SNIPPETS

www.saafost.org.za
Volume 16. Number 4. 2011
013-075NPO



CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D INTAKE BEFORE BONE DENSITY TEST CAN REDUCE RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS

Has a bone density scan placed you at risk for osteoporosis, leading your doctor to prescribe a widely Advertised bone-building medication? Not so fast! A University of Illinois study finds that an effective first course of action is increasing dietary calcium and vitamin D or taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.

"For many people, prescription bone-building medicines should be a last resort," said Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a U of I professor of nutrition and co-author of a literature review published in a recent issue of Nutrients.

The study reported that adults who increase their intake of calcium and vitamin D usually increase bone mineral density and reduce the risk for hip fracture significantly. These results were often accomplished through supplements, but food is also a good source of these nutrients, she said.

A bone density test measures quantity, not quality, of bone. "Although the test reports that you're fine or doing better, you may still be at risk for a fracture," said Chapman-Novakofski.

A woman in midlife can get enough calcium in her diet without gaining weight, said lead author Karen Plawecki, director of the U of I's dietetics program.

"Menopausal women should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day. Three glasses of 1 percent to skim milk will get you up to 900 milligrams. The rest can easily be obtained through calcium-rich and calcium-fortified foods," Plawecki said.

"Following a low-sodium diet does seem to have a positive effect on bone density. Some people have the habit of adding a generous sprinkle of salt to most foods before eating, but there's more involved here than learning not to do that. You have to choose different foods," Plawecki said.

News-Medical.net . May 3, 2011

A NEW STUDY FROM RESEARCHERS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF READING CLAIMS THAT CONSUMPTION OF COCOA FLAVANOLS MAY IMPROVE ASPECTS OF EYE AND BRAIN FUNCTION.

Cocoa contains a particularly high concentration of flavanols, and in recent years there has been an increasing interest in the health benefits of flavanol-containing foods.

Writing in the journal, Physiology & Behavior, the authors said their findings show that performance on vision tests in healthy young adults and some aspects of cognitive performance can be improved by the acute intake of cocoa flavanols (CF).

Improvements in visual function were observed approximately 2.5 hours after CF consumption, added the team, which is based at Reading University’s School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences.

"As well as extending the range of cognitive tasks that are known to be influenced by CF consumption, this is the first report of acute effects of CF on the efficiency of visual function," note the authors.

They said that intake of CF has previously been shown to influence hemodynamics, increasing both central and peripheral blood flow.

The researchers’ theory is that the acute effects may be explained by increased cerebral blood flow caused by CF, although "in the case of contrast sensitivity there may be an additional contribution from CF induced retinal blood flow changes." Food Navigator 9 May 2011.

TOP 10 PATHOGEN-FOOD COMBINATIONS THAT CAUSE ILLNESS

Researchers at the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute have identified the Top 10 riskiest combinations of foods and disease-causing microorganisms, providing an important tool for food safety officials charged with protecting consumers from these costly and potentially life-threatening bugs.

The report, "Ranking the Risks: The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations with the Greatest Burden on Public Health," lists the number of illnesses, costs, and overall public health burden of specific microbes in particular types of food—such as Salmonella in poultry and Listeria in deli meat. This is the first comprehensive ranking of pathogen-food combinations that has been computed for the United States.

The top 10 pathogen-food combinations in terms of annual disease burden, by combined rank:
Campylobacter – Poultry 1
Toxoplasma – Pork 2
Listeria – Deli Meats 3
Salmonella – Poultry 4
Listeria – Dairy products 5
Salmonella – Complex foods 6
Norovirus – Complex foods 6
Salmonella – Produce 8
Toxoplasma – Beef 8
Salmonella – Eggs 10

The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations With The Greatest Burden On Public Health
Michael B. Batz1, Sandra Hoffmann2 and J. Glenn Morris, Jr.1
Emerging Pathogens Institute. University of Florida. 2011.

FUKUSHIMA UPDATE.

6 May. Influence to the people's life. Radioactive material was detected from milk, agricultural products and seafood from Fukushima and neighboring prefectures. The government issued order to limit shipment and intake of some products. Radioactive iodine, exceeding the provisional legal limit for drinking water, was detected from tap water sampled in some prefectures.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/18/japan-nuclear-power-plant-updates

Snippets - contributions are welcome. Edited and produced by Dr. B Cole. – drcole@cybersmart.co.za / Fx 011 660 6444 with the help of the Northern Branch Committee.