Calorie Restriction Extends Life Through Protein Regulation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John C. Price, Ph.D Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry Brigham Young University Provo, Utah

Dr. John Price

John C. Price, Ph.D
Asst. Professor Chemistry and Biochemistry
Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Since 1930 it has been known that the rate of biological aging could be modified by the diet.  In mice for example if you let them eat as much as they want they will live almost 3 years.  Providing essentially the same diet but controlling the number of total calories, there is an almost linear increase in lifespan as you restrict calories.  The studies in mice and rats have been repeated hundreds of times since that time.  There have been a lot of somewhat conflictive observations, like increased formation of new mitochondria, and increased autophagy which targets organelles for degradation, during stable reduced calorie intake. This expectation, that a restricted diet with fewer calories available to the animal could support increased protein synthesis and degradation and result in increased lifespan, is what got us interested in studying Calorie Restriction.  So we measured the relative synthesis rates for several hundred proteins in 18 month old calorie restricted mice which were experiencing the benefits of improved health and lifespan.  We found overwhelmingly that the calorie restricted mice had reduced synthesis rates down to as low as 25% of the age matched control group.  This observation has now been independently confirmed by multiple groups.

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Physical Activity Not Enough To Ward Off Weight Gain

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS Public Health Sciences Loyola University Chica

Dr. Lara Dugas

Lara Dugas, PhD, MPH, FTOS
Public Health Sciences
Loyola University Chicago

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Our NIH-funded study is led by Dr. Amy Luke, Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, and is titled “Modeling the Epidemiologic Transition study” or METS. It was initiated in 2010, and 2,500 young African-origin adults were recruited from 5 countries, spanning the Human Development Index (HDI), a WHO index used to rank countries according to 4 tiers of development. The 5 countries include the US, Seychelles, Jamaica, South Africa, and Ghana. Within each country 500 young adults, 25-45 yrs., and 50% male, were recruited and followed prospectively for 3 years. Each year, contactable participants completed a health screening, body composition, wore an activity monitor for 7 days, and told researchers everything they had eaten in the preceding 24hrs. Our main research questions we were trying to answer were to understand the impact of diet and physical activity on the development of obesity, and cardiovascular disease in young adults. It was important to have countries spanning the HDI, with differences in both country-level dietary intake and physical activity levels.

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How Many Calories Do You Add To Your Coffee or Tea?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ruopeng An, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Kinesiology and Community Health College of Applied Health Sciences University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 61820

Dr. Ruopeng An

Ruopeng An, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health
College of Applied Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, IL 61820

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Coffee and tea are among the most widely consumed beverages in U.S. adults.1,2 Unlike other popular beverages including alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages that are typically consumed in isolation, many people prefer drinking coffee and tea with add-ins like sugar or cream. These add-in items are often dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value. Drinking coffee and tea with add-ins on a regular basis might impact an individual’s daily energy/nutrient intake and diet quality.3 The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that “coffee, tea, and flavored waters also can be selected, but calories from cream, added sugars, and other additions should be accounted for within the eating pattern.”4

To our knowledge, no study has been conducted to assess consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins in relation to daily energy and nutrient intake at the population level. Bouchard et al. examined the association between coffee and tea consumption with add-ins and body weight status rather than energy/nutrient intake, and consumption was measured by a few frequency-related questions instead of a 24-hour dietary recall.5

The purpose of this study was to examine consumption of coffee and tea with add-ins (e.g., sugar, cream) in relation to energy, sugar, and fat intake among U.S. adults 18 years of age and above. Data came from 2001-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), comprising a nationally-representative (biennially) repeated cross-sectional sample of 13,185 and 6,215 adults who reported coffee and tea consumption in in-person 24-hour dietary recalls, respectively.

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Type of Sugar, Not Just Amount, Influences Metabolic Effects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Marta Alegret

Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Chemistry
Pharmacology Section
School of Pharmacy and Food Sciences
University of Barcelona

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In humans, an excessive intake of sugars has been linked to the development of metabolic disturbances, and therefore to an increase in the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, increased consumption of simple sugars in liquid form, as beverages sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or sucrose, has been linked to obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, two questions remain unresolved: what is/are the underlying molecular mechanism(s) linking these metabolic alterations to cardiovascular diseases? Are the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of sugar-sweetened beverages merely the consequence of the increase in caloric intake caused by their consumption?

To answer to these questions, we performed a study in female rats, which were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, without any supplementary sugar; a fructose-supplemented group, which received a supplement of 20% weight/volume fructose in drinking water; and a glucose-supplemented group, supplemented with 20% weight/volume glucose in drinking water.

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Meta-analysis of Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Coronary Heart Disease Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dominik D Alexander, PhD, MSPH

Principal Epidemiologist
EpidStat Institute
Ann Arbor, MI Seattle, WA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In recent years, the body of scientific literature on n-3 LCPUFA (EPA/DHA) intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) risk has exploded with mixed results. It was only logical to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to estimate the effect of EPA+DHA on CHD, and to conduct a comprehensive meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to estimate the association between EPA+DHA intake and CHD risk.

Among RCTs, there was a nonstatistically significant reduction in CHD risk with EPA+DHA
provision (SRRE=0.94; 95% CI, 0.85-1.05). Subgroup analyses of data from RCTs indicated a statistically significant CHD risk reduction with EPA+DHA provision among higher-risk populations, including participants with elevated triglyceride levels (SRRE=0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.98) and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (SRRE=0.86; 95% CI, 0.76-0.98). Meta-analysis of data from prospective cohort studies resulted in a statistically significant SRRE of 0.82 (95% CI, 0.74-0.92) for higher intakes of EPA+DHA and risk of any CHD event.

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Government Endorsed DASH Diet Voted Best Overall

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D. Program Officer, Implementation Science Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Janet de Jesus

Janet M. de Jesus, M.S., R.D.
Program Officer, Implementation Science
Center for Translation Research and Implementation Science (CTRIS)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for the DASH diet? What are the main components?

Response: The DASH eating plan was created for a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The goal of the original DASH trial was to test the eating plan compared to a typical American diet (at the time in the 1990s) on the effect of blood pressure.

The DASH eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils, and nuts; and limits intake of sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages and high-fat meats. The eating plan is a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The DASH eating plan was shown to reduce blood pressure and improve lipid profiles.

A second DASH trial, “DASH-sodium,” showed that adding sodium reduction to the DASH eating plan reduced blood pressure even more.

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Endocannabinoids Link Overeating a Western Diet to Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences University of California, Riverside School of Medicine Riverside, California, 92521

Dr. Nicholas DiPatrizio

Nicholas V. DiPatrizio, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences
University of California, Riverside School of Medicine
Riverside, California, 92521

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Endocannabinoids are a group of lipid signaling molecules that serve many physiological roles, including the control of food intake, energy balance, and reward. Previous research by my group found that tasting specific dietary fats drives production of the endocannabinoids in the upper small intestine of rats, and inhibiting this signaling event blocked feeding of fats (DiPatrizio et al., Endocannabinoid signaling in the gut controls dietary fat intake, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011). Thus, gut-brain endocannabinoid signaling is thought to generate positive feedback to the brain that promotes the intake of foods containing high levels of fats.

We now asked the question of what role peripheral endocannabinoid signaling plays in promoting obesity caused by chronic consumption of a western diet (i.e., high levels of fats and sugar), as well as the role for endocannabinoids in overeating that is associated with western diet-induced obesity. When compared to mice fed a standard low-fat/sugar diet, mice fed a western diet for 60 days rapidly gained body weight and became obese, consumed significantly more calories, and consumed significantly larger meals at a much higher rate of intake (calories per minute). These hyperphagic responses to western diet were met with greatly elevated levels of endocannabinoids in the small intestine and circulation. Importantly, blocking elevated endocannabinoid signaling with pharmacological inhibitors of cannabinoid receptors in the periphery completely normalized food intake and meal patterns in western diet-induced obese mice to levels found in control lean mice fed standard chow. This work describes for the first time that overeating associated with chronic consumption of a Western Diet is driven by endocannabinoid signals generated in the periphery.

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Does Red Meat Really Increase Risk of Heart Disease?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Wayne W. Campbell PhD Center on Aging and the Life Course Purdue University

Dr. Wayne Campbell

Wayne W. Campbell PhD
Center on Aging and the Life Course
Purdue University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Organizations that promote healthy eating often recommend consuming no more than 3.5-4.5 2-3 ounce servings of red meat per week. This recommendation is mainly based on data from epidemiological studies that observe a cohort of peoples’ eating habits over time and relate those habits to whether or not they experience a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, or cardiovascular-related death.

These studies show associations between dietary choices and health but are unable to determine if a dietary choice is actually causing the disease. Randomized controlled clinical trials are able to determine causality by isolating one dietary variable to see the effects of that variable on certain health risk factors. Therefore, our lab compiled data from randomized controlled trials assessing the consumption of ≤ vs >3.5 servings of total red meat per week on blood lipids and lipoproteins and blood pressures, since these are common measures taken by clinicians to determine the risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

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Resistant Starches in Diet May Help Reduce Body Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr Nutrition Scientist British Nutrition Foundation Imperial House 6th Floor London

Dr Stacey Lockyer

Dr Stacey Lockyer BSc(hons) MSc PhD RNutr
Nutrition Scientist
British Nutrition Foundation
Imperial House 6th Floor
London

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This in depth review examines the potential health benefits of resistant starch, a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is therefore considered a type of dietary fibre. Some forms of resistant starch occur naturally in foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains, and pulses, and some are produced or modified commercially and incorporated into food products as a functional ingredient.

There has been increasing research interest in resistant starch, with a large number of human studies published over the last 10 years looking at a variety of different health outcomes such as postprandial glycaemia, satiety and gut health. The review summarises reported effects and explores the potential mechanisms of action that underpin them.

There is consistent evidence that consumption of resistant starch in place of digestible carbohydrates can aid blood glucose control and this has resulted in an approved health claim in the European Union. There is also some evidence that resistant starch can support gut health and enhance satiety, though much more research is needed in these areas.

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Fish Oil Fatty Acids in Pregnancy May Reduce Wheeze and Asthma in Offspring

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hans Bisgaard, M.D., D.M.Sc. COPSAC, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital University of Copenhagen Copenhagen, Denmark

Dr. Hans Bisgaard

Hans Bisgaard, M.D., D.M.Sc.
COPSAC, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital
University of Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Asthma and lower respiratory infections are leading causes of morbidity and mortality in pediatric populations. Thus, having low cost, effective, safe options for prevention could have important implications for both clinical practice and public health.

The increased use of vegetable oils in cooking and of grain in the feeding of livestock has resulted in an increase in the intake of n−6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and a decrease in the intake of n−3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially the long-chain poly-unsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) — eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n–3, EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n–3, DHA) — found in cold-water fish. N3-LCPUFAs are known to have immune-modulatory effects, and observational studies have suggested an association between a diet that is deficient in n−3 LCPUFA during pregnancy and an increased risk of asthma and wheezing disorders in offspring. Only a few randomized, controlled trials of n−3 LCPUFA supplementation during pregnancy have been performed and these have generally been underpowered and produced ambiguous results.

Therefore, we conducted a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial of n−3 LCPUFA supplementation during the third trimester of pregnancy in a total of 736 Danish women to assess the effect on the risk of persistent wheeze and asthma in offspring.

The clinical follow-up rate among children was 96% (N=664) by the end of the 3 years double-blind period and 93% (N=647) after an additional follow-up to age 5 years.
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Cured Meat Linked To Worsening of Asthma Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Zhen LI, MD, MPH, PhD Candidate

INSERM UMR-S 1168 (ex-Equipe 5 du CESP)
(VIMA : Aging and chronic diseases. Epidemiological and public health approaches.), Hôpital Paul Brousse
France

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: -Cured meat, which is rich in nitrite, has been known as a probable carcinogen. However, although some studies have suggested a potential deleterious role of cured meat intake in lung health, its role in asthma remained unknown.

This study was conducted using data from the French Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA). Using data from 971 participants with seven years’ follow-up, we found that participants who ate frequently cured meat, including ham, sausages, and dried sausages, had a high likelihood of having worsening asthma symptoms. The highest likelihood (76% more) was observed among participants who ate cured meats four or more servings per week, compared with those who ate less than one serving per week. Moreover, as previous studies suggested that obesity is linked to worsening asthma, we used a newly developed method to estimate if this effect was mediated by Body Mass Index (BMI), and we found that overweight/obesity only partly explained the association (14%).

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How Strong is the Scientific Basis of Sugar Intake Guidelines?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bradley C. Johnston, PhD Prevention Lab, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning, 686 Bay Street, Room 11.9859 West, Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Bradley Johnston

Bradley C. Johnston, PhD
Prevention Lab, Child Health Evaluative Sciences, The Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute
Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning
Toronto, Ontario

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: I am scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children and a professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Toronto and McMaster University in Canada. I have a particular interest in research methodology and preventive medicine. As a research methodologist I am interested in how researchers get to their conclusions. In particular I am interested in the “uncertainty” in estimated treatment or exposure effects.

Many guidelines have methodological issues but it was suspected that the nutritional guidelines were especially problematic. Our study in Annals of Internal Medicine set out to document the issues systematically with respect to sugar intake recommendations from authoritative guidelines.

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Byproduct of Sweet Potato Waste Offers Clue To Lipid Metabolism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Koji Ishiguro

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Japan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: -Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) roots are not only used for human consumption, they are used to make starch materials, processed foods, and distilled spirits in Japan. Starch use accounts for about 15% (131,500 tons) of total sweet potato production. Starch residues are discharged during starch production and are mainly used in animal feed and compost. Large amounts of the wastewater, which can cause serious environmental problems, are discarded after clarification. Investigation into the uses of the by-products of the sweet potato starch industry would benefit both the environment and industry.

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Handful of Nuts a Day Can Reduce Chronic Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Dagfinn Aune Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics School of Public Health Imperial College London St. Mary's Campus London  UK

Dr. Dagfinn Aune

Dr. Dagfinn Aune
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
School of Public Health
Imperial College London
St. Mary’s Campus London  UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that intake of nuts may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, but the relation between nut intake and other diseases like cancer and stroke, and the relation with mortality and less common causes of death is not clear. Also it is not clear how much nuts are needed to reduce the risk.

So our current meta-analysis reviewed the data from 20 studies (29 publications) on nut intake and different health outcomes. We found that a nut intake of approximately one serving per day (28 g/d or a handful) was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (by 30%), total cancer (15%), all-cause mortality (22%) and mortality from respiratory disease (50%), diabetes (40%), and infections (75%), although there were few studies in the latter three analyses. We found that most of the benefit was observed up to an intake of around 20 grams per day. Similar results were found for total nuts, tree nuts and peanuts (which are botanically defined as legumes), but peanuts were also associated with reduced risk of stroke, while only tree nuts were associated with reduced cancer risk. We also calculated the number of deaths that potentially could be avoided, under the assumption that the observed associations are causal, and arrived at 4.4 million deaths in North and South America, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific (unfortunately we did not have data on nut intake from West Asia and Africa so we were not able to include those areas).

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Can Probiotics in Yogurt Protect Against Stress and Anxiety?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Elizabeth Bryda, PhD Professor, Director, Rat Resource and Research Center Veterinary Pathobiology University of Missouri Columbia, Missouri

Dr. Elizabeth Bryda

Elizabeth Bryda, PhD
Professor, Director, Rat Resource and Research Center
Veterinary Pathobiology
University of Missouri
Columbia, Missouri

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A number of groups have demonstrated the ability of probiotics to benefit digestive health and there is a growing body of evidence to suggest an association between mental health and “gut health”. We were interested to see if probiotic bacteria could decrease anxiety- or stress-related behavior in a controlled setting using zebrafish as our model organism of choice for these studies.

We were able to show that Lactobacillus plantarum decreased overall anxiety-related behavior and protected against stress-induced dysbiosis (microbial imbalance). The fact that administration of probiotic bacteria also protected other resident gut bacteria from the dramatic changes seen in “stressed” fish not receiving the probiotic was unexpected and suggested that these bacteria may be working at the level of the GI tract and the central nervous system.

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Americans Continue To Have Better Lipid Profiles

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Asher Rosinger, PHD, MPH
Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Health and Examination Nutrition Examination Surveys, Analysis Branch
National Center for Health Statistic

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Total cholesterol, triglycerides, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels are linked to coronary heart disease and cardiovascular events. Between 1999 and 2010, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL levels declined among U.S. adults. We used new data from the 2011-2014 nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine if earlier trends continued.

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Aspartame May Promote Obesity By Changing Gut Enzyme

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Richard Hodin, MD Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School Chief of Academic Affairs, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, Mass 02114

Dr. Richard Hodin

Richard Hodin, MD
Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery
Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Chief of Academic Affairs, Department of Surgery,
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Mass 02114

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sugar substitutes like Aspartame are widely used and supposed to make people lose weight and have less diabetes, heart disease, etc. However, a number of studies indicate that theses substitutes don’t work very well. The reasons for them not working have not been clear. Our study found that the most common sugar substitute (aspartame) blocks an enzyme in our gut called Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP). By blocking IAP, Aspartame prevents the beneficial effects of IAP which normally works to prevent obesity, diabetes, and other aspects of the metabolic syndrome.

So, we now have an explanation for why Aspartame may make obesity and the metabolic syndrome worse, rather than better.

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Some Saturated Fatty Acids Linked To Risk of Coronary Artery Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Qi Sun Sc.D, M.D., M.M.S. Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heath Boston

Dr. Qi Sun

Dr. Qi Sun Sc.D, M.D., M.M.S.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heath
Boston

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Interpretation of existing human study data regarding saturated fat intake in relation to heart disease risk is quite confusing and distorted in certain publications. It is a fact that, depending on data analysis strategies, the effects of saturated fats may depend on which macronutrients they replace. For example, substituting saturated fats for refined carbohydrates will not lead to an elevated risk of heart disease because both nutrients are harmful whereas replacing saturated fats with good polyunsaturated fats results in risk reduction. In our current analysis, we clearly demonstrated that when total saturated fatty acids were replaced by polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, whole grain carbohydrates, and plant-based proteins, the diabetes risk would decrease.

Furthermore, we showed that major individual saturated fatty acids were all associated with an elevated heart disease risk.

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Barriers to Healthful Eating Linked to More Rapid Kidney Function Decline

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM, FASN, FACP Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology Associate Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Medicine Director, Doctoral Diversity Program Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore MD 21224

Dr. Deidra Crews

Deidra C. Crews, MD, ScM, FASN, FACP
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology
Associate Vice Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Medicine
Director, Doctoral Diversity Program
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore MD 21224

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Studies suggest that dietary patterns influence risk of kidney function decline. Barriers may hinder urban African Americans’ following healthful diets that could mitigate their increased risk of kidney function decline.

In this study, we characterized contextual barriers to healthful eating among urban African Africans with hypertension and examined the association of these barriers to kidney function decline over 1 year. We examined the presence of healthy foods in neighborhood stores of study participants.

We also assessed them for food insecurity (the inability to afford nutritionally adequate and safe foods), directly observed and documented the presence of fruits and vegetables in their homes, and examined their fruit and vegetable intake via questionnaire.

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Without Fiber, Gut Bacteria Begin To Eat Our Intestinal Lining

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mahesh Desai, PhD Principal Investigator Allergology - Immunology - Inflammation Research Unit Department of Infection and Immunity Luxembourg Institute of Health Luxembourg

Dr. Mahesh Desai

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the last few decades, our intake of dietary fiber has fallen drastically mainly due to the consumption of processed food, which has been connected to increased cases of intestinal diseases including colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. The gut microbiota is essential for us as it allows our body to digest dietary fiber contained in fruits and vegetables, that could otherwise not be processed. Changed physiologies and abundances of the gut microbiota following a fiber-deprived diet have been commonly linked to several intestinal diseases. However, the mechanisms behind these connections have remained poorly understood.

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Difficulty Smelling May Lead to Malnutrition In Chronic Kidney Disease Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Teodor G. Paunescu PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School Boston

Dr. Teodor G. Paunescu

Dr. Teodor G. Paunescu PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Boston

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Patients with kidney disease frequently report food aversion and poor dietary intake leading to malnutrition, a complication associated with high morbidity and mortality. However, there are no effective treatments currently available to address this complication, and the mechanisms underlying anorexia and food aversion in these patients remain unclear.
Because of the critical role of olfaction in flavor appreciation and dietary intake, we decided to quantify olfactory (smelling) deficits in advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients.

We found that patients with kidney disease have significant olfactory deficits that need objective assessments for accurate characterization. Our results also indicate that olfactory deficits likely attribute to nutritional impairment in patients with kidney disease.

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Americans Aware of Threat of Excessive Sugar Intake, But Aren’t Doing Much About It

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Healthline Sugar Survey

Healthline Sugar Survey

Tracy Stickler, Editor in Chief
Healthline

Ms. Stickler discusses a Healthline survey of over 3000 Americans, regarding “their knowledge of sugar and how it affects the body to gauge their relationship about their own sugar consumption and the effects it has on them”.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Our company surveyed over 3,000 Americans from across the country about their sugar consumption habits and awareness about added sugar in food.

What we learned is that while many people are aware of the threat overconsumption of sugar is to their health, they aren’t doing much about it. Why not? They don’t know how and quite often they don’t know how much sugar is contained in certain foods they eat. We have an awareness issue. Two out of 3 respondents answered incorrectly to our questions related to which food item contained more sugar.

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Children Eating Too Much Salt At Every Meal

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Zerleen S. Quader, MPH CDC

Zerleen S. Quader

Zerleen S. Quader, MPH
CDC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sodium reduction is considered a key public health strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease nationwide, and this study is the latest in ongoing CDC efforts to monitor U.S. sodium intake.

Eating habits and taste for salt are established early in life by what children eat. Eating too much sodium can set them up for high blood pressure now and health problems later. Previous evidence suggests that one in nine children already has blood pressure above the normal range, and strong evidence has shown that reducing sodium intake reduces blood pressure – and lowering blood pressure lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease among adults. With voluntary efforts already underway by some manufacturers to lower the sodium and added sugar content in some of their products, these findings help provide a baseline to monitor changes in the food industry, as well as sodium intake among U.S. youth.

We examined data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine sodium intake by major food category, place and eating occasion. We found that average sodium intake among participants was 3,256 mg, and that doesn’t include salt added at the table. On the day of assessment, nearly 90 percent exceeded the upper level of sodium recommended for a healthy diet.

• There were some variations based on age and gender. For example:
o Average intake was highest among high school-aged children
o Girls had significantly lower daily intake than boys (for example, 2,919 mg versus 3,584 mg)
• In addition, we found that ten types of food make up nearly half of youth sodium intake nationwide, including pizza, bread, lunch meats and snack foods.

We also analyzed where the foods were obtained and found that approximately 58 percent of sodium comes from store foods, 16 percent from fast food and pizza restaurants and 10 percent from school cafeteria foods. And when we looked at occasion, we discovered that 39 percent of sodium intake was consumed at dinner, 31 percent at lunch, 16 percent from snacks and 14 percent from breakfast.
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Low Carb Meals Reduce Insulin Resistance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with>
Katarina Borer, Ph.D. Professor
Po-Ju Lin,PhD
School of Kinesiology
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: This study was part of the doctoral dissertation of Po-Ju Lin, who is now a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Rochester. With this study, we wanted to answer three questions:

(1) Is daily carbohydrate load responsible for evening glucose intolerance and post-meal insulin resistance. (Evening glucose intolerance represents well-documented higher glucose and insulin responses in the evening than in the morning when the same quantity of glucose is eaten or infused intravenously) To answer this question we offered two daily meals containing about 800 Kcal and either 30% or 60% of carbohydrates.

(2) Will exercise before the meals improve glucose tolerance (glucose clearance from the blood and insulin response) after eating? (Exercise is a well-known means of increasing glucose uptake by the muscle and of increasing muscle sensitivity to insulin action for a number of hours after exercise). To answer this question we had the subjects exercise for two hours walking on a treadmill at 45% of their maximal aerobic effort one hour before each meal.

(3) Is the upper-intestinal hormone GIP involved in any effects associated with variation in dietary carbohydrate? (GIP or glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, stimulates insulin secretion in advance of absorbed glucose).

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Cocoa Flavanol Intake and Biomarkers for Cardiometabolic Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Xiaochen Lin, PhD Student and
Simin Liu MD ScD MPH
Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine
Department of Epidemiology and Center for Global Cardiometabolic Health
Brown University
Providence, RI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There have been quite a few studies implicating cocoa as a beneficial nutritional strategy to improve cardiometabolic health, and we and others have done work indicating that cocoa flavanol may be the active compound responsible for the beneficial effects. Therefore, we conducted this systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials that we could identify in studying cocoa flavanol and a variety of circulating cardio-metabolic biomarkers. The meta-analysis of 19 RCTs, involving 1,139 participants, shows that flavanol intake from cocoa products may reduce dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, and therefore improve cardiometabolic health. Through this research, we also identify the additional gaps in the current knowledge and potential target for future investigations.

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Cranberry Juice Capsules Ineffective in Reducing UTIs in Older Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHE</strong>A Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Manisha Juthani-Mehta

Manisha Juthani-Mehta, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA
Associate Professor, Section of Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases Fellowship Program Director
Yale University School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: One of the first studies that showed that cranberry juice was effective in older women living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities was published in 1994. Since that time, there have been multiple conflicting studies as to the effect of cranberry juice or capsules. We started our study in 2012. Shortly thereafter, a Cochrane review suggested that the vast body of evidence did not suggest that cranberry products work for UTI prevention, but questions still existed as to whether the appropriate dose of cranberry was being tested. Since cranberry juice is hard for older women to drink (taste, sugar load, volume), capsules at a high dose of the active ingredient (72mg type A proanthocyanidin [PAC}) was worthwhile to test.

This study was a clinical trial of two cranberry capsules with a total of 72mg of proanthocyanidin (pac) vs two placebo capsules to prevent bacteria in the urine of older women who live in nursing homes.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work. It also didn’t reduce the number of hospitalizations, deaths, antibiotics used, or antibiotic resistant bugs in the urine.

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Association Between Dietary Intake and Function in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Jeri Nieves PhD Director of bone density testing New York's Helen Hayes Hospital

Dr. Jeri Nieves

Dr. Jeri Nieves PhD
Director of bone density testing
New York’s Helen Hayes Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating severe neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive muscle atrophy, paralyses, and eventual respiratory failure.

Our objective was to evaluate the associations between nutrition and severity of ALS around the time of diagnosis. This was a cross-sectional analysis of data from a multicenter cohort of 302 patients with ALS. We assessed nutrient intake using a modified Block Food Frequency Questionnaire. The outcomes were respiratory function (measured using percentage forced vital capacity; FVC%) and functional performance measured by ALS Functional Rating Scale–Revised (ALSFRS-R), both considered important indicators of the severity of ALS. Results of the regression analysis were that higher intakes of antioxidants and carotenes from vegetable intake were associated with higher ALSFRS-R scores or better %FVC.

We used a novel analysis to evaluate the diet as a whole and found that higher intakes of antioxidants, fiber from grains, vegetables, fruit, eggs, fish, and poultry were all associated with higher function in patients with ALS. However, milk and lunch meats were associated with lower measures of function. These consistent results from two different statistical analyses indicate that diet may help minimize the severity of ALS. Perhaps these findings point to the role of oxidative stress in ALS severity.

In summary, increased consumption of antioxidant nutrients, foods high in carotenoids and fiber, vegetables and fruits, poultry and fish are associated with better function around the time of ALS diagnosis.

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Balancing Omega 6 to Omega 3 To Prevent and Manage Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D. FACN President, The Center for Genetics Nutrition and Health Washington, DC 20016

Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos

Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D. FACN
President, The Center for Genetics
Nutrition and Health
Washington, DC 20016

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: I have written extensively on the evolutionary aspects of diet, the diet of Crete prior to 1960 in which I pointed to the misinterpretation of the data of the Seven Countries Study by Keys et al. A major characteristic of these diets is a balanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio.

The recommendation to substitute saturated fats with omega-6 rich oils (sunflower, corn, soybean) increases inflammation and coronary heart disease. It has been shown in a number of studies that a high omega-6/omega-3 (20/1 instead of a balanced ratio) leads to an increase in white adipose tissue and prevents the formation of brown adipose tissue leading to obesity. The changes in the diet-high in omega-6 oils depletion of omega-3 and high fructose along with highly refined carbohydrates in processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle lead to obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease and cancer.

The scientific evidence from the FAT-1 mouse and recent cohort studies clearly show that the current dietary guidelines as the previous ones are not based on science that takes into consideration genetics, metabolism, the concept that a calorie is not a calorie. It is important to consider that nutrients influence the expression of genes, the omega-6 fatty acids are the most pro-inflammatory nutrients, and inflammation is at the base of all chronic non-communicable diseases.

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Walking After Meals May Lower Blood Sugar

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrew Reynolds Department of Human NutritionUniversity Otago Dunedin New Zealand

Andrew Reynolds

Andrew Reynolds
Department of Human NutritionUniversity
Otago 
Dunedin New Zealand

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Current guidelines for people with type 2 diabetes are to undertake activities such as walking for at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day. When to walk in the day is not specified. We thought it reasonable that walking after meals would improve blood sugars more so than a walk where the timing was unspecified.

Our randomised controlled trial considered exactly this, a prescription to walk as per the guideline of 30 minutes a day and a prescription to walk for 10 minutes after each meal. Our participants were free-living, but wore accelerometers to record their movement, and continuous glucose monitoring systems to observe their blood glucose levels. We found that post-meal blood sugar levels dropped 12 per cent on average when the participants followed the walking after meals advice compared to walking at any time of the day. Most of this effect came from the highly significant 22 per cent reduction in blood sugar when walking after evening meals, which were the most carbohydrate heavy, and were followed by the most sedentary time.

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Moderate Caffeine Not Linked to Arrhythmias In Heart Disease Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Luis E. Rohde, MD, ScD Postgraduate Program in Health Science: Cardiology and Cardiovascular Sciences, Medical School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Cardiovascular Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre

Dr. Luis E. Rohde

Luis E. Rohde, MD, ScD
Postgraduate Program in Health Science: Cardiology and Cardiovascular Sciences, Medical School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul,
Cardiovascular Division, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Caffeine-rich beverages have been implicated as a common cause of several cardiac-related symptoms, such as palpitations, tachycardia, or irregular heartbeats.

Because of this “intuitive” assumption, counseling to reduce or avoid caffeine consumption is still widely recommended in clinical practice by most physicians for patients with any heart disease.
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Use of Health Supplements Varies By Age Group

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NY, NY

Dr. Elizabeth D. Kantor

Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
NY, NY

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Prior studies show that use of supplements increased between the 1980s and mid-2000s, and despite much research conducted on the health effects of supplements, we know little about recent trends in use.

Given this gap, we decided to create an up-to-date, comprehensive resource on the prevalence and trends of supplement use among US adults using nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data were collected over seven continuous cycles (from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012).

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Lower Salt Intake Linked To Decreased Blood Pressure, Heart Disease and Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nancy Cook ScD Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Professor in the Department of Epidemiology Harvard T.H. Chan School Public Health Brigham & Women’s Hospital Division of Preventive Medicine Boston, MA 0221

Dr. Nancy Cook

Nancy Cook ScD
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Professor in the Department of Epidemiology
Harvard T.H. Chan School Public Health
Brigham & Women’s Hospital Division of Preventive Medicine
Boston, MA 02215

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The association of sodium intake with later mortality has been controversial. While there is a well-accepted effect on blood pressure, the effects of sodium on later cardiovascular disease, and particularly mortality, have been subject to dispute. While the adverse effects of high sodium are now widely accepted, effects at lower levels of sodium intake are less clear. Some recent studies have found a J-shaped relationship, with increased disease rates among those consuming lower levels of sodium, contrary to the effects on blood pressure.

In contrast, we found a direct linear relationship of usual intake of sodium with later mortality over 20 years of follow-up. Those with the lowest sodium intake experienced the lowest mortality. Our measure of intake was based on the average over 1-3 years of several measures of 24hr urine sodium excretion, the gold standard of sodium measurement. This is much more precise than measurements based on a single 24hr sodium excretion or especially on a spot urine sample, which is used in many publications that found the J-shaped curve. Our data were assessed in a healthy cohort of men and women without hypertension or cardiovascular disease, so had less potential bias due to these factors. We thus believe that our results showing the lowest mortality among those consuming the lowest levels of sodium are more accurate.

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Inverse Association Between Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Nita Forouhi, MRCP, PhD, FFPHM
Programme Leader
MRC Epidemiology Unit
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Institute of Metabolic Science
Cambridge Biomedical Campus

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The benefits of the Mediterranean diet for cardiovascular health are well documented in countries of the Mediterranean region and some other countries, but there is little such evidence in the UK general population. Our work fills this research gap.

In our study we followed up 23,902 initially healthy Britons living in Norfolk (Eastern England) for an average of 12 to 17 years, and determined the occurrence of new cases of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and deaths due to CVD during that time period. Our results showed that those adults who adhered to a Mediterranean diet had 6% to 16% lower risk of developing CVD, compared to those who had dietary habits further away from the Mediterranean-type diet pattern. This was the case even when we accounted for several important risk factors and correlates of CVD, including as age, sex, body mass index, lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol intake and physical activity, and socio-economic factors.

We also modelled what would happen in the study population if all the participants increased their adherence to the Mediterranean-type diet. From this we estimated that nearly 4% of all new cardiovascular disease cases, or 12.5% of cardiovascular deaths in the population could potentially be avoided. This is novel information about the potential health benefit of a Mediterranean-type diet in a UK context. However, we should remember that our study was an observational study, not a clinical trial with a dietary intervention, and thus we cannot imply a cause and effect relationship between increasing adherence to the Mediterranean diet and reduction in cardiovascular disease.

We defined the Mediterranean diet using a 15 point score based on guideline recommendations from a Mediterranean dietary pyramid published by the Mediterranean Diet Foundation. The recommendations had not previously been specifically tested for their associations with health, so our findings, for the first time, show the utility of the Mediterranean dietary pyramid.

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Ingestible Sensor Demonstrates Positive Effects of Cinnamon

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh RMIT's School of Engineering Australia

Prof. Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh

Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
RMIT’s School of Engineering
Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

1- The development of “swallow-able gas sensor capsules”. This was the final test on animals and focused on the measurement of a food supplement (cinnamon) to show the extraordinary capability of this noninvasive tool that will revolutionise the future of Gastroenterology and Food Sciences

2- That cinnamon can improve the health of the stomach, and hence our overall health, by adjusting the acidity and enzymatic secretion in the stomach. So the good effect of cinnamon is not just a grandparent old advice – It is real.

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Combination of Restrictions and Incentives May Lead To Better Food Choices By SNAP Beneficiaries

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lisa Harnack, DrPH, RD | Professor and Director Nutrition Coordinating Center Division of Epidemiology and Community Health School of Public Health, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN 55454-1087

Dr. Lisa Harnack

Lisa Harnack, DrPH, RD | Professor and Director
Nutrition Coordinating Center
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55454-1087

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is interest in considering ways to reshape SNAP so that it better meets meet its objective to help families buy the food they need for good health. Prohibiting the purchase of foods such as soft drinks with SNAP benefits is one of the proposed program changes. Offering an incentive for the purchase of fruits and vegetables is another program change that is being discussed.

Little is known about the effects of prohibitions and restrictions on food purchasing and consumption. Consequently, we carried out an experimental trial to evaluate effects.

In our study we found that a food benefit program that includes both prohibitions on the purchase of less nutritious foods and incentives for purchasing nutritious foods may lead to a number of favorable changes in diet.

To elaborate, we found those enrolled in a food benefit program that prohibited the purchase of sugar sweetened beverages, sweet bakes goods, and candies with food program benefits and provided a 30% financial incentive for fruit and vegetable purchases had a number of favorable dietary changes that were significantly different from changes among those enrolled in a food benefit program that had neither prohibitions or incentives. These favorable changes included reduced consumption of calories, sugar sweetened beverages, sweet baked goods, and candies; and increased consumption of fruit. The overall nutritional quality of the diet also improved.

Fewer nutritional improvements were observed among those enrolled in food benefit programs that included prohibitions or incentives only.

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Variable Effects of Dairy, Calcium, Vitamin D on Ovarian Cancer Risk in African–American Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bo (Bonnie) Qin, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey New Brunswick, NJ 08903

Dr. Bo Qin

Bo (Bonnie) Qin, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Associate
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08903

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer in the US. African-American patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer tend to have a worse 5-year survival rate compared to their European-American patients. Therefore, identifying preventive factors in African-Americans women is particularly important.

African Americans tend to consume less calcium and vitamin D from dietary sources, due to a higher prevalence of lactose intolerance, and supplemental intake. Meanwhile, darker color of the skin reduces the synthesis of vitamin D upon sun exposure. They together place African-American women at risk for calcium and vitamin D deficiency. It remains unknown whether calcium, vitamin D, lactose and dairy products are associated with ovarian cancer risk in African-American women and our study aimed to answer this question.

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Healthy Eating in Adolescence Sets Pattern For Less Weight Gain As Young Adult

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD Mayo Professor of Public Health Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN 55454-1075

Dr. David R. Jacobs, Jr.

David R. Jacobs, Jr., PhD
Mayo Professor of Public Health
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN 55454-1075

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) is on ongoing longitudinal study which began by screening middle and secondary school students in the Minneapolis and St Paul Metropolitan are. Students were the 11-18 years old (average age 15), then followed up at average ages 20 and 25. We had devised an eating pattern in about 2006, which
a) predicts a lot of things in several different studies (including total mortality in the Iowa Women’s Health Study) and b) looks a great deal like the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

We call our diet pattern A Priori Diet Quality Score (APDQS) and think of it as close to or in the style of a Mediterranean/prudent/healthy diet.

We hypothesized that this pattern would be associated with lower weight (in general with better long term health, but the focus in Project EAT was weight and BMI), probably least so at age 15. The minimal hypothesized effect in adolescence relates to the very large energy expenditure in adolescent growth years; we thought that diet composition would be less important for body weight at that time than energy intake (and APDQS is about diet composition).

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More People Without Celiac Disease Eating Gluten Free Diet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH Internal Medicine Resident Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Dr. Brandon Hyunseok Kim

Brandon Hyunseok Kim, M.D., MPH
Internal Medicine Resident
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The background of this study was to investigate the time trends in the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten-free diet in the United States using most recent 6-year National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey. Previous studies using narrow populations or old study period mainly before mid 2000s suggested increasing prevalence of celiac disease. At the same time, there is a current popular trend of people following gluten-free diets beyond what would be expected if it were solely due to the increasing prevalence of celiac disease.

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Maternal High Dose Monthly Vitamin D May Be Useful During Breastfeeding

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Ben-Wheeler.jpg

Dr. Ben Wheeler

Dr. Ben Wheeler MB ChB(Otago) DCH CCE FRACP
Senior Lecturer / Paediatrician / Paediatric Endocrinologist
Department of Women’s & Children’s Health : Te Tari Hauora Wāhine me te Tamariki
Dunedin School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Vitamin D is essential for calcium and bone metabolism. It is unique among vitamins in that it is mainly derived from synthesis in the
skin after exposure to UV-B radiation. In the absence of fortification, few foods are rich in vitamin D, including human milk, which contains very low amounts. Breastfeeding infants in higher latitude countries such as New Zealand, much of North America and
Central/Northern Europe are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

The most profound manifestation of vitamin D deficiency in growing children is rickets, characterized by bone deformities, impaired growth, biochemical abnormalities, and depending on the severity of deficiency, seizures. Studies also identified a number of common factors that potentially affect the risk of rickets, including darker pigmented skin, maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, season of birth, and age.

A potential alternative strategy to improve the vitamin D status of breastfed infants is high-dose vitamin D supplementation to pregnant and lactating women. This would be attractive from a compliance perspective, promote exclusive breastfeeding, and treat both the mother and her infant.

Thus, the primary aim of this randomized, placebo-controlled study was to determine the effect of two different monthly doses of maternal vitamin D supplementation on the vitamin D status of non–vitamin D–supplemented breastfed infants and their mothers.
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Parents Likely To Use Food To Soothe Fussy Infants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS Assistant Professor Division of Behavioral Medicine Department of Pediatrics School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences State University of New York at Buffalo

Dr. Kai Ling Kong

Kai Ling Kong, PhD, MS
Assistant Professor
Division of Behavioral Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
State University of New York at Buffalo

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Infant temperament, or individual behavior styles, can be reliably measured and is related to weight status. However, we know very little about the association of infants’ temperament and their motivation to eat versus engage in other activities (relative food reinforcement). Examining such associations is an important step given the need to use behavioral strategies in obesity prevention in early life. The purpose of our study was to determine if infant temperament, specifically the factors that have been linked with obesity risk, are associated with infant relative food reinforcement.

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Multicountry Assesses Dietary Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

William B. Grant, Ph.D. Director, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center San Francisco, CA www.sunarc.org,

Dr. William Grant

William B. Grant, Ph.D.
Director, Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center
San Francisco, CA
www.sunarc.org

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The present study is the culmination of 20 years of investigating dietary links to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I am a physicist by training and spent my salaried career as an atmospheric scientist. In the 1990s while studying the effect of acid rain and ozone on eastern hardwood forests, I became familiar with the geographical ecological study approach. In this approach, populations are defined geographically, such as by state or country, and health outcomes are compared statistically with risk-modifying factors. Ecological studies are an efficient way to analyze the results of unplanned experiments.

In 1996, I read that Japanese-American men living in Hawaii had two and a half times the prevalence of  Alzheimer’s disease as native Japanese. I knew that AD patients often had higher concentrations of aluminum in their brains than other people, and that acid rain increased the concentration of aluminum in trees. It quickly occurred to me that the American diet must be the cause of the increased AD rate, and that by using the ecological approach, I could prove it. My first study, published in 1997, compared AD prevalence rates for 11 countries with macro-dietary factors of national diets. Total fat was found to have the highest correlation with AD, followed by total energy (calories), with fish reducing risk slightly, while countries such as China, Japan, and India, with large amounts of rice in the diet, had very low  Alzheimer’s disease rates. This study was the first major study linking diet to risk of AD and led to observational studies that confirmed the findings five years later.

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Simple Changes in Cooking Methods May Reduce Inflammatory Stress and Decrease Insulin Resistance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jaime Uribarri, MD Professor, Nephrology Icahn School of Medicine Mt. Sinai Medical Center

Dr. Jaime Uribarri

Jaime Uribarri, MD
Professor, Nephrology
Icahn School of Medicine
Mt. Sinai Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We have been doing research in the area of dietary advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) for many years.

AGEs are chemical compounds that form normally in the body in small amounts and also in food when cooking under high heat and dry conditions; a percent of AGEs in food is absorbed and part of it is retained in the body leading to increased smoldering inflammation and oxidative stress that eventually produce most of modern chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, etc. We have previously demonstrated that a diet low in AGEs, which essentially means changing the cooking methods to include less application of heat, plenty of water,etc, decreases inflammation of oxidative stress in people with diabetes, chronic kidney disease and in healthy subjects. In the current study we applied the same low dietary AGE intervention to a group of obese patients with the so-called Metabolic syndrome, a risk factor for Diabetes Mellitus.

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Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) in Fatty Tissue Linked To Lower Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David Iggman, MD, PhD Unit for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences Uppsala University, Uppsala Center for Clinical Research Dalarna Falun, Sweden

Dr. David Iggman

David Iggman, MD, PhD
Unit for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences
Uppsala University, Uppsala
Center for Clinical Research Dalarna
Falun, Sweden

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: There is some controversy regarding which dietary fats are preferable and in what amounts, not least regarding the polyunsaturated fats. It is also challenging to adequately assess peoples intakes of dietary fats.

The main findings of this study was that among fatty acids in the body (reflecting the intake during the last year or so), linoleic acid (omega-6) was associated with lower mortality in 71-year-old men with 15 years follow-up.

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DASH Diet For Hypertension May Also Lower Uric Acid in Gout Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Fellow, Division of General Internal Medicine Johns Hopkins Hospital

Dr. Stephen Juraschek

Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD
Fellow, Division of General Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Diet has long been viewed as an important way to lower uric acid levels to prevent gout attacks; however, there is little evidence about whether a particular dietary pattern might be effective for lowering uric acid. For the first time we show that the DASH diet, an effective diet for lowering blood pressure, it lowers uric acid levels substantially in people with abnormally high uric acid levels.

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Focusing on Eating Healthy Foods You Enjoy May Be Your Path To More Successful Dieting

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Meredith E. David
Marketing Department
Hankamer School of Business
Baylor University
Waco, TX 76798  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In the midst of the ongoing “obesity epidemic” in the United States and many other developed nations, programs and advice abound for encouraging individuals to manage their health and well-being through changes in food consumption. One common approach resurfaces time and time again: suggesting to the would-be dieter what foods they should avoid eating (e.g., “The following 10 foods should never be eaten . . . ,”) and/or what foods they should eat (e.g., “10 foods everyone should include in a healthy diet,”). Our research investigates the commonly heralded advice given to consumers to either focus on avoiding unhealthy foods, such as cake, or approaching and consuming healthy foods, such as kale. We demonstrate important differences in the implementation of and outcomes of these approach versus avoidance strategies for meeting one’s health-related goals.

Individuals who have high self-control are generally better at reaching their goals. We investigate how individuals with varying levels of general self-control differ in the way that they apply approach and avoidance dieting strategies. Our findings, as detailed below, reveal a novel explanation of the better outcomes observed by individuals who are generally more successful in their goal pursuit. The key findings are as follows:

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Children More Likely To Choose Foods With A Brand Character

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lauren McGale
Research Assistant & PhD Student
University of Liverpool

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Food marketing has been highlighted as a key factor which contributes to childhood obesity, and food–packaging as a marketing tool is currently under-researched. Placing licensed-characters, which are those borrowed from movies and TV shows, have previously been shown to affect children’s food choices and taste preferences in favour of the product they appear on, and their use in TV advertising is regulated here in the UK.

However, this is the first study to examine the influence of brand equity characters in this context, which are characters created solely to represent a particular product/brand (for example, Tony the Tiger for Kellogg’s Frosties), and these characters are currently exempt from UK TV advertising regulations. As these brand equity characters typically promote foods which are high in fat, salt and sugar, it is crucial that we understand their impact on children’s food choices and preferences.

Our findings were consistent with the existing literature on various types of promotional characters, demonstrating that children displayed a preference for the taste of foods presented with the brand equity character on the packaging, compared to identical foods without the character, and were also more likely to choose these foods as snacks. This was true even when the characters were placed on foods they were not usually associated with.

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Whole Grains and Pasta Linked To Better Diet and Lower Body Weight

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yanni Papanikolaou PhD Candidate, Masters in Public Health Nutrition
Nutritional Strategies Inc.
Paris, ON, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2010, which consisted of information from more than 14,000 U.S. adults 19 years old and older. We looked at dietary eating patterns and compared those individuals that consumed grain and grain-based foods (both in whole and enriched forms) and compared to those who omit main grain foods from their diet. We examined nutrient intakes, diet quality and various health measures, including body weight and waist circumference, within each grain group and compared to adults not eating grain foods.
We found that people consuming certain grain foods had better overall diet quality, lower average body weight and a smaller waist circumference.

Specifically, adults consuming pasta, cooked cereals and rice weighed 7.2 pounds less and had waist circumferences that were 1.2 inches smaller compared to adults who didn’t eat grains. Although the public is quick to demonize enriched grains, our findings show that enriched grains provide vital nutrients many Americans fall short on, such as fiber, folate, calcium, iron, and magnesium.  Eliminating grain-based foods can have negative effects on diet quality and intake of essential nutrients. Continue reading

Diet of Plant Protein Associated With Reduced Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Mingyang Song Sc.D, research fellow
Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and Division of Gastroenterology MGH and Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have been focused on the amount of protein intake, while little is known regarding the health effect of different food sources for protein intake. In this study, we found that high animal protein intake was associated with higher mortality, whereas high plant-based protein was associated with lower mortality. Replacement of animal protein with plant protein was associated with lower mortality. Overall, the findings support the importance of food sources for protein intake for long-term health outcomes.

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Omega-3 fatty Acids May Reduce Cardiac Scarring After Heart Attack

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Raymond Y. Kwong, MD MPH Director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Associate Professor of Medicine Harvard Medical School

Dr. Raymond Kwong

Raymond Y. Kwong, MD MPH
Director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: In the past several decades, Omega-3 fatty acids (O3FA) primarily from fish oil have been reported to have many beneficial effects, either directly on the heart or through other effects that indirectly help the heart. However, when it was tested on patients who suffered an acute heart attack by looking at whether patients can live longer by taking omega-3 fatty acids early after the heart attack, there has been some conflicting data in some of the large clinical trials.

There are several major factors that inspired the designs of the current OMEGA-REMODEL study:
a) Over recent years, many highly effective treatments to improve the survival of heart attack victims have become routine.
b) The studies in the past used a relatively lower dose of  Omega-3 fatty acids (1g per day).
c) Some have also raised the question whether just patient mortality should be the only/best way we should considered in assessing new treatments for heart attack patients.
d) Cardiac remodeling: after a heart attack, heart muscle not damaged by the initial heart attack insult has to overwork to compensate for the damage from the heart attack. Over time scarring may form in the overworked heart muscle, in addition to weakened heart function, may lead to the heart to fail.
e)New imaging method: a MRI of the heart, can precisely determine the heart function and the amount of scarring of the overworked heart muscle not damaged from the heart attack.

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Excessive Intake Non-Dairy Protein Could Raise Risk of Kidney Stones

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD MSc PhD Assistant Professor Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli Catholic University of the Sacred Heart Senior Collaborator in the Nurses' Health Study Brigham and Women's Hospital Channing Division of Network Medicine

Dr. Ferraro

Pietro Manuel Ferraro, MD MSc PhD
Assistant Professor
Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli
Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
Senior Collaborator in the Nurses’ Health Study
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Channing Division of Network Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In our study, we looked at the association between dietary intake of different sources of protein (vegetable, dairy and non-dairy animal), potassium (a marker of fruits and vegetables) and their interaction and the risk of forming kidney stones. We looked at their interaction because some protein is a source of acid, whereas fruits and vegetables are a source of alkali, thus their relationship could potentially impact acid-base status and in turn the risk of stones by modifying the metabolism of calcium and other elements such as urine citrate and uric acid.

We found that the risk of forming stones depends not only on the amount of protein but also on the source, with no risk associated with intake of vegetable and dairy protein, and a modestly higher risk for excessive non-dairy animal protein; on the other hand, intake of potassium was associated with a markedly lower risk. Interestingly, the interaction between intake of protein and potassium, the so called net acid load, was also associated with higher risk of forming kidney stones, suggesting that the effect of acid intake is modulated by that of alkali and vice versa.

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