BLOOD PRESSURE IS RAISED AND LOWERED BY CELL PHONES, SALT AND SAYING OM
Considered the “silent killer,” high blood pressure affects approximately one billion people worldwide, including one in three adults in the United States. From May 15 – 18, 2013, members of the medical community from across the globe gather at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) in San Francisco to discuss the epidemic. During the conference, more than 200 new studies about hypertension will be shared, with the goal of increasing the understanding of hypertension and one day curing it altogether.
Among the findings from the ASH meeting is research that suggests mobile phone calls may cause a rise in blood pressure; yoga may lower it; and despite the need to cut back on sodium to lower blood pressure, hypertensive individuals may have an increased desire for saltier foods.
William B. White, MD, ASH President and 2013 Scientific Program Committee Chair adds, “The ASH meeting brings together the country’s top scientists in clinical hypertension to give numerous state-of-the-art lectures on a wide variety of topics in hypertension and related clinical concerns.”
Mobile phone calls acutely increase blood pressure
As of December 2012, 87% of American adults had a mobile phone. According to a recent study from doctors G. Crippa; D. Zabzuni; A. Cassi; and E. Bravi of Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, talking on those mobile phones causes a significant rise in blood pressure. During a phone call, blood pressure readings jumped significantly from 121/77 to 129/82.
Systolic blood pressure rise was less drastic in patients who were used to participating in more than 30 phone calls per day. While the reason behind this is not known, Dr. Crippa speculates two possible reasons: “The subset of patients who were more accustomed to phone use were younger, which could show that younger people are less prone to be disturbed by telephone intrusions. Another possibility is that people who make more than 30 calls per day may feel more reassured if the mobile phone is activated since they are not running the risk of missing an opportunity.”
Saying Om: Yoga can lower blood pressure
Yoga calms the mind and works out the body, but now, a study on the effects of yoga on hypertension concluded that yoga can significantly lower blood pressure. The 24-week study, conducted by Debbie L. Cohen, MD; Anne Bowler, BA and Raymond R. Townsend, MD of the University of Pennsylvania, showed that people who practiced yoga 2 – 3 times per week saw their blood pressure decrease significantly: an average of three points for both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, from 133/80 to 130/77. Participants who only followed a controlled diet—and did not practice yoga—saw only a decrease of one point, from 134/83 to 132/82.
Higher salt preference in hypertensive people, but using other seasonings can curb desire
A new study shows that hypertensive individuals actually prefer more salt in their food than do normotensive individuals. The study of 44 adults aged 73.5 +/- 7.0 years was conducted by a team at Sao Paolo University in Brazil.
Initially, participants were given three pieces of bread with varying amounts of salt on each. In this tasting, 68% of hypertensive and 31% of normotensive patients (those with normal blood pressure levels) preferred the bread with the highest concentration of salt. Fifteen days later, the patients underwent an identical taste test—the only difference being that other seasonings had been added to the salted bread. In that case, only 14% of hypertensive and 0% of normotensive patients preferred the bread with the highest salt content. Not only did this show that hypertensive patients prefer a higher salt content, but that, across the board, use of other seasonings diminished the preference for salt.
Healthier medical practitioners strive for healthier patients
Healthy lifestyle behaviours are associated with a reduced risk of hypertension in adults—but a new study conducted by J. Fang, C. Ayala and F. Loustalot of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that a primary care physician’s (PCP) healthy lifestyle behaviours may be linked to his or her recommendations for hypertension prevention. The study looked at what percentage of physicians recommended one of six key healthy lifestyle recommendations for hypertension prevention: consume a healthy diet (89.4%); reduced salt intake (89.9%); attain or maintain a healthy weight (90.3%); limit alcohol intake (69.4%); be physically active (95.1%); and stop smoking (90.4%).
Fifty-six percent of practitioners recommended all six healthy habits. Of note, the probability of recommending all six lifestyle behaviours increased when PCPs engaged in regular physical activity or consumed the recommended amount of produce (five or more cups per day) for four or more days each week—showing that a PCP’s own behaviour was associated with clinical recommendations to prevent hypertension for their adult patients.
American Society for Hypertension, Inc.
FATTY ACIDS FOUND IN FISH LINKED TO LOWER RISK OF BREAST CANCER
A high intake of fatty acids found in fish is associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of breast cancer in later life, finds a study published on bmj.com.
The results show that each 0.1 g per day or 0.1% energy per day increment of intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) derived from fish was associated with a 5% reduction in risk. To achieve this risk reduction, intake of oily fish such as salmon, tuna or sardines should be 1-2 portions per person per week.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers, accounting for 23% of total cancer cases and 14% of cancer deaths in 2008. Studies suggest that a healthy diet and lifestyle is crucial for the prevention of breast cancer, and dietary fat is one of the most intensively studied dietary factors closely related with risk.
The n-3 PUFAs include ALA, EPA, DPA and DHA. They are involved in chemical messaging in the brain, helping to regulate blood vessel activity and areas of the immune system. The main dietary sources of EPA, DPA and DHA come from oily fish, while ALA is found mainly in nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables.
Although n-3 PUFAs are the most promising types of fat to reduce cancer risk, results from human studies are inconsistent.
So a team of researchers based in China set out to investigate the association between fish and n-3 PUFA intake and the risk of breast cancer. Levels were measured from both dietary sources and blood tests.
They reviewed and analysed the results of 26 studies from the United States, Europe and Asia involving over 800,000 participants and over 20,000 cases of breast cancer.
Marine n-3 PUFA was associated with a 14% reduction of breast cancer between the highest and lowest category of marine n-3 PUFA intake. The risk was lowest in Asian populations, probably because fish intake is much higher in Asia than in western countries, say the authors.
Further analysis indicated a dose response: each 0.1 g per day or 0.1% energy per day increment of intake was associated with a 5% reduction in risk. However, no significant protective association was found for ALA - the plant based n-3 PUFA.
The authors say their analysis, together with previous publications, “supports a protective role of marine n-3 PUFA on the incidence of breast cancer.”
They conclude: “Our present study provides solid and robust evidence that marine n-3 PUFA are inversely associated with risk of breast cancer. The protective effect of fish or individual n-3 PUFA warrants further investigation of prospective studies.”
CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D HELP HORMONES HELP BONES
Should women take calcium and vitamin D supplements after menopause for bone health? Recommendations conflict, and opinions are strong. But now, an analysis from the major Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial throws weight on the supplement side—at least for women taking hormones after menopause. The analysis was published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.
Among the nearly 30,000 postmenopausal women in the hormone trial, some 8,000 took supplemental calcium (1,000 mg/day) and vitamin D (400 mg/day), and some 8,000 took look-alike placebos. These women came from all the hormone groups in the study—those who took estrogen plus a progestogen (required for women with a uterus), those who took estrogen alone, and those who took the hormone look-alike placebos. The researchers looked at how the rates of hip fracture differed among women who took hormones and supplements, those who took hormones alone, and those who took neither.
The supplements and hormones had a synergistic effect. Women using both therapies had much greater protection against hip fractures than with either therapy alone. Taking supplements alone wasn't significantly better than taking no supplements and no hormones. The benefit of hormone therapy was strong in women who had a total calcium intake (supplements plus diet) greater than 1,200 mg/day. Similarly, the benefit was strong in women who had higher intakes of vitamin D, but the individual effect of each one could not be determined because the two supplements were given together.
The effects translated into 11 hip fractures per 10,000 women per year among the women who took both hormones and supplements compared with 18 per 10,000 women per year among those who took hormones only, 25 per 10,000 women per year among those who took supplements alone, and 22 among those who got neither therapy.
These results suggest, said the authors, that women taking postmenopausal hormone therapy should also take supplemental calcium and vitamin D. Although they couldn't specify how much, they noted that the benefits seem to increase with increasing total intake of calcium and vitamin D. The dose will depend on keeping side effects, such as constipation from too much calcium, to a minimum, they said.
That differs from the recommendation of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), made earlier this year. USPSTF stated there was no basis for recommending calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent fractures. But now, with a study this large, there may well be.
The study will be published in the February 2014 print edition of Menopause.
HUNGER AFFECTS DECISION MAKING AND PERCEPTION OF RISK
Different neural circuits process environmental signals depending on the state of satiation
Hungry people are often difficult to deal with. A good meal can affect more than our mood, it can also influence our willingness to take risks. This phenomenon is also apparent across a very diverse range of species in the animal kingdom. Experiments conducted on the fruit fly, Drosophila, by scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried have shown that hunger not only modifies behaviour, but also changes pathways in the brain.
This projection neuron forwards carbon dioxide information to the region in the fly's brain where the animals can gauge internal and external signals.
© MPI for Neurobiology / Purayil & Kadow
Animal behaviour is radically affected by the availability and amount of food. Studies prove that the willingness of many animals to take risks increases or declines depending on whether the animal is hungry or full. For example, a predator only hunts more dangerous prey when it is close to starvation. This behaviour has also been documented in humans in recent years: one study showed that hungry subjects took significantly more financial risks than their sated colleagues.
Also the fruit fly, Drosophila, changes its behaviour depending on its nutritional state. The animals usually perceive even low quantities of carbon dioxide to be a sign of danger and opt to take flight. However, rotting fruit and plants – the flies’ main sources of food – also release carbon dioxide. Neurobiologists in Martinsried have now discovered how the brain deals with this constant conflict in deciding between a hazardous substance and a potential food source taking advantage of the fly as a great genetic model organism for circuit neuroscience.
In various experiments, the scientists presented the flies with environments containing carbon dioxide or a mix of carbon dioxide and the smell of food. It emerged that hungry flies overcame their aversion to carbon dioxide significantly faster than fed flies – if there was a smell of food in the environment at the same time. Facing the prospect of food, hungry animals are therefore significantly more willing to take risks than sated flies. But how does the brain manage to decide between these options?
Avoiding carbon dioxide is an innate behaviour and should therefore be generated outside the mushroom body in the fly’s brain: previously, the nerve cells in the mushroom body were linked only with learning and behaviour patterns that are based on learned associations. However, when the scientists temporarily disabled these nerve cells, hungry flies no longer showed any reaction whatsoever to carbon dioxide. The behaviour of fed flies, on the other hand, remained the same: they avoided the carbon dioxide.
In further studies, the researchers identified a projection neuron which transports the carbon dioxide information to the mushroom body. This nerve cell is crucial in triggering a flight response in hungry, but not in fed animals. “In fed flies, nerve cells outside the mushroom body are enough for flies to flee from the carbon dioxide. In hungry animals, however, the nerve cells are in the mushroom body and the projection neuron, which carries the carbon dioxide information there, is essential for the flight response. If mushroom body or projection neuron activity is blocked, only hungry flies are no longer concerned about the carbon dioxide,” explains Ilona Grunwald-Kadow, who headed the study.
The results show that the innate flight response to carbon dioxide in fruit flies is controlled by two parallel neural circuits, depending on how satiated the animals are. “If the fly is hungry, it will no longer rely on the ‘direct line’ but will use brain centres to gauge internal and external signals and reach a balanced decision,” explains Grunwald-Kadow. “It is fascinating to see the extent to which metabolic processes and hunger affect the processing systems in the brain,” she adds.
CUSTODIANS OF THE FOREST
Indena has announced that CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) and ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organisation) have released the documentary “Custodians of the forest”, the first documentary about a very successful example of sustainable management and corporate social responsibility program in the Prunus Africana. Pygeum africanum Hooker (the more popular name of Prunus africana) has been demonstrated by numerous clinical results to be effective in reducing symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia in the early stages and prevent it spreading.
TAURA: GI TESTING OF TWO OF ITS BIGGEST SELLING URC® FRUIT INGREDIENTS
Taura has recently conducted independent GI testing of two of its biggest selling URC® fruit ingredients. These confirm conclusively that both ingredients register as low GI – a measure indicating that they release energy slowly into the bloodstream, which can help to keep hunger at bay and assist in controlling blood glucose levels. Peter Dehasque, CEO of Taura Natural Ingredients, said: “We’re witnessing a perfect storm of science demonstrating both that low GI diets are beneficial and that some fruit ingredients are low GI foods. In combination, these factors highlight that high quality fruit ingredients are at the vanguard of the GI revolution and poised to play a key role in how it shapes nutritional thinking over the coming months and years”.
GELITA ALL AROUND US
GELITA® Gelatine and Collagen Peptides are all around us in everyday products for health, fitness, fun and convenience. GELITA continually develops ingredient concepts based on collagen proteins providing for a unique property profile and competitive market advantages.
TASTEVA™ STEVIA SWEETENER
Tate & Lyle has announced that its innovative, natural, no-calorie sweetener, TASTEVA™ Stevia Sweetener has been named Best Dairy Ingredient in the Dairy Innovation Awards, providing further confirmation that TASTEVA™ Stevia Sweetener is well placed to meet the needs of customers in the dairy industry as well as a broad range of other applications. In its awards submission, Tate & Lyle demonstrated that in a strawberry yoghurt recipe it had used TASTEVA™ Stevia Sweetener to deliver sweetness from a natural source, without the bitter aftertaste often associated with other high purity, stevia-based sweeteners while also reducing total sugar levels by 40 percent.
SOLVAY: NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART FACILITY TO MANUFACTURE VANILLIN IN ZHENJIANG CITY
Solvay has announced its decision to build a new state-of-the-art facility to manufacture vanillin in Zhenjiang City, in China’s Jiangsu Province, boosting its production capacities by 40 percent and enabling the Group to better serve the fast-growing Asian market. With this new investment, Solvay Aroma Performance establishes a unique, sustainable and global industrial fully integrated vanillin platform, spread over three continents, and controls the entire production chain, from making the raw material catechol to flagship end products like Rhovanil® vanillin.
ALFA LAVAL’S STAND NO. 323 IN HALL A3
At the Drinktec exhibition in Munich, Germany, from September 16 to 20, Alfa Laval presents a wide range of innovative and sustainable solutions. Alfa Laval will share the results from recent years of intense development effort: Technologies created with focus on high yield of high quality food and beverages, maximum process efficiency and reliability with minimum use of water and energy.
CHOCOLATE FACTORY TOLUCA
Barry Callebaut AG has inaugurated its expanded state-of-the art chocolate factory located in Toluca, 65 km southwest from Mexico City. The extension of the factory in Toluca marks an important cornerstone in Barry Callebaut's strategy to expand into emerging markets that offer above-average growth opportunities. For Barry Callebaut, it makes Mexico the fourth biggest country in terms of liquid chocolate production capacity worldwide.
FIRST PROBIOTIC COFFEE
Ganeden Biotech and Tipton Mills' Probiotic Coffee was awarded the inaugural SupplySide Insights Award for Probiotic Coffee at the recent SupplySide MarketPlace in New York. "We love to see our partner products win awards; it demonstrates that the market is ready for innovative probiotic-boosted products" said Mike Bush, Ganeden's vice president. "None of this would be possible without our partner Ganeden and their extensive research efforts in developing an outstanding and ground-breaking ingredient to enhance our hot and cold beverages" said Tim Sheehy, Tipton Mills President.
FLAVOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER
Waters has welcomed the Flavour Research and Education Centre within the Food Science and Nutrition Department at the University of Minnesota into its Centres of Innovation Program. The Flavour Research and Education Centre under the direction of Prof. Devin Peterson and Prof. Gary Reineccius strives to develop a science-based understanding of food flavour and related chemistry, in particular, flavour generation, characterization of flavour compounds, and flavour delivery in foodstuffs. Their research includes investigating the mechanisms of flavour development of whole grain foods, including both taste and aroma-actives, with the goal of better understanding the influence of whole grain composition (phenolic compounds) on the pathways of flavour development to support the production and consumption of more flavourful and healthy “whole” foods. The Centre’s research is shared with its 19 member firms including Pepsico, Nestle and General Mills.
ROLE OF LUTEIN AND ZEAXANTHIN, AND OTHER MICRONUTRIENTS, IN EYE HEALTH AND VISUAL PERFORMANCE
During the Vision Congress, hosted by Kemin Industries and DSM Nutritional Products Europe Ltd., world-renowned experts presented the latest research and insights. The congress in Lisbon, Portugal, June 6, 2013 showcased an increasing evidence for the role of lutein and zeaxanthin, and other micronutrients, in eye health and visual performance. The Vision Congress reiterates that lutein benefits several parameters of eye health. Many studies show supplementation with FloraGLO Lutein increases macular pigment optical density (MPOD) levels, improves visual function and reduces the risk of age-related eye diseases. Thus, increasing the consumption of lutein may be a safe, easy and effective measure for maintaining healthy vision. FloraGLO Lutein is manufactured by Kemin and is intended for inclusion in food supplements or as an ingredient in foods and beverages. Kemin and DSM have joined forces and are working under an exclusive strategic alliance to globally commercialize FloraGLO Lutein products.
ACID WHEY’ IN GREEK YOGHURT PRODUCTION
Torben Jensen, Application Manager at Arla Foods Ingredients has commented: “The controversy currently raging over the generation of ‘acid whey’ in Greek yoghurt production – and the impact it can have on the environment – highlights that the inefficiency of traditional Greek yoghurt making techniques is unsustainable both from an ecological and a commercial point of view”. At Arla Foods Ingredients, they have long recognised the difficulties presented by the high levels of acid whey in traditional Greek yoghurt manufacturing. To address this very issue, they have developed a Nutrilac® protein solution that enables yoghurt manufacturers to produce Greek and Greek-style yoghurt on their existing plant, completely eliminating acid whey without compromising quality or taste. They refer that all this means that virtually 100 percent of the milk used in the manufacturing process ends up in the final product.
Frutarom Health, Switzerland, reports increased demand for Go-Less®, its natural ingredient targeting urinary incontinence in adults. Recently, a number of supplements for urinary incontinence containing Go-Less, were launched in Europe and North America and Frutarom Health expects strong sales growth of this ingredient. SEVURIN® is one new all-natural supplement that contains Frutarom’s Go-Less. It is marketed by Hilton Pharma, Italy, exclusively to pharmacies, para-pharmacies, and top herbalists in Italy. SEVURIN helps to combat female incontinence-in specific, light incontinence in women-and helps to promote normal function of the urinary system. SEVURIN contains a proprietary blend of Go-Less consisting of EFLA® 940, a natural ingredient derived from pumpkin seed, specifically Cucurbita pepo L. (var. styriaca) seeds, and SoyLife®40 percent, isoflavones from soy germ (Glycine max L.). This combination provides a natural support in the treatment of micturition disorders, with pre-clinical, in vitro research and clinical studies supporting its safety and efficacy in addressing the cause of overactive bladder and urinary incontinency as well as reducing its symptoms.