Small improvements to eating habits may prolong life: Study

MIAMI — It’s hard to eat right all the time, but making small improvements by choosing healthier foods now and then may significantly boost one’s chances of living longer, said a US study on Wednesday (July 12).

The report in the New England Journal of Medicine is the first to show that improving diet quality over at least a dozen years is associated with lower total and cardiovascular mortality.

Researchers at Harvard University tracked dietary changes in a population of nearly 74,000 health professionals who logged their eating habits every four years.

Researchers used a system of diet-quality scores to assess how much diets had improved.

For instance, a 20-percentile increase in scores could “be achieved by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat for one daily serving of nuts or legumes,” said a summary of the research.

Over the 12-year span, those who ate a little better than they did at the start — primarily by consuming more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish — saw an eight to 17 per cent lower risk of dying prematurely in the next 12 years.

Those whose diets got worse over time saw a higher risk of dying in the next 12 years of follow-up, on the order of a six to 12 per cent increase.

“Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said senior author Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School Department of Nutrition.

“A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions,” he added.

“There is no one-size-fits-all diet.” AFP

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/daily-focus/health/small-improvements-eating-habits-may-prolong-life-study

Evidence grows linking grilled meat and cancer, but you can lower the risk

By Emily Sohn June 3 at 8:30 AM

When cooked at high temperatures or over open flames, according to accumulating evidence, compounds in red and processed meats undergo biochemical reactions that produce carcinogenic compounds capable of altering the eater’s DNA.

Grilled vegetables don’t harbor the same risks.

The case for meat as a cancer risk has been building for decades, with plenty of studies showing that people who report eating diets heavy in red and processed meats have higher risks of certain types of cancer, as well as heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Enough of those studies — together with lab work — have built up to make a convincing case that meat carries risks, according to a 2015 analysis by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which considered more than 800 studies conducted around the world.

Overall, the IARC review found that the strongest evidence linked processed meats (such as hot dogs, beef jerky, bacon and ham) to colorectal cancer — with each hot-dog-size serving of processed meat eaten daily raising the risk by 18 percent over a lifetime.

More than 34,000 cancer deaths are caused around the world each year by diets high in processed meat, according to data referenced in the IARC report. By comparison, tobacco causes about a million cancer deaths annually. Alcohol consumption causes 600,000. And air pollution is responsible for 200,000.

The IARC review also found evidence for an association between unprocessed red meat (such as beef or pork) and colorectal cancer, along with some evidence that red meat might contribute to pancreatic and prostate cancers, too.

Cooking methods make a difference, according to studies that have zeroed in on two groups of chemicals that appear in particularly large quantities when meat, fish or poultry is cooked under high heat by grilling, barbecuing, boiling or even pan-frying. One group, called HAAs (heterocyclic aromatic amines), form during high-temperature reactions between substances in muscle tissue.

PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which form when meat is smoked, charred or cooked over an open flame, are also found in tobacco smoke.

Turesky is beginning to turn up evidence that it might. In a study published last year, he and colleagues studied biopsies of prostate tumors and found that DNA in the cancer cells had been damaged by HAAs.

“This is the first unequivocal proof that, once you eat the cooked meat mutagens, some of them find their way to the prostate and damage the prostate,” Turesky says. The study doesn’t prove that meat caused the cancer, he adds. “It could just be an association. Now we have to show that the mutations are attributed to the chemicals in cooked meat.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/evidence-grows-linking-grilled-meat-and-cancer-but-you-can-lower-the-risk/2017/06/02/f946078c-4549-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html?utm_term=.65bccab06061&wpisrc=nl_az_most&wpmk=1

Diet high in saturated fats linked to gut inflammation: Study

Probiotic content in food items such as yoghurt and kimchi help improve gut health

SINGAPORE — Scientists have found more evidence that a diet high in saturated fats is linked to more inflammation in the gut that, in turn, could cause colorectal cancer.

The study by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also found that probiotic content in food items such as yoghurt and kimchi help in improving gut health.

In examining what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the team led by Associate Professor Andrew Tan Nguan Soon discovered that a lower level of Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPLT4) — a protein found in the gut — led to more inflammation.

Assoc Prof Tan said: “In our experiments, we observed that when gut microbes processed saturated fats, they will emit certain chemicals that lower the amount of ANGPLT4 produced by the cells, which then leads to more inflammation.”

When inflammation is prolonged, it could lead to IBD and, later, increase the risk of colon tumours.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore, with more than 9,300 cases diagnosed from 2010 to 2014.

In a press release yesterday, NTU said that the team of NTU scientists led by Assoc Prof Tan discovered this new protein-linked factor that contribute to IBD, and have published their results recently in Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed journal.

Worldwide, about five million people suffer from IBD, which can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, blood in stools and fever.

In Singapore, about 2,000 people suffer this yearly, and the numbers are rising sharply, NTU said.

Assoc Prof Tan said that their findings supported the conventional advice of eating wholesome foods with less saturated fats and with more probiotic content, usually found in fermented foods such as yoghurt or kimchi.

“The types of food being processed by the gut will change the microbe community. A high intake of saturated fat could increase the prevalence and replication of harmful pathogens, suppressing ANGPLT4 and causing even more inflammation,” he explained.

In the study, the team also found that dietary probiotics favour beneficial microbes that form a protective barrier along the gut. Retaining a barrier in the gut may be one way the ANGPTL4 protein prevents harmful bacteria from joining the microbe community.

In a related study, Assoc Prof Tan worked with a team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands to discover the effects that trans fat has on gut health. Published last week in the Journal of Lipid Research, the study found that while saturated fat led to massive IBD in mice that are lacking the ANGPTL4 protein, eating trans fat did not contribute to IBD symptoms but may result in the hardening and narrowing of arteries in the long term.

“In short, the public should eat foods that are high in unsaturated fats, like avocado and olive oil, while avoiding foods containing saturated fat, like butter, and trans fat, like margarine,” Assoc Prof Tan said.

“At the same time, foods containing probiotics, such as yoghurt, should also be consumed, as they improve the health of the gut.”

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/diet-high-saturated-fats-linked-gut-inflammation-study

 

 

The demon in yellow mee and fish balls

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/03/25/the-demon-in-yellow-mee-and-fish-balls/

KUALA LUMPUR: Know how much salt is contained in instant noodles, yellow mee and fish balls?

The three items are enjoyed by many Malaysians on a daily basis, but their excessive consumption doesn’t bode well for the heart and blood pressure due to their high sodium chloride – known commonly as table salt – content, says a dietician.

In an interview with FMT, National Heart Institute (IJN) chief dietician Mary Easaw said processed foods, such as instant noodles and fish balls, contained a lot of salt.

“If you look at noodles, you’ll see that mee hoon and kuey teow contain only 6mg of sodium chloride per every 100gm.”

In the case of instant noodles, every 100gm contains 104mg of sodium chloride, while every 100gm of yellow mee contains 177mg of sodium chloride.

“In the case of fish balls, 10 fish balls contain 800mg of sodium chloride. In comparison, 10 small slices of fish only contain 100mg of salt.”

But Easaw said Malaysians had to be aware of more than just how much salt a food item contained.

“People need to know where salt comes from. It’s more than just table salt. Salt is also contained in large quantities in processed meats, preserved foods and sauces such as soy and oyster sauce, as well as tomato and chilli sauce.

“So, when we eat out or cook at home, sauces would be mixed alongside ingredients which already contain salt. It’s more salt than we need.”

Easaw said awareness of how much salt foods contained, and where they came from, was especially important in Asia as Asians had a greater tendency to consume foods which had a higher salt content compared with Westerners.

“This is down to us Asians having a ‘fifth’ taste sense known as umami, which is sensitive to a type of amino acid known more commonly as glutamate,” she said, adding that ‘umami’ was something which was still being studied by scientists.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults consume less than 2,000mg of sodium a day, but according to a 2015 New Straits Times article, Malaysians consume some 2,575mg of salt. This is 25% more than the recommended amount.

Last June, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam revealed that 6.1 million Malaysians suffered from hypertension and 9.6 million had a high cholesterol level. He said 3.3 million Malaysians were obese.

All three diseases are linked to a high intake of salt.

In 2008, the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) in the UK launched a global movement to improve the health of populations across the world by a gradual reduction in salt intake.

WASH runs Salt Awareness Week from March 20 to 26 every year to highlight the importance of salt reduction.

 

Unhealthy eating is linked to 400,000 US deaths per year: Study

MIAMI — Unhealthy eating habits can be blamed for more than 400,000 US deaths a year due to heart disease and related illnesses, researchers said Thursday (March 10).

The problem is twofold: Americans are eating too much salty, fatty and sugary fare, and not enough fruit, vegetables and whole grains, experts said at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Portland, Oregon.

“Low intake of healthy foods such as nuts, vegetables, whole grains and fruits combined with higher intake of unhealthy dietary components, such as salt and trans fat, is a major contributor to deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States,” said lead study author mr Ashkan Afshin, assistant professor of global health at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Trans fat has been largely phased out of the food supply, but can still be found in some margarines, biscuits, cookies, frosting and other processed foods.

If Americans were to alter their eating habits, many lives could be saved, Mr Afshin said.

“Our results show that nearly half of cardiovascular disease deaths in the United States can be prevented by improving diet.”

The study was based on data from a variety of sources going back to the 1990s, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

More than 600,000 people die annually because of heart disease, or one in four of all US deaths.

Smoking, obesity, diet, exercise and hereditary factors can all contribute to person’s likelihood of developing heart disease.

By examining data on US cardiovascular deaths in 2015, researchers found that dietary choices played a role in the deaths of an estimated 222,100 men and 193,400 women.

Experts at the American Heart Association encourage people to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, fish and poultry.

People should avoid or limit their intake of fatty or processed red meat, sugary soft drinks, salt, saturated and trans fats. AFP

http://www.todayonline.com/world/americas/unhealthy-eating-linked-400000-us-deaths-year-study

Fiber-rich diet could cut colorectal cancer risk, says study

In a paper published in JAMA oncology, Doctor Raaj Mehta and colleagues from Harvard Medical School (USA) suggest that a diet rich in fiber and whole grains could influence the risk of developing colorectal cancer linked to a strain of gut bacteria called Fusobacterium nucleatum.

Fusobacterium nucleatum is an inflammatory bacterium that is thought to play a role in colorectal cancer by blocking the immune response triggered to combat tumor cells in the colon.

By studying the diets of 137,217 people over approximately 30 years, and analyzing 1000 samples from colorectal tumors and their Fusobacterium nucleatum levels, the Harvard researchers found that individuals eating diets rich in whole-grain cereals and fiber had a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer containing this particular type of bacteria.

However, the behavior of tumors not containing Fusobacterium nucleatum was unchanged and the risk of developing colorectal cancer not containing the bacterium was not reduced.

The study concludes that, beyond this type of bacteria, dietary choices have the potential to increase or reduce cancer risk by affecting the bacteria in the digestive tract.

Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer and the third most common form of the disease. However, if detected early, colorectal cancer can be cured in nine out of 10 cases.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2017/01/29/fiber-rich-diet-could-cut-colorectal-cancer-risk-says-study/

 

 

What Doctors Don’t Know About Nutrition

 Ty Bollinger: …. One of my good friends is a physician in San Antonio. He said that he went to school for 12 years. Twelve years! He had two literal hours on a Wednesday afternoon for nutrition and that’s it. So, the reason that your doctor does not tell you about the effects of nutrition on your health or about the effects of nutrition on cancer is that he or she doesn’t know it..

 Mike Adams: You are what you eat!

So, if you’re eating junk, if you’re eating toxins, or if you’re eating heavy metals, your body, your brains, your organs, your skin and everything that’s in your physical body becomes junk, becomes toxic, and becomes processed. Not natural.

That idea is not yet recognized by the entire system of modern medicine with all of its claimed advances and with all of the billions of dollars that have gone in the cancer-research industry. They still cannot yet grasp a simple concept that a five year old understands almost automatically.