Past Week in Nutrition Science (Sep 4th – Sep 11th)

This is a review of everything new that happened in the field of nutrition science in the past week, or from last Friday (September 4th) until today (September 11th).

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Research Reviews

This week we reviewed two new studies:


Link: New Study Shows That Reducing Saturated Fat is (Almost) Useless

Study: Hooper Lee, et al. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015.

Summary: This is a new Cochrane review of the link between saturated fat consumption and cardiovascular disease. It is probably the highest quality study ever published on this issue.

They found that reducing saturated fat intake did not affect cardiovascular disease. However, replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat caused a minor reduction in cardiovascular events (but not heart attacks or death).


Link: Biggest Review Ever on Whole Grains and Blood Lipids

Study: Hollander, et al. Whole-grain and blood lipid changes in apparently healthy adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015.

Main points: This is the largest meta-analysis to date on whole grains and blood lipids. It found a minor reduction in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

However, this study found that oats were the only grain to have a significant effect.

Others, such as wheat, rice or corn, did not have any major effects on blood lipids, but there wasn’t enough data to conclude anything about barley or rye.

Other Studies From Around The Web

The past week was rather slow, with no major releases from the top nutrition journals.

However, a new edition of The International Journal of Obesity was published, so there are plenty of interesting studies on obesity to look at (full overview here).

General Nutrition

There were 2 interesting studies in the “General Nutrition” category in the past week.

Study: Zizza CA, et al. The Contribution of Beverages to Intakes of Energy and MyPlate Components by Current, Former, and Never Smokers in the United States.Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015.

Summary: This analysis found that smokers tend to consume a higher amount of empty calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and alcoholic beverages.

Study: Cohen JFW, et al. Amount of Time to Eat Lunch Is Associated with Children’s Selection and Consumption of School Meal Entrée, Fruits, Vegetables, and Milk.Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015.

Summary: This study found that school children who had less than 20 minutes to eat lunch ate less vegetables, fruit and milk compared to school children who had over 25 minutes to eat.

Obesity and Weight Loss

Study: Byrne CS, et al. The role of short chain fatty acids in appetite regulation and energy homeostasis. International Journal of Obesity, 2015.

Summary: A review of the effects of short-chain fatty acids produced by gut bacteria from dietary fiber, and how they can affect appetite regulation and weight control.

Study: Klimentidis, YC, et al. High genetic risk individuals benefit less from resistance exercise intervention. International Journal of Obesity, 2015.

Summary: This randomized controlled trial showed that people with high genetic risk of obesity benefited less from resistance training (for body fat, body weight and abdominal fat) compared to people with low genetic risk.

Study: Hwang YC, et al. Visceral abdominal fat accumulation predicts the conversion of metabolically healthy obese subjects to an unhealthy phenotype. International Journal of Obesity, 2015.

Summary: This study showed that over 10 years, having high levels of visceral fat, low HDL cholesterol and high fasting insulin predicted that “metabolically healthy” obese people would become “metabolically unhealthy.”

Blood Sugar Control and Diabetes

Study: Bauer LB, et al. A pilot study examining the effects of consuming a high-protein vs normal-protein breakfast on free-living glycemic control in overweight/obese “breakfast skipping” adolescents. International Journal of Obesity, 2015.

Summary: This pilot controlled trial suggests that a high protein (35 grams) breakfast is better for blood sugar control in overweight/obese teenagers compared to a normal protein (13 grams) breakfast.

Digestive Health

Study: El-Salhy M, et al. The relation between celiac disease, nonceliac gluten sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome. Nutrition Journal, 2015.

Summary: A review of the interplay between celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome.


Study: Quann EE, et al. Consuming the daily recommended amounts of dairy products would reduce the prevalence of inadequate micronutrient intakes in the United States: diet modeling study based on NHANES 2007–2010. Nutrition Journal, 2015.

Summary: A dairy industry-sponsored paper about how increasing the intake of dairy products could correct the inadequate intake of calcium, magnesium and vitamin A in the US.


Study: Grases F, et al. Effect of consuming a grape seed supplement with abundant phenolic compounds on the oxidative status of healthy human volunteers. Nutrition Journal, 2015.

Summary: This study in 46 healthy volunteers suggested that a grape seed extract supplement could reduce oxidative stress in the body.

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