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29 Jan 14

**Study finds certain probiotics could help women lose weight
**Vitamin D levels and risk of severe preeclampsia
**The purple, healthier, GM tomato
**Fly study - Altering gut bacteria may increase lifespan and health
**Designer fibre developed which may eliminate effects of IBS
**Canada bans sale of some UK products as they contain unapproved ingredients
**Could eating lingonberries help prevent obesity?
**Application to grow GM plants containing fish oil submitted to the government

**Study finds certain probiotics could help women lose weight
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition is reporting that certain probiotics could help women lose weight and keep the weight off.  Tremblay et al. investigated if the consumption of probiotics could reset the balance of the intestinal microbiota in favour of bacteria that promote a healthy weight.  One hundred and twenty five overweight men and women followed a weight loss diet for two weeks. Half the participants were given a supplement containing probiotics from the Lactobacillus rhamnosus family, while the other half received a placebo.  The women who consumed the diet supplemented with the probiotic lost 4.4 kg and the placebo group lost 2.6 kg. No difference was seen in the two male groups.  Tremblay states: “We don't know why the probiotics didn't have any effect on men. It may be a question of dosage, or the study period may have been too short." After 12 weeks the female probiotic group continued to lose weight, for a total of 5.2 kg per person, whereas the control group’s weight remained stable.  The women consuming the probiotic were found to have a decrease in the appetite regulating hormone leptin as well as a lower overall concentration of intestinal bacteria relating to obesity. (Eurekalert)

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**Vitamin D levels and risk of severe preeclampsia
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health are reporting that women deficient in vitamin D in the first 26 weeks of pregnancy may be at risk of developing severe preeclampsia.  Bodnar et al. analysed blood samples for vitamin D levels from 700 pregnant women who developed preeclampsia and from 3,000 mothers who did not develop preeclampsia.  They report that those who had sufficient levels of vitamin D had a 40% reduction in risk of severe preeclampsia, however there was no relationship between vitamin D and mild preeclampsia. The study published in Epidemiology reports that overall risk of severe preeclampsia in the women sampled was 0.6 percent, regardless of vitamin D status. Dr. Bodnar is quoted by Medical Xpress as saying "If our results hold true in a modern sample of pregnant women, then further exploring the role of vitamin D in reducing the risk of preeclampsia would be warranted.  Until then, women shouldn't automatically take vitamin D supplements during pregnancy as a result of these findings."

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

**The purple, healthier, GM tomato
Scientists have developed purple tomatoes which are high in anthocyanins.  The tomatoes have been designed by crossing them with a blueberry and are being gown by John Innes Centre for a regulatory study.  Cathie Martin, a genetic researcher states: “We want to explore a way for consumers to benefit from our discoveries, as we are finding there is a demand for the added health benefits.  With these purple tomatoes you can get the same compounds that are present in blueberries and cranberries that give them their health benefits — but you can apply them to foods that people actually eat in significant amounts and are reasonably affordable.” Using genetically engineering mice that are prone to cancer, the tomatoes have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which slow the growth of soft-tissues carcinoma. (Medical Daily)

**Fly study - Altering gut bacteria may increase lifespan and health
Altering the symbiotic or commensal relationship between bacteria and the absorptive cells lining in the intestine has been found to increase the lifespan and health of Drosophila.  The findings by researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and published in Cell, report that the model shows how having the right balance of gut bacteria may be key to enjoying a long healthy life.  The scientists examined changes such as increased oxidative stress, inflammation and impaired efficiency of the immune response, all age related changes found in the gut. The amount of bacteria found in the gut was found to increase with age, and cause inflammation.  The scientists report that this was driven by activation of the stress response gene FOXO which regulates the immune response to bacteria.  (Science Daily)

**Designer fibre developed which may eliminate effects of IBS
A new fibre which may eliminate the side effects for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)has been designed by a gastroenterologist at Rush and a carbohydrate chemist at Purdue University. The new fibre has an added prebiotic effect and is a mixture of seaweed and starch.  The fibre can delay the release of starch fibre in the gastrointestinal tract and can be slowed and controlled so that it occurs in the colon rather than the stomach and upper intestine.  It also produces butyrate, a prebiotic which promotes gut health. The phase I trial involved 60 patients suffering with constipation.  The scientists report that the fibre was found to be safe, better tolerated, and had fewer side effects than the fibre currently used to treat constipation. It also had a positive effect on intestinal microbiota encouraging the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon. The second phase will start shortly and will involve 200 people who have been diagnosed with IBS and constipation. (Science Daily)

**Canada bans sale of some UK products as they contain unapproved ingredients
The media is claiming that a British shop in Canada has been banned from selling UK food such as Marmite, Irn-Bru, and Ovaltine which contain unapproved ingredients. Irn-Bru contains the colouring Ponceau 4R which is banned in Canada as it is linked to hyperactivity.  The Government inspectors visited the shop in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and removed all the offending products, which also included Lucozade, Penguin Bars and Bovril. The Telegraph notes: “the other British products are banned because they are "enriched with vitamins and mineral" while some canned foods and soup contained too much animal product.” The owner claims he has been importing the product legally for years, declaring them through a customs brokers and has never experienced an issue until now.

**Could eating lingonberries help prevent obesity?
A study published in Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism and cited by the popular press is claiming that lingonberries could prevent weight gain.  The study investigated the effect of eight types of berries on obesity, and metabolic abnormalities associated with risk of type 2 diabetes.  Berries used were lingonberry, blackcurrant, bilberry, blackberry, crowberry, prunes or acai berry powder.  The study used mice prone to developed obesity and pre-diabetes.  The mice were split into 10 groups, with 8 groups being fed a high fat diet supplemented with one of the eight berries, one a control group fed a calorie matched high fat diet and another a low fat diet group without berries for 13 weeks.  Body weight and food intake were measured weekly.  After intervention blood samples were analysed for sugar, insulin levels and cholesterol amongst others, and fat build up was measured in the liver and spleen. The low fat control group had the lowest body weight gain from under 25g to 32g, followed by the lingonberry (33g), blackcurrant (36g) raspberry (37g) and bilberry (38g).   The mice fed the high fat diet supplemented with either lingonberry, blackcurrant, or bilberry were found to have lower overall body fat, compared to those just fed the high fat control diet.  The lingonberry group had similar levels to those fed the low fat diet, lower liver mass and lower blood sugar levels than the high fat diet controls.  The lingonberry and blackberry group had lower total cholesterol levels than the high fat controls.  The researcher indicate that their findings suggest: “the beneficial metabolic effects of lingonberries could be useful in preventing obesity and related disorders.” (NHS Choices)

**Application to grow GM plants containing fish oil submitted to the government
Rothamsted Research has submitted an application to Defra for approval to grow a genetically modified crop which contains omega-3 fatty acids.  The project which has been worked on for the past 15 years uses modified seeds from Camelina sativa (false flax) plants and seven genes from marine algae. The engineered plants will produce EPA and DHA, which are currently obtained from oily fish and have been found to have important health benefits.  The BBC notes that “Rothamsted Research scientists believe genetically modified plants like Camelina have the potential to make fish farming more sustainable and ease the pressure on wild fish populations.”  

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