1673Lafourcade et al 2011 - Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functionsNutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions
Lafourcade M, Larrieu T, Mato S, Duffaud A, Sepers M, Matias I, De Smedt-Peyrusse V, Labrousse VF, Bretillon L, Matute C, Rodríguez-Puertas R, Layé S, Manzoni OJ30/01/2011Nature Neuroscience14(3):345-50. Epub 2011 Jan 30.
The corollaries of the obesity epidemic that plagues developed societies are malnutrition and resulting biochemical imbalances.
Low levels of essential n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been linked to neuropsychiatric diseases, but the underlying synaptic alterations are mostly unknown.
We found that lifelong n-3 PUFAs dietary insufficiency specifically ablates long-term synaptic depression mediated by endocannabinoids in the prelimbic prefrontal cortex and accumbens.
In n-3–deficient mice, presynaptic cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs) normally responding to endocannabinoids were uncoupled from their effector Gi/o proteins. Finally, the dietary-induced reduction of CB1R functions in mood-controlling structures was associated with impaired emotional behavior.
These findings identify a plausible synaptic substrate for the behavioral alterations caused by the n-3 PUFAs deficiency that is often observed in western diets.
168228 Jan 2011 - Food Navigator - Study begins to unlock the development of child taste preferencesfast food; children's appetites; children's taste preferences; sugar/fat/salt palate; child palate; early food-related behaviour; obesityChildren's knowledge and consumption of fast food has a significant impact on their palate and preference for foods that are high in added sugars, salt and fats, according to new research.28/01/2011by Nathan Gray of Food Navigator
The findings, published online in the journal Appetite suggest that children with detailed mental representations of fast food and soda brands – as developed by advertising and experience – have higher scores on an ‘added flavour’ sugar/fat/salt (SFS) liking palate.
“If taste preference is playing a role in the obesity epidemic, how can we identify a starting point for change? … It seems that we must begin by addressing the development of palate and the preference for particular foods and thus, we must start with young children,” said the authors, co-author Dr. T. Bettina Cornwell from the University of Oregon.
“This research on child palate contributes to the potential for change by firstly identifying that early food-related behaviours are important to the discussion and by offering a new focus for food manufacturers, policy, and future research,” they said.
Food for children is an area of growing interest, particularly in light of burgeoning obesity rates. Indeed, FoodNavigator’s focus on Kids’ Food last year showed the importance of this market segment. Bill Patterson, a senior analyst at the market research organization Mintel, told FoodNavigator-USA that children have become more independent in their food choices, but what is available to them is changing.
Picking up on these concerns, Cornwell and colleagues said that food marketers are at the “epicenter of criticism for the unfolding obesity epidemic as societies consider banning advertising to children and taxing “junk” foods.”
They noted that whilst marketing's role in the development of obesity is not well understood, there is clear evidence that children are regularly targeted with calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food.
“How is it that food and drink manufacturers and restaurant chains have come to offer so many products high in sugar, fat, and salt? … One possible answer is that it has occurred in the pursuit of taste preference. Competitive market forces continually push companies to offer products that are preferred over others,” said the researchers.
They noted this consumer demand for sugar, fat, and salt products, which is then met by manufacturer supply of foods that contribute to unhealthy eating habits appears to have become “a self-perpetuating cycle.”
Much of the previous research has looked to understand how marketing influences brand preference and child behaviour, however the authors argued that understanding palate development may offer new insights for discussion.
Cornwell and co-workers developed two studies to consider whether a sugar/fat/salt (SFS) palate is linked to children's knowledge of food brands, experience with products, and advertising.
In the first study, they developed a survey to measure taste preferences and find whether a child's SFS palate as reported by parents relates significantly to children's self-reported food choices. Whilst the second study examined how children’s knowledge of certain branded food and drinks related to palate.
The researchers reported that children aged between three and five showed a higher preference for the taste of flavour-added foods compared with natural foods. The relationship between parent SFS palate and child SFS palate was also found to be significantly mediated by the child’s fast-food consumption.
The studies also revealed a significant indirect effect of fast-food consumption on child SFS palate, with children’s knowledge of brands as the mediator. The authors reported that brand knowledge is a significant predictor of SFS palate, and SFS palate is a significant predictor of a child's choice of foods that provide “flavour-hits”.
Cornwell said that the research goes further than previous studies by identifying some of the likely antecedents of brand associations from TV viewing and consumption experiences.
“The main argument by the food industry to justify marketing to children is that companies only influence brand preferences, not preferences for categories of foods … But findings from the present research show that food marketing may not just influence category consumption but also fundamentally change children's taste palates to increase their liking of highly processed and less nutritious foods,” said the researchers.
They said that as a result food and drink manufacturers should “critically examine their role in creating brand associations to food experiences.”
Cornwell said that the findings of the study presented “a public policy message”.
“If we want to pursue intervention, we probably need to start earlier,” she said.
Source: Appetite Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.01.010 “Alternative thinking about starting points of obesity. Development of child taste preferences” Authors: T. B. Cornwell, A.R. McAlister
166826 Jan 2011 - Science Daily - Eating Poorly Can Make You Blue: Trans-Fats Increase Risk of Depression, While Olive Oil Helps Avoid RiskEating Poorly Can Make You Blue: Trans-Fats Increase Risk of Depression, While Olive Oil Helps Avoid Risk
Researchers from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have demonstrated that the ingestion of trans-fats and saturated fats increase the risk of suffering depression, and that olive oil, on the other hand, protects against this mental illness. 27/01/2011
They have confirmed this after studying 12,059 SUN Project volunteers over the course of six years; the volunteers had their diet, lifestyle and ailments analyzed at the beginning of the project, over its course and at the end of the project. In this way the researchers confirmed that despite the fact that at the beginning of the study none of the volunteers suffered from depression, at the end of the study 657 new cases had been detected.
Of all these cases, the participants with an elevated consumption of trans-fats (fats present in artificial form in industrially-produced pastries and fast food, and naturally present in certain whole milk products) "presented up to a 48% increase in the risk of depression when they were compared to participants who did not consume these fats," affirmed Almudena Sánchez-Villegas, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, first author of the article.
In addition, the study demonstrated a dose-response relationship, "whereby the more trans-fats were consumed, the greater the harmful effect they produced in the volunteers," the expert stated.
Furthermore, the team, directed by Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Navarra, also analyzed the influence of polyunsaturated fats (abundant in fish and vegetable oils) and of olive oil on the occurrence of depression. "In fact, we discovered that this type of healthier fats, together with olive oil, are associated with a lower risk of suffering depression," emphasized the researcher and director of the SUN Project.
150 MILLION PERSONS DEPRESSED WORLDWIDE
Thus, the results of the study corroborate the hypothesis of a greater incidence of the disease in countries of the north of Europe compared to the countries of the south, where a Mediterranean dietary pattern prevails. Nevertheless, experts have noted that the incidence of the disease has increased in recent years, so that today some 150 million persons are affected worldwide, where it is the principal cause of loss of years of life in those countries with a medium-to-high per capita income.
This is due, according to Almudena Sánchez Villegas, "to radical changes in the sources of fats consumed in Western diets, where we have exchanged certain types of beneficial fats - polyunsaturated and monounsaturated in nuts, vegetable oils and fish - for the saturated and trans-fats found in meats, butter and other products such as mass-produced pastries and fast food."
In addition, the research - published in the online peer reviewed journal PLoS ONE - has been performed on a population with a low average intake of trans-fats, given that it made up only 0.4% of the total energy ingested by the volunteers. "Despite this, we observed an increase in the risk of suffering depression of nearly 50%. On this basis," concluded Miguel A. Martínez, "we derive the importance of taking this effect into account in countries like the U.S., where the percentage of energy derived from these foods is around 2.5%."
Finally, the analysis, headed by the University of Navarra and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, suggests that both depression as well as cardiovascular disease are influenced in a similar manner by diet, and might share similar mechanisms in their origin. This hypothesis is further suggested by numerous studies that indicate the harmful effect of trans-fats and saturated fats on the risk of cardiovascular disease.
This study reports an association (correlation) between the type of dietary fat consumed and risk for depression. Higher intakes of trans fats (and lower intakes of natural polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats), predicted a higher risk of subsequent depression in a large cohort of healthy Spanish graduates.
The press release (and some of the researchers comments quoted) imply that this is a causal effect, although other data would be needed to confirm this.
There are, however, various plausible mechanisms for such an effect. Trans fats are toxic. They are known to promote inflammation (associaed with depression) and to raise the risk for cardiovascular disease (also associated with depression). They are twisted, mis-shapen versions of the natural omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturates needed for healthy brain structure and function, and if consumed, are likely to compete with and displace these essential fats.
These findings are also consistent with other data from prospective observational studies showing that diets high in processed foods (the major source of trans fats) raise the risk of future depressive illness (e.g. Akbaraly et al, 2009)
1667Sánchez-Villegas et al 2011 - Dietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN ProjectDietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN Project Dietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN Project
Sánchez-Villegas A, Verberne L, De Irala J, Ruíz-Canela M, Toledo E, Serra-Majem L, Martínez-González MA27/01/2011PLoS ONE 6(1): e16268.
Emerging evidence relates some nutritional factors to depression risk. However, there is a scarcity of longitudinal assessments on this relationship.
To evaluate the association between fatty acid intake or the use of culinary fats and depression incidence in a Mediterranean population.
Material and Methods
Prospective cohort study (1999–2010) of 12,059 Spanish university graduates (mean age: 37.5 years) initially free of depression with permanently open enrolment. At baseline, a 136-item validated food frequency questionnaire was used to estimate the intake of fatty acids (saturated fatty acids (SFA), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), trans unsaturated fatty acids (TFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and culinary fats (olive oil, seed oils, butter and margarine) During follow-up participants were classified as incident cases of depression if they reported a new clinical diagnosis of depression by a physician and/or initiated the use of antidepressant drugs. Cox regression models were used to calculate Hazard Ratios (HR) of incident depression and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) for successive quintiles of fats.
During follow-up (median: 6.1 years), 657 new cases of depression were identified. Multivariable-adjusted HR (95% CI) for depression incidence across successive quintiles of TFA intake were: 1 (ref), 1.08 (0.82–1.43), 1.17 (0.88–1.53), 1.28 (0.97–1.68), 1.42 (1.09–1.84) with a significant dose-response relationship (p for trend = 0.003). Results did not substantially change after adjusting for potential lifestyle or dietary confounders, including adherence to a Mediterranean Dietary Pattern. On the other hand, an inverse and significant dose-response relationship was obtained for MUFA (p for trend = 0.05) and PUFA (p for trend = 0.03) intake.
A detrimental relationship was found between TFA intake and depression risk, whereas weak inverse associations were found for MUFA, PUFA and olive oil. These findings suggest that cardiovascular disease and depression may share some common nutritional determinants related to subtypes of fat intake.
For an accessible summary of the findings from this study and their implications, see the News Article 'Eating Poorly Can Make you Blue' by Science Daily, and the associated FAB Comment.
diet, dietary fat, fatty acids, monounsaturates, saturates, polyunsaturates, trans fats, MUFA, SFA, SAFA, PUFA, TFA, olive oil, depression, mood, human study, observational study, epidemiologyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21298116View this and related abstracts via Pubmed here, Free full text of this article is available online.
There is increasing concern that children of this generation will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. This national event will present the latest scientific evidence on the factors contributing to obesity, allergies and learning, mood and behavioural disorders. These include diet during pregnancy and childhood, modern lifestyles and persistent environmental exposures.
Leading researchers and clinicians will explore the role of natural interventions and offer practical, evidence-based and cost-effective approaches on how to manage and, in many cases, prevent common childhood conditions.
Rob Rees MBEChair of The School Food Trust Dr Alex RichardsonSenior Research Fellow, University of Oxford and Director of Food and Behaviour Research Professor Richard SharpeMRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh Professor Jack WinklerNutrition Policy Unit, London Metropolitan University
Aims of the conference
The conference aims to:
expose how the uterine environment exerts important 'programming' effects on the foetus, triggering biological responses which increase the risk of modern diseases and may have lifelong consequences
explore unexpected causes of obesity. Are messages intended to tackle obesity outdated and misleading? Discover how nutritional and lifestyle strategies can be successfully employed to prevent and manage weight gain in childhood
highlight how traditional interventions have been successfully employed in modifying mood, behaviour and learning ability
examine why allergies have increased and which nutritional agents show best evidence when supporting immune and digestive function in children and teenagers
demonstrate evidence-informed and cost-effective nutritional strategies which can be implemented by parents, teachers, and providers of children's healthcare services
reveal how to manage 'treats' and influence taste preferences in children
encourage discussion between participants and develop networking opportunities between the private and public sectors
Who should attend?
Education and health professionals | Nutritionists, dieticians, nutritional therapists | Social workers | Professionals working in the Youth Justice System | Residential care staff | Local authority staff | Policy makers | Caterers | Food manufacturers | Food marketing representatives | Voluntary and community groups | Health writers and researchers | Parents and carers
One dayLondonORT House Conference Centre, NW1Louise Slade - Pavilion Eventsinfo@pavpub.com0844 880 5061http://www.pavpub.com/p-305-nutrition-in-childhood.aspx?s=1View programme and book online here305.jpgPavilion event logo
1754Negro et al 2011 - Hypothyroxinemia and Pregnancy.Hypothyroxinemia and Pregnancy.Hypothyroxinemia and Pregnancy.Negro R, Soldin OP, Obregon MJ, Stagnaro-Green A.17/01/2011Endocr Pract. Jan 17:1-24. [Epub ahead of print]
Objective: To evaluate the peer-reviewed literature on iodine deficiency and hypothyroxinemia in pregnancy.
Methods: Analysis of the following: published studies on isolated hypothyroxinemia in pregnancy, methodology of free T4 assays, impact of iodine deficiency on free T4 levels, and status of ongoing prospective randomized trials of isolated hypothyroxinemia during pregnancy.
Results: Studies reveal that hypothyroxinemia during pregnancy is common; they have demonstrated the pivotal role exerted by maternal thyroxine on fetal brain development and the negative impact of hypothyroxinemia on neurobehavioral performance in offspring. Two intervention studies have demonstrated a positive effect on child neurodevelopment of mothers promptly supplemented with iodine when compared with non-supplemented mothers. Free T4 assays presently in clinical use have limitations. Preliminary results of the Controlled Antenatal Thyroid Study (CATS) reveal somewhat mixed findings and the NIH-Maternal Fetal Medicine TSH Study (TSH Study) will be completed in 2015.
Conclusions: Knowledge regarding the impact of isolated hypothyroxinemia has progressed, but major questions remain. An optimal diagnostic test for free T4 during pregnancy (accurate, inexpensive, and widely available) remains elusive. Trimester-specific normative data and normal ranges from different areas do not exist. Finally analysis of the CATS trial, and results of the NIH 2015 TSH Study should yield much needed data on the impact of treating isolated hypothyroxinemia of pregnancy on the IQ of the offspring. Data published to date are insufficient to recommend levothyroxine therapy in pregnant women with isolated hypothyroxinemia. An adequate amount of iodine intake has to be recommended pre-conception or starting early in pregnancy.
iodine, thyroid, hypothyroxinemia, pregnancy, child development, neurodevelopmental disorders, clinical assessment, review, human studieshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21247845View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1877Khuwaja et al 2011 - Neuroprotective effects of curcumin on induced Parkinsonism in ratsNeuroprotective effects of curcumin on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced Parkinsonism in rats: behavioral, neurochemical and immunohistochemical studiesNeuroprotective effects of curcumin on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced Parkinsonism in rats: behavioral, neurochemical and immunohistochemical studiesKhuwaja G, Khan MM, Ishrat T, Ahmad A, Raza SS, Ashafaq M, Javed H, Khan MB, Khan A, Vaibhav K, Safhi MM, Islam F.12/01/2011Brain Res. 1368:254-63. Epub 2010 Oct 15.
Curcumin, the active principle of turmeric used in Indian curry is known for its antitumor, antioxidant, antiarthritic, anti-ischemic and anti-inflammatory properties and might inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta-amyloid in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients.
A Parkinsonian model in rats was developed by giving 6-hydroxydopamine (10 μg/2 μl in 0.1% ascorbic acid-saline) in the right striatum. After 3 weeks of lesioning, the behavior activities (rotarod, narrow beam test, grip test and contra-lateral rotations) were increased in a lesioned group as compared to a sham group and these activities were protected significantly with the pretreatment of curcumin. A significant protection on lipid peroxidation, glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, tyrosine hydroxylase and D(2) receptor binding was observed in the striatum of lesioned group animals pretreated with 80 mg/kg body weight of curcumin for 21 days as compared to lesion group animals. No significant alterations on behavior and biochemical parameters were observed in sham group animals and the animals of sham group pretreated with curcumin.
This study indicates that curcumin, which is an important ingredient of diet in India and also used in various systems of indigenous medicine, is helpful in preventing Parkinsonism and has therapeutic potential in combating this devastating neurologic disorder.
curcumin, neuroprotection, Parkinson's disease, animal study, experimental studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20951685View this and related abstracts via Pubmed here
1734Brown 2011 - The environment and susceptibility to schizophreniaThe environment and susceptibility to schizophreniaThe environment and susceptibility to schizophreniaBrown AS.01/01/2011Prog Neurobiol. 93(1):23-58. Epub 2010 Oct 16.
In the present article the putative role of environmental factors in schizophrenia is reviewed and synthesized.
Accumulating evidence from recent studies suggests that environmental exposures may play a more significant role in the etiopathogenesis of this disorder than previously thought. This expanding knowledge base is largely a consequence of refinements in the methodology of epidemiologic studies, including birth cohort investigations, and in preclinical research that has been inspired by the evolving literature on animal models of environmental exposures.
This paper is divided into four sections. In the first, the descriptive epidemiology of schizophrenia is reviewed. This includes general studies on incidence, prevalence, and differences in these measures by urban-rural, neighborhood, migrant, and season of birth status, as well as time trends.
In the second section, we discuss the contribution of environmental risk factors acting during fetal and perinatal life; these include infections
e.g. rubella, influenza, Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)
, nutritional deficiencies (e.g., famine, folic acid, iron, vitamin D), paternal age, fetal/neonatal hypoxic and other obstetric insults and complications, maternal stress and other exposures
e.g. lead, rhesus (Rh) incompatibility, maternal stress
. Other putative neurodevelopmental determinants, including cannabis, socioeconomic status, trauma, and infections during childhood and adolescence are also covered.
In the third section, these findings are synthesized and their implications for prevention and uncovering biological mechanisms, including oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation, are discussed. Animal models, including maternal immune activation, have yielded evidence suggesting that these exposures cause brain and behavioral phenotypes that are analogous to findings observed in patients with schizophrenia.
In the final section, future studies including new, larger, and more rigorous epidemiologic investigations, and research on translational and clinical neuroscience, gene-environment interactions, epigenetics, developmental trajectories and windows of vulnerability, are elaborated upon. These studies are aimed at confirming observed risk factors, identifying new environmental exposures, elucidating developmental mechanisms, and shedding further light on genes and exposures that may not be identified in the absence of these integrated approaches. The study of environmental factors in schizophrenia may have important implications for the identification of causes and prevention of this disorder, and offers the potential to complement, and refine, existing efforts on explanatory neurodevelopmental models.
schizophrenia, etiology, environmental risk factors, diet, nutrition, nutrients, immune system, inflammation, oxidative stress, human studies, review http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20955757View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1710Gao et al 2011 - Omega-3 PUFA supplements and cognitive decline: Singapore Longitudinal Aging StudiesOmega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements and cognitive decline: Singapore Longitudinal Aging StudiesOmega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements and cognitive decline: Singapore Longitudinal Aging StudiesGao Q, Niti M, Feng L, Yap KB, Ng TP.01/01/2011J Nutr Health Aging. 15(1):32-5.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) supplements intake and cognitive decline in an older Chinese population. Design: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: The Singapore Longitudinal Aging Studies (SLAS), a community-based study in urban region of Singapore.
PARTICIPANTS: 1,475 Chinese adults aged ≥ 55 years.
MEASUREMENT: omega-3 PUFA supplements intake and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) were assessed at baseline. MMSE was re-assessed at a median of 1.5 years after baseline and cognitive decline was defined as at least 2-points drop in MMSE score from baseline to follow-up. Odds ratios (ORs) of association between n-3 PUFA supplements intake and cognitive decline were calculated in logistic regression models controlling for baseline confounding variables.
RESULTS: Daily n-3 PUFA supplements intake was significantly (p=0.024) associated with lower risk of cognitive decline (OR=0.37, 95% C.I. 0.16-0.87) after controlling for age, gender, education, number of medical comorbidity, the presence of vascular risk factors/diseases, smoking, alcohol drinking, depression, APOE e4 allele carrier status, nutritional status, level of leisure activities, baseline MMSE and length of follow-up. The association remained significant (p=0.015) after excluding participants with baseline cognitive impairment (MMSE < 24), diabetes, stroke, and cardiac diseases (OR=0.23, 95% C.I. 0.07-0.75). No statistically significant association (OR=1.02, 95% C.I. 0.81-1.27) of fish consumption with cognitive decline was found.
CONCLUSION: Daily n-3 PUFA supplements consumption was independently associated with less cognitive decline in elderly Chinese.
omega-3, fatty acids, cognitive decline, ageing, human study, elderly, observational studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21267519View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1824Jacques et al 2011 - Long-term effects of prenatal omega-3 intake on visual function in school-age childrenLong-term effects of prenatal omega-3 fatty acid intake on visual function in school-age childrenLong-term effects of prenatal omega-3 fatty acid intake on visual function in school-age childrenJacques C, Levy E, Muckle G, Jacobson SW, Bastien C, Dewailly E, Ayotte P, Jacobson JL, Saint-Amour D.01/01/2011J Pediatr.158(1):83-90, 90.e1. Epub 2010 Aug 25.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the long-term effect on visual development of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) intake during gestation.
STUDY DESIGN: Using visual evoked potentials (VEPs), the long-term effects on visual development were evaluated in 136 school-age Inuit children exposed to high levels of n-3 PUFAs during gestation. VEP protocols using color and motion stimuli were used to assess parvocellular and magnocellular responses. Concentrations of the two major n-3 PUFAs (docosahexaenoic acid
and eicosapentaenoic acid
) were measured in umbilical cord and child plasma phospholipids, reflecting prenatal and postnatal exposure, respectively.
RESULTS: After adjustment for confounders, cord plasma DHA level was found to be associated with shorter latencies of the N1 and P1 components of the color VEPs. No effects were found for current n-3 PUFA body burden or motion-onset VEPs.
CONCLUSION:This study demonstrates beneficial effects of DHA intake during gestation on visual system function at school age. DHA is particularly important for the early development and long-term function of the visual parvocellular pathway.
vision, omega-3, fatty acids, EPA, DHA, children, visual function, VEP, magnocellular, parvocellular, plasma, human study, biochemical studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20797725View this and related abstracts via Pub Med here.
1725Koletzko et al 2011 - Genetic variants of the FADS gene cluster predict amounts of RBC DHA and other PUFA in pregnant womenGenetic variants of the fatty acid desaturase gene cluster predict amounts of red blood cell docosahexaenoic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnant women: findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and ChildrenGenetic variants of the fatty acid desaturase gene cluster predict amounts of red blood cell docosahexaenoic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnant women: findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and ChildrenKoletzko B, Lattka E, Zeilinger S, Illig T, Steer C.01/01/2011Am J Clin Nutr. 93(1):211-9. Epub 2010 Nov 24.
BACKGROUND:Blood and tissue long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LC-PUFA) amounts, which have been associated with early development and lifelong health, depend on dietary intake and endogenous conversion of precursor fatty acids (FAs) by the enzymes Δ5-desaturase and Δ6-desaturase. Polymorphisms in the desaturase encoding genes FADS1 and FADS2 have been associated with several n-6 (omega-6) and n-3 (omega-3) FAs and especially with arachidonic acid (AA) amounts. Associations with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is considered particularly important for brain and retina development, are hardly existent.
OBJECTIVE:We explored the relation between FADS gene cluster polymorphisms and red blood cell (RBC) FA amounts in > 4000 pregnant women participating in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.
DESIGN:Linear regression analysis of 17 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the FADS gene cluster was conducted with RBC phospholipid FAs from 6711 samples from 4457 women obtained throughout pregnancy (mean ± SD gestational age: 26.8 ± 8.2 wk).
RESULTS:Independent of dietary effects, the minor alleles were consistently positively associated with precursor FAs and negatively associated with LC-PUFAs and product:substrate ratios of the n-6 (AA:linoleic acid ratio) and n-3 (eicosapentaenoic acid:α-linolenic acid ratio) pathways. In contrast to previous studies, we also showed significant inverse associations with DHA. Similar but weaker associations were shown for the FADS3 SNP rs174455.
CONCLUSIONS:FADS genotypes influence DHA amounts in maternal RBC phospholipids and might affect the child's DHA supply during pregnancy. It is highly likely that a gene product of FADS3 has a desaturating activity
genetics, FADS genes, desaturase, pregnancy, fatty acids, EFA-HUFA conversion, RBCFA, omega-3, DHA, omega-6, LC-PUFA, ALSPAChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21106917View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1723Nimitphong & Holick 2011 - Vitamin D, neurocognitive functioning and immunocompetenceVitamin D, neurocognitive functioning and immunocompetenceVitamin D, neurocognitive functioning and immunocompetenceNimitphong H, Holick MF.01/01/2011Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 14(1):7-14.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW:Vitamin D deficiency is recognized as one of the most common medical conditions in children and adults. The major causes are inadequate sun exposure and inadequate intakes of dietary and supplemental vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency defined as a 25-hydroxyvitamin D level less than 20 and 21-29 ng/ml, respectively, have been linked to increased risk for a variety of medical conditions including cancer, heart disease, type II diabetes, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, metabolic bone diseases and neurological disorders.
RECENT FINDINGS:The skeletal muscle and brain have a vitamin D receptor and the central nervous system has a capacity to activate vitamin D. Low vitamin D status has been linked to poor performance in neurocognitive testing in elderly. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with muscle weakness, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and a lower motor neuron-induced muscle atrophy.
SUMMARY:Correcting vitamin D deficiency and preventing vitamin D deficiency in children and adults should be a high priority for healthcare professionals to reduce risk for a wide variety of neurological disorders. Children and adults should take at least 400 international unit IU and 2000 IU vitamin D/day, respectively, to prevent vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency.
Vitamin D, review, brain, immune system, neurological disorders, recommended dietary intakes, human studies, children, adultshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21102318View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1590Trevizol et al 2011 - Comparison of omega-6, trans and omega-3 fatty acids on repeated amphetamine exposure: a possible factor for the development of mania.Comparative study between n-6, trans and n-3 fatty acids on repeated amphetamine exposure: a possible factor for the development of mania.Comparative study between n-6, trans and n-3 fatty acids on repeated amphetamine exposure: a possible factor for the development of mania.
Trevizol F, Benvegnú DM, Barcelos RC, Boufleur N, Dolci GS, Müller LG, Pase CS, Reckziegel P, Dias VT, Segat H, Teixeira AM, Emanuelli T, Rocha JB, Bürger ME.01/01/2011Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 97(3)560-5. Epub 2010 Nov 13.
In the last decades, foods rich in omega-3 (ω-3) fatty acids (FA) have been replaced by omega-6 (ω-6) and trans FA, which are found in processed foods.
The influence of ω-6 (soybean oil--SO), trans (hydrogenated vegetable fat--HVF) and ω-3 (fish oil--FO) fatty acids on locomotor and oxidative stress (OS) parameters were studied in an animal model of mania. Rats orally fed with SO, HVF and FO for 8 weeks received daily injections of amphetamine (AMPH--4 mg/kg/mL-ip) for the last week of oral supplementation.
HVF induced hyperactivity, increased the protein carbonyl levels in the cortex and decreased the mitochondrial viability in cortex and striatum. AMPH-treatment increased the locomotion and decreased the mitochondrial viability in all groups, but its neurotoxicity was higher in the HVF group. Similarly, AMPH administration increased the protein carbonyl levels in striatum and cortex of HVF-supplemented rats. AMPH reduced the vitamin-C plasmatic levels of SO and HVF-fed rats, whereas no change was observed in the FO group.
Our findings suggest that trans fatty acids increased the oxidative damage per se and exacerbated the AMPH-induced effects. The impact of trans fatty acids consumption on neuronal diseases and its consequences in brain functions must be further evaluated.
dietary fat, trans fats, omega-6, omega-3, hydrogenated vegetable oil, HVO, oxidative stress, animal model, amphetamine, mania, animal study, experimental study, substance use, addictionhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21078338View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1770Turner et al 2011 - Maintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel disease using omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil): a systematic review and meta-analysesMaintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel disease using omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil): a systematic review and meta-analysesMaintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel disease using omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil): a systematic review and meta-analysesTurner D, Shah PS, Steinhart AH, Zlotkin S, Griffiths AM.01/01/2011Inflamm Bowel Dis. 17(1):336-45.
The objective was to systematically review the efficacy and safety of n-3 (omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil) for maintaining remission in Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).
Electronic databases were searched systematically for randomized controlled trials of n-3 for maintenance of remission in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Studies of patients of any age group who were in remission at the time of recruitment and were followed for at least 6 months were included. The primary outcome was relapse rate at the end of the follow-up period.
Nine studies were eligible for inclusion; six studies of CD (n = 1039) and three of UC (n = 138).
There was a statistically significant benefit for n-3 in CD (relative risk (RR) 0.77; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-0.98); however, the studies were heterogeneous (I(2) = 58%). The absolute risk reduction was -0.14 (95% CI: -0.25 to -0.02). Opinions may vary on whether this is a clinically significant effect. Two well-done studies with a larger sample size reported no benefit. A sensitivity analysis excluding a small pediatric study resulted in the pooled RR being no longer statistically significant. A funnel plot analysis suggested publication bias for the smaller studies.
For UC, there was no difference in the relapse rate between the n-3 and control groups (RR 1.02; 95% CI: 0.51-2.03). The pooled analysis showed a higher rate of diarrhea (RR 1.36; 95% CI: 1.01-1.84) and symptoms of the upper gastrointestinal tract (RR 1.96; 95% CI: 1.37-2.80) in the n-3 treatment group.
There are insufficient data to recommend the use of omega 3 fatty acids for maintenance of remission in CD and UC.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD, Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, omega-3, dietary supplementation, treatment, RCT, systematic reviewhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564531View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1814Validation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in subjects with and without major depressive disorderValidation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in subjects with and without major depressive disorderValidation of a food frequency questionnaire to assess intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in subjects with and without major depressive disorderSublette ME, Segal-Isaacson CJ, Cooper TB, Fekri S, Vanegas N, Galfalvy HC, Oquendo MA, Mann JJ.01/01/2011J Am Diet Assoc. 111(1):117-123.e1-2.
The role of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in psychiatric illness is a topic of public health importance.
This report describes development and biomarker validation of a 21-item, self-report food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) intended for use in psychiatric research to assess intake of α-linolenic acid (18:3n-3
), docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3
), and eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3
In a cross-sectional study conducted from September 2006 to September 2008, sixty-one ethnically diverse adult participants with (n=34) and without (n=27) major depressive disorder completed this n-3 PUFA FFQ and provided a plasma sample. Plasma levels of n-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA, and n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid (20:4n-6
) were quantified by gas chromatography.
Using Spearman's ρ, FFQ-estimated intake correlated with plasma levels of DHA (r=0.50; P<0.0001) and EPA (r=0.38; P=0.002), but not with ALA levels (r=0.22; P=0.086). Participants were classified into quartiles by FFQ-estimated intake and plasma PUFA concentrations. Efficacy of the FFQ to rank individuals into same or adjacent plasma quartiles was 83% for DHA, 78.1% for EPA, and 70.6% for ALA; misclassification into extreme quartiles was 4.9% for DHA, 6.5% for EPA, and 8.2% for ALA. FFQ-estimated EPA intake and plasma EPA were superior to plasma AA levels as predictors of the plasma AA to EPA ratio.
This brief FFQ can provide researchers and clinicians with valuable information concerning dietary intake of DHA and EPA.
omega-3, dietary intake, assessment, FFQ, human studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21185973View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
1605Brion et al 2011 - Intrauterine Effects of Maternal Prepregnancy Overweight on Child Cognition and Behavior in 2 CohortsIntrauterine Effects of Maternal Prepregnancy Overweight on Child Cognition and Behavior in 2 CohortsIntrauterine Effects of Maternal Prepregnancy Overweight on Child Cognition and Behavior in 2 Cohorts Brion MJ, Zeegers M, Jaddoe V, Verhulst F, Tiemeier H, Lawlor DA, Smith GD.27/12/2010Pediatrics. Epub ahead of print Dec 27 2010
Objective: Greater maternal prepregnancy adiposity has been associated with behavioral problems, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and lower intellectual function in offspring. However, few studies of humans have explored this, and it is unclear if intrauterine mechanisms or confounding factors drive these associations.
Patients and Methods: Parental adiposity and offspring verbal skills, nonverbal skills, and behavioral problems were assessed in the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (N = ∼5000) and Dutch Generation R (N = ∼2500) cohorts. We aimed to determine the plausibility of intrauterine effects by (1) adjusting for multiple confounders, (2) comparing associations between maternal and paternal overweight with offspring cognition/behaviors, and (3) searching for cross-cohort consistency.
Results: Maternal prepregnancy overweight was associated with reduced child verbal skills (unadjusted). However, after adjusting for confounders, this result was not consistently observed in both cohorts. Maternal overweight was also associated with child total behavior problems and externalizing problems even after adjusting for confounders. However, this was observed in Generation R only and was not replicated in the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. No associations of maternal overweight with child attention problems, emotional/internalizing problems, or nonverbal skills were observed in either cohort. Paternal overweight was not associated with any of the child outcomes but was also less strongly related to potential confounding factors than was maternal overweight.
Conclusions: Overall, we found little consistent evidence of intrauterine effects of maternal prepregnancy overweight on child cognition and behavior. Some associations initially observed were not consistently replicated across cohorts or robust to adjustment for confounding factors and, thus, are likely to reflect confounding by socioeconomic or postnatal factors.
pregnancy, maternal obesity, nutritional programming, ADHD, cognition, behaviour, mood, epidemiological study, human studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21187310View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
327213 Dec 2010 - Medpage Today - Kids Will Eat Low-Sugar Cereals Breakfast cereals, sugar, children13/12/2010by Nancy Walsh
Despite the heavy marketing of sugary breakfast cereals to children, kids seem willing to eat low-sugar cereals -- particularly if they can add fresh fruit or a small amount of table sugar, researchers found.
In a randomized study conducted among more than 90 kids, those children offered low-sugar cereals consumed half the amount of refined sugar at breakfast compared with those who ate high-sugar cereals (12.5 g versus 24.4 g, P<0.001), according to Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, of Yale University, and colleagues.
Furthermore, the children eating low-sugar cereals were more likely to add fresh fruit (54% versus 8%, P<0.001), Harris and co-authors wrote in the January Pediatrics.
It's widely accepted that children benefit from eating breakfast -- for reasons ranging from better overall nutrition to improved academic performance.
However, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals contribute 8% to 9% of added sweeteners in children's diets -- and cereals marketed directly to children contain significantly more added sugar than those promoted for adults, totaling 32% to 43% of cereal content by weight, according to background provided by the authors.
"As a consequence, children may consume considerably more than the recommended 27- to 30-g serving for these cereals," Harris and co-authors wrote.
Some pediatric experts have recommended that parents serve only low-sugar cereals -- while others suggest that "a sugar-sweetened cereal is better than no breakfast at all," according to the researchers.
To explore children's willingness to consume low-sugar cereals, Harris and colleagues enrolled 91 children ages 5 years to 12 years who were attending a summer day camp, assigning them to two groups.
Children in the low-sugar cereal group were offered a choice of Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and Corn Flakes, which contain 1 to 4 grams of sugar in a serving.
Kids assigned to the high-sugar cereal group were offered Froot Loops, Cocoa Pebbles, and Frosted Flakes, which contain 11 to 12 g of sugar in each serving.
At each place-setting there was a small cup of orange juice, an 8-oz container of 1% fat milk, and bowls of pre-cut strawberry and banana sections.
In the center of each table there were additional containers of milk and juice, as well as individual sugar packets.
The children were instructed to eat as much as they wanted.
After eating, the children filled out a questionnaire on how much they enjoyed the cereal -- using a smiley-face scale of one (loved it) to five (hated it) -- and whether they typically put sugar on their cereal at home.
The mean rating for the cereals in the low-sugar group was 4.5 and 4.6 in the high-sugar group, with 90% of the children saying they "liked" or "loved" their choice.
The low-sugar group consumed about a single serving of cereal, while those in the high-sugar group consumed twice as much, which was a significant difference (P<0.001).
Children in the low-sugar group added more sugar to their cereal -- but the overall refined sugar consumption was 5.7 teaspoons in the high-sugar group and 0.7 teaspoons in the low-sugar group.
Milk and orange juice consumption did not differ between the two groups.
In the high-sugar group, refined sugar was the source of about 25% of calories consumed, compared with 14% in the low-sugar group (P<0.001).
And in the high-sugar group, fresh fruit was the source of only 12% to 13% of calories, compared with 18% to 20% in the low-sugar group (P=0.03).
The researchers observed that their findings probably underestimated the overall effects of providing children with high-sugar breakfast cereals.
"Children's taste preferences develop over time through continued experiences with different foods," they wrote.
If kids are given highly sweetened cereals regularly, they are likely to learn to prefer sweetened foods in general, the researchers suggested.
Limitations of the study included the fact that sugar consumption was measured only on one day and in one meal, so the results may not be generalizable to longer periods.
In addition, the participants were mostly black and Hispanic children from disadvantaged families, so the results may also not be generalizable to children of different backgrounds and ethnicities.
The authors stated that they have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
In an ingeniously designed study, these researchers have shown that low-sugar breakfast cereals are in fact perfectly acceptable to children. This evidence stands in stark contrast to the views often put forward by food producers (and sadly many parents too) about what children will and will not eat.
It is very noteworthy that total refined sugar consumption was dramatically reduced in the low-sugar breakfast cereal group. Despite these children choosing to add more sugar than those given the high-sugar breakfast cereals, they did so only to their own taste, and made healthier choices from the other options available.
Most tellingly, when offered the high-sugar versions, children ate TWICE as much of the actual cereal (two servings instead of one).
That surely tells us all we need to know about the real reason the manufacturers persist in adding so much sugar to their products - and this study certainly explodes the myth that it's because that's what children want.
3271Harris et al 2011 - Effects of serving high-sugar cereals on children's breakfast-eating behaviorEffects of serving high-sugar cereals on children's breakfast-eating behaviorEffects of serving high-sugar cereals on children's breakfast-eating behavior, sugar and breakfast cerealsHarris JL, Schwartz MB, Ustjanauskas A, Ohri-Vachaspati P, Brownell KD.13/12/2010Pediatrics127(1)71-6. doi: 10.1542/peds.2010-0864. Epub 2010 Dec 13.
To test (1) whether children will consume low-sugar ready-to-eat (RTE) cereals and (2) the effects of serving high- versus low-sugar cereals on the consumption of cereal, refined sugar, fresh fruit, and milk.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS:
Using an experimental design, we randomly assigned children (n = 91) who were attending summer day camp to receive a breakfast that included either the choice of 1 of 3 high-sugar cereals (high-sugar condition) or low-sugar cereals (low-sugar condition), as well as low-fat milk, orange juice, bananas, strawberries, and sugar packets. Participants served themselves and completed a background questionnaire after eating. Researchers measured the amount and calories consumed of each food.
In both conditions, children reported "liking" or "loving" the cereal they chose. Children in the low-sugar cereal condition consumed, on average, slightly more than 1 serving of cereal (35 g), whereas children in the high-sugar condition consumed significantly more (61 g) and almost twice the amount of refined sugar in total (24.4 vs 12.5 g). Milk and total calories consumed did not differ significantly between conditions, but children in the low-sugar condition were more likely to put fruit on their cereal (54% vs 8%) and consumed a greater portion of total calories from fresh fruit (20% vs 13%).
Compared with serving low-sugar cereals, high-sugar cereals increase children's total sugar consumption and reduce the overall nutritional quality of their breakfast. Children will consume low-sugar cereals when offered, and they provide a superior breakfast option.
These researchers are to be commended for the excellent design of this study. When high-sugar rather than low-sugar breakfast cereals were offered to children, these significantly impaired the nutritional quality of their overall food choices.
Importantly, there was absolutely no difference in the children's liking for the two types of cereal. However, they ate twice as much of the high-sugar version, which led to them consuming more than eight times the quantity of refined sugar (5.7 vs 0.7 teaspoons) and also reduced their fruit consumption.
The full text of this research article is freely available online from the Pediatrics website (or follow the PubMed link given here to access this).
sugar, high-sugar, breakfast cereals, children, diet, food choice, human study, observational study, experimental studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21149436View this and related abstracts via PubMed here. Free full text of this article is available online.
157327 Nov 2010 - The Lancet - McPolicy: bringing you the Big Mac societyfast food; McDonalds; PepsiIf you were a UK Health Secretary faced with soaring rates of obesity, alcohol misuse, and diet-related diseases, what would you do? Were you to take an evidence-based approach, you might consider minimum pricing per unit of alcohol and restrictions on its availability. You might look at toughening the regulation of how the least healthy foods are marketed to children. You could even demand that manufacturers reformulate their least healthy products to meet minimum nutritional standards. Or you could, if your name was Andrew Lansley, dismiss all of the above and instead invite representatives of McDonald's, PepsiCo, and the drinks giant Diageo among others, to submit their policy suggestions on how best to deal with the UK's public-health crises for a forthcoming governmental white paper.10/12/2010
After the initial surprise, it can still take a while for the bizarre reality to sink in—that the companies who have profited the most from the epidemics of obesity and alcohol misuse should now be responsible for setting the agenda on public health simply beggars belief. Whatever sage wisdom the various captains of the food and drink industry have to impart, it will certainly be in the narrow interests of their shareholders, whose continued wealth is contingent on maintaining precisely the status quo that brought about the current public-health crises. Perhaps their feelings of corporate responsibility will extend to plugging the funding gap left by Education Secretary Michael Gove's decision to remove £162 million of funding to English schools for the sports-for-all programme, which tackled low levels of physical activity in children.
The creeping influence of corporate power on public policy is not news to anyone in the UK, but the breathtaking speed and scale by which the UK coalition Government is embracing the agenda of business at the expense of the health of the electorate is an unwelcome novelty. By putting the interests of big business at the heart of public-health policy, Lansley is ensuring that the UK's big society will not be shedding the pounds any time soon.
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2810%2962150-2/fulltext?elsca1=TL-261110&elsca2=email&elsca3=segmentView this article online in The Lancet here
1572Ramsden CE et al 2010 - n-6 Fatty acid-specific and mixed polyunsaturate dietary interventions have different effects on CHD risk: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trialsn-6 Fatty acid-specific and mixed polyunsaturate dietary interventions have different effects on CHD risk: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials omega 6; n-6 fatty acid; n-6 Fatty acid-specific and mixed polyunsaturate dietary interventions have different effects on CHD risk: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trRamsden CE, Hibbeln JR, Majchrzak SF, Davis JM.10/12/2010Br J Nutr. 2010 Dec;104(11):1586-600.PMID: 21118617
Randomised controlled trials (RCT) of mixed n-6 and n-3 PUFA diets, and meta-analyses of their CHD outcomes, have been considered decisive evidence in specifically advising consumption of 'at least 5-10 % of energy as n-6 PUFA'. Here we
(1) performed an extensive literature search and extracted detailed dietary and outcome data enabling a critical examination of all RCT that increased PUFA and reported relevant CHD outcomes;
(2) determined if dietary interventions increased n-6 PUFA with specificity, or increased both n-3 and n-6 PUFA (i.e. mixed n-3/n-6 PUFA diets);
(3) compared mixed n-3/n-6 PUFA to n-6 specific PUFA diets on relevant CHD outcomes in meta-analyses;
(4) evaluated the potential confounding role of trans-fatty acids (TFA).
n-3 PUFA intakes were increased substantially in four of eight datasets, and the n-6 PUFA linoleic acid was raised with specificity in four datasets. n-3 and n-6 PUFA replaced a combination of TFA and SFA in all eight datasets.
For non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI)+CHD death, the pooled risk reduction for mixed n-3/n-6 PUFA diets was 22 % (risk ratio (RR) 0·78; 95 % CI 0·65, 0·93) compared to an increased risk of 13 % for n-6 specific PUFA diets (RR 1·13; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·53). Risk of non-fatal MI+CHD death was significantly higher in n-6 specific PUFA diets compared to mixed n-3/n-6 PUFA diets (P = 0·02).
RCT that substituted n-6 PUFA for TFA and SFA without simultaneously increasing n-3 PUFA produced an increase in risk of death that approached statistical significance (RR 1·16; 95 % CI 0·95, 1·42).
Advice to specifically increase n-6 PUFA intake, based on mixed n-3/n-6 RCT data, is unlikely to provide the intended benefits, and may actually increase the risks of CHD and death.
These findings indicate that dietary advice to consume more 'polyunsaturated fats' (PUFA) by using vegetable oils to replace solid fats like butter, lard or hard margarines may actually increase the risk of heart disease if the vegetable oils only contain omega-6 PUFA.
Previous studies relating dietary fat intake to heart health have failed to consider the very different effects of omega-6 versus omega-3 PUFA. (Broadly speaking, omega-6 PUFA tend to promote inflammation and blood clots, whereas omega-3 PUFA have the opposite effects).
These findings, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, are based on a detailed re-analysis of results from placebo-controlled treatment trials involving over 11,000 people in total. This time, the scientists carefully separated the studies in which the dietary treatments contained omega-6 PUFA only, or a mixture of omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA.
Only the 'mixed omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA' trials showed any benefits in reducing heart disease risk. By contrast, the use of omega-6 PUFA alone was associated with slightly worse heart disease outcomes.
Omega-3 PUFA have repeatedly been shown to have benefits for heart health, but it is the longer-chain forms (EPA and DHA) - found in oily fish and seafood - which are the most valuable for heart health (as well as for the brain and immune system). Only a few vegetable oils (such as flaxseed oil, rapeseed oil, or soybean oil) contain any omega-3 PUFA - although this is in a shorter-chain form (alpha-linolenic acid) that is not as beneficial to human health as EPA and DHA. Many of the most commonly used vegetable oils (such as corn oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil) are high in omega 6 PUFA, and contain no omega-3 PUFA at all.
omega-3, omega-6, cardiovascular disease, review, RCT, systematic review, human studieshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21118617View this and other related abstracts on PubMed here
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