EATING PEANUTS EARLY AND GUT MICROBIOTA
In the past week, we reviewed two articles: one from the New England Journal of Medicine, and the other from PLOS ONE.
Summary: This was a follow-up study of a trial examining the effects of eating peanuts from early age on the risk of becoming allergic to peanuts.
The trial found that eating peanuts from early age reduced the risk of peanut allergy. This follow-up study showed that the protective effect was maintained over a year.
Summary: This observational study examined changes in the gut microbiota during and after a weight loss trial.
Although the microbiota remained quite stable during the weight loss trial, the counts of some types of bacteria changed significantly. The study also found that some bacteria could be used to predict weight loss success.
NEW RESEARCH FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Quite a few interesting papers came to our attention this week. We have summarized the most interesting or relevant papers, categorized by subject.
- Obesity and Weight Loss
- Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes
- Heart Health
- Appetite and Eating
- Liver Health
- Muscles and Physical Performance
- Allergies and Auto-Immune Disorders
- Skin Health
- Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients
1. OBESITY AND WEIGHT LOSS
This meta-analysis of observational studies suggests that infants younger than four months should only be fed breastmilk, since eating other foods early on may increase the risk of weight gain or obesity later.
This observational study found that American vegetarians generally ate healthier food, compared to Asian vegetarians. However, both populations were less likely to be overweight or obese than non-vegetarians.
This observational study in Peruvian adults found that those who lived high in the mountains were at a lower risk of gaining weight or becoming obese, compared to those who lived closer to sea level.
One previous study showed that the lactic acid bacterium, Pediococcus pentosaceusLP28 (LP28), reduced obesity and fatty liver in obese mice on a high-fat diet.
This randomized, controlled trial in overweight humans showed that supplementing with heat-killed LP28, once a day for 12 weeks, reduced BMI, body fat and waist circumference.
This randomized, controlled trial did not show any significant benefits from promoting mindfulness during a weight-loss program.
However, the authors concluded that further studies are needed to evaluate the effects of mindful eating on the long-term maintenance of weight loss and metabolic heath.
This observational study indicates that children who have mothers who were overweight or obese before pregnancy, or gained excessive weight during pregnancy, are more likely to be overweight when they are two years of age.
The study also suggests that breastfeeding for 6 months or longer may reduce the child’s risk of gaining excessive weight until the age of two.
This systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials suggests that consuming low-calorie sweeteners does not lead to weight gain.
The evidence indicates that choosing low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar leads to lower calorie intake and body weight in both adults and children.
2. BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL AND DIABETES
Type 2 diabetes is associated with an imbalance in the gut microbiota (dysbiosis). Restoring the gut microbiota by changing the diet or supplementing with probiotics may improve blood sugar control.
This scientific review discusses the potential of treating type 2 diabetes by targeting the gut microbiota. It also points out possible explanations for the link between the gut microbiota, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
This experiment showed that eating soy protein, 20 or 40 grams, before eating carbs (75 g of glucose) improved the blood sugar response by increasing the production of insulin and delaying stomach emptying.
3. HEART HEALTH
This observational study in elderly men with chronic kidney disease indicates that when protein intake is high, relative to fiber, their risk of heart disease is higher than when the ratio of protein to fiber is lower.
This observational study suggests that fiber intake during adolescence and early adult life may reduce the risk of breast cancer.
This observational study indicates that eating lots of foods high on the glycemic index may increase the risk of lung cancer.
5. APPETITE AND EATING
This randomized trial examined the effects of consuming liquids varying in protein, carbs and fat on appetite. It showed that protein reduced appetite more than carbs and fat.
This observational study in Japanese men suggests that psychological stress makes them more likely to overeat at dinner.
6. LIVER HEALTH
Fatty liver disease is characterized by the accumulation of fat in liver cells. It is often associated with heavy alcohol consumption, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Severe fatty liver disease is associated with inflammation and may progress to cirrhosis. This review discusses the potential role of the microbiota in fatty liver disease, and the possibility of treating it by targeting the microbiota.
7. MUSCLES AND PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE
This observational study in patients with kidney failure and type 2 diabetes examined the association of fatty acids and muscle mass.
It found that a high intake of omega-3 fat, relative to omega-6, was significantly linked with higher muscle mass.
This observational study suggests that drinking lots of soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup may increase the risk of arthritis in young US adults.
According to the enFruAGEs hypothesis, poor fructose absorption due to excess free fructose may lead to inflammation in joints.
A few observational studies suggest that supplementing with vitamin D may improve symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, but not all studies agree.
This randomized, controlled trial in 413 people with knee osteoarthritis and low circulating levels of vitamin D found that supplementing with 50,000 IU of vitamin D, every month for two years, did not increase cartilage or reduce knee pain.
This randomized trial in breast-fed infants examined the effects of the early introduction of six allergenic foods — peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, sesame, whitefish and wheat — on the risk of developing allergy to these foods.
The study suggests that when children start eating peanuts and eggs at three months of age, they have less risk of developing allergies when they are 1–3 years old, as long they eat at least 2 grams per week.
10. SKIN HEALTH
Eczema, is a chronic skin condition characterized by itchy, dry and red skin.
This meta-analysis of randomized trials indicates that taking synbiotics — the combination of probiotics and prebiotics — may help treat eczema. Synbiotics with several different types of bacteria appear to be the most effective.
This observational study in Chinese adults showed that a high fat intake at dinner was linked with shorter sleep duration. Similarly, a high fat intake at breakfast was associated with a reduced risk of falling asleep during the daytime.
Polyamines are a group of nutrients that appear to be necessary for cell division. However, if their levels are too high, they may bind to pain receptors, causing pain.
They are produced by the body in small quantities, but we also get them from the diet. This randomized trial found that eliminating polyamines from the diet reduced self-rated pain after surgery.
13. VITAMINS, MINERALS AND OTHER NUTRIENTS
Effect of Ultraviolet Light-Exposed Mushrooms on Vitamin D Status: Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Reanalysis of Biobanked Sera from a Randomized Controlled Trial and a Systematic Review plus Meta-Analysis.
When mushrooms are exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet (UV) light, they naturally produce vitamin D.
This systematic review and meta-analysis showed that eating UV-exposed mushrooms may increase circulating vitamin D when people are low in it.