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24 April 13

**Consuming mushrooms are as effective as taking vitamin D supplements
**Tree nut consumption found to improve health
**Mediterranean diet’s health effects for older adults
**Cholesterol increases risk of atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease
**Meat substituted for white button mushrooms improves body composition
**Scientists develop technique which recovers forensic evidence from food
**Seeing and smelling food influences flavour
**Natural substances in green coffee beans help control blood sugar levels and aid weight loss
**Monkey study finds eating solid food early may cause obesity
**Taste of beer may trigger release of pleasure chemical in male brains

**Consuming mushrooms are as effective as taking vitamin D supplements
A randomised study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and part funded by the Mushroom Council, has found that consuming ultra violet mushrooms, which contain vitamin D2, is as effective at increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels (25–hydroxyvitamin D) as taking supplemental vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.  For twelve weeks once a day, during winter 30 healthy adults took capsules containing 2,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 or 2,000 IU of a mushroom powder made from mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light.  Holick et al. measured serum vitamin D levels at baseline, at 7 weeks and 12 weeks.    They found that levels among the three groups gradually increased and plateaued at seven weeks and were maintained for the next five weeks. After 12 weeks of the vitamin D supplements, the levels were not statistically significantly different amongst those taking the supplements and those who ingested the mushroom powder.  The study concludes that ingesting mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light are a good source of vitamin D and are as effective in raising and maintaining a healthy adult’s vitamin D status. (Eurekalert)

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets, including the analysis for Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.  It provides a full vitamin and mineral analysis service to assist with labelling, due diligence, claim substantiation and stability. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Tree nut consumption found to improve health
Three studies sponsored by The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation (INC NREF),  presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston, have investigated tree nuts consumption and health.  The studies found that nut consumption was associated with a better, nutrient profile and diet quality; lower body weight and lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome; and a decrease in several cardiovascular risk factors compared to those seen among non-consumers.  The first study investigated the effects of nut consumption and risk of metabolic disease in 803 adults.  On analysis of food frequency questionnaires, Jaceldo-Siegl et al. found that28g of tree nuts per week was significantly associated with a 7% less risk of metabolic syndrome.  A second study, which investigated 14,386 adults participating in the 2005-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), found that those who consumed tree nuts had higher daily intakes of calories (2468 v 2127 calories) and fibre (21v 16 grams [g]), potassium (3028 v 2691 milligrams [mg]), magnesium (408 v 292 mg), monounsaturated fats (36 v 29 g), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (21 v 17 g), but lower intakes of added sugars (15 v 18 teaspoons), saturated fats (25 v 27g), and sodium (3197 v 3570 mg) than non-consumers.    However the tree nut consumers also had lower weight, BM, lower systolic blood pressure and waist circumference than non consumers.  A third study examined the effect of nuts on various cardiovascular risk markers and found nuts consumption increase monounsaturated fatty acids in the blood associated with a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, fasting glucose and 10 year coronary heart disease risk.  (Eurekealert)

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory, part of the Investigative Analysis Team has expertise in all aspects of fat analysis and fatty acid profiling, including the determination of polymerised and polar materials in used cooking oils.   For more information contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Mediterranean diet’s health effects for older adults
According to five year study by Guasch-Ferre et al, which examined the effect of Mediterranean Diet on health effect for older adults, adhering to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a lower risk of hyperuricemia, associated with metabolic syndrome, hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, gout, and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.  The study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences involved 7477 participants, aged between 55 to 80 years, who adhered to one of three intervention diets (two MeDiets enriched with extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts, or a control low-fat diet).  The participants either had type 2 diabetes or were at risk from coronary heart disease.  Hyperuricemia was considered to be present when serum uric acid was higher than 7mg/dL in men or higher than 6mg/dL in women.  In brief the scientists found that consuming less than one serving of red meat per day compared with higher intake is associated with a 23 percent reduced risk of hyperuricemia, consuming fish and seafood increased the prevalence of hyperuricemia, drinking more than seven glasses of wine per week increased the prevalence of hyperuricemia and consuming legumes and sofrito sauce reduced the prevalence of hyperuricemia. 

**Meat substituted for white button mushrooms improves body composition
A 1 year randomised clinical trial presented at Experimental Biology 2013, and funded by the Mushroom Council has indicated that substituting white button mushrooms for red meat caused participants to have improvements in body composition and lose seven pounds compared to participants on a standard diet.  The participants with a mean age of 48.4 years consumed either a standard diet or one cup of mushrooms per day in place of meat.  The study by researchers at the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the intervention groups also reported lower calorie and fat intake per day.  The authors indicate that replacing meat or high energy density foods with low energy density foods can be an effective method for reducing daily energy and fat intake while still feeling full and satiated after the meal.  (Eurekalert)

**Scientists develop technique which recovers forensic evidence from food
The Independent is reporting that scientists from Abertay University of Dundee have adapted an existing technique which can now recover fingerprints from food.  This breakthrough could help the police gather more evidence.  Previously it has been difficult to recover print from food however the study published in the journal Science & Justice used a method which was initially designed to take prints from the sticky side of adhesive tape.  By altering the formulation of a powder suspension the scientists were able to produce clear high quality marks on smooth surface food items however they state that more research is need before “we can recommend the technique for all types of food.”

**Seeing and smelling food influences flavour
According to a study presented at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting, presented by Terry E Acree, Ph.D, people see the flavour of a food before they actually taste it.  The scientist notes that when  red dye is added to white wine to give it the appearance of red wine, instead of the flavour of banana, passion fruit, bell pepper and boxwoods, people instead taste the natural chemical of merlot or cabernet.   The same effect occurs with smell.  Acree points to a simple experience which asked people to smell sweet food such as caramel and strawberry before they tasted plain water.  The volunteers found that the water tasted sweet, however if they smelt bread, meat, fish or a non sweet food, before tasting the water, it did not taste sweet.  He notes that some foods may not look visually appealing however people enjoy them based on past experience.  Acree states that this concept is important for those developing healthful food and making them look and smell more appealing to finicky kids or adults. 

**Natural substances in green coffee beans help control blood sugar levels and aid weight loss
At the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Vinson et al presented the results of a study which found that natural substances extracted from unroasted green coffee beans can help control blood sugar levels.  Their results indicate that the substance chlorogenic acids, found in coffee, as well as naturally in apples, cherries, plums and other fruit is the active ingredient which can prevent diabetes and improve glucose control in normal, pre-diabetic and diabetic people. Although unroasted coffee beans contain high amount of chlorogenic acid, roasting the beans at high temperatures causes the chlorogenic acids to break down.  The scientists also reported that taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract a day, while eating a low-fat, healthful diet and exercising regularly, appears to be a safe, effective, inexpensive way to lose weight.  The study studied 16 overweight or obese people aged 22-26 years obese people who consumed a fraction of an ounce of ground green coffee beans each day for 22 weeks.  The participants were found to lose about 10 percent of their body weight.

**Cholesterol increases risk of atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease
High levels of dietary cholesterol and plasma LDL have been reported to be a common risk factor for both atherosclerosis/cardiovascular disease and for Alzheimer’s disease, however the mechanisms of this effect are not completely understood. A study published in PLOS ONE has found that cholesterol causes human and mice cells to divide incorrectly and distribute their already-duplicated chromosome unequally to the next generation, resulting in defective daughter cells.  These cells have the wrong number of chromosomes and therefore the wrong number of genes.  The study by Granic and Potter, report that high levels of blood cholesterol increase the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease, however using insights gained from studying Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease the scientists investigated the effect of cholesterol on cell division. People with Down Syndrome have trisomy 21 cells in all of their cells from the moment of conception, and they all develop the brain pathology and many develop the dementia of Alzheimer's disease by age 50.  Previous research by Granic, Potter and others has reported that as many as 10% of cells in an Alzheimer patient, including neurons in the brain, have three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two. Thus, Alzheimer's disease is, in some ways, a form of acquired Down syndrome. (Science Daily)

**Monkey study finds eating solid food early may cause obesity
A study by scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute have found that baby marmoset monkeys who began eating solid food earlier than their peers, were significantly more likely to be obese at 1 years old (more than 14% body fat).  A companion study found that this early life obesity again in marmoset monkeys caused metabolic damage including insulin resistance and poor blood sugar control.  Ross et al report that they believe that this marmoset model is a good model for early life obesity in humans and provides further ways to investigate why youngster become obese.    Both studies are published in the journal Obesity. 

**Taste of beer may trigger release of pleasure chemical in male brains
Scientists from Indiana University School of Medicine have found that the taste of beer may trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, a chemical associated with pleasurable experience of consuming alcohol and other drugs. The study published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology recruited forty-nine men, ranging from social to heavy drinking, mean age 25 and with a varied family history of alcoholism.  Kareken et al. scanned the men’s brain while they drunk 15ml of either their favourite beer or a sports drink called Gatorade over 15 minutes.   This amount was enough to taste the beer but not enough to cause a change in blood-alcohol level or intoxication.  The scientists found that after tasting beer, the men’s brains showed an increase in the release of dopamine.  This effect was more pronounced in participants who had a family history of alcoholism.  The paper notes that their results show that taste alone impacts the brain functions associated with desire.

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