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SUBJECT: AJCN Dec 2012 and readings from Science

1.Diet or sweetened soft drinks are hazardous to your health - The consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks has been associated with excess weight and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the evidence, and these conditions are by themselves related to an increased risk of mortality, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and other chronic diseases.Evidence for an association between soft drink intake and risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer is, however, more limited. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks are the primary source of added sugars in the American diet and contribute 9.2% of total energy intake in the United States. Some studies have found increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or the metabolic syndrome with higher intake of diet soft drinks. A recent large study that assessed aspartame intake throughout the life span in rats suggested an increased risk of lymphomas, leukemias, and transitional cell carcinomas of the pelvis, ureter, and bladder in a dose-dependent manner within ranges that are considered to be safe for human consumption . With regard to the mechanism that may explain the findings for diet soft drinks, it is known that aspartame breaks down to methanol, aspartic acid, and phenylalanine if stored near or above room temperature. The authors suggested that higher enzymatic activity of alcohol dehydrogenase type 1 (ADH) in men, which induces higher conversion rates from methanol to carcinogenic formaldehyde.

2. Transfats increase the risk of heart disease.

3. Getting good nutrition improves prognosis for colon cancer patients. Half of those ignoring diet advice died within 6 years, while 90% following guidance were alive after 8 years.

4. Diet high in fish oil increases risk of prostate cancer by 36%. Though it is only one study, I want to report even fish oil is not perfect for health. But a mass of evidence indicates 2g daily is important for mature people, and 1g daily for younger people.

READINGS FROM SCIENCE MAGAZINE

Encourage creativity in children, rather than memorizing “the right answers” - Scientific Thinking in Young Children: Theoretical Advances, Empirical Research, and Policy Implications
 New theoretical ideas and empirical research show that very young children’s learning and thinking are strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science. Preschoolers test hypotheses against data and make causal inferences; they learn from statistics and informal experimentation, and from watching and listening to others… These discoveries have implications for early childhood education and policy. In particular, they suggest both that early childhood experience is extremely important and that the trend toward more structured and academic early childhood programs is misguided. (Science 338:1623 28 Sept 12)

Reduce antibiotic, synthetic chemical, and transfat intakes - Bacteria Deliver a Genotoxic Hit
The adult human intestine contains up to 100 trillion bacteria that are beneficial to our metabolism and health (1). This microbiota is separated from the intestinal wall anatomically and functionally, thus preventing bacterial invasion and inflammatory responses.  Inflammation is thought to induce or promote intestinal cancer through the effects of immune cells on epithelial cells, leading to oxidative stress, DNA damage, and cell turnover. However, the notion that chronic inflammation can lead to the accumulation of cancer-promoting bacteria begins to shift greater attention toward the microbiota.  (Science 338:52 5 Oct 12)

Treat children’s moods - The Burden of Mood Disorders
Despite the availability of reasonably effective pharmacological and psychological interventions, the prevalence of mood disorders has remained steady at approximately 10% of the population.  Early interventions based on personalized approaches have the most promise. Two-thirds of mood disorders start in late adolescence and early adulthood, predominantly as secondary conditions to other types of preexisting and untreated mental disorders, such as anxiety, attention deficit disorder, and addiction. These preceding disorders are powerful risk factors for the first onset of a mood disorder, and they can predict a malignant and chronic course as well as a poorer response to treatment. Early intervention targeted to such highly vulnerable patients can decrease not only the incidence of mood disorders but also the degree of disability and depression burden.

Reduce stress - Life in a Contaminated World
Rachel Carson was right: Chemical contaminants play an important role in our health and the health of the environment. We must continue her legacy and focus on how exposure to environmental contaminants, stress, and diet interacts with the human germline genome and epigenome to establish predispositions for disease that are influenced by secondary exposures later in life.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
*To be added or removed from the nutrition research Email List . *To review the disclaimer. *To ask Roc a question.
Although the gift of gab is indeed important, being a good listener provides even more of an advantage to being influential, new research shows.  pg. 20 Scientific Am. Mind Nov/Dec 2012. Happy holidays!

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