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22 May 13

**Vitamin D may benefit asthma patients
**Making food more nutritious with meat leftovers
**Diet and daytime sleepiness and alertness
**Do UK advertising regulations protect children from unhealthy food advertising?
**Breastfeeding and ADHD
**New method developed to assure the authenticity of olive oil
**Slowing the rise in obesity will cut dementia
**Pizza developed claims to be healthier than a salad
**People should eat more insects to fight hunger and reduce pollution

**Vitamin D may benefit asthma patients
A study funded by Asthma UK has indicated that vitamin D may be beneficial for those with asthma.  The laboratory study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology examined the effect of vitamin D on TH17 cells from 10 healthy adults and 28 patients with moderate to severe asthma that had been diagnosed with the condition for at least six months. Of the 28 patients with asthma, 18 had asthma that did not respond well to steroids.  The researchers wanted to see if vitamin D affected IL-17A (a white blood cell thought to be associated with the malfunctioning immune response seen in asthma) produced by TH17 cells.  They investigated to see if this effect was different in people who were resistant to steroid treatments. The cells were grown with or without vitamin D and the steroid dexamethasone.  The team found that white blood cells taken from asthma patients produced higher levels of IL-17A than those from non-asthmatic patients with T cells from steroid resistant asthma producing the highest levels.  Vitamin D was found to reduce the production of IL-17A in T cells from both the steroid resistant asthma patients and also the steroid sensitive asthma patients.  Production was not affected by adding the steroid dexamethasone. (NHS Choices)

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

**Making food more nutritious with meat leftovers
A EU funded PROSPARE project has suggested that protein, from meat industry waste, may be utilised so that it can be added to food to give foods high functionality and added value.  The scientists used a process to convert poultry leftovers into proteins with a higher content of nutritionally useful amino acids. These could be used, for example, as supplements for sports diet, and additives in processed foods. Belgian food company, PROLIVER, is already testing the technology in the hope that it can enhance the quality of its protein hydrolysates, already in use in dietary, health and sports food supplements. A Russian company Mobitek-M who is a project partner is also reported to be planning to include these products in ice-creams.  (Science Daily)

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable expertise in developing a wide range of food and drink products at a laboratory and pilot scale.  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Diet and daytime sleepiness and alertness
Findings have indicated that levels of sleepiness or alertness during the day may be linked to type of food consumed.  The study by Vgontzas et al. published in SLEEP recruited 31 healthy, non-obese normal sleepers aged from 18-65 years.  The participants spent four nights in a sleep lab and on the fourth day, using Multiple Sleep Latency Test, sleepiness was assessed.  Meals were provided five times to assess diet.  The scientists found that increased fat consumption was associated with increased daytime sleepiness and higher carbohydrate intake was associated with increased alertness, independent of gender, age, body mass index, total amount of sleep and total caloric intake.  The results of the study will also be presented at SLEEP 2013, the 27th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC. (American Academy of Sleep Medicine)

**Do UK advertising regulations protect children from unhealthy food advertising?
Research presented at the European Congress on Obesity has indicated that regulations introduced by Ofcom in 2007 in the United Kingdom to protect children from ‘unhealthy food’ advertising on TV have had little effect.  The scientists carried out an analysis in 2008 and again in 2010, recording UK television between 6 am to 10 pm, during 1 weekday and 1 weekend day in every month between January and December 2008 and then again for the same periods in 2010.  This included 14 of the most popular commercial channels aimed at children aged 5 to 15 years and their families. The findings by Boyland et al report that although the volume of unhealthy food advertising to children has decreased slightly (from 13% in 2008 to 11.7% in 2010), even after new rules were implemented during general and child viewing, unhealthy food advertisements still dominate.  They note:  "The regulations are having an effect on dedicated children's programming; however, the majority of children's viewing takes place outside of this, during family viewing hours. Thus, the impact of the regulations on advertising around the programs children actually watch is very small.” Mike Rayner, DPhil, director of the British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK), who was not involved with this research, is quoted by Medscape as saying that "We need stricter regulation of TV advertising for foods and drinks.  The regulations should cover all advertising children see up until at least 9 pm. They should also cover non broadcast advertising.” The UK government and Ofcom have stated that they are not intending to make further changes.

**Breastfeeding and ADHD
According to a study published in Breastfeeding Medicine by Mimouni-Boch et al., breastfeeding may prevent children from developing ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) later in life.  The Israeli researchers investigated the breastfeeding history of children aged between 6 and 12, who were diagnosed with ADHD.  They compared this data with data from two control groups of children without the disorder.  The mothers of the children completed questionnaires on education, medical status, pregnancy and perinatal details amongst other. The researchers found that the children who had ADHD were less likely to have been breastfed at 3 and 6 months of age compared with the children without the disorder.  Mimouni-Boch et al report that only 43% of ADHD children were breastfed at three months of age and just 29% were breastfed when they were 6 months old. The authors conclude by saying: "Whether the lesser exposure to breastfeeding in ADHD children is causally associated with ADHD or, on the contrary, a consequence of early abnormalities of feeding behaviour at the breast cannot be determined from the current study.  We speculate that prevention, at least partial, of ADHD may be added to the list of the multiple biological advantages of human milk feeding." (Medical  Daily)

**New method developed to assure the authenticity of olive oil
Scientists from ARS in California have developed two analytical methods which could be used to assure the authenticity of olive oil.  Talwinder Kahlon and Ken (Jiann-Tsyh) Lin have developed an assay, which relies on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, to compare olive DNA to that of canola and sunflower, which are sometimes mixed with olive oil.  The tests concentrates on two genes matK and psbA-trnH that occur widely throughout nature, including in olives, canola, sunflower, safflower, and other sources of edible vegetable oil.  DNA sequencing of specific regions of these two genes provides a reliable basis of comparison and can be used to quickly detect the presence of the non-olive oils in an “olive oil” sample. The assay can identify the three oils at concentrations of 5 percent or higher. The test requires only about one-fifth teaspoon of an oil sample and take about 2 to 2-1/2 hours to conduct.  The scientists report that the procedure could perhaps be used to identify other vegetable oils, such as avocado, hazelnut, soybean, or walnut, which are sometimes added to incorrectly labelled olive oil.  Kahlon et al note that their approach offers several improvements over other PCR-based assays, in that their process relies on analysing plastid DNA. Kahlon says that the double layer of membranes in which this DNA is encased may protect it from damage that might otherwise skew test results. Another advantage: The olive, sunflower, and canola “DNA barcodes” that the team developed, to serve as the basis for comparing these plants’ DNA, are based on not just a single olive tree or a particular sunflower or canola plant. Instead, each barcode is a broadly representative composite, referred to as “consensus” DNA. Olive oil is made up of triglycerides, which are molecules composed of fatty acids. These fatty acids are the focus of the approach that ARS Chemist Jiann-Tsyh (Ken) Lin developed.   Using ESI-MS (electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry) Lin gleaned details about variations in specific triglycerides of interest, referred to as “regioisomers.” From that, the scientists can develop ratios of regioisomers that can be used to determine whether the sample contains any oil other than that extracted from olives. ” (USDA)

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory, part of the Investigative Analysis Team has expertise in the authentication of olive oil and provides all of the tests for physico-chemical characterisation of olive oil as required by EU legislation. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**Slowing the rise in obesity will cut dementia
Research presented at the European Congress on Obesity, indicates that slowing the rise in obesity will reduce risk of dementia.  The BBC is reporting that the Alzheimer's Society states regular exercise and a healthy weight are important for reducing risk.  The article cites a Swedish twin study involving 8500, which found that those with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30, who are classified as obese, were almost four times as likely to develop dementia as those with a normal BMI. Those who were clinically overweight (BMI between 25 and 30) were found to have a 71% increased risk of developing dementia. Using computer models, researchers from the UK Health Forum investigated the outcomes if obesity rates stayed the same or increased to 46% of men and 31% of women by 2050, which has been predicted by some groups.   They said rates of dementia would increase from 4,894 cases in every 100,000 people over 65 to 6,662 cases in every 100,000 people over 65.  The study also predicted that keeping obesity levels constant would save around £940m in dementia care.

**Pizza developed claims to be healthier than a salad
The Daily Mail is reporting that a pizza has been developed which is “healthier than a salad and contains all 47 of the nutrients we need.”  The Eat Balanced pizza was created by a professor of human nutrition, Professor Mike Lean, and is reported to contain ingredients such as ground seaweed and red pepper in its flour base. The frozen pizzas are now available to buy in England and Wales.  Professor Lean, who spoke at the European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: “This is the only nutritionally-balanced ready meal anywhere. Find me a salad that matches up to the Eat Balanced pizza.  I haven’t been able to find one yet.”  Apparently, each pizza contains about a third of the recommended daily amount of each nutrient needed for health. The Daily Mail quote Dr Maria Bryant, of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity, as saying “I support the move towards improving existing foods that are very popular but I am not sure that eating two or three pizzas a day would be the best approach.”  She also notes that seaweed is an acquired taste.

**People should eat more insects to fight hunger and reduce pollution
At the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition in Rome (13-15 May), FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has reported that forests, trees on farms and agroforestry are vital in the fight against hunger. He notes that these should be better integrated into food security and land use policies.   Graziano da Silva states that forests contain insects, which are a readily available source of nutrition and are a high protein rich food.  It is estimated that at least 2 billion people consume insects as part of the traditional diet with insects accounting for more than half of all living organisms classified so far on the planet.  The study reports that more than 1900 insect species are consumed by humans worldwide. Globally, the most consumed insects are: beetles (31 percent); caterpillars (18 percent); bees, wasps and ants (14 percent); and grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (13 percent). Many insects are rich in protein, good fats and are high in calcium, iron and zinc. Beef has an iron content of 6 mg per 100 g of dry weight, while the iron content of locusts is between 8 and 20 mg per 100 g of dry weight, depending on the species and the kind of food they consume themselves. On average, insects use just 2 kg of feed to produce 1 kilo of insect meat. Cattle, at the other end of the spectrum, require 8 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of beef.  Insects also produce a fraction of emissions such as methane, ammonia, climate-warming greenhouse gases and manure, all of which contaminate the environment.

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