12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • Intermittent energy restriction dieting may improve weight loss
  • Global study indicates one in five deaths linked to poor diet
  • Excessive salt (sodium) consumption may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Think your breakfast wasn’t substantial?  You may eat more
  • Coffee compound may delay onset of type 2 diabetes
  • Students now cook five time a week survey reveals
  • Calorie restricted diet may affect the skin – mouse study
  • Whether you can lose weight or not is down to your gut bacteria

Intermittent energy restriction dieting may improve weight loss
A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity has examined whether an intermittent energy restriction (ER) diet improves weight loss efficiency compared with a continuous energy restriction diet.  The scientists recruited 47 overweight men and randomly assigned them to a 16-week diet with reduced calorie intake (equivalent to 67% of individual weight maintenance energy requirements - 33% reduction in energy intake).  One group continued the calorie reduced diet for the 16 weeks, whilst the other followed the diet for 2 weeks, then had 2 weeks off where they followed a diet providing 100% of weight maintenance energy requirements.  During the study, the scientists measured the participants body weight, fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM) and resting energy expenditure (REE). Byrne et al report that the intermittent dieters lost more weight than those on the continuous diet (14.1±5.6 vs 9.1±2.9 kg), and also had greater FM loss, whilst FFM loss was similar for the two groups.  At 6 months follow up, the authors report that on average the intermittent dieters had an average weight loss of 8.1 kg greater than the continuous group participants. In conclusion the authors state in the Telegraph "When we reduce our energy (food) intake during dieting, resting metabolism decreases to a greater extent than expected; a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ – making weight loss harder to achieve."

Global study indicates one in five deaths linked to poor diet
Diet is now the second highest risk factor for early death after smoking according to an ongoing study Global Burden of Disease.  Whilst people are living longer they are spending more years in ill health, with obesity being named as one of the major reasons.  Ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause worldwide of early deaths, with lung cancer, stroke, lung disease and Alzheimer’s the other main causes in the UK. High risk factors, all of which are related to eating the wrong diet, include high blood glucose, high blood pressure and high total cholesterol.  In the past decade, deaths from malnutrition are down by a third and fewer than five million children died before the age of five, down from 11 million in 1990. However, the authors note in the Lancet that last year the deaths of over 10 million people could be related to their diet, an increase of 11% in a decade.  John Newton, Public Health England, who worked on the study said obesity appeared to be "a side-effect of development that no country had yet solved. There are enormous areas of the world where they’re moving away from infectious diseases as the main cause of death and towards non-communicable disease, particularly diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are linked to poor diet and obesity. This was not seen so much in Africa yet, but was a big problem in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East". (Guardian, The Australian)

Excessive salt (sodium) consumption may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
Research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes has suggested that excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA).  LADA, a form of type 1 diabetes (T1D), occurs when insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the body's own immune system.  However, unlike typical T1D, it develops slowly and sometimes over a period of years. Rasouli et al. compared 355 participants who were at risk of LADA and 1136 participants who were at risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) with 1379 individuals from the wider population acting as controls.   Using food questionnaires, the scientists calculated the participant’s daily consumption of calories, nutrients and sodium. Taking genetics into account, the team divided the participants into two groups 'high risk or 'other' according to their HLA genotype. After taking into account factors such as age, sex, BMI amongst others, the team report that sodium intake was associated with an average 34% increase in the risk of developing T2D for each extra gram of sodium (equivalent to 2.5 extra grams of salt) consumed per day.  After they had split the participants into three groups depending on their sodium consumption (low under 2.4g; medium 2.4-3.15g; high above 3.15g), those in the highest consumption group had a 58% higher risk of developing T2D compared with the lowest consumption group. However, they state "since salt is only 40% sodium by weight, for actual salt consumption the low consumption group is 6.0 grams and under; the medium consumption group is 6.0-7.9g; and the high group is above 7.9 grams per day."  The risk was found to be even greater for developing LADA, with a 73% rise for each gram of sodium consumed per day. These who were in the high group (consuming over 3.15 g/day) were nearly 4 time more likely to develop the disease compared to these who consumed the lowest amount of sodium (under 2.4g/day).  (Science Daily)

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Calorie restricted diet may affect the skin – mouse study
A mouse study by researchers from Brazil published in the journal Cell Reports is reporting that whilst calorie restriction may help mice stay slim and live longer, it also means less fat to keep their bodies warm.  The team report that calorie restriction was found to stimulate mice fur growth so it was thicker and longer, increased blood flow and alter cell metabolism to increase energy efficiency. The scientists came to these findings after comparing mice who could eat everything they wanted with animals restricted to eat 60% of the calories of their overweight counterparts for six months. The restricted diet mice were found to have three times as many blood vessels in their skin, to bring more warm blood to the surface, and their skin cells exhibited differences in metabolism so that they lost less energy as heat over time. The scientists shaved some of the fur off both groups of mice and found those on the restricted diet became more lethargic and showed sign of disrupted metabolism. One of the researcher, Kowaltowski is quoted as saying "if we understand these pathways, we could uncover targets to keep the skin healthy during aging."

Students now cook five time a week survey reveals
A survey of 2000 UK students and recent graduates, carried out by OnePoll, commissioned by Linda McCartney Foods and cited widely in the popular press, indicates that students’ food habits are changing and today’s students are now much more likely to be found creating in the kitchen. The survey discovered that students are likely to be creating meals from scratch "at least 5 times per week" with over 33% thinking they are better in the kitchen than their parents.  63% of students thought having a better education of food led to their healthier diet, 62% also though having a wide range of ingredients helped and 50% thought the internet, and so access to a wide variety of recipes and ideas, was important too. The survey revealed that 16% of students are vegetarian with an additional 19% said they would consider becoming vegetarian. A spokesman for OnePoll is quoted as saying that "Many people perceive students to be people who don’t ever cook and rely on nothing by takeaways, fast food and ready meals to get by during their years at university. But it seems modern students are becoming more creative and experimental with their food. Far from the stereotype, many are now cooking meals from scratch and enjoy coming up with own concoctions in the kitchen."  (Mirror)

Coffee compound may delay onset of type 2 diabetes
In the last edition of Food e-news, scientists discovered a compound in cocoa that could help with the prevention of type 2 diabetes, now a mice study published in ACS’ Journal of Natural Products has identified a substance in coffee that could also help in reducing the risk of the condition. The compound, cafestol, was found by the team to increase insulin secretion in pancreatic cells when they were exposed to glucose, and to increase glucose in the muscle.  Mice that were prone to develop type 2 diabetes were split into three groups and fed chow supplemented daily with either 1.1 (high), 0.4 (low), or 0 (control) mg of cafestol for 10 weeks.  Both cafestrol fed groups were found to have lower blood glucose levels (28–30% lower), and improved insulin secretory capacity (increased by 75–87%) compared to a control group. Cafestrol was reported to not cause any side effects such as hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). The researchers conclude by stating that that daily consumption of cafestol can delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in these mice, and that it is a good candidate for drug development to treat or prevent the disease in humans.

Think your breakfast wasn’t substantial?  You may eat more
Research led by Steven Brown from Sheffield Hallam University and presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology has suggested that "despite eating the same breakfast, made from the same ingredients, people consumed more calories throughout the day when they believed that one of the breakfasts was less substantial than the other."  The scientists recruited 26 participants, who over two visits, believed they were consuming either a 2 or 4 egg omelette for breakfast, when in fact the omelette contained three eggs.  The participants reported feeling significantly hungrier after two hours after they thought they had consumed the smaller omelette, and consumed more pasta lunch, resulting in them consuming more calories throughout the day compared to when the same participants thought they had consumed a 4-egg omelette. The scientists measured levels of ghrelin (hunger hormone) in blood samples from the participants and found that "changes in reported hunger and the differences in later consumption are not due to differences in participants' physical response to the food. Therefore, memory for prior consumption, as opposed to physiological factors, may be a better target for investigating why expectations for a meal have an effect on subsequent feelings of hunger and calorie intake." (Science Daily)

Whether you can lose weight or not is down to your gut bacteria
Bacteria in our guts may help predict whether you can lose weight or not.  The study published in the International Journal of Obesity, involved 62 participants with increased waist circumference who were randomly assigned to receive an ad libitum New Nordic Diet (NND – dark greens, berries and wholegrains) or an Average Danish Diet (ADD – lean meat, eggs, lettuce, coffee, no grains) for 26 weeks and were grouped based on how much of two different types of bacteria, Prevotella and Bacteroides were present in their gut. The participants on the New Nordic Diet lost around 3.5 kg, whereas those who consumed an average Danish Diet (containing a lot of fruit, vegetables, fibre and whole grains) lost an average 1.7 kg. The authors found that the participants who had a high proportion of the bacteria Prevotella compared to Bacteroides bacteria lost 3.5 kg more in 26 weeks. The study reports the result show that "that biomarkers, e.g. faecal samples, blood samples, or other samples from our body, which says something about our state of health, should play a far greater role in nutritional guidance. Simply because biomarkers allow us to adapt the guidance to the individual."  It notes that there should be more personalised nutritional guidance, as one size doesn’t fit all. 

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