12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

5 June 13

**Calcium may reduce mortality at least in women
**International Development Committee publishes “Global Food Security” report
**CoQ10 found to halve the rate of deaths from heart failure
**Children confused about food - cheese made from plants, tomatoes grow underground 
**Scientists identify genetic markers for higher-producing, better-tasting chocolate
**Salford City Council may ban daytime takeaway food sales from outlets near schools
**Sports stars influence food choices in boys
**People underestimate number of calories they consume at fast food restaurants
**Study indicates that soda and illegal drugs cause similar damage to teeth

**Calcium may reduce mortality at least in women
Findings from a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism have  indicated that calcium intake of up to 1000 mg/day from food or dietary supplements is more likely to be beneficial than harmful and may reduce mortality especially for women.  The researchers recruited 9033 participants who participated in the Canadian Multicenter Osteoporosis Study (CaMos).  Langsetmo et al investigated whether there was an association between total calcium and vitamin D intake and all-cause mortality.  Using food –frequency questionnaires, the researchers collected data on dietary calcium and vitamin D intake.  Intake of supplements and medications were reported during an interview.  During 10 years of follow up there were 1160 deaths.  Langsetmo et al. reports that some previous research has indicated that calcium supplements may increase cardiovascular events however this current study is consistent with other findings such as those from the Women's Health Initiative and those from the Iowa Women's Health Study which also found a slight reduction in all-cause mortality with calcium.  The study however found no conclusive evidence about vitamin D and whether there was any adverse or beneficial effect on all-cause mortality. 

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory provides vitamin analysis in a wide range of matrices including drinks, fortified foods, pre-mixes and multi-vitamin tablets.  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

**International Development Committee publishes “Global Food Security” report
The International Development Committee has published a report on “Global Food Security.” The report is encouraging people to eat less meat to help global food supplies.  MP’s are reporting that growing meat production means other food resources are being squeezed.  Resources are being reduced as grain is being grown to feed cattle rather than being used for nourishing people. The committee report that increasing the use of biofuels will increase the cost of food.  It recommends focussing on sustainable systems such as pasture-fed cattle rather than on grain-fed livestock. It also notes that as much of 30% of food produced globally is wasted. In developed countries such as the UK, a large amount of food is wasted by consumers and by the food industry. The committee recommends that the Government set targets for food waste reduction for producers and retailers and introduce sanctions for failure to meet the targets. Sir Malcolm Bruce, chair of the International Development Committee warned, "There is no room for complacency about food security over the coming decades if UK consumers are to enjoy stable supplies and reasonable food prices.  UK aid to help smallholders increase food production in the developing world is of direct benefit to UK consumers as rising world food prices will reduce living standards of hard-pressed UK consumers.”  (Parliament UK)

**CoQ10 found to halve the rate of deaths from heart failure
A study by European Scientists, presented at Heart Failure 2013, has indicated that coenzyme CoQ10 supplements could reduce the rates of death from heart failure.  Mortensen et al report that CoQ10, an antioxidant that humans synthesise in the body, is involved in cellular-energy production. CoQ10 levels are decreased in the heart muscle of patients with heart failure, with the deficiency becoming more pronounced as heart failure severity worsens.  When statins are used to treat patients with heart failure the statins block the production of CoQ10.  The scientists gave 420 patients with severe heart failure, either CoQ10 or a placebo and followed them for 2 years.  Mortensen et al found that within the two years 29 (14 percent) patients receiving CoQ10 experienced a major adverse cardiovascular event compared to 55 (25 percent) of the patients who were given the placebo. CoQ10 also lowered the risk of dying from all causes in half; in the CoQ10 group, 18 (9 percent) patients died compared to 36 (17 percent) in the placebo group.  In a press release the scientists state :"Supplementation with CoQ10, which is a natural and safe substance, corrects a deficiency in the body and blocks the vicious metabolic cycle in chronic heart failure called the energy starved heart."

RSSL’S Functional Ingredients Laboratory has a validated ORAC method which can be used to test the antioxidant capacity of foods.  For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com 

**Children confused about food - cheese made from plants, tomatoes grow underground 
A survey of 27500 five to sixteen year olds by the British Nutrition Foundation has reported that almost a third of UK primary pupils think cheese is made from plants and a quarter think fish fingers come from chicken or pigs.  It also found that nearly one in ten secondary pupils think tomatoes grow underground.  The survey, carried out as part of the BNF’s Healthy Eating Week, reports that the youngest primary school children recognise the eatwell plate - 64 per cent of 5-8 year olds identified it correctly from four different images.  However, when presented with four pie charts and asked which best represented the eatwell plate, less than half (45 per cent) of 8-11 year olds answered correctly.  Although 77% of primary school children and 88% of children know that people should consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day, 67% of primary school children and 81% reported that they consume four or less portions daily.  Some children also thought that frozen fruit and vegetables didn’t count toward their five a day. Many children reported not eating breakfast; this increased with the age of the child.  16% of primary school aged children and one in five secondary school children said they never eat fish. 

**Scientists identify genetic markers for higher-producing, better-tasting chocolate
Scientists have identified genetic markers which can lead to higher yielding cocoa plants that still produce better tasting cocoa.  The study, published in the journal Genome Biology by scientists from Mars Incorporated, sequenced the genome of the Matina cacao variety using genetic analyses and comparisons with other varieties.  They found that a single DNA letter change affected levels of the gene’s expression, and so the colour of the pod. The researchers are now trying to identify genetic markers that can produce more productive cocoa plants for farmers while still producing a high quality and superior taste.  (Eurekalert)

**Salford City Council may ban daytime takeaway food sales from outlets near schools
The BBC is reporting that Salford City Council are thinking of imposing a ban before 17:00 on the sale of “hot food over the counter” from takeaways located near schools, in an attempt to encourage children to eat healthily.  The ban would affect new outlets which open within 400m of a school. Data provided by the National Child Measurement Programme in 2012 reports that 35% of 10 and 11 year olds in Salford are overweight or obese. Councillor Margaret Morris states that while planners "cannot control the food that is sold", the council would encourage new takeaways to "offer well promoted healthy alternatives, so people can have an informed choice about the food they eat.  Public health and helping to reduce obesity levels" was a "top priority" for the council.”

**Sports stars influences food choices in boys
An Australian study involving 1300 boys and girls from Melbourne primary schools has found that 65% of boys are more likely to choose a food product if a male sports star is featured on the packet, however girls were less likely to be influenced by sports celebrity endorsements.  The study also found that the boys were influenced by nutrition content claims such as being high in calcium. The scientists from the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer showed children two packets of unhealthy foods, one slightly healthier than the other.  The foods were shown with plain packaging, packaged with nutrient content claims, a sports celebrity endorsement or some other promotional technique such as a premium of the product.  ABC reports the Obesity Policy Coalition's Jane Martin, one of the report's authors, as saying if the product was endorsed by a male sports identity it increased the likelihood of a boy choosing the unhealthy product. 

**People underestimate number of calories they consume at fast food restaurants
A report published in the BMJ has found that people seriously underestimate the number of calories in food consumed from fast food restaurants.  Block et al. evaluated the difference between what adults and teens estimated the calorie content of their fast food meals were versus their real calorie content.  The study involved 1877 adults and 330 school age children who visited restaurants at dinnertime (evening meal) in 2010 and 2011 and 1178 adolescents visiting restaurants after school or at lunchtime in 2010 and 2011.    The cross sectional study involved repeated visits to fast food restaurant chains.  Eighty nine fast food restaurants in four cities in New England, United States: McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Wendy’s, KFC, Dunkin’ Donuts were included in the study.  Block et al. found that 34% of teenager underestimated the number of calories in their meals followed by 23% adults who were parents of school-age children and 20% of other adults.  Adults, on average, ordered meals with 836 calories and underestimated the calorie count of their meals by around 175 calories.  Teenagers often ordered meals containing around 756 calories and underestimated the calorie count by 259.  Twenty five percent of the participants thought their meals had 500 fewer calories than they actually had.  The scientists reported that the “participants also ordered side dishes with more calories at Subway. Dieticians also falsely considered equivalent calorie meals to be lower calorie at Subway than McDonald's. Our study extends these findings by showing that this "health halo" is unique to Subway across the six chains and is present across age groups in a diverse sample."

**Study indicates that soda and illegal drugs cause similar damage to teeth
A study published in the journal General Dentistry is claiming that heavy diet soda consumption, sweetened or not, is similar to methamphetamine, crack cocaine, in that they all can cause similar dental problems.  The scientists note that the intensity of damage is more or less the same.  Bassiuny et al reports that a woman in her 30s who consumed 2 litres of diet soda daily for three to five years experienced tooth rot and decay similar to that suffered by a 29-year-old methamphetamine addict and a 51-year-old habitual crack cocaine user.  The soda drinker reports that she chose diet soda as she associated sweetened beverages with a higher risk of tooth decay. The American Beverage Association  have responded to the study by saying  "To single out diet soda consumption as the unique factor in her tooth decay and erosion -- and to compare it to that from illicit drug use -- is irresponsible.  The body of available science does not support that beverages are a unique factor in causing tooth decay or erosion.  However, we do know that brushing and flossing our teeth, along with making regular visits to the dentist, play a very important role in preventing them."  Bassiouny et al concludes that sugar-free soda is no better than regular soda when it comes to dental decay, "both of them have the same drastic effect if they are consumed in the same frequency, the same amount and the same duration.” The study notes that “the citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion.” (Academy of General Dentistry)

share this article
RSSL endeavours to check the veracity of news stories cited in this free e-mail bulletin by referring to the primary source, but cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies in the articles so published. RSSL provides links to other World Wide Web sites as a convenience to users, but cannot be held responsible for the content or availability of these sites. This document may be copied and distributed provided the source is cited as RSSL's Food e-News and the information so distributed is not used for profit.

Previous editions

Load more editions

Make an Enquiry