Omega-3s may counter degenerative muscle loss: Study

Omega-3s may counter degenerative muscle loss: Study

Post a commentBy Stephen Daniells, 21-Feb-2011

Related topics: Omega-3, Research, Nutritional lipids and oils, Energy & endurance

Daily supplements of omega-3 fatty acids may boost the production of muscle protein in older people, and reduce the risk of degenerative muscle loss, suggest data from a new human trial.


Omega-3 may combat muscle loss associated with aging

Four grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids for eight weeks were found to increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis associated with increased supply of amino acids and insulin, according to findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“Although the exact mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis during hyperinsulinemia-hyperaminoacidemia remain to be resolved, our study provides compelling evidence of an interaction of omega-3 fatty acids and protein metabolism in human muscle and suggest that dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation could potentially provide a safe, simple, and low-cost intervention to combat sarcopenia,” wrote the researchers.

Bettina Mittendorfer, PhD, from the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and corresponding author of the study told that, as far as the researchers are aware, this is the first study to report potential anti-sarcopenia effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

Sarcopenia is a condition that affects the older generation, and is linked to a loss of lean body mass, strength and function.

In the US, some 45 percent of over-65 year-olds are thought to be impacted by the condition. A person in their 20s will have muscle that is up to 60 percent fat-free mass, whereas this drops to less than 40 percent for a 70 year-old.

“A major cause for the loss of muscle mass with advanced age is the inability of aging muscle to adequately increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis in response to nutritional stimuli (eg, amino acids and insulin),” explained the researchers.

Study details

In order to test if omega-3s may potentially benefit muscle health, the researchers recruited 16 healthy adults with an average age of 71 and an average BMI of 25.65 kg/m2, and randomly assigned them to receive either omega-3s or corn oil for eight weeks.

The study used four grams per day of Lovaza – the only omega-3 product allowed to make an FDA health claim (“lower very high triglycerides”) – and the intervention provided a daily doses of 1.86 grams of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and 1.5 grams of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

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“We chose this dose because it is the dose approved by the Food and Drug Administration for lowering plasma triglyceride concentrations in hypertriglyceridemic subjects and has therefore previously been shown to be physiologically relevant in human subjects,” explained the researchers.

Results showed that, although there were no differences between the groups in terms of “the basal rate of muscle protein synthesis”, wrote the researchers in the AJCN, an augmentation in the “hyperaminoacidemia-hyperinsulinemia–induced increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis” was reported.

This observation was accompanied by a greater increase in the activation of a signalling pathway called mTOR-p70s6k, which is reported to be an “integral control point for muscle cell growth”. The actual mechanism remains to be elucidated, said the researchers.

“In the present study, we provide novel evidence that dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation augments the hyperaminoacidemia- hyperinsulinemia induced increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults,” wrote Dr Mittendorfer and her co-workers.

“Omega-3 fatty acids therefore probably attenuate the anabolic resistance and may potentially be useful as a therapeutic agent to treat sarcopenia,” they added.

Dr Mittendorfer confirmed that the researchers are to repeat the study with “more subjects plus functional outcomes”.

The study’s researchers were affiliated with Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis and the University of Nottingham in England. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health,

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.110.005611
“Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial”
Authors: G.I. Smith, P. Atherton, D.N. Reeds, B.S. Mohammed, D. Rankin, M.J. Rennie, B. Mittendorfer

Sweet potato derived flour best source of vitamin A, study

Sweet potato derived flour best source of vitamin A, study

By Helen Glaberson, 22-Feb-2011

Related topics: Research

Orange sweet potato based flour is claimed to be a good delivery system of vitamin A and could be used to reduce deficiency in developing countries, a new study claims.

Although all varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (OFSP) are nutritious, the orange type may be the best source for vitamin A (VA), according to the research published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety (CRFSFS).

Sweet potato flour

One way food companies could develop improved varieties of prolific, hardy, disease and drought-resistant OFSP foods is through sweet potato flour, said the study.

“Currently sweet potato flour is produced in small amounts. However, larger companies may find opportunities in breeding nutritious sweet potatoes that: a) thrive in a variety of growing conditions; b) are suitable for making sweet potato flour,” said Betty J. Burri from the Western Human Nutrition Center at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The scientist said that international programmes are currently using sweet potato flour in biscuit and bun manufacturer.

In terms of consumer preference, Burri found that although many sweet potato growing countries traditionally eat cream or white sweet potatoes, when consumers were asked to switch from white to orange sweet potatoes, researchers have found little resistance.

“Thus, the impact of consumer preference on the success of OFSP programs to prevent VA deficiency should be small, perhaps on the order of 5 per cent to l0 per cent,” said the report.

VA-forming carotenoid concentrations vary with sweet potato colour, Burri found.

“The more orange the colour the higher the carotenoid content,” she said.

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OFSP is also cheaper to distribute on mass than other forms of VA such as meat, the scientist claims.

In countries where vitamin A deficiency is common it would help if the food industry could find ways to increase the production and consumption of OFSP, said Burri.

Method and results

To reach these findings, Burri evaluated OFSP carotenoid concentrations, bioaccessibility, and cooking and storage. She then used this to estimate the amount of OFSP required to meet the VA requirement to all of the 208.1m people most in danger of VA deficiency.

“Many common varieties of OFSP are excellent sources of VA. They are relatively simple to grow, durable, and are easy to prepare. Currently, just over half of the sweet potatoes grown are eaten by humans. Therefore, OFSP have considerable potential as a nutritious, sustainable source for VA,” said Burri.

VA deficiency is a serious health issue for much of the developing world. It is responsible for over 600,000 deaths per year, mostly in young children or pregnant women.

The study concluded that for 1 year’s supply, 2.1 to 11.7m metric tons, or 2 per cent to 12 per cent of current world sweet potato production would be required.

Source: Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
Published online ahead of print: doi: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2010.00146.x
Evaluating Sweet Potato as an Intervention Food to Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency
Author: Burri, B. J

Multi-million boost for Scottish functional foods

Multi-million boost for Scottish functional food

By Ben Bouckley, 18-Feb-2011

Related topics: Industry

A new government funded project will see £4.4m (€5.26m) invested in the Scottish food and drink industry, in an attempt to bolster the market for products including fortified and functional foods and raise historically low investment levels.

Funded by development agency Scottish Enterprise, the project will involve a £4.4m investment over 5 years to ensure that the Scottish food and drink industry “reacts to global trends in food and health”, and that industrial players in the country develop health-related products.

Scottish Enterprise research shows that, while native firms recognise the potential of the health and nutrition market, they lack the research and development and food technology expertise to take advantage of new opportunities.

Accordingly, the investment – speaheaded by academe and industry – will provide over 400 Scottish companies with access to food technology specialists and encouraging them to spend more on research and development (R&D) in a bid to increase the nation’s competitiveness in fortified and functional foods, naturally healthy products (such as fruit and vegetables, oil fish) and ‘better for you’ products with reduced fat, sugar, salt, etc.

Historically low investment levels

Scottish Enterprise said that innovation in Scottish food and drink had historically been lower than the UK national average, with the current R&D sector spend accounting for just 1.5% of Scottish totals.

Industry leadership organisation Scottish Food and Drink aims to increase the turnover of participating companies to a combined £80m in five years, and chief executive Paul McLaughlin said:

“Scotland has a huge amount of world-renowned research, but a poor track record of turning that into products that hit the shelves. This project is our way of helping that to happen so a business is much more likely to get a project through a commercialisation stage.”

Thus, the project is part of a wider industry target to equalise funding levels with those of other countries in the union, contributing to a wider ambition to increase the sector spend from 0.25 per cent to 0.75 per cent of Scottish GVA (Gross Value Added), where this figure is a measure of the economic contibution of each individual producer in a country.

Linking industry and academe

Professor Philip Richardson, head of food manufacturing technologies at food research organisation at Campden BRI (which heads a consortium that includes players such as the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute and Food Processing Faraday Partnership) told that particularly promising sectors within Scottish foods – that could also realise functional advantages – included “native raw materials such as berries, oats, and fish”.

He added: “If you look at Scottish innovation within the food sector, then you have world-renowned institutes such as the Rowett that have a great reputation for producing new products. Our role is very much at the interface between academe and industry. Our focus is on broader manufacturing processes and in providing a linkage with food firms, developing solutions accordingly.

“We have a wealth of experience with ingredients, product formulation, and emerging and established processing technologies – and can call upon our experts in consumer and marketplace studies, sensory science, food microbiology and chemistry, safety assurance and hygiene, and food and drink legislation.

Drinking diet soda linked to causing heart attack, stroke Learn more:

NaturalNews) Chugging a Diet Coke or two every day could cause you to have a heart attack, stroke, or other major heart event, suggests new research recently presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles. A team from the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine found that people who regularly drink diet sodas are 61 percent more likely than others to have a major heart event.

Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist from UM and lead author of the study, and her colleagues, surveyed more than 2,500 Manhattan residents on their eating and lifestyle habits. They also evaluated participants’health, including their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and made comparisons. After taking into account all relevant factors, the team found thatdiet sodasin particular are linked to heart illness.

Drinkers of regularsoda, on the other hand, did not demonstrate an increasedriskof heart events in the study, illustrating that something specifically unique to dietsodaswas the culprit. And a simple, common sense analysis indicates that the only major difference betweendiet sodaand regular soda is the use of artificialsweeteneradditives like aspartame.

But researchers went out of their way to say they were unsure which ingredient(s) might be the culprit. Besides suggesting that perhaps other outside factors are involved, which is a typical cop-out conclusion made in many studies, not one suggestion was made to evenhintthataspartamejust might be the cause of increased heart events.

Humorously, when addressing the possible causative factors indietsoda, the researchers actually suggested that caramelcolor, another popular ingredient added to sodas to give them a brown color, might be the cause. Such a statement is surprising coming from allegedly educated scientists, though, because caramel color is also added to regular sodas. And if regular sodas did not demonstrate the same increased risks, then caramel color is not the additive in question in this case.

No matter how much the establishment tries to dance around the issue, aspartame, as well as sucralose, saccharin, neotame, and the other artificial additives used in foods, are harmful to health. Aspartame in particular, which is made using a genetically-modified (GM) enzyme, is linked to premature birth, kidney disease, organ lesions, nerve damage, cancer, and premature death (…).

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Spirulina shows immune boosting power for seniors

Spirulina shows immune boosting power for seniors


Related topics: ResearchAntioxidants, carotenoidsMineralsVitamins & premixesImmune system

Daily supplements of Hawaiian spirulina may boost the immune system of seniors and offer an opportunity to counter anemia associated with aging, says a new study from UC Davis and Cyanotech.

Twelve weeks of spirulina supplementation were associated with increased counts of white blood cells, foot soldiers of the immune system, with older women reported to respond more rapidly, according to findings published in Cellular & Molecular Immunology.

“The study does add to the growing body of scientific research demonstrating that Spirulina improves immune system response, especially in older individuals whose immune function naturally declines,” said Gerry Cysewski, PhD, chief science officer and executive vice president at Cyanotech, and co-researcher in this study.

Spirulina, a blue-green vegetable alga, is a rich source of protein, amino acids, phytonutrients, iron, antioxidants and B-vitamins. Cyanotech’s spirulina is grown in Hawaii, and has GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status, meaning it can be used as a functional ingredient in foods and beverages.

Study details

Under the supervision of Dr M. Eric Gershwin at UC Davis, the researchers recruited 40 seniors with a mean age of 63 (30 completed the study) and were required to take 6 tablets of 500mg spirulina per day for 12 weeks.

The objective was to determine if the supplements could be effective in countering two conditions that frequently impact the health of older people:anemia and declining immune function.

Immune function was measured using complete blood cell (CBC) counts and indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) enzyme activity, and results showed that over half of all participants receiving spirulina had higher IDO activity after 6 and 12 weeks, while this proportion was “striking in men with over 75 percent of subjects manifesting such phenomenon”, added the researchers.

In terms of cell counts, spirulina was associated with a steady increase in corpuscular hemoglobin, thereby ameliorating anemia.

“Our data suggest that spirulina may counteract anemia and immunosenescence,” wrote the researchers.

Large scale studies

“We are delighted with the very positive results of the UC Davis Spirulina Pacifica study, and the impact this development can have on the health of the over-50 population,” said Dr Cysewski.

Cyanotech’s CSO confirmed that the company does not have similar studies planned or ongoing. “However we do hope to use the results of this study to justify further large scale studies on the effect of Spirulina on enhancement of immune response, possibly funded with government grants,” added Dr Cysewski.

Source: Cellular & Molecular Immunology
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1038/cmi.2010.76 
“The effects of spirulina on anemia and immune function in senior citizens”
Authors: C. Selmi, P.S.C. Leung, L. Fischer, B. German, C. Yang, T.P. Kenny, G.R. Cysewski, M.E. Gershwi

Heart health beyond cholesterol: Blood pressure and vascular health

Heart health beyond cholesterol: Blood pressure and vascular health

Post a commentBy Stephen Daniells, 14-Feb-2011

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Dairy-based ingredients, Minerals, Nutritional lipids and oils, Phytochemicals, plant extracts, Proteins, peptides, amino acids, Vitamins & premixes, Cardiovascular health

In the first part of our special focus on heart health, NutraIngredients examines the science behind the potential health benefits of a new wave of ingredients, from blood pressure lowering peptides from dairy, to flavanols from cocoa.


Improving blood pressure and boosting vascular health are areas of interest R&D activity

Improved heart health relates to reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke. Risk factors for these diseases are numerous, and include smoking habits, body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and physical exercise levels.

According to Frost and Sullivan, the heart health market in Europe is dominated by ingredients targeting cholesterol-reduction, with the big four listed as phytosterols, omega-3s, beta-glucan, and soy protein.

While these main players are looking at blood lipid and cholesterol levels, another area of interest for the industry is reduction of blood pressure in people with hypertension. And no wonder, with some one billion people worldwide reportedly suffering from high blood pressure.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is defined as having a systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) greater than 140 and 90 mmHg. It is a major risk factor for CVD.

Dairy peptides

An area of growing interest and investment is proteins derived from milk reported to offer blood pressure improvements. A meta-analysis published in Nutrition (Elsevier) in 2008 (Vol. 24, pp. 933–940) concluded that milk-derived isoleucine-proline-proline (IPP) and valine-proline-proline (VPP) may impact blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive subjects.

Commercial interest in such products is also prevalent: DSM offers an ingredient called tensVida (formerly TensGuard), which is composed of the tripeptide isoleucine-proline-proline (IPP) derived from milk. A study published in the Nutrition Journal, found that a daily supplement of tensVida was associated with a reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 3.8 and 2.3 mmHg, respectively.

Such blood pressure reductions are similar to those achieved by lifestyle modifications, and such lifestyle changes have been calculated to reduce the risk of stroke by 15 percent, and coronary heart disease by 6 percent (Nutrition Journal, 2010, 9:52).

Puleva Biotech is also looking at the potential of hydrolyzed caseins from goat’s milk to prevent the development of high blood pressure.

The mechanism of action of these ingredients is reported to relate to the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory activity of milk peptides. ACE inhibitors work by inhibiting the conversion of angiotensin I to the potent vasoconstrictor, angiotensin II, thereby improving blood flow and blood pressure.

Furthermore, Glanbia Nutritionals offers a proprietary peptide NOP-47 reported to improve blood vessel function (Nutrition Journal, 2009, 8:34). Researchers from the University of Connecticut reported that two weeks of supplementation with NOP-47 was associated with a 28 percent increase in artery dilation in health

The study’s lead researcher, Dr Jeff Volek, said: “This is the first time a natural peptide has been shown to positively impact vascular function using these techniques.”

Cocoa flavanols

With confectionery giants like Mars, Nestlé and Hershey putting considerable R&D spend into the topic, it is no wonder that the potential heart health benefits from flavanols from cocoa are generating interest.

A review of a decade’s worth of research into cocoa, published in the British Journal of Nutrition (2008, Vol. 99, pp. 1–11), stressed the importance of distinguishing between chocolate and cocoa. Cocoa refers to the non-fat component of cocoa liquor (finely ground cocoa beans), whereas chocolate refers to the combination of cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, etc. into a solid food product..

According to Mars, the benefits of cocoa bean revolve around the flavanols (also known as flavan-3-ols or catechins), and particularly the monomeric flavanol (-)epicatechin.

Pooling much of the recent data up to 2007, a meta-analysis by researchers from the University Hospital of Cologne found that consumption of cocoa had significant positive effects on blood pressure.

Writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2007, Vol. 167, pp. 626-634), the Cologne-based scientists: “The magnitude of the hypotensive effects of cocoa is clinically noteworthy; it is in the range that is usually achieved with monotherapy of beta-blockers or antiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.”

Moreover, a study using Natraceutical’s CocoanOX powder, and funded by the company, found that rodents fed 300 milligrams of cocoa powder per kilogram of body weight experienced a reduction in blood pressure similar to a 50 mg/kg dose of Captopril, a well-known pharmaceutical anti-hypertensive (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Vol. 57, pp. 6156-6162).

B vitamins

There has been much study, and controversy, regarding B vitamins and heart health. The hypothesis that B vitamins can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease is based on their role in regulating homocysteine, an amino acid.

Previously, high levels of the amino acid, hyperhomocysteinemia, were said to be a marker for heart disease and thought to be a risk factor for atherosclerotic disease, which contributes to heart attacks.

The link was founded on the observation that children with homocystinuria – a rare genetic condition causing extreme elevations in homocysteine levels – have higher rates of cardiovascular disease. Such an observation was therefore generalized to the wider population, with the hypothesis indicating that supplementation with B vitamins may reduce blood homocysteine levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

A number of high profile studies in people with established cardiovascular disease have not found any benefits of vitamin B supplementation. Indeed, results of a meta-analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Vol. 170, pp. 1622-1631) of eight folic acid trials involving 37,485 participants found no benefits on the risk of major vascular events, cancer, or deaths, despite reducing homocysteine levels by 25 per cent.

The door is not shut on this topic however, with many people citing studies in sick populations do not answer the question as to whether long-term B vitamin supplementation, combined with other healthy lifestyle habits, could have helped prevent cardiovascular disease before it occurred at all.

Indeed, following the recent publication of more null results from a B vitamin-heart health study (JAMA, 2010, Vol. 303, pp. 2486-2494), Duffy MacKay, ND, vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, for the dietary supplements trade association, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), said: “We may need to re-evaluate expectations when designing studies on nutrients used to treat serious chronic disease because it is unrealistic to expect a vitamin to undo a lifetime of unhealthy behaviors.”.

Vitamin K

Moving from B to K, a growing body of evidence indicates that increased intakes of vitamin K may reduce the build up of calcium in arteries that leads to hardening of the blood vessels.

A study published in the journal Atherosclerosis, for example, found that higher intake of vitamin K2 (menaquinone), but not K1, was associated with a 20 per cent reduction in calcification of the arteries. Atherosclerosis, known as hardening or furring of the arteries is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the cause of over 50 per cent of deaths in Europe and the US.

On the other hand, another study found that supplements of K1, also known as phylloquinone, may slow hardening of the arteries in people already suffering from the condition (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009, Vol. 89, pp. 1799-1807). The effects were said to be independent of changes in levels of a protein called matrix Gla protein (MGP). MGP is a regulator of calcium crystal formation in the circulatory system. MGP is a vitamin K-dependent protein – meaning vitamin K is required to activate this protein.

The Dutch authors of the Atherosclerosis study proposed that the differing pathways for metabolism of menaquinone and phylloquinone as the probable reason as to why the different forms of vitamin K showed different results with respect to calcification.

“Phylloquinone is predominantly transported with the triacylglycerol-rich fraction, which is mainly cleared by the liver. Phylloquinone is therefore very effectively cleared from circulation by the liver to function as a cofactor for proteins in blood coagulation,” wrote the researchers.

“Menaquinones, on the other hand, are found in both triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein, which are equally transported to extrahepatic tissues,” they said. “Menaquinone could therefore more effectively influence MGP and coronary calcification.”

Antioxidants and berry extracts

Antioxidants, many of which are extracted from fruit and berries, have also been shown to exert vascular benefits. Results from a pan-European research team found that consumption of an antioxidant-rich raspberry juice or tea may prevent artery hardening.

Writing in the journal Food Chemistry (Vol. 118, pp. 266-271), researchers from the University of Montpellier 2, the University of Parma, and the University of Glasgow reported that consumption of raspberry, strawberry and bilberry juices and green and black tea reduced aortic deposits in hamsters fed a high fat diet.

The authors noted that, while all of the beverages exerted beneficial effects, the composition and concentration of individual phenolic compounds varied substantially between the five beverages. “This indicates that anti-atherosclerotic effects can be induced by a diversity of phenolic compounds rather than a few specific components,” they said.

Another European study, this time focusing exclusively on bilberry extracts, found that the antioxidant-rich extract may prevent the build up of plaques in the arteries of mice. The researchers stated that the active compounds in the fermented extract have yet to be identified, but suggested they may be anthocyanin-derived polymeric pigments (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, doi: 10.1021/jf9035468)


Amongst the minerals implicated in heart health via blood pressure lowering or improvements in vascular health are magnesium and selenium. A recent from Korea, for example, found that supplemental magnesium may reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2009.01.002).

Participants received daily supplements of 300 mg of elemental magnesium in the magnesium oxide form or placebo for 12 weeks. The researchers report that significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were observed for hypertensive people receiving the magnesium supplements (17.1 and 3.4 mmHg, respectively), compared to placebo (6.7 and 0.8 mmHg, respectively)

Selenium has also been implicated in improved vascular health. The effects are proposed to be related to the body’s antioxidant defense system which includes enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidases (GPx’s). A form of the latter, GPx-1, has been reported to modulate vascular function, according to in vivo animal data.

Findings of a study published in the American Heart Journal in 2008 (Vol. 156, pp. 1201.e1-1201.e11) showed that sodium selenite supplements for 12 weeks may increase levels of GPx-1.

“These data should spur further investigations to elucidate whether enhanced GPx-1 activity achieved by selenium supplementation has a protective role in cardiovascular disease during long-term follow-up,” concluded the researchers from Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, Germany.

Our special edition on heart health will continue tomorrow with a focus on the main players in heart health: Plant sterols, omega-3s, beta-glucan, and soy protein.

Disclaimer: The list of ingredients presented in today’s article is not exhaustive and some ingredients may have been omitted

Swiss government proposes Codex fish oil standards

Swiss government proposes Codex fish oil standards

Post a commentBy Ben Bouckley, 15-Feb-2011

Related topics: Regulation

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) is attending a meeting next week to discuss Swiss government proposals to include marine oils in international Codex guidelines on food supplement standards.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated from the original which stated that the Swedish government is proposing fish oil standards. This news item relates to Switzerland.

David Pineda, head of regulatory affairs, IADSA, told “Use of fish oils has obviously increased worldwide, and we see Omega 3s, for instance, everywhere, in things like milk and cookies, and obviously supplements.”


“IADSA will be attending a Codex [Codex Alimentarius Commission] committee on fats and oils next week to discuss a Swiss government proposal to develop a global standard for fish and algal oils. Talks will involve the potential scope of such a measure, and the methods used to identify different fish oils.”

Nutrient Reference Values review

Food additives remain IADSA’s focus on a global level, with the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) due to meet in March to consider the adoption of draft provisions for food additives used in supplements worldwide.

Although the CCFA’s guidelines are not legally binding, they are hugely influential amongst numerous member governments, who voluntarily undertake to consider them when drafting national regulations on food manufacturing standards and safety.

Pineda said IADSA had enlisted support from Codex member countries for a proposal that the World Health Organisation (WHO) submit scientific evidence on 28 nutrients (both already due for assessment under the CCFA’s proposed review of Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) under its ‘Guidelines on Nutrition Labelling’.

“Discussions will involve revising vitamin and mineral NRVs to update existing valueswhich are currently drawn-up from 1990s data,” as well as considering other nutrients such as marine oils, said Pineda.

Revised guidelines would have a “big impact internationally”, he added, where IADSA encouraging governments to use similar values drawn from (voluntary) Codex code to provide consistent labelling worldwide and product nutrition claims.

Potential in developing world

Pineda said IADSA’s 2011 plans include more work with industry and regulators in key emerging markets such as Russian, Eastern Europe and China: “Russia is a huge potential [supplement] market, there are no words for China and elsewhere, in ASEAN, we are talking 500m-plus inhabitants.”

“When regulations are improved in different countries – and common challenges include defining maximum use levels for products, harmonising labelling, use of claims, this opens up opportunities, not only for nations to export, but also to import supplements from elsewhere.”

Nonetheless, where IADSA plans to continue its work in Latin America, Pineda said the region was “a growing market, but on a regulatory level it’s still very fragmented, with no supplement harmonisation as yet. It’s a big challenge

Milkweed sap cures common skin cancers


NaturalNews) If you talk about herbs, plants and other totally natural substances having the potential to actuallycure cancer, odds are you’ll be greeted with eye-rolling and disbelief — especially from the mainstream medical establishment. But research just published in theJournal of British Dermatologyprovides compelling evidence that the sap from a common weed known as milkweed or petty surge can literally cure certain types of cancers.

Although regarded as a nuisance weed by most gardeners, the plant (whose botanical name isEuphorbia peplus) has been valued for centuries in many folk medicine traditions as atreatmentfor asthma, warts and several types ofcancer. Now a group of Australian scientists from a number of medical institutions in Brisbane have tested milkweed sap on humans and found that it works remarkably well on non-melanomaskin cancers. The researchers believe the plant substance is effective due to a compound it contains called ingenol mebutate which destroys cancer cells.

Non-melanoma skincancers, which affect hundreds of thousands of people world-wide, are rarely fatal. However, they can be disfiguring without treatment — which can involve extensive and repeatedsurgery. These malignant lesions usually appear on the areas of the body most often exposed to the sun, including the head, neck, ears, and back of the hands.

For the new study, the researchers recruited 36patientswith a total of 48 non-melanoma lesions included basal cell carcinomas (BCC), squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and intraepidermal carcinomas (IEC), a growth of cancerous cells confined to the outer layer of theskin. Some of these people had skin cancers that had failed to respond to conventional treatment including surgery. The rest had refused surgery or had been told surgery was not an option for them due to advanced age.

Theresearchparticipants were treated once a day for three consecutive days by an oncologist who used a cotton applicator to simply cover the surface of each cancerous lesion with milkweed sap.One month later, 41 out of 48 cancers had complete disappeared.

Patients who had some of lesions remaining after four weeks were given a second course of milkweed sap treatment. And about 15 months following treatment, two thirds of all the 48skin cancerlesions were still showing a completecure. The final outcome was a 75 per cent total response for IEC lesions, 57 per cent for BCC and 50 per cent for SCC lesions. What’s more, when the lesions disappeared, the skin was left soft and clear.
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Grape seed investments make Burgundy poised for growth

Grape seed investments make Burgundy poised for growth

By Mike Stones, 15-Feb-2011

Related topics: Industry

French botanical extract producer Burgundy Botanical Extracts claims that its latest programme of investment allows the company to deliver what it describes as “French quality grapeseed extracts and European warranty at discount prices.”

Backed by mother company Cristal Union, a leading producer of grape seeds for the extraction of polyphenols and actives, Burgundy claims access to more than 7000t of high quality grape seeds.

The completion of our recent investments in terms of extra capacity of extraction, extra chromatography columns, drying and cleaning rooms give Burgundy a innovative facility, totally automated and computerized for the highest traceability and best performances,” according to a company statement.

Quality products

A spokesman told NutraIngredients: “Customers must have access to quality products without being tempted by low price. Burgundy may now offer both.”

Chinese manufacturers and traders offer grape seed in the range of $35 to $65 compared with higher-quality, assured and traceable European grape seed in the range of $50-$65, he said.

No more information was available about the cost of Burgundy’s grape seed extracts.

In addition to lower costs, the company claimed that its production processes, audited in France, produce a high-quality water extract, from non fermented seeds with a high content of oligomeric proanthocyanidin (OPC), including monomeric and dimeric constituents and antioxidant properties.

The spokesman said the decision to develop its grape seed extract business was unrelated to the state of its Cranberry business.

Expanding grape seed production capacity was in line with its strategy of catching leadership on the polyphenols marketplace, said the company.

The spokesman added: “We already noticed that the market for cranberry was getting mature when we decided to work on a more effective extract to treat urinary tracts infections issues (UTI): this is our UTIrose – selected extract from Hibiscus sabdariffa with the study published on mid of 2010.”

Global market

Meanwhile, Burgundy and Mintel estimate the size of the global market for grapeseed extracts at about 400t and about 200t in the United States. “We understand that our mother (company) Cie would represent close to half of the total access to grapeseeds for extraction of polyphenols – that is not for oil.”

Euromonitor projects single digit annual growth for this sector.

Most of the grape seed harvest is used to produce supplements and healthy food ingredients. That is particularly true since a pharmaceutical drug using up to 40t of extracts has been de-reimbursed (government price support withdrawn) leading to falling sales, said the spokesman

A glass of wine a day helps prevent diabetes

Monday, February 14, 2011 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer

NaturalNews) A single glass of red wine may be as effective at controlling blood sugar as standard diabetes drugs, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria.

Previous research has shown that red wine, grape skins and red grape juice are high in plant chemicals called polyphenols. These antioxidants have been shown to help the body regulate blood sugar, and may thereby help prevent or control diabetes. In the current study, researchers studied the action of grape polyphenols on a cell receptor called PPAR-gamma, which plays an important role in blood sugar  regulation, energy storage and fat storage. They found that even a small glass of wine has enough polyphenols to activate the receptor at least as effectively as the diabetes drug Avandia.

The researchers also compared the polyphenol content of 12 different wines, confirming the popular wisdom that concentrations are higher in red wine

“This is further scientific evidence that a small amount of wine really is beneficial for health ” researcher Alois Jungbauer said.

He cautioned, however, that wine can be high in calories and that moderate consumption  is key.

“Moderate is the equivalent of a small glass each day for women, and two for men,” he said. “Our big problem is to convey the message of a healthy lifestyle because too much wine will cause diabetes  and obesity.”

“If you have wine then you must reduce your intake of calories from food by the same amount.”

Moderate wine consumption is a characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet, which has been shown to improve lifespan and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

“The traditional Mediterranean diet has shown tremendous benefit in fighting heart disease and cancer, as well as diabetes,” write Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno inThe Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.

“It has the following characteristics: Olive oil is the principal source of fat. The diet centers on an abundance of plant food, including fruit, vegetables, breads, pasta, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds. Foods are minimally processed, and there is a focus on seasonally fresh and locally grown foods

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