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Multi-Vitamins May Help to Slow Memory Loss of Aging

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 39 percent of adults ages 60 and older take multi-vitamin pills, spending more than $8 billion on them each year. Highly respected researchers at Harvard and Columbia medical schools conducted a study of more than 3,500 people, ages 60 and older, and found that compared to those who took a placebo, those who took a multi-vitamin pill did significantly better on word recall after one year

WHO Warnings on Artificial Sweeteners

WHO (World Health Organization), the United Nations' health agency, advises that most people should not use non-sugar sweeteners to replace sugar in foods. They report that artificial sweeteners have not been shown to help people lose body fat long-term.

Sugar Added to Foods and Drinks Causes Inflammation

Your immune system helps you by preventing harmful germs from entering your cells. Your immune system responds with these same cells and proteins when cells in your body are injured, to remove damaged tissue and start the healing process. As soon as the germs are destroyed, or tissues heal, your immune system is supposed to stop sending out huge amounts of these cells and proteins. However, if your immune system stays overactive all the time, you develop inflammation in which these same cells and proteins attack and damage your own cells.

Plant-Based Diets Help to Prevent Dementia

A review of 14 studies with a total of 224,049 participants found that the MIND diet ("Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay") is associated with reduced dementia risk for middle-aged and older adults, and with reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Eggs Get More Controversial Headlines

On February 27, 2023, Fox News reported, “Add an egg (or 3) to your daily diet for heart health. Eggs may significantly reduce heart health risk, a recent study finds.” The Fox News report said, "The study found that eating one to three eggs per week could reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease by up to 60 percent. Those who consumed four to seven eggs per week cut their risk for heart disease by 70 percent."

Both Honey and Table Sugar Raise Blood Sugar

A high rise in blood sugar after eating increases risk for obesity, diabetes and heart attacks. Glycemic index (GI), which measures how high blood sugar rises after you eat a food, is almost the same for honey and sugar: 55 for honey and 65 for table sugar, which is not a significant difference. Honey contains two sugars that are mostly-separated (glucose and fructose), while table sugar has the same two sugars but they are bound together to form a double sugar called sucrose. In your body, they end up being absorbed in exactly the same way.

Sugared Drinks Associated with Weight Gain

The largest and most thorough review to date of research on sweetened drinks found that "fruit" drinks and other sweetened drinks are strongly associated with overweight and obesity. The authors reviewed 85 studies, covering more than half a million participants, and found that each increase in servings-per-day of sweetened drinks is associated with a one pound increase per year in body weight in adults, and one half pound in children.

No Amount of Alcohol is Healthful

Low-volume alcohol drinking is not associated with protection against death from all causes. An analysis of 107 studies involving more than 4.8 million participants found no significant reductions in death rates for those who drank fewer than 25 grams of alcohol per day (two standard drinks) compared with lifetime nondrinkers.

Types of Carbohydrates, Not Amount, Associated with Heart Disease and Diabetes

Eating carbohydrates contained in plants is associated with reduced heart attack and stroke risk, while eating sugar added to prepared foods and drinks is associated with increased heart attack and stroke risk. Researchers evaluated data from 110,497 healthy people who did not have heart disease or diabetes and followed them for 9.4 years. They found that increased total carbohydrate intake was not associated with increased risk for heart disease.

Concerns About Artificial Sweeteners

A study that followed 2,149 North Americans and 833 Europeans for three years found that having elevated blood levels of artificial sweeteners such as erythritol was associated with increased risk for heart attacks and for death from a heart attack or stroke. Stanley L. Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic found that after taking the commonly-used artificial sweetener, erythritol, healthy people who did not suffer from heart disease had elevated blood levels of erythritol and increased risk for developing clots, a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.

Skipping Breakfast May Harm Immune Response

A new study found that skipping breakfast could damage your immune system. Missing the first meal of the day can suppress the immune cells of the brain to make it more difficult for your body to fight off infection. Mice that received no breakfast had an incredible 90 percent fewer monocytes in their blood four hours after skipping breakfast and even lower levels eight hours later.

Mercury in Some Fish May Harm You

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned that the mercury levels in some fish and shell fish may be harmful to you, particularly for pregnant women and growing children, so they have published a chart classifying fish by mercury concentrations. Too much mercury can damage the brains of children and babies, and the nerves and brains of adults. Women can pass mercury to their babies during pregnancy or breast-feeding. The general rule is that the older and larger the fish, the more time it has to accumulate mercury and the greater the chance for it to have larger amounts of mercury in it.

You Can Get Enough Protein Without Eating Meat

You can get all the protein your body needs by eating plants if you want to avoid protein from animal sources. Researchers used sophisticated blood tests and muscle biopsies to show that healthy young males were able to grow the same amount of muscle after eating 30 grams of a blend combining wheat, corn, and pea protein as they did after eating the same amount of milk protein.

Move Around Before and After You Eat

Always try to move your muscles before and after you eat because moving muscles helps to prevent a high rise in blood sugar after eating that can damage cells and increase your risk for diabetes, blood vessel damage, heart attacks, strokes, some types of cancers, and dementia. Eating at night and then going to bed increases risk for obesity and diabetes by increasing hunger, decreasing calorie burning and modifying hormone and calorie balance

Whole (Unrefined) Grains Are Healthful

You should eat lots of unrefined whole grains because they promote the growth of healthful colon bacteria that help to prevent death and heart disease, particularly if you are overweight or have high blood sugar levels.  A study from Iran found that people who ate lots of refined grains were at increased risk for suffering blocked arteries leading to the heart, while those who ate more whole grains were at reduced risk.

High Salt Intake and Dehydration Can Hasten Aging

Staying hydrated may slow the aging process. NIH researchers followed 11,255 adults for 30 years and found that compared to those who didn't drink enough fluids, those who stayed well-hydrated aged more slowly, lived longer, and were far less likely to develop chronic diseases such as those of the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Butyrate Causes Significant Weight Loss in Obese Children

A group of 54 very obese children, 5 to 17 year of age, were placed on a standard weight loss diet plus either a butyrate supplement or a placebo for six months. The butyrate group took sodium butyrate capsules, 20 mg/kg body weight per day, up to a maximum of 800 mg per day for six months. Those given butyrate lost significantly more weight than those in the placebo group.

How Eating Meat Increases Risk for Heart Failure

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that people with high blood levels of a chemical called phenylacetylglutamine (PAG) are at high risk for heart failure that affects more than 6.2 million North Americans. PAG is formed primarily in the colon where bacteria there make it from the amino acid phenylalanine that is found in meat and other rich sources of protein. The higher the blood level of PAG, the more severe the heart failure risk.

New Research on Why Eating Meat is Associated with Heart Disease

A study from the Cleveland Clinic and Tufts University found a 22 percent greater risk for heart disease for every 1.1 serving of meat per day (3.3 oz. cooked lean meat). This study followed more than 4,000 men and women older than 65 for an average of 12.5 years, and the increased heart attack risk was directly related to blood levels of TMAO and its precursors.

Fiber from Grains Linked to Reduced Heart Attack Risk

A study of 4125 patients, 65 years or older, followed for an average of almost 11 years, found that higher total fiber intake from grains, fruits and vegetables was associated with lower inflammation rates.. The reduction in markers of inflammation improved even more in patients who ate an additional five grams per day of fiber from grains.

Calcium and Vitamin D Pills May Not Prevent Fractures

Everyone agrees that movement and exercise help to slow down the inevitable loss of bone with aging that increases risk for fractures. Most studies show that maintaining normal levels of vitamin D and getting your calcium from food also help to prevent fractures, but almost all studies show that calcium pills by themselves do not help to prevent osteoporosis or fractures.

Latest Research on Pro-Inflammatory Foods

Some foods ("pro-inflammatory") turn on your immune system to cause these cells and proteins to attack and damage your own normal cells, while other foods ("anti-inflammatory") dampen down this response to protect your cells from damage from an overactive immune system. Pro-inflammatory foods are associated with many diseases, and anti-inflammatory foods can help to prevent them. The more pro-inflammatory foods that you eat, the greater your chances of developing chronic inflammation and the diseases it causes.

Sugared Drinks Linked to Type II Diabetes, Obesity, Heart Attacks and Some Cancers

Researchers followed more than 934,000 cancer-free people for 34 years, during which more than 135,000 died from cancer. Those who drank more than two sugar-sweetened beverages per day were at increased risk for death from 20 different cancers. The data showed that sugared drinks are associated with a high rate of obesity which, by itself, is associated with increased risk for cancer and death from cancer.

How Sugar Can Cause Obesity and Diabetes

A recent study on mice helps us understand how eating sugar can cause diabetes and obesity. Eating excess sugar can cause loss of protective T Helper cells (TH17 cells), to allow overgrowth of harmful bacteria that damage the linings of your gut and increase absorption of calories and fat when you don't need them. Eliminating sugar from the mice's high-fat diet protected them from developing obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Ultra-Processed Foods and Risk for Obesity and Cancers

One study followed more than 200,000 U.S. men and women for up to 28 years and found that eating almost any type of ultra-processed food was associated with increased risk for colorectal cancer in men, but not in women Men were at significantly higher risk for colon cancer if they ate a lot of meat and sugar-sweetened beverages. Ultra-processed foods were also associated with increased risk for weight gain.

Stainless Steel for Exercise Water Bottles

Most exercise water bottles are made from plastic, and about 10 percent of them contain the chemical BPA, a highly suspected carcinogen and hormone blocker. The Food and Drug Administration plans to decide by October 31, 2022 whether to ban BPA from most containers and utensils that come in contact with food. They have already banned BPA from baby bottles. “Most Americans get 5,000 times more BPA in their daily diet than the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) expert panel says is safe."

Can Liners and Other Plastic Packaging May Not Be Safe

In April 2022, the Environmental Defense Fund sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking them to again consider removing BPA (bisphenol A) from can liners, plastic bottles and anything else that comes in contact with, and can leach into, foods and beverages. They quoted extensive research showing how harmful BPA may really be and stated that there is no longer a reasonable certainty of safety. BPA is a chemical that has been used to make certain plastics used for can liners and other packaging of foods and drinks since 1950, that can potentially harm you.

Artificial Sweeteners Can Change Your Gut Bacteria

A study from Israel found that two artificial sweeteners, saccharin and sucralose, significantly raised blood sugar levels in healthy adults. Transferring their colon bacteria to mice caused the mice to suffer the same elevations in blood sugar. Artificial sweeteners can harm you by altering the bacteria in your colon (Nutrition Today, May 6, 2021;56(3):105-113). Some artificial sweeteners may cause inflammation, a condition in which your own immune system, which is supposed to kill invading germs, stays active all the time to attack you

Fruits and Vegetables for Endurance

A new study found that short-term high protein diets may hinder muscle endurance and short-term high carbohydrate diets may increase endurance. This study found that what elite long-distance runners ate determined which types of bacteria lived in their colons. A diet high in fruits and vegetables (high-carbohydrates) was associated with improved time-trial runs in highly trained competitive runners by 6.5 percent.

Mediterranean Diets are Safer than Keto Diets for Controlling Blood Sugar

A 36-week study from Stanford University compared the benefits of two diets -- a Mediterranean diet and a ketogenic diet -- for treating 33 individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Both diets were based on eating lots of non-starchy foods that do not cause a high rise in blood sugar, and avoiding foods that cause a high rise in blood sugar such as sugar-added foods or drinks and foods made from flour (ground-up whole grains).