352913 July 2013 - ALSPAC - Lack of fish in diet linked to anxiety in pregnancyLack of fish in diet linked to anxiety in pregnancyWomen who do not eat fish during pregnancy are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety at that time.13/07/2013
Researchers from Children of the 90s and the Federal University of Rio de Janiero, Brazil, have found a link between the types of diet eaten, particularly whether this includes fish, and anxiety in pregnancy. They suggest that eating fish during pregnancy could help reduce stress levels.
Most women experience some stress during pregnancy but excessive anxiety is not good for the mother’s long-term health and can result in their baby being born prematurely and/or having a low birth weight.
As well as looking at fish intake the study of more than 9,500 pregnant women categorised women’s diets by the frequency with which different types of foods were eaten and identified five dietary patterns. They are roughly described as: health-conscious (1),traditional (2), processed (3), confectionery (4) and vegetarian (5).
The researchers found that women who never ate seafood had a 53 per cent greater likelihood of having high levels of anxiety at 32 weeks of pregnancy when compared to women who ate seafood regularly. The results suggest that two meals of white fish and one meal of oily fish each week would be an adequate amount of fish to consume. This was the case after taking into account 14 different factors that could affect anxiety, including drinking, smoking and family adversity during pregnancy.
When the researchers investigated the dietary patterns, women in the top third of the vegetarian type of diet pattern were 25 per cent more likely to experience anxiety than women in the bottom third.
There was also evidence that women in the top third of the health-conscious dietary pattern were 23 per cent less likely to have high levels of anxiety when compared to women in the bottom third.
Women in the top third of the traditional diet pattern were 16 per cent less likely to have high levels of anxiety when compared to women in the bottom third.
These findings, the researchers suggest, may be due to the lack of fish and meat in a vegetarian type of diet and because a pregnant woman’s nutritional requirements increase during pregnancy, due to the demands of the growing fetus, which gets all its nutrients from the mother.
Dr Juliana Vaz, the report’s senior author, said:
"An important message from this research is that in order to have a healthy pregnancy, women need to follow a healthy diet and not something special for pregnancy. It means a diet containing whole cereals, vegetables, salad, fruit, dairy foods, meat, poultry, pulses and including fish – three portions per week with at least one of oily fish, such as salmon, sardine or tuna. Sweets and fast-foods should be kept to a minimum because they are low in nutrients."
Dr Pauline Emmett, senior dietician at Children of the 90s, and a co-author of the report said:
"It is possible, but not proved, that this association with fish is due to the omega-3 fatty acid content of the fish. For vegetarians there are dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids especially flax oils, algae oils and nuts and seeds such as walnuts. There are also products such as omega-3 eggs and milk on the market which they could choose. Some vegetarians are happy to eat fish from time to time and we would encourage this especially as we are not sure what ingredient in fish is the most effective."
Professor Jean Golding, one of the report’s authors and founder of Children of the 90s, added:
'Previous research from Children of the 90s has shown the beneficial effects of eating oily fish during pregnancy on a child's IQ and eyesight. This new paper highlights the importance of oily fish for a mother’s mental health and consequently the health and development of her baby. Any pregnant woman who is concerned about her diet should seek advice from her midwife or GP.
3530Santos Vaz et al 2013 - Dietary Patterns, n-3 Fatty Acids Intake from Seafood and High Levels of Anxiety Symptoms during Pregnancy: ALSPAC findingsDietary Patterns, n-3 Fatty Acids Intake from Seafood and High Levels of Anxiety Symptoms during Pregnancy: Findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and ChildrenDietary Patterns, n-3 Fatty Acids Intake from Seafood and High Levels of Anxiety Symptoms during Pregnancy: Findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Juliana dos Santos Vaz, Gilberto Kac, Pauline Emmett, John M Davies, Jean Golding, Joseph R Hibbeln13/07/2013PLOS One
Little is known about relationships between dietary patterns, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake and excessive anxiety during pregnancy.
To examine whether dietary patterns and n-3 PUFA intake from seafood are associated with high levels of anxiety during pregnancy.
Pregnant women enrolled from 1991–1992 in ALSPAC (n 9,530). Dietary patterns were established from a food frequency questionnaire using principal component analysis. Total intake of n-3 PUFA (grams/week) from seafood was also examined. Symptoms of anxiety were measured at 32 weeks of gestation with the Crown-Crisp Experiential Index; scores =9 corresponding to the 85th percentile was defined as high anxiety symptoms. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the OR and 95% CI, adjusted by socioeconomic and lifestyle variables.
Multivariate results showed that women in the highest tertile of the health-conscious (OR 0.77; 0.65–0.93) and the traditional (OR 0.84; 0.73–0.97) pattern scores were less likely to report high levels of anxiety symptoms. Women in the highest tertile of the vegetarian pattern score (OR 1.25; 1.08–1.44) were more likely to have high levels of anxiety, as well as those with no n-3 PUFA intake from seafood (OR 1.53; 1.25–1.87) when compared with those with intake of >1.5 grams/week.
The present study provides evidence of a relationship between dietary patterns, fish intake or n-3 PUFA intake from seafood and symptoms of anxiety in pregnancy, and suggests that dietary interventions could be used to reduce high anxiety symptoms during pregnancy.
ALSPAC; omega-3, anxiety; maternal diet, pregnancy, fish and seafood, dietary patternshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23874437View this and related abstracts via PubMed here. Free full text of this article is available online.
350912 July 2013 - Gov UK - The School Food PlanSchool Food PlanA plan of action designed to improve the quality and take-up of school food and put the kitchen at the heart of school life is published. 12/07/2013
The ‘School food plan’, written by Leon restaurant founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent, includes a range of actions to drive up standards and divert some of the £1 billion parents currently spend on packed lunches back into the system.
A year ago, Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove asked Henry and John to work with schools, councils, caterers, parents and government to set out how to increase the number of children eating good food in schools.
The actions set out today in the plan include: £16.1 million of new money to boost take up in schools and ensure thousands of children get healthy breakfast; a checklist for headteachers to help improve the ‘food culture’ in their schools, and the launch of 2 flagship London boroughs to help prove that better school food can have a significant impact on children’s health and attainment.
Henry Dimbleby said:
While we have been hugely impressed by the energy and enthusiasm we have witnessed among school cooks, teachers and others working to make school food great, our findings are clear - not enough children are eating well and not enough money is going into the school food system to ensure that it can provide great food and pay its way.
That’s why we have got to make a change. We need to ensure that children have the fuel they need in order to be happy and healthy and perform well at school. The best schools worry about what’s going on in children’s bodies as well as their minds.
This is a series of actions, each of which is the responsibility of a named person or organisation, to transform what children eat at school and how they learn about food.
John Vincent said:
Increasing take-up is not something that can be done from the top-down. It requires a cultural change within each school.
It means cooking food that is both appetising and nutritious, making the dining hall a welcoming place, keeping queues down, getting the price right, allowing children to eat with their friends; getting them interested in cooking and growing.
We know from our experience that this change is led by headtachers and we hope they help to take this plan forward to make a real and lasting change.
Welcoming the plan, Michael Gove said:
The whole virtue of the ‘School food plan’ is that it’s there to help - it emphasises the vital importance of making sure food is high quality and tasty and creating a culture in your school where everyone appreciates the importance of food.
What I’d like to see is more children eating school lunches and fewer having packed lunches, and more children feeling healthier and more energetic throughout the day.
I would like to thank John and Henry for the hard work that went into this this plan and believe we now have a set of actions that can make a real difference in schools right across the country.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
This is an ambitious plan that sets out a blueprint from which we can get kids to eat more healthily and to learn more about food.
All the evidence suggests that if kids have a healthy school meal they’ll do better in the classroom and that’s something which is in everyone’s long-term interest.
Through our forthcoming pilot we want London boroughs to help show the rest of the country that the link between great food and academic achievement is inextricable.
Actions in the plan include:
A £16.1 million injection of cash from the Department for Education over the next 2 years. This includes £11.8 million that organisations such as the Children’s Food Trust and the Food For Life Partnership can bid for to help turn around schools that are struggling with their lunch service, £3.15 million to ensure healthy breakfasts are available for thousands of children who arrive at school hungry.
A practical checklist for headteachers, listing the most important things they or their team can do to that can make a big difference to take-up and food culture in schools. The checklist is based on the examples of what is working well that the reviewers have seen during their trips to over 60 schools in the country. They are designed to be pinned up in the head’s office and the kitchen. Suggested actions include:
Lowering the price of school meals - consider subsidising school meals for your reception and year 7 classes for the first term, or offer discounts for parents of multiple children or those whose children eat a school lunch every day.
Teachers should be encouraged to eat with the children in the dining hall.
Have a stay-on-site rule for break and lunch time.
Have a cashless payment system to shorten queuing times and prevent free school meal children from being stigmatised.
Offer after school cooking lessons for parents with their children.
Make sure packed lunches are not more exciting than school lunches. Ban sugary drinks, crisps and confectionery, or offer prizes and other incentives for bringing in a healthy lunch. Or ban packed lunches altogether.
Watch what gets served at mid-morning break. Many children eat their main meal at this time which too often means filling up on pizza, paninis or cake.
The launch of 2 flagship London boroughs to help prove that better school food can have a significant impact on children’s health and attainment. Every school in each area will receive co-ordinated support from expert organisations such as the Children’s Food Trust to improve the quality and take up of school meals and spread great food culture through the wider community. The Department for Education and the Mayor’s Office will jointly fund the boroughs.
The Department for Education will test and introduce a set of revised food based standards (built on a nutritional framework), with the intention of applying them to maintained schools and all new academies and free schools by September 2014.
Ofsted will amend its guidance to inspectors to consider behaviour and culture in the dining hall and the way a school promotes healthy lifestyles.
Co-founder of Innocent smoothies Richard Reed and branding expert Wally Olins will help devise a strategy to improve the image of school food, and Jamie Oliver has agreed to help through his media work.
Ensuring cooking is in the curriculum for all children up to the age of 14. The new curriculum will emphasise the importance of cooking nutritious, savoury dishes, understanding where food comes from, and taking pleasure in the creative arts of the kitchen.
The government will investigate the case for extending free school meals entitlement.
Other actions in the plan include:
including food and nutrition in headteacher training
action to ensure small schools are funded fairly
a 5 measure test to judge whether the ‘School food plan’ is working
a new ‘what works well’ website to share best practice
In addition, in September Change4Life - the government’s biggest existing public awareness campaign - will launch a new ‘Back to School’ pledge. This will consist of 5 healthy behaviours, one of which will be a promise by parents to give their child a school dinner.
Over the course of the last year Henry and John have:
held more than 100 meetings with experts, representative groups and organisations working with schools to improve their food culture
organised 7 regional events around England, attended by nearly 500 people and representatives from over 150 schools
visited more than 60 schools to eat their food, attend lessons and discuss issues with children, parents, cooks, teachers, business managers, teachers and heads
held 20 focus groups with children
convened an expert panel to develop the plan
commissioned primary research including a representative survey of 400 headteachers’ views on school food
Key facts and figures:
The obesity rate in the UK has risen from 6% of the population in 1980 to 27% today, and almost 20% of children are already obese by the time they leave primary school.
Across the country, take-up of school food remains stubbornly low. The majority of children - 57% - either bring in a packed lunch or buy something outside school (almost always junk food).
Many parents mistakenly imagine that a packed lunch is the healthiest option. In fact, it is far easier to get the necessary nutrients into a cooked meal.
Only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards that currently apply to school food and two-thirds contain sweets, sugary drinks and savoury snacks such as crisps.
Parents currently spend almost £1 billion a year on packed lunches; persuading just a fraction of them to switch to school food would lead to healthier children who are able to concentrate better and work harder.
http://www.schoolfoodplan.com/Visit the School Food Plan website hereSchool_Food_Plan_2013.pdfDownload a copy of The School Food Plan hereSchool Food Plan smaller.jpgSchool Food Plan logo
35128 July 2013 - Daily Mail - Do new mums REALLY need a £99 test on the quality of their breast milk? University offers to report levels of omega 3omega 3 in breast milkBreastfeeding will not only provide your baby with all the nutrients it needs, but could also boost their social mobility, as reported recently in the British Medical Journal. 08/07/2013By John Naish
A study of over 30,000 people found that breastfed children are 24 per cent more likely to be climb the social ladder when they are adults, and 20 per cent less likely to slide downwards.
The researchers said the benefits come from the unique nutritional benefits from the mother's milk, as well as the skin-to-skin contact and associated bonding that infant and mother enjoy during breastfeeding.
So far, so good for the message that says 'breast is best'.
But academics at Stirling University are warning that some mothers' milk may hinder babies' chances of growing thriving brains, because the mothers' diets are nutritionally deficient.
The experts say the breast milk may be low in omega 3 fatty acid (found in oily fish such as mackerel and salmon), which is crucial for babies' mental development. Women with healthy diets should normally have sufficient omega 3 both for themselves and their children, if they eat oily fish at least twice a week.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2358435/Do-new-mums-need-99-test-quality-breast-milk-Or-just-needless-scaremongering.html?ito=feeds-newsxmlRead the full news item online in The Daily Mail here
35133 July 2013 - Nutraingredients - Autism linked to decreased microbe diversity in the gut: Studyautism and the gutThe diversity of beneficial bacteria in our guts may be associated with the development of autism, according to the first comprehensive analysis of children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).03/07/2013By Nathan Gray
The race to map and understand the microbial microflora that inhibits our guts is one of the hottest topics and greatest challenges in current research. The suggested links between the microbiota and a whole range of health conditions and wellness measures - including digestion, body weight, immunity, mood, and heart health - are now only beginning to be understood.
Writing in PLoS One, the research team led by Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown of Arizona State University, present findings from the first comprehensive bacterial analysis focusing on commensal - or beneficial - bacteria in children with ASD, finding that children with autism had significantly fewer types of gut bacteria and had signficantly lower amounts of three critical bacteria, Prevotella, Coprococcus and Veillonellac.
Krajmalnik-Brown said: "One of the reasons we started addressing this topic is the fact that autistic children have a lot of GI problems that can last into adulthood. Studies have shown that when we manage these problems, their behaviour improves dramatically."
http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Autism-linked-to-decreased-microbe-diversity-in-the-gut-Study/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%2BDaily&c=ntB9Yoe71WZ9pfPcYyUOCw%3D%3DRead the full news item online in Nutraingredients here
35143 July 2013 - Nutraingredients - Sweetened milk consumption 'undermines' child diet quality, says Harvard expertsweetened coloured milkThe industry-encouraged consumption of sweetened, reduced-fat, flavoured milk by children as an alternative to plain whole milk 'undermines diet quality', a Harvard paediatric health expert has claimed.03/07/2013By Mark Astley
Sweetened, reduced-fat dairy products such as chocolate milk, which can contain up to 13g more sugar than ordinary milk, can be detrimental to the health of the consumer, according to Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, David Ludwig.
In an article outlining his concerns, 'Three Daily Servings of Reduced Fat Milk: An Evidence-Based Recommendation?', Ludwig claimed that flavoured milk consumption in the US 'warrants special attention'.
"While limiting whole milk, some healthy beverage guidelines condone, and many schools provide, sugar-sweetened milk with the aim of achieving recommended levels of total milk consumption in children. Not surprisingly, children prefer sweetened to unsweetened milk when given the choice, leading to a marked increase in the proportion of sweetened milk consumption in recent years".
http://www.dairyreporter.com/R-D/Sweetened-milk-consumption-undermines-child-diet-quality-says-Havard-expert/?utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GIN_NId&c=ntB9Yoe71Wad%252FeLzRviZrQ%253D%253DRead the full news item online in Nutraingredients here
35113 July 2013 - The Telegraph - Scurvy returns among children with diets 'worse than in the war'scurvyWartime diseases are returning to Britain because some children are living on junk food diets that are worse for them than rationing was 70 years ago, officials have claimed. 03/07/2013By Steve Hawkes, Consumer Affairs Editor and John Bingham
Cases of scurvy and rickets have been on the rise in parts of the UK where some parents rely on takeaways and microwave meals to feed the family, health staff warned.
Dietitians in the Rhondda Valley, South Wales, said they were seeing an increase in both diseases, which were thought to have been consigned to history.
A new report seen by The Daily Telegraph suggests that since the start of the credit crisis, consumption of fruit and vegetables has fallen in the UK at a faster rate than in western Europe as a whole, eastern Europe and the US.
On average, each person in Britain is eating 8lb 13oz (4kg) less fruit and vegetables a year than in 2007, a drop of 3 per cent.
Dr Mark Temple, of the British Medical Association’s public health committee, said: “Food standards in the UK are worse now than they were during the rationing during the war.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10158690/Scurvy-returns-among-children-with-diets-worse-than-in-the-war.htmlRead the full news item online in The Telegraph here
35182 July 2013 - Eating Healthy Fats During Pregnancy Linked to Decreased Autism Rates; Omega-3 Fatty Acid Beneficial Until Thresholdhealthy fats and autismHealthy fats, which can be found in fish, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils, may reduce a woman's risk of having a child with autism.02/07/2013By Chris Weller - Medical Daily
Published in the Journal of American Epidemiology by the Harvard School for Public Health, the study examined maternal intake of certain fatty acids across mothers whose children have autism and those whose do not. The study found that women who consumed linoleic acid — a type of omega-6 acid found in vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds — were 34 percent less likely to birth a child with autism, while women who consumed low levels of omega-3 fatty acids — those found in fish — were 53 percent more likely.
35212 July 2013 - Medscape - Refined carbs may trigger food addictionfood addiction and refined carbsConsumption of a meal that has a high glycemic index (GI) appears to stimulate key brain regions related to craving and reward, a finding that supports the controversial hypothesis of food addiction, new research suggests.02/07/2013By Kathleen Louden
Investigators from Boston Children's Hospital in Massachusetts found that compared with consumption of a low-GI meal, a meal high in refined carbohydrates decreased plasma glucose, increased hunger, and selectively stimulated brain regions 4 hours after eating — a critical time point that influences eating behavior at the next meal.
"We think we have shown for the first time that refined carbohydrates' biological effects can provoke, independent of calories and tastiness, symptoms related to addiction in susceptible people — those who are overweight or obese," said the study's principal investigator, David Ludwig, MD, from Boston Children's Hospital.
Dr. Ludwig, director of the hospital's New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, told Medscape Medical News that his team's preliminary findings support "the notion of food addiction which is very controversial because, unlike drugs of addiction, we have to eat to survive."
35202 July 2013 - Nutraingredients - Breast is better? EU project finds infant nutrition can affect later obesitymaternal and infant health; formula and breast feedingLong term EU-funded research with 1000+ EU-based children has found 'early nutrition programming' can deliver significant benefits later in life - including big reductions in obesity.02/07/2013
Project leader, Berthold Koletzko from the University of Munich, said the 2-year+ EARNEST project showed that infants up to 2 years of age, fed lower protein formulaes closer to breastmilk weighed less than infants fed high-protein formulas.
The weight differential continued after 6 months when both sets of infants moved onto similar diets. If projected forward, the difference would be as high as 13% at age 14-16.
http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Breast-is-better-EU-project-finds-infant-nutrition-can-affect-later-obesity-by-up-to-13?goback=%2Egde_2361947_member_256060055Read the full news item on Nutraingredients here
355827 June 2013 - Oxford University - ‘Low Omega-3 in children could help to explain poor learning and behaviour’‘Low Omega-3 in children could help to explain poor learning and behaviour’An Oxford University study has shown that a group of UK schoolchildren, many of whom were struggling with their reading, had low levels of key Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood. The long-chain Omega-3 fats (EPA and DHA) found in fish, seafood and some algae, are essential for the brain’s structure and function as well as for maintaining a healthy heart and immune system. This latest research, published in the journal PLOS One, found that children’s blood levels of the long-chain Omega-3 DHA (the form found in most abundance in the brain) ‘significantly predicted’ how well they were able to concentrate and learn.27/06/2013
The study is one of the first to evaluate blood Omega-3 levels in UK schoolchildren. Parents also reported on their child’s diet, revealing to the researchers that almost nine out of ten children in the sample ate fish less than twice a week, and nearly one in ten never ate fish at all. The government’s guidelines for a healthy diet recommend at least two portions of fish a week. This is because like vitamins, omega-3 fats have to come from our diets – and although humans can in theory make some EPA and DHA from shorter-chain omega-3 (found in some vegetable oils), research has shown this conversion is not reliable, particularly for DHA, say the researchers.
Blood samples were taken from 493 schoolchildren, aged between seven and nine years, from 74 mainstream schools in Oxfordshire. All of the children were thought to have below-average reading skills, based on national assessments at the age of seven or their teachers’ current judgements. Analyses of their blood samples showed that, on average, just under 2 per cent of the children’s total blood fatty acids were Omega-3 DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and 0.5 per cent were Omega-3 EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), with a total of 2.45 per cent for these long-chain Omega-3 combined. This is below the minimum of 4 per cent recommended by leading scientists to maintain cardiovascular health in adults, with 8-12 per cent regarded as optimal for a healthy heart, the researchers reported.
Co-author Professor Paul Montgomery, from the Centre for Evidence- Based Intervention at the University of Oxford, said: ‘From a sample of nearly 500 schoolchildren, we found that levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in the blood significantly predicted a child’s behaviour and ability to learn. Higher levels of Omega-3 in the blood, and DHA in particular, were associated with better reading and memory, as well as with fewer behaviour problems as rated by parents and teachers. These results are particularly noteworthy given that we had a restricted range of scores – especially with respect to blood DHA - but also for reading ability, as around two-thirds of these children were still reading below their age-level when we assessed them for this study. Although further research is needed, we think it is likely that these findings could be applied generally to schoolchildren throughout the UK.’
Co-author Dr Alex Richardson, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Intervention at the University of Oxford, added: ‘The longer term health implications of such low blood Omega 3 levels in children obviously can’t be known. But this study suggests that many, if not most UK children, probably aren’t getting enough of the long-chain Omega 3 we all need for a healthy brain, heart and immune system. That gives serious cause for concern – especially as we found that lower blood DHA was linked with poorer behaviour and learning in these children.
‘Most of the children we studied had blood levels of long-chain Omega-3 that in adults would indicate a high risk of heart disease. This was consistent with their parents’ reports that most of them failed to meet current dietary guidelines for fish and seafood intake. Similarly, few took supplements or foods fortified with these Omega-3.’
Technical advances in recent years have enabled the measurement of individual Omega-3 and other fatty acids from fingerstick blood samples. ‘These new techniques have been revolutionary – because in the past, blood samples from a vein were needed for assessing fatty acids, and that has seriously restricted research into the blood Omega-3 status of healthy UK children until now,’ said Dr Richardson.
The authors believe these findings could have relevance for the general UK population, as the spread of scores in this sample was within the normal population range for both reading and behaviour. However, they caution that their relevance to more ethnically diverse populations cannot be assumed, as some genetic differences can affect how Omega-3 fatty acids are metabolised. Most of the children participating in this study were white British.
Notes for Editors
*The paper ‘Low blood long chain Omega-3 fatty acids in UK children are associated with poor cognitive performance and behaviour’ by Montgomery et al appeared in PLOS One on June 24th
*DOLAB (DHA Oxford Learning and Behaviour)
The research was carried out as part of the DHA Oxford Learning and Behaviour (DOLAB) studies, involving researchers in the Centre for Evidence Based Intervention at the University of Oxford, in association with Oxfordshire Local Authority.
The children included a nationally representative percentage from low-income households. The study found no significant differences in blood Omega-3 levels relating to gender, nor to the children’s social and economic backgrounds.
3519Lyall K et al 2013 - Maternal dietary fat intake in association with autism spectrum disordersMaternal dietary fat intake in association with autism spectrum disordersMaternal dietary fat intake in association with autism spectrum disordersLyall K, Munger KL, O'Reilly EJ, Santangelo SL, Ascherio A27/06/2013Am J Epidemiol. 2013 Jul 15;178(2):209-20. doi: 10.1093/aje/kws433. Epub 2013 Jun 27.
Our goal in this study was to determine whether maternalfatintake before or during pregnancy was associated with risk of autismspectrum disorder (ASD) in the offspring. Our primary analysis included 317 mothers who reported a child with ASD and 17,728 comparison mothers from the Nurses' Health Study II (index births in 1991-2007). Dietary information was collected prospectively through a validated food frequency questionnaire. Binomial regression was used to estimate crude and adjusted risk ratios. Maternalintake of linoleic acid was significantly inversely associated with ASD risk in offspring, corresponding to a 34% reduction in risk in the highest versus lowest quartiles of intake. Mothers in the lowest 5% of ω-3 fatty acid intake had a significant increase in offspring ASD risk as compared with the remaining distribution (risk ratio = 1.53, 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 2.32); this association was also seen in the subgroup of women (86 cases and 5,798 noncases) for whom dietary information during pregnancy was available (risk ratio = 2.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.19, 4.91). Thus, variations in intake of polyunsaturated fats within the range commonly observed among US women could affect fetal brain development and ASD risk. Because the number of women with diet assessed during pregnancy was small, however, these results should be interpreted cautiously.
autism, dietary fat, linoleic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids, ?-3 fatty acids, ?-6 fatty acidshttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Maternal+Dietary+Fat+Intake+in+Association+With+Autism+Spectrum+DisordersView this and related abstracts via PubMed here
3522Lennerz et al 2013 - Effects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in menEffects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in menEffects of dietary glycemic index on brain regions related to reward and craving in menLennerz BS, Alsop DC, Holsen LM, Stern E, Rojas R, Ebbeling CB, Goldstein JM, Ludwig DS26/06/2013Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun 26.
Qualitative aspects of diet influence eating behavior, but the physiologic mechanisms for these calorie-independent effects remain speculative.
We examined effects of the glycemicindex (GI) on brain activity in the late postprandial period after a typical intermeal interval.
With the use of a randomized, blinded, crossover design, 12 overweight or obese men aged 18-35 y consumed high- and low-GI meals controlled for calories, macronutrients, and palatability on 2 occasions. The primary outcome was cerebral blood flow as a measure of resting brain activity, which was assessed by using arterial spin-labeling functional magnetic resonance imaging 4 h after test meals. We hypothesized that brain activity would be greater after the high-GI meal in prespecified regions involved in eating behavior, reward, and craving.
Incremental venous plasma glucose (2-h area under the curve) was 2.4-fold greater after the high- than the low-GI meal (P = 0.0001). Plasma glucose was lower (mean ± SE: 4.7 ± 0.14 compared with 5.3 ± 0.16 mmol/L; P = 0.005) and reported hunger was greater (P = 0.04) 4 h after the high- than the low-GI meal, respectively. At this time, the high-GI meal elicited greater brain activity centered in the right nucleus accumbens (a prespecified area; P = 0.0006 with adjustment for multiple comparisons) that spread to other areas of the right striatum and to the olfactory area.
Compared with an isocaloric low-GI meal, a high-GI meal decreased plasma glucose, increased hunger, and selectively stimulated brainregions associated with reward and craving in the late postprandial period, which is a time with special significance to eating behavior at the next meal. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01064778.
3564Lassek & Gaulin 2013 - Maternal milk DHA content predicts cognitive performance in a sample of 28 nationsMaternal milk DHA content predicts cognitive performance in a sample of 28 nationsMaternal milk DHA content predicts cognitive performance in a sample of 28 nationsLassek WD, Gaulin SJ.25/06/2013Matern Child Nutr. 2013 Jun 25. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12060. [Epub ahead of print]
Convergent evidence from neuronal biology and hominin brain hypertrophy suggests that omega-3 fatty acids are a limiting resource for neural and cognitive development in Homo sapiens, and therefore that children from populations with higher omega-3 availability should display superior cognitive performance.
Using multiple regression, we tested this prediction in a sample of 28 countries, with Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) math scores in 2009 as an index of cognitive performance, and country-specific breast milk levels of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as an index of omega-3 availability.
Breast milk DHA makes a highly significant contribution to math scores (β = 0.462, P = 0.006), greater in magnitude than the control variables of per capita Gross Domestic Product (PCGDP) and educational expenditures per pupil.
Together, dietary fish (positively) and total fat (negatively) explain 61% of the variance in maternal milk DHA in a larger sample of 39 countries.
dietary fat, omega-3, fish and seafood, breastmilk, infant feeding, cognition, observational study, human study, cross-national comparison http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23795772View this and related abstracts via PubMed here
3555Montgomery et al 2013 - Low blood Long Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids in UK Children Are Associated with Poor Cognitive Performance and Behavior: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the DOLAB StudyLow blood Long Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids in UK Children Are Associated with Poor Cognitive Performance and Behavior: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the DOLAB StudyLow blood Long Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids in UK Children Are Associated with Poor Cognitive Performance and Behavior: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the DOLAB StudyPaul Montgomery, Jennifer R. Burton, Richard P. Sewell, Thees F. Spreckelsen, Alexandra J. Richardson24/06/2013PLoS One Published June 24
Omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), especially DHA (docosahexaenonic acid) are essential for brain development and physical health. Low blood Omega-3 LC-PUFA have been reported in children with ADHD and related behavior/learning difficulties, as have benefits from dietary supplementation. Little is known, however, about blood fatty acid status in the general child population. We therefore investigated this in relation to age-standardized measures of behavior and cognition in a representative sample of children from mainstream schools.
493 schoolchildren aged 7–9 years from mainstream Oxfordshire schools, selected for below average reading performance in national assessments at age seven.
Whole blood fatty acids were obtained via fingerstick samples. Reading and working memory were assessed using the British Ability Scales (II). Behaviour (ADHD-type symptoms) was rated using the revised Conners’ rating scales (long parent and teacher versions). Associations were examined and adjusted for relevant demographic variables.
DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), accounted for only 1.9% and 0.55% respectively of total blood fatty acids, with DHA showing more individual variation. Controlling for sex and socio-economic status, lower DHA concentrations were associated with poorer reading ability (std. OLS coeff. = 0.09, p < .042) and working memory performance (0.14, p?
In these healthy UK children with below average reading ability, concentrations of DHA and other Omega-3 LC-PUFA were low relative to adult cardiovascular health recommendations, and directly related to measures of cognition and behavior. These findings require confirmation, but suggest that the benefits from dietary supplementation with Omega-3 LC-PUFA found for ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and related conditions might extend to the general school population.
Previous studies have shown links between low omega-3 status and behaviour and learning difficulties in children with ADHD and related conditions. Importantly, this study extends these findings into the general school population.
Simple associations alone are never enough to provide definitive evidence of a causal link, i.e. 'correlation is not causation'. However, these findings do suggest that the benefits from dietary supplementation with Omega-3 LC-PUFA already shown for ADHD, DCD, Dyslexia, and related conditions might extend to the general school population.
This proposal was supported by the results of the subsequent DOLAB intervention trial. This was a randomised controlled trial (i.e. a study design that CAN provide definitive evidence of causality), involving 362 of the children who took part in the observational study reported here.
FAB Associate members can access further information on the findings from the DOLAB studies by logging in to the FAB Audio/Video Library.
Here, you can watch and listen to the presentations given at the special FAB Research conference held on September 4th 2013 in London.
omega-3, RCT, children, behaviour, cognition, reading, working memory, ADHD, dyslexia, blood fatty acids, blood biochemical study, observational study, experimental studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23826114View this and related abstracts via PubMed here. Free full text of this article is available online.
3574Markers of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism.Markers of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism.Markers of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism.Lau NM, Green PH, Taylor AK, Hellberg D, Ajamian M, Tan CZ, Kosofsky BE, Higgins JJ, Rajadhyaksha AM, Alaedini A.18/06/2013PLoS One. 8(6):e66155. June 18 2013.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are a common feature in children with autism, drawing attention to a potential association with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, studies to date regarding the immune response to gluten in autism and its association with celiac disease have been inconsistent. The aim of this study was to assess immune reactivity to gluten in pediatric patients diagnosed with autism according to strict criteria and to evaluate the potential link between autism and celiac disease.
Study participants included children (with or without gastrointestinal symptoms) diagnosed with autism according to both the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised (ADI-R) (n?=?37), their unaffected siblings (n?=?27), and age-matched healthy controls (n?=?76). Serum specimens were tested for antibodies to native gliadin, deamidated gliadin, and transglutaminase 2 (TG2). Affected children were genotyped for celiac disease associated HLA-DQ2 and -DQ8 alleles.
Children with autism had significantly higher levels of IgG antibody to gliadin compared with unrelated healthy controls (p<0.01). The IgG levels were also higher compared to the unaffected siblings, but did not reach statistical significance. The IgG anti-gliadin antibody response was significantly greater in the autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms in comparison to those without them (p<0.01). There was no difference in IgA response to gliadin across groups. The levels of celiac disease-specific serologic markers, i.e., antibodies to deamidated gliadin and TG2, did not differ between patients and controls. An association between increased anti-gliadin antibody and presence of HLA-DQ2 and/or -DQ8 was not observed.
A subset of children with autism displays increased immune reactivity to gluten, the mechanism of which appears to be distinct from that in celiac disease. The increased anti-gliadin antibody response and its association with GI symptoms points to a potential mechanism involving immunologic and/or intestinal permeability abnormalities in affected children.
Gluten, coeliac disease, celiac disease, autism, children, biochemical study, immune system, anti-gliadin antibodies, biomarkers, gut permeability, experimental study, human study, observational studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23823064View this and related abstracts via PubMed here. Free full text of this article is available online.
350313 June 2013 - BBC News - Hospitals treat more child obesitychild obesityThere has been a four-fold increase in the number of children and teenagers admitted to hospital for obesity-related conditions in the last decade, doctors in England and Wales warn.13/06/2013by Helen Briggs
In 2009, nearly 4,000 young people needed hospital treatment for problems complicated by being overweight compared with just 872 in 2000. Rates of obesity surgery also went up, especially for teenage girls.
Doctors say the UK has the highest rate of child obesity in Western Europe.
Obesity has been linked with serious illnesses during childhood and an increased risk of developing conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, asthma and breathing difficulties during sleep.
National surveys in England suggest about three in 10 two-to-15-year-olds are overweight, while 14-20% are obese.
A team led by Dr Sonia Saxena, of Imperial College London, analysed statistics on all NHS admissions for obesity - as a primary cause or alongside conditions that had been complicated by obesity - in hospitals in England and Wales over a 10-year period in patients aged five to 19.Admissions were more common in girls than boys, the team reported in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.
Meanwhile, the number of cases of surgery for obesity rose from just one in 2000 to 31 in 2009, with the majority in teenage girls.
Over the whole 10-year period, a total of 20,885 young people were treated in hospital for obesity-related conditions.
Nearly three-quarters of cases involved problems complicated by being overweight, such as asthma, sleep apnoea, and pregnancy complications.
The researchers, from Imperial College and the Medical University of South Carolina, say that while part of the increase is probably due to better monitoring of obesity in children, the condition is imposing greater challenges for hospitals.
Dr Saxena said the UK was now seeing serious consequences of people being obese in their teenage years and early adulthood.
"We are seeing - through obesity - an increasing number of children with conditions that we previously diagnosed in adulthood... (and which) are now being diagnosed in childhood," she told BBC News.
"What's new about our paper is that we're actually showing it's not a ticking time-bomb - the time-bomb is exploding within the early life course, so in other words in the teenage years. That's where it's becoming manifest."
The UK has the highest rate of child obesity in Western Europe, which is estimated to cost the NHS about £4.2bn a year.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said there was a need for urgent action, but there was no "silver bullet" solution.
Officer for health promotion, Prof Mitch Blair, said: "We need to look seriously at how fast food is marketed at children and consider banning junk food prior to the 21:00 watershed, limiting the number of fast food outlets near schools, and making sure children are taught the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and how to cook nutritious meals from an early age at school."
Amy Thompson, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: "These are very worrying findings that shed more light on a growing threat to the heart health of this nation.
"We know obese children are more likely to become obese adults who are then at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke. We must encourage the next generation to make healthier lifestyle choices and help them eat a balanced diet and stay active.
"Ensuring children and teenagers are a healthy weight today means healthier hearts tomorrow."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22849112Read the full news item and related stories on the BBC News website here
33006 June 2013 - FAB RESEARCH EVENT and WEBINAR - INVERNESS - Changing Diets, Changing Minds - The Importance of Nutrition for Behaviour, Learning and Mood: Putting Research into PracticeFAB Research event06/06/201306/06/2013
THIS EVENT HAS NOW TAKEN PLACE BUT FAB RESEARCH ASSOCIATE MEMBERS CAN VIEW THE PRESENTATIONS AND SLIDES FROM THE WEBINAR IN OUR AUDIO/VIDEO LIBRARY.
See interviews with Prof Crawford, Dr Richardson and David Rex by BBC Alba on the FAB YouTube Channel.
It gives us great pleasure to announce an opportunity to hear from Professor Michael A Crawford of Imperial College, London - an internationally acclaimed expert on the role of nutrition in brain development and function. At this special one-day event, he will be joined by Dr Alex Richardson and Dr Bernard Gesch, senior researchers at the University of Oxford and leading experts in the links between diet and behaviour, Mr David Rex, specialist child health dietitian at Highland Council and by video link, Mr Kevin Williamson, Senior Nutritionist for the Early Intervention in Psychosis Services, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust.
The programme for the day has been designed for a multi-disciplinary audience of professionals, policy makers, researchers from academia and industry, and other interested groups and individuals. It will give all participants the chance to hear about and discuss the links between nutrition and mood, behaviour and learning in children and adults - both in the general population, and in special groups such as those with developmental or mental health conditions.
Find out how our food choices, and those of the people we care or provide for, could be affecting our wellbeing and performance - at home, at school or in the workplace.
How does what we eat affect the way we feel, think and behave?
What’s the truth about sugar and fat? Could some of our favourite foods really be toxic and addictive?
Does nutrition really make a difference to children’s behaviour and learning? If so, what are the implications for conditions like ADHD, dyslexia or autism?
What’s the evidence that dietary interventions could reduce antisocial behaviour?
Can diet help in the prevention and management of mental health conditions like depression, psychosis and dementia?
Improving food choices – what can be done, and who should be doing it?
Find out from our panel of experts what the real truth is about the food we consume, and what it's doing to our brains as well as our bodies. Join in the discussion about the impact of modern day diets, their implications for the public health crisis, and what can be done to improve outcomes for both current and future generations.
This event will provide you with opportunities not only to learn about the latest research findings, but also to ask your own questions and get answers that may influence some of the decisions you have to make every day.
‘Dietary fats and human brain development: implications for the nutrition of mothers and infants’ Prof Michael Crawford (Imperial College, London; Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition)
‘The Importance of Diet for Children’s Behaviour and Learning’ and ‘The Role of Nutrition in Mental Health and Wellbeing’ Dr Alex Richardson (Founder Director, FAB Research; Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford; Author of ‘They Are What You Feed Them’)
‘Nutrition and Antisocial Behaviour – Is there a Causal Link?’ Dr Bernard Gesch (Research Scientist, University of Oxford)
'Dietary Interventions for Adult Mental Health - A Clinical Perspective' Kevin Williamson(Senior Nutritionist, Early Intervention in Psychosis Services, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust) by video link up
‘Practical dietary approaches to ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders and related conditions: What works in practice?' and 'Improving children’s food choices: theory and best practice’ David Rex (Dietitian, Health & Social Care – Children’s Services, Highland Council; lead public health role, food & health in schools, nurseries and children’s residential units; and provides specialist Dietetic advice for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
An essential event for:
Local Government Policy Makers | Education and Health Professionals | Researchers from Academia and Industry | Professionals working in Social Services and the Justice System | Caterers and Food Producers | School Meal Stakeholder Groups | Charities, Support Groups and Voluntary Organisations | Parents, Carers and other Interested Individuals
9.30am to 4.30pmInverness IV2 3BLLecture Theatre, The Green House, Beechwood Business ParkFiona O'Feeadmin@fabresearch.org01463 667318Inverness programme and Abstracts.pdfDownload the conference programme and abstracts hereBooking Form Word Doc.docxFAB_folder2 (2).jpgFAB Folder
The catalytic properties of many enzymes depend on the participation of vitamins as obligatory cofactors.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and folic acid (folate) deficiencies in infants and children classically present with megaloblastic anemia and are often accompanied by neurological signs. A number of rare inborn errors of cobalamin and folate absorption, transport, cellular uptake, and intracellular metabolism have been delineated and identification of disease-causing mutations has improved our ability to diagnose and treat many of these conditions.
Two inherited defects in biotin metabolism are known, holocarboxylase synthetase and biotinidase deficiency. Both lead to multiple carboxylase deficiency manifesting with metabolic acidosis, neurological abnormalities, and skin rash.
Thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia is characterized by megaloblastic anemia, non-type I diabetes, and sensorineural deafness that responds to pharmacological doses of thiamine (vitamin B1).
Individuals affected with inherited vitamin E deficiencies including ataxia with isolated vitamin E deficiency and abetalipoproteinemia present with a spinocerebellar syndrome similar to patients with Friedreich's ataxia.
If started early, treatment of these defects by oral or parenteral administration of the relevant vitamin often results in correction of the metabolic defect and reversal of the signs of disease, stressing the importance of early and correct diagnosis in these treatable conditions.
vitamins, Vit-B, Vit-E, Vit-B12, biotin,folate, folic acid, neurological symptoms, infants, metabolic disorders, dietary deficiencies, supplementation, human studies, reviewhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23622402View this and related abstracts via PubMed here.
348928th May 2013 - New York Times - Some of My Best Friends are GermsThe human microbiotia - good bacteria and bad bacteria28/05/2013Michael Pollan
I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7.
That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a laboratory located at the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome — that is, the genes not of “me,” exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body.
These bacteria, which number around 100 trillion, are living (and dying) right now on the surface of my skin, on my tongue and deep in the coils of my intestines, where the largest contingent of them will be found, a pound or two of microbes together forming a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map.
In this comprehensive but highly readable article, Michael Pollan explores the extraordinary complexity of the huge populations of bacteria that all of us carry, and what their diversity (or lack of) might mean for our health and wellbeing.
In addition to raising further concerns about the overuse of antibiotics (both in medicine - and more controversially, in standard farming practices in most developed countries), this carefully researched article emphasises how much difference we can make to our own 'microflora' - not only by our habits of personal hygiene, but very importantly, by the foods we choose and the overall pattern and type of diet we consume.
Research in this area is still very much in its infancy - and the sheer complexity of the human 'microbiota' and 'microbiome' makes it highly unlikely that scientists will ever be able to predict, let alone to control, all of the variables that really matter in this domain. Nonetheless, it is increasingly clear that the microbes we coexist with can and do shape the health and functioning of our guts, immune systems and brains (which are of course themselves highly interconnected).
As many of the commentators to this article have pointed out - this knowledge is not in fact new - and it has formed the basis for many traditional dietary practices such as the fermentation of foods, or the use of meat stock or 'broth' to support gut and immune system health. Until recently, however, it has been largely ignored by mainstream medicine. The researchers cited in this article are sensibly very cautious about where this kind of work will lead - but meanwhile, their findings already give plenty of food for thought.
And for further information on the potential links between diet and various psychological disorders, see Gut And Psychology Syndromes by Natasha Campbell McBride. This book has served to popularise a version of the so-called 'Specific Carbohydrate Diet' that was first developed in the US to 'heal the gut' and help combat various auto-immune disorders affecting the gut, including both coeliac disease and Crohn's disease.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/19/magazine/say-hello-to-the-100-trillion-bacteria-that-make-up-your-microbiome.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&goback=%2Egde_2361947_member_244324251&Read the full article via the New York Times website here.
To read pdf documents on this site you may need to download
Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it here.
Website Glossary If you hover your mouse over words that appear underlined
with a blue, dashed line, a definition of that word will appear as a 'tooltip'. You may find further information about the term in our
Food and Behaviour Research is a registered charity (No SC034604) and a company limited by guarantee (Co No SC 253448).
FAB Research | The Green House | Beechwood Business Park | Inverness | Scotland
| IV2 3BL | Telephone: 01463 667318 Website by Calligrafix
Medical opinion and guidance should always be sought for any symptoms that might
possibly reflect a known or suspected disease, disorder or medical condition. Information
provided on this website (or by FAB Research via any other means) does not in any
way constitute advice on the treatment of any medical condition formally diagnosed