- Probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus may reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy.
- High choline intake is associated with greater bone mineral density, potentially reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Human milk oligosaccharides have protective effects on the digestive system in infants, especially preterm infants.
- NMN – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide may help slow disease, according to study on sirtuins and brain NAD+
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.
- Obesity and Weight Loss
- Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes
- Heart Health
- Appetite and Eating
- Digestive Health
- Liver Health
- Bone Health
- Longevity and Healthy Aging
1. Obesity and Weight Loss
This meta-analysis of observational studies concluded that regularly drinking 100% fruit juice without added sugar is associated with a slightly increased risk of weight gain in children aged 1–6.
However, the authors considered the weight gain clinically insignificant. Also, no statistically significant association was found between 100% fruit juice intake and weight gain in children and adolescents aged 7–18.
2. Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes
This observational study in 980 Asian women found that a higher intake of both animal and vegetable protein was associated with an increased risk of diabetes during pregnancy.
This observational study in 4,718 women showed that high circulating levels of vitamin D were associated with an increased risk of diabetes during pregnancy.
Women low in vitamin D were also at an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth, miscarriage and anemia.
This controlled study in pregnant women found that supplementing with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus early in pregnancy may reduce the risk of diabetes during pregnancy by 69%.
However, this was only statistically significant in women aged 35 or older or those who had previously suffered from diabetes during pregnancy.
3. Heart Health
This crossover study in 51 adults compared the effects of two, four-week diets: 1) a diet high in red, processed meat and refined grains (HMD), and 2) a diet high in dairy, whole grains, nuts and legumes (HWD).
The study showed that levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which is a risk factor for heart disease and blood clots, were higher after the HMD. No significant differences in inflammatory markers or blood lipids were detected.
The Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII) rates the inflammatory potential of a diet. Some foods may be pro-inflammatory, whereas others may be anti-inflammatory.
This observational study in 6,944 Swedish adults showed that a pro-inflammatory diet increased the risk of having a first heart attack in males, whereas no significant links were found in women.
This observational study in 1,038 African-American women showed that those who supplemented with the highest amounts of selenium were at a 30% lower risk of ovarian cancer, compared to those who didn’t supplement.
However, there was no significant association between the intake of selenium from food and ovarian cancer.
Enterolactone is a lignan produced by intestinal bacteria from other dietary lignans. Lignans are antioxidant polyphenols that are abundant in some high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
This observational study in 1,390 Danish men who were diagnosed with prostate cancer found no significant association between circulating enterolactone levels (measured before diagnosis) and the risk of death during follow-up.
This meta-analysis of observational studies, including a total of 41,185 women, found no significant links between the intake of fruits and vegetables and the risk of breast cancer.
5. Appetite and Eating
Previous single-meal studies indicate that polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) cause a greater satiety than other types of fat. However, the long-term effects of high-PUFA diets have not been examined.
This seven-day study in 26 adults showed that a high-PUFA diet increased fasting and post-meal levels of peptide YY (PYY), which is a marker of satiety, compared to the control diet. However, the participants didn’t report any changes in their appetite.
This study in 12 young women found that eating a blue potato soup significantly reduced willingness to eat and ratings of palatability, comfort, warmth and anxiety, compared to soups that were white or yellow but otherwise identical.
Additionally, self-reported satiety was lower after eating the blue soup.
6. Digestive Health
Necrotising enterocolitis (NE) is one of the most common intestinal disorders in preterm infants. The risk of death among infants with NE is quite high. Breastfed infants are at a significantly lower risk of NE than those who are formula fed.
This observational study in 200 mothers and their infants showed that the levels of disialyllacto-N-tetraose, a type of human milk oligosaccharide, were significantly lower in the breast milk of mothers whose children developed NE.
7. Liver Health
Oxidative stress is when levels of oxidants are high relative to levels of antioxidants. Over time, oxidative stress may cause damage to the body and increase the risk of chronic disease.
This observational study in 487 HIV-infected people, some of which had hepatitis C (liver inflammation), found that low zinc levels were associated with increased oxidative stress and liver fibrosis, which is one of the symptoms of hepatitis.
8. Bone Health
Choline is a nutrient mainly found in animal-sourced foods, such as eggs and liver, but small amounts are also found in plants. Dietary intake of choline is not essential since the body can generally produce sufficient amounts.
This observational study in 4,632 middle-aged and older adults showed that a high dietary choline intake was associated with higher bone mineral density, possibly reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is the amount of minerals, such as calcium, found in your bones. It tends to decrease with age. Low BMD is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
This observational study in older Caucasian adults found that a higher intake of dairy, milk, yogurt and cheese was associated with greater BMD. Taking vitamin D supplements seemed to increase this protective effect of dairy.
9. Longevity and Healthy Aging
Telomeres are sequences of DNA at the ends of DNA strands, which protect them from fusing with neighboring strands. They naturally shorten with age, but oxidative stress may accelerate their shortening, possibly contributing to aging.
This observational study showed that low vitamin D levels were modestly associated with a shorter telomere length in the white blood cells of middle-aged US adults.
This observational study found that following Mediterranean or Paleolithic dietary patterns was associated with a reduced risk of death from any cause.
Specifically, those who followed diets who most resembled the Mediterranean or Paleolithic diets were at a 23% reduced risk of death during the study’s six-year average follow-up.
This observational study in colorectal cancer survivors found that following a Mediterranean (MD) or Nordic dietary pattern (ND) was linked to a lower risk of death from any cause during the six years of follow-up.
Specifically, those who adhered most to the MD were at a 52% lower risk of dying during the follow-up period, while closely following the ND was linked to a 37% lower risk.
Intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is linked to various health benefits.
This observational study in 627 kidney transplant recipients showed that a high intake of EPA and DHA was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, especially in older and non-smoking individuals.