Study: Another Food Additive Could Be Putting Your Health at Risk
Food additives are commonly used to preserve flavour or enhance taste, appearance, or other qualities to make it more appealing to the consumer as well as extend shelf-life. The health effects of such additives have long been debated and new research suggests that a common food additive found in more than 900 products could be doing significant damage to your gut health; it may even cause cancer.
 
Titanium dioxide nano-particles, or E171, is a common additive used by manufacturers to whiten various products, including chewing gum, cake icing and candy, for instance. Researchers at the University of Sydney decided to study the effects of E171 on mice and discovered that it made the gut more susceptible to disease. 
 
“It is well established that dietary composition has an impact on physiology and health, yet, the role of food additives is poorly understood,” said co-lead author Dr Wojciech Chrzanowski, who is an associate professor at the University of Sydney in Australia. “There is increasing evidence that continuous exposure to nano-particles has an impact on gut microbiota composition, and since gut microbiota is a gatekeeper of our health, any changes to its function have an influence on overall health,” he added. The researchers mainly wanted to stimulate discussion on new standards and regulations to ensure safe use of nano-particles in Australia and globally. 
 
The study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, has uncovered new evidence which explains how E171 can alter the activity of gut bacteria in potentially dangerous ways. For the study, the research team assessed the effect of E171 on the gut microbiota of mice by administering it in their water and also conducted some experiments in vitro.
 
Initial results indicated that the titanium dioxide particles had little-to-no-impact on the composition of the gut microbiota. However, when the mice were assessed further, it was noticed that the substance affected release of microbial metabolites - molecules produced by the bacteria - which interact with their biological environment, acting as messengers between the gut bacteria and their host. In vitro experiments also showed that titanium dioxide altered the distribution of bacteria in the gut which led to the formation of biofilm. This is a sticky ‘network’ that alters the way in which the bacteria act, and it can also influence the immune system’s response to infection. Additionally, bio-films also do not respond to usual methods of treatment, such as antibiotics, which can render them a fierce foe to be reckoned with. 
 
“This study investigated effects of titanium dioxide on gut health in mice and found that titanium dioxide did not change the composition of gut microbiota, but instead it affected bacteria activity and promoted their growth in a form of undesired biofilm,” explained associate professor Dr Laurence Macia, the study’s co-lead author.
 
The changes observed by the researchers on the effects of titanium dioxide on the gut environment were also associated with markers of inflammation in the colon, meaning that the substance was able to ‘prime’ the gut for disease. The researchers are certain that their new research indicates that titanium dioxide interacts with bacteria in the gut and impairs some of their functions which, in turn, may result in development of disease. 
 
After a thorough analysis of the results, the authors of the study believe that E171 is not harmless and its potential effects on health should be recognised and addressed by officials. They are hoping that consumption and use of E171 in food products would be regulated by appropriate authorities across the globe.
 
Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

Eat an Avocado To Suppress Hunger, Says Study
Suffering from obesity or trying to lose weight? It might be time to add avocados to your daily diet. A recent study suggests that meals which include fresh avocado can significantly suppress hunger.
 
Researchers at the Centre for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology (USA) have found that substituting fresh avocado for refined carbohydrates can suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction in overweight and obese adults. The findings of this study have been published in the scientific journal Nutrients.
 
Avocados are green, pear-shaped fruits of the avocado tree and are often categorised as a super-food. There have been numerous studies have shown that eating an avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like total ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and ‘good’ high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
 
The study had a total of 39 participants (21 men and 18 women) between the ages of 20 years and 65 years and a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 35 with elevated fasting glucose and insulin concentrations. Participants were also non-smokers and in relatively good health with no previous history or current clinical evidence of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal or hepatic diseases. The goal was to assess the underlying physiological effects of including whole and half fresh Hass avocados on hunger, fullness and how satisfied subjects felt over a six-hour period. Researchers evaluated these effects in the participating overweight and obese adults with a randomised three-arm crossover clinical trial. 
 
The participants had three breakfast test meals—one was a low fat, high carbohydrate meal (the control meal) and two meals were similar in energy and energy density to the control but contained either half or whole of a fresh medium-sized Hass avocado. Meals consisted of a bagel sandwich (with or without avocado), fresh honeydew melon, oatmeal and a lemonade flavoured drink. 
 
Avocado derived fat and fibre increased with increasing avocado content in the meal, with whole avocados containing more than two thirds of avocado derived fat and fibre. A meal containing half an avocado was supplemented with butter fat to adjust total fat content between the two experimental avocado meals. Bagel sandwiches were used for manipulating components by adding avocado into hollowed bagels and using cream cheese and butter to manage desired fat levels and textural quality. Green leafy lettuce was also used in all bagel sandwiches to help mask substitutions and control for colour, visual appeal and texture. 
 
Participants came to the laboratory on three separate occasions and consumed each meal once, based on a randomly assigned sequence that was generated by a computer. Researchers found that 31 people, with a BMI over 30, found that the buttery fruit worked well as a replacement for processed carbs like bread and pasta, suppressing hunger and fuelling weight loss for hours. These dietary changes were also shown to limit insulin and blood glucose excursions, further reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by adding healthy fats and fibres into a regular daily diet. 
 
As rates of obesity continue to rise around the world, the findings from this research suggest that simple dietary changes can have an important impact on managing hunger and aiding metabolic control. “For years, fats have been targeted as the main cause of obesity, and now carbohydrates have come under scrutiny for their role in appetite regulation and weight control,” said Dr Britt Burton-Freeman, director of the center for nutrition research at Illinois Tech. “There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to optimal meal composition for managing appetite. However, understanding relationship between food chemistry and its physiological effects in different populations can reveal opportunities for addressing appetite control and reducing rates of obesity, putting us a step closer to personalised dietary recommendations.”
Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

Sudhanshu Dhingra

2 months ago

from where can we source it?

REPLY

LALIT VARADPANDE

In Reply to Sudhanshu Dhingra 2 months ago

I bought at Bigbasket after reading the article

Eating Walnuts May Lower Blood Pressure, Says Study
We have already heard that consuming nuts is one of the key factors in improving brain health. Now, a new study has found that consuming walnuts is beneficial for people who are at risk of heart disease and helps them lower their blood pressure. 
 
The study was conducted by a research team from Penn State University led by Prof Penny Kris-Etherton and was published in Journal of the American Heart Association. Researchers reported that when participants’ combined a diet low in saturated fats with eating walnuts, it lowered blood pressure in people at risk of cardiovascular disease.  
 
For the study, the researchers examined effects of replacing some of the saturated fats in participants’ diets with walnuts, in a randomised and controlled trial. A total of 45 participants, who were either overweight or obese and between the ages of 30 and 65, were recruited. Before the study began, they were placed on a ‘run-in’ diet for a period of two weeks. “Putting everyone on the same diet for two weeks prior to the start of the study helped put everyone on the same starting plain,” said Dr Alyssa Tindall, one of the other researchers working in Prof. Kris-Etherton’s lab. This initial run-in diet included 12% of their calories from saturated fat, in order to mimic an average American diet. This way, when the participants started on the study diets, researchers could know with certainty that the walnuts or other oils had replaced saturated fats.
 
Dr Tindall said that the study was one of the first to try to uncover which parts of the walnuts help support heart health. “Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid - ALA - a plant-based omega-3 that may positively affect blood pressure,” she said. “We wanted to see if ALA was the major contributor to these heart-healthy benefits, or if it was other bioactive component of walnuts, like polyphenols. We designed the study to test if these components had additive benefits.”
 
After the run-in diet, participants were randomly assigned to one of three study diets, all of which included less saturated fat than the run-in diet. One of the study diets incorporated whole walnuts, another included the same amount of ALA and polyunsaturated fatty acids without walnuts, and the third diet had partially substituted oleic acid (another fatty acid) for the same amount of ALA found in walnuts, without any walnuts.
 
All three diets substituted walnuts or vegetable oils for 5% of the saturated fat content of the run-in diet, and all participants followed each diet for six weeks, with a break between diet periods. Following each diet period, the researchers assessed participants for several cardiovascular risk factors including central systolic and diastolic blood pressure, brachial pressure, cholesterol and arterial stiffness. 
 
They found that when participants ate whole walnuts daily in combination with lower overall amounts of saturated fat, they had lower central blood pressure—the pressure moving towards your heart. It provides information about a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
 
Since the study suggests that walnuts were the cause of lower central pressure, Prof Kris-Etherton believes that their risk of CVD may have also decreased. “When participants ate whole walnuts, they saw greater benefits than when they consumed a diet with a similar fatty acid profile as walnuts without eating the nut itself,” she explained. “So it seems like there’s a little something extra in walnuts that are beneficial -- maybe their bioactive compounds, maybe the fiber, maybe something else—that you don’t get in the fatty acids alone.” 
 
The research team was able to conclude that, while all treatment diets had a positive effect on cardiovascular outcomes, the diet with whole walnuts provided the greatest benefits, including lower central diastolic blood pressure. 
 
Dr Tindall said that the results underline the importance of replacing saturated fat with healthier alternatives. “An average American diet has about 12 percent calories from saturated fat and all our treatment diets all had about seven percent, using walnuts or vegetable oils as a replacement,” Dr Tindall said. “So, seeing the positive benefits from all three diets sends a message that regardless of whether you replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats from walnuts or vegetable oils, you should see cardiovascular benefits.”
 
Prof Kris-Etherton added that the study supports including walnuts as part of a heart-healthy diet. “Instead of reaching for fatty red meat or full-fat dairy products for a snack, consider having some skim milk and walnuts,” she said. “I think it boils down to how we can get the most out of the food we’re eating, specifically, how to get a little more bang out of your food buck. In that respect, walnuts are a good substitute for saturated fat.”
 
Like this story? Get our top stories by email.

User

COMMENTS

VASANT KULKARNI

2 months ago

FOR INDIANS?

Ramesh Poapt

2 months ago

good one! awating dr Hegde!

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

online financial advisory
Pathbreakers
Pathbreakers 1 & Pathbreakers 2 contain deep insights, unknown facts and captivating events in the life of 51 top achievers, in their own words.
online financia advisory
The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
financial magazines online
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
financial magazines in india
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Online Magazine)