12 January - 20 June 2016

Other headlines

  • Nanoparticles made from tea leaf extract found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells,
  • Antioxidants within tomato sauce found to be beneficial to the gut
  • Higher levels of belly fat linked to lower levels of vitamin D in obese people
  • Can yogurt improve chronic inflammation?
  • Peptides from beef protein could potentially be used in foods to block bitter taste receptors
  • Nutmeg found to help the liver
  • Unscrambling dietary advice: Research shows eggs do not increase risk of Cardiovascular Disease
  • Mediterranean diet enhances beneficial bacteria
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) may be associated with adverse cardiovascular events – animal study
  • Saturated fatty acid and trans-fatty acids guidelines for adult and children intake from WHO

Nanoparticles made from tea leaf extract found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells
Scientists have accidently discovered that nanoparticles from tea leaves could eventually help in the treatment of lung cancer.  The study published in Applied Nano Materials which includes researchers from Swansea University, initially investigated the use of tea leaves to create a non-toxic plant-based quantum dots.  Synthesised quantum dots can cost between £250 and £500 per microgram, whereas an organically derived one can cost £10 per microgram.  However on investigation the team also discovered that when they mixed the tea leaf extract with cadmium sulphate (CdSO4) and sodium sulphide (Na2S) to produce quantum dots and applied this to cancer cells, the nanoparticles derived from tea leaves inhibited the growth of lung cancer cells, destroying up to 80% of them. (Science Daily)

Antioxidants within tomato sauce found to be beneficial to the gut
Researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain have used tomato sauce to investigate how gut bacteria interacts with antioxidants in the gut. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which protect cells from damage.  Previous research has indicated that tomatoes have probiotic properties and can increase the activity of healthy gut bacteria. Using in vitro experiments, the team examined how the main bacteria species which is found in the gut, Lactobacillus reuteri, interacts with tomato sauce derived antioxidants.  The sauce was made from pear tomatoes which are high in lycopene. The team also investigated how cooking the tomatoes, affected the interaction. Reporting in the Journal of Functional Foods, the team found that in vitro digestion led to a significant loss of antioxidant activity (65 and 75% losses for raw and fried tomato, respectively), and total lycopene (60 and 50% losses for raw and fried tomato, respectively).  Although the presence of L.reuteri was found to prevent some absorption of some of the antioxidants into the blood system, the antioxidants present in the sauce were found to also enhance the positive effects of L.reuteri, with the cooked sauce being more effective than the raw. The lycopene in the cooked sauce was transformed by cis-trans isomerization. The team state “And among the results, we found that serving meals rich in probiotics with fried tomato sauce boosts its probiotic effect; as well as causing a progressive isomerization of the lycopene of the tomato, from form cis to trans throughout digestion, which positively results in an increased final bioaccessibility of this carotenoid."

RSSL's Functional Ingredients Laboratory can quantify lycopene in tomato-based products. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Higher levels of belly fat linked to lower levels of vitamin D in obese people
According to a study presented at the European Society of Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2018, higher levels of belly fat are associated with lower vitamin D levels in obese people. The authors analysed the amount of body fat and abdominal fat in relation to vitamin D levels in participants involved in the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study.  They reported that lower vitamin D levels were associated with the increased amounts of both total and abdominal fat although abdominal fat had the greater impact.  In men the belly fat, abdominal fat and liver fat was associated with lower levels of vitamin D.  An author of  the study is quoted as saying "Although we did not measure vitamin D deficiency in our study, the strong relationship between increasing amounts of abdominal fat and lower levels of vitamin D suggests that individuals with larger waistlines are at a greater risk of developing deficiency, and should consider having their vitamin D levels checked." The team note that future studies will examine what exactly may be responsible for this strong association.

RSSL 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. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

Can yogurt improve chronic inflammation?
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition, is reporting that yogurt may help to reduce chronic inflammation, a factor in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and asthma.  The team investigated the hypothesis that yogurt may help reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of the intestinal lining, thus preventing endotoxins from crossing into the blood stream.  The study documented in two research papers, involved 120 premenopausal women, half being obese and the other half non-obese.  Half of the participants consumed 12 oz of low fat yogurt every day for nine weeks, whilst the control group consumed a non-dairy dessert.  During the course of the study blood samples were taken, and analysed for biomarkers.  The team report that over the course of the study they saw significant improvements in key markers in the yogurt eaters, specifically TNF an important inflammation-activating protein.  The participants also completed a high calorie meal challenge, meant to stress an individual’s metabolism.  The meal was provided at the beginning and end of the nine-week dietary intervention, where a serving of 8 oz yogurt or non-dairy pudding was provided followed by a high fat, high carbohydrate breakfast, consisting of sausage muffins, hash browns totalling 900 calories. Again blood work showed that yogurt improved some key biomarkers of endotoxin exposure and inflammation. The study doesn’t however identify which compounds in yogurt are responsible for this effect.

Peptides from beef protein could potentially be used in foods to block bitter taste receptors
Reporting in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists have found that beef protein can block bitter taste receptors on the tongue, and therefore have the potential to be used to make foods and even medicines taste better. Using enzymatic hydrolysis, food proteins are broken down into bioactive peptides.  These peptides have been found to reduce bitterness and inflammation.  The team wanted to investigate beef proteins, and see if they could block bitter tastes, as they have been found to produce “desirable flavour promoting peptides.”  The researchers hydrolyzed beef protein with six different enzymes.  They found that peptides produced from the enzymes trypsin and pepsin digestion, were the most effective in reducing the intensity of the bitterness of quinine in a test with an electronic tongue. These peptides were also the longest, which suggests that peptide size might play an important role. The group notes this could impact not only the food industry but the pharmaceutical industry as well.

RSSLs food flavour analysis capabilities enable us to support you in food product development and troubleshooting. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com


Nutmeg found to help the liver
Nutmeg has been used to treat asthma, rheumatic pain, toothaches and infections.  A study published in the ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research has documented how nutmeg helps organs, specifically the liver.  Using a mouse model of liver toxicity, the team analysed nutmeg’s protective effects against liver damage, finding that it restored the mice to more healthy levels of various lipids and acylcarnitines. The researchers report that nutmeg extract was found to “effectively protect TAA-induced liver damage as assessed by recovery of increased serumtransaminases, decrease in hepatic oxidative stress, and lower hepatic inflammation.” They also found using gene expression studies that the hepatoprotective effect of nutmeg extract was achieved by modulation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) as well as the decrease in oxidative stress.  The compound myrislignan, found within nutmeg, was found to have a protective effect against liver damage.

Unscrambling dietary advice: Research shows eggs do not increase risk of Cardiovascular Disease Around the world some countries recommend that those with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) should limit their egg consumption to lower their risk of Cardiovascular Disease. Fuller et al aimed to investigate the role of eggs in the development of Cardiovascular Disease in those with T2D in order to check the validity of this conflicting dietary advice. A study conducted by the University of Sydney and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared CVD risk between those with a high egg consumption (12 eggs per week) and those with a low egg consumption (less than 2 a week). This study was split in 2 parts: In part 1, participants with prediabetes or T2D diabetes were prescribed either a 3 month high egg (>12 eggs) or low egg (<2 eggs) weight-maintenance diet. After 6 weeks, they found that a high egg diet did not increase CVD risk in comparison to a low egg diet in adults with T2D. In the second part of the study, the same participants were prescribed with a 3 month weight loss diet of either high egg or low egg consumption. There were no significant differences in weight loss between each of the groups from the 3-12 month follow-up. In addition to this, high egg consumption was not associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Dr Fuller highlighted that these results are important in terms of dietary advice considering that eggs could have potential health benefits as they are a “source of protein and micronutrients that could support a range of health and dietary factors”. Dr Fuller then concluded that “despite differing advice around safe levels of egg consumption for people with prediabetes and T2D, our research indicates that people do not need to hold back from eating eggs if this is part of a healthy diet”. (Science Daily)

Mediterranean diet enhances beneficial bacteria
Researchers are reporting in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition that consuming a plant-based diet enhances good bacteria in the gut by 7% compared to 0.5% from eating a meat-centric Western diet.  The team from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, used an animal model to mimic human Western and Mediterranean type diets.  In the pre-clinical study, non-human primates were randomized to either Western (a diet consisting of consuming lard, beef tallow, butter, eggs, cholesterol, high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose) or Mediterranean diet (consisting of fish oil, olive oil, fish meal, butter, eggs, black and garbanzo bean flour, wheat flour, vegetable juice, fruit puree and sucrose) groups and studied for 30 months. Each group consumed the same number of calories. After intervention the scientists analysed the animals gut microbiome and report that “the good bacteria, primarily Lactobacillus, most of which are probiotic, were significantly increased in the Mediterranean diet group.”

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable experience in re-formulating products to provide more healthy options including low salt, low sugar versions and using pre- and probiotics.  Using RSSL can help speed up your development cycle considerably. To find out more please contact Customer Services telephone 0118 918 4076 or e-mail enquiries@rssl.com

UK scientists find consuming a diet rich in fish and legumes may help delay natural menopause
According to a study by University of Leeds scientists, and published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, consuming a diet high in fish and legumes may help to delay the menopause, whilst high consumption of refined carbohydrates, may instead help to hasten it. The scientists analysed data including food frequency questionnaire data, from 35,000 women aged between 35 and 69 years, involved in the UK Women’s Cohort Study.  The scientists report that during the 4-year follow-up period, 914 women experienced a natural menopause. A high intake of oily fish and fresh legumes were associated with delayed onset of natural menopause by 3.3 years per portion/day and 0.9 years per portion/day respectively. Refined pasta and rice was associated with earlier menopause (per portion/day: −1.5 years). A higher intake of vitamin B6 (per mg/day: 0.6 years,) and zinc (per mg/day: 0.3 years) was also associated with later age at menopause. The researchers report in a press release that “egg maturation and release are adversely affected by reactive oxygen species, so a high intake of legumes, which contain antioxidants, may counter this, preserving menstruation for longer, suggest the researchers, in a bid to explain the findings. And omega 3 fatty acids, which are abundant in oily fish, stimulate antioxidant capacity in the body. On the other hand, refined carbs boost the risk of insulin resistance, which can interfere with sex hormone activity and boost oestrogen levels, both of which might increase the number of menstrual cycles and deplete egg supply faster, they say.”

Saturated fatty acid and trans-fatty acids guidelines for adult and children intake from WHO Cardiovascular diseases are the world’s leading cause of mortality, with approximately 17 million deaths in 2016. The majority of deaths are associated with an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol.  An unhealthy diet is a diet rich in saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids. Most animal fats are saturated and certain vegetable fat products have high level of saturated fat (chocolate and cocoa butter, and coconut, palm and palm kernel oils).  Trans-fatty acids occur in a small amount in nature but are widely produced by the partial hydrogenation of mainly vegetable oils for use in baked and fried foods and snack food.   These two types of fatty acids are correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a public consultation on draft guidelines for intake of saturated fats and trans-fat for adults and children with the aim of reducing the risk of having cardiovascular diseases. They report that healthy diets should be mainly based on plant food. They should be high in fruits, vegetables, unrefined carbohydrates and low in free sugars and salt. According to Dr Francesco Branca, director at WHO Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, only 250 calories should be coming from saturated fat, corresponding to slightly less than 30g. This can be reached by 50g of butter or palm oil, 130-150g of cheese with 30% fat or 1L of full fat milk.

RSSL's Lipids Laboratory can determine the fatty acid profile of all dietary fats and oils including trans fats. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email  enquiries@rssl.com

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