‘ All About Apples and Their Health Benefits ‘


Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that non-digestible compounds in apples – specifically, Granny Smith apples – may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought to be the first to assess these compounds in apple cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest, appears in October’s print edition of the journal Food Chemistry.

“We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”

Apples---USDA-ARS--350
Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples. (Photo courtesy of USDA ARS)

The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.

The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

“The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice,” Noratto said.

The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said.

“What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume,” she said.

Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she said.

The study was funded with an Emerging Research Issues Internal Competitive Grant from the Agricultural Research Center at Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences.

Source: 

#AceHealthNews

‘ Shark on Menu at Farm School Could Cause Blindness or Even Death’


#AceFoodNews – UNITED STATES (Maine) – September 29 –Shark meat is in and chicken fingers are out for some schools abiding by First Lady Michelle Obama’s lunch rules.The U.S. Department of Agriculture highlighted an elementary school in Maine on Wednesday that is taking the standards from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act to a different level.

Mercury Levels in Shark Meat

“The cafeteria is the biggest classroom in the school where students are taught to make healthy choices for themselves beginning in kindergarten,” wrote Linda Mailhot, the head cook at Mount Desert Elementary School in North-East Harbour Maine, in a blog post for the USDA.

Mailhot said that kids get to choose from “nutritious and appealing” foods, such as shark meat, kale salad, and broccoli slaw. The school also has a “walking club” and students do yoga before class.

“Students progress each day through a fruit-and-vegetable bar and an entrée station,” said Mailhot. “Along this route they choose the nutritious and appealing foods they need to build a balanced meal according to the new school meal standards issued by USDA.”

“Many of our entrée offerings are multinational, which is a great way to introduce students to nutritional foods from a variety of cultures,” she said. “By empowering students in the cafeteria, they learn to make healthy choices for life.”

“Farm to School is a large part of our program, for this reason we utilize foods from local farms and Maine’s largest farm, the ocean,” Mailhot continued. “We have served lobster rolls, locally caught haddock and shark.”

According to Men’s Fitness, shark meat can be “terribly unhealthy.”

The magazine said mercury levels in sharks “can cause coordination loss, blindness, and even death,” and cited a 2004 report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that warned,

CNN in 1996 do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish because they contain high levels of mercury,again citing the EPA so it is about time chicken fingers with out shark meat are served up to our children.

#AFHN2014

` Rare Inherited Skin Disease That is Sensitive to Ultra-Violet Rays Affects Araras Village People '


#AceHealthNews – BRAZIL – May 06 – (AP) This is a village where the people melt away.Tucked into the sun-baked rolling hills of Brazil’s mid-west, Araras is home to what is thought to be the largest single group of people suffering from a rare inherited skin disease known as xeroderma pigmentosum, or “XP.”

Those with the disease are extremely sensitive to ultraviolet rays from sunlight and highly susceptible to skin cancers. It robs victims of the ability to repair the damage caused by the sun.

That’s a particularly vexing burden in Araras, a tropical farming community where outdoor work is vital for survival.

“I was always exposed to the sun — working, planting and harvesting rice and caring for the cows,” said Djalma Antonio Jardim, 38. “As the years passed my condition got worse.”

Agriculture is no longer a real option for Jardim.

He survives on a small government pension and meagre earnings from an ice cream parlour he runs.

XP shows early signs that it has taken hold of its victims.

Jardim said he was just 9 when a large number of freckles and small lumps started appearing on his face, the tell-tale signs that experts say signal XP is present in children and call for measures to protect them against the sun.

Such precaution wasn’t taken for Jardim, who now wears a large straw hat in an effort to protect his face.

But it’s helped little. He has undergone more than 50 surgeries to remove skin tumours.

In an effort to camouflage how the disease has eaten away the skin on his lips, nose, cheeks and eyes, Jardim wears a rudimentary orange-tinted mask, its stencilled-in right eyebrow not matching his bushy real one that remains.

Beyond skin damage and cancers, about one in five XP patients may also suffer from deafness, spastic muscles, poor coordination or developmental delays, according to the U.S.-based National Cancer Institute.

Ace Related News:
1. Read More of this Amazing Story at http://tinyurl.com/klpw2hd

#AHN2014

` New Data Shows a 45 Percent Reduction in Maternal Deaths Since 1990 Underscoring Need of Accurate Data’


#AceHealthNews – GENEVA – NEW YORK – May 06 – New United Nations* data show a 45% reduction in maternal deaths since 1990.

An estimated 289 000 women died in 2013 due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, down from 523 000 in 1990.

Another WHO study, also published today in The Lancet Global Health, adds new knowledge about why these women are dying. Global causes of maternal death: a WHO systematic analysis, finds that more than 1 in 4 maternal deaths are caused by pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, HIV, malaria and obesity, whose health impacts can all be aggravated by pregnancy. This is similar to the proportion of deaths during pregnancy and childbirth from severe bleeding.

“Together, the two reports highlight the need to invest in proven solutions, such as quality care for all women during pregnancy and childbirth, and particular care for pregnant women with existing medical conditions,” says Dr Flavia Bustreo, Assistant Director-General, Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, WHO.

They also underscore the importance of having accurate data.

“Thirty-three maternal deaths per hour is 33 too many,” said Tim Evans, Director, Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank Group. “We need to document every one of these tragic events, determine their cause, and initiate corrective actions urgently.”

#Ace Related News:
1. World Health Organisation – May 06 – http://tinyurl.com/mu6fb68
2. Statistics on Maternal deaths compiled by P.a.p.-Blog http://wp.me/Pd52p-BV

#AHN2014

` World Health Organisation Says Spread of Polio is Now a Public Health Emergency ‘


#AceHealthNews – WORLDWIDE – May 06 – The World Health Organization says the spread of polio has become an international public health emergency. The agency described the ongoing polio outbreaks in Asia, Africa and the Middle East as an “extraordinary” situation, AP reported.

The virus, which usually strikes children under five and is most often spread via infected water, continues to pop up in countries previously free of the disease, such as Syria, Somalia and Iraq, where unrest is complicating efforts to contain the virus.

According to the report The Emergency Committee convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) [IHR (2005)] was held by teleconference on Monday 28 April 2014 from 13:30 to 17:30 Geneva time (CET) and on Tuesday 29 April 2014 from 13:30 to 19:00 Geneva time (CET).

Members of the Emergency Committee and expert advisers to the Committee met on both days of the meeting.1 The following affected States Parties participated in the informational session of the meeting on Monday 28 April 2014: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic.

During the informational session, the WHO Secretariat provided an update on and assessment of recent progress in stopping endemic and imported polio-viruses and the international spread of wild polio-viruses in 2014 as of 26 April. The above affected States Parties presented on recent developments in their countries.

After discussion and deliberation on the information provided, and in the context of the global polio eradication initiative, the Committee advised that the international spread of polio to date in 2014 constitutes an ‘extraordinary event’ and a public health risk to other States for which a coordinated international response is essential. The current situation stands in stark contrast to the near-cessation of international spread of wild poliovirus from January 2012 through the 2013 low transmission season for this disease (i.e. January to April). If unchecked, this situation could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the world’s most serious vaccine preventable diseases. It was the unanimous view of the Committee that the conditions for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) have been met.

At end-2013, 60% of polio cases were the result of international spread of wild poliovirus, and there was increasing evidence that adult travellers contributed to this spread. During the 2014 low transmission season there has already been international spread of wild polio-virus from 3 of the 10 States that are currently infected: in central Asia (from Pakistan to Afghanistan), in the Middle East (Syrian Arab Republic to Iraq) and in Central Africa (Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea).

A coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop this international spread of wild polio-virus and to prevent new spread with the onset of the high transmission season in May/June 2014; unilateral measures may prove less effective in stopping international spread than a coordinated response.

The consequences of further international spread are particularly acute today given the large number of polio-free but conflict-torn and fragile States which have severely compromised routine immunization services and are at high risk of re-infection. Such States would experience extreme difficulty in mounting an effective response were wild polio-virus to be reintroduced.

As much international spread occurs across land borders, WHO should continue to facilitate a coordinated regional approach to accelerate interruption of virus transmission in each epidemiologic zone.

The over-riding priority for all polio-infected States must be to interrupt wild polio-virus transmission within their borders as rapidly as possible through the immediate and full application in all geographic areas of the polio eradication strategies, specifically: supplementary immunization campaigns with oral polio-virus vaccine (OPV), surveillance for polio-virus, and routine immunization.

The Committee provided the following advice to the Director-General for her consideration to reduce the international spread of wild polio-virus, based on a risk stratification of the 10 States with active transmission (i.e. within the previous 6 months) as of 29 April 2014.

Ace Related News:
1. World Health Organisation – May 05 – http://tinyurl.com/ocpgzmd

#AHN2014

WINOL Week 7 – Fluoride


I tackled a story that I tried to take on last semester, but this semester I found a great news angle: Public Health England chose to ignore a health journal that classed fluoride as a neurotoxin.

The news editor was reluctant to let this story go forward, but after discussing it he gave me a great idea on how to produce it in a way that would be rich picture-wise: by having pictures of kids and teeth rather than just flowing water, as children’s dental care is the main reason for fluoridation.

I went ahead and was able to get images of children brushing their teeth, and I was able to get an interview with the chairman of Hampshire Against Fluoridation, where he gave me strong quotes. Where it was unsuccessful, though, was where Public Health England didn’t want to cooperate and only gave me a somewhat empty statement.

I…

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` Vietnam a city under the siege of a `Measles’ outbreak with situation worsening as seasons change ‘


#AceHealthNews – Ho Chi Minh City is starting a grand vaccination campaign for measles as it is still spreading after two months of lack effort to combat the outbreak and the problem could worsen as the seasons change.

The city Preventive Health Department reported that 129 children had been infected with measles or suspected to in the first two months this year, up 21.5 times year-on-year.

It said the disease might spread further as March and April are usually its peak time.

Doctors have blamed the abnormal eruption of the disease on vaccination neglect.

The department estimated that around 5,000 children in the city have not been administered their first measles shot as they should have been, and those missing their second shots amounted to 25,000-30,000.
The city has prepared around 100,000 measles shots to provide to children starting this Friday.

Children in Vietnam are given their first measles shot at nine months old and the second at 18 months. The final shot increases the protection chance to 99 percent from 85 percent after the first shot, doctors said.

But a low rate of vaccination has opened doors for severe measles outbreaks that began in late January and killed six children in around 10 days in northern Vietnam, including Hanoi.

“We have been failing in vaccination for a long time,” said Dr. Le Truong Giang, former deputy director of the HCMC Health Department and now chairman of the city Community Health Association.

More at: http://www.thanhniennews.com/health/vietnam-city-under-the-gun-to-shoot-back-at-measles-24438.html

#AHN2014

` Plastic Chemical `Azodicarbonamide ‘ found in nearly 500 foods and supplied by around 130 Companies’


#AceFoodNews says latest reports from EWG state that a `Plastic Chemical found in nearly 500 foods sold in US, by over 130 companies.

Nearly 500 food items commonly sold in the United States contain a chemical compound also used in synthetic leathers and yoga mats, but a health research and advocacy organization is aiming to change that.

azodicarbonamideFast-food chain restaurant Subway made headlines earlier this month when it announced that it would no longer be including that compound  azodicarbonamide or ADA — as a “dough conditioner” in the sandwich bread used in thousands of locations around the globe. But researchers at the Environmental Working Group say Subway isn’t the only guilty party, and that roughly 130 other companies mass-produce and sell an array of products that should have that chemical from their recipes as well.

According to a report released by that group on Thursday this week, consumers are just about as likely to find azodicarbonamide while at the grocery store as they would be inside a plastics factory. The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, has constructed a database containing the ingredients of 80,000 foods sold across the US, and say Subway shouldn’t be the only ones changing their recipes.

“This industrial plastics chemical shows up in many commercial baked goods as a ‘dough conditioner’ that renders large batches of dough easier to handle and makes the finished products puffier and tough enough to withstand shipping and storage. According to the new EWG Food Database of ingredients in 80,000 foods, now under development, ADA turns up in nearly 500 items and in more than 130 brands of bread, bread stuffing and snacks, including many advertised as ‘healthy,’” the report reads.

Among the suspect brands, the EWG report claims, are Ball Park, Butternut, Country Hearth, Fleischman’s, Food Club, Harvest Pride, Healthy Life, Jimmy Dean, Joseph Campione, Kroger, Little Debbie, Mariano’s, Marie Callendar’s, Martin’s, Mother’s, Nature’s Own, Pillsbury, Roman Meal, Sara Lee, Schmidt, Shoprite, Safeway, Smucker’s, Sunbeam, Turano, Tyson, Village Hearth and Wonder.

Environmental Working Group

Environmental Working Group (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“EWG recommends that consumers take steps to avoid the industrial additive ADA in their food. It is an unnecessary ingredient, its use has raised concerns about occupational exposure, and questions remain about its potential risk to consumers,” the group writes. “EWG also calls on all manufacturers to immediately end its use in food.”

Federal regulators, on the other hand, haven’t had a problem with ADA just yet. The US Food and Drug Administration has long approved the addition of ADA in consumable, as long as its presence doesn’t exceed 0.0045 percent of the weight of the flour used, as have the FDA’s Canadian counterparts. Elsewhere regulators have been more willing to hear out consumer concerns, however, and officials in Australia and the European Union have failed to give the okay to ADAs.

Soon that same anti-sentiment could become rampant in America: earlier this month US Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) asked the FDA to ban ADAs altogether, and other fast-food chains have been pressured to stop using the chemical in the wake of the successful Subway petition that garnered more than 67,000 signatures from anti-azodicarbonamide advocates.

The FDA approved the chemical compound as being safe-in-moderation with regards to foods meant for human consumption back in 1962, but the banning 25 years later of another common dough conditioner — potassium bromate — has increased reliance on ADA ever since.

Despite being cleared as safe by the FDA, the World Health Organization has gone the record to say that epidemiological studies in humans and animals alike have produced “abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms and skin sensitization”

 

 

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` People in this World starve and others are `Obese’ as `Greed’ has its own Reward’s’


#AceHealthNews says `Child Obesity looms large, with over a third of `European’ teenagers over-weight in Europe – WHO-Reports’

Published time: February 27, 2014 19:46.47

 
Reuters / Toby Melville Reuters / Toby Melville
One in three 11-year-olds is overweight or obese across Europe, a detailed analysis on obesity levels in 53 countries has shown. Action needs to be taken “to stop overweight becoming the new norm,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

Up to 27 percent of 13-year-olds and 33 percent of 11-year-olds in some European countries are overweight or obese, according to the WHO latest report. It’s believed that lack of exercise, as well as the “disastrously effective”marketing of unhealthy foods, high in fat, sugar and salt, has led to a sharp rise in obesity and overweight in recent decades. Among the countries with the highest proportion of overweight 11-year-olds is Greece (33 percent), Portugal (32 percent), and Ireland and Spain (30 percent each).

From 2002 to 2010, the number of countries where more than 20 percent of 11-, 13- and 15-year-olds are overweight rose from 5 to 11. 

Over 30 percent of boys and girls aged 15 and over in 23 out of 36 countries are not getting enough exercise. Among adults, women’s rates of poor physical activity span from 16 percent in Greece to 71 percent in Malta and 76 percent in Serbia. 

Thanks to restrictions on advertising of unhealthy foods, promoting vegetable and fruit consumption and physical activity in schools, France, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands appeared among the few champions who managed to stem the epidemic of overweight and obesity, however. 

National governments should enforce legislation, and insist on informative labeling, nutrient profiling and regulated marketing, requiring the food industry to take responsibility, the WHO recommended in its report.

In Britain, where according to official statistics most people are overweight or obese, (this includes 61.9 percent of adults and 28 percent of children aged between two and 15), on average the population consumes too much saturated fat. Intakes of the so-called non-milk extrinsic sugars exceed the recommended level for all age groups, most notably for children aged 11-18, where mean intakes provided 15.3 percent of food energy, according to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

The epidemic of overweight and obesity threatens children’s health, since childhood obesity goes hand in hand with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, orthopedic problems, mental disorders, under achievement in school, as well as lower self-esteem. 

“Preventing children from becoming overweight or obese is vital to their avoiding the associated, lifelong health risks,” the United Nations health agency said.

Over 60 percent of children who are overweight before puberty will be so as young adults. Such children are three to seven times more likely to be overweight adults. 

“Our perception of what is normal has shifted. Being overweight is now more common than unusual,” the WHO’s regional director, Zsuzsanna Jakab, pointed out. 

We must not let another generation grow up with obesity as the new norm,” she added. 

Physical inactivity “coupled with a culture that promotes cheap, convenient food high in fats, salt and sugars – is deadly,” Jakab warned. Children need at least one hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity every day not to gain extra weight.

“We need to create environments where physical activity is encouraged and the healthy food choice is the default choice, regardless of social group,” a WHO expert on nutrition, physical activity and obesity, Joao Breda, said in a statement released with the report. 

“Physical activity and healthy food choices should be taken very seriously in all environments – schools, hospitals, cities, towns and workplaces. As well as the food industry, the urban planning sector can make a difference,” he added. 

Childhood obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century, the WHO says. Globally, in 2010 the number of overweight children under the age of five, is estimated to be over 42 million. Close to 35 million of those live in developing countries.

 

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Publishing nutrition information on menus helps people make healthier choices, study finds


#AceFoodNews says `What a Great Idea’ #chefs-tips

National Post | News

When the Ottawa Hospital decided to prominently display nutritional information for its cafeteria meals, the resulting labels created some awkward moments. The sky-high sodium levels of certain items, now available for all to see, were downright “embarrassing,” recalls an outside researcher.

But the up-front listing of calorie, fat and salt content succeeded in catching the attention of most customers, and actually led to reduced and healthier eating, concluded a study of the program, the first of its kind in Canada.

The federally funded research adds to a simmering debate over what and how much customers should be told about their restaurant meals.

The results suggest that publishing nutrition information on menus and menu boards — rather than providing it more discreetly on request or over the Internet, as industry favours — can trigger concrete changes in behaviour, said David Hammond, the University of Waterloo public-health professor who headed the study.

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