FOOD BITES: JULY 2018

Magnesium Treats Depression

As little as 248 mg of magnesium per day leads to an astounding reversal of depression syndrome, according to research conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and published in the journal PLoS One in June 2017.

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FOOD BITES: AUGUST 2018

Source of Yuma E. Coli Romaine Found

Federal officials first announced on April 13 an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown and produced in the Yuma, Ariz., area. Federal investigators found the source of the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 on July 28: canal water.

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FOOD BITES: NOVEMBER 2018

Lab-Grown Meat Gaining Traction

More and more meat is being grown in labs from cultured cells. Several start-ups, such as Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats, SuperMeat and Finless Foods, are developing lab-grown beef, pork, poultry and seafood. This burgeoning niche industry is attracting millions in funding; Memphis Meats gobbled

….FULL ARTICLE

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FOOD BITES: APRIL 2021

Vitamin D Fights Melanoma


Vitamin D is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. It is also found in fatty fish, egg yolk and fortified foods such as cereal and oatmeal. In a study published in the journal Cancer Research, British researchers reported increasing vitamin D levels can help suppress a signaling pathway linked to the growth and spread of melanoma cells. Past studies have linked low levels of vitamin D in the body to a worse melanoma outcome, but the precise mechanisms behind this had been unclear. The research- ers investigated what happens when cells lack a protein called vitamin D receptor (VDR). Vitamin D cannot bind to cells unless the cells have VDRs on their surfaces. The researchers found human tumors with low VDR gene expression grew more rapidly and displayed reduced expression of proteins involved in promoting immune-mediated anti-cancer activity. Vitamin D on its own won’t treat cancer, but scientists could take insights from the way it works to boost the effects of immunotherapy Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in cells known as melanocytes. While less common than basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, it is more dangerous because it spreads more easily to other organs if left untreated at an early stage. In the United States, nearly 7,000 people die from melanoma every year.


Source: Food Science News (www.foodscience.news)

Rising Temperatures Raise Concerns About Food Chains


Rising temperatures could reduce the efficiency of food chains and threaten the survival of larger animals, new research shows. Scientists at the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London measured the transfer of energy from single-celled algae (phytoplankton) to small animals that eat them (zooplank- ton). Their study, published in the journal Nature, found 4°C of warming reduced energy transfer in the plankton food webs by up to 56 percent. Warmer conditions increase the metabolic cost of growth, leading to less efficient energy flow through the food chain and ultimately to a reduction in overall biomass. Phytoplankton and zooplankton are the foundation of food webs that support the freshwater and marine ecosystems humans depend on. The impact on larger animals at the top of food chains, which depend on energy passed up from lower down the food chain, could be severe. More research is needed.


Source: Science News Daily (www.sciencenewsdaily.com)

Cruciferous Vegetables and the Fight Against Cancer


Researchers at South Dakota State University recently reported reported a compound found in cruciferous vegetables called phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) can halt tumor formation and metastasis in mice bearing transplanted cancer stem cells (CSCs). PEITC can also stop the proliferation of cultured CSCs, which are heavily implicated in tumor recurrence. These findings sug- gest PEITC could greatly benefit cancer patients and survivors. Cruciferous vegetables, which include broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, come in various colors, shapes and sizes. They are great additions to a healthy diet because they’re low in calories but rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins C, E and K and folate. They are also excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients that help combat various diseases. In addition to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, cruciferous vegetables also contain anti-cancer compounds called glu- cosinolates. Inside the body, glucosinolates are broken down by an enzyme called myrosinase, which causes the release of active compounds from the glucosinolates, such as indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates and isothiocyanates. Studies have found that these chemicals can prevent or fight cancer by neutralizing cancer-caus- ing molecules, reducing inflammation, inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and protecting cells from oxidative damage. Preclinical studies have also found PEITC exerts significant anti-cancer effects even at very low concentrations.


Source: Food Science News (www.foodscience.news)

ANGELA S. HOOVER




Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.