UK to consider adding folic acid to flour
Many countries around the world already fortify flour with folic acid as a matter of legislation, but the UK do not.
Mandatory addition of folic acid is safe, and will benefit thousands of women who fail to supplement with this B vitamin during their pregnancy – which could prevent some birth defects.
Gut microbiota of infants predicts obesity in children
Evaluating the gut microbiota of infants may help identify children who are at risk of becoming overweight or obese according to new research.
An association was found between the gut microbial composition at age 2 and body mass index at age 12 – suggesting that gut microbiota could act as an early warning sign for later obesity.
Obesity linked to increased risk of early bowel cancer
Women who are overweight have twice the risk of developing bowel cancer at a younger age than women considered to have a healthy weight.
The latest findings from US epidemiological research, found that higher weight now, weight gain in adulthood along with higher weight at the age of 18 years were all associated with an increased risk of early bowel cancer.
Link between gut flora and multiple sclerosis discovered
Swiss researchers have discovered that the bacteria that live in our gut (known as the microbiota) could play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which nerve cells are attacked and damaged by the body’s own immune system.
The gut microbiota may play a part in how our immune system is educated. In MS they may be activating immune cells in the gut, which migrate to the brain causing an inflammatory cascade.
Brexit could improve cardiovascular risks due to costs of sugar
In April 2018, the UK government levied a sugar tax on sugar-sweetened drinks.
Research by the University of Liverpool estimated that the effects of Brexit could cause an increase in price of sugar, which would mean more would be taken in taxation.
The effect of the cost of sugar sweetened drinks could reduce deaths by cardiovascular disease from a further 4-8%.
Intermittent fasting might help people with type 2 diabetes
Case series evidence was presented in the BMJ of three patients with type 2 diabetes requiring insulin.
Each participated in a 24 hour fasting (low calorie) routine, three times per week over several months.
Each was able to discontinue use of insulin, two of which came off all diabetic medication.
Seed oils better for cholesterol than olive oil
A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Lipid Research found that seed oils (such as safflower, rapeseed, sunflower, soybean) were better at reducing bad blood fats (such as LDL cholesterol) than olive oil. The results showed improvements in this order of oils: safflower, rapeseed, sunflower oil.
The best for increasing good fats (such as HDL cholesterol) were tropical oils: palm oil, coconut oil as well as beef fat, which are saturated fats.
Saturated fat is therefore better at increasing HDL but reducing LDL, seed oils fare the best. However, when looking at overall composition, unsaturated fats were superior to saturated fats.