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May 1, 2015

Changing the Carbs and Proteins You Eat Could Have Effect on Weight Loss

Filed under: Diet & Weight loss — Emma @ 2:15 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

A recent study suggests that changing the types of protein and carbohydrate-rich foods that people eat may have a significant effect on weight loss over the long term.

Participants in the study included 120,784 men and women who took part in three different long-term studies of U.S. health professionals. The researchers looked at the association between 4 year changes in consumption of protein foods, glycemic load (GL) and weight changed.  They found that diets with a high GL — which usually contain a lot of starches, white bread, and potatoes — were associated with more weight gain over time than diets with a low GL.

The researchers then looked into the relationship between changes in GL and the effect on the relationship between major protein-rich foods and long-term weight gain. They found that changes in consumption of red meat and processed meat were most strongly associated with weight gain. Increased consumption of yogurt, seafood, skinless chicken, and nuts was associated with weight loss.

The researchers also noted that increased consumption of dairy products — including full-fat cheese, whole milk, and low-fat milk — did not seem to have an effect on either weight gain or loss. Therefore, the fat content of dairy products did not seem to have a large impact on weight gain.  Interestingly, they did find that low-fat dairy consumption was associated with consumption of more carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain. They attribute this to compensating for the lower calories by increasing carb intake.

They also found that increases in consumption of protein-rich foods that are associated with weight gain (such as red meat) were usually coupled with an increased dietary GL.  This was usually the result of concurrent increased consumption of low quality carbohydrates such as white bread. However, when these protein-rich foods were consumed together with foods that had a lower GL, such as vegetables, participants gained less weight.

Finally, the researchers found that consuming fish, nuts, and other foods associated with weight loss along with a lower GL diet enhanced weight loss.  Consuming them along with a higher GL diet decreased weight loss.

Researchers from the Tufts University and the Harvard School of Public Health conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 8, 2015, in the American Society for Nutrition.



April 30, 2015

Vitamin D3 Shown to be Better Than Vitamin D2 at Maintaining Vitamin D Levels

Filed under: Vitamin D — Sarah @ 9:33 am
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are the two types of biologically inactive precursors of vitamin D that are transformed into the biologically active form of the vitamin in the liver and kidneys. A recent study suggests that both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are equal when it comes to increasing vitamin D levels in the blood but that D3 is better at sustaining those levels.

Participants in the study included 33 healthy people with an average age of 33. The participants were put into three different groups: a placebo, a starting dose of 100,000 IU of vitamin D2, or a starting dose of 100,000 IU vitamin D3. One week after taking the starting dose, they were given 4,800 IU per day of the same vitamin for another two weeks. That was followed by an 11-week monitoring period.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that the starting doses of D2 and D3 boosted blood levels of the vitamin to comparable levels. However, by the end of the study, the D2 group had reached blood levels similar to the placebo. The D3 group however had higher levels than both the vitamin D2 and placebo groups.

Researchers from the Hospital de Clinicas in Buenos Aires and the Universidad de Buenos Aires conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 18, 2015 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have found that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of osteoporosis, type-1 diabetes and muscle and bone pain. Adequate levels of vitamin D have been associated with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age.



April 29, 2015

Vitamin K1 May Improve Blood Sugar in Pre-Diabetic Women

Filed under: Vitamin K — Emma @ 3:52 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Recent studies have reported that a relationship exists between osteocalcin levels and insulin resistance. A recent study suggests that taking vitamin K1 supplements may increase osteocalcin levels and improve glycemic status and insulin sensitivity in premenopausal and pre-diabetic women.

Osteocalcin is a vitamin K-dependent protein that remains inactive without adequate vitamin K levels. 

Participants in the study included 82 pre-diabetic and premenopausal women who were given either 1,000 mcg of vitamin K1 or a placebo daily for four weeks.

At the end of the supplement period, the researchers noted increased levels of osteocalcin. They also noted lower levels of uncarboxylated osteocalcin, the inactive form of osteocalcin. Uncarboxylated osteocalcin is a marker for the risk of hip fracture.

When the researchers administered the two-hour post-oral glucose tolerance test, they noted improvements in glucose and insulin levels in the vitamin K group. They also noted increases in insulin sensitivity in the vitamin K group.

They did not, however, observe any changes in insulin resistance.

Researchers from the Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 18, 2015, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have linked vitamin K to bone and cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin K comes in two main forms: K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinones). Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and makes up about 90% of the vitamin K consumption in a western diet.

Vitamin K2 is harder to come by and therefore makes up only 10% of consumption. It is most common in fermented foods like cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. Both vitamin K1 and K2 are also available in supplement form.



April 28, 2015

Fibersol-2 Soluble Fiber May Increase Satiety, Lower Hunger

Filed under: Fiber — Sarah @ 5:15 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion, which slows digestion. A recent study suggests that drinking soluble fiber in tea while eating a meal may increase satiety hormones and lower hunger in healthy men and women.

Participants in the study included nine men and 10 women who were instructed to eat a standardized meal and in addition were given tea with 0, 5, or 10 grams of Fibersol-2, a soluble dietary fiber. The researchers took blood samples at the start of the experiment and then every 30 minutes for the next four hours.

The researchers noted that the 10 g supplement was associated with delays in hunger and increases in satiety at 1.5 to 2 hours after ingestion. There were no similar effects noted in the lower dose or control interventions.

The researchers also noted increases in the PYY and GLP-1 hormones, both of which regulate appetite, in the 10 g group. There were no similar increases in the 0 g or 5 g groups.

Researchers from Iowa State conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 19, 2015, in Nutrition Research.

Previous studies have linked Fibersol-2 consumption with better cholesterol, blood sugar control and improved elimination.

Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.



April 27, 2015

Kiwifruit May Improve Bowel Health of Healthy People

Filed under: Food and Nutrition — Sarah @ 7:51 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

Previous studies have linked consumption of green kiwifruit with better digestion. A recent study suggests that taking daily supplements containing both green and gold kiwifruit-derived ingredients may increase bowel movements in healthy people.

The supplements used in this study were created by removing the skin and seeds from both New Zealand green and New Zealand gold kiwifruit. The remaining flesh is then cold processed into powder form to be used in supplements.

Participants in the study included 19 healthy and nine functionally constipated people. Over the course of 28 days they were given either 600 mg or 2,400 mg of green kiwifruit supplement, 2,400 mg of gold kiwifruit supplement, or a placebo. Each intervention was followed by a 14-day washout period, after which the participants underwent a different intervention.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted significantly increased bowel movements in the healthy participants who were taking the kiwi supplement, when compared with the washout periods. However, stool form was not affected by the supplements.

No changes were noted in the functionally constipated participants.

Researchers from The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Limited and the University of Otago conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 10, 2015 in Nutrition Research.

Kiwifruit are packed with vitamin C and vitamin K, among other essential nutrients. Consuming these delicious green fruit has been linked with managing blood pressure, boosting immunity, protecting your DNA from damage, and cleaning toxins out of your system.

Kiwi can be eaten on it’s own or added to anything from salads to cakes to ice cream.



April 24, 2015

Higher Vitamin D Levels May Be Associated With Improved Mobility for Obese People

Filed under: Vitamin D — Emma @ 3:48 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis, and causes pain, swelling and reduced motion in the joints. A recent study suggests that adequate vitamin D levels may be associated with better movement in obese individuals with osteoarthritis when compared with obese people who are vitamin D deficient.

Participants in the study included 256 people with an average age of 56.8. The researchers measured vitamin D levels via blood samples.  They measured knee pain using lower extremity functional performance tests.

The researchers found that having adequate vitamin D levels was associated with improved walking, balancing, and rising from sitting to standing when compared to having low vitamin D levels. They also noted lower pain scores in the people with higher vitamin D levels when compared to those with low vitamin D levels.

Researchers from the University of Florida conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 7, 2015, in The Journal of Clinical Pain.

Previous studies have found that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of osteoporosis, type-1 diabetes and muscle and bone pain. Adequate levels of vitamin D have been associated with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age.



April 23, 2015

High Vitamin D Levels in Midlife May be Associated With Better Cognitive Function in Later Life

Filed under: Vitamin D — Sarah @ 5:23 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

Loss of cognitive function is common as we age, but research is identifying factors that may influence the degree of cognitive function an individual will experience. According to a recent study, consuming more vitamin D at midlife may help improve cognitive function in later years in people with a lower educational level.

Participants in the study included 1009 people who had their vitamin D plasma levels measured at midlife.  Thirteen years later, they had their cognitive function measured by trained neuropsychologists. The neuropsychologists used phonemic and semantic fluency tasks to measure lexical-semantic memory, forward digit span to measure short-term memory, backward digit span for working memory, and number-letter switching task for mental flexibility.

The researchers found that vitamin D levels were most strongly associated with working memory in people with low education. They found no association between vitamin D and any cognitive function in people who were better educated.

The researchers acknowledged that the lack of measurement of cognitive function at baseline meant they could not track cognitive decline.  This made it difficult to draw a clear correlation between vitamin D levels and cognitive decline, as it is possible that the people with low vitamin D levels had lower cognitive function at baseline.

Additionally, the researchers suggested that the results may be due to the phenomenon of cognitive reserve, which refers to the mind’s resistance to damage to the brain. The brains of individuals with high cognitive reserve appear to be able to continue functioning well despite neuropathological damage. Some studies have proposed that higher education increases cognitive reserve.

Researchers from Université Paris 13 and the Sorbonne in Paris conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 13, 2015 in The British Journal of Nutrition.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.



April 22, 2015

Type II Collagen from Chickens May Help Alleviate Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Filed under: Lifestyle — Emma @ 4:08 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Osteoarthritis is characterized by joint pain that results from a progressive loss of cartilage. A recent study suggests that taking a supplement of Type II native collagen from chickens may help relieve some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Type II native collagen is the primary protein present in joint cartilage. In osteoarthritis, the protein is broken down, leading to degradation of the joints. Oral administration of type II collagen is thought to help by regulating the inflammatory response.

Participants in the study included 39 people with diagnoses of osteoarthritis of the knee. Over the course of three months they were given either 10 mg/day of B-2cool collagen and 1500 mg/day of paracetamol or 1500 mg/day of paracetamol as a control. B-2Cool® is native type II collagen extracted from chicken sternums.

The researchers used the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) to measure mobility and the Western Ontario McMaster (WOMAC) to measure pain. They found that the collagen plus paracetamol group had improvements in both joint pain and mobility when compared with the control group.

Researchers from Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey conducted the study. It was presented at the WCO conference, which took place from March 26 to March 29, 2015, in Milan, Italy.

Approximately 25% of bone structure is collagen. It contributes to bone strength by lending a certain amount of flexibility to the rigid structure, allowing bone to give a little under pressure. Previous studies suggest that Type II native collagen from chickens may provide pain relief when exercising.



April 21, 2015

Drink Containing Omega-3s and Botanicals May Help Slow Advancement of Cognitive Decline

Filed under: Omega-3 — Sarah @ 7:08 pm
Sarah
Sarah McGowan-Freije, NatureCity author & contributor

Mild cognitive impairment is the intermediate stage between the normal cognitive decline seen with aging and the more serious decline of dementia. A recent pilot study suggests that a drink containing a mix of omega-3s and mixed botanicals may have significant immune and biochemical effects on people with mild cognitive impairment.

Participants in the study included 12 people with mild cognitive impairment, two people with pre-mild cognitive impairment, and seven people with Alzheimer’s disease. They were given the 2000 mg drink containing high levels of DHA and EPA, resveratrol, vitamin D3 and other vitamins and antioxidants for between four and 17 months.

The researchers found that the people with mild cognitive impairment and pre-mild cognitive impairment had an increase in beta amyloid clearance from 530 to 1306 mean florescence intensity units. This was measured by looking at the destruction of beta amyloid by white blood cells called monocytes. Beta amyloid plaque buildup in the brain is associated with the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers also found the anti-inflammatory resolvin RvD1 increased in the macrophages in 80% of the patients with mild cognitive impairment and pre- mild cognitive impairment. Macrophages are white blood cells that engulf and digest cellular debris, foreign substances, microbes, and cancer cells. Resolvin RvD1 has been shown to help clear out beta amyloid in labs.

The researchers also believe that supplementation may have helped stabilize the cognitive status of the participants with mild cognitive impairment and pre- mild cognitive impairment. They did not show any significant changes in their minimental state examinations, as would be expected over a long period of time from people suffering from mild cognitive impairment.

Researchers from UCLA conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 24, 2015, in The FASEB Journal.

Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits, including alleviating arthritis pain, better moods, improved joint mobility, helping with age related macular degeneration, and aiding your immune system.

Because omega-3 fatty-acids are not found naturally in the human body, it is especially important to make sure that they are a part of your daily diet. Oily, dark fish such as tuna and salmon are high in DHA and EPA omega-3s.



April 20, 2015

Compound Found in Olive Oil May Destroy Cancer Cells, Leave Healthy Cells Alone

Filed under: Food and Nutrition — Emma @ 8:18 pm
Emma
Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor

Previous studies have linked olive oil consumption to a lower risk of cancer. A recent study suggests that a phenolic compound called oleocanthal, which is found in olive oil, may be able to selectively kill cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.

For this study, the researchers tested the effect of oleocanthal on healthy and cancerous cells. They found that the cancerous cells were destroyed within 30 minutes of being exposed to the oleocanthal, while the healthy cells remained intact.

Lysosomes are organelles in the cells that digest food or break down the cell when it dies.  The lysosomes of the cancers cells were destroyed in a process called lysosomal membrane permeabilization, which occurs when the lysosomal content leaks out and results in lysosomal cell death.

The researchers believe that the cancer cells are more metabolically active, eat more, and grow faster than healthy cells, which leads to larger and more fragile lysosomes. When the oleocanthal ruptures the lysosome, the acid and recycling enzymes attack the cells and cause them to go into programmed cell death.

Researchers from Rutgers University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 23, 2015, in Molecular & Cellular Oncology.

Olive oil has been used in folk remedies for years and recent research suggests that it may help reduce the risk of colon cancer and lower cholesterol. If you want to add more olive oil to your diet, it can be as simple as eating a spoonful daily. If eating olive oil by the spoonful doesn’t appeal to you, consider substituting olive oil for butter in your daily diet by using it for cooking, putting it on bread, or using it as a salad dressing.



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