In the fight against diabetes, yogurt may be on your side.
Eating yogurt can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 28 percent, compared with consuming none, according to a study in Diabetologia journal. Higher consumption of low-fat fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and some cheeses, also lowered the relative risk of diabetes by 24 percent overall, the study showed.
Dairy products are an important source of proteins, vitamins and minerals such as calcium. They also contain saturated fat, which shouldn’t be consumed in high quantities, according to dietary guidelines.
“Specific foods may have an important role in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes, and are relevant for public health messages,” said lead scientist Nita Forouhi, from the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge
Studies also suggest that eating nonfat and low-fat yogurt can help weight loss and boost immunity. The protective benefits appear to come with about 4.5 (4.4 oz. each) cups of yogurt a week.
Read more from Bloomberg.
Many children with peanut allergies who were fed small but escalating amounts of peanut flour were eventually able to eat a significant quantity of peanuts with no reaction, a new study has found.
Six months after the treatment started, more than 80% of the children in the trial could safely eat the equivalent of five peanuts a day. That is at least 25 times the quantity of peanut protein that they could tolerate before the therapy.
“We found that in the treatment group, there was a substantial improvement in quality of life,” said Andrew Clark, a specialist in pediatric allergies at Cambridge University Hospitals in the U.K. and leader of the study that was published Thursday in the journal Lancet. Dr. Clark noted that the study participants no longer had to scrutinize food labels or suffer allergic reactions during visits to restaurants.
“This is a fantastic study, and it has the best results to date,” said Matthew Greenhawt from the University of Michigan Food Allergy Center, who wasn’t involved in the research. It had more participants than previous studies—and the data showed fewer serious side effects in the children who enrolled.
Nonetheless, said Dr. Greenhawt, “as great as these results are, we’re still at the very early stages” of trying to make the therapy ready for clinical use. The Lancet findings must be validated in larger studies and shown to be long-lasting. Scientists also need to understand how the treatment works biologically.
Peanut allergy, which affects 0.5% to 1.4% of children in high-income countries, is the most common cause of severe and fatal allergic reactions related to food. The only way around the problem is to avoid eating foods containing peanuts. Even then, many people suffer accidental reactions.
Read more from Wall Street Journal.
There is little reason to prescribe vitamin D supplements to healthy adults to reduce the risk of diseases or fractures, according to new research in the Lancet.
A study found no significant reduction in risk in any area after more than 100 trials ,and future studies were unlikely to change the figures, researchers said.
At-risk groups, including babies, pregnant women and elderly people, are still advised to take supplements.
The research team, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, had previously carried out a meta-analysis that showed no major effect of vitamin D supplementation on bone mineral density.
In this study, they looked at existing randomised controlled trials of vitamin D supplements, with or without calcium.
They found that vitamin D supplementation does not change the relative risk of heart disease, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, cancer and fractures by a noticeable amount, equivalent to 15%.
Vitamin D supplements did not reduce hip fracture risk by more than 15% in hospital patients and, when given with calcium, did not lessen the risk in healthy individuals either.
The study said there was also "uncertainty as to whether vitamin D with or without calcium reduces the risk of death".
The New Zealand researchers concluded: "In view of our findings, there is little justification for prescribing vitamin D supplements to prevent myocardial infarction or ischaemic heart disease, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, cancer, or fractures, or to reduce the risk of death in unselected community-dwelling individuals."
Read more from BBC News.
Dutch researchers say keeping temperatures a little chillier at home and the office might be an additional weapon in the fight against obesity.
"What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature?" said study author Dr. Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt, an associate professor in the department of human biology at Maastricht University Medical Center.
His team explored whether frequent exposure to mild cold temperatures would boost the body's energy expenditure. In other words, would peoples' metabolisms ratchet up a notch -- burning more calories -- if they lived on the cool side?
Prior studies have shown that shivering increases heat production in people, according to the study. And one Japanese study found that people experienced a drop in body fat after spending two hours a day for six weeks at a temperature of about 63 degrees Fahrenheit.
Earlier research from the Dutch team showed that people gradually acclimate themselves to cooler room temperatures. People who spent six hours a day at 59 degrees Fahrenheit felt more comfortable and shivered less by the end of 10 days in this environment, the researchers found.
So how much time sitting in a chilly room would it take to burn, say, 100 calories? It's too early to know, said van Marken Lichtenbelt.
Read more from WebMD.
In the U.S., birth defects are the leading cause of infant deaths and the second leading cause of death in children ages one to four. More than 120,000 babies are born with a birth defect (about 1 in every 33 live births or every 4½ minutes) – 2,000 of them in Minnesota. Some have only a minor and brief effect while others are life-threatening or life-long.
The Minnesota Department of Health, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network and the Minnesota March of Dimes are promoting awareness of ways to prevent birth defects during this National Birth Defects Prevention Month.
One big key to prevention? Folic acid.
Martha Overby, director of programs and government affairs for the March of Dimes in Minnesota, said, “All women of reproductive age should be taking a multivitamin containing folic acid every day because it has been shown to prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine.”
To help prevent birth defects, studies have shown that women who are pregnant or could become pregnant should:
• Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.
• Manage chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes, seizure disorders, or phenylketonuria (PKU).
• Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
• Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
• Avoid alcohol, smoking, and illicit drugs.
• See a health care provider regularly.
• Avoid toxic substances at work or at home.
• Ensure protection against domestic violence.
• Know their family history and seek reproductive genetic counseling, if appropriate.
Read more from Minnesota Department of Health.