Snacks are an indispensable part of each of us holding priority as equally as our meals. Health specialists suggest snacking and recommend eating snacks in between meals to feel full and avoid hunger otherwise there are a great many chances that you end up overeating during the next meal. This doesn’t mean that they are promoting the consumption of fried foods and sweet treats but only inducing individuals to eat natural and healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain toasts, cereal-based foods and pulses. Its tough to choose your snack as people live with the mindset that its only bread pakoras, fried chips or cheesy sandwiches that make a snack. Of late, health has regained priority and more individuals are inclined towards choosing healthier snacks and beverages to maintain an ideal body weight, stay healthy and be fit. As easy as it might sound, in practical life its quite tough to stay away from your routine junk foods and choose healthier ones. Still, rising obesity rates and list of diseases prompt us to focus on eating fruit-based and vegetable-based snacks that add nutrients and wellness to the body.
Fruit snacks, once popular in the Western countries have made their way into Indian markets too sitting too comfortable on high-end supermarkets attracting the attention of kids owing to their colorful and alluring presence. The invention patented here relates to a fruit-based snack that’s been manufactured using only natural ingredients without the presence of sugars or corn syrup that affect health.
The name might contain something that’s nutritious but the end product is nothing but a sugary processed food that’s similar to the gummy candies. Though they are advertised to be healthier versions of gummy candies almost more than 50% of these fruit snacks contain sugar (more than gummy candies) and less of proteins than their gummy counterparts. The promotions and marketing are just an eyewash for the parents to buy these tasty treats for their kids. Parents too surrender to it as these are convenient to buy, loved by kids and keep their mind at peace despite the fact that it’s only a marketing gimmick.
Confectionary items such as jellybeans, sugar jellies and licorice are made using sugar, water and food starches which give them their desirable eating quality. All these confections are made using a starch mold casting process called as the Mogul system. All these ingredients are heated to a temperature above the boiling point of the liquid until a moisture level above that of the completed product is reached and the starch (this is generally an acid-thinned commercial corn starch or a high-amylose starch or a combination of both) too is gelatinized. The final confection product is dried for 2-3 days so that the moisture content is almost 14-20 weight percent. These fruit snacks contain certain levels of fruit juices/purees and hence have become famous among users for their health quotient. Its possible to replace some portion of the starch in the snack with gelatin. We avoid replacing 100% of it with gelatin as it results in a tough and hard fruit snack that doesn’t feel tasty and desirable. If there is concerns over sugar quantity and attempts are made to reduce the sugar and corn syrup content of the formulation the end product becomes way too sticky making it difficult to package it finally. So, the desire to manufacture a healthy fruit snack using fruit purees and juices without using starch or gelatin has been an impossible task. The invention presented in the patent beautifully fulfills this requirement of making a fruit snack with a great soft chewy texture and taste without the use of sugars and corn syrups. This makes it an extremely useful invention as a healthy fruit snack has been unimaginable until now!
We have landed upon something which was thought to be impractical until now - producing an acceptable fruit drink using only natural ingredients. Though modified starches could be used we classify them to be chemically modified and hence, cannot be termed as natural. Gelatin alone is not a great choice as it leads to an extremely tough structure that makes it difficult to consume but minimizing its quantity in the formulation too is not feasible as the product setting is hindered. When other texturing agents were researched, they also posed some problem or the other in the setting process and seemed to be covered by starch.
The invention here uses fruit juice concentrate having a 15-20% moisture content. Commercially available fruit juice concentrates contain around 30% moisture but we can use them after removing the excess moisture by heating to about 250 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for a short duration and vacuuming off the excess moisture to keep the moisture content between 15 and 20%. This concentrate is mixed with fruit purees and gelling agents comprising of a combination of gelatin and pectin to bind the structure together. The cooked product now comprising of juice concentrate, fruit purees, gelatin and pectin is placed on a Mogul machine to get the final end product. The flavoring and coloring agents are added to bring in the desired end result. The fruit snack thus prepared is completely natural, has a chewy texture, devoid of sugar/corn syrup and is soft. The patent was published on October 21st, 2010 and for detailed reading of the patent please visit:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22natural+fruit+snack%22&s2=dwivedi&OS=
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20101021&CC=WO&NR=2010120884A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2010120884&tab=PCTBIBLIO&_cid=P11-JXWZO5-52305-1
Every woman loves to be in her best of health during pregnancy and childbirth to avoid complications and give birth to a healthy baby. Ensuring proper nutritional care during pregnancy is required for fetal growth and development and also has a greater impact on the future health of the child. Folic acid is an essential supplement that’s been prescribed to every woman in childbearing age to prevent the attack of neural tube defects during conception. While it is advisable to start on folic acid supplements well before conception it is indispensable to take it at least as soon as pregnancy is detected. The supplement seems to be extremely crucial for the good health of pregnant mothers but now we have contradictory studies showing that consuming these supplements increase the chances of asthma in infants.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that has topped the prevalence rates having more than 334 million patients worldwide. The bronchial tubes (airways) allow air to come in and go out of the lungs playing a critical role in respiration. Asthma affects this air passage as the airways become inflamed and swollen making it extremely difficult for movement of air thereby triggering symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing. Asthma in children affects the lives of millions of small kids who mostly develop this condition before the age of five. Childhood asthma stands as one of the top 10 chronic diseases for disability-adjusted life in these kids. There are different causes for this disease and most important of them include immune cells in the immune system that cause asthma, genes and environmental factors. Nutrition too seems to play a pivotal role in the development of asthma.
Folic Acid Supplements During Pregnancy
Folic acid is an essential B vitamin involved in the synthesis of nucleic acids, methylation of DNA and cell growth regulation. It is critical to uterine growth and development and just because the fetus grows in the utero there are high chances of suffering from insufficient folate levels that exist as the main cause for neural tube defects, retarded growth, cardiac defects and oral clefts. Intake of folic acid supplements during pregnancy is recommended and WHO recommends taking 400 mcg/d from the time of planning for pregnancy up to 12 weeks after conception. Some countries such as the United States have mandated folic acid fortification in foods. Despite such needs for including folate in your meals there have been concerns regarding its consequences in newborns and kids with respect to respiratory illness.
We already have several research showing that high intake of methyl donors during pregnancy influences an offspring’s phenotype and this led to a critical research in which ties between prenatal folic acid supplements and risk of childhood respiratory diseases was analyzed through effects on the developing fetal immune system. There are some studies that show a direct link between increased risk of childhood asthma due to folate supplements and there are some others that have found an inverse association with folate levels during pregnancy while rest show no link between folic acid supplementation during early pregnancy and childhood asthma. Let’s look at different studies to understand how exactly the mechanism works.
Tennessee Medicaid (TennCare)
A cohort study of 104428 mother-child dyads enrolled in the TennCare was conducted where the mothers were between 15 and 44 years of age. These mothers were analyzed for folic acid supplementation exposure with the help of folic acid-containing prescriptions during pregnancy. 17% of women were categorized as unexposed as they did not fill a prenatal supplement, 10% were exposed to a supplement during the first trimester only while 28% and 45% were exposed only after the first trimester or in the first trimester and beyond that. Almost 99% women were given prescriptions recommending 1000 mcg/d of folic acid. Finally, 15% children were classified as having asthma during 4.5-6 years of age. 13% children born to women who did not fill a folic acid prescription suffered from asthma, 17% of kids whose mothers filled a prescription suffered from asthma, 17% children of mothers who filled a prescription in the first trimester were diagnosed with asthma, 13% children whose mothers filled prescriptions after the first trimester were diagnosed with asthma and 17% of those born to women who filled a prescription during the first trimester and beyond.
Almost 20% increased chances of asthma were detected in kids born to women exposed to folic acid during the first trimester only or after the first trimester compared to those children born to women with no folic acid prescription.
MOOSE Guidelines in Analyzing the Effect of Folic Acid Supplementations on Asthma Risk in Infants
The meta-analysis followed the guidelines of the Meta-analysis of the Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE). Those studies that were a cohort study, peer-reviewed original research and those that provided risk estimates of asthma associated with maternal folate intake or concentration during pregnancy were considered. Odds ratio (OR), prevalence rates (PRs) or relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were included for meta-analysis. When the supplement was consumed at multiple intervals the research team considered the first trimester as this is the most critical part of DNA methylation during pregnancy.
10 studies were included in the analysis which consisted of 201,248 participants. Of the ten, five were related to total folic acid intake from diet and supplements and the other five was related to supplemental folate intake. There was a significant increase in folic acid intake in Europe and North America. Folate intake from supplements increased the risk of asthma.
There were several studies performed linking folate intake and asthma in kids but most of them could not come to significant conclusions. Certain other studies did show a true link between folate intake and asthma risk. While meta-analysis does show that maternal folate intake during pregnancy increased the risk of infant asthma dose-response analysis showed a link between maternal folic acid intake and risk of infant asthma.
Mother & Child Cohort Study (MoBa)
This study tried to understand the relationship between maternal total folate intake during pregnancy and asthma in MoBa children who have reached 7 years of age, an age at which diagnosis for asthma is more reliable than at preschool age. The study was conducted on 95,248 mothers and 114,761 children. Total folate intake included food folate and folic acid from supplements and maternal plasma folate concentrations were measured around 18 weeks of gestation. Almost 4.8% children aged around 7 years suffered from asthma and children born to women in the highest versus lowest quintile of total folate intake during pregnancy had more frequent asthma. Children born to mothers in the highest versus lowest quintile had a 20% increased risk of asthma. Hence, risk of asthma was only found in the highest quintile of intake in which women consumed a folate-rich diet.
Effects of Consuming Folic Acid During Late Pregnancy
Restricting growth in the womb resulted in lower birth weight and this had protective effect against childhood allergies.
Australian researchers studied lambs born to three groups of sheep: 1. Mothers had a smaller-than-normal placenta (restricted) 2. Mothers with a smaller placenta who were given high doses of supplements that included folic acid in the last month of gestation (restricted supplement) 3. Mothers with normal placenta and normal diet (control)
The researchers tested the lambs for inflammation and skin reactions. The restricted group had higher levels of inflammation but no difference in skin reaction than the restricted supplement and control groups when exposed to dust mites. On exposure to egg white protein the restricted supplement and control group showed higher rates of allergic reactions than the restricted group. Such differences in response show that folate supplements reduced protection that was earlier linked to pregnancies with restricted growth. Patients should also be made aware of the consequences of increased allergic reactions that might follow continuing the folic acid supplementation.
Maternal folic acid supplementation during pregnancy and early childhood asthma: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4900760/
Association of maternal folate intake during pregnancy with infant asthma risk: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44794-z#Tab1
Maternal folate intake during pregnancy and childhood asthma in a population-based cohort: https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1164/rccm.201604-0788OC
Taking folic acid in late pregnancy might increase childhood allergy risk: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171221123158.htm
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is vital for maintaining homeostasis-an ability of the organism to maintain internal environment of the body within specific limits that promote its survival. Various homeostasis functions such as regulation of blood pressure, gastrointestinal responses to food, urinary bladder contraction and thermoregulation are carried out by the ANS. ANS is also called as the involuntary nervous system and functions without conscious or voluntary control and is responsible for regulating involuntary organs. Included in ANS are the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system manages ‘fight-or-flight’ responses and equips the body to combat any strenuous physical activity. The parasympathetic nervous system regulates ‘rest and digest’ functions such as working on our body functions when we are reading a book or sitting quietly by the garden.
All vertebrates including mammals maintain internal homeostasis during infection or injury by balancing activities of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory pathways. But this is not possible all the time and in case of some diseases the balance is disturbed. A classic example is that of endotoxin produced by Gram-negative bacteria that activates macrophages to release cytokines (small secreted proteins released by cells that have a strong effect on the communication between cells). Cytokines generally act on the cells that secrete them, on nearby cells or rarely on distant cells. There are possibilities that several cells secrete the same cytokine or a single cytokine can act on several different cell types. Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-1. alpha., IL-1. beta., IL-6, IL-8, platelet-activating factor (PAF), macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and likewise are produced by these macrophages and are predominantly involved in leading the way to inflammatory and other conditions. There is a dire need to suppress the activation of these pro-inflammatory cytokines to restrict the occurrence of diseases.
The invention patented here finds itself to be immensely useful in suppressing the activation of these cytokines by providing methods for preventing, reducing or reversing acute/chronic autonomic damage. The methods used maybe any of these-providing the subject with antibiotics, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids or oleic acid, VNS (vagal nerve stimulation) or putting him/her on an intermittent fasting regimen. The cluster of these methods have been given a specific name-Nemechek Protocol and this protocol gives its best possible to fight against diseases and conditions that occur as a result of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The protocol works with the principle of minimizing pro-inflammatory cytokines within the CNS which thereby helps to activate natural repair mechanisms and enable recovery of the ANS functions. There are vitamins, supplements, minerals, chemical compounds, pharmaceutical agents and dietary restrictions used in the protocol to bring in the desired effect on the subject.
The beauty in using this invention lies in its invasive and safe yet effective procedure for saving the ANS functions from neuroinflammatory conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, concussion, brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic depression, autism, epilepsy, autism and more. All of these conditions have debilitating side effects affecting the quality of life of individuals and also that of the people caring for these patients. Sometimes, autonomic damage is reversed by suppressing the action of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) using any of the methods defined above (such as dietary restriction, providing with oleic acid, etc.).
Before inventing the protocol all the subjects were measured of their autonomic nervous system health via spectral analysis. Once the Nemechek Protocol is established on the subject and cytokines are reduced in number neuronal progenitor stem cells increase in number and functionality and the microglial populations shift toward M2-phenotype which help in repairing neuronal damage and start producing anti-inflammatory cytokines. There is a reversal in the patient’s symptoms-dizziness, urinary incontinence, fainting, early satiety, dysfunction of erection or ejaculation, loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, bloating, heartburn, constipation, exercise intolerance and poor vision at night.
There are cases where some patients fail to regulate the amount of blood and oxygen supply to the brain. An individual suffering from concussion experiences dizziness, anxiety, neck tightness, headaches and decreased cognitive function due to cerebral hypoperfusion. These patients yearn for more water and food with the hope that such increased intake of salt and sugar improves cerebral hypoperfusion levels. In such individuals, when intermittent fasting is introduced as a standard policy of the protocol it worsens the symptoms and usually intermittent fasting is avoided for at least a few months after introducing other methods such as antibiotics, oleic acid and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid until positive changes of cerebral hypoperfusion is attained. Sometimes curcumin (available in the spice turmeric and lauded for its anti-inflammatory property) is added in the treatment protocol following inadequate improvements even after 2 months of treatment using the initial methods. Those individuals suffering more from pro-inflammatory cytokines recover slowly from autonomic function. Bringing in the concept of intermittent fasting after the initial 4-6 month of following the protocol improves the recovery process and also suppresses the storage of excess adipose tissue in patients eating high quantities of foods and beverages due to the presence of cerebral hypoperfusion. The patent was published on May 3td, 2018 and if you want to know more details about the protocol and the vast list of conditions covered under this protocol feel free to visit any of the sites given below:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22autonomic+nervous+system+damage%22&OS=%22autonomic+nervous+system+damage%22&RS=%22autonomic+nervous+system+damage%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?FT=D&date=20190702&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP&CC=US&NR=10335396B2&KC=B2&ND=4
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US215306173&_cid=P11-JXWV2C-04573-1
We are what we eat. The food that goes into our body determines our well-being, health and fitness. A diet that lacks nutrients is a great disaster on the individual’s body as it paves way for non-communicable diseases which impairs quality of life and causes death. Focus is given to different foods and their nutrition content but in reality, we take these foods together as meals or snacks. So, getting to know more about the nutritional composition of meals, different meal combinations and how their variations affect diet quality brings on a clearer picture on the relationship between diet and diseases. Most of the dietary advises revolve around the type and quantity of food individuals should consume instead of focusing on the eating pattern. Eating pattern indicates how people eat during eating occasion (EO) which includes indicators such as frequency, timing of meals, frequency, timing of snacks and skipped meals.
Every meal is integral for nutrient addition to our body. Skipping breakfast increases the risk of obesity, cardiovascular risk and decreased micronutrients intake. But there are not many studies associating macronutrients and eating patterns such as meals and snacks and their overall diet quality. Diet quality is measured by the quality of foods that individual eats using diet scores that have been established. Most studies that measure diet quality and meal/snack frequencies use questionnaires to assess eating patterns and the studies are even more limited when it comes to examining meal and snack frequencies. When we have a better understanding of the effects of meals and snacks on diet quality it is possible to motivate people to follow dietary guidelines and achieve the recommended levels of nutrients through foods.
Assessing Meal & Snack Impact on Diet Quality
9338 volunteers participated in the study and two dietary recalls were taken on consecutive days. 65% (6053) participants completed both dietary recalls which included questions on the type and time of EO whose response options included choices among breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper, snack, morning tea, afternoon tea, drink or beverage, extended consumption and others. Generally, there is no hard and fast rule on what defines an EO as participants are mostly required to identify their own EO while some use time of day to identify an EO. In this study, an EO was defined as any occasion during which a food or beverage was consumed that contained a minimum energy content of 50 kcal and there was at least a time gap of 15 minute between two successive EOs. The EOs were split into meals and snacks depending on the volunteers’ reporting of breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner or supper and snacks, morning tea, afternoon tea and beverages/breaks respectively.
All the nutrients required by the body for well-being and preventing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, iodine deficiency, iron deficiency and hypertension was noted and mean total dietary intake of these nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, sugars, dietary fiber, folate, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, iodine, MUFAs, PUFAs and SFAs was calculated.
Diet quality was assessed using dietary guidelines index (DGI) of 2013. DGI-2013 contains 13 components each of which was scored on a range of 1 to 10 where the highest score indicated that the individual was maximum compliant of the dietary guideline. Of the 13 components 7 (fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy, food variety, lean meat and fluid intake) of them assess the adequacy of the diet while the other 6 (discretionary foods, saturated foods, salt, added sugar, alcohol and moderate intake of unsaturated fat) assess the moderation of the dietary intake. Each of the participant’s smoking attributes, alcohol consumption status, physical activity levels and sedentary behavior was noted. After excluding participants based on certain criteria there were finally 2053 men and 2270 women available for the study. The results were as follows:
Association between Meal Pattern Nutrient Intake & Overall Diet Quality
Some 10 studies were analyzed for the contribution of meals and snacks to energy and nutrient intakes. It was found that lunch and evening meals contributed to the greatest proportion of total daily energy, protein, fat and carbohydrate intake. We define primary meals as those that provide us with the largest volume of food. An analysis of meals and snacks proved that snacks contributed towards lower total energy from fat and protein in comparison to meals. Two studies showed that consumption of protein was highest in the evening especially among older adults, two studies showed that snacks contributed towards more consumption of total sugars but not total carbohydrates than meals and one study showed that snacks consumed after lunchtime contained less protein and fiber than morning snacks.
One study on Finnish meal patterns found that meals contributed more fiber and carotenoids but less sugar, vitamin C and alcohol than snacks. Another Dutch study found that dinner meals were major contributors to intake of iron, zinc, vitamin B1, B6, B12, C, D and E. But there are also studies that show that snacks too contribute significantly to addition of nutrients such as Ca, Fe, vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
18 studies focused on eating frequencies and identified that higher the eating frequency greater was the nutrient intake-when individuals ate for six or more times daily their intake of carbohydrates and fiber was increased but they had lower intake of fat and protein in comparison to those who ate less than three times daily. Yet another study found that men with a dominant snacking frequency had lower fiber and micronutrient intake.
It is clearly proven that meals play a prominent role in determining the nutrition intake. This might be because you get to eat a variety of foods, pick from a diverse range of foods that include plenty of fruits and vegetables and eat them at definite timings. Whereas, snacks are taken in between to avoid hunger pangs during meals and to keep you comfortable through the day. Though choosing a snack depends on your choice, we mostly choose from crisps, fried items and junks which decrease total nutrient intake greatly. Hence, the frequency of your meal consumption greatly plays a role in determining overall diet quality.
Meal Frequency and not snack frequency is associated with micronutrients intake and overall diet quality: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/10/2027/4584875?searchresult=1
Understanding meal patterns: Definitions, methodology and impact on nutrient intake and diet quality: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4501369/
Earlier times witnessed women giving birth to five, six, seven or more babies and the numbers were only on the higher end of the spectrum many-a-time. This might be due to the unavailability of birth control methods and lack of awareness among the couples but it does verify one solid thing-couples during earlier days were fertile unlike now where the fertility rates have reduced tremendously and individuals opting for artificial birthing methods are on the rise. This is mainly due to our current way of lifestyle, diet patterns, eating habits, exercise routines and the effect of stress on our body.
The human body can be compared to a machine. A well-oiled machine performs its functions precisely and likewise, a well-maintained human body ensures effective working of its organs and systems. The human body works on daily, or circadian, as well as monthly and annual rhythms. Growth hormone (GH) is a small protein made by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream. The secretion of GH depends on a number of hormones that are produced in the hypothalamus of the brain, intestinal tract and pancreas. Also, GH is produced more during the night than daytime and production rates are inversely proportional to age - rates rise during childhood, attain peak during puberty and start declining from middle age. The GH secretion almost diminishes by 50% at the age of 40 compared to the quantity available at the age of 20, and by the age of 60 its only 1/3rd of what was present at the age of 20. Also, their secretion depends on various other factors such as age, gender and BMI.
The main function of the human growth hormone (hGH) is stimulation of growth, cell repair and regeneration. During adulthood hGH is mainly involved in cell regeneration and repair, regeneration of liver, kidneys, lungs, heart, bones and skin. hGH affects the sterility and fertility levels in human beings and low levels of these hormones promote ageing process and the early onset of diseases. When we find that hGH levels are lower than recommended it is possible to replenish lost levels in an injectable form but this was an option only for those who are rich enough to pay for this expensive shot. But scientists and researchers constantly keep researching to find out economical substitutes for all costly options and now, they have found substances that can trigger the release of hGH from a person’s own anterior pituitary gland and these substances are termed as secretagogues. There has also been evidence that intravenous (IV) administration of certain amino acids increase hGH levels.
Pregnancy brings in various changes in the woman’s body and there are a number of hormones which are secreted at this stage of life and the growth hormone is one of those that are found to be integral in different stages of pregnancy such as early antral follicle recruitment, subsequent follicular growth and oocyte maturation. Nowadays, fertilization using IVF has become very common but chances of pregnancy pregnant with IVF are not even close to 50% most of the times. Administering growth hormones during the ovarian stimulation phase of IVF increases this probability even higher than usual.
The invention patented here is a nutritional supplement that promotes the release of hGH. It might be an amino acid secretagogue composition that increases hGH secretion thereby helping the individual improve the chances of getting pregnant. hGH was monopolized by athletes sometime back as it enabled the formation of larger muscles, more energy production and improved performance. It also helps to reduce fat and build lean body mass.
The dosage of the hormone depends on the individual’s body condition and needs. The nutritional supplement formulated here might be administered once, twice or thrice a day, every alternate day or even once a week; administered on empty stomach and also regulated on its effects every once a while to have a positive effect on the individual. The patent was published on September 8th, 2016 and for a detailed explanation of the supplement invented please refer to any of the links given below:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=composition&s2=%22enhancing+fertility%22&OS=composition+AND+%22enhancing+fertility%22&RS=composition+AND+%22enhancing+fertility%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?FT=D&date=20190528&DB=&locale=en_EP&CC=US&NR=10300101B2&KC=B2&ND=4
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US177600663&_cid=P11-JXLN2C-43431-1
How many of you are aware of the fact that type 2 diabetes (T2D) was a disease of the affluent sometime back? It was almost monopolized by the West but now every single country is a victim to this epidemic. Children who were once unaware of a disease called diabetes during earlier days are very common victim to juvenile diabetes currently owing to rising childhood obesity rates and intake of processed foods. The numbers too are quite staggering believed to affect around 290 million people annually and the numbers are expected to shoot up as high as 438 million by 2030. Diseases not only affect our health but also bring up expenses and bring down quality of life. You might not believe but expenses incurred via diabetes account for almost 12% of total health expenditure and this does affect the economy of developing countries greatly.
There is no use ranting about the illness without finding its risk factors and bringing in preventing measures. A lot many risk factors have been identified including a family history of diabetes mellitus, age, overweight, increased abdominal fat, sedentary behavior, inactivity and various biomarkers such as hyperinsulinaemia, increased fasting proinsulin and decreased HDL cholesterol. Diabetes can be type 1 or type 2 and both of them show familial disposition which brings upon the idea that there might be genetics involved in this whole affair. Our job is to identify all the modifiable risk factors such as diet and exercise, analyze the genetic predisposition and come to a conclusion regarding the same with the help of studies that point towards interactions between specific dietary components and genetic variants.
Genetic Predisposition’s Effect on T2D-related Food Intake
Any genome-wide association study (GWAS) on T2D links the effect of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) on diabetes mellitus. Its been suggested that processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages increase the risk of T2D while the consumption of whole grain foods and coffee reduce the risk, as per different study results. One research focused primarily on identifying the predominance of T2D in the Malmo Diet and Cancer (MDC) study according to a diet risk score (DRS) of the extremely common four foods and beverages (processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, whole grains and coffee) that are always associated with T2D. The genetic risk score (GRS) and its interaction with each of these diet components was analyzed.
Participants were screened and selected for the MDC study based on various criteria and the research team was finally left with 6103 participants. Of them, 4193 were successfully genotyped for additional SNPs. The GRS for T2D was calculated from 48 T2D SNPs and an extended weighted GRS for T2D was calculated from 68 T2D SNPs. Dietary record was noted initially during the start of the study-the participants were given a 7-day menu book to record the foods and beverages consumed all through the day, a 168-item food questionnaire that asked about the frequency of consumption of common foods & drinks that were not listed in the diet book and a face-to-face interview happened for around 45 minutes. A DRS was formed based on the four foods that were increasingly associated with T2D and high points were assigned for those foods that were believed to increase the risk of T2D. Individuals were classified according to low, medium and high intake of the four foods-0 points were assigned to those with low intake of processed foods and sugary drinks, 1 point was assigned to those with medium intake and 2 points to those with high intake. Pointing system was completely opposite in the case of whole grains and coffee-no points were assigned to those with higher intake, 1 point was assigned to those with medium intake and 2 points to those with low intake. DRS was finally divided into three groups namely low DRS (0-2 points), medium DRS (3-5 points) and high DRS (6-8 points). Extended scores were formed for the intake of fruits and vegetables, fermented dairy and high-fat fish. Extended DRS were as given here: low (0-3 points), medium (4-6 points) and high (7-10 points). The final DRS score summing up both the components together include- low (0-4 points), medium (5-9 points) and high (10-14 points).
Physical activity routines, smoking habits, alcohol consumption frequencies and education levels were noted for each of the participants. Results showed that:
Genetic Determinants of Type 2 Diabetes
Twin studies in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins show that genetic determinants do contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and the rates are much higher in the MZ twins. A genetic approach helps in realizing the major causes of the disease and also lays the path for better diagnostic treatment and prevention. There are two common ways to unravel these genetic factors:
Candidate Gene Approach
Genetic defects in proteins that play prominent roles in pathways associated with insulin control and glucose homeostasis are great contributors for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Defective genes are identified by singling out an association between diabetes mellitus and functional polymorphism in a candidate gene. Over 250 candidate genes are studied for their associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus but most of the studies have failed to bring about any concrete associations.
Genome Wide Scan
The previous approach is of no help when we would like to identify new genes that might be associated with type 2 diabetes. Genome wide scans performed using polymorphic markers help in identifying new genes for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
In more than a decade, GWAS has helped in identifying more than 65 genetic variants that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by 10-30%. Several cross-sectional studies including participants with or without diabetes showed that genetic factors showed limited scope in predicting an individual’s risk for diabetes. There are studies that show that the risk of genetic variants on T2D are neutralized by their beneficial effect on other key organs and tissues involved in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes or having difference responses to nutrition.
Dietary & Genetic Risk Scores & Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5956794/
Defining the Genetic Contribution of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: https://jmg.bmj.com/content/38/9/569.full
Haven’t we heard enough about the ill-effects of sitting down continuously for hours together? Of course, our desk jobs demand such extended hours of sitting down and working but the question is whether we are going to strive hard for a secure future (of diseases?) at the stake of our health! Research studies too demotivate us as many of them talk about the nullified advantaged of exercising owing to sitting continuously. Couch potatoes existed by choice during earlier decades put the present workforce have all become one with the rise of the IT dominance worldwide. People clock in exceedingly high hours of work, order pizzas for late-night dinners and again get back to work to finish up before the deadline. Whose deadline is it anyway-the client’s or our body’s? Employers started realizing the need to attend to the health requirements of their employees and started thinking on innovative terms-walking meetings became the standard and standing desks were added to each employer’s cubicle to enable him/her to get away from the sitting spree and go on a standing spree. Yet again, our researchers need something to probe into and they ultimately found that standing too long beats the ill effects of sitting continuously in terms of physical pain and other health issues. So, the ultimate solution is to find a sitting desk that allows you to stretch, bend and exercise even when you are working and the current patent invention exactly attends to this need.
Not all of us have the right posture while sitting, walking or standing. Such wrongful postures or prolonged sitting/standing can aggravate back pain and even increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. An employee is more bothered about the salary package, perks and office environment, the employer is bothered about deliverables, quality of work and more projects in hand but none bothers about ergonomics-the science of designing the workplace to optimize them for human use. There exists the dire need to design office furniture that solves the health problems related to seating arrangements that result in poor ergonomic postures and the lack of physical activity/movement. This is not something that has never been attempted by companies and there are chairs ergonomically designed but when it comes to standing desks, we lack ergonomic standing chairs that can support the employee when feeling fatigued and allow the user to take breaks from standing. The standing chairs that do exist have any of these problems-they occupy space even when they are not used, there is no smooth transition between sitting and standing or between different postures while sitting, the exercise benefits provided are almost negligible, foot rest position doesn’t suit ergonomic requirements or multiple footrest options are absent to suit the user in different positions or the seat doesn’t provide options to rotate the pelvis or support the spine in more than one healthy sitting or leaning position.
There are seating solutions provided by manufacturing companies that attend to some of the problems listed above but there is no one solution that takes care of all of them. Further, these solutions do not provide scope for any exercises while sitting nor come with an effective option to switch between sitting and standing that helps to stave off the health consequences of sitting down or standing up continuously. The present invention addresses all these problems and also enables active exercising in the form of sit-ups, back extension and stretching exercises.
The chair designed here corrects all the disadvantages of the ones available presently and also comes up with additional advantages that are not present in the ones that are available now. This chair has been rightly designed for standup use and can also be folded for compact storage and transport, promotes in-place exercising, comes with a design that allows easy transition between sitting and standing positions or even between different positions while sitting. There are provisions for doing sit-ups, back extensions and accessories can be added to address the needs of a full-body workout. Forward footrest is provided and an upper exercise bar too that helps in core body workouts. The chair has also been designed with a seating arrangement such that it provides fully adjustable pelvic rotation and the seat is ergonomically designed to suit any body shape. There are pegs at the center of the base that can support the user in a variety of standing positions. Aren’t these enough reasons to use such a chair in your office for your working purpose? The patent was published on October 4th, 2018 and for more intricate details on the invention you can visit any of the following sites:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=36&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&p=1&S1=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)&OS=health+AND+exercise+AND+fitness&RS=((health+AND+exercise)+AND+fitness)
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20181004&CC=WO&NR=2018183738A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US231410546&_cid=P22-JY6TIZ-79168-1
Obesity is bad on any given day for anyone. It exists as the root cause of a number of health-related illnesses and problems right from cardiovascular disease to cancer. Worse is the presence of obesity in pregnant women as it poses a great challenge to patient care. Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic and approximately 50% of women of childbearing age are overweight (BMI between 25 and 29.9) or obese (BMI>=30). Such vagaries in weight puts both the mom and the baby at risk during pregnancy (antenatal, intra- and post-partum complications) and even after childbirth. The side effects of obesity on pregnancy is a long-standing list that includes preterm birth, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), risk of impaired glucose tolerance, high risk of miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, thromboembolic disease and maternal death. Obese women are likelier to undergo induced labor, spend excess time in labor, have instrumental deliveries or even have a post-partum hemorrhage.
The announcement of pregnancy brings joy and happiness to the entire family, especially the couple involved. The pregnant woman is pampered and cajoled with gifts, blessings and specifically, sweets and mithais. The elders in the family bless her and treat her taste buds with oodles of high-calorie tasty treats to show their love and affection. Often the pregnancy woman is misguided with concepts such as ‘eat for two’ which induces her to double her portion sizes and increase intake. On the other side, improving health outcomes in obese/overweight individuals is an important research topic that needs answers quite soon to stop the obesity epidemic from ruining the health and well-being of the future generations.
Jumping Beyond the Weight Gain Fence
Weight gain during pregnancy is recommended and there are no second thoughts on it. Its only the range that varies depending on your existing body weight. Women with a healthy weight range (BMI 18.5-24.9) are recommended a 11.5-16 kg gain during pregnancy, overweight women are recommended to gain between 7-11.5 kg and obese women between 5-9 kg during pregnancy. Sticking to these limits forms a part of routine care during pregnancy. Weight gain beyond these stipulated ranges are dangerous and excess weight gain in obese women can result in preeclampsia, hypertension and shoulder dystocia. This is where disciplined dietary interventions are of immense help in minimizing these risks and ensuring better maternal and fetal outcomes. While dietary interventions in normal or overweight women do reduce pregnancy-related risks there have been not many successful dietary interventions reported in obese women. But episodes of mindless eating and food cravings have been commonly witnessed in obese women who aren’t pregnant. The study discussed below gives an elaborate idea of an individually tailored nutrition program for obese pregnant women which improves overall diet quality, limits gestational weight gain (GWC) and reduces complication during and after pregnancy.
Individual-tailored Nutrition program for Obese Pregnant Women
The study included women with BMI ≥30 and ≤35 and women having BMI between 35 and 37 were included if they had no other medical complications. The research ensured that all of the women involved were ≤21 weeks of gestation and ≥18 years of age. The dietary intervention group was met by a registered dietitian who consulted the women and recommended them to eat a healthy diet. They were given tips on replacing empty-calorie meals with nutrient-dense foods and also were taught to control portion sizes during every meal. Nutrients such as iron, folate and vitamin D which are of utmost importance for the development of the fetus were also advised alongside the diet menu. The other group, namely the control group did not receive any complimentary service from an RDN but only were entitled to the standard care that included a provision of verbal/written information on healthy eating during pregnancy given by their gyneac.
Volunteers’ height was measured at the start of the study and weight measures were taken during every visit to the hospital. Weight history and pre-pregnancy body weight data of the diet intervention group were collected by the dietitian at the beginning of the study. Their maternal weight at six weeks and six months post-partum were noted by the dietitian. The dietitians also noted dietary information at the start and end of the study and an improvement in diet quality was analyzed based on the median change in the intake of six food groups that included vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and legumes, milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives and discretionary items.
The control group included 119 obese pregnant women and the diet group included 92 of them. Women in the control group had a lower BMI (30.3) compared to those in the diet group (32.9). Asian women were predominantly present in the control group (39%) compared to the diet group (10.9%). 19.3% (23 of 119) women in the control group developed GDM while only 6.5% (6 of 92) women in the dietary intervention group developed GDM. GWC did not show much difference between the two groups-overall 9.7 kg weight gain in the control group and 10 kg gain in the diet group. Six weeks after childbirth 54 women (58.7%) were available for contact by phone and they had a mean weight loss of 10.7 kg and 72% of them had returned to their initial antenatal assessment weight. 18 women were available for contact six months after delivery and they had lost 14.6 kg and 83% were at their initial assessment weight. Consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly improved, intake of discretionary items declined and more women were opting for healthier meal options such as trimming fat off meat or removing poultry skin. Most individuals started consuming more whole grains and low-GI products at the final stage of assessment.
All these significant changes show that bringing in a registered dietitian nutritionist to plan a tailor-made diet for obese pregnant women is indeed useful in improving their diet quality in terms of improved consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and monitoring weight increase in them. This study also clearly showed that GDM showed improvements irrespective of GWG changes. Hence, planning your diet and executing it diligently to avoid obesity-related complications in pregnancy is essential for a healthy mother and infant.
In this research, the study team analyzed for changes in health based on healthy dietary interventions and increased physical activity comparing it to standard antenatal care in UK. The group specifically checked for incidence of gestational diabetes, large-for-gestational-age babies, preeclampsia, preterm birth, mode of delivery and physical activity ranges. Both, the dietary intervention or the control group did not show any changes in incidence of gestational diabetes nor many other measures given above. Total gestational weight was lower in the intervention group compared to the control group and individuals who received dietary guidance showed improvements in dietary pattern and exercise routines too. This trial too shows that a mixed intervention of both diet and physical activity did not show any effects on gestational diabetes and so did the LIMIT trial which included overweight and obese pregnant women. A healthy diet with lifestyle intervention reduces the possibility of weight gain during pregnancy but there is no guarantee for improvements in gestational diabetes. At the same time, statistics of weight reduction are a sign of minimal risk of getting into another pregnancy as an obese lady.
Maternal Eating Behavior
One study focused on the maternal eating pattern in obese pregnant women and identified those behaviors that contribute to the quality of the diet. This was an observational study where the participants were observed for their dietary intake and eating patterns by a validated food photography method for 6 days between 13 and 16 weeks of pregnancy. All the participants were having a BMI >30 and were aged between 18 and 40 years. Diet quality was based on macronutrients intake and intake of calcium, iron, vitamin C, sodium and fiber.
Results of the 56 participants showed that:
A Behavioral Nutritional Intervention for Obese Pregnant Women: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/ajo.12474
Diet and Lifestyle Interventions for Obese Pregnant Women: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2213-8587%2815%2900253-3
Behavioral Determinants of Objectively Assessed Diet Quality in Obese Pregnancy: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/7/1446
Patent: Floormat Physiological Sensor
Every time we see the weighing scale it brings upon a thud feeling in our heart anxious about any weight loss or weight gain changes irrespective of our efforts that go into it. We avoid standing over weighing scales at the hospital where the nurse calls out our weight in front of groups of people, run away from them at restaurants where we had just finished off munching on our delightful meal and try to stay far away from them anytime. Maybe, we would like to secretly check our weights in the comfort of our homes and I don’t find it surprising that many of us now have a digital weight scale stealthily locked out somewhere in our house-to check our weights daily and take effective actions based on the results. These scales use a load cell and there is a change in voltage when force is applied to the load cell. The change in voltage correlates to the person’s weight in a digitized form.
Body weight measurements are useful to gauge your BMI, body fat percentage and muscle mass but measuring medically relevant parameters such as heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), heart rate variability (HRV), stroke volume (SV), cardiac output (CO), etc. using sensors attached to the person’s skin is greatly helpful in identifying certain physiological conditions while some other conditions necessitates the measurement of these parameters repeatedly at certain intervals with great accuracy. A classic example of such a physiological condition is congestive heart failure (CHF) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) that require the periodic measurement of body weight and fluids all through a patient’s life to keep oneself updated on the condition. But when such demands arise the patient too becomes less compliant especially when readings are taken outside clinical settings. Besides, placement of electrodes and measurement of parameters sometimes vary depending on the location of measurement of the parameters. A typical example is the measurement of the systolic (SYS) and diastolic (DIA) pressure measurements that depend on the location at which the parameter is measured - readings measured in the arm, finger, thigh or even the opposite arm show different numbers.
Different conditions occur as a result of differences in values of base measurement of various parameters. For example, ESRD occurs as a result of diabetes and changes in SYS and DIA blood pressure ranges along with variations in body fluids. TFC measurements play a vital role in diagnosing ESRD and this also negates the need for clinical estimations that can sometimes leave the patient with over-removal or under-removal of fluids during diagnosis. Coronary heart failure (CHF) (one type of heart failure) is caused due to hypertension, diabetes, obesity, smoking and valvular heart diseases. RR and HR exist as important measures for diagnosing heart failure (HF). Once CO is compromised the kidneys fail to do their function properly resulting in sodium and water retention. This leads to increase in weight gain and shift of body fluids to lower extremities. This calls for the need of immediate hospitalization as medications don’t workout. HF is clinically diagnosed by measuring SV, CO and EF (ejection fraction) but in the home environment a simple increase in weight measured using a weighing scale is good enough to identify CFH-a stage that’s critically important to identify the condition that can be easily avoided by simple yet effective changes to diet and medication. Its at this phase that physicians would love to avoid hospitalization when they have the means to remotely titrate medications, monitor diet plans and promote exercise performance. With the availability of identification method for the same research says that it is possible to avoid hospital readmission in 75% of patients with ESRD and CHF. For this, physicians prescribe physiological monitoring regimens to patients living at home-weight scaled and BP cuffs are used by patients daily but for a precise measurement the patients must use these equipment consistently and an imbalance in consistency is likelier in a home setting where there is no one to supervise.
The invention patented here provides a physiological sensor or monitoring device that helps to measure all vital signs and hemodynamic parameters and also promotes regular use and compliance to time-based measurements by the patient. The sensor invented helps in monitoring the patient for HF, CHF, ESRD, cardiac arrhythmias and other diseases and in this invention, it is configured like a floormat. The floormat is used daily and the information collected is sent via a smartphone to a web-based device. This information can be used to prevent hospitalization in patients henceforth. The invention has been designed with the intention of enabling the sensor to measure parameters such as HR, PR, SpO2, RR, SYS, DIA, TEMP, a thoracic fluid index (TFI), SV, CO, weight, percent body fat, muscle mass, and parameters sensitive to blood pressure called pulse arrival time (PAT) and vascular transit time (VTT)-all in just under 2 minutes. The invention offers an advantageous edge to the patient in the sense that it is an easy-to-use device that the patient can use to step onto to measure basic wellness parameters such as body weight and muscle mass, vital signs and complex haemodynamic parameters. As the invention is easy to use the patient is motivated to use it every day and when measurements are taken every day it makes it easier for noticing change in trends in the patient’s physiological parameters allowing to make a judgement on the diagnosis of certain diseases and chronic conditions such as CHF, obesity, kidney malfunctioning and obesity.
The patent was published on July 6th, 2017 and if you are interested in knowing more about the invention, its working policy and method of construction feel free to visit any of the sites below:
United States Patent & Trademark Office:http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22&OS=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22&RS=%22Floormat+Physiological+Sensor%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20190530&CC=US&NR=2019159730A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US200468778&_cid=P11-JXLHM3-81899-1
Indian kitchens are never complete without the yellow turmeric which seems to dominate every recipe indeed! While turmeric is predominantly used as a spice throughout the world, we use it to treat health conditions since time immemorial owing to its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous and antioxidant properties that are vastly because of the presence of curcumin, a natural polyphenolic substance, that can be extracted from turmeric. Although still unproven without any conclusive research-based evidence its application and use have not been highly questioned and there do exist some preliminary convincing research.
Curcumin as a Cure for Muscle Soreness
Curcumin is a diarylheptanoid that’s responsible for turmeric’s yellow color and quoted to help minimize inflammation while studies also support its application in easing symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis such as pain and inflammation. There are several studies in initial changes that show promising effects of curcumin in treating cancer, stomach upset, diabetes, colitis, stomach ulcers and depression.
DOMS: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) includes both muscle pain and stiffness that occurs several hours after exercise especially when there is overuse of muscle activity. Any intense exercise damages muscles and causes inflammation depending on the duration, intensity and type of exercise performed. Also, overactive athletes and inactive individuals who start exercising newly both are prone to DOMS that can leave the person with limited physical activity for a couple of days after exercising. Though there have been multiple trials to come out with the best intervention for treating DOMS we’ve not been able to single out one effective solution. Eccentric exercise brings about stress which in turn brings on an inflammatory response and reactive oxygen species (ROS) which maintain the inflammation and stress by promoting transcription factors such as nuclear factor-κB (NF—κB) responsible for production of inflammatory markers and mediators. Such increased inflammation and stress lead to production of oxidative enzymes such as cytokines and chemokines which out lash the antioxidant capacity of the body leading to muscle pain and DOMS.
Curcumin has been investigated for its anti-oxidant property and there have been several studies that have probed into its medicinal effects whose results show that curcumin suppresses the activation of NF—κB thereby safeguarding muscles, prevents loss of muscle mass during sepsis and regenerates muscles after any trauma-related injury. There have also been studies showing that curcumin prevents inflammation and curbs the extensive muscle damage due to eccentric muscle damage.
Placebo Study of Curcumin’s Effect on Muscle Soreness in Humans
A placebo-controlled study on 20 healthy moderately-active men was conducted to study curcumin. These volunteers performed moderate-intensity exercise for at least 4 hours every week and were devoid of any known diseases or conditions. Each of the volunteers were randomly given either a curcumin supplement (200 mg twice daily) during breakfast and dinner or a placebo during the same time intervals for 4 days-starting 48 hours before the test day and 24 hours after the test day. Every participant underwent a standard treadmill test and a downhill running test (45 min duration) that was used to induce eccentric muscle injury.
An MRI of both the thighs was taken, muscle biopsies were performed 48 hours after exercise, blood samples were collected immediately before the downhill running test and 2 and 24 hours after exercise for the measurement of CRP, high-sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), ERS, interleukin-8 (IL-8), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). Creatine kinase (CK) was used as a marker of muscle damage. Volunteers were asked for a self-assessed report of pain intensity 48 hours after the downhill running on a scale of 0 to 4 where 0 indicates no pain and 4 indicates extreme pain while climbing stairs or getting off them. Results show that:
Another human study that happened sometime later on yet another small group of men showed that curcumin consumption indeed reduced pain following eccentric exercise.
Timing of Curcumin Ingestion Affects Exercise-induced Muscle Soreness in Men
Anyone’s ideology would be to minimize muscle damage and promote recovery after exercise. While we have studies insisting that curcumin does have an impact on reducing DOMS we are not much aware of the effective timing of ingestion that can promote this effect even more. A research group compared the effect of curcumin ingestion before or after exercise on changes in muscle damage markers after eccentric exercise.
24 healthy males were randomly assigned to three different groups-PRE subjects who consumed 180 mg/d of oral curcumin for 7 days before eccentric exercise, POST subjects who ingested 180 mg/d of oral curcumin for 4 days after eccentric exercise and control subjects who ingested 180 mg/d of oral placebo for 4 days after eccentric exercise. All volunteers ate their normal diet and practiced regular lifestyle routines through the study period, were not smokers and were not involved in high-intensity exercise training. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), range of motion (ROM) and CK activity was measured before, immediately after and 1-4 d after exercise and blood samples were taken from the volunteers. Results showed that:
EIMD & DOMS Significantly Decrease After Oral Consumption of Curcumin
Resistance exercise is integral to individuals, especially athletes and active individuals but this can lead to exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and soreness that can limit performance in the ensuing sessions. It is to be noted that not all curcumin supplements deliver free curcumin into the blood and those that don’t deliver free curcumin deliver curcumin metabolites that have a short half-life and low bioactivity. Also, the form of curcumin affects its effect. Curcumin has extremely low bioavailability in its naturally occurring form and we have a study that has come up with an optimal dose of commercially available ‘optimized’ curcumin that’s necessary to bring in the biological effect in individuals.
28 participants were involved in the study and were subject to a muscle strength test some 10 days prior to the muscle damage session. The volunteers were randomly assigned to either the intervention group (consumed 400 mg of curcumin) or control group (400 mg of rice flour) both of whom were given the supplements twice daily, one in the morning and one in the evening. EIMD and DOMS were initiated by subjecting the volunteers to different exercises and the participants’ soreness levels were measured during completion of activities of daily living (ADL). CK levels were measured and blood samples of participants were collected. Results showed that:
Reduction of delayed onset of muscle soreness by a novel curcumin delivery system: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-31
Curcumin effects on inflammation and performance recovery following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage: https://physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/ajpregu.00858.2006
Effective timing of curcumin ingestion to attenuate eccentric exercise-induced muscle soreness in men: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/65/1/65_82/_pdf/-char/en
Curcumin supplementation likely attenuates delayed onset muscle soreness: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25795285
Reduced inflammation and muscle damage biomarkers following oral supplementation with bioavailable curcumin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4802396/
Patent: Measuring Chronic Stress
Stress is a word that finds aplenty space in each of our lives these days hindering us from delivering our best performance and affecting health levels greatly. There are different perspectives to stress. For someone who is faced with hazardous environmental factors there is a definite thought process running in the person’s mind about the soon-to-happen events and this process involving coping with the scenario either changing the environment or the person’s own thought process to match the environmental factors is defined as stress. Stress is also the reaction/process that occurs within any individual when he/she is faced with demands that exceed the resources available to deal with it and when individuals fail to meet these demands hence leading to negative impact on the person’s life. Stress brings in a response from the person similar to those that are experienced while under danger and these include fatigue, feeling uneasy or quite shaken over.
Stress experienced by a person can be measured using three methods and this involves measuring the stimuli, evaluating cognitive response or bodily response. The body has two systems-the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system and the autonomic nervous that react to stress caused/induced either due to environmental factors or by the very person experiencing it. The ANS involves sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways that are responsible for regulating homeostasis (maintaining internal stability irrespective of external factors). Maintaining this internal stability is mainly the job of neuronal and hormonal control systems. ANS is one part of the nervous system that’s responsible for all involuntary actions such as regulating heart rate (HR), blood pressure, respiration and sweating. The HPA that’s part of the neuroendocrine system plays a major role in controlling reactions to stress and manages mood, digestion, sexuality, immune system, emotions and energy storage. Its both, the ANS and HPA that work together to maintain homeostasis or equilibrium thereby enabling the body to remain stable.
Allostasis: This is nothing but response to rapid changes in the environment such as exposure to pathogens such as bacteria/virus or a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. In each stressful situation the individual is in a state of arousal and each internal system starts adapting to changes. Starting from the brain (sympathetic system is activated) the response moves forward deactivating parasympathetic system in due process from ANS alongside the release of hormones in the HPA. Though this response might be beneficial in the short term it does come with its very own bagful of disadvantages. Allostasis has long-term impact on the body called as allostatic load due to repeated stress exposure. Allostasis can cause serious consequences to our health permanently damaging the nervous, cardiovascular and neuronal systems. Stress has a grave impact on inflammation, cardiovascular, pulmonary and immune-related diseases, obesity, diabetes, psychiatric conditions and cancer. It affects homeostasis, especially that of cardiovascular regulation and this makes it more vulnerable to acute stress.
Its both the ANS and the HPA axis that are activated in times of acute stress. Its both the HPA and the sympathetic nervous system that are activated frequently in depressed and anxious patients. Heart rate variability (HRV) is due to changing modulations of vagal and sympathetic control of the heart and is taken to be an estimate of autonomic HR control. HRV is linked to acute or chronic stress, recovery from stress, depression and congestive heart failure. Blood pressure changes are the result of combined changes of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system (SNS and PNS) and HRV indicates individual contributions of PNS and SNS.
In real life situations are unpredictable and most of the challenges induce a rapid increase or decrease in HR. Stress and most of the stressful situations pave way for multiple emotional, cognitive, physiological and somatic symptoms. Vagal modulations of the heart are sensitive to emotional stress irrespective of the age, gender or fitness level. Chronic work stress (greater efforts with lower rewards) is linked to low HRV during work, leisure and sleep. Psychosocial stress is not harmful but if it continues for a long time it affects cardiovascular health.
HRV Measurements & Stress
HRV measurements are useful tools in measuring stress in real-life situations along with subjective evaluation of stress. Different emotions affect HRV in different ways-anger and hostility produce a sympathetically dominated HRV while appreciation puts HRV at the other end of the spectrum. In general, those who have a positive outlook in life experience less overall stress. There are also solid evidences that physical symptoms of stress are linked negatively to workplace effectiveness. When HRV improves productivity at workplace too increases. There are also proofs that individuals with stage 1 and 2 BP can regulate BP levels taking it to normal readings without the help of medication when they regulate HRV. Finetuning our emotional response can have a positive impact on our response to stress. By controlling HRV it is possible to wash away the negative spirits of people who require help with their problems of stress, depression and anxiety.
Orthostatic stress involves measuring vital parameters when the individual is lying flat with face facing up (supine) or sitting relaxed or standing upright. HR and HRV measurements taken during this time are highly capable of predicting chronic stress levels of an individual. The blood volume is redistributed when a person changes positions, systolic BP decreases and HR increases reaching its peak value some 15 seconds after standing up. Orthostatic HR is the difference between the HRs at supine rest and standing positions. If HR in lying position is 56 and at standing position is 80 the orthostatic HR is 24 beats per minute (bmp). As there are no proper guidelines to perform orthostatic test its up to the individual to decide upon a dedicated time of day and perform the test in the same way to measure HR. Measuring orthostatic HR is not an easy task for working professionals as they can miss out on test schedules or abstain from protocols that can lead to inconclusive test results.
The patent here provides a method for measuring stress by measuring a HR component, a HRV component and an activity level component with an assessment system at a plurality of times. The values are measured to determine whether they are predetermined relationships. If there is any deviation from normal relationships there is every possibility of the presence of stress in the individual. The method also has a provision to measure stress by detecting activity level and measuring HR with a system configured for attachment to an exposed region of the body of the individual. Thirdly, there is a method for measuring stress that includes detecting provocations and measuring HR with a system configured for attachment to an exposed region of a body of a user. The invention provides the patient with an apparatus for measuring orthostatic HR and HRV in the individual without any patient required to follow a set of protocols for an accurate reading. Daily stress levels are obtained as a combination of HR and HRV, HRV and provocation, HR and activity level, HR and provocation and provocation and activity.
As the invention takes measurements at automatically designated times there is no requirement that the patient sacrifices a separate time period for performing the orthostatic test. This helps the patient refrain from missed test measurements, helps him/her go about with the daily routine but also measure stress levels and establish a trend in these stress levels. Identifying such a trend helps in identifying and preventing serious heart ailments. If there are abnormal stress levels experienced there can be a mobile phone application that gets automatically initiated thereby calling in someone for medical assistance. The patent was published on July 2nd, 2015 and for more details on the patent do visit any of the following sites:
United States Patent and Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22measuring+chronic+stress%22&OS=
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20150702&CC=US&NR=2015182129A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US142540147&_cid=P11-JXX6BW-17739-1
Tension and stress have become a part and parcel of life which means that hypertension and anxiety-related issues have also become unanimous with our day-to-day lives. Such high statistical numbers of hypertension and impaired blood glucose levels (both of which are serious risk factors for cardiovascular diseases) not only call for effective treatment options but also brings about the need for highly potent preventive methods. BP guidelines saw a change in 2017 and high blood pressure is termed as one that shows systolic blood pressure (SBP) of at least 130 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) of at least 90 mmHg. We live in a world where one in every fourth adult is hypertensive. That’s predominantly due to our current lifestyle and we do have studies showing that diet plays a compelling role in our blood pressure levels besides having a greater impact on body weight.
Lifestyle Changes that Can Change Your Life
Hypertension exists as a dangerous risk factor for stroke, CVD, peripheral arterial disease and death. The very first recommendation by physicians to control high BP levels include a convincing change in diet such as reduced salt consumption, alcohol restrictions, weight control, increased physical activity and hearty fruits and vegetables consumption. We have data from multiple studies that have seriously researched on the effects of diet, especially one rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) consumption such as olive oil and its immediate effect on hypertension. Olive oil has much of oleic acid (MUFA) almost between 55 and 85% of total fatty acids and this was the foundation for a strong health claim and potential benefits established on olive oil around 2004. But we do have results showing the positive effects of bioactive compounds called polyphenols that are abundant in virgin and extra-virgin olive oil. All this being said, olive oil remains an integral part of a Mediterranean diet-a diet which is highly recommended for protecting cardiovascular health. Born in the Mediterranean regions, this diet that potentially favors the consumption of olive oil clearly fails to bring onto us clarity on the very fact whether the impact on blood pressure moderations are solely due to olive oil present in the diet or whether it is the total impact of the diet a whole. Studies have taken up this concern and assessed whether consumption of olive oil reduced blood pressure in adults without any history of CVD.
Olive Oil & Impact on CVD
A meta-analysis was carried out using basic criteria-the individual participating must be above 18 years of age without any previous cardiovascular event, the intervention diet enriched with olive oil was consumed for 12 weeks vs diet enriched with other fat, SBP & DBP outcomes and randomized control trials (RCT). A search was carried out using different combination of keywords that involved both olive oil and hypertension. Two different researchers selected articles independently which was cross-checked by a third researcher and finally there were 872 studies identified. 15 of them were included in the systemic review and meta-analysis. These 15 studies had a total of 6651 participants of whom 3358 had consumed olive oil and the remaining were fed the control diet. While none of the participants suffered from cardiovascular events many of them did have risk factors of CVD-overweight or obesity issues, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and psoriatic arthritis.
Olive oil was served in capsules of 1-6 g/day or in liquid form as extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) between 10ml and 50 ml/day in the form of different diets including the Mediterranean diet. Those studies that included liquid oil used EVOO and those that included capsules used olive oil. The control group consumed different oils including corn oil, soybean oil, etc. Four studies did not administer supplements to the control group and the diets prescribed fulfilled energy requirements in all studies except one where a hypocaloric diet was administered at 1750 kcal/day and 1600 kcal/day for the olive oil and the control group. There was no restriction in physical activity and the groups were even recommended to walk for 30 minutes at least thrice a week. Results showed that:
Different studies support a beneficial effect of olive oil on cardiovascular health while the biggest and long-term ones were carried out in Southern European countries. Olive oil almost reduced mortality rates of CVD by 44% when comparing between consumers and non-consumers. Increase in olive oil consumption decreased the risk of CVD-for every 10 g per 2000 kcal increase the risk decreased by 13%. Another Spanish study showed a 22% decrease in CHD for 28 g/day of olive oil consumption and on an average the risk decreased by 7% for every 10g/d per 2000 kcal. Another cohort study of Italian women showed a significant decrease in CHD risk for the highest quartile of olive oil consumption (almost 32 g/day).
Elder Adults Benefit Too
A study on 31 hypertensive (HT) elderly patients and another 31 normotensive (NT) elderly subjects was conducted and the participants ate a diet rich in sunflower oil (SO) or virgin olive oil (VOO) for 4 weeks. Consumption of VOO decreased total and LDL-cholesterol in NT but not in HT group. Also, inclusion of VOO moderated systolic pressure in the HT group compared to the SO group.
A 1-year trial on 235 men and women aged between 55 and 80 years at high risk of CVD (almost 85% suffered from hypertension) was conducted to study the effects of olive oil. They were either given the Mediterranean diet or the control diet. Participants consuming the Mediterranean diet with EVOO and nuts showed a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure by 2.3- and 2.6-mm Hg respectively whereas a nonsignificant increase of 1.7 mm Hg was observed in the control group. Diastolic pressure showed -1.2, -1.2 and .7 differences in the three groups respectively. After three months of intervention systolic and diastolic pressure reduced significantly in the EVOO and the mixed nuts group compared to the control group. Energy intake from fats was significantly higher in all three diets-almost 43% in the intervention group (EVOO and nuts) and 39% in the control group.
Olive Oil Effect on Hypertensive Women
Yet another study researched on the effect of consumption of polyphenol-rich olive oil on young women with high-normal blood pressure (120-139 mmHg of systolic and 80-89 mmHg of diastolic blood pressure) or stage 1 hypertension (140-159 mmHg of systolic and 90-99 mmHg of diastolic BP). 24 women whose average age was 26 years and BMI around 25.4 completed the study. All the study participants were given a questionnaire on lifestyle information such as dietary habits, smoking, alcohol, physical activity and also were asked on their use of supplements. Before the study the participants experienced a run-in period of 4 months to practice the consumption of a Mediterranean-style diet. Later during the study participants were allocated to the Mediterranean diet that contained polyphenol-rich or polyphenol-free olive oil for 2 months and then by a second dietary 2-month period of the alternate diet that followed after a 4-week washout period. The wash-out and the run-in period had the same diet with the only difference being in dietary fat consumption. Sunflower or corn oil was given during washout/run-in period while polyphenol-rich virgin olive oil and polyphenol-free virgin olive oil (60 ml) was provided for the study period. No supplements were allowed and the participants were asked to maintain a daily food record.
BP and ischemia-reactive hyperemia (IRH) and blood samples were taken after the run-in period and after the polyphenol-rich and polyphenol-free olive oil diets. Results showed that systolic and diastolic BP levels decreased after the polyphenol-rich olive oil but were not impacted by the polyphenol-free olive oil diet after two months. All the participants had systolic BP reading of 140 mmHg or less and 22 of the 24 participants had a diastolic BP of 90 mmHg or less. Its been evident that even a reduction of 5 mmHg in systolic BP and 3 mmHg in diastolic BP reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality risk up to 20%. Hence, consumption of a diet rich in polyphenol-rich olive oil decreases hypertension risk significantly.
Effects of Olive Oil on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review-http://grasasyaceites.revistas.csic.es/index.php/grasasyaceites/article/view/1740/2336
Olive Oil & health Effects: https://www.ocl-journal.org/articles/ocl/full_html/2014/05/ocl140029/ocl140029.html
Virgin Olive Oil Reduces Blood Pressure in Hypertensive Elderly Subjects: https://www.clinicalnutritionjournal.com/article/S0261-5614(04)00024-X/fulltext
Olive Oil Polyphenols Decreases Blood Pressure & Improves Endothelial Function in Young Women with Mild Hypertension: https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/25/12/1299/231681
Go Nuts & Go Extra Virgin Olive Oil: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.114.03506
Patent: Personalized Vitamin Supplement
A well-balanced meal offers the necessary nutrients required for good health. Our forefathers did not suffer from depleted nutrients or face troubles with disorders/illnesses owing to lack of nutrient intake despite being restricted to a limited variety of foods opposed to what we have today-a plethora of food choices and a plethora of diseases/illnesses accompanying them. Such drastic differences in quality of life and health arise due to unavailability of enriched nutrients in the foods we eat and grow-pesticides and insecticides rule over farming, hybrids are grown and adulteration is present in every nook and corner of the food production-consumption chain. The same veggies and fruits that we eat nowadays lack the freshness and health of those that were grown during earlier days. Insufficient nutrients intake, lack of healthy foods and power of processed foods have led to a society which is dominated by weight control issues, nutritional deficiencies and a growing number of illnesses.
Dietitians and nutritionists play a pivotal role in our lives nowadays as we have forgotten how to lead a healthy life. Our lifestyles are haphazard, portion control is well forgotten and fast foods have misled us in every aspect of life. These RDNs develop customized meal plans to meet their client’s nutritional needs. Meal plans are created based on the client’s daily food habits, familial history, health history, fitness regimen and health status. In general, diets are well-balanced and it’s the portions that witness greater changes. But when the client is put on specific diets that their health/illnesses demand, he/she might require supplements to compensate for the lack of food elements necessary for health and well-being. Nutritional issues crop up most probably during pregnancy stage where the pregnant woman requires different vitamins, iron and other nutrients that vary in composition for the healthy development of the fetus; vegetarians might lack in iron levels and omega-3 fatty acids which is majorly found in fish and a familial history of Alzheimer’s disease might indicate a need for vitamin E.
The invention in this patent provides a method of collecting data to provide a personalized nutrition recommendation to the user by getting input from a sensor and an interface of a wearable electronic device of the user. Both, physiological and environmental factors are measured by the electronic device to arrive at results for the input. A processor connected to the sensor and the interface comes up with nutritional deficiencies based on the input. Based on these nutritional deficiencies the processor suggests a personal supplement recommendation for the user.
The food consumed by the user is either entered manually along with the calorie details and quantity, it might be captured as an image where the wearable device calculates calories or could be input into the wearable device from one or more wirelessly connected devices. Exercise and activity levels too can be done likewise-enter manually, calculate using wearable electronic device or receive as an input from the user’s smartphone. Details on the user’s waste excretion, sun exposure and sweat are noted, sleep levels and their details such as time of sleep, time of wake and tossing and turning during sleep (indicates poor sleep quality) are measured, entered or downloaded into the wearable electronic device. The system takes all these details into account and calculates a supplement recommendation that is taken once or twice a day. The time of day when the supplements must be taken is also decided based upon its effect on sleepiness/wakefulness, nausea and their interaction with other medications.
The system even gives suggestions of foods that can replace the need for some of the nutrients in the supplement. For example, a glass of orange juice reduces the need for adding vitamin C in the supplement. But any failure in meeting these demands immediately brings out a pop up suggesting an appointment with the physician. The supplement here would help individuals ensure that their body is equipped with the proper nutrients in proper quantities. It prevents the occurrence of illnesses/diseases related to these nutritional deficiencies as our body is constantly monitored and the suggestions given precisely-either in the form of foods that can compensate for certain nutrients or as supplements that keep nutrient needs in balance. The patent was published on 25/5/2017 and for intricate details on the invention please visit any of the below-given reference sites.
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=%22personalized+vitamin+supplement%22&OS=
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20170525&CC=US&NR=2017148348A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US197693563&redirectedID=true
A large population of the world comprises of senior citizens and WHO statistics show that this proportion of elderly population is all set to increase from 12% to 27% by 2050. Age is just a number and we don’t have definite characteristics associated with different age groups but WHO sets the start of 65 years as old age, the period between 65 and 74 y is early elderly and 75+ is considered to be late elderly. We all love to age gracefully with good health and healthy ageing is possible when we abide by consumption of nutrient-rich foods, daily activity, regular exercising and a stress-reduced lifestyle. Now that life expectancy is on the rise all that we must strive hard is to improve quality of life in the elderly population. Ageing brings with it an increased risk of chronic diseases, cognitive decline and decreased functional ability. We are aware that chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and hypertension are widely due to the mistaken food choices. We now have research showing that cognitive dysfunction (a common neurodegenerative disease in the elderly population) is greatly impacted by dietary choices.
Cognitive Impairment & Dementia
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are more common than before and every year almost 10-15% of the elderly population with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) succumb to the fate of dementia making MCI a serious risk factor for dementia. Its been predicted that dementia would be the numero uno cause of disability in the elderly population worldwide. Such health problems do affect the quality of life of the elderly population debilitating their independent survival making them a prisoner to their life.
Refraining from adapting a diverse choice of dietary foods affects MCI and quality of life of older people. Soy is a nutrient that has gained popularity in recent times, especially in the Asian countries. Soy-based foods are rich in soy isoflavones and studies on their positive impact on osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration shows that soy could have a definite impact on improving cognitive function in menopausal women (this group has been using soy-based supplements for health benefits since quite a long time).
Impact of Soy-based Foods on Cognitive Function in Taiwan Citizens (NAHSIT Study)
Citizens above the age of 65 were included in the study whose dietary assessment that included a 24-bour dietary recall and a food frequency questionnaire (SFFQ) was taken. The questionnaire included intake and portion size of six major food groups including cereals, legumes/eggs/fish, meat, milk, vegetables, fruits and oils). Cognitive health was measured and quality of life (physical and mental health-related questions were given) was assessed. The total number of participants included 1,105 of which almost 85.6% of them consumed soy-based foods.
Age, gender and educational level are strong determinants for cognitive dysfunction while diet is a strong factor for procrastinating cognitive impairment. The study showed that soy-based foods had different effects on cognitive risk on different age groups and these seemed to reduce cognitive impairment from 65 to 80 years of age who had low education levels. We also have supporting evidences from a Japanese study that showed that Mediterranean diet helped in improving cognitive ability in elderly Japanese citizens and one important point to note here is that dietary soy is one of the characteristics of a Mediterranean diet. The present study showed that soy isoflavones improve cognitive function (mostly visual memory and summary cognitive function) by binding to an estrogen receptor. A decade back we had researchers quoting that estrogen decreased the risk of cognitive disorders thereby increasing quality of life. Cognitive impairment is negatively associated with consumption of soy-based foods and now that we know it is possible to make dietary recommendations based on the same.
We have numerous studies done on the Western population and also the Mediterranean diet that includes higher intake of fruits, veggies, whole grains and olive oil suitable for cognitive health has been tried and tested upon Western populations. Research on non-Western populations are negligible. A study was conducted in Japan- a country whose dietary habits including consumption of rice, soybean products, fish, seaweed and green tea-whose eating habits are in startling contrast to those followed in Western countries.
635 elderly Japanese individuals participated in the study whose dietary patterns were analyzed using a self-administered questionnaire that probed into the frequency of consumption of certain foods, cooking methods used and the dietary behavior involved. Cognitive and functional status was assessed focusing on nine important cognitive domains namely attention, concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visuoconstructional skills, conceptual thinking, calculations and orientation using a Japanese version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-J). Scores were between 0 and 30 with lower scores indicating lower cognitive functionality and higher scores showing higher cognition.
Age, sex, education levels, smoking habits, medical history of chronic disease, frequency of going outdoors, diabetes and blood pressure measurements were taken. Three dietary patterns were identified and named according to the food group that was prominently present:
Factor 1 (Plant foods and fish group): green and dark yellow vegetables, other veggies, soy products, mushrooms, seaweeds, potatoes, fruits, salad vegetables, fish, green tea and pickled vegetables. These individuals were mostly women who were highly educated, living in Western-rural areas, frequently visit outdoor places, less likely to smoke, drink or suffer from hypertension. This group was positively correlated with intake of protein, fat, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and minerals.
Factor 2 (Rice and miso group): High positive loading for rice and miso soup with high negative loading for bread, oils, fats and ice creams. Individuals in this group were men, current smokers, likelier to drink alcohol, live in Western-rural areas, have low education, less frequent travelers and mostly suffer from diabetes. This group was positively correlated with intake of carbohydrates but negatively correlated with intake of fats, saturated fatty acids (SA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), PUFA and vitamins A, E and C.
Factor 3 (Animal foods): High positive loadings for seasoning, shellfish, chicken, red meats, fish, seafoods and processed meats. Individuals in this group were likelier to drink alcohol, suffer from hypertension and have a higher BMI. This group was positively correlated with intake of protein, fat, MUFA, PUFA, vitamins A, E, B6, and B12 and minerals but negatively correlated with carbohydrates.
While the ‘plant foods and fish group’ was positively associated with the MoCA-J score the ‘Rice and miso group’ was associated with a lower MoCA-J score. There was no association between the ‘Animal foods grou[‘ and the MoCA-J score. These associations were cross checked by running dietary patterns for women and men separately and once again by excluding 186 subjects who reported varied changes in diet for some reason or the other-all of them reported the same with respect to the MoCA-J score as previously found. Results show that Factor 1 is better associated with improved cognitive function in older Japanese men and women due to better MoCA-J score and this dietary pattern has similarities with the Mediterranean diet. This study and evidence from other studies clearly shows that a dietary pattern associated with a greater intake of vegetables, soy products, seaweed, fruits and fish with lower intake of rice, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages has the potential to preserve cognitive function in elderly Japanese individuals.
Tofu Consumption Inversely Related to Cognitive Performance in Elderly People in China
While we do have studies supporting the positive effect of soy foods on cognition there ae also an equal number of them which reject soy consumption. One typical example is the study on tofu consumption among the elderly population in China. The study included 517 participants who were asked to fill a food frequency questionnaire which contained questions on their consumption of foods such as breads, rice, juice, green vegetable, red/orange vegetables, meat, tofu and tempeh and the frequency of consumption was calculated on a weekly basis. Cognitive tests were done on all participants who were put into three different groups depending on their results-no cognitive impairment (NCI), MCI and dementia. Cognitive performance was measured between volunteers who ate tofu and those who did not.
Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) was used to score cognitive abilities and in this study, higher intake of tofu was negatively associated with learning ability and immediate memory performance on HLVT. Also, in those individuals above 68 years of age a higher increase in tofu consumption was a potential risk factor for dementia risk. Similar results were observed in the Indonesia study where higher tofu intake was related to decreased memory skills. Also, being a meat-eater decreased the risk of dementia by four-folds but we do have studies that show that meat eaters were at a double risk of suffering from dementia. This contradiction might be because of the fact that meat contains saturated fats that’s a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and risk factors for CVD are also risk factors for dementia. Also, meat contains cobalamin which helps in reducing homocysteine levels.
Such contradictory results show that a moderation of different food intake is recommended for elderly population-one that contains little protein, tofu and meats and aplenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains for well-being and health.
Soy-based foods are negatively associated with cognitive decline in Taiwan’s elderly: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/64/5/64_335/_pdf/-char/en
Association between dietary pattern and cognitive function: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-017-0273-2
Tofu intake associated with poor cognitive performance among elderly in China: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264712315_Tofu_Intake_is_Associated_with_Poor_Cognitive_Performance_among_Community-Dwelling_Elderly_in_China
Mitigating nutrition and health deficiencies in older adults: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1750-3841.13674
Immediately after the birth of a baby the gynecologist notes down the baby’s vital statistics such as birth weight, height, head circumference, mode of delivery (normal or C section) and APGAR score. He/she also lists down the vaccination shots that must be administered to the infant at different stages of the child’s development cycle. Nowhere does the doc ask for the parent’s permission to write down these details and it goes as an unwritten rule that vaccination must be given to the baby for his/her well-being. This has been the scenario for quite a long time but since the 1990s there have been growing concerns over the reestablishment of the anti-vaccine ideologies by a section of the population who started questioning the adeptness and safety of the vaccines. But every reaction does have a background action and the cause for such a reaction among public over vaccination efficiency could be linked to the 1998 incident-where the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine was blamed as the cause for autism. But a single incident cannot determine the course of action of millions of parents. When probed into this, researchers were able to classify the reasons given by parents into four basic categories-religious reasons, personal beliefs or philosophical reasons, safety concerns and a desire for more explanation from the healthcare provider. A hesitation to vaccinate grows from social norms, beliefs in science and the attitude of the individual towards vaccination which makes more and more parents either skip vaccination or delay the process. When we better understand the reasons for parental hesitancy and the decision to stay away from vaccination healthcare providers can take steps to minimize this unrest in parents and eliminate the hesitancy in providing the safety measure needed to safeguard their little ones altogether.
Establishing Beliefs Over Life-Saving Vaccines
Grave diseases such as polio and smallpox have been eliminated in many countries in the past two centuries due to effective vaccination programs and there is a definite decrease in mortality and morbidity rates of infectious diseases too which is due to high rates of vaccination coverage (more than 95%). Most physicians today haven’t witnessed a case of measles or diphtheria and the public aren’t scared anymore of polio attacks that can leave their kids with debilitating disabilities. But our glorious years are fast dulling away and decreased vaccine intake is showing its true color on the society. In 2017 alone measles attacked 21,315 people causing 35 deaths (WHO reports)-15 of the 53 European countries witnessed this outbreak, Italy staying among the top orders. This means that vaccination coverage has slipped below 95% (minimum coverage required to maintain herd immunity) in many regions of the world reopening cases of infectious diseases. Though statistics show that vaccination coverage is above 95% in developed countries recent studies show a different picture-1 in 8 children <2 years old are under-vaccinated in the United States due to the choice of their parents.
Beliefs Shadowed by Doubts Over Vaccination Benefits
Its true that some children cannot be vaccinated due to certain medical conditions, some areas don’t have ready availability of essential vaccines and some people are not aware of the benefits of these vaccines but now increasing number of kids are not vaccinated due to the conscious decision of their parents. While refusal remains on one side some parents resist or delay vaccination irrespective of the availability of the vaccine and this is termed as ‘vaccine hesitancy’. Some parents refuse certain vaccines but accept certain others. Most of them are hesitant to try newer vaccines and healthcare providers play a critical role here. There are numerous studies that have promoted the important role of physicians’ attitude and knowledge, their intention to advise parents for choosing vaccination and playing a vital role in the decision-making process regarding vaccination.
Parents are the key players here as they determine the decision against vaccination but kids are the key victims here as they are the ones affected by the decision. Parents these days are overprotective of their children, interfere in every aspect of the child’s development and live with a feeling that they are extremely capable of bringing up their child as excellent adults without the need for vaccines or other interventions. Some parents cannot see their child suffer through the vaccination day but avoiding vaccines too puts their children at a high risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. They give justifications in terms of side effects of vaccination (such as swelling, fever or rashes) and use these to decide against vaccination. Some decide against vaccination depending on the consequences of the decision to previously vaccinate their kids. Both, psychological and social factors relate to vaccine hesitancy of parents and studies have been conducted to detect the factors affecting the decision of parent with regards to vaccination.
Psychological & Social Factors Determining Parental Involvement
Parents make decisions regarding vaccination influenced by their strong views on others. Several factors determine their choice of action regarding vaccination:
Parents love to do what is best for their kid and every action taken by them mostly comes after deep thinking and consideration. Many studies have probed into the reasons why parents deny, hesitate or delay vaccination process and one study saw 77% parents reporting that they had concerns regarding one or more childhood vaccinations. When healthcare providers are better informed about the various reasons quoted by parents for choosing not to vaccinate, they can take better steps to educate the parents to choose vaccination.
Most common reasons quoted by many parents according to a study include:
Religious reasons: This is the strongest and most difficult reason to resolve as this does not erupt as a result of ignorance but is an informed choice where the parent understand the nuances of the situation still chooses to go against vaccination quoting staunch convictions. Those quoting this mostly completely refuse to vaccinate rather than hesitate. Many who believe in religious reasons mostly quote the use of gelatin (animal-based) in producing vaccines or the use of human fetus tissue (as in rubella) primarily as their concern.
Personal beliefs or philosophical reasons: Some parents believe that acquiring natural immunity is the best way to safeguard their children against diseases. They see benefits in allowing certain preventable diseases from attacking their children as this allows the child to develop natural immunity. Some parents believe that most of the diseases that fall under vaccination category are rarely present and that their kids are at a minimal risk of contracting them. They feel that the side effects of vaccination outweigh the benefits. Some parents don’t see preventable diseases to be life-threatening and wish to avoid the addition of extra chemicals into the child’s body. Others feel that a healthy diet and an active lifestyle puts their children at a minimal risk of diseases.
Safety Concerns: The media, Internet and social sites constantly come up with one news or the other that makes the parent question the safety of the vaccinations dispensed. Many of the reports are sensationalized and the media often brings into limelight the rarest of the rare effect that’s happened on a child and takes it on a mainstream debate which makes the parent hesitate to vaccinate the kid. Some parents feel that administering multiple vaccines simultaneously is not safe for the child’s immune system and hence delay the vaccination schedule.
Desire for Additional Information: Many parents wish for a much more elaborate explanation regarding vaccinations. They wish to know both the advantages and disadvantages of the process and then make an informed choice. Some feel their healthcare provider to be non-approachable hich makes them decide against vaccination as they are unaware of its side effects. One study showed that 81.7% parents reported their child’s healthcare provider as the most important source of information. When they fail to meet their expectations, these parents seek for information elsewhere and are often misled resulting in poor decision-making abilities.
Arguments Against Vaccination
There are several arguments against vaccination that include:
Parents with lower education levels were likelier to vaccinate whereas parents with higher education levels were much concerned about the safety of vaccination on their children. Many parents believe that vaccine preventable diseases are not a threat to their children as they no longer exist and there is no need for their children to be vaccinated as they assume that their children will benefit from herd immunity. One research shows that 18% physicians suggested only strongly recommended vaccinations while 47.5% said that it was the physician who advised them against vaccination. Many parents did admit that 79.5% physicians were for choosing vaccination and provided satisfactory information regarding vaccination.
While hesitations to vaccinate do exist most of the families abide by the norms of vaccination. A recent study shows that 88% agree that advantages of vaccination outweigh the risks. While those stories that had caused infections or death risks are the ones that attract attention there is no harm in posting your vaccine-positive stories on social media. Antivaccine movements have not gained prominence but they are slowly evolving. Advocating for vaccination is also not all that easy. The situation calls for the help of subject experts who are best suited to explain the benefits of vaccination and provide a platform to help individuals realize its benefits.
At the end of the day every parent wants to offer the most secure, safe and best future for their children. Healthcare providers must sit down with these parents and discuss every concern of the parent and guide him/her to make the right decision regarding vaccination-to vaccinate. Health education is the best way to curb vaccine hesitation in parents and improve overall vaccine coverage rates.
Parental Decision Making on Childhood Vaccination: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6008886/#B33
Exploring the Reasons Behind Parental Refusal of Vaccines: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4869767/
Vaccine Rejection & Hesitancy: A Review & Call to Action: https://academic.oup.com/ofid/article/4/3/ofx146/3978712
Vaccine Hesitancy: An Overview on Parents’ opinions about Vaccination & Possible Reasons of Vaccine Refusal: https://www.jphres.org/index.php/jphres/article/view/1436/461
Optic nerve is a bundle of more than 1 million nerve fibers that carry visual messages and there is one connecting the back of each eye to the brain. The optic nerve carries signals from the eye to the brain and the brain in turn converts these signals into images. These nerves are indispensable to vision, brightness perception, color identification and any damage to an optic nerve can end you with loss of vision. When there is lack of proper blood flow to the optic nerve the nerve is devoid of nutrition and oxygen which prevents it from performing its functions properly and finally dies out. Optic neuropathy is a medical disorder that deals with visual impairment related to optic nerve damage. The condition progresses gradually starting as a change in color vision, blurring and finally total damage to vision leading to blindness. There are many types of optic neuropathy and many reasons behind each of the types.
First there is toxic optic neuropathy which is nerve damage due to the presence of toxic compounds such as methanol or certain other antibiotics. Then there is nutritional optic neuropathy which is the result of certain nutritional deficiencies (most common is B-vitamin deficiency that includes thiamin, niacin, riboflavin or folic acid deficiency). Nutritional optic neuropathy is treatable by increasing the nutrient intake of the deficient nutrient. For example, if niacin or folic acid deficiency is causing the problem dispensing supplements for these nutrients can solve the problem.
Retinopathy is another optic disorder where there is damage in the retina of the eye due to various reasons which form the basis for the various types of retinopathy-diabetic retinopathy, hypertensive retinopathy and genetic retinopathy. Another important optic disorder is macular degeneration which involves loss of vision due to damage to the center of the retina (macula). Vitamin supplements can only diminish the progress of the disease which doesn’t have any other treatment options otherwise. Dry eye syndrome is also commonly seen in individuals who suffer from decreased tear production and is characterized by dryness and irritation of the eye.
We all require folate and this nutrient is added in the form of folic acid to cereals and foods making them folic acid-enriched. But sadly, folic acid is not good enough directly as a nutrient but there is a need to convert it into a metabolically active form of folate. But this folic acid metabolism that happens with the help of vitamin B3 doesn’t happen accurately in almost 50% of the individuals. So, even if the individual eats leafy greens and pumps in enough folic acid, he/she still lacks sufficient folate. Apart from vitamin B3 we need adequate quantities of vitamin B12 too for folate metabolism apart from being integral to nerve repair and nerve health.
Foods fortified with folic acid are on the rise, a single slice of bread supplies around 5-10% of the daily folic acid needs and a bowl of rice fortified with folic acid supplies around 10-20% of the daily requirements. This sometimes causes deposits of excess folic acid in individuals-maybe double or triple more than the quantity required. Such excess availability of folic acid does seem to be detrimental to health. More the amount of unmetabolized folic acid present in the blood lesser is the ability of methylfolate to cross the cell membrane along with other side effects such as increased risk of cancer, abnormal cell growth, depression, neurological complications and decreased immune response. The invention patented here aims at treating optic nerve disorders in non-folic acid-deficient organisms using a downstream folate compound and also to improve visual acuity in non-folic acid-deficient (a person who does not suffer from folic acid deficiency) organisms. This invention has been successful in treating patients with neuropathy, retinopathy, macular degeneration and other ocular pathologies by giving downstream folate compounds, vitamin B6, vitamin B3 and reducing consumption of folic acid. The invention mainly aims to use downstream folate compounds to minimize the interruption of environmental, genetic, lifestyle or medication-related factors and thereby alleviate the risk of optic disorders that can be caused due to any of these factors. The invention was tested on various subjects for a varied number of optic nerve-related conditions and all the tests proved the following things:
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=5&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=241&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=nutrition&s2=diet&OS=nutrition+AND+diet&RS=nutrition+AND+diet
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20180201&CC=US&NR=2018028556A1&KC=A1
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US73445379&_cid=P11-JXLQ4Q-69387-1
The yummy Kellogg’s ad, the mouth-watering chocos ad or the colorful muesli ad tricks even adults into buying these cereals. Breakfast cereals are the most popular choices for breakfast preferred by school-going children as it is easy to eat, much sugary and doesn’t bore you. Almost 9 of every 10 kids in UK eat these cereals for breakfast. Our traditional choices for breakfast such as idli, dosa, omelettes and French toast have been replaced with a bowl of cereal and a glass of fruit juice. The meal sounds simple and easy on the weight but rising obesity rates prove otherwise. Almost 2 billion people are overweight/obese which makes obesity a public health epidemic that can cause debilitating effects on the health of the individual. A disease that was restricted to developed countries only a couple of decades back, obesity which exists at the other extreme end of the malnutrition scale is a serious health problem in developing countries as well. Obesity has become a grave threat to humans that we are standing at a juncture where US children might suffer from a shorter lifespan compared to their parents. The days are not far off when the scenario attacks other countries as well.
In 2015, a total of 107.7 million children and 603 million adults were obese and although prevalent rates of obesity are still lower in kids (5% in kids compared to 12% in adults) compared to adults the rate of increase of childhood obesity in children is greater than the rate of increase in adults. Obesity is bad for health-both mental and physical. It increases the risk of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, different cancers and cardiovascular disease as well as pushes a person into depression, isolation, lack of self-esteem and social withdrawal.
Breakfast & BMI
Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day but sadly many of us skip this meal mostly despite realizing the meal’s role in sustaining micronutrients and macronutrients. This practice of skipping started around the mid-1960s and the proportion of adults skipping breakfast increased from 14 to 25% quoting lack of time to prepare and excess body weight. Breakfast and BMI are inversely related to each other. Those who eat breakfast normally have a lower BMI and obese individuals generally skip breakfast or eat very little of it.
Worldwide, the problem exists and it is not restricted to certain parts of the world. China and India have the highest number of obese children, in Brazil and Columbia almost 36-41% of the population is overweight and in Mexico, almost 26% children aged between 5 and 12 are obese. Obesity rates were lowest among kids in Bangladesh. So, what causes such increase in obesity rates among different countries? Several studies have identified increased intake of dietary fat as the major contributor towards increase in body fats. Increased fat content in meals contribute towards increased energy values without any nutrients. The first step sought after in any weight loss measure is to decrease dietary fat which apart from losing weight also helps to maintain low cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood, reduce leptin concentration, reduced insulin resistance and lower cardiovascular and diabetes risk.
Increasing carbohydrate to fat ratio reduces the energy density of the diet and this can be achieved by various means the most famous of which is to increase cereal consumption to improve carbohydrate to fat ratio-this has already been proved in adults and one study tried to show that an increase in dietary carbohydrates from ready-to-eat-cereals (RTEC) is an effective treatment for weight loss in overweight/obese children. The study also probed into the effect of the inclusion of a nutrition program and also whether intake of RTEC alone or in combination with the nutrition program bore better advantages.
Cereal Intake, Nutrition Lesson & their Effect on Weight Loss
Overweight is defined as a BMI-for age at or above the 95th percentile in children and in the study that looked into the effect of cereal on weight loss children above the 85th percentile was enrolled into the study. If a child has a value between 85th and 95th percentile then he/she is at a risk for overweight issues. 905 children were screened among which 17% were between 85th and 95th percentile and 18% were above the 95th percentile. Only 178 participants completed the study and they were assigned to one of the four treatment methods randomly.
Method 1: Served one serving of RTEC at breakfast
Method 2: Served two servings of RTEC, one at breakfast and one at dinner
Method 3: One serving of RTEC at breakfast and both, the mother and child received a nutrition guide that helps teaching people to eat nutritious foods
Method 4: No treatment was offered
The study was for 12 weeks and the kids were asked to choose between four types of RTEC-corn-based, pre-sweetened corn-based, pre-sweetened corn-based chocolate flavored and pre-sweetened rice-based chocolate flavored. The pre-sweetened RTEC was allowed only thrice a week for every child and for the remaining days the kid chose only from a corn based RTEC. As a part of the nutrition program sessions were conducted every week for parents (mothers mostly) and dietary recommendations were given by nutritionists which suggested including lots of whole grains, cereals, lettuce, veggies, fruits, low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, pasta, rice and cereal.
Fasting blood samples of the children were taken before and after the study, physical activity questionnaires were filled by the mother before and after the study, percent fat and fat-free mass were calculated, LDL and HDL were calculated from total cholesterol and BMI and BMI percentile were calculated.
Results showed that after 12 weeks of intervention:
Meta-analysis of various studies shows that children who consume breakfast and breakfast cereal have a significantly lower mean BMI and are less likely to be overweight/obese compared to kids who rarely/don’t eat breakfast cereal.
The various nutrients present in a breakfast cereal make it an integral source of health fulfilling vitamin, minerals, antioxidants and phytoestrogen needs. Cross sectional studies on the effects of breakfast cereal on kids and adolescents showed that those kids who eat breakfast cereal regularly have lower daily cholesterol intakes, are less likely to have vitamin and mineral intakes below recommended daily levels and have better overall nutrient scores. Breakfast cereals are nutrient-rich and don’t take much of your time which makes them an integral part of a balanced diet when we ensure that the cereal that we eat are not sugar-laden and rich in empty calories.
An increase of cereal intake as an approach to weight reduction in children is effective only when accompanied with nutrition education: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-7-28
Does regular breakfast cereal consumption help children and adolescents stay slimmer? https://www.karger.com/article/FullText/348878
Health effects of overweight & obesity in 195 countries over 25 years: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1614362#t=article
The benefits of breakfast cereal consumption: https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/5/5/636S/4565784
Chronic diseases are the No.1 causes of death and disability worldwide and by 2020, we would witness an increase in death rates by 73% and global disease rates by 60% due to these. The death and disease rates are accelerating at jet speed and 79% of all deaths occurring in developing countries are due to chronic diseases. Any condition that lasts for more than a year limiting dairy routines and requiring medical attention can be classified as a chronic disease and the four prominent ones include cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These diseases are not a curse of nature but the irony of nurture! They are the result of highly preventable risk factors such as overweight/obesity, smoking, increased blood pressure levels, high cholesterol, improper lifestyle routines, unhealthy eating habits that include meagre consumption of fruits and vegetables and excessive alcohol use. So, if you have any, many or all of these risk factors does it mean that you have a chronic disease? Maybe, maybe not! We cannot be sure but the chances are that your risk for any of these diseases is extremely high in such scenarios.
Getting yourself tested, blood checked and levels monitored seems to be the right way to safeguard your health but not many who have paved way for these risk factors in life are active enough to get themselves tested every once a while! Chronic diseases are expressed by episodic worsening of clinical symptoms. Starting the individual on preventive treatment is extremely important to minimize overall side effects, reduce required medications and dosages and curb death rates. So, when do we start preventive treatment? As soon as the individual presents with clinical symptoms as this prevents advancements of the disease to a point of no-return, avoids further worsening of the clinical symptoms and reverses the pathophysiological process. Hence, detecting the clinical symptoms as early as possible and watching for pre-episodic indicators help in making the preventive treatment as effective as possible for any of the chronic diseases.
Coming to identifying pre-episodic indicators, its well-known that most of the chronic diseases cause changes in vital signs such as heartbeat and breathing-for example, respiratory problems such as asthma, COPD, cystic fibrosis and sleep apnea directly involve changes in these vital signs. Diseases such as diabetes, epilepsy and heart conditions affect cardiac and breathing activity. Sometimes, coughing and restlessness while sleeping are also indicative of certain other important conditions. Many of the conditions trigger abnormal breathing and heartbeat patterns while staying awake or asleep and this serves as an important platform to identify the diseases during the initial stages with the help of a device or something similar. The invention patented here helps you exactly in this regard. It provides the individual with an option to monitor for the occurrence or recurrence of a chronic illness, monitor for vital signs for detecting the illness and also in the case of certain applications it also suggests treatments in the form of therapy or medication.
The invention is not an application simply to identify chronic diseases but also is helpful for healthy individuals who would love to improve their well-being by optimizing long-term fitness and health, monitoring devices such as smartphones and alarm clocks to minimize their intrusion while maximizing their use in our daily lives and enable the subject to lead a better quality of life.
Prevention is better than cure and this invention follows the proverb to the dot enabling individuals to prevent the delirious consequences of chronic illnesses by identifying them in the initial stages and curbing their hazardous side effects. The invention provides an apparatus for use on a subject who shares the bed with another person and this apparatus consists of a motion sensor to detect motion of the subject without detecting his/her clothes, without contacting the subject and without viewing the subject. There is also a control unit set to identify and differentiate the motion of the subject from that of the second subject. The control unit analyzes the components of the motion signal that were generated in response to the motion of the subject and gives a suitable output response henceforth. For complete details of the invention which was published on 18/12/2014 please refer any of the link given below:
United States Patent & trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=41&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=nutrition&s2=fitness&OS=nutrition+AND+fitness&RS=nutrition+AND+fitness
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US128466036&tab=NATIONALBIBLIO&office=&prevFilter=&sortOption=Relevance&queryString=ALLTXT%3A%28Monitoring+a+sleeping+subject%29&recNum=3&maxRec=23251
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=1&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20160310&CC=WO&NR=2016035073A1&KC=A1
The more we search deeper are the secrets of the human gut. Each day bestows us with surprises regarding the gut microbiota-the microbial communities that inhabit our gastrointestinal tract, especially the large intestine. The gastrointestinal tract is the splendid home to different parasites such as bacteria, fungi, archaea, etc. which occupy the gut as a baby grows up. The gut microbiome has been an attraction since a couple of decades but the last two decades has witnessed a drastic increase in the number of researches done and the microbiome is said to play greater roles beyond the classic diseases such as diabetes and obesity but also cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Microbes are potential sources of novel therapeutics and they have been used in recent times for developing disease-specific diagnostics.
Ancient Diets: Precursors of Prebiotics
Each of us require nutrients such as carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals for growth and development. The world is more concerned about health and inclined towards eating substances such as prebiotics which has been a trigger point for researchers.
Its not wrong to say that the gut microbiome co-evolved with the human evolution and surprisingly some of the nutrients required by the microflora are not needed for the health of the human body. Diet is a critical factor that decides upon the gut microbiome composition which in turn decides upon our health. While prebiotics might be relatively new there is no doubt that our ancient diets did contain precursors of prebiotics. Prebiotics are basically functional food components and one specific group, prebiotic oligosaccharides are become increasingly popular for their beneficial effects on gut health, higher mineral absorption, lower cholesterol levels, etc.
India is known for its diverse cuisines and is a land known for the consumption of home-made foods cooked from a variety of plants (specifically spices, garlic, etc.). Research shows that ancient Indians were consuming prebiotic-rich foods. A distinguished feature of the Indian cuisine that makes it way ahead of the Western cuisine is the concrete use of natural ingredients such as grains, fruits and vegetables that equip our body with prebiotics for a healthy gut functionality. Research studies do support the fact that polyphenol-rich sources such as tea, wine, cocoa and fruits influence the number of bacterial groups within the gut by reducing the number of pathogens. A classic example is that consuming foods such as fruits and veggies reduce the pathogenic Clostridia and enriches the presence of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus in human beings.
Dietary Factors Affecting Gut Microbiome Composition
Any change in dietary pattern affects the gut microbiome. For instance, a change from animal-based to plant-based diet alters gut microbiome composition within 24h of consumption and reverts it back to the original composition within 48h of getting back to the same diet.
India has a rich mix of spices that add flavor and taste to our native dishes. Spices have a use beyond their seasoning effects playing a crucial role in the field of medicine. Spices play a strong role as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antimutagenic agent also reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Spices are most distinguished for their antioxidant property that’s way higher than what’s present in other foods. In a US sample of 1113 food products, 13 of the top 50 products were spices. Oregano, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric secured second, third, fourth and fifth spot respectively. Despite all this, there is not much information existing regarding the effect of culinary spice extracts on intestinal bacteria.
7 Spice Extracts & their Effect on the Gut
Seven culinary spice samples of black pepper (BLP), cayenne pepper (CAP), cinnamon (CIN), ginger (GIN), Mediterranean oregano (ORE), rosemary (ROS) and turmeric (TUR) were extracted by refluxing 7 g of spice powder in 70 ml of water for half an hour. Aqueous extracts are better advantageous than organic extracts and 88 strains of bacteria were included in the study. Every spice is distinguished by the proportion of various chemicals such as phenolic compounds, alkaloids and terpenoids that’s characteristic of the spice. Almost all the spices contained a smaller quantity of phenolic compounds such as ferulic acid, vanillin and rosmarinic acid. Results showed that:
Mixed Spices at Culinary Doses & their Effect on Adults
66 men and women aged 18-65 years were screened for the study and finally 31 of them were enrolled into the study having met the study criteria. This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot study which was divided into two phases: an initial run-in period of 1 week and an intervention period of 2 weeks. All the 31 participants were assigned to one of the two- 5 g capsules of spice mixture containing 1 g (20%) cinnamon, 1.5 g (30%) oregano, 1.5 g (30%) ginger, 0.85 g (17%) black pepper and 0.15 g (3%) cayenne pepper OR 5 g capsules containing maltodextrin daily for 2 weeks after the run-in period. All the participants were instructed on their diet routines and were also allocated a dietitian to monitor it. During both the phases the participants were given a beige diet (low fiber < 10 g and low polyphenols <3 servings of polyphenol rich fruit/vegetables per day). The beige diet typically asked its volunteers to eat foods beige in color, ones that comprise of simple carbs such as white breads/bagels, crackers, granola bars, rice, pasta, yogurt, cereal, dairy, poultry and bananas while avoiding foods rich in polyphenols and fiber. Fruits and veggies were limited to three servings daily and a tracker helped participants follow-up on the produce consumption through the week. After the stipulated 2-week period participants were measured of their height, body weight, body mass index (BMI) and body composition. Fasting blood, stool samples and urine samples were collected from each of the participants.
Placebo group included 4 men and 11 women who had BMI around 26.9±4.5, body fat of 30.0 ±7.9% and aged 36.7±13.3 years. Spice intervention group included 4 men and 10 women who had BMI of 28.2±7.0, body fat of 32.0±12.5% and were aged 34.4±12.5 years. In either of the groups, males had a lower body fat compared to females. At the end of the 2-week intervention period participants in both groups did not witness any change in body weight and body fat percentage. There was even reports of 2 participants complaining of bloating, nausea and stomach discomfort at the beginning of the supplementation. Results showed that:
This study is a clear example that a mixture of spices as culinary doses has an effect on the gut microbiota. So, our ancestors are proven right once again with the positive effects of spices on human health. Include these spices generously in your diet and reap benefits.
Prebiotic Potential and Chemical Composition of Seven Culinary Spice Extracts: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1750-3841.13792
Mixed Spices at Culinary Doses Have Prebiotic Effects in Healthy Adults: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/6/1425/htm
Human Gut Microbiome: https://gut.bmj.com/content/67/9/1716
Prebiotics in Ancient Indian Diets: http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/food_4.pdf
Chocolates, ice creams, pastries, potatoes and juices aren’t exclusively for our little heroes! But, they do choose to eat them over any others. A fluffy paratha or a rainbow-colored sabji doesn’t delight their eyes and all they constantly have an eye on are the crunchy potato wafers, sugary jam and bread or the thick chocolate smoothie. We introduce all types of foods and ingredients right from our child’s early age irrespective of his/her likes/desires. We ensure to make sure that no offensive comments are passed upon certain foods in front of our children and most of all, though we don’t like something we eat it up just because we are our kid’s first role model. Despite their hearty attempts, we fail miserably in our endeavor to nurture a kid whose choices are varied and wide. Welcome to the world of picky eaters!
Picky eating is defined as an unwillingness to eat familiar foods or try new foods so strongly that it disrupts daily routine and impairs parent-child relationship apart from creating enough troubles for the parent and the child individually. This is extremely common in preschool-aged children with almost 14-50% of parents reporting their child to be a picky eater. Rejecting new foods does irritate parents but they are even more devastated when the child shows outright rejection towards familiar foods such as fruits and veggies despising their taste. Such elimination of certain foods does lay the path for restricted dietary choices that have a direct impact on the child’s growth and development which happen at a rapid pace during the child’s early years. Weight gain increases drastically by age 2 and slows down between 2 and 5 years, the period during which the child’s appetite also diminishes. It’s the age during which the kid starts to pick and choose foods, rejects new foods (neophobic), experiences food jags (short term periods of restricted intake) and looks forward to eating specific foods all the time. Such characteristics of neophobia and food jags often are defined by one single term for the kid-picky eater.
Nurture Issues Due to Nutrient Underplay
In children, picky eating is a normal phase in their development process but the same phase becomes worrisome in some of them. The quality of a child’s diet is the sum total of the complementary foods introduced and the child’s eating behavior. A picky eater is always at a high risk of being underweight or overweight as his/her nutrients are commonly compromised. Though parents constantly keep complaining, take extra precautions to ensure that their children don’t grow out to be less healthy than their peers there are not quite many studies that measure growth in children who are picky eaters. One study shows that girls who were picky eaters between 5 and 15 years of age were within recommended weight ranges and unlikely to be overweight or underweight compared to non-picky eaters. This makes us wonder whether picky eating is a safety vest against erratic weight changes leading to obesity or underweight issues, two of the most common conditions attacking children worldwide, but at the expense of compromised nutrition and health?
More than 13,000 children were selected for the study and the parents were sent questionnaires, through post. A single question on picky eating was asked at 38 months and this included “Does your child have definite likes and dislikes as far as food is concerned?” and the suitable responses including Yes/No, quite choosy/Yes, very choosy were also provided. The scores were 0,1 or 2 depending on the response given as not picky, somewhat picky or very picky. Growth data (height, weight, total body fat mass and total body lean mass) was collected every year between the age of 7 and 17 (except at the kid’s 14th and 16th year).
Kids were classified into BMI groups (thin/normal weight/overweight) within the three groups of picky eaters. Datasets were prepared and the height, weight and BMI for both boys and girls tracked along the centile lines when plotted on the growth chart. Results showed that:
High-energy Low-Nutrient Foods
Fussy eaters compensate for their lack of vegetable and fruits intake by consuming other high-energy foods and one study proved that fussy eaters between age 8 and 12 faced higher risk of suffering from overweight as they were keen on eating fast food items comparatively. Such increase in weight puts the child at a risk of cardiovascular problems and emotional problems too. There are several studies that show that fussy eaters have a lower BMI, lower body fat percentage and underweight but quite a few studies could not find any association between fussy eaters and weight changes.
Another study looked into the details of fussy eaters at age 4 and their body mass at age 6. 4191 children participated in the study and each of them were assessed with a Children’s Eating Behavior Questionnaire (CEBQ). Picky eaters scored low on food responsiveness and enjoyment while scoring high on satiety responsiveness, food fussiness and slowness in eating. The same children came over to the research center when they were 6 years old during which height and weight measurements were taken. Each child was put into one of the four categories-underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese according to the measurements. Results of the study showed that:
Perception of Nutrient Intake Among Parents of Picky Eaters
Some studies do show that picky eaters eat less of food rich in nutrients such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, thiamin and dietary fiber these nutrients were not present in inadequate levels in these children. Picky eaters reside everywhere around the world but unlike in most countries, those picky eaters in China eat less of grains too alongside fruits and vegetables. A Chinese study on picky eaters tried to analyze three things:
Parents were asked the question ‘Do you consider your child to be a picky eater’ and if the answer was ‘yes’ another question followed it ‘Which food category does your child avoid eating?’ The final question ‘Do you think your child is overweight, normal or underweight’ was answered by all parents. Almost 28% parents considered their children to be picky eaters and the numbers increased as the kid’s age increased. Nutrition-wise the researchers found no significant difference between picky and non-picky eaters. In 6-11-month-old-infants picky eaters had lower levels of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin C compared to non-picky eaters. Picky toddlers between 24 and 35 months of age consumed greater amounts of fat compared to non-picky eaters.
Results showed that the main food categories avoided by 6-11 month-old picky eaters were milk and dairy products (28%), desserts (20%), bean and bean products (16.7%) and meat (16.7%). Toddlers between 12 and 23 months avoided eating vegetables (33%), grains and grain products (17%) and eggs (15%). Toddlers aged 24-35 months avoided vegetables (50.8%), meat (23.2%) and grains and grain products (10.7%).
Mean intake of eggs and fruits were lower in children reported to avoid these food groups than in non-picky children whereas mean intake of meat was higher in picky eating children whose parents reported that they avoided this food group compared to non-picky eating children. Though picky and non-picky eaters had similar weight status distributions parents were usually likelier to underestimate than overestimate their children’s body weight. And, parents find picky eating to be a problem of first-degree concern despite the fact that nutrient and calorie intake between both the groups did not differ. Such concerned parents generally overfeed their children with energy-dense foods that are calorie-rich resulting in unhealthy feeding practices and weight issues.
Stick with Basics
We don’t have research or long-term studies helping us with techniques to overcome fussy eating practices in kids. Repeatedly exposing the child to different foods without compelling them to eat is one of the critical steps in helping the child accept different foods with an open heart. Parents can involve their children while cooking and also ensure to eat at least a few meals together every week. A parent is a child’s first role model and when the kid sees the parent eating all varieties of food without inhibition the child also becomes tempted to do the same. This helps the child overcome any food-based bias and enjoy a well-balanced meal.
Growth & Body Composition in Children who are Picky Eaters: A Longitudinal View: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41430-018-0250-7
Longitudinal Association between preschool fussy eating and body composition at 6 years of age: https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12966-015-0313-2
Perception of Food Intake & Weight Status Among Parents of Picky Eating Infants & toddlers in China: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019566631630704
Physical pain can be curtailed with meds and beds but mental agony never goes away easily. Though the pills act fast on your pain their side effects need to be recorded and understood. Individuals suffering from pain find solace and peace only after treatment with opioid analgesics like morphine. The onset of such acute pain is sudden and short yet leaves a remarkable mark on the individual undergoing it-it does diminish pain but you also get to experience its side effects such as addiction, somnolescence, tolerance, respiratory depression and constipation frequently.
Chronic pain management is a great public health concern as the use of opioids in pain management has significantly increased. We are not talking about a mild headache or a muscle pull that usually vanish with simple pain killers. In case of severe pain, the physician is bound to prescribe stronger pain meds-basically an opioid. When these are used as directed by the physician it helps in relieving acute pain (such as the aftereffects of a complicated surgery) but it does come with its heavy baggage-risks and complications when not used as per instructions. Opioids are drugs that work by interacting with opioid receptors in your cells and their effects are significantly due to decreased perception of pain, decreased reaction to pain and increased resistance to pain-the meds interact with receptors in the brain cells where these cells send signals that diminish pain and increased pleasure. This pleasure can sometimes become addictive and lead to frequent intake of the meds by the individual seeking solace in the pleasure resulting in an addiction. Also, at high doses the meds have the potential to diminish heart rate and breathing. Morphine, an opioid is made from the poppy plant and so are many other receptors such as Kadian or Contin.
The need of the hour is to come up with new treatments for alleviating pain without any unwanted side effects. We need one that identifies and develops new compounds and compositions that don’t cross the blood-brain barrier but minimize pain without touching the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. A new invention for treating pain patented here includes methods and compositions that comprise of dry powder and so. This invention facilitates pain management without the unwanted side effects such as respiratory depression, addiction, etc. and this makes it indispensable in today’s world as an excellent pain management technique. The composition here can be used for treating pain due to trauma, infection, HIV, small pox infection, some abnormality due to trauma, dental pain, central neuropathy, cancer, congenital defects, phantom limb pain, encephalitis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, muscle pain, tendon pain, ligament pain, pain associated with diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and spasms.
The analgesic composition can comprise of at least one peptide comprising an amino acid sequence of 3-20 amino acids in length, it can comprise of two amino acids that are phenylalanine groups or derivatives thereof. The composition administered to treat pain does its work without or with minimal side effects such as respiratory depression, gastrointestinal distress, addiction, nausea, tolerance, constipation and likewise. The invention is of immense use in practical life as the diseases and illnesses mentioned above are common ones that are frequently witnessed in today’s world. If you are looking for the exact composition of the compound patented here you can read through the entire patent published on June 4th 2015 whose details are available in any of the websites given below.
United States Patent & Trademark Office: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=2&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=98&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=nutrition&s2=%22weight+loss%22&OS=nutrition+AND+%22weight+loss%22&RS=nutrition+AND+%22weight+loss%22
European Patent Office: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?FT=D&date=20140417&DB=&locale=en_EP&CC=AU&NR=2012328885A1&KC=A1&ND=4
World Intellectual Property Organization: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=US133777752&tab=NATIONALBIBLIO&office=&prevFilter=&sortOption=Pub+Date+Desc&queryString=FP%3A%28leone-bay%29+andrea&recNum=36&maxRec=379
Dieting is not starving or distancing yourself from all the delicious, interesting and calorie-laden foods. Indeed, it involves maximum consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains but you get to eat your share of low-fat dairy, proteins, lean meats and nuts for a balanced meal. Even desserts and mithai can be occasionally included to overcome the boredom and monotony of your diet plan. Maybe, call this even your cheat meal once a week. If we look at our daily diet plan that includes different foods, nuts do occupy a prominent place contributing a major chunk of calories and good health too. They are a great snacking option and can also be an interesting salad dressing.
Obesity and overweight issues dominate our lives for which healthy lifestyle changes, regular exercise schedules, good sleep and a balanced diet are essential to guard us. Different diets are proposed for achieving weight loss and the Mediterranean diet is a critical one. Apart from fruits, veggies, whole grains and olive oil, nuts form an indispensable part of this diet plan. Evidences show that nuts fight against the risk of cardiovascular diseases, sudden death and diabetes mellitus which are the effect of improved lipid profile, inflammation and endothelial function. Creating energy deficits between calories consumed and burned is the basis of effective weight loss. Nuts are rich in fats and hence are considered as potential sources of positive energy balance and hence, many people avoid consuming it while on a weight-loss diet. But evidences are showing us a different perspective regarding nut consumption. Nuts are not associated with a higher body weight and epidemiological evidence indicate that nut consumption is rather associated with a lower BMI than in those who don’t consume it.
Don’t Give If’s & But’s with Nut’s Effect on Weight Loss Intervention
There are evidences showing the effect of pistachios, almonds, peanuts and walnuts on weight changes, weight loss interventions and risk of cardiovascular diseases. These nuts help the individual feel satiated for a longer period of time thereby reducing total energy intake and feelings of hunger. Many of these studies did not focus on the effect of walnuts on the symptoms such as hunger, fullness and satiety and in those diets that did include walnuts, volunteers started feeling satisfied after the second day of the meal.
A research group focused mainly on walnuts and their effects on weight loss. This group compared the effects of a walnut-enriched reduced-energy diet to a standard reduced-energy-density diet on body weight changes and cardiovascular disease risk from obese/overweight individuals during a 6-months weight loss intervention program. The research team shortlisted 100 volunteers based on selection criteria such as BMI between 27 and 40, aged above 21 years, willing to answer questions over phone or personally, not allergic to tree nuts and willing to allow for blood sample collection. Those who abstained from exercise due to some disability, planning for pregnancy, breastfeeding or having a history of a psychiatric condition were excluded from the study. Each participant met a dietitian and was given a sample meal plan depending on the participant’s goals and food choices. The scientists prepared the diet with an aim of creating 500-1000kcal/day of deficit. The participants were randomly assigned to one of the two diet plans prescribed: standard reduced-energy-dense diet that contained fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein sources and low-fat dairy with the complete exclusion of nuts and those assigned to the walnut diet plan were requested to consume 42 g of walnuts/day for diets that were >1500 kcal/day and 28 g of walnuts/day for diets <1500 kcal/day.
Every participant was requested to weigh himself/herself daily, an activity tracker helps them fulfill their 10000-steps a day of activity daily within a month and improve their lifestyle activities. Apart from this, each of them was required to do 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and at least 2-3 days of strength training activity. Participants were asked to rate satiety with the help of three specific questions:
Improved Lipid Profiles
Walnuts are especially favored for reducing coronary heart disease risk and with their high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids they can improve overall dietary fatty acid profile, deliver dietary phytosterols and fiber. Evidences exist showing that walnuts improve lipid profiles too. Another study tested the effect of walnut consumption on weight loss. It randomly assigned the participants (whose BMI was between 25 and 40) into one of the three diets: general dietary advice (C), individualized dietary advice (I) or interdisciplinary intervention plus 30g walnuts/day (IW). The study showed significant difference in weight loss between the three groups. Over the 12-month span, participants in the IW group achieved maximum weight loss and weight loss was greater in the IW group than C. No significant difference in weight loss was detected between IW and I group nor between I and C groups over the entire research period. The walnut group achieved excellent diet quality by increasing energy intake from fruits and vegetables while decreasing energy intake from discretionary foods/beverages. Including a high-nutrient food such as walnuts enhances nutrition levels and enables weight loss. Alongside diet, doing physical activity and following lifestyle changes help in sustaining the weight loss over a long time.
A meta-analysis of more than 20 trials on blood lipids and cardiovascular risk factors showed that walnut-enriched diets showed excellent reduction in blood lipid levels compared to the Western diets but no significant differences in weight reductions or blood pressure levels were noticed due to a walnut-enriched diet.
Energy-dense foods must be carefully controlled for weight loss and maintenance of weight loss. Nuts are a primary source of energy-dense foods but 55-75% of energy contributed by nuts is offset by dietary compensation, 10-15% by fecal loss and another 10% via increased energy expenditure. Nuts are a rich source of various nutrients and despite their high energy they are almost never associated with weight loss when portions don’t go beyond limits. Nuts are excellent choices to include in your diets as they increase palatability, nutrient quality and reduce chronic disease risk while paving way for weight loss as well.
Walnut consumption in a weight reduction intervention: Effects on body weight, biological measures, blood pressure and satiety: https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12937-017-0304-z
Impact of providing walnut samples in a lifestyle intervention for weight loss: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5510231/
Effect of walnut consumptions on blood lipids & cardiovascular risk factors: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/108/1/174/5042152?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Nuts and healthy body weight maintenance mechanisms:
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Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz of First Eat Right clinic, is the Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Bangalore. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Pune. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Hyderabad. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Chennai. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Mumbai. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Delhi. Best Dietitian Nutritionist in Kolkata.