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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Immune Markers Of Wheat Sensitivity In Patients Without Celiac Disease Identified

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Armin Alaedini, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Medicine & Institute of Human Nutrition Columbia University Medical Center New York, NY 10032

Dr. Armin Alaedini

Armin Alaedini, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Medicine & Institute of Human Nutrition
Columbia University Medical Center
New York, NY 10032

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

Response: It has been a mystery why some people experience a range of symptoms in response to the ingestion of wheat and related cereals, even though they do not have celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder) or wheat allergy. Both gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, most commonly abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating, as well as extra-intestinal symptoms, such as fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, and cognitive difficulties are reported by patients. The identity of the component(s) of wheat responsible for triggering the symptoms remains uncertain and it is not clear if gluten or non-gluten molecules are involved. There is evidence to indicate that wheat sensitivity also affects a subset of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common disorder. Despite the interest from the medical community and the general public, the causes and mechanism of the associated symptoms have remained unknown and no biomarkers are available to aid in the diagnosis of patients.

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People In Most Countries Have Gotten Taller Over Last Century

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Prof. Majid Ezzati, PhD Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health Chair in Global Environmental Health Imperial College, London Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Department of Global Health and Population Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Prof. Majid Ezzati

Prof. Majid Ezzati, PhD
Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health
Chair in Global Environmental Health
Imperial College, London
Adjunct Professor of Global Health and
Department of Global Health and Population
Harvard T.H. Chan
School of Public Health

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

Response: Human height is strongly influenced by the environment that we grow up in, from pregnancy through to late adolescence. If we have good nutrition, few illnesses and good healthcare, we are more likely to grow taller. In turn, height has a strong effect on our health in adulthood. Taller people on average live longer, have lower risk of heart disease (although they do have slightly elevated risks of some cancers).

We have collated the largest-ever database of height. We analysed 1472 studies with measured height on 18.6 million individuals. We made estimates of height for 18-year-old men and women from 1914 and 2014. Height has increased in every country in the world, but this has been very uneven. The tallest men in the world are now the Dutch, and the tallest women are the Latvians. The countries that have seen the most growth are South Korea for women and Iran for men. We have seen large increases in height in East Asia, and stagnation in much of the West over the last few decades. In parts of Africa height has actually decreased by 5-10 cm over this period.

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Home-Cooked Baby Foods Cheaper But Not Always Better Than Commercial Products

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sharon Carstairs PhD Student, Public Health Research, Polwarth Building, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The introduction of solid foods is a key period when the mil diet is no longer able to meet all dietary needs, additionally it is a key time for food learning and development of eating preferences in a child’s life. It is vital that children are provided with nutritionally balanced foods as well as a variety of foods to meet dietary requirements and are exposed to different tastes and textures. Some parents provide home-cooked meals however, there is a large market of commercially available infant/toddler meals which can provide parents with a convenient alternative to home-cooking. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: Our main findings indicate that home-cooked recipes based from infant and toddler cookbooks are a cheaper meal option and contain greater nutrient levels, such as protein, compared to commercially available infant/toddler meals. However, when we compare nutrient levels to recommendations the majority of these home-cooked recipes (50%) exceed energy density (ED) recommendations and 37% exceed dietary fat recommendations. In comparison, the majority of commercial meals (65%) meet these ED recommendations and provide a greater vegetable variety per meal however, are below the recommendations for dietary fat. MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report? Response: Readers need to be aware that despite providing a cheaper option with greater nutrient levels to commercial meals, the majority of home-cooked recipes from targeted cookbooks exceed recommendations for energy density and dietary fats. The majority of commercial meals in contrast meet energy density recommendations and provide greater vegetable variety per meal than home-cooked recipes however, are below recommendations for dietary fat which is an essential component in the diet of young children. MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study? Response: Our study did not investigate the micronutrient content of meals as this data was not available on commercial product labels. Furthermore, we did not investigate the inclusion of additives and preservatives within these meal types. Future work should therefore include these aspects to provide parents with a complete picture. MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add? Response: It is vital to remember that both home-cooked and commercial main meals incorporate only a part of the daily diet and these should be considered in the context of a whole daily diet. The inclusion of a variety of foods and textures is paramount to a child’s food learning experience and must be considered in the foods offered to young children. MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community. Citation: Bmj A comparison of preprepared commercial infant feeding meals with home-cooked recipes Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions. More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

Sharon Carstairs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sharon Carstairs PhD Student

Public Health Research
University of Aberdeen,
Aberdeen

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

Response: The introduction of solid foods is a key period when the milk diet is no longer able to meet all dietary needs, additionally it is a key time for food learning and development of eating preferences in a child’s life. It is vital that children are provided with nutritionally balanced foods as well as a variety of foods to meet dietary requirements and are exposed to different tastes and textures. Some parents provide home-cooked meals however, there is a large market of commercially available infant/toddler meals which can provide parents with a convenient alternative to home-cooking.

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Red Meat Strongly Associated With Increased Risk of Kidney Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Woon-Puay KOH | Professor Office of Clinical Sciences| Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore 169857

Dr. Woon-Puay kOH

Woon-Puay KOH | Professor
Office of Clinical Sciences| Duke-NUS Medical School
Singapore 169857

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

Response: There is a growing burden of chronic kidney disease worldwide, and many progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant. Hence, urgent efforts are needed in risk factor prevention, especially in the general population. Current guidelines recommend restricting dietary protein intake to help manage patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, and slow progression to ESRD. However, there is limited evidence that overall dietary protein restriction or limiting specific food sources of protein intake may slow kidney function decline in the general population. Hence, we embarked on our study to see what dietary advice may be helpful to the general population in order to reduce the risk of ESRD.

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More Meals At Home Linked To Reduced Risk of Obesity and Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Qi Sun Sc.D, M.D., M.M.S.
Dr. Geng Zong, Ph.D., a research fellow

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: There is growing trend of eating meal prepared out of home in many countries. For example, energy intake from out-of-home meals has increased from less than 10% in mid 60s to over 30% in 2005-2008 among Americans, and average time spent on cooking has decreased by one third. In the meantime, the prevalence of diabetes and obesity of this country keep on growing. In the current study, we followed nearly 100 thousands middle-aged men and women for 26 years. In 1986, we asked people how often their lunch and dinner were prepared at home per week, which will be 14 meals in maximum, and updated this information during follow-up.

We found men and women with 11-14 meals prepared at home per week had 14% lower risk of diabetes compared to those had 6 or less meals prepared at home. If we look at lunch and dinner separately, people with 5 or more lunch prepared at home per week had 9% lower risk of diabetes, and those with 5 or more dinner prepared at home had 15% lower risk of diabetes compared to the group who had 2 or less than lunch or dinner at home per week.

We further investigated whether people with more meals prepared at home had lower risk of obesity or weight gain in our study. In the first eight years of follow-up, participants with 11-14 meals prepared at home had 14% lower risk of developing obesity compared to people had 0-6 meals prepared at home. For men, these people had 1.2kg less weight gain, and for women they had 0.3 kg less weight gain. Furthermore, we found potential impact of having meals at home and risk of diabetes became weaker. This suggest that weight gain could be one gearwheel that links eating meals prepared at home and diabetes risk.

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Does Eating More Often Important Improve Cardiovascular Health?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hsin-Jen Chen, PhD MS Assistant Professor Institute of Public Health National Yang-Ming University Taipei City

Dr. Hsin-Jen Chen

Hsin-Jen Chen, PhD MS
Assistant Professor
Institute of Public Health
National Yang-Ming University
Taipei City

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

Response: The number of eating occasions may affect health. Laboratory experiments have been showing that splitting daily food consumption into more eating occasions could improve metabolic profiles, such as healthier blood glucose and lipids levels. However, such kinds of experiments usually design a highly controlled diet for the participants in the lab. It is questionable whether such metabolic benefits remain in our daily life (namely, no controlled diets) where we can eat at anytime when we want to eat.

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Over Half US Adults Eat Sandwiches Daily, Many High In Fat and Calories

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

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

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

Response: Sandwiches are a staple of the American diet. About one half of the U.S. adult population consumed one or more sandwiches on a daily basis. Sandwich consumption may profoundly influence people’s diet quality and calorie intake.

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Large Harvard Study Confirms Health Benefits of Unsaturated Fats

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel (Dong) Wang, MD, ScD, Research Fellow Department of Nutrition | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Wang

Daniel (Dong) Wang, MD, ScD, Research Fellow
Department of Nutrition | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA 02115

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

Response: There has been widespread confusion in the biomedical community and the general public about the health effects of specific types of fat in the diet. In particular, the role of unsaturated fats vs. saturated fat in cardiovascular disease prevention remains controversial. Our study is by far the most detailed and powerful examination of this very important research topic, i.e., health effects of specific types of dietary fats, because of very large sample size (more than 120,000 men and women), repeated and validated measurements of diet and lifestyle over an extended follow-up (up to 32 years). In addition, our study is able to examine a much broader range of outcomes, including total mortality and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and respiratory disease.

We found that different types of dietary fat had different associations with mortality. Consuming higher amounts of unsaturated fats- mainly from plant-based foods like olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil and nuts – was associated with lower mortality, while higher consumption of saturated-found in red meat, butter, cheese, and ice cream- and trans fats- predominantly from hydrogenated oils- was linked with higher mortality compared with the same number of calories from carbohydrates. Most importantly, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats conferred substantial health benefits, including lowering risk of all-cause premature death and premature death due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disease and respiratory disease.

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids from Fish May Benefit Those At Risk of CAD

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Marcus E. Kleber
Fifth Department of Medicine (Nephrology, Hypertensiology, Endocrinology, Diabetology, Rheumatology), Medical Faculty of Mannheim
University of Heidelberg
Mannheim, Germany

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

Response: Many epidemiological studies found inverse associations between the concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA, and cardiovascular disease and mortality. On the other hand, most clinical trials that investigated the effect of omega-3 supplementation on cardiovascular risk failed to show a benefit. Therefore, the role of omega-3 fatty acids is still debated controversially. One problem with clinical trials is that they usually do not screen their participants for their initial omega-3 status. In our study we measured the omega-3 status of our participants using a very reliable and validated method and found an inverse association of EPA and DHA with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

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Preliminary Study Suggests Low Selenium Levels Contribute To Liver Cancer Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. David Hughes Honorary Lecturer, Centre for Systems Medicine RCSI Physiology & Medical Physics Dept Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Ireland

Dr. David Hughes

Dr. David Hughes
Honorary Lecturer, Centre for Systems Medicine
RCSI Physiology & Medical Physics Dept
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Ireland

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

Response: Liver cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide, and the seventh most common cause of death from cancer in Europe (1).

“The incidence of liver cancers is increasing in developed countries, likely due to Western lifestyle and dietary habits. Liver cancers are often diagnosed at late stages and have limited treatment options,” says IARC scientist Dr Mazda Jenab, one of the study’s authors. “Further research is needed into the modifiable determinants of these cancers and effective prevention strategies.”

A growing body of evidence suggests that suboptimal intakes of the micronutrient selenium contribute to the development of several cancers (2). Selenium is a trace mineral micronutrient that is found in foods like shellfish, salmon, Brazil nuts, meat, eggs, grains, and onions. However, selenium levels in foods depend largely on the levels of selenium in the soil where the food is grown and animals graze. Soil levels tend to be low in many regions in Europe, contributing to lower body levels of selenium in those populations compared with people living in regions with higher soil selenium concentrations, such as North America. In humans, selenium is essential, particularly for the effective functioning of the immune system and in controlling oxidative processes linked to cancer development.

This new study shows that the highest levels of blood selenium or of selenoprotein P, the protein that distributes selenium from the liver around the body, are associated with a decreased risk of developing liver cancer (particularly hepatocellular carcinoma), even when all other major liver cancer risk factors are taken into account. The study also shows that selenium level is not associated with the development of gall bladder or biliary tract tumours (3).

The study was based on the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort, headed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France,  and composed of more than half a million participants across 10 European countries. We used a case–control design of 121 liver cancers and 140 gall bladder and biliary tract cancers matched to equal numbers of individuals free of cancer within the cohort.

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Potassium Compound In Fruits/Vegetables May Reduce Oxidative Stress

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr-Wanpen-Vongpatanasin.jpg

Dr. Vongpatanasin

Dr. Wanpen Vongpatanasin MD
The Norman and Audrey Kaplan Chair in Hypertension
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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

Response: Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, known as the DASH diet, is known to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. More recently, the DASH diet was shown to reduce oxidative stress in people with and without high blood pressure . However, the main nutritional ingredient responsible for these beneficial effects of the DASH diet remain unknown. Because the DASH diet is rich in potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), and alkali, we performed a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study to compare effects of KMg Citrate (KMgCit), K Chloride (KCl), and K Citrate (KCit) to allow dissociation of the three in hypertensive and prehypertensive individuals. This study was conducted in collaboration with Drs. Charles Pak and Orson Moe at UT Southwestern, the two leading experts in the field of Mineral Metabolism. We found that oxidative stress was markedly reduced by KMgCit powder compared to placebo, K Chloride, and K Citrate. On the hand, KMgCit has no significant effects on blood pressure .

MedicalResearch.com Editor’s note:  DO NOT Take Potassium supplements unless under the direction of your health care provider.

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Multiple Sclerosis Patients Have Altered Microbiome That May Benefit From Dietary Changes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ashutosh K Mangalam PhD Assistant Professor Department of Pathology University of Iowa Iowa City, IA

Mangalam~Ashu

Ashutosh K Mangalam PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Pathology
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA

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

Response: Every human carries trillions of bacteria in their gut (gut microbiome) and recent advances in research indicate that these tiny passengers play an important role in our overall health maintenance. Having evolved over the time span of millions of years with the gut microbiome, they keep us healthy in multiple ways such as fermentation and absorption of undigested carbohydrates, synthesis of some vitamins, metabolism of bile acids etc.

However, new research suggests that gut microbiome, also regulating our body’s defense system. It is hypothesized that a diverse gut microbiome is good for our health and perturbations in this might predispose us to disease development. Therefore, we asked whether multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have a gut microbiome which is distinct from healthy individuals. We collected fecal samples from MS patients and healthy controls and performed microbiome analysis. I have recently moved to UI but the entire study was completed at Mayo Clinic Rochester. This study involved a big team comprised of neurologist, gastroenterologist, bioinformatician, system biologist and study coordinators. We found that  multiple sclerosis patients indeed have a gut microbiome which is different from what is observed in healthy people. We identified certain bacteria which are increased or decreased in the gut of patients with multiple sclerosis compared to healthy controls.

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Sticking To Cancer Nutrition Guidelines Reduces Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lindsay Kohler MPH Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Tucson, Arizona

Lindsay Kohler

Lindsay Kohler MPH
Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
Tucson, Arizona

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

Response: Several studies have reported that following health promotion guidelines for diet, physical activity, and maintenance of a healthy body weight may reduce the risk of getting cancer or dying from cancer. We performed a systematic review to examine the associations between established cancer prevention guidelines for diet and physical activity and cancer outcomes. We found that adhering to cancer prevention guidelines set forth by the American Cancer Society or the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research consistently reduced the risk of overall cancer incidence and mortality (10-61%) in the studies included in this review. In addition, higher adherence to the guidelines consistently reduced the risk of breast, colorectal, and endometrial cancers. Adherence to a pattern of healthy behaviors may significantly reduce cancer incidence and mortality.

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Nuts May Improve Overall Health In Men With Prostate Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Ying Bao Sc.D., M.D Assistant Professor of Medicine Channing Division of Network Medicine Department of Medicine Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Dr. Ying Bao

Dr. Ying Bao Sc.D., M.D
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Channing Division of Network Medicine
Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School,
Boston, MA

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

Response: Nuts are rich in bioactive macronutrients, micronutrients, tocopherols and phytochemicals. Current epidemiological evidence has consistently linked increased nut consumption to reduced risk of several chronic conditions including cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation. In contrast, evidence on nut consumption and cancer risk has been insufficient and equivocal.

Prostate cancer is the leading cancer among U.S. men, with approximately 220,800 new cases diagnosed in 2015. However, very few studies have investigated the association between nut intake and prostate cancer. Thus, in the current study, we followed 47,299 US men from 1986-2012, and examined
(1) whether consuming more nuts prevents getting prostate cancer, and
(2) whether consuming more nuts reduces death rates among non-metastatic prostate cancer patients.

During 26 years of follow-up, 6,810 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 4,346 of these patients were without metastasis at diagnosis. We found no association between nut intake and being diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, among non-metastatic prostate cancer patients, those who consumed nuts 5 or more times per week after diagnosis had a significant 34% lower rate of overall mortality than those who consumed nuts less than once per month.

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Plant-Based Diet Linked To Lower Risk of Diabetes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ambika Satija Departments of Nutrition & Epidemiology Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, MA

Ambika Satija

Ambika Satija
Departments of Nutrition & Epidemiology
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA

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

Response: In this study, we followed more than 200,000 male and female health professionals across the U.S. for more than 20 years who had regularly filled out questionnaires on their diet, lifestyle, medical history, and new disease diagnoses as part of three large long-term studies.

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Whole Grains Could Benefit Health and Longevity, But Most Diets Fall Short

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Geng Zong, Ph.D. Research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Geng Zong

Geng Zong, Ph.D.
Research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, Massachusetts.

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

Response: The refining process of grains removes most of fiber, minerals, vitamins, polyphenols and alkyl resorcinols that mainly exist in the outer layer of a kernel, thus enriches grains with carbohydrate and energy. Whole grains, on the other hand, are cereal grains or processed cereal grains that contains bran and germ, in addition to the inner most endosperm, as their natural proportions in the kernel. Observational studies have repeatedly linked whole grain intake with major chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer, but findings regarding mortality are inconsistent and have not been quantitatively summarized. By meta-analyzing 14 existing or unpublished prospective cohort studies, our investigation found that whole grain intake is inversely associated with mortality risk from all-causes, CVD, and cancer. Among people with whole grain consumption, estimated all-cause mortality risk was 7% (for 10 grams/day), 16% (for 30 grams/day), 20% (for 50 grams/day), and 22% (for 70 grams/day) lower than people with no whole grain consumption. Similar dose-response relationship was observed for CVD and cancer mortality.

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Some Natural Sweeteners and Fiber Can Mute Glycemic Response To High Carbohydrate Foods

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Margaret A. Brennan
Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences
Lincoln University
Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand

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

Response: There has been immense consumer attention recently in terms of the reduction of sugar levels in food products. Most of this attention has stemmed from a nutritional understanding that foods high in sugar and easily digested carbohydrates can increase blood glucose levels and hence potentially lead to weight gain, obesity issues, metabolic diseases (diabetes related illnesses) and even Alzheimer’s disease due to up regulation of genes responsible for amyloid like complexation.

Our research over the last 10-15 years has tried to investigate the relationship between food composition – food structure / processing – human nutrition. We have developed a deep understanding of how we can regulate the potential glycaemic index of foods by selective use of non-starch polysaccharides, natural sweeteners and texturizing agents to manipulate the rate of starch and carbohydrate digestion.

This study clearly illustrates the great potential of the use of certain natural sweeteners in producing reduced sugar consumer products which have the benefit of reducing glycaemic response in individuals. The utilisation of plant based ingredients to manipulate such a a response offers not only the industry but consumers a powerful opportunity to regulate glycaemia and hence associated metabolic orders.

The study also illustrates that sugar is important in modern foods in providing the structure and hence textural characteristics we have grown accustomed to as consumers. Again careful selection of ingredients can minimise any potential negative effects on food structure and texture that sugar reduction may have.

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Functional Medicine Plan Treats Fatigue, Stress and Digestive Issues in Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

SUSANNE M. CUTSHALL, APRN, CNS, D.N.P. Division of General Internal Medicine Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

Susanne Cutshall

SUSANNE M. CUTSHALL, APRN, CNS, D.N.P.
Division of General Internal Medicine
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

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

Response: Several years ago a group of practitioners from the Mayo Clinic, including Sue Cutshall and Larry Bergstrom took my functional medicine training program that I teach through The Kalish Institute. They were interested in researching the effectiveness of the functional medicine techniques I’ve developed over the last twenty years, so we embarked on this study together. The study showed women on the program experienced increased energy, were better able to handle stress and had less physical pain. Additional information gathered from follow-up testing, but not reported in the formal study, showed a significant improvement in digestive health as well.

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Moderate Nuts and Olive Oil Intake Do Not Increase Body Weight in Setting of Mediterranean Diet

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr Ramon Estruch, MD PhD Senior Consultant in the Internal Medicine Department of the Hospital Clinic Barcelona

Dr. Ramon Estruch

Dr Ramon Estruch, MD PhD
Senior Consultant in the Internal Medicine Department of the Hospital Clinic
Barcelona

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

Dr. Estruch: Although weight stability requires a balance between calories consumed and calories expended, it seems that calories from vegetable fats have different effects that calories from animals on adiposity. Thus, an increase of dietary fat intake (mainly extra virgin olive oil or nuts) achieved naturally in the setting of Mediterranean diet does not promote weight gain or increase in adiposity parameters such as waist circumference.
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Complex Dietary Supplement Abolishes Brain Cell Loss in Mice

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jennifer Lemon, PhD Research Associate Medical Radiation Sciences McMaster University

Dr. Jennifer Lemon

Jennifer Lemon, PhD
Research Associate
Medical Radiation Sciences
McMaster University

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

Dr. Lemon: Research with the supplement began in 2000, as part of my doctoral degree; we developed the supplement to try to offset the severe cognitive deterioration and accelerated aging in a mouse model we were working with in the lab. Based on aging research, five mechanisms appeared to be key contributors to the process of aging; those include oxidative stress, inflammation, mitochondrial deterioration, membrane dysfunction and impaired glucose metabolism. The criteria we used for including components in the supplement were as follows: each one of the 30 components had scientific evidence to show they acted on one or more of the above mechanisms were able to be taken orally, and were available to humans over-the-counter. Even then the hope was that if the formulation was successful, this would make it more available to the general public.

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Gluten-Free Diet Induces Changes In Gut Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ettje Tigchelaar MSc PhD student from department of Genetics University of Groningen, Groningen

Ettje Tigchelaar

Ettje Tigchelaar MSc
PhD student from department of Genetics
University of Groningen, Groningen

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

Response: A gluten-free diet is used by celiac disease patients to alleviate their symptoms. Previous research in these patients has shown differences in gut microbiota composition when on habitual gluten containing diet (HD) compared to a gluten-free diet (GFD). Recently more and more individuals without celiac disease also started to adopt a gluten-free diet to improve their health and/or control weight. We studied changes in gut microbiota composition in these healthy individuals on a gluten-free diet.

We observed changes in the abundance of specific bacteria, for example the abundance of the bacterium family Veillonellaceae was much lower on a gluten-free diet versus HD, whereas it was higher for the family Clostridiaceae. We also looked at the function of the bacteria in the gut and found that many of those bacteria that changed because of the gluten-free diet played a role in metabolism of starch. This makes sense since starch is like gluten highly present in wheat containing products, thus when eliminating gluten from the diet, the intake of starch also changes and the gut bacteria processing this dietary starch change accordingly.

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Artificial Sugar Aspartamine Linked to Worse Glucose Metabolism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jennifer L. Kuk, PhD Associate Professor York University School of Kinesiology and Health Science Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Jennifer Kuk

Jennifer L. Kuk, PhD
Associate Professor
York University
School of Kinesiology and Health Science
Toronto, Ontario

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

Dr. Kuk: Artificial sweeteners are used to help individuals manage their weight, however, individuals who consume aspartame (a type of artificial sweeteners) have worse glucose metabolism than individuals with the same body weight but do not consume aspartame. This observation was only true for adults with obesity. Further, saccharin and natural sugars were not associated with differences in health after considering differences in obesity.

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High Salt Intake Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Disease in CKD Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D. Joseph S. Copes Chair and Professor Department of Epidemiology School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane University, New Orleans

Dr. Jiang He

Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D.
Joseph S. Copes Chair and Professor
Department of Epidemiology
School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Tulane University, New Orleans

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Jiang He: Chronic kidney disease is associated with increased risk of end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. A positive association between sodium intake and blood pressure is well established in observational studies and clinical trials. However, the association between sodium intake and clinical cardiovascular disease remains less clear. Positive monotonic, J-shaped, and U-shaped associations have been reported. Methodologic limitations, including inconsistencies in dietary sodium measurement methods, could be contributing to these conflicting findings. Furthermore, no previous studies have examined the association between sodium intake and incident cardiovascular disease among patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Early Prenatal Events and Infancy Tied To Cardiovascular Events in Adulthood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Brian Stansfield MD Neonatologist Children's Hospital of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia Augusta University

Dr. Brian Stansfield

Dr. Brian Stansfield MD
Neonatologist
Children’s Hospital of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia
Augusta University

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

Dr. Stansfield: Since the mid-20th century, we have experimental evidence in animal models and human data demonstrating the influence of maternal nutrition on the offspring – both in the short term and long term. Low birth weight has been connected with higher incidence of cardiometabolic diseases including insulin resistance, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. Interestingly, low birth weight infants grow up to be relatively thin adults compared to their normal or high birth weight counterparts. Conversely, high birth weight infants tend to become heavier adults and obesity is directly linked with the same adult outcomes. So the association of cardiac and metabolic diseases with low birth weight is not linked to adult obesity in general. Thus, speculation as to why extremes of birth weight lead to adult onset cardiometabolic disease suggests different mechanisms and modifying factors.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Stansfield: The findings of our study shed considerable light on the relationship between birth weight and risk factors for insulin resistance and visceral adiposity. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to achieve precise measurements of visceral adipose content and biomarkers for insulin resistance, we show that both low and high birth weight are associated with increased visceral adiposity and insulin resistance in a healthy population of adolescents aged 13-17 years. This association persists when we account for several recognized confounders including age, sex, race, activity level, and socioeconomic status. The most interesting finding of our study is that when you account for each adolescent’s current body mass index, a measure of obesity, the relationship between increased visceral fat and insulin resistance and low birth weight is strengthened suggesting that these adolescents had relatively high visceral adipose content despite obesity rates that were similar to their normal birth weight counterparts. On the other hand, correction for adolescent BMI (obesity) reduced the relationship between these metabolic markers and high birth weight infants. Thus, low birth weight infants may develop insulin resistance and increased visceral fat, both significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease, despite having a relatively normal body shape in adolescents.

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Caffeine May Slow Progression of Liver Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sikarin Upala MD, MS, LLB Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Cooperstown, New York Preventive and Social Medicine Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Dr. Sikarin Upala

Sikarin Upala MD, MS, LLB
Internal Medicine, Bassett Medical Center and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Cooperstown, New York
Preventive and Social Medicine
Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

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

Dr. Upala: Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is the most common cause of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis as well as the most common cause of liver transplantation in the United States. As caffeine has been found to be related to decreased liver enzymes, chronic liver disease,cirrhosis, and risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in several liver disease pathologies. There is inconclusive findings on the effect of caffeine on hepatitis C infected patients. Thus, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to summarize the effect of caffeine consumption in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

We found that caffeine consumers have a 61% reduced risk of developing advanced hepatic fibrosis, which is one of the consequence of chronic hepatitis C. Our meta-analysis result is in the same way with other studies who found that coffee consumption could prevent the development of hepatic fibrosis in patients with liver disease. However, we cannot conclude about the effect of caffeine on HCV viral load as there is not enough information.

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Probiotics Found Effective in Preventing Clostridium difficile in Hospitalized Adults Receiving Antibiotics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Nicole Shen New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College

Dr. Nicole Shen

Dr. Nicole Shen
New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College

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

Dr. Shen: Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a persistent, healthcare associated infection with significant morbidity and mortality that costs the US billions of dollars annually. Prevention is imperative, particularly for patients at high risk for infection – hospitalized adults taking antibiotics. Trials have suggested probiotics may be useful in preventing CDI. We conducted a systematic review with meta-analysis in this high-risk population, hospitalized adults receiving antibiotics, to evaluate the current evidence for probiotic use for prevention of CDI.

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Adolescent Diet High in Saturated Fats Linked to Breast Density in Adulthood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Seungyoun Jung, ScD, Fellow and
Joanne F. Dorgan Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor

Department of Epidemiology & Public Health
Division Director Of Cancer Epidemiology
University of Maryland

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

Response: Despite the strong evidence from the animal and experimental studies, the lack of association between fat intake and breast cancer has been observed in epidemiologic studies of adult women. However, the development of breast tissue, which induces rapid structural changes and makes breasts vulnerable to exposures, mostly occurs during adolescence. The effect of dietary fat intake on the breasts, therefore, might be greater at younger than older ages. However, only a few prospective cohort studies have examined the role of fat intake during adolescence in relation to the possible risk of breast cancer later in adulthood. Therefore, we examined the association between adolescent intakes of dietary fat and breast tissue composition as measured by breast density, a strong risk factor for breast cancer, measured among young women in the Dietary Intervention Study in Children 2006 Follow-up (DISC06) study.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We observed that higher intake of saturated fat and lower intake of mono- and polyunsaturated fat during adolescence are associated with higher breast density measured approximately 15 years later.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The take home message from our results, if confirmed, is that the diet consumed in early life is important and may confer risk or protective benefits for breast cancer later in adulthood. In particular, adherence to a healthy diet higher in healthy unsaturated fats and lower in saturated fats during youth may contribute to lower breast density, and possibly decreased breast cancer risk.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: As a future direction of our study, it will be important to see if our results are replicated in a large prospective cohort study and are not attributable to other components in major food sources of different types of fat, and to identify possible underlying mechanism.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer incidence and cancer death among women worldwide. However, the established known risk factors for breast cancer, such as age at menarche, age at first full term pregnancy and age at menopause, are not readily modifiable. Although further research is warranted, our result is important as it suggests the promising role of dietary modification during adolescence for promotion of breast health as well as prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases in adulthood.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Seungyoun Jung, Olga Goloubeva, Catherine Klifa, Erin S. LeBlanc, Linda G. Snetselaar, Linda Van Horn, and Joanne F. Dorgan. Dietary Fat Intake During Adolescence and Breast Density Among Young Women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, May 2016 DOI:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-1146

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

Controversy Over Salt Content Continues

Salt-SodiumMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof Andrew Mente PhD
Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University
Hamilton, Canada

MedicalResearch.com Editor’s Note:  Dr. Mente discusses his Lancet publication regarding salt intake below.  Dr. Mente’s findings are disputed by the American Heart Association (AHA).  A statement from the AHA follows Dr. Mente’s comments.

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

Prof. Mente: Several prospective cohort studies have recently reported that both too little and too much sodium intake is associated with cardiovascular disease or mortality. Whether these associations vary between those individuals with and without high blood pressure (hypertension) is unknown.

We found that low sodium intake (below 3 g/day), compared to average intake (3 to 6 g/day), is associated with more cardiovascular events and mortality, both in those with high blood pressure and in those without high blood pressure. So following the guidelines would put you at increased risk, compared to consuming an sodium at the population average level, regardless of whether you have high blood pressure or normal blood pressure.

High sodium intake (above 6 g/day) compared to average intake, was associated with harm, but only in people with high blood pressure (no association in people without high blood pressure).

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Boiled, Baked, Mashed or Fried – Potatoes Increase Hypertension Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Lea Borgi, MD, MMSc

Renal Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital 

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

Dr. Borgi:   The association of potatoes intake with the risk of developing hypertension has not been studied. In our analyses of more than 187,000 participants without a diagnosis of high blood pressure at baseline, we observed that higher intakes of boiled, baked or mashed potatoes and French fries were associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension.

Indeed, when participants consumed 4 or more than 4 servings per week of boiled, baked or mashed potatoes as compared to 1 or less than one serving per month, the risk of hypertension increased by 11% (and 17% when French fries were consumed 4 or more than 4 times a week as compared to 1 or less than 1 serving per month). We also found that replacing one serving of boiled, baked or mashed potatoes per day with one serving of a non-starchy vegetable was associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension.

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Artificial Sweeteners During Pregnancy Linked to Childhood Obesity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Meghan Azad PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences University of Manitoba Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Stud

Dr. Meghan Azad

Meghan Azad PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics & Child Health and Community Health Sciences
University of Manitoba
Associate Investigator, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study

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

Dr. Azad: It is well known that maternal nutrition plays a key role in “programming” fetal development and infant weight gain, but the impact of artificial sweetener consumption during this critical period has not been extensively studied.  Some animal research suggests that consuming artificial sweeteners during pregnancy can predispose offspring to develop obesity, but this has never been studied in humans, until now.

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Teenagers Who Eat Lots of Fruits & Vegetables May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Dr. Maryam S. Farvid, PhD Takemi Fellow Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Maryam Farvid

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Maryam Farvid, Ph.D.
Visiting Scientist
Department of Global Health and Population
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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

Dr. Farvid: Breast cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. While we know many breast cancer risk factors, few of them are easily modified. Further, evidence suggests that exposure to carcinogens and anti-carcinogens in early life may play an important role. According to this study, what women eat as teens or young adults could affect their breast cancer risk in the future. Teenage girls who eat a lot of fruits may have a lower risk of breast cancer later in life. The risk of breast cancer among women who reported the highest amount of dietary fruits during high school, about 2.9 servings of fruit a day, was 25 percent lower, compared with those who had eaten the lowest amount, about 0.5 serving of fruit a day. We also analyzed individual fruit and vegetable intake and risk of breast cancer: greater consumption of apple, banana, and grapes during adolescence, as well as oranges and kale for young adult was significantly associated with a reduced risk.

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More Calories in Fast Casual Than Fast Food Entrees

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Danielle E. Schoffman PhD Candidate Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior Arnold School of Public Health University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208

Danielle Schoffman

Danielle E. Schoffman
PhD Candidate
Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208 

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

Response: In recent years, there has been large growth in the fast casual (e.g., Panera, Chipotle) restaurant sector, and there is a general perception among consumers that these restaurants are a healthier and fresher alternative to fast food. When we encourage participants in our research studies to reduce their fast food intake, they often ask if these fast casual restaurants also count. We were interested in looking at the calorie data for entrees at both restaurant types to see if they lined up with these assumptions.

We analyzed the calorie content of entrées at 34 fast food and 28 fast casual restaurants, and found that fast food entrées had an average of 760 calories per entrée compared to 561 for fast food entrées . Also, a greater proportion of fast casual restaurant entrées exceeded the median of 640 calories per entrée.

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Ocular-Motor System Vulnerable to Cumulative Sub-Concussion Injuries

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. T. Dianne Langford PhD Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Neurovirology Lewis Katz School of Medicine Temple University

Dr. T. Dianne Langford

Dr. T. Dianne Langford PhD
Associate Professor, Neuroscience and Neurovirology
Lewis Katz School of Medicine
Temple University

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

Dr. Langford: The ocular-motor system has been shown to reflect neural damage, and one of ocular-motor functions, near point of convergence (NPC), was reported to worsen after a sport-related concussion (Mucha et al. Am J Sport Med). But the effects of subconcussive head impact, a milder form of head injury in the absence of outward symptoms remains unknown.  Prior to this study, we found that in a controlled soccer heading experimental paradigm decreased NPC function, and even 24h after the headings, NPC was not normalized back to baseline (Kawata et al. 2016 Int J Sport Med). To extend our findings from the human laboratory study, we launched longitudinal clinical studies in collaboration with the Temple football team, to see if repetitive exposure to subconcussive head impacts negatively affects NPC.

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Hormones in Breast Milk Shape Infant’s Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jacob (Jed) E. Friedman, Professor, Ph.D. Department of Pediatrics, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics Director, NIH Center for Human Nutrition Research Metabolism Core Laboratory University of Colorado Anschutz

Dr. Jed Friedman

Jacob (Jed) E. Friedman, Professor, Ph.D.
Department of Pediatrics, Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
Director, NIH Center for Human Nutrition Research Metabolism Core Laboratory
University of Colorado Anschutz

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

Response: Scientists have long established that children who are breastfed are less likely to be obese as adults, though they have yet to identify precisely how breastfeeding protects children against obesity. One likely reason is that children who are breastfed have different bacteria in their intestines than those who are formula fed.
The study, published Monday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examines the role of human milk hormones in the development of infants’ microbiome, a bacterial ecosystem in the digestive system that contributes to multiple facets of health.

“This is the first study of its kind to suggest that hormones in human milk may play an important role in shaping a healthy infant microbiome,” said Bridget Young, co-first author and assistant professor of pediatric nutrition at CU Anschutz. “We’ve known for a long time that breast milk contributes to infant intestinal maturation and healthy growth. This study suggests that hormones in milk may be partly responsible for this positive impact through interactions with the infant’s developing microbiome.”

Researchers found that levels of insulin and leptin in the breastmilk were positively associated with greater microbial diversity and families of bacteria in the infants’ stool. Insulin and leptin were associated with bacterial functions that help the intestine develop as a barrier against harmful toxins, which help prevent intestinal inflammation. By promoting a stronger intestinal barrier early in life, these hormones also may protect children from chronic low-grade inflammation, which can lead to a host of additional digestive problems and diseases.

In addition, researchers found significant differences in the intestinal microbiome of breastfed infants who are born to mothers with obesity compared to those born to mothers of normal weight. Infants born to mothers with obesity showed a significant reduction in gammaproteobacteria, a pioneer species that aids in normal intestinal development and microbiome maturation.

Gammaproteobacteria have been shown in mice and newborn infants to cause a healthy amount inflammation in their intestines, protecting them from inflammatory and autoimmune disorders later in life. The 2-week-old infants born to obese mothers in this study had a reduced number of gammaproteobacteria in the infant gut microbiome.

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Dilute Apple Juice May Be More Palatable For Rehydration In Children with Mild Gastroenteritis

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Stephen B. Freedman MDCM, MSc, Associate Professor Department of Paediatrics, Sections of Emergency Medicine and Gastroenterology; ACHRI Healthy Outcomes Theme Group Leader Alberta Children’s Hospital, and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

Dr. Stephen Freedman

Stephen B. Freedman MDCM, MSc,
Associate Professor
Department of Paediatrics, Sections of Emergency Medicine and Gastroenterology;
ACHRI Healthy Outcomes Theme Group Leader
Alberta Children’s Hospital, and Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute
University of Calgary,
Calgary, Canada

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

Dr. Freedman: As a pediatric emergency medicine physician I continue to see large numbers of children who are brought for emergency care because of vomiting and diarrhea. In speaking with their caregivers it is clear that many of them try to administer electrolyte maintenance solutions at home but the children either refuse to drink them or they continue to vomit. As a researcher I have noticed that many children continue to receive intravenous rehydration despite not being significantly dehydrated and it appeared that this was often a physician’s response to a failed oral rehydration challenge in the emergency department, either due to refusal to consume the electrolyte maintenance solution supplied or because the children became more nauseous due to the poor palatability of the solution. It appeared that perhaps a less dogmatic approach aimed at providing fluids that children actually like, might overcome these problems leading to improved outcomes.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Freedman: Children with mild gastroenteritis and minimal dehydration experienced fewer treatment failures when offered dilute apple juice followed by their preferred fluid choice compared with those instructed to drink electrolyte maintenance solution to replace fluid losses. We found the benefit was greatest in those 24 to 60 months of age. The group provided and instructed to take their preferred fluids were administered intravenous rehydration less frequently.

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Study Finds High Protein Dairy Products Can Be Included in Healthy Weight Loss Program

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Evelyn Parr Research Officer / PhD Candidate | Centre for Exercise and Nutrition Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research Australian Catholic University

Evelyn Parr

Evelyn Parr
Research Officer / PhD Candidate | Centre for Exercise and Nutrition
Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research
Australian Catholic University

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

Response: Results from previous investigations suggest that compared to a healthy ‘control’ diet, increased consumption of dairy foods in an energy restricted diet lead to improved body composition (i.e., a loss of fat mass and the maintenance of lean mass).

We investigated the effects of manipulating  the type of dairy foods (i.e., low- or high fat) within high protein, energy restricted diets on body composition and selected health parameters. Eighty-nine middle-aged (35-59 y), male and females who were overweight or obese completed a 16 week intervention comprising 3 d/wk supervised resistance training and 4 d/wk unsupervised aerobic -based exercise (i.e. walking). During this time they consumed a diet that was energy restricted by 250 kcal/d comprising either
1) high protein, moderate carbohydrate (4-5 normal fat dairy product servings),
2) high protein, high carbohydrate (4-5 low-fat, carbohydrate sweetened dairy product servings or
3) a control diet of moderate protein, high carbohydrate diet (1-2 dairy servings).

We found that in the face of energy restriction, when protein intakes were above the recommended daily intakes (>0.8 g/kg body mass) and regular exercise was completed, there was no difference in the loss of fat mass  (~8 kg) when participants consumed 4-5 serves of dairy products in either low- or high-fat. Furthermore, participants maintained  lean (muscle) mass throughout the energy restricted period.

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High Fat Diet Linked To Daytime Sleepiness and Increased Sleep Apnea

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Yingting Cao PhD Candidate
Population Research and Outcome Studies
School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health

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

Response: As sleep complains have reached a public concern, increasing number studies have investigated it. Most studies focused on the adverse effect of short sleep or poor sleep quality on health but fewer looked it the other way around. Laboratory studies have suggested the potential role of diet in regulating sleep, however, it has not been confirmed in population studies. So, we examined whether dietary factors are associated with sleep in a large cohort of middle-aged and older men in Adelaide, focusing on their sleep, as well as general health including chronic conditions. In this particular paper, we focused on macronutrient intake (we focused on nutrients and food levels in other papers) and sleep.

The main finding was that comparing with the lowest 25% fat intake (mean 58g/d), people in the highest 25% of fat intake reported more daytime sleepiness and had increased number of sleep apnea during the night.

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Healthier Standards for School Meals and Snacks Did Not Impact School Revenue Long Term

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Juliana F.W. Cohen, ScD, ScM Merrimack College, Department of Health Sciences North Andover MA 01845 Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nutrition Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Juliana F. Cohen

Juliana F.W. Cohen, ScD, ScM
Merrimack College, Department of Health Sciences
North Andover MA 01845
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

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

Dr. Cohen: Back in 2012, Massachusetts enacted both the updated USDA standards for school meals and healthier standards for snacks in schools that were similar to the upcoming, fully implemented national “Smart Snacks” standards.  We examined the impact of these standards on school food revenues and school meal participation.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Cohen: After schools had time to acclimate to the changes, schools revenues remained high. While students spent less money on snacks, more children were now participating in the lunch program so school food revenues were not impacted long-term.
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High Dietary Saturated Fat Associated With Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emma Helen Allott, PhD University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Emma Allott

Emma Helen Allott, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

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

Dr. Allott: Prostate cancer incidence rates vary more than 25-fold worldwide, and are highest in Western countries. This large international variation is due in part to differences in screening practices between countries, but dietary factors may also play a role. Unlike other macronutrients, dietary fat intake varies more than fivefold worldwide, and individuals in Western countries are among the highest consumers of saturated fat. High dietary saturated fat content contributes to raised blood cholesterol levels, and evidence from population-based studies supports an adverse role for serum cholesterol and a protective role for cholesterol-lowering statins in prostate cancer. Our hypothesis in this study was that high saturated fat intake would drive prostate tumor aggressiveness via raising serum cholesterol levels.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Allott: Using the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project, a study of 1,854 men with newly-diagnosed prostate cancer, we show that high dietary saturated fat content is associated with increased tumor aggressiveness. We found a slightly weaker effect of saturated fat on prostate cancer aggressiveness in men using statins to control serum cholesterol levels, suggesting that that statins may counteract, but do not completely negate, the effects of high saturated fat intake on prostate cancer aggressiveness. We also found an inverse association between high dietary intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and prostate cancer aggressiveness.

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Healthy Diet After Gestational Diabetes Lowers Long-Term Hypertension Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD Senior Investigator, Epidemiology Branch Division of Intramural Population Health Research NICHD/National Institutes of Health Rockville, MD 20852

Dr. Cuilin Zhang

Cuilin Zhang MD, PhD
Senior Investigator, Epidemiology Branch
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
NICHD/National Institutes of Health
Rockville, MD 20852

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

Dr. Zhang: Hypertension is one of the most prevalent and preventable risk factors for cardiovascular and kidney diseases, and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.

We have previously reported that the cumulative incidence of hypertension for women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) was 26% higher than those who did not have GDM even 16 years after the index pregnancy. Thus, women with a history of GDM represent a high-risk population for hypertension that could benefit from early prevention. While there is extensive literature on how lifestyle factors may influence blood pressure in the general population, no information is currently available on the role of diet and lifestyle in the development of hypertension specifically in this susceptible population. To address these gaps, we prospectively examined the associations between long-term adherence to three healthy diets with subsequent risk of hypertension among women with a history of gestational diabetes mellitus, specifically the DASH diet, the alternative Mediterranean diet (aMED), and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI).

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Resveratrol Attenuates Atherosclerosis Through Actions on Gut Microbiome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Man-tian Mi

Research Center for Nutrition and Food Safety,
Chongqing Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Food Safety,
Institute of Military Preventive Medicine,
Third Military Medical University
Chongqing  China 

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

Reply: Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death in industrialized societies including the United States, and the incidence is growing in developing countries (1). In recent years, researchers have learned that the gut microbiome plays a role in the build up of plaque inside arteries, otherwise known as atherosclerosis (2, 3). Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red wine, is thought to have antioxidant properties that protect against conditions such as heart disease (4). Just how resveratrol, a plant compound, does this, however, is unclear. Therefore, we sought to determine whether the anti-atherosclerosis effects of resveratrol were related to changes in the gut microbiota.

We found that resveratrol attenuated trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO)-induced  atherosclerosis by decreasing TMAO levels and increasing hepatic bile acid (BA) neosynthesis via gut microbiota remodeling, and the BA neosynthesis was partially mediated through the enterohepatic farnesoid X receptor-fibroblast growth factor 15 axis. These results offer new insights into the mechanisms responsible for resveratrol’s anti-atherosclerosis effects and indicate that gut microbiota may become an interesting target for pharmacological or dietary interventions to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

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Shorter Overnight Fast May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ruth E. Patterson, PhD Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Associate Director, Population Sciences Program Leader, Cancer Prevention Moores Cancer Center UC San Diego La Jolla, CA

Dr. Ruth Patterson

Ruth E. Patterson, PhD
Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Public Health
Associate Director, Population Sciences
Program Leader, Cancer Prevention
Moores Cancer Center
UC San Diego
La Jolla, CA

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

Dr. Patterson: Our research team was intrigued with studies in mice showing that even when eating a high-fat diet, mice who were subjected to a 16-hour fasting regimen during the sleep phase were protected against abnormal glucose metabolism, inflammation and weight gain; all of which are associated with poor cancer outcomes.

We had access to a study conducted in breast cancer survivors called the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study (WHEL).  Participants in this study completed food records, which give the time of eating meals and snacks.  We used the food records to estimate the average nightly fasting interval in 2413 breast cancer survivors.  Overall, we found that women who had a nightly fasting interval of less than 13 hours had a 36% increased risk of breast cancer recurrence and a nonsignificant increase in mortality.  We also found that women with a short nightly fast had poorer glucoregulation and worse sleep, both of which might explain the link to breast cancer.

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Mediterranean Diet in Post Menopausal Women Linked to Better Bone Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Bernhard Haring, MD MPH
Department of Medicine I
Comprehensive Heart Failure Center
University of Würzburg
Germany

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

Dr. Haring: The primary aim of this study was to examine the association between adherence to a diet quality index constructed on the basis of dietary recommendations or existing healthy dietary patterns and bone outcomes in a large population of postmenopausal women.

We found that higher diet quality based on a Mediterranean diet may play a role in maintaining bone health in postmenopausal women.
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Only a Few Neurons in Brain Responsible For Salt Hunger

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Matthew Bailey PhD Faculty Principal Investigator British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Dr. Mathew Bailey

Matthew Bailey PhD
Faculty Principal Investigator
British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science
The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

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

Dr. Bailey: This study started with our interest in salt homeostasis and long term blood pressure, so it’s firmly rooted in the cardiovascular/renal disease risk factor arena. We were interested in salt-sensitivity- why does blood pressure go up in some people when they eat salt but not in others. I’m a renal physiologist, so we had a number of papers looking at renal salt excretion and blood pressure. We initially used a gene targeting approach to remove a gene (Hsd11b2) which acts as a suppressor of the mineralocorticoid pathway. It’s mainly expressed in the kidney and when we deleted the gene  throughout the body we saw a number of renal abnormalities all associated with high mineralocorticoid activity. This was consistent with the “hypertension follows the kidney” theory of blood pressure control. There is a human disease called “Apparent Mineralocorticoid Excess”- there are people do not have the gene and are thought to have renal hypertension. Our study threw up some anomalies which we couldn’t easily interpret but suggested that the brain was involved. We moved to a more refined technology that allowed us to knockout a gene in one organ system but not another. We knew the gene was in the brain and localized to a very restricted subset of neurons linked to salt-appetite and blood pressure control. Previous studies had shown that these neurons were activated in salt-depleted rats (ie rats that needed to eat salt). We started there but didn’t anticipate that the effect on salt hunger and on blood pressure would be so large because renal function is -as far as we can tell- normal.

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Miscarriage Risk Reduced by Daily Multivitamins Before and After Conception

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., M.S. Office of the Director, Division of Intramural Population Health Research Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Rockville, Maryland 20852.

Dr-Germaine M. Buck-Louis

Germaine M. Buck Louis, Ph.D., M.S.
Office of the Director
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Rockville, Maryland 20852.

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

Response: To understand the association between couples’ lifestyles and risk of pregnancy loss.  Couples were recruited upon discontinuing contraception to try for pregnancy and followed daily for up to one year of trying or until pregnancy.  Pregnant women were followed daily for 7 weeks following conception then monthly.

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