Vitamin D receptor agonist lowers PSA in prostate cancer patients

Vitamin D receptor agonist lowers PSA in prostate cancer patients

At the 22nd European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, National Cancer Institute and American Association for Cancer Research (EORTC-NCI-AACR) Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics held in Berlin, Dr Jacques Medoni reported that a new drug that targets the vitamin D receptor on cancer cells reduces prostate specific antigen in men with hormone-resistant prostate cancer.  Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a marker of prostate tumor activity, and is measured in the blood to monitor the cancer’s progression. 

The new drug, inecalcitol, is a synthetic derivative of the active metabolite of vitamin D3 known as calcitriol.  Calcitriol, however, has one-tenth the potency of inecalcitol and 100 times the toxicity.  The effects of inecalcitol combined with the standard therapy of docetaxel and prednisone were evaluated in 54 prostate cancer patients.  Dr Medioni and his colleagues found that 83 percent of those treated experienced a 30 percent or greater decline in PSA within three months.  “The PSA responses with this combination are encouraging,” stated Dr Medioni, who heads the Clinical Oncology Centre for Early Trials at the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris. “It compares favorably with historical data showing that normally 65 percent of patients respond when treated with docetaxel alone. Furthermore, PSA levels declined by 50 percent in 67 percent of patients treated with inecalcitol, and biochemical relapse did not occur for at least 169 days.”

“This study was of a small group of patients and so it is difficult to extrapolate to the wider population of prostate cancer patients; however, the majority of men had very advanced disease and, therefore, it is very encouraging to see PSA levels dropping in such a high proportion of patients and a time to biochemical relapse of nearly half a year,” he added. “The trial has confirmed that inecalcitol is the first Vitamin D receptor agonist that can be given daily at a high antiproliferative dose without causing hypercalcemia.”

November 19, 2010 The ORiginal link can be found HERE

Halt Age-Related Muscle Loss

Halt Age-Related Muscle Loss
Novel Plant Protein Blend Helps Maintain Functional Strength

By Robert Haas, MS

Without protein supplementation, more than half of all adults could eventually face the progressive, age-related loss of vital muscle tissue known as sarcopenia.

Vegetarians and those following a cholesterol-restricted diet may be at a higher risk of protein deficiency that could lead to this degenerative condition that results in a 5-10% loss of muscle mass per decade after age 40. Sarcopenia increases the risk of falls, injuries, and loss of functional capacity.1

At the beginning of the 21st century, sarcopenia was responsible for 1.5% of total health care expenditures in the United States, with an annual cost of $18.5 billion.2 Mainstream doctors rarely discuss this health threat with their patients because most lack the training to successfully prevent or treat the condition.

In this article you will learn about a plant-based protein supplement enriched with branched-chain amino acids and glutamine that can help avert age-related muscle loss and promote recovery from exercise. This supplement contains a proprietary blend of pea, rice, and artichoke proteins and mixes with water to make an instant low-fat, cholesterol-free drink with a biological value and digestibility score equal to whey and egg protein.

Unlike most protein drink mixes on the market, this cutting-edge formula contains no common allergens like dairy or egg, and provides cholesterol-lowering beta-glucan fiber and the prebiotics agave inulin and FOS to support digestive health and immune function.

Why Aging Individuals Need More Protein

Research has firmly established the anabolic (tissue-building) effect of protein supplementation on muscle mass in aging humans, with and without exercise.3-5 Contrary to popular belief, clinical studies reveal that older adults can benefit from higher amounts of high-quality protein each day even more than active younger people.6-9

Although protein synthesis and skeletal muscle mass are regulated by a host of factors, the fundamental prerequisite for muscle protein synthesis is dietary-derived amino acids. Surprisingly, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for protein established by the Institutes of Medicine is the same for all adults—0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. This translates into 58 grams for an aging adult weighing 160 pounds.

Yet considerable evidence reveals that the protein requirement for healthy older adults is 1.0-1.3 g/kg body weight,10-12 which translates into 73-94 grams for an aging adult weighing 160 pounds. This contradiction indicates the federal government’s protein intake recommendation is up to 38% less than what published scientific studies indicate is needed.

Clinical research suggests that eating a diet rich in cholesterol-free, high-quality vegetable protein can lead to favorable changes in cardiovascular risk profiles in adults of all ages. For example, a recent study found that overweight, hyperlipidemic men and women (ages 21-70) who were fed a reduced-calorie diet abundant in high-quality vegetable protein achieved similar weight loss but superior reductions in blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol compared to a matched group of adults fed a high-carbohydrate, lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (containing low-fat dairy and eggs).13

A new proprietary plant protein product enriched with branched-chain amino acids and glutamine has a perfect PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) of 1.0 (100%), which is equal to the PDCAAS of whey and egg.14 The PDCAAS has been adopted by Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) as the preferred standard for measurement of protein value in human nutrition.15

Converting Ingested Proteins into Body Proteins

When proteins are ingested, they are transformed in your cells through a process known as “protein synthesis” into vital structures that make up a considerable amount of your anatomy. Aging results in a reduction in cellular protein synthesis within our body.

Fortunately, just a modest bout of physical activity in older individuals may be able to restore the ability of insulin to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.16

A more recent study found that amino acid supplementation with 15 grams/day of essential amino acids for three months increased muscle synthesis and lean body mass in older women.17 Study investigators concluded, “The acute anabolic response to essential amino acids supplementation is maintained over time and can improve lean body mass, possibly offsetting the debilitating effects of sarcopenia.” 

Shore Up Aging Muscles with Branched-Chain Amino Acids

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are essential amino acids that play important metabolic roles, particularly during exercise and in the maintenance and growth of skeletal muscle. BCAAs account for 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and can serve as an energy source for muscle tissue during exercise.

Leucine, the most metabolically active branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) promotes muscle tissue synthesis.18-20 Notably, leucine is a potent activator of a signaling pathway in human skeletal muscle that favorably modulates insulin sensitivity and the body’s anabolic drive.21,22

While it is widely acknowledged that aging muscle becomes progressively resistant to the stimulatory effects of normal postprandial concentrations of leucine,23 several animal studies show that this deficit can be overcome by feeding supplemental leucine with typical mixed nutrient meals.24-26 These findings emphasize the tremendous potential of taking supplemental leucine with meals in order to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis.27

Glutamine: An Essential Energizer

Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in the body and accounts for more than 60% of all free amino acids in plasma and muscle tissue.28 L-glutamine easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, glutamine is converted into L-glutamic acid, which the brain can use for fuel should glucose, the brain’s preferred energy substrate, be in short supply.29

Glutamine is intimately involved in a number of key metabolic functions, including as an energy source for endothelial, intestinal, and lymphocytic cells,30,31 a regulator of nitric oxide synthesis by endothelial cells,32 and a transport molecule to carry toxic ammonia from peripheral tissues to the liver for conversion to urea.30

In catabolic states of injury and illness, glutamine becomes conditionally essential (requiring intake from food or supplements).30,33 Extensive study has shown that glutamine is useful in treatment of serious illnesses,34-36 injury,37 infection,38,39 and mitigating treatment-related side effects of cancer,40,41 as well as promoting wound healing in postoperative patients.30,42

Legumes for Vegetarian-Based Protein

Research has shown that consumption of high-quality vegetable protein exerts numerous beneficial effects in aging humans. A recent study found that compared to consuming 15 grams whey or milk protein (casein), ingesting 15 grams pea protein provided greater postprandial (after-meal) satiety.43 This is important for those seeking to reduce their calorie intake of fats and carbohydrates.

Another study using an in vitro gastrointestinal digestion model suggested that pea protein has potential to reduce elevated blood pressure.44

What You Need to Know: Protein for Muscle
  • After age 40, adult protein requirements increase while daily caloric requirements tend to decrease.

  • Protein supplementation can mitigate age-related muscle loss, a leading cause of injury and long-term disability among older adults, and can promote the growth of muscle tissue and recovery from exercise.
  • Vegetarians and aging adults could benefit from consuming a new proprietary protein supplement enriched with pea and other plant proteins, BCAAs, glutamine, agave inulin and FOS, oat beta-glucans, and digestive enzymes.
  • This innovative functional protein mix contains components that work in concert to aid digestion, reduce inflammation, control insulin and blood sugar levels, and promote digestive function and health.
  • Low-carb dieters, and those following cholesterol-restricted diets as well as those who wish to avoid dairy, egg, or soy protein can safely use this cholesterol-free, plant-based protein supplement.
  • Pea protein and other plant-based proteins have been shown to exert a positive impact on blood pressure and blood lipid levels

Pea protein contains more glutamine than whey or egg protein, with comparable BCAA values to whey, egg, and casein. It also contains more arginine than these ‘gold standard’ animal proteins. Arginine is essential for nitric acid synthesis, which promotes healthy endothelial function and blood vessel dilation and relaxation.45

Although numerous studies have established the value of consuming whey protein to boost tissue levels of the antioxidant glutathione, research scientists very recently discovered that compared to glutathione, pea protein hydrolysate exhibited a significantly higher ability to inhibit fatty acid oxidation and to chelate free radical-causing metals.46

Agave Inulin and FOS: A Powerful Prebiotic Blend

Prebiotics feed beneficial intestinal bacterial flora. The natural prebiotics inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) occur in more than 36,000 species of the world’s flora.47 Thus, it is almost certain that the diets of our prehistoric forebears consisted of foods rich in prebiotics.48 Presumably, the human digestive tract evolved to depend on the health-supporting properties of prebiotics.

Current studies reveal that long-chain prebiotics like inulin extracted from the fiber of the agave plant, unlike many other short-chain prebiotics, arrive at the colon intact and remain longer, allowing them to effectively support the growth of the beneficial digestive tract bacteria, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria.49

Food scientists have devised a strategy of using agave-derived inulin and FOS in protein supplements and functional foods to promote the growth of indigenous Bifidobacteria in the gut.50 These prebiotics interact in a selective way with our intestinal ecosystem and can favorably transform its composition, providing tremendous potential for gut health, chemoprevention, and immunity.51,52

An emerging body of research suggests that consuming inulin-based prebiotics directly diminishes the risk of chronic diseases by:

  • Reducing the symptoms and inflammation in ulcerative colitis53-55
  • Protecting against colon cancer in animal and human models56-60
  • Lowering triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood to protect against coronary heart disease61-64
  • Favorably modulating insulin levels in the blood65
  • Supporting bone health through increased calcium and magnesium absorption in animal and human model studies66-69

Data from human studies suggests that fermentation of prebiotic carbohydrates stimulates colonic motility and promotes proliferation of Bifidobacteria, both of which have been shown to relieve constipation.70,71 In one study, fecal weight increased in response to supplementation with either FOS or inulin.72

Oat Beta-glucans For Glycemic and Cholesterol Control

Numerous animal and human studies have established oat beta-glucans as an important dietary aid in the treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. Oat bran in particular is good source of the heart-healthy soluble fiber beta-glucan.73

Oat beta-glucans have been shown to promote a healthy postprandial glycemic response.74-78 In addition, oat beta-glucans can lower cholesterol levels in adults with elevated lipid levels. One clinical study examined the effects of feeding oat bran beta-glucans to men and women with high cholesterol. Participants were able to achieve significant reductions in plasma cholesterol levels by the study’s end.79

Summary

Aging adults often require more protein than younger adults—a fact established by clinical studies, yet ignored by our leading health organizations.

Nearly 50% of all adults run the risk of developing sarcopenia, a serious age-related loss of muscle mass. Age-related muscle loss is a leading cause of preventable disability and loss of functional capacity in older adults.

Research has shown that consumption of high-quality vegetable protein exerts numerous beneficial effects in aging humans.

Adults, vegetarians, and all active people can benefit from a new proprietary protein supplement product enriched with pea and other plant proteins, branch chained amino acids, prebiotics, and cholesterol-lowering oat beta-glucans. These components work in concert to maximize protein utilization, while controlling the postprandial glycemic response that inflicts so much damage to cells after every high-calorie meal we eat.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at
1-866-864-3027.

 

 The orignal article can be found HERE

 

 

Researchers Unlock a Secret of Bacteria’s Immune System

Researchers Unlock a Secret of Bacteria’s Immune System

ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2010) — A team of Université Laval and Danisco researchers has unlocked a secret of bacteria’s immune system. The details of the discovery, which may eventually make it possible to prevent certain bacteria from developing resistance to antibiotics, are presented in the Nov. 4 issue of the journal Nature team led by Professor Sylvain Moineau of Université Laval’s Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Bioinformatics showed that this mechanism, called CRISPR/Cas, works by selecting foreign DNA segments and inserting them into very specific locations in a bacterium’s genome. These segments then serve as a kind of immune factor in fighting off future invasions by cleaving incoming DNA.

The researchers demonstrated this mechanism using plasmids, DNA molecules that are regularly exchanged by bacteria. The plasmid used in the experiment, which contained a gene for antibiotic resistance, was inserted into bacteria used in making yogurt, Streptococcus thermophilus. Some of the bacteria integrated the segments of DNA from the resistance gene into their genome, and subsequent attempts to reinsert the plasmid into these bacteria failed. “These bacteria had simply been immunized against acquiring the resistance gene, commented Professor Moineau. This phenomenon could explain, among other things, why some bacteria develop antibiotic resistance while others don’t.”

The CRISPR/Cas immune system also protects bacteria from bacteriophages, a group of viruses that specifically target bacteria. This makes Professor Moineau’s discovery particularly interesting for food and biotechnology sectors that use bacterial cultures, such as the yogurt, cheese, and probiotics industries. Bacterial culture contamination by bacteriophages is a serious concern with considerable financial implications for those industries.

Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Original link can be found HERE

Krill oil omega-3s seen to be effective at lower levels

Krill oil omega-3s seen to be effective at lower levels

Related topics: Research

Aker’s krill oil has similar effects as fish oil on serum lipids, markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, but with lower doses of EPA and DHA, a new study in healthy volunteers has concluded.

EPA and DHA have been researched for a gamut of health benefits, including cardiovascular, ocular, inflammatory. However in fish oil the omega-3 fatty acids are in trigyceride form, whereas in krill oil they are in phospholipid form.

The new study, published in the open access Springer journal Lipids, set out to investigate the effects of krill oil and fish oil on serum lipids and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, and to see whether the different molecular forms – triacylglycerol and phospholipids – of omega-3 make a difference on plasma levels of EPA and DHA.

The study was carried out by researchers from Akershus University College, University of Oslo, Norway, and from Aker BioMarine. Aker’s branded Superba krill oil was used.

A total of 113 participants with normal or slightly elevated total blood cholesterol were randomised into three groups. Thirty-six were given 6 capsules of 3g krill oil a day, with 543mg of EHA + DHA; 40 were given 3 capsules of 1.8g fish oil a day, with 864mg of EPA + DHA for seven weeks. The remaining 37 received no supplementation and acted as controls.

The researchers found that there was a significant increase in plasma EPA, DHA, and DPA in both the krill oil and fish oil groups compared to the control group, and no significant differences were seen between the fish oil and the krill oil groups.

In addition, the team did not observe any statistically significant differences in changes in any of the serum lipids or the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation between the study groups.

“This study confirms that a lower dose of EPA and DHA is required when taking krill oil phospholipids, compared to the triglyceride form of omega-3,” according to Hogne Vik, one of the study authors.

 

“In addition to improving blood levels of these essential omega-3 fatty acids, a statistically significant improvement of the HDL-cholesterol/TG ratio was demonstrated, again showing the health benefits of Superba.”

Source:

Lipids 2010-11-02 http://www.springerlink.com/content/270j241473471664/

Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil but at a lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers.

Krill oil omega-3s seen to be effective at lower levels

Krill oil omega-3s seen to be effective at lower levels

 

Aker’s krill oil has similar effects as fish oil on serum lipids, markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, but with lower doses of EPA and DHA, a new study in healthy volunteers has concluded.

EPA and DHA have been researched for a gamut of health benefits, including cardiovascular, ocular, inflammatory. However in fish oil the omega-3 fatty acids are in trigyceride form, whereas in krill oil they are in phospholipid form.

The new study, published in the open access Springer journal Lipids, set out to investigate the effects of krill oil and fish oil on serum lipids and markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, and to see whether the different molecular forms – triacylglycerol and phospholipids – of omega-3 make a difference on plasma levels of EPA and DHA.

The study was carried out by researchers from Akershus University College, University of Oslo, Norway, and from Aker BioMarine. Aker’s branded Superba krill oil was used.

A total of 113 participants with normal or slightly elevated total blood cholesterol were randomised into three groups. Thirty-six were given 6 capsules of 3g krill oil a day, with 543mg of EHA + DHA; 40 were given 3 capsules of 1.8g fish oil a day, with 864mg of EPA + DHA for seven weeks. The remaining 37 received no supplementation and acted as controls.

The researchers found that there was a significant increase in plasma EPA, DHA, and DPA in both the krill oil and fish oil groups compared to the control group, and no significant differences were seen between the fish oil and the krill oil groups.

In addition, the team did not observe any statistically significant differences in changes in any of the serum lipids or the markers of oxidative stress and inflammation between the study groups.

“This study confirms that a lower dose of EPA and DHA is required when taking krill oil phospholipids, compared to the triglyceride form of omega-3,” according to Hogne Vik, one of the study authors.

 

“In addition to improving blood levels of these essential omega-3 fatty acids, a statistically significant improvement of the HDL-cholesterol/TG ratio was demonstrated, again showing the health benefits of Superba.”

Source:

Lipids 2010-11-02 http://www.springerlink.com/content/270j241473471664/

Metabolic effects of krill oil are essentially similar to those of fish oil but at a lower dose of EPA and DHA, in healthy volunteers.

Sesame protein isolate may reduce heart disease risk

Sesame protein isolate may reduce heart disease risk

By Nathan Gray, 10-Nov-2010

Related topics: Research, Proteins, peptides, amino acids, Cardiovascular health

Protein isolates from sesame seed may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to results of a new study with rats.

The study, published in the Journal of Food Science, finds that dietary intake of sesame protein isolates lowers levels of total plasma cholesterol, and has beneficial effects lipid peroxidations, triacylglycerol, and LDL-, and HDL- cholesterol concentrations.

“Sesame protein isolate consumption can reduce cardiovascular disease by reducing LDL cholesterol, triacylglycerol, and by increasing HDL cholesterol. As sesame is an important oil seed crop in various parts of the world, sesame protein isolate can be utilized in various food formulations for its beneficial effect,” stated the researchers, led by Dr Santinath Ghosh from Calcutta University.

“Sesame protein can play an important role due to availability and favorable nutrient composition. The presence of sulphur containing amino acids is an added advantage for sesame protein,” they added.

Protein isolates

According to the authors, much current research and product development is focused on products helping to reduce or control diet-related chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, or liver failure.

They noted that dietary protein has been shown to affect plasma cholesterol concentration and metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the liver.

Soy proteins have been extensively studied, and shown to be an effective weight reducer, whilst being effective in reducing cholesterol when compared to dairy proteins such as casein. Soy proteins have also been shown to induce a low postprandial insulin/glucagon ratio and promote a decrease of lipid peroxide, cholesterol, and triglyceride content in blood plasma.

Sesame seeds are mainly grown for their oil; however they are also a promising source of plant proteins, containing about 20 percent protein; however this can be raised to around 50 percent once defatted. The authors noted that whole dehulled sesame seeds are popular in food items because of their low price, high nutritional quality, and versatile functional properties, however the benefits of sesame protein isolate (with at least 90 percent protein on dry weight basis) are relatively unknown.

“As far as we know, there are no investigations on the dietary effects of sesame protein isolate, on experimental hyperlipidemia … The aim of the study was to assess sesame protein isolate on plasma, erythrocyte (red blood cell) membrane, and liver lipid profile and corresponding lipid peroxidation in rats with diet-induced hyperlipidemia,” wrote Dr Ghosh and colleagues.

Cholesterol reduction

The researchers reported total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels were significantly reduced by sesame protein isolate fed rats with high cholesterol diets, compared to the control casein-fed rats.

HDL-cholesterol level was also seen to increase by 41 percent through ingestion of sesame protein isolate. They authors also observed up to a 64 percent lowering of plasma lipid peroxidation, as well as up to 56 percent reductions in lipoprotein oxidation susceptibility in sesame protein isolate and isolate containing cholesterol groups.

Ghosh and co workers also reported significant lowering of red blood cell membrane lipid peroxidation (up to 68 percent lower) and liver lipid peroxidation (up to 76 percent lower), from sesame protein isolate.

Gaining importance

The authors noted that sesame protein isolate was more effective in preventing the formation of lipid peroxides when compared with casein.

“This sesame protein isolate, even in association with cholesterol, was able to protect plasma lipoproteins against oxidation,” stated Ghosh and colleagues

“Therefore, our results indicate that sesame protein isolate decreases cholesterol concentration in plasma, increases HDL-cholesterol, and also decreases plasma and erythrocyte membrane lipid peroxidation with or without cholesterol fed diet in rats,” they added.

However, they noted the detail of the mechanism by which the serum cholesterol concentration is regulated by vegetable protein isolates such as sesame, and soy, remain unclear.

Source: Journal of Food Science
Volume 75, Issue 9, pages H274–H279, doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01821.x
“Antihyperlipidemic Effect of Sesame (Sesamum indicumL.) Protein Isolate in Rats Fed a Normal and High Cholesterol Diet
Authors: A. Biswas, P. Dhar, S. Ghosh

Roquette chews on positive EFSA gum opinions

Roquette chews on positive EFSA gum opinions

By Shane Starling, 10-Nov-2010

Related topics: Health claims, Regulation, Fibres and carbohydrates

French supplier Roquette is hailing the potential of polyols to boost dental health, following recent article 14 positive opinions for sugar-free gum from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Polyol suppliers are smiling about positive EFSA sugar-free gum opinions

“The recent green light given by EFSA to chewing gums with no added sugars containing polyols (used as bulk sweeteners) backs up research carried out by Roquette,” the company said.

“Furthermore, recent studies conducted by Roquette can give further support to the opinions expressed by EFSA.”

Responding to two disease reduction submission from gum giant Wrigley, EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) found xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol-based sugar-free chewing gum could neutralise dental plaque and reduce tooth demineralisation and that both could reduce the risk of dental caries.

This positive opinion follows an earlier endorsement by EFSA in 2008 for a claim submitted by the Dutch and Finnish group Leaf Holland that xylitol-sweetened chewing gum was beneficial to dental health. Positive article 13, generic, dental health claims also exist for sugar-free chewing gum consumed after meals.

Polyol selection

Roquette said while the NDA opinions highlighted xylitol, sorbitol and mannitol, evidence showed other polyols could deliver similar effects.

“Even if until now it is xylitol that has been the most studied for its dental properties, it would appear – according to the recent opinions expressed by EFSA – that the benefits for dental health are unconnected with the type of polyol used,” Roquette said.

Company spokesperson Emily Lauwaert told NutraIngredients no decision had been taken about whether it would submit a claim for the polyol it specialises in – maltitol.

Roquette pointed to research that showed there was little difference in remineralisation of enamel between maltitol and xylitol (Food Science and Biotechnology, 2009, 18(2): 432-435).

Saliva parameters (secretion, pH and composition) and the dental plaque parameters (build-up, pH and composition) were also similar.

“In point of fact, the benefits observed for the aforementioned parameters were more pronounced for the chewing gums with maltitol or xylitol than with a gum base without polyols.”

In the Wrigley opinions, the NDA found that in order to obtain the claimed effect, two to three grams of sugar-free chewing gum should be chewed for 20 minutes at least three times per day after meals. “This quantity and pattern of use of chewing gum can easily be included within a balanced diet,” it added.

The Panel noted there is a risk of osmotic diarrhoea at excessive intakes of polyols. It cautioned that the use of chewing gum should be avoided in children less than three due to potential for choking.

Those opinions can be found here and here .

NutraIngredients health claims 2010

 

All things health claims will be discussed at the second NutraIngredients Health Claims 2010 conference to be held in Brussels on December 1. The conference will deconstruct the latest article 13.1 claim opinions, hear first-hand experience from players like Kellogg’s, outline regulation-coping marketing strategies, and feature comparison with the US claims system from leading industry figure, Dr Andrew Shao.

 You can find the original article HERE

ILC-UK issues functional call to arms for older people

ILC-UK issues functional call to arms for older people

By Ben Bouckley, 10-Nov-2010

Related topics: Consumer Trends

More research is necessary to examine perceptions of the benefits of functional foods for older consumers, according to a new report from the ILC-UK (International Longevity Centre UK).

Senior ILC-UK researcher Rebecca Taylor authored the study ‘Older people and functional foods’, which accepts that a healthy diet incorporating functional foods can prevent chronic disease in older people, but calls for further attention to their specific nutritional needs and attitudes to such foodstuffs.

Taylor told NutraIngredients.com that the problem wasn’t the accepted efficacy of given functional foods – to maintain bone, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health – which she insists should supplement a healthy diet rather than be seen as a ‘cure all’, but in examining whether older people consume them regularly.

She said: “There are lots of trials showing that if you consume 2g of plant sterols or stanols then cholesterol will fall by ‘X’ per cent. But there isn’t much on checking wider compliance, given that randomised clinical trials are always controlled.”

Do doctors think functional?

Accordingly, Taylor said that doctors and other healthcare professionals had a major role to play in functional food uptake amongst older people: “Very little research has been done to see what healthcare professionals think of functional foods, and whether they recommend them.”

“I did a PubMed search around ‘healthcare professional and functional foods’, along with other permutations, and found only 12 articles. It would be an interesting area to survey, because older people are more likely to follow nutritional advice from a GP.”

 

One interesting aspect of the ILC-UK’s report was its attention to age-dependent dietary requirements and suggestion that governments produce RDA guidelines based upon different age groups amogst older people. For instance, it states that within the 60+ age group (and for post-menopausal women in particular) Vitamin D is vital to bone health.

Taylor said that national nutrition recommendations were key to uptake where “functional foods could clearly play a role” given “a surge of interest in Vitamin D” over the past year. She added that the US Institute of Medicine moved to raise its RDA to 25mcg in 2005, while the UK persists with a 1992 COMA recommendation of just 10mcg, which she suggests is too low.

Taylor said that socio-economic factors were also inconclusive, with research concluding that higher and lower-income groups were both more likely to buy functional foods, although “many studies show that functional food consumers are more likely to be older and female”.

Unsurprisingly, Taylor said the key purchase driver remained taste, which remains a key challenge for functional food manufacturers. “If people hate the taste, they don’t care about the health benefits”.

 

Negative image?

Taylor agreed that scepticism in some quarters as regards the effectiveness of functional foods was unfortunate, given science suggesting specific products work well. One example she cited was the use of cholesterol-lowering margarine instead of statins (when the latter are used in low doses), which obviously cuts out the need for drug interventions.

Ironically though, the ILC-UK’s report does mention differing perceptions of functional foods throughout the EU that suggest functional foods have an image problem in some countries and are somehow seen as unnatural.

Taylor wrote: “Technology loving Finns are more receptive to functional foods than natural food-oriented Danes, and English consumers see functional foods as a way to help achieve healthy eating, while Swedes consider them to be a substitute for people who do not have healthy diets.”

She added said that probiotic treatment protocols for older people should be examined further given the “strongest evidence of their health benefits” in treating those at risk of Antibiotic Associated Diarrhea, but was unable to comment on the wider challenge of communicating probiotic benefits, given EFSA’s recent negative opinions.

You can find the original article HERE

Whey protein industry to submit article 13.5 claims after EFSA rejections

Whey protein industry to submit article 13.5 claims after EFSA rejections

 

By Shane Starling, 08-Nov-2010
Related topics: Health claims, Regulation, Dairy-based ingredients, Bone & joint health, Energy & endurance, Weight management
The whey protein industry is gathering data to submit article 13.5 health claims after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) last month rejected a slew of generic, article 13.1 protein and whey protein-related dossiers.

 

Industry members said they were reevaluating the available evidence and ways of presenting it to the European Union nutrition and health claim process, which they said had become a lot clearer since protein and whey protein dossiers were submitted in 2007.

“Over the last 3 years, however, a vast amount of positive evidence has emerged on the independent role of whey protein and more is due to be published,” said Suzane Leser, nutrition manager in lifestyle ingredients at UK-based protein supplier, Volac, and vice chair of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA).

“We firmly believe therefore that there is scope to support specific health claims on whey proteins, via Article 13.5. At this stage, we fully understand the issues arising in the evaluation of claims and the complexity of the unprecedented process. Whilst the industry is now learning what type of studies and outcome measures are acceptable for future substantiation, we trust that EFSA will be able to provide additional guidance to applicants. And then our industry will work together to develop research in key areas and resubmit the evidence.”

EFSA verdicts on whey and whey protein

In two opinions relating to a host of dossiers EFSA’s Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) rejected a slew of protein and whey claims including those around satiety, endurance and recovery.

The findings, if authorised by the European Commission and member states, present a major problem to the whey industry that does so much of its business in sports nutrition and weigh management markets.

Only ‘growth or maintenance of muscle mass’ drew some kind of positive response from the NDA for whey, albeit in a guarded fashion.

In weighing the evidence, the Panel took into account that only three small intervention studies in humans were pertinent to the claim, and that these studies reported conflicting results with respect to the effects of whey protein on muscle mass compared to other protein sources (i.e. casein and soy protein),” the NDA wrote in its opinion.

 

“On the basis of the data presented, the Panel concludes that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of whey protein and growth or maintenance of muscle mass over and above the well established role of protein on the claimed effect.”

That opinion can be found here.

The whey industry is making the most of this positive finding as a building block for exercise and senior nutrition claims.

“We welcome the opinion that whey protein works as effectively as other protein sources, recognising that from the evidence submitted EFSA could not go further,” said Leser.

In its opinion on protein, which can be found here , the NDA found, evidence provided by consensus opinions/reports from authoritative bodies and reviews shows that there is good consensus on the role of dietary protein in the maintenance of whole body lean body mass, including muscle mass.”

The only other positive in both opinions was protein’s ability to benefit normal bone health.

Other rejected claims for whey protein included maintenance of normal body weight; increase in lean body mass during energy restriction or resistance training; increase in muscle strength and skeletal muscle tissue repair

 

 The orginal article can be found here

DHA omega-3 ‘not useful’ for Alzheimer’s patients

DHA omega-3 ‘not useful’ for Alzheimer’s patients

Related topics: Omega-3, Research, Nutritional lipids and oils, Cognitive and mental function

By Stephen Daniells, 02-Nov-2010

Daily supplements of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were ‘not useful’ in reducing cognitive decline associated with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, says a new study.

Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers report that DHA at a dose of 2 grams per day did not affect cognitive and functional abilities after 18 months of supplementation.

“Despite enrollment of the target population of individuals with low baseline DHA, increase of plasma phospholipid and cerebrospinal fluid DHA in the group treated with DHA, and ample progression of randomized participants on the primary outcome measures, there was no evidence of benefit of DHA supplementation in this population,” wrote the researchers, led by Joseph Quinn, MD, of Oregon Health and Science University.

“The hypothesis that DHA slows the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer disease was not supported, so there is no basis for recommending DHA supplementation,” they added.

Response

The study’s findings should not diminish the important benefits of DHA, however, said the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and that more research should be done. “The concern with this study is that it focused on supplementing DHA in individuals who were currently coping with Alzheimer’s disease,” said Duffy MacKay, ND, vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN.

“It didn’t answer the question of whether DHA—taken over long periods of time and several years prior to disease onset—could have helped prevent these participants from developing the disease.

“Further, the study only tested DHA under the assumption that it could be used as a treatment, which is highly unlikely given how little we know about Alzheimer’s disease. There is still much to be learned about the potential of DHA—and all omega-3 fatty acids—and the many health benefits they offer consumers,” added Duffy.

Study details

The results echo those presented at the Alzheimer’s Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD 2009) in Vienna, which suggested that DHA may improve both memory function and heart health in healthy older adults, but the omega-3 had no general impact on the cognitive health of people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Quinn and his co-workers randomly assigned individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease to receive either the daily DHA supplement (2 grams per day, Martek) or placebo for 18 months. A total of 295 participants completed the trial.

Assessing the participants’ cognitive and functional abilities using the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale showed no significant difference in ADAS scores between the placebo and DHA group.

Furthermore, the rate of brain atrophy – determined by volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – was no different between the groups, said the researchers.

“Because part of the rationale for the trial was epidemiological evidence that DHA use before disease onset modifies the risk of Alzheimer disease, it remains possible that an intervention with DHA might be more effective if initiated earlier in the course of the disease in patients who do not have overt dementia,” wrote the researchers.

 Original Article can be found HERE