Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Novel research

The relationship between fish consumption and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Objective: To assess whether more frequent fish consumption is associated with lower RA disease activity scores among participants in an RA cohort. 

 Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from participants in the Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in RA (ESCAPE-RA) cohort study. Frequency of fish consumption was assessed by a baseline food frequency questionnaire assessing usual diet in the past year. Multivariable, total energy-adjusted linear regression models provided effect estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for frequency of fish consumption (never to <1/month, 1/month to <1/week, 1/week, and ≥2/week) on baseline DAS28-CRP. We also estimated the difference in DAS28-CRP associated with increasing fish consumption by one serving per week.
Results: Among 176 participants, median DAS28-CRP was 3.5 (interquartile range 2.9-4.3). In an adjusted linear regression model, subjects consuming fish ≥2 times/week had a significantly lower DAS28-CRP compared with subjects who ate fish never to <1/month (difference -0.49 [95% CI -0.97, -0.02]). For each additional serving of fish per week, DAS28-CRP was significantly reduced by 0.18 (95% CI -0.35, -0.004).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher intake of fish may be associated with lower disease activity in RA patients.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

lack of common sense or something else?

the news: India’s government is advising pregnant women to avoid all meat, eggs and lustful thoughts.

Malnutrition and anaemia, or iron deficiency, are key factors behind India having one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality, with 174 of every 100,000 pregnancies resulting in the mother’s death in 2015. That’s better than five years earlier, when the maternal mortality rate was 205 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, but still far worse than China’s 27 per 100,000 or the United States’ 14 per 100,000, according to Unicef.

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Why does the India's government choose to ignore the scientific facts and put in danger the lives of mothers and babies?
Is it lack of common sense or something else?

Monday, 19 June 2017

trans fatty acids: Industry vs Science

On the obituary of Fred A. Kummerow, there is an interesting story on trans fatty acids...

"Interviewed for this obituary in 2016, Professor Kummerow said that in the 1960s and ’70s the processed food industry, enjoying a cozy relationship with scientists, played a large role in keeping trans fats in people’s diets.
“Other scientists were more interested in what the industry was thinking than what I was thinking,” he said. He was often heckled by industry representatives when he presented his research at scientific conferences, he said."

= = =

So, at the battle Industry vs Science, who is the winner?

Diet, Nutrition and Politics (upd)

the June issue of International Aquafeeds is out!

You can read my op-ed piece here.

Let’s remind ourselves some common sense things that the politicians tend to forget 

 1. We work towards the design, development and production of functional and nutritious food following as much as possible sustainable practices.

2. We care for the health of our family and the future of our kids.

3. In a wider and more, ideological context, we (should) care for the well being of Society and the Planet.

4. The public health is a matter of concern.

5. Healthy diet (with lots of fish!) should be promoted more openly. Now, let’s see some recent news coming from US [1].

According to this report, “Michelle Obama has made her strongest political intervention since leaving the White House, stating bluntly at a health conference: “Think about why someone is OK with your kids eating crap.”

So, why did she need to state this? Because, earlier in May, Donald Trump’s administration froze regulations that would cut sodium and increase whole grains served in school meals [2].

So, the story goes like that: Michelle Obama’s legacy on promoting healthy eating is in real danger by the current administration in US under Donald Trump.

This is the administration that denies climate change and the fact that the Planet gets warmer due to anthropogenic activities! It is quite clear from these stories, that when we work towards the 5 points mentioned at the start of this op-ed article, we are not alone!

We have to face politicians that are sometimes misinformed, probably a bit ignorant, somehow with their own agenda and ignoring the wider good!

However, there is a dead clear way forward that could boost our companies and products: to communicate to nutritional authorities and politicians the benefits of a healthy diet, the pros of eating fish and seafood and how these foods can promote health and inhibit obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

The world is complex and in order to be successful as professionals, as parents, as members of the wider public promoting the public interests we need to ask ourselves: Michelle or Donald?

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Yogurt and Immune system

Yogurt containing two probiotic strains plus heat-treated bacteria may boost the activity of immune cells called natural killer (NK) cells in people over 60, says a new study.

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of consuming dairy yogurt containing Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei (L. paracasei), Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis (B. lactis) and heat-treated Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) on immune function. A randomized, open-label, placebo-controlled study was conducted on 200 nondiabetic subjects. Over a twelve-week period, the test group consumed dairy yogurt containing probiotics each day, whereas the placebo group consumed milk. Natural killer (NK) cell activity, interleukin (IL)-12 and immunoglobulin (Ig) G1 levels were significantly increased in the test group at twelve weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, the test group had significantly greater increases in serum NK cell activity and interferon (IFN)-γ and IgG1 than placebo group. 
Figure 1. Effects on serum interleukin (IL)-12, interferon (IFN)-γ, and immunoglobulin G1 concentrations following 12 weeks of consuming dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum. Mean ± SE. tested by logarithmic transformation. * p < 0.05 and ** p < 0.01 derived from paired t-tests within each group. p < 0.05 derived from independent t-tests at changed value and adjusted for baseline values, sex, and changes in diastolic blood pressure (BP).
Daily consumption of dairy yogurt containing L. paracasei, B. lactis and heat-treated L. plantarum could be an effective option to improve immune function by enhancing NK cell function and IFN-γ concentration.

Friday, 9 June 2017

moving backwards

Putin has signed accord to take action against climate change...; what does DUP believe on this?

Yesterday's elections in UK brought DUP into goverment.
Here are six DUP stances we should know about;

one of them is on: Climate denial

While climate change scepticism is not official party “policy”, the DUP has previously appointed a denier as environment minister in Northern Ireland, and it counts a number of creationists among its senior members.

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 Denying climate change has major implications on food sustainability and food security.
Hence, I think we could argue that the new UK goverment and the term "food secutiry" are incompatible...

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Friends of the Earth has expressed concern that the Democratic Unionists will exercise major national influence over the government even though some of the party’s MPs are climate change sceptics.
The most vociferous doubter of climate change is the DUP’s East Antrim MP, Sammy Wilson. He has described the theory of manmade climate change as a “con”. James Orr, Friends of the Earth’s Northern Ireland director, said:
Their manifesto had hardly a positive word on the environment and nothing at all on climate change. Theresa May must not allow the DUP to further weaken her already inadequate manifesto commitments to maintain environmental protections and preserve nature.
Senior members of the DUP have also even denied the theory of evolution. In 2009, when the Ulster Museum hosted an exhibition marking Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, the DUP’s Mervyn Storey (who later became a minister in the executive) called for “an alternative exhibition” promoting creationism.
Storey’s election literature from the same period included a photograph of him standing on the Giant’s Causeway, the world heritage site with uniquely hexagonal rocks on the Northern Irish coastline that scientists say is 550m years old – far far older than the biblical claim of the Earth’s age.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Cancer, Diet and Exercise

Some recent studies highlight the value of a good diet and exercise in fighting cancer.

In detail, a study of nearly 1,000 colon cancer patients found that those who exercised regularly, ate more fruits and vegetables and avoided refined grains and meats had a 42% lower chance of death after seven years. 

Similarly, a study of more than 300 Australian breast cancer survivors who aimed to exercise for 180 minutes a week – most by simply walking – had far better rates of survival than those who were not part of an exercise program.

 = = =

The message here is clear: diet, exercise should be an integral part fighting cancer. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Climate Change and Food Security

One of the most urgent problems that we need to face is the one of food security; i.e. Food Security (FS) stands for the production of nutritious food that is enough to feed all people on Earth.

FS has two dimensions:
1. nutritional value of the produced food and
2. sustainable production of food.

Climate Change (CC) is huge problem that we face as food Scientists. CC makes the food production more difficult and more expensive. Therefore, CC is a huge obstacle in our attempts to increase FS...

Denial of CC is a major political and scientific non-sense...

Denial of CC jeopardises FS, in other words it may put human lives at risk...Risk of famine, risk of malnutrition, risk of ...death.

Therefore, in our opinion, denying CC and Paris aggrement is simply wrong and unhuman!

Ioannis Zabetakis


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Ireland first country to restrict unhealthy food sponsorship aimed at children

Ireland is set to become the first country in the world to restrict unhealthy food sponsorships aimed at children attending primary school, once a newly developed code of practice is introduced.
The code, developed jointly by the Department of Health, the HSE, food companies and advertisers, has the objective of reducing people’s exposure to the marketing of food and drink that is high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS). 

the full story is here.