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 to be in the news, five items comprising:

  • Kids devouring too much ‘breakfast sugar’ warning
  • Olive oil could slash your chances of bone fractures in half, study says
  • Autism may begin early in brain development
  • The appendix may have an important function, new research suggests
  • Air pollution may lead to dementia in older women

Kids devouring too much ‘breakfast sugar’ warning

“Children are packing in so much sugar at breakfast that half their daily allowance has already been eaten before school, Public Health England says.

It warns that sugary cereals, juices and spreads are all damaging to health.

Rotting teeth, ballooning waistlines and long-term health problems like type 2 diabetes are caused by unhealthy diets.

Officials are encouraging parents to use an app that reveals the sugar content of food and drink.

Around a quarter of five-year-olds have tooth decay and nearly a fifth of children are already obese by the time they leave primary school.

Sugar is the prime culprit with the National Diet and Nutrition Survey showing four- to 10-year-olds consuming twice as much sugar as they should be.

A survey of 200 parents with children aged four to 10 revealed the problem starts at breakfast.

It found children were eating more than 11g of sugar or nearly three sugar cubes, on average, at breakfast alone.

That adds up to more than 1,000 cubes of sugar at breakfast over the course of a year.”

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs

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Olive oil could slash your chances of bone fractures in half, study says

“Eating more extra virgin olive oil could cut your risk of osteoporosis related fractures, says a new study.

The phenolic compounds found in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) have a potential benefit on bone health, lowering the risk of fractures by 51%, if consumed regularly, say researchers from Madrid.

After looking at data of 870 people, a positive role of EVOO consumption on bone-related markers was found, despite there being no significant positive effects on bone fractures in subjects allocated to an EVOO diet.

We found that greater consumption of EVOO is associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis-related fractures in an older Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. Our findings highlight the consumption of EVOO, one of the key foods of the Mediterranean Diet, in the prevention of osteoporosis-elated fractures,” said Dr. J.F Garcia-Gavilan and his team, writing in ‘Clinical Trials’.

However common olive oil – where 80% of the make-up is refined oil – consumption is not associated.”

Read the full article here.

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Autism may begin early in brain development

“Autism is not a single condition, but a spectrum of disorders that affect the brain’s ability to perceive and process information. Recent research suggests that too many connections in the brain could be at least partially responsible for the symptoms of autism, from communication difficulties to unusual talents.

New research from the University of Maryland suggests that this overload of connections begins early in mammalian development, when key neurons in the brain region known as the cerebral cortex begin to form their first circuits. By pinpointing where and when autism-related neural defects first emerge in mice, the study results could lead to a stronger understanding of autism in humans – including possible early intervention strategies.

The researchers outline their findings in a research paper published January 31, 2017 in the journal Cell Reports:

“Our work suggests that the neural pathology of autism manifests in the earliest cortical circuits, formed by a cell type called subplate neurons,” said UMD Biology Professor and senior study author Patrick Kanold. “Nobody has looked at developing circuits this early, in this level of detail, in the context of autism before. This is truly a new discovery and potentially represents a new paradigm for autism research.”

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs

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The appendix may have an important function, new research suggests

“The human appendix, a narrow pouch that projects off the caecum in the digestive system, has a notorious reputation for its tendency to become inflamed (appendicitis), often resulting in surgical removal.

Although it is widely viewed as a vestigial organ with little known function, recent research suggests that the appendix may serve an important purpose. In particular, it may serve as a reservoir for beneficial gut bacteria.

Several other mammal species also have an appendix, and studying how it evolved and functions in these species may shed light on this mysterious organ in humans.

Heather F. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, is currently studying the evolution of the appendix across mammals. Dr. Smith’s international research team gathered data on the presence or absence of the appendix and other gastrointestinal and environmental traits for 533 mammal species.

They mapped the data onto aphylogeny (genetic tree) to track how the appendix has evolved through mammalian evolution, and to try to determine why some species have an appendix while others don’t.

They discovered that the appendix has evolved independently in several mammal lineages, over 30 separate times, and almost never disappears from a lineage once it has appeared. This suggests that the appendix likely serves an adaptive purpose. Looking at ecological factors, such as diet, climate, how social a species is, and where it lives, they were able to reject several previously proposed hypotheses that have attempted to link the appendix to dietary or environmental factors.

Instead, they found that species with an appendix have higher average concentrations of lymphoid (immune) tissue in the caecum. This finding suggests that the appendix may play an important role as a secondary immune organ. Lymphatic tissue can also stimulate growth of some types of beneficial gut bacteria, providing further evidence that the appendix may serve as a “safe house” for helpful gut bacteria.”

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs

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Air pollution may lead to dementia in older women

“Tiny air pollution particles – the type that mainly comes from power plants and automobiles – may greatly increase the chance of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, according to USC-led research.

If their findings hold up in the general population, air pollution could be responsible for about 21 percent of dementia cases, according to the study.

“Microscopic particles generated by fossil fuels get into our body directly through the nose into the brain,” said University Professor Caleb Finch at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology and co-senior author of the study. “Cells in the brain treat these particles as invaders and react with inflammatory responses, which over the course of time, appear to exacerbate and promote Alzheimer’s disease. Although the link between air pollution and Alzheimer’s disease is a new scientific frontier, we now have evidence that air pollution, like tobacco, is dangerous to the aging brain.”

The adverse effects were stronger in women who had the APOE4 gene, a genetic variation that increases the risk for Alzheimer’s.

“Our study – the first of its kind conducted in the U.S. – provides the inaugural scientific evidence of a critical Alzheimer’s risk gene possibly interacting with air particles to accelerate brain aging,” said Jiu-Chiuan Chen, co-senior author of the study and an associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “The experimental data showed that exposure of mice to air particles collected on the edge of USC damaged neurons in the hippocampus, the memory center that is vulnerable to both brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Read the full article here.

Related Cytoplan blogs

Can we blame the increase in Alzheimer’s on our genes?

The Bredesen Protocol™ – Is nutrition the key to Alzheimer’s?

Elevated Homocysteine – A Risk Factor for Alzheimer’s Disease?

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., 01684 310099

The Cytoplan editorial team: Clare Daley and Joseph Forsyth.



Last updated on 16th March 2017 by cytoffice


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