New Year in Hong Kong

Studies to Help You With Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Healthy Lifestyle May Reduce Stroke Risk by 80%

Posted on 01-03-2011 in Lifestyle | Stroke |

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer, and a major cause of disability. With the aging of the American population and as obesity increases, more strokes are occurring: 795,000 a year, with 77% of them first-time; yet, deaths from strokes have decreased by 30%.  Experts speculate the reductions in stroke mortality are due in large part to improved prevention. As such, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have issued new guidelines aimed at reducing the incidence of stroke.  Identifying lifestyle as having has the biggest impact on preventing stroke, the new guidelines urge not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol and blood pressure.  By adopting these measures, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association estimates that an individual‘s risk for first-time stroke can be cut by 80%. The expert panel concludes that:  “Extensive evidence identifies a variety of specific factors that increase the risk of a first stroke and that provide strategies for reducing that risk.”

More detail…….

Guidelines for the Primary Prevention of Stroke. A Guideline for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Authors: Larry B. Goldstein MD, FAHA, Chair; Cheryl D. Bushnell MD, MHS, FAHA, Co-Chair; Robert J. Adams MS, MD, FAHA; Lawrence J. Appel MD, MPH, FAHA; Lynne T. Braun PhD, CNP, FAHA; Seemant Chaturvedi MD, FAHA; Mark A. Creager MD, FAHA; Antonio Culebras MD, FAHA; Robert H. Eckel MD, FAHA; Robert G. Hart MD, FAHA; Judith A. Hinchey MD, MS, FAHA; Virginia J. Howard PhD, FAHA; Edward C. Jauch MD, MS, FAHA; Steven R. Levine MD, FAHA; James F. Meschia MD, FAHA; Wesley S. Moore MD, FAHA; J. V. (Ian) Nixon MD, FAHA; Thomas A. Pearson MD, FAHA; on behalf of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular Nursing, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council for High Blood Pressure Research, Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Interdisciplinary Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research

Background and Purpose—This guideline provides an overview of the evidence on established and emerging risk factors for stroke to provide evidence-based recommendations for the reduction of risk of a first stroke.

Methods—Writing group members were nominated by the committee chair on the basis of their previous work in relevant topic areas and were approved by the American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Council Scientific Statement Oversight Committee and the AHA Manuscript Oversight Committee. The writing group used systematic literature reviews (covering the time since the last review was published in 2006 up to April 2009), reference to previously published guidelines, personal files, and expert opinion to summarize existing evidence, indicate gaps in current knowledge, and when appropriate, formulate recommendations using standard AHA criteria (Tables 1 and 2). All members of the writing group had the opportunity to comment on the recommendations and approved the final version of this document. The guideline underwent extensive peer review by the Stroke Council leadership and the AHA scientific statements oversight committees before consideration and approval by the AHA Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee.

Results—Schemes for assessing a person’s risk of a first stroke were evaluated. Risk factors or risk markers for a first stroke were classified according to potential for modification (nonmodifiable, modifiable, or potentially modifiable) and strength of evidence (well documented or less well documented). Nonmodifiable risk factors include age, sex, low birth weight, race/ethnicity, and genetic predisposition. Well-documented and modifiable risk factors include hypertension, exposure to cigarette smoke, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and certain other cardiac conditions, dyslipidemia, carotid artery stenosis, sickle cell disease, postmenopausal hormone therapy, poor diet, physical inactivity, and obesity and body fat distribution. Less well-documented or potentially modifiable risk factors include the metabolic syndrome, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, use of oral contraceptives, sleep-disordered breathing, migraine, hyperhomocysteinemia, elevated lipoprotein(a), hypercoagulability, inflammation, and infection. Data on the use of aspirin for primary stroke prevention are reviewed.

Conclusion—Extensive evidence identifies a variety of specific factors that increase the risk of a first stroke and that provide strategies for reducing that risk.

Weight Management Effects of Seaweed and Scallops Identified

Posted on 01-03-2011 in Functional Foods | Weight and Obesity |

The combination of omega-3 fatty acids from scallops and fucoxanthin from wakame seaweed may produce significant reductions in body weight and white adipose tissue, reveals a study by Tomoko Okada, from Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (Japan), and colleagues. Formulated into a bioactive capsule, the team found that the incorporation of wakame seaweed lipids into scallop-derived phospholipids produced an additive increase in the anti-obesity properties of these bioactive lipids individually.  Specifically, the researchers observed marked increases in uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression and higher levels of UCP1 mRNA in fat tissue, which they propose is linked to reductions in adipose tissue mass, leading to an encouraging antiobesity effect.   The team concludes that: “These results suggest that incorporation of [brown seaweed] into scallop-derived [lipids]…  may lead to an additive increase in the antiobesity properties of these bioactive lipids.”

Abstract: Based on previous research findings, a capsule was developed containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid rich scallop phospholipids (PLs) with an incorporation of brown seaweed (Undaria pinnatifida) lipids (ULs) containing fucoxanthin. The antiobesity effects of the capsules were evaluated with an animal model using 3-wk-old male KK-Ay mice. Each group received different combinations of lipid (UL, PL, UL + PL, or UL + PL capsule) either incorporated into the diet or into drinking water. Animals were sacrificed after a 4-wk experimental feeding period, and adipose tissues and organs were dissected and weighed. Blood samples were obtained to determine plasma lipid profiles. Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) mRNA expression levels were determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, and UCP1 expression was determined by western blotting analysis. Treatment with either UL alone or UL + PL (capsule) through drinking water resulted in a significant reduction in body weight, compared to the control group. The total white adipose tissue weight of mice fed the UL + PL capsule in drinking water was significantly reduced. Both UCP1 and UCP1 mRNA expression in epididymal fat from mice fed the capsule were significantly higher than in the control group. These results suggest that incorporation of UL into scallop-derived PL by means of capsulation may lead to an additive increase in the antiobesity properties of these bioactive lipids.

Authors: Tomoko Okada, Yasuyuki Mizuno, Shinichi Sibayama, Masashi Hosokawa, Kazuo Miyashita.  “Antiobesity Effects of Undaria Lipid Capsules Prepared with Scallop Phospholipids.”  Journal of Food Science, November 4, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01878.x.

Green Tea May Exert Satiety Effect

Posted on 01-03-2011 in Diabetes | Functional Foods | Weight and Obesity |

Previous studies have suggested that the consumption of green tea, rich in antioxidant compounds called catechins, may help to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, but the exact mechanism is unclear. Julija Josic from Lund University (Sweden), and colleagues examined the post-meal effects of green tea on glucose levels, glycemic index, insulin levels and satiety in healthy individuals. While the overall sensation of satiety was boosted more after a meal accompanied by green tea, than after a reference meal accompanied by water, the researchers found no significant differences in serum insulin levels or insulin were reported between the green tea meal and the reference meal during a 120 minute post-meal observation period.   Interestingly, after the reference meal, the subjects reported finding it more pleasant to eat another mouthful of the same food than after the green tea meal, again confirming the increased feeling of satiety.  The team speculates that differences in taste perception between the green tea and reference meal drink may have been responsible for the satiety-promoting effects, and so contributed to a stronger satiety sensation after the green tea meal than after the reference meal. Writing that: “Green tea showed no glucose or insulin-lowering effect,” the researchers conclude that: “Increased satiety and fullness were reported by the participants after the consumption of green tea.”

More details below…………….

  • Research
  • Does green tea affect postprandial glucose, insulin and satiety in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial
  • Authors: Julija Josic1*, Anna Tholén Olsson1*, Jennie Wickeberg2, Sandra Lindstedt3 and Joanna Hlebowicz2
  • Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  • Center for Emergency (JW, JH), Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden
  • Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:63doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-63
  • Published:
  • 30 November 2010
  • Abstract
    • Background
    • Results of epidemiological studies have suggested that consumption of green tea could lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Intervention studies show that green tea may decrease blood glucose levels, and also increase satiety. This study was conducted to examine the postprandial effects of green tea on glucose levels, glycemic index, insulin levels and satiety in healthy individuals after the consumption of a meal including green tea.
    • Methods
    • The study was conducted on 14 healthy volunteers, with a crossover design. Participants were randomized to either 300 ml of green tea or water. This was consumed together with a breakfast consisting of white bread and sliced turkey. Blood samples were drawn at 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, and 120 minutes. Participants completed several different satiety score scales at the same times.
    • Results
    • Plasma glucose levels were higher 120 min after ingestion of the meal with green tea than after the ingestion of the meal with water. No significant differences were found in serum insulin levels, or the area under the curve for glucose or insulin. Subjects reported significantly higher satiety, having a less strong desire to eat their favorite food and finding it less pleasant to eat another mouthful of the same food after drinking green tea compared to water.
    • Conclusions
    • Green tea showed no glucose or insulin-lowering effect. However, increased satiety and fullness were reported by the participants after the consumption of green tea.
    • Trial registration number
    • NCT01086189

Omega-3s Help to Protect Vision

Posted on 01-03-2011 in Diet | Fatty Acids, Lipids & Oils | Sensory |

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in Caucasian Americans.  High concentrations of omega-3s have been found in the eye’s retina, and evidence is mounting that the nutrient may be essential to eye health.  Sheila K. West, from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (Maryland, USA), and colleagues engaged 2520 Maryland residents, ages 65 to 84 years, to participate in a study assessing the role of a diet rich in fish and seafood, on AMD onset and progression.  The team surveyed study subjects for fish and shellfish consumption over a one-year period, and assessed participants for AMD.  Those with no AMD were classified as controls (1,942 persons), 227 had early AMD, 153 had intermediate-stage disease, and 68 had advanced AMD. In the advanced AMD group, the macular area of the retina exhibited either neovascularization (abnormal blood vessel growth and bleeding) or a condition called geographic atrophy. Both conditions can result in blindness or severe vision loss. The team found that while participants in all groups, including controls, averaged at least one serving of fish or shellfish per week, those who had advanced AMD were significantly less likely to consume high omega-3 fish and seafood. They conclude that: “These data support a protective effect of fish/shellfish intake against advanced AMD.”

Authors: Bonnielin K. Swenor, Susan Bressler, Laura Caulfield, Sheila K. West.  “The Impact of Fish and Shellfish Consumption on Age-Related Macular Degeneration .”  Ophthalmology, Volume 117, Issue 12, December 2010, Pages 2395-2401.

Exercise Unlocks Stem Cells in Muscles

Posted on 01-03-2011 in Exercise | Longevity | Stem Cell |

The combination of aging and a sedentary lifestyle significantly contributes to the development of diseases such as osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, as well as a decline in cognitive abilities. A common result of the aging process is sarcopenia, a decline in the mass and function of muscles. Dafna Benayahu, from Tel Aviv University (Israel), and colleagues studied a laboratory rat population, finding that endurance exercise increased the number of satellite cells (muscle stem cells), which normally decline with aging.  Comparing the performance of rats of different ages and sexes, they found that the number of satellite cells increased after rats ran on a treadmill for 20 minutes a day for a 13-week period. The younger rats showed a 20% to 35% increase in the average number of stem cells per muscle fiber retained — and older rats benefited even more significantly, exhibiting a 33% to 47% increase in stem cells.  Further, the team found that endurance exercise improved the levels of “spontaneous locomotion,” a response mechanism that is typically reduced with aging.  The researchers are hopeful that this finding leads to discoveries of new methods to raise satellite cell populations in human muscle tissue, to raise the production and performance of young and healthy muscles, to provide an anti-aging musculoskeletal benefit.

More details……………

Reduced Satellite Cell Numbers and Myogenic Capacity in Aging Can Be Alleviated by Endurance Exercise

Muscle regeneration depends on satellite cells, myogenic stem cells that reside on the myofiber surface. Reduced numbers and/or decreased myogenic aptitude of these cells may impede proper maintenance and contribute to the age-associated decline in muscle mass and repair capacity. Endurance exercise was shown to improve muscle performance; however, the direct impact on satellite cells in aging was not yet thoroughly determined. Here, we focused on characterizing the effect of moderate-intensity endurance exercise on satellite cell, as possible means to attenuate adverse effects of aging. Young and old rats of both genders underwent 13 weeks of treadmill-running or remained sedentary.

Gastrocnemius muscles were assessed for the effect of age, gender and exercise on satellite-cell numbers and myogenic capacity. Satellite cells were identified in freshly isolated myofibers based on Pax7 immunostaining (i.e., ex-vivo). The capacity of individual myofiber-associated cells to produce myogenic progeny was determined in clonal assays (in-vitro). We show an age-associated decrease in satellite-cell numbers and in the percent of myogenic clones in old sedentary rats. Upon exercise, there was an increase in myofibers that contain higher numbers of satellite cells in both young and old rats, and an increase in the percent of myogenic clones derived from old rats. Changes at the satellite cell level in old rats were accompanied with positive effects on the lean-to-fat Gast muscle composition and on spontaneous locomotion levels. The significance of these data is that they suggest that the endurance exercise-mediated boost in both satellite numbers and myogenic properties may improve myofiber maintenance in aging.

Authors: Gabi Shefer1,2*, Gat Rauner1, Zipora Yablonka-Reuveni2, Dafna Benayahu1

1 Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel, 2 Department of Biological Structure, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

Abstract


Background

Muscle regeneration depends on satellite cells, myogenic stem cells that reside on the myofiber surface. Reduced numbers and/or decreased myogenic aptitude of these cells may impede proper maintenance and contribute to the age-associated decline in muscle mass and repair capacity. Endurance exercise was shown to improve muscle performance; however, the direct impact on satellite cells in aging was not yet thoroughly determined. Here, we focused on characterizing the effect of moderate-intensity endurance exercise on satellite cell, as possible means to attenuate adverse effects of aging. Young and old rats of both genders underwent 13 weeks of treadmill-running or remained sedentary.

Methodology

Gastrocnemius muscles were assessed for the effect of age, gender and exercise on satellite-cell numbers and myogenic capacity. Satellite cells were identified in freshly isolated myofibers based on Pax7 immunostaining (i.e., ex-vivo). The capacity of individual myofiber-associated cells to produce myogenic progeny was determined in clonal assays (in-vitro). We show an age-associated decrease in satellite-cell numbers and in the percent of myogenic clones in old sedentary rats. Upon exercise, there was an increase in myofibers that contain higher numbers of satellite cells in both young and old rats, and an increase in the percent of myogenic clones derived from old rats. Changes at the satellite cell level in old rats were accompanied with positive effects on the lean-to-fat Gast muscle composition and on spontaneous locomotion levels. The significance of these data is that they suggest that the endurance exercise-mediated boost in both satellite numbers and myogenic properties may improve myofiber maintenance in aging.

Citation: Shefer G, Rauner G, Yablonka-Reuveni Z, Benayahu D (2010) Reduced Satellite Cell Numbers and Myogenic Capacity in Aging Can Be Alleviated by Endurance Exercise. PLoS ONE 5(10): e13307. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013307

Editor: Gianni Parise, McMaster University, Canada

Received: June 16, 2010; Accepted: August 29, 2010; Published: October 12, 2010

Copyright: © 2010 Shefer et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This work was supported by grants from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF, grant number 2005132) to DB and ZYR, from the Ministry of Health (grant number3-00000-4398) and EU-FP7, Excell project 214706 to DB, and by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (5RO1 AG021566) to ZYR. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Introduction


The ability of skeletal muscles to regenerate is owed to a population of myogenic stem cells called satellite cells [1], [2], [3]. These adult stem cells are situated under the basal lamina of myofibers and contribute 2–4% of the nuclei in adult skeletal muscles [2]. Satellite cells are typically quiescent in adult muscles, but can be activated in response to muscle injury and disease. Depending on the magnitude of tissue trauma, these cells may divide minimally to repair subtle damage within individual myofibers or produce a larger progeny pool that forms new myofibers in cases of overt muscle trauma [4], [5]. Satellite cells meet the functional definition of what stem cells are, as they have the ability to self-renew, in addition to producing differentiating progeny. Clonal analyses of satellite cells suggested that satellite cells are heterogeneous with regard to their self-renew capacity and to the extent of progeny they can produce [6], [7].

The common marker used to identify satellite cells in their niche is the paired box transcription factor Pax7. As shown across different muscle groups and species, Pax7 protein is expressed by satellite cells, but not by myofiber nuclei or non-myogenic cell types present in the adult muscle tissue [8], [9], [10], [11]. Proliferating progeny of satellite cells, myoblasts, maintain Pax7 protein expression and upregulate the expression of MyoD, a muscle specific transcription factor. In differentiating myoblasts, Pax7 expression diminishes, whereas the expression of MyoD is maintained [3], [12].

In aging, skeletal muscle mass and performance decline, a process named sarcopenia [13]. Considering the key role of satellite cells in myofiber repair, diminution in their numbers and myogenic properties may impede muscle maintenance and contribute to sarcopenia. Indeed, age-associated alterations in satellite cells were reported, including increased adipogenic gene expression and diversion of at least some of the cells to a nonmyogenic (fibrogenic) fate [14], [15]. Also, satellite cell ability to contribute to muscle repair was suggested to decrease with age. This was based on rodent models in which the regenerative response of muscles was examined after an induced injury. However, the satellite cells themselves were not analyzed directly [16], [17]. Muscle damage resulting from routine activity may, however, involve only subtle damages localized to individual myofibers. In such localized injuries, the repair potential of individual myofibers may depend on the abundance of the satellite cells they harbor.

While it remains unclear if the ability of satellite cells to contribute to muscle repair is indeed impaired in old age [18], an age-associated decline in the number of satellite cells was certainly documented in mice and rats, at least in some limb muscles [19], [20], [21], [22]. We demonstrated that in mice there was an increase in myofibers with none or low numbers of satellite cells with age [6], [9]. The decline was more robust in the fast-twitch extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle compared to the slow-twitch soleus muscle [9], in accordance with the preferential loss and atrophy of fast twitch fibers in sarcopenia. These findings prompted us to use approaches that can provide insights about satellite-cell numbers and properties within the context of individual myofibers [9]. Taken together, in the present study we investigated the impact of exercise on the properties and number of satellite cells situated on Gastrocnemius (Gast) myofibers of intact male and female rats. Myofibers were isolated from the superficial region of the Gast muscle which was shown to contain fast-twitch myofibers (IIx or IIb) almost exclusively [23], [24], [25].

To date, the effect of endurance training on satellite cells was not thoroughly elucidated albeit this type of exercise was shown to have beneficial effects on skeletal muscle integrity even in sufferers from myopathies [26], [27], [28]. Here we chose to use endurance exercise as it was shown not to inflict apparent damage, different from resistance exercise [29], [30]. Males and females were analyzed in view of the significant gender differences in both the prevalence of sarcopenia and the extent of satellite cell decline in aging [6], [31].

Our main finding is that running exercise induces a significant increase in the abundance of myofibers with higher content of satellite cells. This was accompanied by a reduction in the abundance of myofibers that contain minimal numbers of satellite cells. Importantly, we also show that in old rats, exercise inflicted a greater proportion of myogenic clones, and this may reflect an improvement of satellite cell myogenic performance. The boost of satellite-cell numbers and myogenic performance represents a possible mechanism by which endurance exercise enhances muscle quality in old age.

Results


The experimental model and subsequent assays

This study was designed to investigate the effect of long-term treadmill running on satellite cell performance in young and old male and female rats. Animals’ age at the beginning of the 13 week No-Run/Run experiment were: young male/female groups, 3.5 months; old male groups, 15–17 months; old female groups, 15 months (see Table 1). For 13 weeks, animals exercised 20 minutes on a treadmill, 6 days/week followed by a day off (see a video of exercising rats, Video S1). Control groups remained sedentary for that period. At the 13-week exercise period, single myofibers were isolated from the Gast muscle and analyzed for their number of residing satellite cells (Figure 1, and Tables 1, 2). Clones were prepared from these isolated myofibers for cell phenotype studies (Figures 2, 3, 4 and Table 3). We also measured total body weight, in-vivo mass and fat content of the Gast muscle, and levels of spontaneous locomotion of all the animals in order to assess the effects of exercise at the levels of gross muscle anatomy (see Figure S1 and Figure S2).

For greater detail and illustrations, go to:…………… http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0013307

Cultivating Flu Vaccine, Photograph by James King-Holmes/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Armed with the tools for cultivating a flu vaccine, a scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research’s World Influenza Center in London starts by drilling minute holes into fertilized chicken eggs. She will then inject the eggs with flu viruses that have most recently been circulating among the area population. After reaching a sufficient concentration, the samples will be tested to determine which strains of flu viruses are present. The strains that are most prevalent in the population will be used to develop flu vaccine for the following season.

GoogleNews.com, January  3, 2011, ATLANTA — Flu season appears to be picking up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says five states had widespread reports of flu last week, up from zero two weeks earlier.

A CDC report released Thursday says four of the states were in the South – Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia. The other was New York.

The report also says that tests of about 120 virus samples show the circulating flu strains seem to be well-matched to this season’s flu vaccine.

Health officials say an estimated 23,600 flu-related deaths occur each year.

Pharma News  Two Updates………

GoogleNews.com, FORBES.com, January 3, 2011, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to partner with scientists to market a cancer blood test.

Reports are that the blood test can detect a single cancer cell among billions of healthy cells, and could be used in treatment for breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer.

Cancer cells in the blood can mean a tumor has spread, and the test could evolve into a way to screen for cancer, aside from mammograms, colonoscopies and other methods used today. The test Johnson & Johnson is collaborating on differs from the only other cancer blood test on the market from its own Veridex unit by allowing doctors to capture and analyze whole cancer cells, rather than just giving a count.

Cow-Milk Formula-Fed Infants May Have Accelerated Weight Gain

Medscape.com, by Laurie Barclay MD, January 3, 2011 — Infants fed cow milk formula (CMF) have accelerated weight gain, whereas infants fed protein hydrolysate formula (PHF) have normative weight gain, according to the results of a randomized controlled trial reported in the January 2011 issue of Pediatrics.

“Infant formulas differ considerably in composition and sensory profiles,” write Julie A. Mennella, PhD, from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and colleagues. “In this randomized study, we examined whether healthy infants fed an extensively …PHF would differ in feeding behavior and growth from those fed …CMF.”

Infants were randomly selected to feeding with CMF (n = 35) or PHF (n = 29) from ages 0.5 to 7.5 months. Infants were weighed, measured, and then videotaped while being fed their assigned formula monthly during the 7-month study period. Using World Health Organization growth standards, the investigators calculated anthropometric z scores, and they compared trajectories for growth measures and formula acceptance using multilevel linear growth and piecewise mixed-effects models.

Although PHF-fed infants had significantly lower weight-for-length z scores across ages 2.5 to 7.5 months vs CMF-fed infants, length-for-age z scores were similar in both groups, suggesting that group differences could be attributed to gains in weight rather than length. Compared with infants fed CMF, those fed PHF also had significantly slower weight gain velocity. Monthly evaluations across the study period revealed that infants fed PHF rather than CMF consumed less formula to satiation. At all ages tested, infants’ acceptance of formula was similar in both groups, based on maternal ratings.

“[Z]-score trajectories indicate that CMF-fed infants’ weight gain was accelerated, whereas PHF-fed infants’ weight gain was normative,” the study authors write. “Whether such differences in growth are because of differences in the protein content or amino acid profile of the formulas and, in turn, metabolism is unknown.”

Limitations of this study include small sample size and inability to determine the exact mechanisms underlying the different weight-gain trajectories between CMF and PHF.

“Longer-term effects of hydrolyzed protein diets, which are relatively new in the human food supply and are growing in use, also need to be investigated,” the study authors conclude. “Because dietary and nutritional programming can have long-term consequences in terms of later development of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases, it is imperative that we learn more about the long-term consequences of the early growth differences caused by environmental triggers, such as those associated with infant formulas, and how and why they differ from breastfeeding, which is the optimal mode of feeding.”

The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health supported this study. Mead Johnson Nutritionals supplied the formulas. The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Pediatrics. 2011;127:110-118. Abstract

Graphic Credit: Chris Madden

By RealAge , Mehmet Oz MD and Michael Roizen MD

Keep your heart strong and help your body get lean by jazzing up your morning beverage with a swirl of cinnamon.

Research suggests that in addition to steadying blood sugar, cinnamon may be particularly healthy for people who carry lots of extra weight. In a study, cinnamon seemed to blast fat and help minimize some of the negative health impacts that obesity has on the body.
People who are obese (read body mass index of 30 or higher) tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their bodies, and their bodies tend to experience more oxidative stress than the bodies of slimmer folks. Inflammation and oxidative stress are two very unhappy physical states to be in because they can set the stage for heart disease and other health problems. So in addition to losing weight, finding ways to fight oxidative stress and inflammation is an important part of protecting your heart if you carry around too much weight.
A recent study showed that certain cinnamon compounds may help obese people in the fight against fat, inflammation, and oxidative stress. In the study, obese people with prediabetes took a cinnamon extract called cinnulin twice a day. At the end of the 12-week study, participants’ bodies were experiencing less oxidative stress and their antioxidant defenses against inflammation were heightened. They even lost some fat mass while gaining a bit of lean muscle. Not too shabby for a few shots of cinnamon! Researchers think that cinnulin had such a favorable effect in the study because compounds in the extract may somehow help cells take in sugar and use insulin better — two things that don’t always work so perfectly in people who are obese and have prediabetes.

References

Published on 12/27/2010

Antioxidant effects of a cinnamon extract in people with impaired fasting glucose that are overweight or obese. Roussel, A. M. et al., Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2009 Feb;28(1):16-21.

Emerging Markets Driving Growth

SANTA CLARA, CALIF., January 3, 2011—While the consumer electronics industry prepares its wares for the CES in Las Vegas, the foundations of a quiet revolution in TV viewing continue to be built, with 21% of all TVs shipped in 2010 forecast to have internet connectivity. According to the DisplaySearch Q4’10 Quarterly TV Design and Features Report, the category is forecast to grow to over 122 million in 2014.

Growth of connected TVs was fueled by the Japanese market in 2010 with strong market growth driven by the Eco Points system, and very high penetration of connected TVs, driven by domestic brands’ strategies and by high levels of broadband access. Emerging markets will play a key role in the future growth of this segment, with Eastern Europe forecast to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. DisplaySearch findings also suggest that 12% of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2010 will have internet capability.

Figure 1: Connected TV Shipment Forecast

Source: DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report

“The looming risk now is what happens if every connected TV gets used,” said Paul Gray, Director of European TV Research. “With Netflix accounting for 20% of peak internet traffic in the US, it’s reasonable to ask if the infrastructure can cope. Set makers need to understand that broadband access does not scale endlessly like broadcast reception.”

It is expected that the connected TV market will diverge, with basic sets carrying enhanced broadcast services such as Hbb.TV and YouView, while the Smart TV segment will enjoy configurable applications, sophisticated search and navigation engines, and advanced user interfaces.

While there is no accepted definition for Smart TV, most have a few key features:

  • Capable of upgrades and changes to functionality by the consumer, typically by loading applications
  • Able to receive content from the open internet, not just within a “walled garden” defined by a portal
  • Possesses an advanced user interface or content discovery engine, to permit rapid discovery and selection of content to watch (but not via a browser and typed search terms as in PCs)
  • Able to communicate with other networked devices in the home via open standards (e.g. DLNA)

Smart TVs are not limited to a specific operating system, and Linux (MeeGo) and Android (Google TV) platforms will be joined by others. Google is working with Sony and Logitech for the launch of Google TV, but expect many more entrants in 2011.

“Current shipment levels combined with consumer feedback suggests that Google TV is not yet the Smart TV of people’s dreams,” Gray added. “While adding internet capabilities into the TV is powerful, it needs to be as effortless as channel surfing. However, Google TV has given a good lead into what works.”

The DisplaySearch Quarterly TV Design and Features Report is a quarterly update of the issues and rapid shifts in feature development in TV sets. The 200+ page report examines and forecasts video processor and signal processing IC market development including 120/100 and 200/240 Hz frame rates and market shares for major IC vendors. In addition, the report also features forecasting for MPEG-4 decoding and the digital broadcast environment around the world, including a forecast for DVB-T2; TV connectivity, such as wired and wireless networked TVs; LED backlighting; 3D capability and implementation; remote controls and chassis design; and power consumption.

For more information about Connected TV sales and how consumers are using their TVs read more from The NPD Group’s Connected TV User Study

About DisplaySearch
Since 1996, DisplaySearch has been recognized as a leading global market research and consulting firm specializing in the display supply chain, as well as the emerging photovoltaic/solar cell industries. DisplaySearch provides trend information, forecasts and analyses developed by a global team of experienced analysts with extensive industry knowledge and resources. In collaboration with the NPD Group, its parent company, DisplaySearch uniquely offers a true end-to-end view of the display supply chain from materials and components to shipments of electronic devices with displays to sales of major consumer and commercial channels. For more information on DisplaySearch analysts, reports and industry events, visit us at http://www.displaysearch.com/. Read our blog at http://www.displaysearchblog.com/ and follow us on Twitter at @DisplaySearch.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com/ and http://www.npdgroupblog.com/. Follow us on Twitter at @npdtech and @npdgroup.