HEALTH

Reducing sugar, increasing fiber intake may curb Latino teens’ risk for Type 2 diabetes

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Reducing sugar intake by the equivalent of one can of soda per day and increasing fiber intake by the amount equivalent to one half cup of beans per day appears to improve risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes in Latino adolescents, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Almost 40% of Mexican American adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 were overweight or at risk for being overweight from 2003 to 2006, according to background information in the article.

“Latino children are more insulin resistant, and thus more likely to develop obesity-related chronic diseases than their white counterparts,” the authors wrote. “To date, only a few studies have examined the effects of a high-fiber, low-sugar diet on metabolic health in overweight youth, and to our knowledge, none have tested the effects of this type of intervention in a mixed-sex group of Latino youth.”

Emily Ventura of Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California and colleagues conducted a 16-week study to examine if reductions in added sugar intake or increases in fiber intake would affect risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes in 54 overweight Latino adolescents (average age 15.5). Participants were split into three groups: control, nutrition (receiving one nutrition class per week) or nutrition plus strength training (receiving one nutrition class per week along with strength training twice a week).

The results: 55% of participants decreased their sugar intake by an average of 47 grams per day (equal to the sugar in one can of soda) and 59% increased their fiber intake by an average of 5 grams per day (equal to the fiber in a half cup of beans) across all intervention groups, including controls. Participants who decreased their sugar intake had an average 33% decrease in insulin secretion and those who increased their fiber intake had an average 10% reduction in visceral adipose tissue volume.

“A reduction in visceral fat indicates a reduction in risk for Type 2 diabetes, considering that to a greater degree than total body fat, visceral fat [fat surrounding the internal organs] has been shown to be negatively associated with insulin sensitivity,” the authors noted. “Our results suggest that intensive interventions may not be necessary to achieve modifications in sugar and fiber intake. Accordingly, nutritional guidance given in the primary care or community setting may be sufficient to promote the suggested dietary changes in some individuals. … In addition, policies that promote reduced intake of added sugar and increased intake of fiber could be effective public health strategies for the prevention of Type 2 diabetes in this high-risk population.”

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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Study suggests eating broccoli daily may be good for gut

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE, Md. A small, pilot study in 50 people in Japan suggested that eating 2.5 oz. of broccoli sprouts daily for two months may confer some protection against a rampant stomach bug that causes gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer.

Citing their new “demonstration of principle” study, a Johns Hopkins researcher and an international team of scientists caution that eating sprouts containing sulforaphane did not cure infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. And they do not suggest that eating this or any amount of broccoli sprouts will protect anyone from stomach cancer or cure GI diseases.

However, the study does show that eating a daily dose of broccoli sprouts reduced by more than 40% the level of HpSA, a highly specific measure of the presence of components of H. pylori shed into the stool of infected people. There was no HpSA level change in control subjects who ate alfalfa sprouts. The HpSA levels returned to pretreatment levels eight weeks after people stopped eating the broccoli sprouts, suggesting that although they reduce H. pylori colonization, they do not eradicate it.

“The highlight of the study is that we identified a food that, if eaten regularly, might potentially have an effect on the cause of a lot of gastric problems and perhaps even ultimately help prevent stomach cancer,” stated Jed Fahey, an author of the paper who is a nutritional biochemist in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Cancer Chemoprotection Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Broccoli sprouts have a much higher concentration of sulforaphane than mature heads,” Fahey explained, adding that further investigation is needed to affirm the results of this clinical trial and move the research forward. The study, published April 6 in Cancer Prevention Research, builds on earlier test-tube and mouse studies at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere about the potential value of sulforaphane, a naturally occurring biochemical found in relative abundance in fresh broccoli sprouts.

“I like them,” Fahey said. “I eat them all the time, but not every day. Variety is the spice of life: I eat blueberries on the other days.”

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Fucopure’s advertising claims forwarded to FTC

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus on Tuesday referred advertising published by Nutraceuticals International for Fucopure to the Federal Trade Commission for further review.

Nutraceuticals declined to participate in an NAD proceeding, following a challenge to its advertising by P.L. Thomas, a competing maker of dietary supplements.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, asked the advertiser to provide substantiation for disease claims that tout FucoPure as a “totally new, totally innovative approach to combating obesity, hyperlipidemia and Type II diabetes.”

Under Food and Drug Administration regulations, no dietary supplement can be purported to treat, mitigate or prevent a disease, which would include obesity, hyperlipidemia and diabetes.

NAD also requested substantiation for weight-loss claims that state FucoPure was proven in the “First U.S. human clinical trial to show the ability of a physician strength Fucoxanthin extract to significantly reduce body weight, percent body fat …” and strong superiority and exclusivity claims, including claims that state that FucoPure is “The Only Clinical Strength Fucoxanthin 10% Extract.”

The advertiser failed to respond to NAD’s initial inquiry, but responded through its attorney after receiving NAD’s second letter. At that time, the advertiser, through its attorney, requested an extension as a professional courtesy, which was granted. The advertiser failed to file a response on the agreed upon date, and despite continued outreach from NAD, has refused to participate.

Given the advertiser’s failure to provide a substantive response, pursuant to Section 2.9 of the NAD/NARB Procedures, NAD will refer this matter to the FTC and FDA for possible law enforcement action.

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