Tuesday, 20 December 2016

we are what we eat

We are what we eat and animals are what they eat!

So, it is not surprising that

Over the festive season, let's remember that food is the best medicine!

Merry Christmas !


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

omega-3 means nothing in terms of nutritional value

I have to agree with this post.
"Omega-3" means few things in terms of nutrition...
For the food chemists, omega-3 means an acid having a double bond 3 bonds away for the omega end of the molecule (i.e. methyl end). There are numerous omega-3 in Nature.

In terms of nutritional value and especially cardio-protective action, neutral omega-3 acids are not effective at all, as justified here.
It is the polar head of the acid that makes it labile and effective as discussed here.
Some structures of polar omega-3 are given here. 
The polar head (PE, PG, PS, PC) carries vital biological value...Let's remember this when we desing new food and supplements!

Lipidomic analysis of fraction MS1. (A) Negative ion ES-MS survey scans (600–1000 m/z), (B) positive ion ES-MS survey scans (600–1000 m/z). Annotation of the major lipid species are based upon daughter ion fragmentation analysis by ES-MS–MS, see Experimental for details.

Monday, 12 December 2016

jobs, education and music

The following is a comment I have posted at this story

Athens' emblematic concert hall struggles to keep the music playing

I am afraid that this story is not at all a top priority for a country with around 60% youth unemployment!
So, I think that any criticism to Helena should be towards the report priorities in a country that has lost more than 250,000 scientists and engineers over the past 5 years.
We need to remember that
Primum vivere deinde philosophari (Live first, then philosophize).
Greek Unis at the moment face an even more, than Megaron's, crisis: the levels of staff has decreased about 35% since 2010 and the salary has been reduced by 25%. It was already 50% lower than EU average...(before I get any cynical comments).
At the moment, a new Lecturer in Greece would get about 1200 pcm (after tax)...
So, let me ask you: in a country without tertiary education, without a specific plan to create jobs, without a plan to develop exports (apart from brain-draining), WHY should we bother about Megaron? That in any case, only few Greeks could afford it...

 Ioannis Zabetakis

P.S. a brain-drainer myself... I am so sorry to see my friends, my ex-colleagues and my ex-students struggling to make ends meet in a country still falling in a downward spiral with no end...


More than 3 years ago, I have been writting...
A nation without education is a suicidal one

Friday, 9 December 2016

The role of aqua industry towards healthier eating

the title of this post is my latest op-Ed piece in International Aquafeed.

You can read it by clicking here.

As always, your comments are mostly welcome.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

some thoughts on the new food pyramid for Ireland

The Department of Health keeps dietary recommendations under review as part of its role in promoting evidence based public health. As part of this review, the new Healthy Food for Life – the Healthy Eating Guidelines and Food Pyramid have been developed by the Department working in partnership with other experts in nutrition in Ireland.

Healthy Food for Life is a toolkit which includes a new Food Pyramid and guidance materials to help people makes choices to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. The resources reflect best national and international evidence and advice. The guidance applies for everyone from 5 years of age upwards.

The above text appears on the website http://www.healthyireland.ie/.

Some thoughts on these guidelines:
1. There are two problems with this pyramid: one around fats and oils and the other one on meat and fish.
2. Fats and oils : the cardioprotective properties of fats differ dramatically between processed fats (e.g. crisps) and natural fats (e.g. nuts, dried fruits, olive oil). The information that passes to the Public is that all fats are the same...but this is not the case! We should communicate to the Public that actually some fats have strong cardioprotective properties (i.e. all polar lipids in wine, fish, vegetable oils, olives etc)
3. Meat and fish: these two foods have distinctive nutritional values in terms of cardioprotection! It is. with regret, to say that it is a grave scientific mistake to group these foods (even more severe that then grouping of all fats). Fish (any fish!) has strong anti-inflammatory properties! (see chapters 4,5 and 8 on this book). Also, the nutritional values of red and white meat are different; this is also overlooked.

I am afraid that the information that is going to be disseminated will have a profound impact towards the wrong direction ...

I would suggest that some information on moderate wine consumption, the value of eating with others and the differences between fish and meat could be drawn from the Med Diet pyramid.

Ioannis Zabetakis (BSc, MEd, PhD)
University of Limerick,