Archive for June, 2017

Nutrition News – June 16th–23rd

June 23rd, 2017

This is our weekly selection of recently published studies and reviews in nutrition. Here are some of the most interesting findings this week:

  • Probiotic supplements may improve blood sugar control in diabetic pregnant women.
  • Probiotic supplements before a liver transplant may reduce the risk of infection following the procedure.
  • Kidney transplant recipients are often deficient in vitamin B6, but the deficiency doesn’t appear to be caused by a poor dietary intake.
  • Replacing dietary glucose or sucrose with fructose lowers blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, without appearing to have any adverse health effects.

New Research From Around the World

Lots of recent papers came to our attention this week. Here are summaries of the most interesting or relevant studies, categorized by subject.

  1. Obesity and Weight Loss
  2. Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes
  3. Heart Health
  4. Cancer
  5. Brain and Mental Health
  6. Kidney and Urinary Health
  7. Muscles and Physical Performance
  8. Growth
  9. Infections and Immune Health
  10. Longevity and Healthy Aging
  11. Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients

1. Obesity and Weight Loss

Alpha-lipoic acid supplement in obesity treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials.

Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is a fatty acid and antioxidant that’s sold as a weight loss supplement. In addition to being produced by your body, it is found in almost all food, especially organ meats, spinach and broccoli.

This meta-analysis of controlled studies concluded that ALA supplements may cause a slight weight loss.


Maternal dietary intakes of refined grains during pregnancy and growth through the first 7 y of life among children born to women with gestational diabetes.

This prospective observational study in 918 Danish mothers and their children found that a high intake of refined grains during pregnancy made the children more likely be overweight or obese at age seven.

The risk was greater among children who were breastfed for less than six months. All of the participating mothers had diabetes during pregnancy.


Yogurt consumption, body composition, and metabolic health in the Québec Family Study.

This observational study in 839 Canadian adults found that those who regularly consumed yogurt had a lower waist circumference, body mass index, body fat percentage and insulin levels.


2. Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes

Chronic fructose substitution for glucose or sucrose in food or beverages has little effect on fasting blood glucose, insulin, or triglycerides: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

The health effects of fructose are controversial, and studies have reported conflicting findings. This review and meta-analysis of controlled studies examined the health benefits of replacing glucose or sucrose in food and beverages with fructose.

The study concluded that replacing glucose and sucrose may slightly lower fasting blood sugar, triglycerides and body weight in some people, especially those who have type 2 diabetes.


Fructose replacement of glucose or sucrose in food or beverages lowers postprandial glucose and insulin without raising triglycerides: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

This meta-analysis of controlled studies concluded that replacing dietary glucose or sucrose with fructose led to a significantly lower peak blood sugar and insulin levels after meals, especially in diabetic people.

Although previous studies suggest that excessive fructose intake may adversely affect the blood lipid profile, the replacement didn’t increase triglyceride levels. The potential adverse effects of fructose are probably dose-dependent.


Impact of breakfast skipping compared with dinner skipping on regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk.

This crossover study found that skipping either breakfast or dinner for one day increased the number of calories burned, compared to eating three main meals per day.

However, the study also showed that breakfast skipping increased insulin levels after eating, as well as fat oxidation (fat burning). Further studies need to investigate the long-term effects of meal skipping.


Effect of Probiotics on Metabolic Outcomes in Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

This review and meta-analysis of four high-quality, controlled studies concluded that probiotic supplements may benefit women who suffer from diabetes during pregnancy.

Specifically, taking probiotic supplements for 6–8 weeks significantly improved insulin sensitivity. In contrast, the probiotics had no significant effects on weight gain or birth outcomes.


3. Heart Health

Energy drinks and atrial fibrillation in young adults.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a type of abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that’s characterized by fast or irregular heartbeats. It is a risk factor for stroke and heart attacks.

This review of observational studies concluded that a high intake of energy drinks may trigger AF in young people, especially when combined with alcoholic drinks.


4. Cancer

Alcohol Intake and Breast Cancer Risk in African American Women from the AMBER Consortium.

Alcohol intake is a well-known risk factor for breast cancer. This study in 22,338 African-American women showed that consuming seven or more alcoholic drinks per week was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.


5. Brain and Mental Health

The association between an inflammatory diet and global cognitive function and incident dementia in older women: The Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study.

The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) rates the inflammatory potential of a diet. Some foods are pro-inflammatory, whereas others are anti-inflammatory or neutral.

This prospective observational study in 7,085 women aged 65–79 found that following a diet with a high pro-inflammatory potential was associated with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia.


Abdominal Adiposity is Associated with Higher Levels of Depression Severity, Cognitive Impairment and Markers of Inflammation and Insulin Resistance.

This observational study in 7,794 adults found that abdominal obesity was associated with an increased risk of depression.

Among those who were depressed, increased abdominal fat was linked to greater cognitive impairment, inflammation and insulin resistance.


6. Kidney and Urinary Health

High dietary phosphorus density is a risk factor for incident chronic kidney disease development in diabetic subjects: a community-based prospective cohort study.

Phosphorus is a dietary mineral found in protein-rich foods, such as dairy products, meat, poultry and fish, especially processed meat and cheese. Cereals are also a decent source.

This observational study in diabetic adults found that a high dietary phosphorus intake was associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease.


Vitamin C Depletion and All-Cause Mortality in Renal Transplant Recipients.

This observational study in 598 kidney transplant recipients found that low vitamin C levels (vitamin C depletion) were associated with a 95% higher risk of death.

The authors hypothesized that these benefits are partly caused by vitamin C’s anti-inflammatory effects.


Vitamin B-6 deficiency is common and associated with poor long-term outcome in renal transplant recipients.

This observational study in 687 kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) found that they were often deficient in vitamin B6. However, the deficiency didn’t appear to be caused by a poor intake of vitamin B6.

Additionally, the study showed that vitamin B6-deficient KTRs were 114% more likely to die, compared to those who had adequate levels.


7. Muscles and Physical Performance

High adherence to a Mediterranean diet and lower risk of frailty among French older adults community dwellers: Results from the Three-City-Bordeaux study.

This prospective observational study in 560 French adults aged 75 or older showed that following a diet resembling the Mediterranean diet (MD) was linked to a reduced risk of frailty.

Specifically, it was associated with a 55% reduced risk of slowness, 56% lower risk of poor muscle strength and a 61% decreased risk of low physical activity, compared to those who followed a diet that least resembled the MD.


8. Growth

Association between noncow milk beverage consumption and childhood height.

Previous studies indicate that a high cow milk intake may increase height growth in childhood.

This observational study in 5,034 Canadian children aged 24–72 months found that high non-cow milk consumption was associated with shorter childhood height.


9. Infections and Immune Health

Effects of continuous use of probiotics before liver transplantation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

This controlled study in 55 patients waiting for a liver transplant (LT) examined the health benefits of probiotic supplements.

The study showed that those who took probiotic supplements before LT were significantly less likely to suffer from infections in the following 90 days after LT.


10. Longevity and Healthy Aging

Fried potato consumption is associated with elevated mortality: an 8-y longitudinal cohort study.

This eight-year observational study in 4,440 US adults aged 45–79 showed that eating fried potatoes 2–3 times per week was linked to a 95% higher risk of death, compared to those with the lowest intake of fried potatoes.

The risk appeared to be dose-dependent. Eating them three times or more per week was linked to a 126% higher risk. In contrast, eating unfried potatoes was not significantly associated with the risk of death.


11. Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients

Lactose Intolerance (LCT-13910C>T) Genotype Is Associated with Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in Caucasians: A Mendelian Randomization Study.

Genetics affect people’s risk of developing lactose intolerance (LI). The LCT-13910C>T gene variant is involved.

This observational study showed that people with the CC type of LCT-13910C>T were at an increased risk of LI, compared to the TT genotype. Also, Caucasians with the CC genotype had lower levels of vitamin D, partly due to their lower dairy intake.

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