhouses. This high-level picture could then help us to understand how important cattle production may be in the overall ecology of antibiotic resistance, including the food chain and wider environment.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 10.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Euridice Martinez Steele  University of São Paulo, São Paulo MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Several leading health bodies, including the World Health Organization, the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have concluded that excess added sugar intake increases the risk not only of weight gain, but also of obesity and diabetes, which are associated with a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, and tooth decay. All reports recommended limiting intake of added sugars. In the US, the USDGAC recommended limiting added sugars to no more than 10% of total calories. To design and implement effective measures to reduce added sugars, their dietary sources must be clearly identified. Added sugars can be consumed either as ingredients of dishes or drinks prepared from scratch by consumers or cook, or as ingredients of food products manufactured by the food industry. According to market disappearance data from 2014, more than three quarters of the sugar and high fructose corn syrup available for human consumption in the US were used by the food industry. This suggests food products manufactured by the industry could have an important role in the excess added sugars consumption in the US. However, to assess this role, it is essential to consider the contribution of manufactured food products to both total energy intake and the energy intake from added sugars, and, more relevantly, to quantify the relationship between their consumption and the total dietary content of added sugars. To address these questions, we performed an investigation utilizing 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Sugar / 08.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Minakshi Trivedi, PhD Professor of Marketing Co-Director CRM University at Buffalo Jacobs Management Center Buffalo, NY 14260 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Trivedi: Consumer health concerns have been on the rise as has the flow of nutritional information and advice from retailers, manufacturers, government agencies and the medical community regarding what and how much consumers should consume. Nevertheless, whether such concerns are reflected in their purchasing and consumption behavior is not quite as certain. With diabetes and obesity showing steady increases of incidence in the population, understanding this apparent disconnect between stated health concerns and actual food consumption becomes a critical objective for policy makers wishing to impact and improve public consumption choice behavior. Drawing from the theory of compensatory or balancing behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975), we posit that consumers also exhibit such balancing behavior across a set of products when limiting the consumption of negatively perceived attributes – that is, attributes which when present, generally contribute negatively to the valuation of a product. We study this balancing behavior in consumer consumption when limiting salt, sugar and fat content across product categories. Depending on the consumer's individual health orientation, then, a healthy choice in some categories may compensate for a less healthy choice in another category.
AACR, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Lung Cancer, MD Anderson, Nutrition, Sugar / 05.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22379" align="alignleft" width="98"]Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Xifeng Wu[/caption] Xifeng Wu, M.D., Ph.D Professor of Epidemiology and [caption id="attachment_22380" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Stephanie Claire Melkonian PhD Epidemiologist, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Melkonian[/caption] Dr. Stephanie Claire Melkonian  PhD Epidemiologist, Postdoctoral Research Fellow The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Glycemic index (GI) assigns foods an indexed value to show how quickly and how much carbohydrates in the food cause blood glucose levels to rise after eating and is a measure of overall carbohydrate quality. Glycemic load (GL) is a related measure that is calculated by multiplying Glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrates in grams in that specific food and by the amount consume, then dividing by 100. Previous studies have investigated the association of GI and GL with certain types of cancer, including colorectal, stomach, and pancreatic cancer, but there has been limited research into the association with lung cancer. We conducted a study using patients and control subjects from an ongoing case-control study of lung cancer conducted at MD Anderson. The patients were newly diagnosed and had not received treatment other than surgery. The healthy control subjects were selected from patient lists at Kelsey-Seybold Clinics, a large physician group in the Houston area. The study results encompass 1,905 cases and 2,413 controls. Using data collected from in-person interviews regarding health histories and dietary behaviors, we were able to categorize the study subjects according to their dietary Glycemic index and GL. What we found was that individuals in the highest category of GI were at an almost 50% increased risk for developing lung cancer as compared to those in the lowest group. This association was different based on different subtypes of cancer. Most interestingly, however, among those individuals that never smoked, high Glycemic index was associated with an almost 2 fold increased risk of lung cancer. In other words, we found a more profound association between GI and lung cancer in never smokers in this study.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Coffee, Karolinski Institute, Multiple Sclerosis / 04.03.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22362" align="alignleft" width="200"]Anna Hedström PhD student Anna Hedström PhD student[/caption] Anna Hedström PhD student Karolinski Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous studies on the influence of coffee consumption on multiple sclerosis (MS) risk have yielded inconclusive results, perhaps largely due to statistical power problems since these studies comprised few cases. Caffeine consumption has a protective effect on neuroinflammation and demyelination in animal models of MS. We therefore aimed to investigate whether coffee consumption is associated with MS risk, using two large population-based case-control studies (a Swedish study comprising 1620 cases and 2788 controls, and a United States study comprising 1159 cases and 1172 controls). The risk of multiple sclerosis was reduced by approximately 30% among those who reported a high coffee consumption, around six cups daily, compared to those who reported no coffee consumption. The risk of multiple sclerosis decreased with increasing coffee consumption. Potentially important influential factors were taken into consideration, such as smoking and adolescent obesity.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, CDC, Sugar / 26.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_22125" align="alignleft" width="180"]Sohyun Park, PhD Epidemiologist Epidemiology and Surveillance Team Obesity Prevention and Control Branch Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia Dr. Sohyun Park[/caption] Sohyun Park, PhD Epidemiologist Epidemiology and Surveillance Team Obesity Prevention and Control Branch Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Park: The 2013 BRFSS provides the most recent state data for this behavior using a short screener which showed that about 1 in 3 adults consumed sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) at least once per day, and SSB intake differed by state and by certain subgroups. The main findings of the study showed the following among the 23 states and DC surveyed the prevalence of adults who consumed sugar-sweetened beverages at least once daily was:
  • Aged 18-24 years (43.3%)
  • Men (34.1%)
  • Non-Hispanic Blacks (39.9%)
  • Unemployed (34.4%)
  • Had less than a high school education (42.4%)
  • Adult sugar-sweetened beverages intake was highest in Mississippi (47.5%), followed by Louisiana (45.5%) and West Virginia (45.2%).
  • The prevalence of  sugar-sweetened beverages intake one or more times per day among younger adults (18–24 years) was 2.3 times the prevalence among the older adults (aged 55 years and older)—43.3% versus 19.1%, respectively.
Author Interviews, Depression, Eating Disorders, Mental Health Research, Nutrition, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 23.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21832" align="alignleft" width="200"]Lisanne de Barse Department of Epidemiology Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam Dr. Lisanne De Barse[/caption] Lisanne de Barse PhD Department of Epidemiology Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? Dr. de Barse: Fussy (or “picky”) eating behaviour, which is characterised by consistent rejection of particular foods, is common in childhood and a source of concern for parents. It is not well understood what affects fussy eating. It is, however, well known that internalizing psychiatric problems of parents (i.e. anxiety and depression) have an impact on children’s health and development. Studies have also shown that mothers’ internalizing problems during the child’s preschool period was linked to child fussy eating. It was not clear whether the child’s eating problems causes stress and psychiatric symptoms in mothers or whether mothers’ symptoms predict child eating behaviour. Nor was it known what potential impact the dads’ state of mind have. The purpose of this study was to examine whether mothers’ and fathers’ internalizing problems during pregnancy and during the child’s life predicts child fussy eating. MedicalResearch: What are the main findings? Dr. de Barse: Our main findings indicate that mothers’ anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy could have an influence on children’s fussy eating. This was irrespective of mothers’ internalizing symptoms at the child’s preschool period. We also found indications that fathers’ anxiety and depressive symptoms might influence children’s fussy eating behaviour. This was studied in Generation R, a study that has been tracking the health and wellbeing of children from conception onwards, conducted by the Erasmus Medical Centre, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Author Interviews, Lipids, Nutrition, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Red Meat / 18.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Professor Chris Seal and Professor Carlo Leifert Nafferton Ecological Farming Group (NEFG),School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University Nafferton Farm, Stocksfield, Northumberland UK Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2009 an FSA-sponsored study by Dangour et al. was published and concluded that there are no composition differences between organic and conventional crops and animal (meat and dairy) products. This contradicted the results of literature reviews, field experiments and retail surveys that many of the scientists involved in the EU-FP7 project QualityLowInputFoods (www.qlif.org/) had carried out or were in the process of completing in 2009. We therefore decided to put together an international team of scientists and carry out a larger, updated systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses to determine whether or not the Dangour et al (2009) study was justified in drawing the conclusions they had.  This took 5 years to complete. We reported on crops in 2014 (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nefg/QOF/crops/) and the studies published now report the results on meat (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nefg/QOF/meat/) and milk/dairy products (http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nefg/QOF/dairy/). Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: 
  • both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products
  • organic meat had slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats (myristic and palmitic acid) that are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • organic milk contains 40% more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
  • organic milk contains slightly higher concentrations of iron, Vitamin E and some carotenoids
  • conventional milk contained around 70% more of the essential mineral iodine and slightly more selenium
We feel the most important results in terms of nutrition is that both organic milk and meat contain around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products. Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function. Organic milk had 57% higher concentrations of the nutritionally most desirable, very long chain (VLC) omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fatty acid profiles in milk are known to change very little during processing in to high fat dairy products such as butter and cheese. Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and better immune function. The European Food safety Authority (EFSA) estimates that average dietary intakes of VLC omega-3 fatty acids account for less than half of what we need for optium health. The finding of substantially higher concentrations of iodine in conventional milk is also important information, especially for UK consumers, where iodized table salt is not widely available and dairy products are an important source of this nutrient. However, it should be pointed out that the Organic Milk Marketing Co-operative (OmsCo) has recently increased iodine fortification of organic dairy feeds and reports that levels of iodine in organic milk are now similar to those found in conventional milk (www.omsco.co.uk/_clientfiles/pdfs/omsco-iodine-levels.pdf).
Author Interviews, Lipids, Nutrition / 18.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21755" align="alignleft" width="200"]Sachin A. Shah, Pharm.D. Residency Director & Regional Coordinator - Travis AFB Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice TJ Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University of the Pacific Avocado- Wikipedia image[/caption] Sachin A. Shah, Pharm.D. Residency Director & Regional Coordinator - Travis AFB Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice TJ Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University of the Pacific Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Shah: The link between serum cholesterol and cardiovascular mortality has been well established. Dietary sources of cholesterol can play a major role toward a beneficiary or unfavorable lipid profile. Fatty acids in foods typically fall within one of the four categories: saturated fats (SFAs), common in animal sources, trans fats (TFAs), common in processed foods, polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), both common in plant-derived sources. Although low-fat diets are generally recommended, studies have indicated that altering the types of fats you consume may further modify the risk of dyslipidemia. We performed a meta-analysis of existing studies to determine the impact of avocados on the lipid profile. Ten unique studies incorporating 229 subjects were included. Avocado consumption significantly reduced TC, LDL-C, and TG by 18.80 mg/dL, 16.50 mg/dL, 27.20 mg/dL respectively. HDL-C decreased non-significantly.
Alcohol, Author Interviews, Nutrition, Weight Research / 13.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21581" align="alignleft" width="133"]Francis Tayie, PhD, MPhil, MS. BSc(HONS) Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Department of Human Environmental Studies Southeast Missouri State University Dr. Francis Tayie[/caption] Francis Tayie, PhD, MPhil, MS. BSc(HONS) Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Department of Human Environmental Studies Southeast Missouri State University Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Tayie: This article which is the first report to show a positive link between alcoholic beverage consumption and increased moisture intake, also reports increases in calorie intake above what is supplied by alcohol, as well as increased body weight status. The general view is that alcoholic beverages do not contribute to moisture intake. This view is generally due to the diuretic effect of the ethanol in alcoholic beverages, specifically depression of vasopressin resulting in increased loss of moisture via the kidneys. Nevertheless, much of the water in alcoholic beverages, especially in light drinks such as beer and wine may be retained, as indicated in this study. Alcoholic calories count!! The view that alcoholic beverages do not contribute calories to the intake of drinkers is largely debatable. Most of the confusion results from the complex metabolism of the ethanol in alcoholic beverages. Metabolism of ethanol utilizes specific metabolic pathways different from the metabolism of macronutrients. Notably, the
  • 1) alcohol dehydrogenase system,
  • 2) MEOS (microsomal ethanol oxidizing system),
  • and 3) the catalase system.These metabolic systems variably yield some calories but some calories are lost as body heat. It is likely that all of these pathways are not activated simultaneously, and their activities depends on drinking experience. Some calories become available via the alcohol dehydrogenase system, and to a lesser extent via the MEOS. In addition, alcoholic beverage consumption associates with decreased self-restraint, one consequence of which is increased food intake. The promoting effects of alcohol on food intake is multipronged, from social components, to alterations in the effects of appetite regulating neuropeptides.
Author Interviews, Microbiome, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 12.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with [caption id="attachment_21538" align="alignleft" width="103"]Tine Rask Licht, Professor Head of Research Group on Gut Microbiology and Immunology Technical University of Denmark National Food Institute Søborg Prof. Tine Rask Licht[/caption] Tine Rask Licht, Professor Head of Research Group on Gut Microbiology and Immunology Technical University of Denmark National Food Institute Søborg Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  During childhood, the intestinal microbiota is under establishment. This period thus represents a ’window’, where the microbiota is likely to be more susceptible to be affected by external factors such as diet. Currently, it is well known that breast feeding has a major impact on the microbiota of young infants, but only very few studies have addressed the effect of the ‘next step’ in diet exposure, represented by complementary feeding. We studied two cohorts of children, born to normal-weight and obese mothers, respectively, and mapped the composition of bacteria in their fecal microbiota at age 9 months and 18 months.  We found that at 9 months, the microbiota was clearly affected by the composition of the complementary diet, but not by maternal obesity.
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 10.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21450" align="alignleft" width="160"]Dr. Clett Erridge PhD Department of Cardiovascular Sciences University of Leicester Clinical Science Wing Glenfield General Hospital Leicester Dr. Clett Erridge[/caption] Dr. Clett Erridge PhD Department of Cardiovascular Sciences University of Leicester Clinical Science Wing Glenfield General Hospital Leicester Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Erridge: We have spent many years seeking potential stimuli that might be responsible for triggering the chronic inflammatory processes that underpin atherosclerosis. Our earlier work focused mainly on the questions of whether and how various molecules related to lipoprotein particles, oxidised lipids and fatty acids interacted with receptors of the innate immune system, which we believe are central players in the initiation of atherosclerosis. However, we were surprised to discover (as a result of some control experiments that we expected to yield a null result), that extracts of some, but not all, foods trigger inflammatory cytokine production in human monocytes via stimulation of the innate immune receptors Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and TLR4. The molecules responsible for triggering these responses (collectively termed PAMPs, 'pathogen-associated molecular patterns'), were found to arise in foods that have been finely chopped and stored at refrigeration temperature or above for some time, as a result of the growth and activity of common food spoilage bacteria. The foods most commonly affected are minced meats, ready chopped vegetables, some cheeses and chocolates. The present study found that in 11 healthy volunteers who habitually consumed food products rich in PAMPs, switching to a low PAMP diet for 7 days resulted in an 18% reduction in LDL-cholesterol, 11% reduction in white blood cell count, a 1.5 cm reduction in waist circumference and a 0.6 kg reduction in body weight. Switching back to a high PAMP diet, in which the same volunteers were then fed meals tested and proven to be high in PAMPs, for just 4 days reversed these beneficial effects. A second study in 13 healthy volunteers then showed that PAMPs can exert effects on white cell markers of inflammation within 24 h of consumption, when volunteers were fed either fresh or processed onion-based meals, which were nutritionally identical other than for content of bacteria and PAMPs.
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Nutrition / 05.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lea Borgi, MD Joint Fellowship Program in Nephrology Brigham and Women’s/ Massachusetts General Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Borgi: Hypertension is one of the most common diseases in the United States and in the world. It is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Even when hypertension is well-controlled with anti-hypertensives, these individuals are at an increased cardiovascular risk. Therefore, a healthy lifestyle is critical for normotensive individuals. This usually includes dietary patterns. However, if we could restrict dietary patterns to specific foods, then we would be able to provide better advice to our patients. In this study, we analyzed the association of fruits and vegetables with the incidence of hypertension. We were also interested in studying the change in consumption of fruits and vegetables over time and the incidence of hypertension. We used data from 3 large prospective cohort studies: the Nurses’ Health Study, the Nurses’ Health Study II and the Health Professional Follow-up study (total of 187,453 participants). Information about health and food intake was updated every 2 and 4 years, respectively. We found that participants who consumed ≥4 servings/day of fruits (not including fruit juice) had a lower risk of developing hypertension (follow-up was more than 20 years), when compared to participants whose consumption was ≤4 servings/weeks (Hazard ratio=0.92; 95%CI= 0.87-0.97). However, the association of vegetable intake with hypertension was different; indeed, we found no significant association with a HR of 0.95(0.86-1.04). To better understand these associations, we further analyzed individual fruits and vegetables with the incidence of hypertension. We found lower risks of developing hypertension when these individual fruits and vegetables were consumed ≥4 servings/week as compared to <1 serving/month: broccoli, carrots, tofu or soybeans, raisins and apples. In contrast, we found that eating more string beans or brussel sprouts was associated with an increased risk of hypertension with HRs of 1.11(1.05-1.17) and 1.23(1.04-1.46), respectively. In all of our analyses, we adjusted for potential cofounders (such as age, gender, body mass index and more). Finally, we also found that increasing total fruit (but not total vegetable) consumption by ≥7servings/week in the preceding 8 years was associated with a lower risk of hypertension with a pooled HR 0.94(0.90-0.97).
Author Interviews, BMJ, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 02.02.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21216" align="alignleft" width="144"]Dr. Maryam S. Farvid, PhD Takemi Fellow Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Dr. Maryam Farvid[/caption] Dr. Maryam S. Farvid, PhD Takemi Fellow Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Farvid: Previous studies of fiber intake and breast cancer have almost all been non-significant, but none of them examined diet during adolescence or early adulthood, a period when breast cancer risk factors appear to be particularly important. Current study supports protective role of dietary fiber intake on breast cancer. The women who reported the highest amount of fiber consumed during high school, about 28 grams daily, had a 16% lower risk of overall breast cancer compared with those who said they consumed an about 15 grams a day. Also highest verses lowest intake of fiber during early adulthood was associated with a 19% lower risk of overall breast cancer. The associations were more apparent for premenopausal breast cancer than postmenopausal breast cancer. Each 10 grams increase in adolescent fiber intake may lead to a 20% lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer, as was a 15% for overall breast cancer.
Author Interviews, Mineral Metabolism, Nutrition / 30.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21145" align="alignleft" width="133"]Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D. Director, JM USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University Professor of Nutrition and Immunology Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Sackler Graduate School at Tufts University Boston, MA 02111 Dr. Simin Meydani[/caption] Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D. Director, JM USDA-HNRCA at Tufts University Professor of Nutrition and Immunology Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Sackler Graduate School at Tufts University Boston, MA 02111 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Meydani: A significant number of older people are zinc deficient which can result in a compromised immune system which weakens as the body ages, making older adults more susceptible to infections and higher incidence and morbidity from pneumonia. Older adults with impaired immune response, particularly T cell-mediated function, have a higher susceptibility to infections and cancer. Our research team from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging created a small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved adults age 65 or older from three Boston-area nursing homes to determine the feasibility of increasing serum zinc concentrations in older adults. The full findings are published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. These results have a significant public health implication for the older adults because it shows directly that correction of a nutrient deficiency can improve immune response in older adult (a biological function which consistently has been shown to be impaired with aging).
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Nutrition / 29.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21138" align="alignleft" width="189"]Rajan Anthony Sonik Lurie Institute for Disability Policy Heller School for Social Policy and Management Brandeis University Waltham, MA Rajan Anthony Sonik[/caption] Rajan Anthony Sonik Lurie Institute for Disability Policy Heller School for Social Policy and Management Brandeis University Waltham, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that food insecurity (experiencing hunger, insufficient food, or concerns about having enough food) is associated with a host of health problems, ranging from behavior health conditions to iron deficiencies. However, understanding the relationship between food insecurity and healthcare utilization and cost patterns has been more difficult to assess with available data. Presumably, rises in food insecurity should worsen health, which in turn should increase healthcare utilization and ultimately costs. To examine this topic, I actually looked at this in the opposite way by asking if a decrease in food insecurity might lead to decrease in costs. The opportunity to do so arose in the form of the April 2009 increase in benefit levels for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly the Food Stamps Program) that were part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly referred to as the “stimulus package”). SNAP has been shown to alleviate food insecurity, and so this increase in benefits created the chance to explore my question. I analyzed Massachusetts data from October 2006 to August 2012 using interrupted time series models and found that inpatient Medicaid cost growth in Massachusetts fell by 73% (p = 0.003) after the increase in SNAP benefits. Moreover I found that decreased admissions were the primary driver of this outcome rather any patterns in health care inflation. In addition, I found that, for people with selected chronic illnesses that create heightened sensitivity to food insecurity, the drop in cost growth was even greater (the diseases studied were sickle cell disease, diabetes, malnutrition/failure to thrive, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and cystic fibrosis).
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition / 29.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21118" align="alignleft" width="80"]Helmut Schröder, Ph.D. Head Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Nutrition Research Group, CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health Senior Research Scientist Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group (CARIN-ULEC) IMIM-Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona Barcelona,Spain Dr. Helmut Schröder[/caption] Helmut Schröder,  Ph.D. Head Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Nutrition Research Group, CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health Senior Research Scientist Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Research Group (CARIN-ULEC) IMIM-Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona Barcelona,Spain Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Schröder: A healthy diet is paramount for physical and mental health. Healthy dietary patterns are more expensive than unhealthy choices. But it is unknown how increases in individual diet cost, driven by rising food prices, affects consumers’ food choices and, consequently, overall diet quality. It is of particular concern that low diet quality is more often found in segments of the population with the lowest socioeconomic status. The he aim of our research was to determine the prospective association between changes in individual diet cost and changes in diet quality in the REGICOR (Registre Gironí del Cor) cohort, a representative Spanish population. Additionally, we determined the impact of changes in diet cost on body weight. We have found that an increase in the energy-adjusted diet cost predicted a shift to a healthier diet and to better weight management. Diet quality strongly increased if money previously spent on unhealthy food choices such as fast food and pastry is instead spent on vegetables and fruits. Furthermore, we have seen that a 1.4€ increase in average spending on food is associated with the consumption of 74 grams more vegetables and 52 grams more fruit, per person per day, for a 1000 kcal diet. Conversely, a reduction of 0.06€ in average spending is linked to a decrease of 121 grams of vegetables and 94 grams of fruit, as well as increased consumption of foodstuffs like fast food and baked goods.
Author Interviews, Exercise - Fitness, Nutrition, Protein, Weight Research / 29.01.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_21101" align="alignleft" width="200"]Professor Stuart M. Phillips Ph.D., FACSM, FACN Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, CANADA Exercise Metabolism Research Group – Protein Metabolism Research Lab Director, Physical Activity Centre for Excellence Prof. Stuart Phillips[/caption] Professor Stuart M. Phillips Ph.D., FACSM, FACN Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Canada Exercise Metabolism Research Group – Protein Metabolism Research Lab Director, Physical Activity Centre for Excellence Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Phillips: During weight loss with diet only people lose both muscle and fat and muscle. The long-term health consequences of losing metabolically active muscle versus fat are not likely to be beneficial. In the context of this study we thought perhaps the preservation of muscle would also be important in very active young men. We wanted to see whether when men were in a very large energy deficit (40% less energy than they required) higher protein (2.4 g/kg/d) could preserve muscle mass and still result in increased function (strength) and fitness. Our results show that during a marked energy deficit that consumption of 2.4 g protein/kg/d was more effective than consumption of a diet containing 1.2 g protein/kg/d in promoting increases in LBM (1.2 vs 0.1kg increase) and losses of fat mass (-4.8kg vs. -3.5kg) when combined with a high volume of resistance and anaerobic exercise.
Author Interviews, BMJ, Nutrition, Weight Research / 29.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_21010" align="alignleft" width="148"]Dr. Monica L. Bertoia, MPH, PhD Instructor in Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School Research Associate, Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 Dr. Monica Bertoia[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Monica L. Bertoia, MPH, PhD Instructor in Medicine, Channing Division of Network Medicine Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School Research Associate, Department of Nutrition Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Most weight loss studies have focused on one type of flavonoid, the flavan-3-ols found in green tea, and are limited to small numbers of overweight and obese study participants. We examined 7 subclasses of flavonoids and weight change in 124,086 healthy adults who reported their diet and weight repeatedly over up to 24 years.
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 27.01.2016

MEDICALRESEARCH.COM INTERVIEW WITH:

[caption id="attachment_21025" align="alignleft" width="176"]JONATHAN WELBURN PHD STUDENT AND RESEARCH ASSISTANT DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON Jonathan Welburn[/caption] Jonathan Welburn PhD Student and Research Assistant Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering University of Wisconsin, Madison Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study addresses rising concerns associated with increasing levels of food imported into the United States.  We use data on FDA import violations to quantify risks to food safety.  Using this data, we provide insight on food safety risks that are not easy to obtain by other means.   Our results suggest that the risk level of imported food is higher for foods from low-GDP countries.  High-GDP countries, on the other hand, may be better able to reduce risks through standards and regulations.  Consequently, importers may wish to pay a little more for products from high-GDP countries or work closely with suppliers from low-GDP countries to ensure good safety practices.
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Nutrition / 22.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_20859" align="alignleft" width="122"]Dr. Refaat Hegazi, MD, PhD MS MPH Abbott medical director and study author Dr. Refaat Hegazi[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Refaat Hegazi, MD, PhD MS MPH Abbott medical director and study author MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Hegazi: The NOURISH study that was recently published in Clinical Nutrition showed that a specialized oral nutrition supplement (with high protein, HMB and Vitamin D) was associated with a 50 percent lower death rate in older, malnourished patients with a heart or lung disease, 90 days after leaving the hospital. The study was conducted with the utmost scientific rigor and is one of the largest nutrition clinical studies of its kind. In the study, we evaluated the effects of this specialized nutrition supplement compared to a placebo supplement on the incidence of hospital readmission or death through 90-days after leaving the hospital. The population studied has never been evaluated before in this way. Results showed no significant differences between the two groups for the primary composite (i.e. combined) endpoint of hospital readmissions or death. However, the study individual components and additional analyses showed:
  • A significantly lower (50 percent) death rate for those who received the specialized nutrition supplement. This lower incidence of death began at 30 days after participants left the hospital, and continued for 90 days.
  • Similar rates of hospital readmissions between the two groups.
  • Improvements in other health outcomes including body weight, nutritional status and Vitamin D levels at 30 and 60 days after leaving the hospital, and continued body weight and nutritional status improvements at 90 days for the group taking the specialized nutrition supplement. 
Author Interviews, Columbia, Nutrition, Sleep Disorders / 20.01.2016

More on Sleep on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_20750" align="alignleft" width="150"]Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D, FAHA Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center Institute of Human Nutrition College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University New York, NY 10032 Dr. Marie St-Onge[/caption] Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D, FAHA Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center Institute of Human Nutrition College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University New York, NY 10032   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. St-Onge: We have shown that sleep affects food intake: restricting sleep increases energy intake, particularly from fat (others also find increased sugar intake).  We wanted to know if the reverse was also true: does diet affect sleep at night? Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Dr. St-Onge: Diet quality can play an important role in sleep quality.  Sleep can be affect after only a single day of poor dietary intakes (high saturated fat and low fiber intakes).  It is possible that improving one’s diet can also improve their sleep.
Author Interviews, Nutrition / 19.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_20719" align="alignleft" width="200"]Dr. Lindsey Taillie PhD Research Assistant Professor Department of Nutrition University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Dr. Lindsey Taillie[/caption] More on Nutrition on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Lindsey Taillie PhD Research Assistant Professor Department of Nutrition University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Taillie: Walmart is the US’ biggest grocer retailer. With over 50% more sales than the next largest grocery retailer, Kroger, Walmart has a major influence on what Americans buy and eat. Previous research suggests this growing dominance of Walmart could also contributing to our growing waistlines: Walmart has been linked to less healthy food purchases and higher levels of obesity. At the same time, public health scientists and advocates are also increasingly concerned about ensuring that everyone—and especially the poor—have access to healthy food stores to buy fruits, vegetables and other nutritious foods. But what’s a healthy store? Typically we think of these as traditional grocery stores and supermarkets, but not massive supercenters like Walmart (or convenience or drug stores). However, it’s very difficult to actually test how stores affect the healthfulness of our diets. For example, the reason why some food store purchases seem healthier is because more health-conscious consumers shop there to begin with, not necessarily because the food is actually healthier. Where stores choose to locate is not random, either—stores like Walmart might choose to open a store in a certain neighborhood because of other characteristics (low rent, more space, etc.), which themselves can be associated with poor diets and more obesity. People also shop at more than one type of food store, so unhealthy foods at one store might offset healthier foods purchased at another.
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition, Ophthalmology / 16.01.2016

More on Ophthalmology on MedicalResearch.com MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jae Hee Kang, MSc, SC Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine Channing Division of Network Medicine Boston, MA 02115 Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kang: Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide, and primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common form of the disease. Little is known on the causes of glaucoma but dysfunction in the regulation of blood flow to the optic nerve, which transmits visual information to the brain, may be involved. Nitric oxide is important for maintenance of blood flow and its signaling may be impaired in glaucoma. We were interested in whether dietary nitrates, an exogenous source of nitric oxide mostly found in green-leafy vegetables, may be related to lower risk of POAG. Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Kang: We (Brigham and Women’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers) used 25+ years of data from over 100,000 participants in the Nurses' Health Study (63,893 women) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (41,094 men). Participants were nurses or other health professionals and were aged 40 years or older and reported eye exams. We collected information on their diet and other health information every two years with questionnaires. During follow-up, 1,483 new cases of primary open-angle glaucoma with visual field loss were identified and confirmed with medical record review. Participants were divided into quintiles (one of five groups) of dietary nitrate intake (quintile 5, approximately 240 mg/day; quintile 1, approximately 80 mg/day) and of green leafy vegetables (quintile 5, approximately 1.5 servings/day; quintile 1, approximately one-third of a serving/day). We observed that greater intake of dietary nitrate and green leafy vegetables (e.g., romaine and iceberg lettuce and kale/chard/mustard greens) was associated with a 20 percent to 30 percent lower POAG risk; the association was particularly strong (40 percent-50 percent lower risk) for POAG with early paracentral visual field loss (a subtype of POAG most linked to dysfunction in blood flow autoregulation).
Author Interviews, CDC, Salt-Sodium / 15.01.2016

Click Here for More on Salt/Sodium on MedicalResearch.com [caption id="attachment_20641" align="alignleft" width="200"]Sandra L Jackson PhD Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Atlanta, Georgi Dr. Sandra Jackson[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sandra L Jackson PhD Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Atlanta, Georgia Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Jackson: Sodium reduction is an important public health strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease, and this study was the latest in CDC’s ongoing effort to monitor U.S. sodium intake. These findings reveal that nearly all Americans – regardless of age, race and gender – consume more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Specifically, over 90 percent of children (2 to 18) and 89 percent of adults (19 and up) eat more than the recommended limits in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and that doesn’t even include salt added at the table. The newly released guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg per day for people over the age of 14, and less for those younger. The analysis also examined specific populations. Among adults, a larger proportion of men (98 percent) than women (80 percent) consume too much sodium. Among people at greater risk of developing heart disease or stroke – such as people age 51 and older, African Americans and individuals with high blood pressure or pre-hypertension (blood pressure higher than normal but not in the “high” range) – more than three out of four exceed 2,300 mg per day. Adults with hypertension consume slightly less sodium than other adults, and may be trying to follow physician’s advice to reduce sodium. However, 86 percent of adults with hypertension still consume too much.
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, NIH, Nutrition, Sugar, Weight Research / 12.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_20483" align="alignleft" width="70"]Dr. Caroline Fox, MD MPH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Dr. Fox[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Caroline Fox, MD MPH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Fox: There is evidence linking sugar sweetened beverages with obesity and type 2 diabetes. There is also evidence suggesting that specific adipose tissue depots may play a role in the pathogenesis of these diseases. We found that higher levels of sugar sweetened beverage (SSB) intake was associated with more visceral fat (fat in the stomach cavity) over 6 years.
Author Interviews, Mineral Metabolism, Supplements / 12.01.2016

[caption id="attachment_20555" align="alignleft" width="132"]Prof. Peter Lay PhD Professor of Inorganic Chemistry School of Chemistry | Faculty of Science Director, Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility Research Portfolio The University of Sydney Prof. Peter Lay[/caption] MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Peter Lay PhD Professor of Inorganic Chemistry School of Chemistry | Faculty of Science Director, Vibrational Spectroscopy Core Facility Research Portfolio The University of Sydney Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: My group has been studying the molecular mechanisms of chromium(VI)-induced cancers and the biochemistry of vanadium over the last three decades. Vanadium drugs have been in clinical trials for their anti-diabetic effects that occur via species with very similar chemistry to chromium(VI).  The more we understood the biochemistry of each, the more we questioned whether the efficacies of anti-diabetic chromium(III) supplements were associated with the generation of carcinogenic chromium(VI) and chromium(V). To test this, we conducted experiments to either provide evidence for our hypothesis or disprove it.  This work commenced some 15 years ago with studies on the changes in the nature of chromium(III) supplements exposed to simulated gastrointestinal juices, as well as in human and animal blood serum over times that mimicked the residence time of the supplements in the human body. We discovered that all supplements were changed to a range of different Cr(III) species in both the GI tract and the blood.1,2  Common species were observed, but the rates at which they formed were dependent on the nature of the chromium(III) supplement.  Both the supplements themselves and the chromium(III) species that formed in blood serum were partially oxidised to Cr(VI) at concentrations of the oxidant, hydrogen peroxide (a type of bleach), found in the blood of people with type II diabetes.1,2 One of the clinical features of patients with type II diabetes is increased levels of oxidants, such as hydrogen peroxide, in their blood and cells. These oxidants are associated with many of the side-effects of type II diabetes that are associated with reduced life expectancy. These transformed chromium(III) species bound to blood proteins were more easily oxidised to chromium(VI) than the administered Cr(III) supplements.  The faster a particular chromium(III) supplement reacted with blood proteins to form these easily oxidised chromium(III)-protein species, the more active was the Cr(III) supplement in its anti-diabetic activity in animal and human studies reported by other groups.1-5  According to many health and regulatory bodies, chromium(III) has minimal or no efficacy in glucose metabolism and no other beneficial effects, such as weight loss or muscle building, in well conducted human and animal trials with non-diabetic subjects. This is consistent with our proposed mechanism of action. It is only under oxidising physiological conditions associated with type II diabetes that chromium(III) can be partially transformed to sufficient concentrations of carcinogenic chromium(VI) to enable significant biological activity.  In a large clinical trial where diabetic patients were treated with high doses of chromium(III) picolinate (one of the least efficacious supplements in animal studies), there was no efficacy in patients with controlled type II diabetes. Only those patients with uncontrolled type II diabetes exhibited improved glucose metabolism.  These patients, who have the highest concentrations of oxidants with the ability to transform chromium(III) to chromium(VI) in blood, are therefore at the greatest risk of developing Cr-induced cancers. Even where efficacy was observed, glucose metabolism was only reduced to the levels in patients with controlled type II diabetes; i.e., no patients exhibited a return to normal glucose metabolism.4,5 Coupled with all of this information our separate studies showed that chromium(VI) and chromium(V), but not chromium(III), are strong inhibitors of protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) enzymes.  The relevance of this is that drugs that inhibit PTPs activate circulating insulin in people with type II diabetes.  That is, it causes insulin to bind more strongly to cells involved in glucose metabolism (such as fat cells) to bring about the cascade of biochemical reactions that import glucose into cells and metabolise it.1-5 Thus we were able to link all of the animal, human and in vitro studies to show that physiological conditions under which chromium(III) had the highest probability of being transformed to chromium(VI) were also those in which chromium(III) supplements were most active.1-5 Moreover, we were able to provide a mechanism of activity that required chromium(VI) and chromium(V) to be generated for insulin enhancing activity.1-5  What remained was to establish whether we could observe Cr(VI) and Cr(V) in cells treated with chromium(III) supplements. This has now been established in our most recent study6 that have just been published. Contrary to the press releases of the dietary supplement industry, the published paper was carefully planned to mimic those conditions found in vivo.  The chromium(III) supplement chosen was that which had a chemical structure most closely resembling those generated in blood plasma. Thus we were able to complete the circle in linking our extensive studies on the biochemistry of chromium(III) species generated from chromium(III) supplements in the blood and show that such species were absorbed by the relevant cells and partially oxidised to chromium(VI) and chromium(V).