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AJCN Sept, 2016 from Roc Nutrition Investigator

Exercise can minimize the loss of lean body mass during weight loss. But the effects of exercise were not “additive” to the benefits of diet-induced weight loss. But both are important to health in different ways.  At present, >37% of the US population is classified as obese, with the attendant increases in health care costs (2). A 5-unit increase in BMI raises the mortality from diabetes by 116%, increases mortality from renal disease by 60%, and increases mortality from vascular disease by only 30% (3). In the Framingham study, weight loss of 6.8% over 4 y was associated with a 21–29% decrease in the risk of hypertension (10). Blood lipids and sleep disturbances also improved with weight loss (7). Dieting alone promotes white over brown fat.

Polyphenols protect against heart disease and depression.  Polyphenols protective against cardiovascular disease risk in men in a large US cohort, confirming previous results observed in US women (9), and 2) Chang et al. (10) describe, for the first time to my knowledge, inverse associations between flavonol, flavone, and flavanone intakes and depression risk.  Isoflavone intake in Asian countries (13) is generally 10-fold higher than in European countries (7). Polyphenols are bioactive compounds that are ubiquitous in plant-based foods and beverages, such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole-grain cereals, cocoa, tea, coffee, and wine (1). Dietary polyphenols comprise a large family of >500 different compounds with highly diverse chemical structures and are divided into 4 main classes: flavonoids, phenolic acids, stilbenes, and lignans. There is an enormous amount of scientific literature that supports the protective effects of polyphenols against disease.

Having a mild thirst correlates lower brain function. Drinking water was shown, for the first time to our knowledge, to benefit cognitive functioning when there was a loss of <1% body mass at levels that may occur during everyday living.

In 2 randomized controlled trials, it was reported that dark chocolate acutely decreased appetite in human subjects

Prepregnancy BMI as a single mediator contributes substantially to risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP).

To reduce the burden of cancer in the population, preventive measures should stress the potential of low-risk health behavior patterns rather than of specific risk factors only.  These include body weight, exercise (60 min moderate/day), limit TV, reduce energy dense foods, eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, less red meat, 1-2 drinks EtOH, and reduce salted foods.

Greater protein intakes and a more even distribution across meals are modifiable factors associated with higher muscle mass in older adults.

Increased nut consumption has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and a healthy profile of inflammatory biomarkers.

Diets higher in plant and animal protein, independent of other dietary factors, are associated with cardiometabolic benefits, particularly improved central adiposity, with no apparent impairment of kidney function. Higher-protein diets are associated with decreased adiposity and greater HDL cholesterol than lower protein diets.

Dietary soluble corn fiber significantly improves calcium absorption in adolescents and the bone strength and architecture in rodent models. Daily dietary soluble corn fiber consumption significantly increased bone calcium retention in postmenopausal women, which improved the bone calcium balance by an estimated 50 mg/d. 

Paleo diet still lacks evidence.

LINK to this month’s Table of Contents for AJCN where you can read all abstracts
- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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The instability of emotions is a quality we should wish to keep.  It is the essence of the human character… E. O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence

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