Thursday, April 28, 2011

Is Calcium the New Magic Bullet?

Is Calcium the New Magic Bullet?

New research suggests that upping your calcium intake can help you lose fat

By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Expert Column

Americans Still May Not Be Getting Enough Calcium

ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2011) — Americans may not be getting enough calcium in their diets, according to a new study published in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. This study is unique among those focusing on calcium intake in the US population because both dietary and supplemental sources were evaluated across adult age groups and compared to accompanying patterns in energy intake.

"Calcium plays a fundamental role in promoting bone health and forestalling osteoporosis. In light of evidence that energy intake declines with aging, calcium dense foods and calcium supplements become vital factors in maintaining adequate calcium intake across the lifespan," commented Jane E. Kerstetter, RD, PhD, Professor, Department of Allied Health Sciences, University of Connecticut. "Encouraging calcium supplementation is an established approach to addressing this issue in the clinical setting -- one that needs additional emphasis in order to promote more frequent and sufficient supplementation in meeting adequate intake levels. Altering the concentration of calcium in the diet relative to energy by increasing consumption of nutrient dense foods is a new and important concept that also deserves additional consideration as a component of osteoporosis prevention efforts."

Using data collected from 9,475 adults during the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2003 to 2006, researchers from the University of Connecticut and Yale University found that while self-reported calcium density was highest in older age groups, it was still not sufficient to meet recommended levels. Although reported calcium supplement use increased with age in both men and women, median dietary calcium intake was lower in the 81+ age group by 23% in men and by 14% in 18 women, compared to the median intake reported in the 19-30 year age group. In relating calcium and energy intake, dietary calcium density as well as calcium supplementation play a critical role in attainment of established adequate intake levels.

The authors looked at the decrease in energy intake reported by various age groups. As people age, they consume less food, and therefore less calcium. Men's median energy intake declined by 35% from the 19-30 age group to the 81+ age group; from 2,668 kcal/d to 1,733 kcal/d. For women, median energy intake showed a 28% reduction from the youngest to oldest age group; from 1,844 kcal/d to 1,325 kcal/d.

Calcium supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years. Researchers found that 51% of all individuals ≥19 y of age were taking a calcium supplement. The percentage of individuals taking a calcium supplement increased in men from 34% in the 19-30 age group to 54% in the 81+ group. In women, these percentages rose from 42% to 64% across the range of age groups.

In an accompanying editorial, Susan M. Krebs-Smith, PhD, RD, and Sharon I. Kirkpatrick, PhD, RD, of the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, caution that attention to the details of the methodologies used is warranted in interpreting the results of this and similar studies. Comparing the current study with a recent publication by Bailey and colleagues1, they show that the varying statistical procedures applied to estimate calcium intake from survey data can lead to different conclusions. Even though both research groups were working from the same data, due to the application of different statistical techniques and assumptions, Bailey and colleagues' point estimates for median dietary calcium intakes for supplement users and nonusers combined are much higher than those of Kerstetter and colleagues.

According to Krebs-Smith and Kirkpatrick, "The juxtaposition of these two papers provides not only insights into calcium intakes among the population, but also highlights the impact that different statistical approaches to dietary assessment can have on the resulting estimates, pointing to the need for further research to identify optimal methods for assessing total intakes."

Being Tall, Obese May Significantly Increase Risk of Blood Clots in Deep Veins

Being tall and obese may increase your risk for potentially dangerous blood clots, according to new research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Obesity is a well-known risk factor for clots in deep veins (usually in the legs) and for pulmonary embolism, a clot in blood vessels of the lungs that can result in sudden death or strain on the heart. Together, the two conditions are called venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Compared with short (5 feet, 7.7 inches or less) and normal-weight men (body mass index < 25kg/m2), the age-adjusted risk of VTE was:

5.28 times higher in obese and tall men

2.57 times higher in normal-weight and tall men (at least 5 feet, 11.7 inches tall)

2.11 times higher in obese and short men

The amount of risk conferred by being both obese and tall was comparable to other known risk factors for VTE, including pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, and carrying one gene for an inherited predisposition to clotting called Factor V Leiden.

Compared with short (5 feet, 2.6 inches or less) normal-weight women, the age-adjusted risk of VTE was:

2.77 times higher in obese and tall women

1.83 times higher in obese and short women

Not increased in normal-weight and tall women (more than 5 feet, 6 inches)

"We believe that we observed the increased risk in tall and normal-weight men, but not women, because most women do not get sufficiently tall," said Sigrid K. Braekkan, Ph.D., senior study author and a researcher in the Hematological Research Group at the University of Tromsø in Norway. "The risk may be present in very tall women, but there were too few to investigate this properly."

Researchers said more studies are needed to determine the mechanisms of the association between tall stature, excess weight and the combination on the risk of VTEs.

"In tall people the blood must be pumped a longer distance by the calf-muscle pump, which may cause reduced flow in the legs and thereby raise the risk of clotting," Braekkan said.

"Understanding and preventing VTE is important because even the first occurrence may be fatal. Obesity, in combination with other VTE risk factors, has been shown to substantially increase the risk, so we wanted to assess the combined effects of tall stature and obesity."

The research team analyzed data from the Tromsø study, which conducts periodic health surveys of adults 25-97 years old in the Norwegian town. Researchers collected height and obesity measures on 26,714 men and women followed a median of 12.5 years between 1994 and 2007. During that time, 461 VTEs occurred.

Obesity causes increased pressure in the abdomen, which may reduce the ability of the calf-muscle pump to return the blood from the legs. "Obesity is also linked to a state of constant low-grade inflammation, and inflammation may render blood more susceptible to clotting," Braekkan said.

Physicians should consider people's height and weight as they assess their overall risk for dangerous clots, researchers said.

"Since body height is not easy to modify, the most important thing is to stay slim, especially if you are tall," Braekkan said.

The researchers previously found a strikingly similar rise in clot risk along with height in American men, and believe that the height cut-offs would apply to Caucasian populations in other regions.

In the United States, more than 275,000 people each year are hospitalized with deep vein clots or pulmonary embolism, according to the American Heart Association.

Co-authors are Knut H. Borch, M.D.; Cecilie Nyegaard, M.D.; John-Bjarne Hansen, M.D., Ph.D.; Ellisiv B. Mathiesen, M.D., Ph.D.; Inger Njølstad, M.D., Ph.D. and Tom Wilsgaard, Ph.D.

The University of Tromsø and the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority funded the study.

Interval Training and Healthy Eating Is Solution to Obesity, Study Shows

ScienceDaily (Apr. 28, 2011) — A program which combines interval training and healthy eating practices seems to be perfectly indicated for those suffering from obesity, according to the results of a new study from the Montreal Hearth Institute's centre for preventive medicine and physical activity (ÉPIC Centre). Results of the study were announced at the National Obesity Summit, currently taking place in Montreal.

Within the framework of this study, researchers analyzed the track record of 62 participants in Kilo-Actif, a 9-month program intended for obesity sufferers that focuses on weight loss and maintenance. The study showed significant improvements in participants' body mass, waist circumference, body mass index and effort capacity. The results are especially encouraging because on average participants lost 5.5% of their body mass, reduced their waist circumference by 5.15% and increased their effort capacity by 15%. Beyond weight loss, participants also saw a 7% decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) as well as an 8% increase in good cholesterol (HDL).

Offered at ÉPIC Centre and overseen by physicians, kinesiologists and nutritionists, Kilo-Actif is a program which aims at modifying eating habits and promoting an active lifestyle through education on healthy practices. During the course of the program, participants commit to taking part each week in two or three supervised training sessions of 60 minutes each. Participants are also invited to five face-to-face meetings and two group meetings with a dietitian where the basis of the Mediterranean diet and nutritional rules are explained.

"It has been clearly demonstrated that obesity increases the risk of health problems, particularly of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke, hypertension and certain types of cancer," explains Dr. Martin Juneau, Director of Prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute and Director of ÉPIC Centre. "A program like Kilo-Actif, which combines interval training with healthy eating, is therefore perfectly indicated because we know that a decrease in body mass can lower the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease."

"Kilo-Actif's success is largely based on the adoption of an interval training program," adds Valérie Guilbault, an ÉPIC Centre kinesiologist who oversaw the training of the participants. "It is proven that, compared to moderate-intensity continuous training, interval training is more appreciated by participants. This type of training is also more effective, because alternating between short periods of intense effort and rest periods allows for a longer training time."

Training as a fun activity

Inactive for several years because of health troubles, Marie-Josée Desjardins had difficulty just carrying out regular everyday activities, like going up stairs or doing her shopping. Determined to take charge of her life, she decided to join the Kilo-Actif program. Two years later and weighing 40 pounds less, she does not want to go back to the way things were because she can't imagine living without that great sense of well-being she feels today. "Kilo-Actif not only gave me the discipline, but also the taste for training. Now, I can't last the week without putting in at least three high intensity sessions during that time," she explains.


Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2011 Feb 1. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2011.03997.x. [Epub ahead of print]


Foresta C, Strapazzon G, De Toni L, Gianesello L, Bruttocao A, Scarda A, Plebani M, Garolla A.

SourceDepartment of Histology, Microbiology and Medical Biotechnologies, Section of Clinical Pathology and Centre for Male Gamete Cryopreservation, University of Padova, Italy Endocrine-Metabolic Laboratory (A.S.), Internal Medicine 3, University of Padova, Italy Department of Laboratory Medicine (M.P.), University Hospital of Padova, Italy EURAC Institute of Mountain Emergency Medicine (G.S.), Bozen/Bolzano, Italy Clinical Surgery II (A.B), Department of Oncological and Surgical Sciences, University Hospital of Padova, Italy.


Objective:  Androgens inhibit adipogenic differentiation through an androgen receptor (AR)-mediated pathway, increase lipolysis and reduce lipid accumulation in adipocytes. Undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOCN) regulates insulin and adiponectin secretion and is released by adipose tissue (AT). Our objective was to investigate, ex vivo and in vivo, the role of androgens on osteocalcin (OCN) modulation in human AT. Design, Patients, Setting:  Omental AT (OAT) for in vitro study and blood samples from 91 male patients of Padova University Hospital were used. Measurements:  OAT was treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in presence and in absence of flutamide. cOCN and ucOCN release by AT in a simple growth medium was evaluated by ELISA. OCN, both undercarboxylated (ucOCN) and carboxylated (cOCN) form, were measured in serum by ELISA. Results:  After 24h DHT stimulation, the release of both cOCN and ucOCN by OAT was statistically increased (P<0.05). Co-incubation with flutamide blunted OCN production. Overweight and obese patients had lower total and free testosterone (T), associated with lower ucOCN and ucOCN/OCN ratio. Free T was negatively correlated to BMI (ρ=-0.706, P<0.05) and positively correlated to ucOCN/OCN ratio (ρ =0.223, P<0.05). Conclusions:  Our data suggest that androgens modulate OCN release by OAT in vitro. In addition to the anti-adipogenic role of androgens, they support a novel mechanism by which androgens could exert a protective effect in energy metabolism. This hypothesis appears even more significant considering that sexual hormones levels are greatly altered in obesity and that AT is both highly involved in their clearance and able to produce OCN.

Copyright © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Pfizer Launches New Advanced GOLD Range Of Early Child Nutrition Products

Pfizer Inc. today announced the global launch of its new advanced GOLD range of child nutrition products, developed to meet the changing nutritional and feeding needs of young children. The GOLD range of infant and follow-on formulas, and growing-up milks provides the right balance of high-quality nutrients needed to support ideal health, growth and development in growing children.

Globally, in 2010 around 43 million children under the age of five were overweight.1 Proper nutrition means getting an optimal balance of nutrients; however too much of certain nutrients - even those that are important for a child's development - can negatively affect long-term health outcomes.

"We are focused on meeting the nutritional needs of the world's youngest populations. We recognize that this is an enormous responsibility and are committed to helping establish a critical nutritional foundation," said Amy Schulman, Business Unit Lead, Pfizer Nutrition. "By drawing upon Pfizer's innovative science core, we are now introducing the first of a series of clinically-based nutrition products that help provide the optimal nutrients for children."

Pfizer Nutrition's GOLD range of child nutrition products has been redesigned to reflect the latest recommendations from leading nutritional experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).2

"Experts have identified several nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin D, iron, zinc and iodine) for which older infants and young children are at risk of consuming in lower than recommended amounts," said Patricia A. DeRusso, MD, chief medical officer, vice president, Pfizer Nutrition. "The GOLD range was specifically designed to provide older infants and young children with 100% of the U.S. Daily Reference Intakes of vitamin A, iron, iodine and zinc when fed as directed, and also to meet AAP-recommended levels of vitamin D. Further, the new GOLD range contains less protein to support healthier rates of growth, as well as fortification of the Second, Third and Fourth ages with oligofructose, a soluble fiber, to promote gut health."

In conjunction with its mission of developing nutritional products which deliver an optimal combination of nutrients carefully balanced to manage children's nutritional intake and optimize growth and health outcomes, Pfizer Nutrition sponsored the NOURISH (KNOwledge, UndeRstanding & InsightS Into CHild Nutrition) Survey, a global survey of 1,203 health care professionals (HCPs) in 12 countries. NOURISH was designed to uncover perceptions and attitudes of pediatric and other HCPs toward early childhood nutrition, and to help identify the global need for professional education regarding the appropriate balance of nutrition for optimal growth and development of infants and young children.

Findings from the NOURISH Survey showed that nearly half (47 percent) of HCPs surveyed globally believe that most parents of children they see still do not fully understand the long-term impact of early nutrition.3 Despite regular dialogue with parents about an optimal balance of nutrients during their child's first five years of life, HCPs reported that when it comes to feeding and nutrition, fewer than one-fifth (17 percent) of parents are "very concerned" about ensuring their child is getting the right balance of nutrients that they need.3

Further, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of HCPs believe it is possible for a child to have too much of certain nutrients,3 but less than half (43 percent) state that parents are "very" or "somewhat" concerned about over-nutrition.3 Recent research suggests an association between early nutrition and long-term obesity.4,5,6,7,8 Over-nutrition, or the over-consumption of certain foods or food components, may contribute to such chronic diseases as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.9

While current scientific consensus recognizes that a lean baby is a healthier baby, results from the NOURISH Survey revealed a lack of parents' understanding of this idea, according to HCPs. Globally, nearly half (44 percent) of HCPs surveyed say parents do not understand "very well" or "at all".3

Globally, a significant majority of HCPs assess their patients' growth according to standardized growth charts.3 One-third (33 percent) of HCPs consider these Growth Standards the most influential factor when determining an appropriate feeding regimen.3

About The NOURISH Survey

To better understand perceptions and attitudes towards infant nutrition, Braun Research, Inc. (BRI) conducted a global survey, via telephone and face-to-face interview, of health care professionals (HCPs) on behalf of Pfizer Nutrition. A total of 1,203 HCPs were surveyed between September and November, 2010. Results were based on responses from 100 HCPs in each of 12 different countries, including Australia, China, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, United Kingdom and Venezuela. Of the HCPs surveyed, a minimum of 35% of their patients are children aged 0-5 years. HCPs were defined to include general practitioners (17%), pediatricians (57%), pediatric nurses (13%), nurse practitioners (10%), other (3%). Globally, the survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.83% at a 95% confidence level.

About Pfizer Nutrition

Pfizer Nutrition, formerly Wyeth Nutrition, is part of Pfizer Inc. Pfizer Nutrition supports the company's mission to improve health and well-being at every stage of life, bringing breadth and depth of consumer and scientific insight to new populations and new markets around the world. Pfizer Nutrition brings together almost a century of experience in which the company has leveraged clinical rigor, scientific research, world class manufacturing and product safety standards to drive scientifically sound solutions that offer parents confidence, help nourish children and support their healthy futures. We develop premium-quality nutritional products that are scientifically-designed to meet the needs of infants and young children, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers.


1 World Health Organization. Obesity and Overweight. World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland. March 2011.

2 Data on file. Pfizer Nutrition. (Maple Reformulations: Second Age, Third Age, Fourth Age. 29 March 2010).

3 Braun Research. 2010 NOURISH (KNOwledge, UndeRstanding & InsightS Into CHild Nutrition) Survey - Global Results. 2010.

4 Singhal A, Kennedy K, Lanigan J, et al. Nutrition in infancy and long-term risk of obesity: evidence from 2 randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92 (2010): 1133-44.

5 Stettler N, Zemel BS, Kumanyika S, Stallings VA. Infant Weight Gain and Childhood Overweight Status in a Multicenter, Cohort Study. Pediatrics 109 (2002): 194-9.

6 Karaolis-Danckert N, Buyken AE, Bolzenius K, et al. Rapid growth among term children whose birth weight was appropriate for gestational age has longer lasting effect on body fat percentage than on body mass index. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition84 (2006): 1449-55.

7 Karaolis-Danckert N, Günther ALB, Kroke A, Hornberg C, Buyken AE. How early dietary factors modify the effect of rapid weight gain in infancy on subsequent body-composition development in term children whose birth weight was appropriate for gestational age. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 86 (2007): 1700-8.

8 Taveras EM, Rifas-Shiman SL, Belfort MB, et al. Weight Status in the First 6 Months of Life and Obesity at 3 Years of Age. Pediatrics 123:4 (2009): 1177-83.

9 World Health Organization. WHO Child Growth Standards: What is the double burden of malnutrition? World Health Organization: Geneva, Switzerland. 2010; 2 pp.


Pfizer Inc.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



06 April 2011

A study undertaken by University of the West of Scotland (UWS) could have major implications for the fight against teenage obesity having revealed that brief intense exercise can improve indices of health.

Exercise is important for preventing cardiovascular disease, especially in children and adolescents, but UWS research published today (6 April 2011 ) in the American Journal of Human Biology reveals that the intensity rather than the duration of physical exercise may be the key factor in improving health and well-being

The research involved the study of 57 fifth and sixth year pupils at Holy Cross High School, Lanarkshire. The forty seven boys and ten girls were randomly divided into three groups: moderate (MOD), high intensity (HIT) and a control group.

The two exercise groups performed three weekly exercise sessions over 7 weeks. The HIT group’s training consisted of a series of 20 metre sprints over 30 seconds. In contrast the MOD group ran steadily for a period of 20 minutes.

The study saw the researchers take baseline measures, which included biochemical measures from blood samples. Blood samples were then taken at the end of the seven weeks to evaluate biochemical changes as a result of the change in their exercise routine. Samples were analysed for total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, triglyceride, insulin, glucose, fibrinogen, adiponectin, hs-C-reactive protein, and interleukin-6. In addition a number of other measures were taken before each testing session including body mass, body mass index, skinfold measurements and blood pressure.

The results of this research reveal that both the HIT and MOD groups demonstrated improved cardiovascular fitness, however the total exercise time over seven weeks was six times higher for the MOD group compared to the HIT group.

Lead author Duncan Buchan of University of the West of Scotland’s Exercise and Health Sciences Research Unit said: “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of mortality throughout the world and its risk factors have their origins in childhood. Our research examines the effects of brief, intense exercise when compared to traditional endurance exercise on the markers of CVD in young people.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the effects of a high intensity exercise regime on both traditional and novel CVD risk factors in healthy adolescents. Although our intervention period was relatively short, our findings do suggest that high intensity exercise may provide a means of improving indices of health in young people.

“Nevertheless, larger scale and extended interventions must be undertaken so that the long-term impact and effects of high intensity exercise on indices of health may be investigated further.”

Professor Julien Baker, Head of University of the West of Scotland’s Exercise and Health Sciences Research Unit, has over 20 years of exercise and sports research experience.

Commenting on the research Julien Baker said: “There is a growing school of thought that intensity of exercise rather than duration is the key factor in improving fitness and health levels. Our Scottish Government research supports this view and we hope that it may be the catalyst for further research which could ultimately revolutionise the way in which PE is delivered in schools throughout the country.”

Extreme Super Fruits - Tropical Blueberries

The first analysis of the healthful antioxidant content of blueberries that grow wild in Mexico, Central and South America concludes that some of these fruits have even more healthful antioxidants than the blueberries - already renowned as "super fruits" - sold throughout the United States. These extreme super fruits could provide even more protection against heart disease, cancer and other conditions, the report suggests. It appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Edward Kennelly and colleagues note that although there are over 600 species of blueberries and blueberry-like fruits growing in Mexico, Central and South America (the so-called "neotropics"), very little research has been done on them. U.S.-grown blueberries are already famous for their antioxidants, which help the body get rid of harmful free radicals. So, the researchers decided to find out how neotropical blueberries stacked up against a grocery-store variety.

They found that two types of neotropical blueberries were extreme super fruits - they had significantly more antioxidants than a type of blueberry commonly sold in U.S. supermarkets stores. The researchers say that these neotropical blueberries "have the potential to be even more highly promising edible fruits."

The authors acknowledge funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.


Michael Bernstein

American Chemical Society

Cayenne Pepper May Burn Calories, Curb Appetite By Brenda Goodman

April 27, 2010 -- Red cayenne pepper may help burn calories and curb appetite, especially in people who aren’t used to eating it, says a new study that was partly supported by the National Institutes of Health and the McCormick Spice Company.

The study found that about half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper either mixed in food or swallowed in a capsule helped normal-weight young adults burn about 10 more calories over a four-hour period, compared to eating the same meal but without the red pepper.

Pepper also decreased appetite, especially in people who said they didn’t already eat spicy foods.

Study researcher Richard Mattes, PhD, RD, distinguished professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., thinks that the pepper is stimulating the trigeminal nerve, one of the main nerves in the head and neck.

“Chemesthesis is the term for chemical irritation, and that’s the sense that this work focused on,” Mattes says. “What we were interested in is, does activation of that system lead to increases in energy expenditure, alterations in appetite and food intake, and so on.”

"The appetite responses were different between those who liked red pepper and those who did not, suggesting that when the stimulus is unfamiliar it has a greater effect,” Mattes says in a news release.

Based on his study, Mattes says it appears that once a person gets used to the spicy foods, their effects start to wear off.

“So the question is, how long does the phenomenon last once you start using red pepper. And if it starts to diminish, how long do you have to wait to obtain the same benefits?” Mattes says. “Those are future studies. This was just our observation that the effect was bigger in people who were not regular users.”

The study is published in Physiology & Behavior.

Previous studies had tested the thermogenic, or calorie-burning, effects of red pepper but had used quantities that were too large to be practical for most people.

Testing the Effect of Pepper

For the study, researchers recruited 25 men and women from a college campus. The average age of study participants was 23. The average BMI (body mass index) was 22.

Thirteen of the study participants reported regularly eating spicy food before the study, while 12 didn’t eat hot spice.

Participants were asked to complete a total of six study visits, each separated by a week.

They were also instructed to avoid alcohol, caffeine, or strenuous exercise before their lab tests.

Participants fasted for 12 hours before coming for a lab visit in which their resting energy expenditure, core body and skin temperatures, and appetites were measured.

They were then randomly assigned to eat meals with or without red pepper added. There were three visits with red pepper and three without.

Testing the Effect of Pepper continued...

Sometimes the study participants got the pepper in gelatin capsules, so they couldn’t taste it. In other cases, it was mixed with food.

Using a ventilated hood, researchers measured energy expenditure before and after meals, which allowed them to track the calories burned with or without pepper.

Appetite was measured by a questionnaire before the test meal and every 30 minutes after they ate.

At the end of each visit, about four hours after eating the pepper, study participants were given access to as much macaroni and cheese as they wanted.

On average, those who were new to eating spicy foods ate about 66 fewer calories of the macaroni-and-cheese meal on the days they ate red pepper compared to the days they didn’t.

People who were already spicy-food eaters before the study ate the same amount of macaroni and cheese after each visit.

Red Pepper and Weight Loss

“The bottom line is if you like spicy food, enjoy it, but don’t torture yourself because it’s not going to turn you into a size 2,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

And the study’s researchers agree.

“We’re not proposing a diet, we’re just saying that incorporating red pepper in your diet works more toward moderation of energy intake and energy balance than working against you,” Mattes says.

“This is a subtle effect, but if it is an easily incorporated change in the diet, even a palatable change in the diet, and it’s combined with other small, easily accommodated adjustments, collectively they add up to caloric savings and energy savings,” he says.

Chili Pepper Ingredient Fights Fat - New Evidence

Scientists are reporting new evidence that capsaicin, the stuff that gives chili peppers their kick, may cause weight loss and fight fat buildup by triggering certain beneficial protein changes in the body. Their study, which could lead to new treatments for obesity, appears in ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research.

Jong Won Yun and colleagues point out that obesity is a major public health threat worldwide, linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health problems. Laboratory studies have hinted that capsaicin may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering fat levels in the blood. Nobody, however, knows exactly how capsaicin might trigger such beneficial effects.

In an effort to find out, the scientists fed high-fat diets with or without capsaicin to lab rats used to study obesity. The capsaicin-treated rats lost 8 percent of their body weight and showed changes in levels of at least 20 key proteins found in fat. The altered proteins work to break down fats. "These changes provide valuable new molecular insights into the mechanism of the antiobesity effects of capsaicin," the scientists say.

Article: "Proteomic Analysis for Antiobesity Potential of Capsaicin on White Adipose Tissue in Rats Fed with a High Fat Diet"

Source: American Chemical Society

New Eating Disorders: Are They For Real? By Lisa Collier Cool

 I have a friend who will only eat short pasta, like penne. Another friend sticks to long pasta - linguini, spaghetti. I thought that was a bit bizarre until I read about Heather Hill, 39, whose diet consists entirely of French fries, pasta with butter or marinara sauce, vegetarian pizza, cooked broccoli, corn on the cob, and cakes and cookies without nuts.

Ms. Hill isn’t alone. New findings indicate that there may be hundreds, if not thousands, of adult picky eaters. To get a handle on the numbers, Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh have launched a national public registry of adult picky eaters. Respected publications like JAMA and Psychology Today are recognizing another new eating disorder, orthorexia, an obsession with healthy eating. That may not sound bad, as obsessions go, but those who carry good intentions too far can face serious risks.

Eat the right foods to keep your bones strong.

Kristie Rutzel, 27, dropped to 68 pounds when she was in the grip of her fixation on healthy eating - at one point she ate little more than raw broccoli and cauliflower. Neither adult picky eating disorder nor orthorexia is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of mental disorders. Once a disorder is listed, treatment is often covered by insurance and it’s easier for researchers to get grants to study it. Here’s what we know so far:

•What is Adult Selective Eating? Like kids, adult picky eaters limit themselves to an extremely narrow range of foods. Unlike those who suffer from anorexia nervosa or bulimia, adult picky eaters are seemingly not worried about calorie counts or body image. But so far, researchers don’t know if adult picky eaters just haven’t outgrown childhood patterns or if their eating habits are a new twist on obsessive compulsive disorder. Some may be “supertasters,” with an abnormally acute sense of taste that turns them off certain foods. Many appear to have had unpleasant childhood associations with food.

•What is orthorexia? Identified in 1997 by Colorado physician Steven Bratman, MD, orthorexia is Latin for “correct eating.” Here, too, the focus isn’t on losing weight. Instead, sufferers increasingly restrict their diets to foods they consider pure, natural and healthful. Some researchers say that orthorexia may combine a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder with anxiety and warn that severely limited “healthy” diets may be a stepping stone to anorexia nervosa, the most severe - and potentially life-threatening - eating disorder.

What do they eat?

•Adult picky eaters: Food preferences tend to be bland, white or pale colored - plain pasta or cheese pizza are said to be common foods along with French fries and chicken fingers. Some picky eaters stick to foods with a common texture or taste.

•Orthorexics: Those affected may start by eliminating processed foods, anything with artificial colorings or flavorings as well as foods that have come into contact with pesticides. Beyond that, orthorexics may also shun caffeine, alcohol, sugar, salt, wheat and dairy foods. Some limit themselves to raw foods.

Check out this mobile phone app that guides healthy food choices.

What are the risks?

•Health consequences: Limiting your diet to only a few foods - because you’re a picky eater or have a long list of foods you deem unhealthy - can lead to potentially dangerous nutritional deficiencies. At its most extreme, a diet limited to only a few foods perceived to be healthy is described as orthorexia nervosa and can lead to the same emaciation and health risks seen with anorexia nervosa.

•Social Isolation: Being an adult picky eater can take an enormous social toll. Out of embarrassment, these folks avoid dining with friends or co-workers. Heather Hill tries to hide her eating habits from her children for fear that they will pick them up. Going to extremes in an effort to eat only healthy foods can also be socially isolating and can undermine personal relationships.

How are these disorders treated?

•Adult Selective Eating: Techniques that have proven successful in treating kids who are picky eaters - learning assertiveness skills and systematically trying new foods - are being used on adults, but it’s still too soon to know whether they work.

•Orthorexia: Cognitive behavior therapy designed to change obsessive thought patterns regarding food is usually recommended.

Problems Discovered with Eight Vitamin D Supplements in Study by

Among 28 vitamin D supplements for adults and children recently selected for independent testing, problems were found with 8 products, 29% of those reviewed, according to Incorrect amounts of vitamins, lead contamination, and labeling infractions were among the problems identified. The complete Vitamin D Product Review report was published online today at, as were separate Product Reviews for Calcium Supplements and Vitamin K Supplements. The reports include test results, quality ratings, and cost comparisons for more than 50 supplements, including combination products.

ShareThis Email PDF Print .Among 28 vitamin D supplements for adults and children recently selected for independent testing, problems were found with 8 products, 29% of those reviewed, according to White Plains, NY (PRWEB) April 26, 2011

Among 28 vitamin D supplements recently selected for independent testing, problems were found with 8 products, 29% of those reviewed, according to evaluated vitamin D supplements as well as those containing calcium and/or vitamin K.

Vitamin D plays a critical role in bone health and higher levels in the blood are associated with reduced risk of heart attack, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and other conditions. Vitamin D has become one of the most popular supplements in the U.S. with sales rising from $72 million in 2006 to $429 million in 2009 according the Nutrition Business Journal. It was the fourth most popular supplement in a survey of its readers in 2010, used by 56% of respondents.

The most common problem found by with supplements containing vitamin D was the wrong amount of vitamins:

A popular supplement for children listed 200 IU of vitamin D per two gummy bears, but actually contained 501 IU, 251% of the listed amount;

a gummy product for adults listed 1,000 IU of vitamin D, but contained only 317 IU, 32% of the listed amount;

a liquid listing 42 IU of vitamin D contained only 18 IU, 44% of the listed amount;

a tablet listing 800 IU of vitamin D contained only 664 IU, 83% of the listed amount; and

a vitamin D/vitamin K supplement contained its listed amount of vitamin D but provided only 36.8 mcg of its listed 50 mcg of vitamin K per capsule, 74% of the listed amount.

Two other products containing combinations of vitamins D and K and calcium were found to be contaminated with lead: One contained 5.2 mcg of lead in a suggested serving of 4 capsules, and the other, a powder, contained 4.1 mcg in a suggested serving of 2 scoops. The FDA permits supplement manufacturers to set their own limits on lead in their products, but one state, California, requires a warning label on supplements that contain more than 0.5 mcg of lead per daily serving (or 1.0 mcg of lead in supplements that contain 1,000 mg or more of calcium). Neither of the products with lead contamination had this warning label. Both also failed to disclose soy as a potential allergen. They contained a form of vitamin K2 called MK-7, which is made from fermented soybean.

A vegan vitamin D product that passed laboratory tests was not approved by because it listed potential benefits of vitamin D but failed to provide the required FDA disclaimer for such claims.

The new Vitamin D Product Review includes test results, ingredient comparisons, and price comparisons for 28 vitamin D-containing supplements selected by and for 21 products that passed the same testing through’s Voluntary Certification Program. The report also includes information about 3 products that were not tested but are similar to others that passed testing. Separate reports were published today covering Calcium Supplements and Vitamin K Supplements, which include additional products specific to those nutrients.

Products covered in the three new reports are 21st Century D-1000, 21st Century Calcium 600 + D, AlgaeCal Plus, Caltrate 600 + D Plus Minerals, Carlson Baby D Drops, Citracal Calcium Citrate + D3 Petites, Country Life Vitamin D3, CVS Pharmacy Natural Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc, DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont Vitamin K2 Plus, DEVA Vegan Vitamin D 800 IU, Flintstones Plus Bone Building Support, GNC Vitamin D-3 1000, GNC Vitamin D-3 2000, Hero Yummi Bears Calcium + Vitamin D3, Isotonix Calcium Plus, Jamieson D, Julian Whitaker, M.D. Osteo Essentials, Julian Whitaker, M.D. Vitamin D, KAL Vitamin K 100 mcg, Kirkland Signature Vitamin D3 2000 IU (Costco), Kirkman Calcium/Magnesium Liquid, Life Extension Vitamin D3, LifeTime Calcium Magnesium Citrate, Li'l Critters Calcium Gummy Bears with Vitamin D, Mason natural Vitamin K 100 mcg, Member's Mark Calcium 600 mg with Vitamin D3 (Sam’s Club), Nature's Bounty Natural Vitamin K-2, Nature's Bounty Super Strength D-2000 IU, Nature Made Calcium 750 mg+D+K, Nature Made Maximum Strength Vitamin D 2000 IU, Nature's Life D-2 2,000 IU, Nature's Sunshine Vitamin D3, New Chapter Bone Strength take care, NSI Vitamin D Drops, Posture-D Calcium with Vitamin D and Magnesium, Pure Essence Labs Ionic-Fizz Super D-K Calcium Plus, Puritan's Pride Absorbable Calcium 1200 mg with D 1000 IU, Puritan's Pride Natural Vitamin K-2, Puritan's Pride Super High Potency Vitamin D 2000 IU, Rainbow Light Vitamin D3 1,000 IU Sunny Gummies, Rite Aid Vitamin D-3, Schiff Bone Care Super Calcium, Shaklee Osteomatrix, Solgar Calcium Citrate with Vitamin D3, Solgar Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) 1000 IU, Spring Valley Liquid Filled Absorbable Calcium 1200 mg plus 1,000 IU Vitamin D3 (Walmart), Standard Process Calcium Lactate, Swanson High-Potency Dry Vitamin D-3, Trader Joe's Vitamin D, Viactiv Calcium Plus D, Vitafusion Vitamin D3, Vitamin Shoppe Calcium Citrate Plus Magnesium and Vitamin D, Vitamin Shoppe Liquid Vitamin D3 5000 IU, Vitamin Shoppe M.D. Select Dr. Ronald Hoffman Advanced Vitamin D3 and K2, Vitamin World Absorbable Calcium 1200 mg with D 1000 IU, Vitamin World Sunvite Vitamin D3 2000 IU, Wellesse Calcium & Vitamin D3, and Wellesse Vitamin D3. is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Subscription to is available online. The company is privately held and based in Westchester, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. is affiliated with, which helps consumers evaluate online pharmacies and drug prices, and, which reviews and rates Medicare Part D plans.

Grape polyphenols show anti-diabetic potential: Study

By Stephen Daniells, 22-Apr-2011

Antioxidant compounds from red grapes may prevent the build up of fat in muscle tissue and favorably affect the body’s response to insulin, hormone responsible for sugar and fat metabolism, says a new French study.

The grape powder contained 95% polyphenols

Researchers from the University of Montpellier in the South of France report that rats fed a high-fat and high-sugar diet but supplemented with grape polyphenols displayed a lower accumulation of fat in muscle tissues.

Diets high in saturated fats are reported to worsen insulin resistance, whereby cells do not respond adequately to the normal levels of insulin produced by the body – a marker of the onset of diabetes, explained the researchers in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The affect of fat on insulin sensitivity is said to occur via changes to the compositions of cell membranes, and particularly the phospholipids in the membrane. The new study sought to identify if consumption of a polyphenol-rich extract from grapes could change the composition of fat in muscle cell membranes, with a particular focus on phospholipids and triglycerides.

Study details

Lab rats were divided into three groups: The first group was fed a standard lab rat diet, whil the other two groups received a diet containing high levels of fat and sugar. One of the high-fat, high-sugar groups received an additional extract of grape polyphenols (Provinolse, Societe Francaise de Distillerie).

Results showed that animals receiving the grape extract had lower triglyceride levels in the cell membranes of their muscles, compared to the high-fat, high-sugar-fed animals. In addition levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the phospholipid portion of the membranes were found to increase in the grape-fed animals.

The high-fat, high-sugar diet was found to alter gene expression in muscle cells, but these changes were reversed in the animals given the grape extract, said the researchers.

“In conclusion, the grape polyphenol extract modulated membrane phospholipid fatty acid composition and decreased muscle triglyceride content in high-fat, high-sugar diet-fed rats,” report the researchers.

“The PPE lowered […] gene and protein expression, probably decreasing fatty acid transport and lipid accumulation within skeletal muscle,” they added.

“These effects of the PPE are in favor of a better insulin sensibility.”

Diabetes facts

Diabetes affects an estimated 24 million Americans, equal to 8 percent of the population. The total costs are thought to be as much as $174 billion, with $116 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2005-2007 American Diabetes Association figures.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, FirstView Articles, doi:10.1017/S0007114511000602

“A grape polyphenol extract modulates muscle membrane fatty acid composition and lipid metabolism in high-fat–high-sucrose diet-fed rats”

Authors: M. Aoun, F. Michel, G. Fouret, A. Schlernitzauer, V. Ollendorff, C. Wrutniak-Cabello, J-P. Cristol, M-A. Carbonneau, C. Coudray, C. Feillet-Coudray

Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated With Different Types Of Obesity In Black And White Children

A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that while black and white children with vitamin D deficiency both had higher fat levels, black children were more likely to have higher levels of fat just under their skin and white children were more likely to have higher levels of fat between their internal organs.

Studies in adults and children have shown a link between obesity and vitamin D deficiency. However, data characterizing the racial differences in the relationship between obesity and vitamin D, particularly in fat tissue distribution are limited. This study examined the racial differences in the relationship between vitamin D status, BMI, fat levels, fat distribution and lipid levels in healthy obese and non-obese 8-18 year old black and white children.

"Vitamin D deficiency is rampant in American youth, and there is some suggestion in adults that low levels of vitamin D may be playing a role in the increasing rates of type 2 diabetes. It is possible the same may be true for youth with type 2 diabetes," said Silva Arslanian, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh and lead author of the study. "Our study found that vitamin D was associated with higher fat levels and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as good cholesterol, in both black and white children."

In this study, researchers measured vitamin D levels in 237 children and found the majority of the study participants were vitamin D deficient. Plasma vitamin D levels were associated inversely with BMI and fat levels and positively with HDL cholesterol in all subjects. Visceral adipose tissue (fat between internal organs) was higher in vitamin D deficient whites and subcutaneous adipose tissue (fat below the skin) was higher in vitamin D deficient blacks compared with their respective vitamin D non-deficient counterparts.

"Besides therapeutic interventions to correct the high rates of vitamin D deficiency in youth, benefits of vitamin D optimization on fat levels, lipid profile and risk of type 2 diabetes need to be explored," said Arslanian.

Other researchers working on the study include: Kumaravel Rajakumar, Javier de las Heras and SoJung Lee of the University of Pittsburgh in Penn.; and Tai Chen and Michael Holick of Boston University in Mass.

The article, "Vitamin D status, adiposity and lipids in Black American and Caucasian children," appears in the May 2011 issue of JCEM.


Endocrine Society

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What's So Special About Blueberries?

Recently a study out of the Texas Women's University looked at whether blueberries with their high polyphenol content could help in fighting obesity. Blueberries after all have already been cited as having positive health effects on other conditions like cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The study was conducted in Petri dishes (not live animals) using a blueberry polyphenol extract and tissue cultures from mice. On the surface the findings look positive. The purpose was to examine the effect that the polyphenol in blueberries had in counteracting the development of fat cells. The result was a 73 percent reduction in the number of fat cells using the highest dose and a 27 percent reduction with the smallest dose. Positive but, what does this actually mean?

"I wanted to see if using blueberry polyphenols could inhibit obesity at a molecular level. We still need to test this dose in humans to make sure there are no adverse effects and to see if the doses are as effective.

Determining the best dose for humans will be important. The promise is there for blueberries to help reduce adipose tissue from forming in the body," says Shiwani Moghe the head researcher for the study.

"This sounds like the basis for a new drug development company instead of encouraging people to shop the produce section of their local supermarket," say co-authors Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel. In their new book, TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH, 2011), the Griesel's point out that anyone can become lean and healthy and that fruits and veggies are one of the essentials.

"Take a look at the 25 highest known polyphenol rich foods and you will see that the list is almost entirely fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. These are the same "natural" foods we have consumed for tens of thousands of years. French scientists have identified 452 foods and 502 different types of polyphenols. Odds are they all play an important part in our health in one way or another," according to Tom Griesel.

A Spanish scientist working at the institute of Food Research in Norwich looked at apples, peaches and nectarines. She found that the non-extractable polyphenol content is up to five times higher in the actual fruit than the extractable compounds. "The extracted compounds are obtained by treating with acid to obtain them from the cell walls of the fruit in the lab," according to Sara Arranz of the Spanish Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) in Madrid.

"If non-extracted polyphenols are not considered, the levels of beneficial polyphenols such as proanthocyanidins, ellagic acid and catchin are substantially underestimated." The Spanish research group has been working to show that non-extractable polyphenols, which generally are not considered in analysis and nutritional studies, are a major part of the bioactive compounds in a healthy diet.

Polyphenols might also work with fibers like pectin and have a positive effect in large intestine accessibility. Dr. Paul Kroon explains "In the human body, these compounds will be fermented by bacteria in the colon, creating metabolites that may be beneficial, for example with antioxidant activity."

What this all means according to Dian Griesel, who has worked with cutting edge biotechnology and drug development companies for the past 15 years is that, "Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are best consumed in their natural unadultered form as designed and the way they have been consumed for tens of thousands of years during our evolution. It's not smart to fool with Mother Nature."

"Consuming a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and many spices will help maintain high levels of polyphenols in your body and blood stream all day long. Foods with rich colors are usually the best and contain the highest amounts of all known polyphenols and antioxidants. Even tea, coffee, red wine and chocolate have been shown to have high levels of polyphenols," says Tom.

"Another key is to avoid dietary sources that increase free radicals and destroy the beneficial properties of polyphenols like deep fried foods, processed and over cooked or chemically treated meats like luncheon cuts and bacon. In addition, your body will use up antioxidant polyphenols much faster if you are under stress which makes a regularly practiced stress reduction technique essential, "says Dian.

The Griesels conclude: "Do not wait for any conclusion or recommendation of these 'scientific' studies. For ideal health, fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal foods. They are naturally high in all known and unknown polyphenols and antioxidants. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds daily and no additional drugs or 'extract' supplements are required to maintain optimal health."


Business School of Happiness

Folic Acid Absorption Rates Examined From Softgel Capsule And Standard Tablet

Folic acid, an essential vitamin formulated to be part of a multivitamin + DHA liquid softgel capsule, is absorbed and available within the body in amounts similar to folic acid formulated for solid tablets, according to a study presented in a late breaking session at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2011 annual meeting. Different formulations, fillers and coatings of vitamin products may affect the degree or rate at which the product dissolves and releases its contents, which can alter the vitamin's absorption into the body and its bioavailability, a calculation of how much of a given dose of a compound reaches the blood stream to circulate within the body and have a potential effect.

Typically, folic acid supplements are available in tablet form, but many consumers find softgel capsules easier to swallow than tablets. All women of childbearing age - especially those planning a pregnancy - are recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to consume about 400 micrograms (μg) of folic acid daily to reduce the risk for neural tube defects during fetal development.

"With the increasing science on folic acid and the rise in popularity of softgel capsules, we felt it was important to examine the differences in vitamin formulations, specifically prenatal multivitamin with folic acid + DHA softgels versus tablets, and how that might affect their bioavailability. We found that softgels are just as effective as the tablets in delivering folic acid," said study coauthor James Brooks, Ph.D., vice president of Science and Technology at Pharmavite, LLC, which conducted the study with investigators from Biofortis-Provident Clinical Research in Glen Ellyn, IL.

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has disintegration and dissolution standards for dietary supplements. Current USP guidance exempts formulations for softgels, gelatin-based shells containing a liquid, from the dissolution standard, but Pharmavite, as a leading manufacturer of dietary supplements, seeks to have its products meet or exceed USP standards for quality, purity and composition through rigorous testing and inspections, explained Brooks.

Bioavailability of Folic Acid Similar between Softgel Capsules and Tablets

The folic acid in a multivitamin + DHA softgel was absorbed in the blood stream and provided systemic bioavailability at amounts similar to that from tablets. The rate of absorption from the softgels was slower than the tablet. Also, investigators documented that iron was absorbed from the softgel capsule, a secondary endpoint of the study.

In this crossover study, investigators randomly assigned 16 women, ages 18 to 45, to receive a single dose of either 800 μg folic acid in two tablets (Nature Made® Folic Acid 400 mcg) or 800 μg folic acid in a multivitamin + DHA softgel capsule (Nature Made® Prenatal Multi + DHA). Researchers then drew patients' blood samples prior to dosing and then at one, two, three, four, six and eight hours after dosing. About one week later, the women were tested with the alternate product. The women consumed low-folate meals during the testing period. Investigators did not know which product patients received during each phase until the study ended.

The average levels of total folate in the blood, a calculation called area under the curve (AUC), did not significantly differ between softgel capsules and tablets, 122.0 versus 112.2 hour x nanograms per milliliter respectively (P = 0.562). Also, the average peak plasma concentration of folate, a calculation called Cmax, did not significantly differ, 49.0 vs. 43.1 nanomoles per liter for the softgels and tablets respectively, (P = 0.259).

About Folate

Folate, as well as its oxidized form folic acid, is a water-soluble B-vitamin that is essential for the synthesis and metabolism of nucleotides and amino acids, which have an important role in preventing fetal neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, during pregnancy. Recent evidence suggests that low folate ingestion may increase risks for cardiovascular disease and stroke, cancer, neuropsychiatric diseases and osteoporosis. Folic acid can be found in such foods as leafy green vegetables (spinach and turnip greens), citrus fruits and dried beans and peas, but also in food fortified with folate and folic acid supplements.

Experimental Biology Presentation

Wednesday, April 13, 2011, Late Breaking Poster # LB176

Absorption of Folic Acid is Similar from a Softgel Capsule and a Standard Tablet

Kevin C. Maki, Ph.D.; Kathleen M. Kelley, M.D.; Andrea L. Lawless, M.D.; Jocelyn M. Shields; and Mary R. Dicklin, Ph.D., of Provident Clinical Research, Glen Ellyn, IL; and Louis I. Ndife, Ph.D.; James R. Brooks, Ph.D.; and Shannon B. Wright, R.D., of Pharmavite, LLC, Northridge, CA.


Lyn Famiglietti

Porter Novelli

Link Between High-Fat Diet and Type 2 Diabetes Clarified

A diet high in saturated fat is a key contributor to type 2 diabetes, a major health threat worldwide. Several decades ago scientists noticed that people with type 2 diabetes have overly active immune responses, leaving their bodies rife with inflammatory chemicals.

In addition, people who acquire the disease are typically obese and are resistant to insulin, the hormone that removes sugar from the blood and stores it as energy.

For years no one has known exactly how the three characteristics are related. But a handful of studies suggest that they are inextricably linked.

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine adds clarity to the connection. The study published online April 10 in the journal Nature Immunology finds that saturated fatty acids but not the unsaturated type can activate immune cells to produce an inflammatory protein, called interleukin-1beta.

"The cellular path that mediates fatty acid metabolism is also the one that causes interleukin-1beta production," says senior study co-author Jenny Y. Ting, PhD, William Kenan Rand Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

"Interleukin-1beta then acts on tissues and organs such as the liver, muscle and fat (adipose) to turn off their response to insulin, making them insulin resistant. As a result, activation of this pathway by fatty acid can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes symptoms." Ting is also a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the UNC Inflammatory Diseases Institute.

Other authors of the report, all in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, are postdoctoral researcher and first author Haitao Wen, Denis Gris, Yu Lei, Shushmita Jha; Lu Zhang, Max Tze-Han Huang, and Willie June Brickey.

The research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Affiliate.

Vitamin D May Help Explain Racial Differences in Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is more common and often more deadly in blacks than in whites, and a new University of Rochester study shows that low vitamin D levels among black people might be a powerful factor that contributes to the racial differences in hypertension.
The University of Rochester Medical Center findings, published online April 26 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, are consistent with growing evidence that lower vitamin D status is associated with higher blood pressure, and that people with darker skin generally produce less vitamin D.

"Our study confirms that vitamin D represents one piece of the complex puzzle of race and blood pressure," said lead author Kevin Fiscella, M.D., professor of Family Medicine at URMC. "And, since black-white differences in blood pressure represent thousands of excess deaths due to heart disease and stroke among blacks, we believe that simple interventions such as taking vitamin D supplements might have a positive impact on racial disparities."

Fiscella and colleagues analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2001-2006. Their sample included nearly 2,000 blacks and approximately 5,100 non-Hispanic whites, ages 20 and older. Researchers specifically compared the average systolic pressure and blood levels of vitamin D among the study participants.

Most vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to sunlight and metabolized in the liver where it is converted to 25 hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH) D, the form used to determine a person's vitamin D status through a blood test. Deficiency is usually defined as less than 20 nanograms per milliliter; lower than 15 Ng/ml is inadequate to maintain bone health and normal calcium metabolism.

Many people around the world have low concentrations of vitamin D. Genetic factors common to blacks, such as darker skin, reduce vitamin D synthesis. In addition, a higher incidence of lactose intolerance among blacks, which can eliminate vitamin-D fortified milk from the diet, contributes to lower dietary intake, previous research has shown.

Notably in Fiscella's data, 61 percent of blacks compared to 11 percent of whites had vitamin D levels in the lowest one-fifth of the population sample, whereas only 2 percent of blacks compared to 25 percent of whites had D levels in the highest group.

However, Fiscella noted some limitations to the study, and said that vitamin D did not fully explain the racial differences in blood pressure. "It is likely that other factors beyond vitamin D, such as psychological stress, medication adherence, and discrimination could contribute to this disparity," he wrote said in the JGIM article. "Further study using more refined measures of skin color is needed to tease apart the complex relationship between skin type, stress, vitamin D, and hypertension."

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute funded the research.

Fitness and Frailty in Adults Linked to Health Outcomes

The prevalence of frailty, which is linked to earlier death, increases throughout adulthood as people age and not just after age 65, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Relatively good fitness levels at all ages were predictive of lower mortality and less reliance on health care services.

Frailty in medical terms refers to a person's health status and the risk of adverse events related to various health conditions. It is usually associated with older adults.

The researchers sought to understand the impact of age on fitness and frailty, the profile of relatively fit people aged 15 to 102 compared with frail adults and the impact of fitness and frailty related to age and sex on mortality. They looked at data on 14 713 people, of whom 54% were women, over a 12 year period from 1994-95 to 2006-07 with two-year monitoring intervals. A Frailty Index, used to grade risk, rated people's health levels and the accumulation of health deficits. These included diseases, disabilities (e.g. needed help with meal preparation), symptoms (e.g. hearing impairment), allergies and other conditions.

Most participants (7183) reported fairly high relative fitness at the start of the study compared with 1019 who were frail. These relatively fit people generally stayed healthy and those who were frail at the start were most likely to die. As participants aged, their frailty level increased.

"We found that the prevalence of frailty increased exponentially with age throughout the adult life span and not just after age 65, where the sharpest inflection of the curve occurred," writes Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, Dalhousie University, and the Centre for Health Care of the Elderly, Halifax, Nova Scotia, with coauthors. "At all ages, relatively fit people had a lower mortality and used fewer health care services."

People with higher frailty levels used more health care services and the risk of institutionalization increased for the frailest.

"That deficits accumulate with age is not surprising; indeed, at the subcellular level, this is said to be how aging occurs," write the authors. "Our data suggest that deficit accumulation is a fact of aging, not age, and that the antecedents of frailty in late life manifest at least by middle age."

The authors suggest a more integrated approach to managing frail patients is required given the complex nature of frailty.

Arginine Discovery Could Help Fight Human Obesity

A Texas AgriLife Research scientist and fellow researchers have discovered that arginine, an amino acid, reduces fat mass in diet-induced obese rats and could help fight human obesity.

"Given the current epidemic of obesity in the U.S. and worldwide, our finding is very important,” said Dr. Guoyao Wu, an AgriLife Research animal nutritionist in College Station and Senior Faculty Fellow in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University.

The research found dietary arginine supplementation shifts nutrient partitioning to promote skeletal-muscle gain, according to the researchers. The findings were published recently in the Journal of Nutrition.

In laboratory experiments, rats were fed both low-and high-fat diets. They found that arginine supplementation for a 12-week period decreased the body fat gains of low-fat and high-fat fed rats by 65 percent and 63 percent, respectively. The long-term arginine treatment did not have any adverse effects on either group.

“This finding could be directly translated into fighting human obesity,” Wu said. “At this time, arginine has not been incorporated into our food (but could in the future).”

Arginine-rich foods include seafood, watermelon juice, nuts, seeds, algae, meats, rice protein concentrate and soy protein isolate, he said.

The research suggests that arginine may increase lean tissue growth. In pigs, it was found that dietary arginine supplementation reduced fat accretion (growth) but increased muscle gain in growing/finishing pigs without affecting body weight.

Another important observation according to the research was that dietary arginine reduced serum concentrations of branched-chain amino acids.

“This metabolic change is likely beneficial because elevated concentrations of branched-chain amino acids may lead to insulin resistance in obesity. Additionally, arginine can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, a biochemical process that requires large amounts of energy,” Wu said. “Thus, dietary energy would be utilized for lean tissue rather than fat gain.”

The research, funded by the American Heart Association, will be presented in August at the 11 th International Symposium on Amino Acids in Vienna, Austria.

Follow-up research will include clinical studies with obese children and adults, Wu said.

Members of the research team are: Wu, Wenjuan Jobgen, Scott Jobgen, Peng Li, Stephen Smith, Thomas Spencer, all with the department of animal science at Texas A&M; Cynthia Meininger of Texas A&M Health Science Center; and Mi-Jeong Lee and Susan Fried, department of medicine at University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Satiety claims ‘weak and misleading for consumers’: Scientists

By Stephen Daniells, 26-Apr-2011

Related topics: Health claims, Consumer Trends, Weight management

Claims that a functional food may boost satiety are ‘weak and misleading for consumers’, and products with satiety claims should carry a label mentioning the ‘limited value’ of such claims, Dutch researchers report.

"Weight control products appear to keep the myth of successful weight control alive rather than promoting actual sustained weight control" - Smeets & van der Laan

In a commentary in the journal Appetite, Paul Smeets and Laura van der Laan from the University Medical Center Utrecht stated that a public health effort needs to be made to explain to consumers that there is no magic bullet for weight management, but that successful weight control requires permanent changes to eating habits and general lifestyle.

“While specific food products may help people in the process of changing their habits, such products need not be part of what should always be the endpoint: a healthy diet and lifestyle (not e.g. ‘short-term weight loss’),” wrote Smeets and van der Laan.

“ Thus, consumers need to be made aware of the bigger picture of weight control rather than fed with the simplistic and false promise that a special satiety-enhancing food can effectively improve their ‘weight control’.”


“It is surprising that satiety claims are allowed, since they are inherently weak and misleading for consumers,” wrote the Dutch scientists.

“If satiety claims continue to be allowed, it should be obligatory that their limited value is clearly mentioned on food packages and in commercials. One can doubt the effectiveness of this, but at least it is giving consumers a clue about the limited usefulness of such a product for weight control purposes.”

In defence

The satiety debate has been rumbling on for several years. Only last year, Unilever’s Dr David Mela said that the food and nutrition industry should rally together to defend the validity of satiety as a health benefit.

Speaking at a nutrition forum day organized by UK-based Leatherhead Food Research in 2010, Dr Mela said: “We should be very assertive within the food industry in our support of counter-arguments to this. Academic institutions and funding bodies around the world – including the European Commission – clearly view satiety as a health benefit, and we need to make sure that is recognized.”

The market

With the World Health Organization estimating that by 2015, there will be more than 1.5 billion overweight consumers, incurring health costs beyond $117 billion per year in the US alone, the opportunities for a scientifically-substantiated weight management food product are impressive.

The market for food, beverage and supplement weight management products is already valued at $3.64bn (2009 figures) in the US, according to Euromonitor. In Western Europe, the market was worth $1.3bn in 2009.

One of the biggest areas is satiety – or boosting the feeling of fullness. Many ingredients work via the same mechanism, which involves boosting levels of appetite-related hormones like satiety hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), peptide YY (PYY), and cholecystokinin (CCK).

Branded ingredients like Kemin’s Slendesta potato extract, Lipid Nutrition’s PinnoThin derived from the seeds of the Korean pine nut tree (Pinus koraiensis), and DSM’s Fabuless (formerly Olibra) made from palm and oat oil, are already solid performers in this market.


In their new commentary, Smeets and van der Laan explained that: “The abundance of ‘weight control’ products is quite striking, especially given the fact that the issue with the control of food intake is that many people lack control.

“Quite ironically, the consumers at which weight control products are targeted are the ones that are unsuccessful in controlling their weight.

“Weight control products appear to keep the myth of successful weight control alive rather than promoting actual sustained weight control, i.e., satiety claims give consumers an illusion of being in control,” they added.

The US view

At last year’s SupplySide West Expo in Las Vegas, Tom Vierhile from Datamonitor told attendees that the big growth area for supplements regarding claims is for calorie or fat burning. In 2007, calorie/fat burning was experiencing 1 percent growth, while in 2010 this had increased to 3 per cent, he said.

Satiety continues to receive a lot of attention from consumers, said Vierhile, however such interest does not necessarily translate into product sales, he said. Indeed, according to a recent survey of global consumers by Datamonitor, “consumers talk around satiety, and not about it”.

“Hunger control will potentially resonate more effectively with consumers than satiety,” he advised.

Source: Appetite

Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1016/ j.appet.2010.12.026

“Satiety – Not the problem, nor a solution”

Authors: Paul A.M. Smeets, Laura N. van der Laan

Food Price Crisis Can Lead To Deteriorating Nutrition

As fuel prices soar, food prices are beginning to creep up to crisis levels most recently seen in 2007.

"Coupled with the financial crisis, high food prices can take a significant toll on nutrition, especially in developing countries," says Lora Iannotti, PhD, a public health expert and professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

"The same consequences can be true for wealthier countries, as households opt for less expensive, poor quality foods. Hidden hunger is a problem across the globe."

Iannotti and Miguel Robles, PhD, from the International Food Policy Research Institute examined the effects of food price hikes on calorie consumption in seven Latin American countries.

"During a food price crisis, households moved away from 'luxury' food items such as meat, fish and dairy products to poorer quality food," she says.

Using data from nationally representative household budget surveys, Iannotti and colleagues found that during a food price crisis:

-- Calorie intake was reduced by an average eight percent from precrisis levels.

-- Rural areas and urban areas were equally affected.

-- Wealthiest households actually increased caloric intake, exceeding 10 percent of pre-crisis levels.

"We are particularly concerned for families with young children," Iannotti says.

"When you have a reduction in calories and critical nutrients for kids under two, there are long term consequences such as stunted growth, cognitive deficits, lower educational attainment and reduced future productivity. "

The next phase of her study will focus on how a food price crisis impacts micronutrient consumption, specifically vitamin B12, iron, zinc and folate.

Iannotti's study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Food and Nutrition Bulletin.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis

Red Pepper May Help Control Appetite

Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can curb appetite, especially for those who don't normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University.

"We found that consuming red pepper can help manage appetite and burn more calories after a meal, especially for individuals who do not consume the spice regularly," said Richard Mattes, distinguished professor of foods and nutrition who collaborated with doctoral student Mary-Jon Ludy. "This finding should be considered a piece of the puzzle because the idea that one small change will reverse the obesity epidemic is simply not true. However, if a number of small changes are added together, they may be meaningful in terms of weight management. Dietary changes that don't require great effort to implement, like sprinkling red pepper on your meal, may be sustainable and beneficial in the long run, especially when paired with exercise and healthy eating."

Other studies have found that capsaicin, the component that gives chili peppers their heat, can reduce hunger and increase energy expenditure - burning calories. The amounts tested, however, were not realistic for most people in the U. S. population, Mattes said.

The current study measured the spice's effects using quantities of red pepper - 1 gram or half a teaspoon - that are acceptable for many consumers. Other studies also have looked at consumption via a capsule, but Ludy and Mattes' study demonstrated that tasting the red pepper may optimize its effects. The findings are published in Physiology & Behavior.

This study used ordinary dried, ground cayenne red pepper. Cayenne is a chili pepper, which is among the most commonly consumed spices in the world. Most, but not all, chili peppers contain capsaicin.

Twenty-five non-overweight people - 13 who liked spicy food and 12 who did not - participated in the six-week study. The preferred level of pepper for each group was determined in advance, and those who did not like red pepper preferred 0.3 grams compared to regular spice users who preferred 1.8 grams. In general, red pepper consumption did increase core body temperature and burn more calories through natural energy expenditure.

This study found that those who did not consume red pepper regularly experienced a decrease of hunger, especially for fatty, salty and sweet foods.

"The appetite responses were different between those who liked red pepper and those who did not, suggesting that when the stimulus is unfamiliar it has a greater effect. Once it becomes familiar to people, it loses its efficacy. The finding that there is a difference between users and non-users is novel and requires further study to determine how long it will be effective and how to adjust the diet to improve continuous effectiveness."

The failure to account for individual differences in liking the burn of chili peppers may explain why some previous studies varied on capsaicin's impact on appetite suppression and thermogenic response, which is an increase in body heat produced when digesting food.

Mattes said the findings also show that red pepper should be consumed in non-capsule form because the taste - the sensory experience - maximizes the digestive process.

"That burn in your mouth is responsible for that effect," he said. "It turns out you get a more robust effect if you include the sensory part because the burn contributes to a rise in body temperature, energy expenditure and appetite control."

Mattes, who specializes in taste and directs Purdue's Ingestive Behavior Research Center, studies the role taste plays in feeding and digestion.

"Taste works on two very different levels," he said. "First, it determines the palatability of foods, and that influences food choice. Second, it influences physiology, so it alters how you digest foods and the efficiency with which you absorb the nutrients from them and use them throughout the body."

Source: Purdue University

Monday, April 25, 2011

Resveratrol shows anti-diabetes potential: Study

By Stephen Daniells, 21-Apr-2011

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Diabetes

Daily supplements of resveratrol may improve how the human body responds to insulin, the hormone responsible for sugar and fat metabolism, Hungarian researchers report for the first time.

GSK paid Sinclair $720 million for Sirtris Pharmaceuticals

According to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition, a daily 10 milligram dose of resveratrol was associated with reductions in insulin resistance in type-2 diabetics.

“Whether resveratrol (or some of its future derivatives) becomes a useful tool in combating type 2 diabetes is difficult to tell, although the fact that recent studies (including the present study) have demonstrated that the efficacy of resveratrol at low doses might increase the possibility for its medicinal application,” report researchers from the University of Pécs.

“On the other hand, the present study definitely suggests that resveratrol could become a useful tool in gaining a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the development of insulin resistance and oxidative stress.”

Resveratrol’s rosy potential

Resveratrol, a powerful polyphenol and anti-fungal chemical, is often touted as the bioactive compound in grapes and red wine, and has particularly been associated with the so-called 'French Paradox'. The phrase, coined in 1992 by Dr Serge Renaud from Bordeaux University, describes the low incidence of heart disease and obesity among the French, despite their relatively high-fat diet and levels of wine consumption.

Interest in the compound exploded in 2003 when research from David Sinclair and his team from Harvard reported that resveratrol was able to increase the lifespan of yeast cells. The research, published in Nature, was greeted with international media fanfare and ignited flames of hope for an anti-ageing pill.

According to Sinclair’s findings, resveratrol could activate a gene called sirtuin1 (Sirt1 – the yeast equivalent was Sir2), which is also activated during calorie restriction in various species, including monkeys.

Since then studies in nematode worms, fruit flies, fish, and mice have linked resveratrol to longer lives. Other studies with only resveratrol have reported anti-cancer effects, anti-inflammatory effects, cardiovascular benefits, anti-diabetes potential, energy endurance enhancement, and protection against Alzheimer’s.

New data

The Hungarian researchers recruited 19 people type-2 diabetics and randomly assigned them to receive either resveratrol supplements (two 5 milligram doses from Argina Nutraceuticals, Hungary) or placebo for four weeks.

Results showed that after four weeks of resveratrol supplementation, the participants showed a significant decrease in insulin resistance, compared to the placebo group.

In terms of a potential mode of action for the polyphenol, the researchers noted that this may be related to its antioxidant activity, because oxidative stress is “widely accepted” as a key driver in the onset of insulin resistance.

There is also the possibility that resveratrol’s potential benefits are linked to its ability to activate Akt phosphorylation - an intracellular insulin dependent protein that facilitates the uptake of glucose into cells. Indeed, an increase in the levels of phosphorylated Akt (activated) to Akt was observed.

“The present study shows for the first time that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity in humans, which might be due to a resveratrol-induced decrease in oxidative stress that leads to a more efficient insulin signalling via the Akt pathway,” concluded the researchers.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1017/S0007114511000316

“Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients”

Authors: P Brasnyo, G.A. Molnar, M. Mohas, L. Marko, B. Laczy, J. Cseh, E. Mikolas, I. Andras Szijarto, A. Merei, R. Halmai, L.G. Meszaros, B. Sumegi, I. Wittmann

Resveratrol May Be Useful Tool For Reducing Body Fat

For her thesis entitled Acido Linoleico Conjugado y Resvetratrol: efecto de estos ingredientes funcionales sobre el metabolismo de los triglicéridos y la adiposidad (Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Resveratrol: the effect of these functional ingredients on the metabolism of triglycerides and adiposity), Nutrition and Obesity research team member at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Ms Arrate Lasa, studied the fat-reducing effect of CLA and resveratrol.

Obesity is a very common illness in developed countries, there being more than 1,000 million overweight persons currently in the world, of which more than 300 million suffer from obesity. This illness brings with it other, associated conditions that result in a significant increase in the morbi-mortality of these persons.

Current strategies for its treatment are various and one field of great interest is what is known as functional ingredients. These are compounds that appear in certain foods and that enhance specific corporal functions, promoting health and reducing risk of diseases.

Fat reduction with functional ingredients

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and resveratrol are two functional ingredients that, in various experiments on living beings and in vitro, have proved to have a fat-reducing effect. On the one hand, the properties attributed to CLA indicate that it prevents weight gain and the accumulation of body fat, through inhibiting the synthesis of fat and increasing the oxidation of fatty acids. However, its effects when applied in a hypocaloric diet for the treatment of obesity are unknown. On the other, it is known that resveratrol has hypolipemiant properties, but its effect on the use of accumulated fat has not been extensively analysed.

Thus, this thesis shows, on the one hand, the results obtained after treatment with CLA in hamsters subjected to energy restriction and, on the other, the effect of resveratrol on accumulated fat and lipolytic activity in cell cultures of adipocytes of murinae and humans. The results obtained show that CLA does not foment weight or body fat loss, induced by an energy restriction diet. Neither does it induce greater lipolysis, nor improvement in serum parameters, in glucose homeostasis or insulin function to any greater extent than with the slimming diet itself. On the contrary, resveratrol reduces the accumulation of triglycerides, in part by activation of lipolysis, in both the adipocytes of mice and of humans.

For all these reasons, it can be concluded that, while CLA may not be a molecule useful in treating obesity, when resveratrol is included in hypocaloric diet, it could well be a useful tool for reducing body fat. More studies are required regarding this latter molecule, firstly to describe other effects of resveratrol and its activating mechanisms, as well as the possible adverse effects and toxicity; secondly studies amongst humans confirm the previously observed effects.

Sources: Elhuyar Fundazioa, AlphaGalileo Foundation.

Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state.

J Appl Physiol. 2011 Jan;110(1):236-45. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Beneficial metabolic adaptations due to endurance exercise training in the fasted state.

Van Proeyen K, Szlufcik K, Nielens H, Ramaekers M, Hespel P.

SourceResearch Centre for Exercise and Health, FaBeR-K. U. Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, B-3001 Leuven (Heverlee Belgium.


Training with limited carbohydrate availability can stimulate adaptations in muscle cells to facilitate energy production via fat oxidation. Here we investigated the effect of consistent training in the fasted state, vs. training in the fed state, on muscle metabolism and substrate selection during fasted exercise. Twenty young male volunteers participated in a 6-wk endurance training program (1-1.5 h cycling at ∼70% Vo(2max), 4 days/wk) while receiving isocaloric carbohydrate-rich diets. Half of the subjects trained in the fasted state (F; n = 10), while the others ingested ample carbohydrates before (∼160 g) and during (1 g·kg body wt(-1)·h(-1)) the training sessions (CHO; n = 10). The training similarly increased Vo(2max) (+9%) and performance in a 60-min simulated time trial (+8%) in both groups (P < 0.01). Metabolic measurements were made during a 2-h constant-load exercise bout in the fasted state at ∼65% pretraining Vo(2max). In F, exercise-induced intramyocellular lipid (IMCL) breakdown was enhanced in type I fibers (P < 0.05) and tended to be increased in type IIa fibers (P = 0.07). Training did not affect IMCL breakdown in CHO. In addition, F (+21%) increased the exercise intensity corresponding to the maximal rate of fat oxidation more than did CHO (+6%) (P < 0.05). Furthermore, maximal citrate synthase (+47%) and β-hydroxyacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (+34%) activity was significantly upregulated in F (P < 0.05) but not in CHO. Also, only F prevented the development exercise-induced drop in blood glucose concentration (P < 0.05). In conclusion, F is more effective than CHO to increase muscular oxidative capacity and at the same time enhances exercise-induced net IMCL degradation. In addition, F but not CHO prevented drop of blood glucose concentration during fasting exercise.

"Apple Shaped" Obesity Is As Bad For Heart As Other Obesity

An international study of 220,000 people has challenged the idea that obese people who have an "apple shape" (fat deposits on the middle section of the body) are at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes than obese people with other types of fat distribution. These are the conclusions of an Article published Online First and in an upcoming Lancet, from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration, a consortium of 200 scientists from 17 countries led from the University of Cambridge, UK.

Some earlier studies had claimed that people with "central obesity" (as assessed by the ratio of the waist to hip circumference, or "waist-to-hip" ratio) have 3 times greater risk of heart attack than people with general obesity (as assessed by the body-mass index (BMI), or the weight divided by the height squared). However, these earlier studies had major design limitations.

The current study involved over 220,000 adults, each monitored for almost a decade, of whom over 14,000 developed a heart attack or stroke during monitoring. The researchers confirmed that obesity is a major determinant of cardiovascular disease, but that body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio each had a similar impact on the risk of subsequent heart attack and strokes.

A further finding of this study is that BMI, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio, whether assessed singly or in combination, do not improve cardiovascular disease risk prediction in people in developed countries when additional information is available for systolic blood pressure, history of diabetes, and lipids.

This result highlights the value of GPs continuing to measure blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The findings should also help guide medical practice worldwide because national and international guidelines have provided differing recommendations about the value of clinical measures of obesity for prediction of cardiovascular disease risk in primary prevention.

The authors conclude: "Whether assessed singly or in combination, body-mass index, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio do not improve prediction of first-onset cardiovascular disease when additional information exists on blood pressure, history of diabetes, and cholesterol measures... This finding applies to a wide range of circumstances and clinically relevant subgroups."

But they add: "The main finding of this study does not, of course, diminish the importance of adiposity as a major modifiable determinant of cardiovascular disease."

In a linked Comment, Dr Rachel R Huxley and Dr David R Jacobs Jr, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, conclude: "BMI used with good clinical judgment is highly appropriate in adults because it is so strongly associated with chronic disease risk, although we caution that it is correlated with height in children. Many overweight or obese adolescent, young adult, and middle-aged individuals with few risk factors for cardiovascular disease will develop that risk relatively soon, so BMI should serve as an early warning, both to them and their general practitioners. But discriminating which overweight individuals without current risk factors for cardiovascular disease will go on to develop those risk factors, and ultimately clinical cardiovascular disease, remains a challenge-here, blood tests continue to be helpful."

Link to Article and Comment


The Lancet