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AJCN Apr, 2012 -Details - The most exciting articles in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) this month:
1a. Get flavanols in phytochemicals to reduce heart disease risk. Flavanols, particularly epicatechin and catechin, and procyanidins [oligomers of epicatechin and/or catechin (1, 2)] are phytochemicals present in the human diet, especially in foods such as tea, wine, cocoa, apples, pomegranates, and berries (3–5). Data from epidemiologic (6–9) and dietary intervention studies (10–15) support the notion that diets rich in these compounds reduce risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases. 1b. Get flavanoids to reduce diabetes risk. A higher consumption of anthocyanins and anthocyanin-rich fruit was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
2. Plant sterol (PS) supplements lower cholesterol level. Within the past 10 years, a resurgence has occurred in the use of PS and stanols as functional food ingredients to reduce CVD risk, with studies showing that modest doses of 1 to 2 g PS/d can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by ∼8–15% in normal and moderately hypercholesterolemic individuals.
3. Fish oil reduces diabetes risk and fatty muscles. PUFAs reduced triacylglycerol-derived skeletal muscle FA uptake, which was accompanied by higher postprandial insulin sensitivity, a more transcriptional oxidative phenotype, and altered intramyocellular lipid partitioning and may therefore be protective against the development of insulin resistance.
4a. How fish oil reduces your cancer risk. Objective: Our objective was to investigate whether the prospective association between soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) and cancer risk is modulated by n−3 PUFA intake. Conclusion: These findings suggest that n−3 PUFA intake may counteract the procarcinogenic actions of sICAM-1. 4b. Details of mechanism. Inflammation plays a central role in all phases of atherosclerosis, from initiation to progression and to clinical manifestations. Leukocyte adhesion and subsequent trans-endothelial migration into the arterial intima are critical pathogenic components involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerotic lesions (2). CAMs are heavily involved in these processes. VCAM-1 and ICAM-1 mediate the firm adhesion of monocytes to endothelial cells.
5. Coffee is safe and beneficial to health. Habitual coffee consumption was associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes (more than 4 cups daily vs. less than one). Habitual drinkers who developed tolerance to the acute effects of caffeine such as raising blood pressure. Phenolic compounds in coffee (chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, p-coumaric acid), magnesium, trigonelline, and quinides have been associated with improved insulin sensitivity (4). Phenolic compounds also have antioxidant activity (5). In addition, diterpenes in coffee (cafestol and kahweol) have anticarcinogenic properties (6). Coffee improves adipocyte and liver function, which may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
6. Capsaicin helps burn more calories. Capsinoids—nonpungent capsaicin analogs—are shown to activate brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and whole-body energy expenditure (EE) in humans. [ed. note: It also kills cancer cells. Add a sprinkle of cayenne to anything.]
7. Increased protein and decreased sugar intake lowers blood pressure. Conclusion: Increased protein intake, at the expense of maltodextrin, lowers BP in overweight adults with upper-range prehypertension and grade 1 hypertension. [A randomized, double-blind, parallel study compared consumption of 3 × 20 g protein/d (20% pea, 20% soy, 30% egg, and 30% milk-protein isolate) with 3 × 20 g maltodextrin/d.]
8. Diet beverages increase risk of heart disease. Better to drink water or green tea than diet or sugared sodas. Although diet beverages are typically consumed to promote weight control, positive associations with increased cardiometabolic risk are reported. In a 20 year study, with the use of cluster analysis, we identified 2 baseline (year 0) dietary patterns [Prudent (higher intakes of fruit, whole grains, milk, and nuts and seeds; n = 1778) and Western (higher intakes of fast food, meat and poultry, pizza, and snacks; n = 2383)] and examined the interaction with diet beverage consumption (Consumers compared with Nonconsumers). Results: Among Consumers, 66% were classified as having a Prudent diet. In fully adjusted models, being a Nonconsumer with a Prudent diet was independently associated with a lower risk of the metabolic syndrome through year 20. Heart disease risk increased as much as 36%.
9. Frequent ice cream (and probably other snack food) consumption leads to tolerance like drug addiction. Our results provide novel evidence that frequent consumption of ice cream, independent of body fat, is related to a reduction in reward-region responsivity in humans, paralleling the tolerance observed in drug addiction. Data also imply that intake of a particular energy-dense food results in attenuated reward-region responsivity specifically to that food, which suggests that sensory aspects of eating and reward learning may drive the specificity.
10. Lack of sleep contributes to becoming obese. Clinical trial results: Reduced sleep may lead to greater propensity to overeat.
11. Burnout at your job increases risk of obesity. Women experiencing burnout at baseline had significantly higher scores in emotional eating and uncontrolled eating than did those without burnout. We recommend that burnout should be treated first and that burnout and eating behavior should be evaluated in obesity treatment.
12. Tax policy alters food choices. The Farm Bill currently subsidizes and thus encourages energy dense snacks and sodas while discouraging fruit and vegetable consumption.
13. Some food at 6 months, but breastfeed until 18 to 24 months. The WHO recommends that complementary foods be introduced to all infants at age 6 mo and that breastfeeding be continued until age 18–24 mo. Beginning at age 6 mo, complementary foods should be pureed, mashed, or semisolid, but by age 12 mo the child should be able to eat solid foods that are consumed by the rest of the family. Meat, poultry, fish, or eggs should be included as often as possible (1).
- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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