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Prenatal And Early Childhood Fructose Tied to Asthma in Kids

Grade school kids may be more likely to develop asthma if they consumed lots of drinks sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup or if their mothers drank these beverages often during pregnancy, a recent study suggests.

To assess the connection between childhood asthma, sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages, researchers examined data about eating habits from about 1,000 mother-child pairs as well as information on kids’ health, including whether they had an asthma diagnosis by ages 7 to 9.

After accounting for maternal obesity and other factors that can also influence kids’ odds of developing asthma, researchers found that women who consumed the most soda and sugary beverages during pregnancy were 70 percent more likely to have a child diagnosed with asthma by mid-childhood than mothers who never or rarely had sodas during pregnancy.

Women who had the most total fructose during pregnancy were 58 percent more likely to have kids with asthma than women who had little to no fructose.

“Previous studies have linked intake of sugary beverages with obesity, and obesity with asthma,” said study co-author Sheryl Rifas-Shiman, a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston.

“In addition to influencing asthma through increasing the risk of obesity, we found that sugary beverages and high fructose may influence the risk of asthma not entirely through obesity,” Rifas-Shiman said by email. “This finding suggests that there are additional mechanisms by which sugary beverages and fructose influence asthma risk beyond their effects on obesity.”

What kids ate and drank also mattered. Even after accounting for prenatal exposure to sodas, kids who had the most total fructose in their diets earlier in childhood were 79 percent more likely to develop asthma than children who rarely or never had fructose.

Once researchers also factored in whether children were overweight or obese, kids with the highest fructose consumption were still 77 percent more likely to have asthma.

Mothers who consumed more sugary beverages tended to be heavier and have less income and education than women who generally avoided sodas and sweet drinks. But the connection between sodas, sugary drinks and childhood asthma persisted even after accounting for these factors.

“We don’t know for certain the exact pathways by which sugary beverages and fructose lead to asthma,” Rifas-Shiman said. “We believe at least in part they act by increasing inflammation, which may influence the child’s lung development.”

The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how sodas or sugary drinks might cause asthma.

Another limitation is that researchers relied on women to accurately recall and report on soda consumption for themselves and their young children, which may not always be accurate, researchers note in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Even so, the findings add to the evidence that women should avoid sodas and sugary foods and drinks during pregnancy and also limit these things for their young kids, said Dr. Leda Chatzi, a researcher at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles who wasn’t involved in the study.

“Pregnant women should stay away from sugar sweetened drinks and foods with added sugars,” Chatzi said by email.

“Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to their baby’s growth and development of chronic diseases such as asthma later in life,” Chatzi added. “A healthy dietary pattern during pregnancy contains a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products.”

 Lisa Rapaport   DECEMBER 18, 2017
SOURCE: bit.ly/2BaEVOI Annals of the American Thoracic Society, online December 8, 2017.    www.reuters.com


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Nafta Is Making Canadians Fat, New Study Suggests

Obesity is a major problem in Canada. And though it’s not as pronounced as in the U.S., among advanced economies, the Great White North ranks with the fattest countries.

A new study suggests that may have something to do with NAFTA.

The research, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), found that lower import tariffs on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) implemented under the free trade agreement resulted in a larger supply and likely consumption of added sweeteners in Canada.

HFCS, a common sweetener in sodas, fruit drinks and many solid foods, has been linked to obesity.

As use of HFCS went up, so did the incidence of obesity and other health problems such as diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic, a U.S.-based medical research centre.

Scientists disagree about whether the human body assimilated HFCS differently than other types of sugars but agree that excessive consumption of sugars of any kind is linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes and a higher risk of heart disease, among other health issues.

The CMAJ study, which looked at the period from 1985 to 2000, found that lower tariffs on HFCS likely resulted in an increase of 41.6 kilocalories in the daily supply of caloric sweeteners (which include HFCS, fructose and maltose, maple sugar and syrup, glucose, dextrose, lactose and molasses).

Soaring Canadian imports of HFCS were correlated with a sharp rise in obesity rates, from 5.6 per cent in 1985 to 14.8 per cent in 1998, the authors noted.

Lower tariffs on high-fructose corn syrup through NAFTA
seemed to have caused a pause
in Canada’s long-term trend toward lower sugar consumption.

The period after the implementation of NAFTA (in 1994) also saw diabetes rates balloon, from 3.3 per cent to 5.6 per cent, between 1998-99 and 2008-09.

With NAFTA in place, tariffs on food and drinks containing HFCS were gradually removed between 1994 and 1998. However, tariffs on cane and beet sugar remained due to a long-standing trade dispute between Canada and the U.S.

The researchers found that Canada’s supply of caloric sweeteners kept rising with every gradual lowering of the tariffs on HFCS and held steady after the final reduction in 1998.

The country’s overall supply of sugars and sweeteners also stopped declining, as it had been for some time before the introduction of NAFTA, they noted.

Countries that are not parties to NAFTA, including Australia and the U.K., didn’t see a similar increase over the same time period, the authors said.

NAFTA also coincided with HFCS gaining a larger share of the Canadian market for sugar and sweeteners.

Caloric sweeteners including HFCS accounted for only 4.8 per cent of total sweetener use in Canada before NAFTA, but a whopping 13.5 per cent after the implementation of the free trade agreement.

The findings raise concerns about the public health implications of free trade deals with the U.S. that would use NAFTA as a blueprint, according to the authors.

These include a potential new deal between the U.S. and the U.K. after the latter decided to leave the European Union, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would create a free-trade zone among the U.S., Canada, Mexico and nine other Pacific Rim countries.

Such “new trade deals could harm population health should lower tariffs lead to increased supply and potential consumption of unhealthy food items, particularly those containing HFCS,” the study concluded.

By Erica Alini  National Online Journalist, Money/Consumer  Global News      July 5, 2017
source: globalnews.ca


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Reduce The Damaging Effects Of Sugar On Your Brain

9TH MAY 2016    MINA DEAN

In 2014 North Americans consumed an average of about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup each.

Fructose consumption can damage hundreds of genes.

But the good news is that DHA — an omega 3 fatty acid — can reverse this damage, scientists have discovered.

Fructose is a sugar commonly found in the Western diet.

Most of the fructose in the American diet comes from high-fructose corn syrup or is consumed in sweetened drinks, syrups, honey and desserts.

According to the Department of Agriculture, in 2014 each American consumed about 27 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup.

In addition, most baby food and fruit contains fructose.

However, the absorption of the fruit sugar is mostly slowed down by the fibre in fruit.

On top of that there are other healthy components found in fruit which are important for the body and the brain.

Our brain cell membranes naturally contain DHA but this amount is not enough to fight diseases.

A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids can help to reverse the damage to the genes caused by fructose.

Dr Xia Yang a senior author of the study at UCLA University explained:

“DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable.
And we can see why it has such a powerful effect.”

Professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, the co-senior author of the paper, pointed out that the only way to get DHA is from our diet:

“The brain and the body are deficient in the machinery to make DHA; it has to come through our diet.
DHA strengthens synapses in the brain and enhances learning and memory.
It is abundant in wild salmon and, to a lesser extent, in other fish and fish oil, as well as walnuts and flaxseed.”

drinking a glass of sugar

The study was carried out on rats.

They were divided into three groups for six weeks.

During this period one group only drank water with no fructose and no DHA.

The second group consumed fructose water and a DHA rich diet.

The other group received water with fructose equivalent to a litre of soda per day.

The tests run on the rats showed that a high-fructose diet impaired the rats’ memory.

However, the fructose and DHA group showed similar results to those that drank only water.

This strongly suggested that the harmful effects of fructose were eliminated  by DHA.

The study showed that fructose had altered more than 700 genes in the hypothalamus (the metabolic control centre in the brain) and more than 200 genes in the hippocampus (a brain region for regulating memory and learning).

The alteration in human genes could lead to conditions such as bipolar disorder, Parkinson’s disease, depression and other brain diseases.

More tests on the rats also showed that those on a high-fructose diet had higher triglycerides, glucose and insulin levels.

These are similar indicators associated with obesity and diabetes in humans.

The study was published in EBioMedicine (Meng et al., 2016).


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4 Nutrition Rules That Make Eating Healthy Extremely Easy

DAILY HEALTH POST, SEPTEMBER 26, 2014
The old adage “do as I say, not as I do” comes to mind when people pose questions about health; everyone lately seems to be doling out advice: doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, health advocates, bloggers, magazines, your next door neighbor…Who should you listen to?
Heed advice from people who look like they are living it. If they look well, feel well, and are aging well, they obviously have to be doing something right.
Take any advice with a grain of salt and do your own research. Here’s a list of basic nutrition rules that generally work for everyone.

1. Leave High Fructose Corn Syrup Behind
The leading causes of obesity are high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar. Sugars stimulate the same part of the reward/pleasure center in the brain as caffeine and street drugs (e.g., cocaine, heroin) and release dopamine–this is where addiction begins.
Companies discovered in the 1970’s that HFCS is sweeter and cheaper than sugar and decided to replace the refined sugar used in products with HFCS. In 2010, researchers at Princeton University conducted experiments using rats: different groups were fed various diets. The ones given HFCS gained 300% more weight over the ones fed regular table sugar or diets high in fat.

“When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese–every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”[1]

2. Eat Your Daily Fiber
Most Americans are not eating diets that are rich in fiber. There are two types of fiber that are crucial to a healthy body: soluble and insoluble. Fiber cleans your intestines, keeps you regular, promotes a healthy digestive system, keeps your blood glucose levels stable, and helps to keep your cholesterol balanced. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Diets low in fiber can lead to all sorts of intestinal issues, diverticulitis, colon cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Keep your digestive system healthy and your colon clean.
Here are a few great sources for daily fiber:
  • Lentils, peas, beans
  • Greens (turnip, beet, collard, kale, spinach, romaine lettuce)
  • Broccoli, asparagus
  • Carrot, sweet potato
  • Avocado, raspberries, pear, apple
  • Cinnamon
  • Sesame and flax seeds, almonds
  • Quinoa, buckwheat
  • fiber rich foods
2014-09-26-4-nutrition-rules-that-generally-work-for-everyone-food-wheel


3. Eat Your Daily Rainbow
Eating a variety of different-colored fresh vegetables and fruit ensures a diet rich in fiber that provides essential vitamins and minerals for the body to function properly, fight disease, regrow cells, lower cholesterol, and keep heart and brain healthy.
Different phytonutrients can be found in each color of vegetation. Antioxidants and enzymes found in plants repair damage caused from the sun’s harmful rays, filter toxins in the air and environment; prevent and kill cancerous cells, convert nutrients into vitamin A, enhance immune response, reduce inflammation, lower risk of chronic disease, and repair and prevent damaged tissue by balancing oxidating free radicals.
Instead of eating the same ol’ thing every week, try adding new and colorful fruits and veggies to meals, ensuring your body is rainbow-healthy.

4. Get Enough Healthy Fats
What would happen if you took the oil out of your car and tried to drive it? The engine would seize up and you wouldn’t get very far. This is the same line of thinking for why the body AND brain need healthy fats.
Eating healthy fats doesn’t make you fat; the bad processed and sugary foods you are eating make you fat. Usually when people remove fat from their diets they replace them with processed carbohydrate foods. What carbohydrates the body doesn’t use for energy is stored as fat.

Your brain is comprised of 60% fat; if it does not have enough of the proper nourishing lubricant, it cannot function optimally and over time will start to harden, creating plaque. This hardening process is seen in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, and brain-related diseases. Without proper nutrition provided to the brain in the form of healthy fats, simple tasks like speech, vision, movement, and thought process are affected.
Healthy fats curb your hunger for longer periods of time because your body uses them immediately as energy and pulls from them essential nutrients the body cannot make on its own. The archaic thinking that all fat is bad has since been proven wrong.
Healthy fat foods:
  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, chia, flax, pumpkin (seeds)
  • Eggs (whole)
  • Wild fish: salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout
  • High-quality, cold-pressed, unrefined plant-based oils: olive, coconut, sesame
  • Olives
source: