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.

….FULL ARTICLE

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: MAY 2020

Ketogenic Diets May Help With Asthma


Even low concentrations of some allergens can cause severe inflammation of the bronchi in those with asthma. This inflammation is accompanied by increased mucus production, which makes breathing even more difficult. Innate Lymphoid Cells (ILC) that were discovered a few years ago play a central role in this process. These cells perform an important protective function in the lungs by regenerating damaged mucus membranes. To do so, they produce inflammatory messengers from cytokines, which stimulate division of the mucosal cells and promote mucus production. Ordinarily, this mechanism is useful because it allows the body to quickly repair damage caused by pathogens or harmful substances. The mucus transports the pathogens out of the bronchial tubes and protects the respiratory tract against re-infection. “With asthma, however, the inflammatory reaction is much stronger and longer than nor- mal,” said Dr. Chistoph Wilhelm from the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology. He is also a member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation at the University of Bonn. The ILCs multiply rapidly during this process and produce large amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Scientists hope to slow down ILC division to better control the excessive reaction. Some pathways were significantly more active in dividing ILCs. They primarily ensure cells are supplied with energy and the building blocks they require for reproduction. They use fatty acids to do so.

Fatty acids help the cell membrane form a thin skin with which cells separate themselves from their surroundings. Researchers questioned what happens if cells are forced to use those fatty acids elsewhere. The researchers put asthmatic mice on a primarily fat-based diet with very little carbohydrates and proteins. With this ketogenic diet, the cells got their energy by burning fat. However, this meant they lacked fatty acids, which they need for the formation of new membranes during cell division. The division activity of the ILCs in the mice decreased dramatically. “The prevalence of asthma has increased over the last few decades. Perhaps this is also related to an increasingly common high-sugar and high-fat diet,” Wilhelm said. The scientists next want to see if a ketogenic diet can prevent asthma attacks in humans. The research was published April 7 in the journal Immunity.


Does an Apple a Day Keep Menopause Symptoms Away?


New research from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) found higher intakes of certain fruits and vegetables can result in fewer menopause symptoms. Previous studies found dietary factors may play a critical role in estrogen production, metabolism and, consequently, menopause symptoms.

In particular, consuming fruits or following a Mediterranean style diet, which is characterized by a high content of vegetables, fruit, cereals and nuts, was linked to fewer menopause symptoms and complaints. This study found some fruits and vegetables exacerbated menopause symptoms while others decreased them. Citrus fruits, green leafy and dark yellow vegetables worsen menopause symptoms compared to other fruits and vegetables. “There is ample evidence a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables has a beneficial effect on health in a myriad of ways, but additional study is needed to determine whether various menopause symptoms may be affected by dietary choices,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. The results were published Feb. 18 in NAMS’ journal.

ANGELA S. HOOVER




Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.