Past Week in Nutrition Science (Jan 8th–Jan 15th)


Past Week in Nutrition Science: This is an overview of interesting nutrition research published from Friday, Jan 8th, to Friday, Jan 15th, 2016.


Past Week in Nutrition Science (Jan 8th–Jan 15th)

Research Reviews

Two articles were reviewed in the past week: one from Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, and the other from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Review: Eating Less May Prevent Disease and Help You Live Longer.

Study: A 2-Year Randomized Controlled Trial of Human Caloric Restriction: Feasibility and Effects on Predictors of Health Span and Longevity.

Summary: This 2-year, randomized, controlled trial examined the effects of long-term calorie restriction on predictors for longevity in healthy, non-obese men and women.

The study found that moderate calorie restriction improved several predictors for longevity, such as body weight, blood pressure, blood lipids, inflammation and thyroid hormones. Additionally, it slowed metabolism.

Review: The DASH Diet Lowers Blood Pressure, Even With More Fat.

Study: Comparison of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and a higher-fat DASH diet on blood pressure and lipids and lipoproteins: a randomized controlled trial.

Summary: This randomized, controlled trial compared the effects of a standard DASH diet and a higher-fat, lower-carb DASH diet.

The study showed that the higher-fat DASH diet did not impair risk factors for heart disease, compared to the control. Also, its effects on blood pressure were similar to the conventional DASH diet.

New Research From Around the World

Tons of new research articles came out this week. Here is a selection of the most interesting ones, categorized by subject.

  1. Obesity and Weight Loss
  2. Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes
  3. Heart Health
  4. Metabolic Syndrome
  5. Cancer
  6. Appetite and Eating
  7. Bone Health
  8. Allergies and Immune Health
  9. Men’s Health

Obesity and Weight Loss

Consuming yellow pea fiber reduces voluntary energy intake and body fat in overweight/obese adults in a 12-week randomized controlled trial.

This randomized, controlled trial showed that taking 15 grams of yellow pea fiber each day, for 12 weeks, may cause small reductions in body weight and body fat by suppressing calorie intake.

Single-blind, placebo controlled randomised clinical study of chitosan for body weight reduction.

Chitosan is a type of dietary fiber, produced from the shells of shrimp. It may support weight loss by suppressing fat absorption, but previous studies have provided conflicting results.

This randomized, controlled trial in overweight and obese people found that supplementing with chitosan, 2,500 mg per day for 90 days, reduced body weight by 6.5 lbs (3 kg), on average, compared to a placebo.

Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes

Circulating Alpha-Tocopherol and Insulin Sensitivity Among Older Men With Chronic Kidney Disease.

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are frequently insulin resistant. Scientists have suggested that vitamin E may help increase levels of insulin and improve insulin sensitivity in these individuals.

This observational study suggests that high levels of alpha-tocopherol, which is the most common form of vitamin E, may increase insulin sensitivity for people with CKD.

Pre-pregnancy potato consumption and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: prospective cohort study.

This prospective, observational study indicates that a high consumption of potatoes before pregnancy may increase the risk of gestational diabetes. On the other hand, eating other vegetables, whole-grain foods or legumes may reduce the risk.

Long-term risk of type 2 diabetes in relation to habitual iron intake in women with a history of gestational diabetes: a prospective cohort study.

Too much iron, a so-called iron overload, may damage the cells that produce insulin, increasing the risk of diabetes.

This observational study in women, who previously had diabetes during pregnancy, suggests that high iron intake may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Baseline insulin sensitivity affects response to high-maize resistant starch in women: a randomized, controlled trial.

Resistant starch (RS) is a type of dietary fiber that may improve blood sugar control. This randomized, controlled trial showed that supplementing with 30 grams a day of RS from high-amylose maize, for 4 weeks, may increase insulin sensitivity.

Heart Health

Do dry roasting, lightly salting nuts affect their cardioprotective properties and acceptability?

Previous studies suggest that eating raw nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it is unclear whether this also applies to roasted and salted nuts.

This randomized, crossover study suggests that eating dry-roasted and lightly salted hazelnuts, 30 grams per day for 28 days, does not worsen blood pressure or the blood lipid profile, compared to raw hazelnuts.

Dietary fibre to prevent cardiovascular disease.

This Cochrane review concludes that dietary fiber may improve some risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure and blood lipids.

However, studies are generally short-term and do not prove that high fiber intake reduces the incidence of heart disease events. Long-term, randomized, controlled trials are needed.

Defecation frequency and cardiovascular disease mortality in Japan: the Ohsaki cohort study.

Previous studies suggest that constipation is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. This large, observational study supports earlier findings, indicating that low defecation frequency may increase people’s risk of heart disease.

Weight loss is superior to exercise in improving the atherogenic lipid profile in a sedentary, overweight population with stable coronary artery disease: A randomized trial.

This randomized trial suggests that a low-calorie diet is more effective than aerobic exercise for improving the blood lipid profile.

The effects of lutein on cardiometabolic health across the life course: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Lutein is a carotenoid antioxidant found in high amounts in kale and spinach. This meta-analysis and systematic review concludes that a higher intake of lutein may promote better heart health.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and the Incidence of Hypertension in Three Prospective Cohort Studies.

This large, observational study suggests that eating more whole fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

Vasculoprotective Effects of Dietary Cocoa Flavanols in Patients on Hemodialysis: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.

Hemodialysis is a mechanical process that cleans the blood in patients with kidney disease. One of the side effects is a dysfunction of the lining of the blood vessels, which may lead to clogged arteries.

This randomized, controlled trial showed that drinking a cocoa beverage rich in cocoa antioxidants (flavanols), 900 mg per day for 30 days, improved blood vessel function, reduced blood pressure and increased heart rate.

Metabolic Syndrome

High dietary calcium intake and a lack of dairy consumption are associated with metabolic syndrome in obese males: the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010 to 2012.

This observational study in obese, Korean men indicates that a high intake of dairy products may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Conversely, a high intake of calcium, without dairy, may increase the risk.

Higher levels of serum lycopene are associated with reduced mortality in individuals with metabolic syndrome.

Lycopene is a carotenoid antioxidant found in high amounts in tomatoes and watermelon. This observational study shows that high levels of lycopene in blood are associated with a reduced risk of death in people with metabolic syndrome.


Strong association of relatively low and extremely excessive iodine intakes with thyroid cancer in an iodine-replete area.

This observational study suggests that both low and excessive intakes of iodine may increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Appetite and Eating

Attention with a mindful attitude attenuates subjective appetitive reactions and food intake following food-cue exposure.

This study suggests that mindful attention to the hedonic properties of food may reduce calorie intake by affecting appetite.

l-rhamnose as a source of colonic propionate inhibits insulin secretion but does not influence measures of appetite or food intake.

L-rhamnose and inulin are simple carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion. They reach the colon intact, where they are fermented by bacteria.

This small, randomized trial found that neither L-rhamnose nor inulin had any effects on appetite following meals. However, they may improve blood sugar control.

Bone Health

Effect of Hesperidin with and without a Calcium (Calcilock®) Supplement on Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women.

Hesperidin is one of the most abundant antioxidant flavonoids found in citrus fruits. Previous studies suggest that it may prevent bone loss in female rats who have had their ovaries removed.

This small, randomized, crossover trial in postmenopausal women showed that supplementing with 500 grams of hesperidin may reduce bone loss when calcium supplements are taken as well. On its own, hesperidin had no effects.

Allergies and Immune Health

Maternal diet during pregnancy and lactation and cow’s milk allergy in offspring.

This observational study suggests that high milk consumption during pregnancy may reduce the child’s risk of becoming allergic to milk.

Dietary plant stanol ester consumption improves immune function in asthma patients: results of a randomized, double-blind clinical trial.

Plant sterols are a type of fat, resembling cholesterol, that are found in high amounts in vegetable oils. Stanols are a saturated type of plant sterols.

This randomized, controlled trial showed that supplementing with plant stanols, 4 grams every day for 4 weeks, improved immune function in asthma patients.

Men’s Health

Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction.

Erectile dysfunction is a problem characterized by an inability to initiate or maintain an erection. This observational study suggests that a diet rich in flavonoid antioxidants, from plant foods, may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Written by Aline Pilani

Hey. I’m Aline Pilani. I am a certified personal trainer and nutritionist and have spent the last 10 years of my life helping people losing weight, increase their health and confidence, and I truly want to do the same for you.

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