In the news – health and nutrition research

In this week’s article, we provide a roundup of some of the most recent health and nutrition related articles in the news, five items comprising:

  • Plant-based power: Med-style diet effective in tackling acid reflux
  • Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization
  • Moving every half hour could help limit effects of sedentary lifestyle, says study
  • Vitamin D levels may predict MS risk
  • Could artificial sweeteners raise diabetes risk?


Plant-based power: Med-style diet effective in tackling acid reflux

A plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet may provide the same benefits in addressing the complications bought about by acid reflux, according to a US-based study.

Findings point towards a dietary approach using alkaline water and a plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet as comparable to pharmacological regimens used to improve symptoms of a condition affecting around 10 – 20% of the Western population.

Rich in bioactive compounds, vegetarian and vegan-based diets are a cost-effective, low-risk intervention that may contribute to lower body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Although there is an emphasis on meat and dairy, a Mediterranean diet has been held in high-esteem as an effective lifestyle choice that addresses risk factors contributing to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study compared two groups totalling 184 individuals. One group consisted of 85 patients from 2010 to 2012 with Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) that were treated with proton pump inhibition (PPI), the first-line method of treatment, and standard reflux precautions (PS).

From 2013 to 2015, 99 patients that were treated with alkaline water (pH higher than 8.0) were identified. These patients ate a 90% plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet, and standard reflux precautions (AMS).

Dr Zalvan’s diet consists of mostly fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts with avoidance of dairy and meats including beef, chicken, fish, eggs and pork.

Foods that aggravated acid reflux like coffee, tea, chocolate, soda, greasy and fried food, spicy foods, fatty foods and alcohol were also avoided.

Read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

The Mediterranean diet: a naturally occurring model of multi-supplementation – Part 1

The Mediterranean diet: a naturally occurring model of multi-supplementation – Part 2


Nutrition has benefits for brain network organization

A new study found that monounsaturated fatty acids — a class of nutrients found in olive oils, nuts and avocados — are linked to general intelligence, and that this relationship is driven by the correlation between MUFAs and the organization of the brain’s attention network.

The study of 99 healthy older adults, recruited through Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, compared patterns of fatty acid nutrients found in blood samples, functional MRI data that measured the efficiency of brain networks, and results of a general intelligence test.

The researchers found that general intelligence was associated with the brain’s dorsal attention network, which plays a central role in attention-demanding tasks and everyday problem solving. In particular, the researchers found that general intelligence was associated with how efficiently the dorsal attention network is functionally organized used a measure called small-world propensity, which describes how well the neural network is connected within locally clustered regions as well as across globally integrated systems.

Our findings provide novel evidence that MUFAs are related to a very specific brain network, the dorsal attentional network, and how optimal this network is functionally organized,” Barbey said.

Our results suggest that if we want to understand the relationship between MUFAs and general intelligence, we need to take the dorsal attention network into account. It’s part of the underlying mechanism that contributes to their relationship.

Read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Essential fatty acids – Omega 3 & conversion efficiency inhibitions

Omega 3 fatty acids: DHA, EPA & ALA


Moving every half hour could help limit effects of sedentary lifestyle, says study

Exercise is not enough to ward off the risks of sitting still for long periods of time, regular movement is needed, research shows.

Moving your body at least every half an hour could help to limit the harmful effects of desk jobs and other sedentary lifestyles, research has revealed.

The study found that both greater overall time spent inactive in a day, and longer periods of inactivity were linked to an increased risk of death.

Each participant wore the fitness tracker for at least four days during a period of one week, with deaths of participants tracked until September 2015.

The results reveal that, on average, participants were inactive for 12.3 hours of a 16-hour waking day, with each period of inactivity lasting an average of 11.4 minutes.

Those who were inactive for 13.2 hours a day had a risk of death 2.6 times that of those spending less than 11.5 hours a day inactive, while those whose bouts of inactivity lasted on average 12.4 minutes or more had a risk of death almost twice that of those who were inactive for an average of less than 7.7 minutes at a time.

Further analysis looking at how participants split up their stints of inactivity found that those who kept most of their bouts to under 30 minutes at a time had the lowest risk of death while the team also discovered that the longer, more frequent and more intense the breaks from inactivity the better.

the study does not show that inactivity causes death, and the tracker could not tell whether individuals were sitting or just standing still.

What’s more, factors such as smoking status and blood pressure were only captured once, and the activity trackers were only worn over one week, meaning that changes in the health or behaviour of participants over time was not taken into account.

Read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Leading a sedentary lifestyle – could sitting really be the new smoking?

Hypertension – do you know your blood pressure reading?


Vitamin D levels may predict MS risk

Results of a new study show that vitamin D levels may predict multiple sclerosis (MS) risk. The findings suggest that correcting vitamin D deficiency may reduce future risk of developing MS.

The study of reproductive age Finnish women is the largest longitudinal investigation to date to directly assess whether levels of vitamin D in healthy individuals predict their risk of developing MS.

The authors found with each 50nmol/L increase in serum vitamin D levels, the risk of developing MS later in life decreased by 39 per cent. Women who had deficient levels of vitamin D had a 43 per cent higher risk of developing MS than women who had adequate levels, and a 27 per cent higher risk than women with insufficient levels.

Writing in Neurology, the authors said the results directly support vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for MS and strengthen the rationale for broad public health interventions to address vitamin D deficiency.

Read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Vitamin D back in the news – could ‘The Sunshine Vitamin’ prevent colds and flu?

Vitamin D – new government guidelines


Could artificial sweeteners raise diabetes risk?

A small Australian study suggests that consuming high amounts of artificial sweeteners might affect how the body responds to sugar — and might raise a person’s risk of diabetes.

High sweetener intake might lead to “exaggerated” spikes in people’s blood sugar levels after a meal, he explained, which over time “could predispose them to developing type 2 diabetes.” He spoke in a news release from the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, Portugal, where the findings were to be presented on Wednesday.

The study was small — just 27 people — and lasted two weeks. However, the findings bring up interesting questions, said one U.S. diabetes specialist.

Dr. Roubert Courgi is an endocrinologist at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. Reading over the Australian research, he noted that it “proved glucose [blood sugar] response is hampered” in heavy users of artificial sweeteners.

In the study, 27 healthy people were randomly picked to consume capsules containing either artificial sweeteners — either sucralose or acesulfame-K — or a “dummy” placebo.

Read the full article via this link.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Diabetes and insulin resistance

Could Alzheimer’s disease be ‘Type 3 diabetes’?


If you have any questions regarding the topics that have been raised, or any other health matters please do contact me (Clare) by phone or email at any time.

clare@cytoplan.co.uk, 01684 310099

Clare Daley and the Cytoplan Editorial Team


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