Friday, 24 November 2017

to publish open access or not ? this is the question

Source: © M-H Jeeves



here is an interesting story!

 Of good dogs and bad journals

 and the question is...(see title of the post)


my answer is rather simple: YES! Try to choose though wisely...there are definitely good and bad open access journals.

You can smell them...(keep an eye on the track record - how many years are round, how many journals with high IF they publish, if you can recognise any names on the Edit Board).

Thursday, 23 November 2017

How many coffees a day keep the doctor away?

Well....There is a clear answer now!

People who drink three to four cups of coffee a day are more likely to see health benefits than problems, experiencing lower risks of premature death and heart disease than those who abstain, scientists have said.

The full scientific paper is here

So... Enjoy your coffee!

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

What are the estimated costs of childhood overweight and obesity on the island of Ireland?

Over the past 3 decades the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased markedly in Ireland and worldwide. In the Republic of Ireland it is currently estimated that 60% of adults and 25% of children are overweight or obese.

Obesity is a chronic disorder described by the World Health Organization as a condition of abnormal or excessive fat accumulation to the extent that health may be impaired. Excess body weight is associated with a significant burden of chronic disease, with attendant negative effects on overall life expectancy, disability-free life expectancy, quality of life, healthcare costs and productivity.

[you can read the full report here]

Friday, 17 November 2017

Obesity kills and fish can combat that !

New Aquafeed article (November 2017 issue)

On October 11, 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) released some rather worrying data: we are getting fatter and fatter at alarming rates

 In detail, the number of obese children and adolescents (aged five to 19 years) worldwide has risen tenfold in the past four decades.

If current trends continue, more children and adolescents will be obese than moderately or severely underweight by 2022.

The study was published in The Lancet ahead of World Obesity Day (October 11) (Abarca-Gómez et al.).

It analysed weight and height measurements from nearly 130 million people aged over five years (31.5 million people aged five to 19, and 97.4 million aged 20 and older), making it the largest ever number of participants involved in an epidemiological study.

More than 1000 contributors participated in the study, which looked at body mass index (BMI) and how obesity has changed worldwide from 1975 to 2016.

Obesity rates in the world’s children and adolescents increased from less than one percent (equivalent to 5 million girls and 6 million boys) in 1975 to nearly six percent in girls (50 million) and nearly eight percent in boys (74 million) in 2016.

Combined, the number of obese five to 19 year olds rose more than tenfold globally, from 11 million in 1975 to 124 million in 2016.

An additional 213 million were overweight in 2016 but fell below the threshold for obesity.

So, adding obese and overweight people aged five-19 years old, we have a sum of 337 millions.

You can stop reading this article now.

And just think how many obese/overweight people under 19 years old you know. Do these people have a sports hobby? Do they exercise at all? What do they eat? How often do they eat fish?

In our January 2017 article, we mentioned that Irish Food Pyramid is full ofscientific mistakes; mistakes that could promote obesity by passing the wrong message to the public.

Meat and fish are not equal in terms of nutritional value and this fact has been overlooked in Ireland.

What about the health authorities in other countries? Do they convey accurate diet guidelines?

To see references and read the full article click, HERE.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

(Food) Science Week : We are the World - We are the Children

Tuesday 14th November was an exceptional day; a day to remember!
I was invited to go to the secondary school of one of my boys where I had (the honour and) the chance to talk and interact with year 1 boys on diet, nutrition, Science and " How to Live Well? ".

This activity was part of the Science Week where thousands of unique workshops, talks, tutorials etc take place all around Ireland.

At St Munchins College, boys were interactive, inquisitive and happy! Talking to them, teaching them about Diet and Food Pyramids (and some endemic mistakes there...) was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my teaching career so far.

We compared Med diet and Irish food pyramids, we talked about Science, Health and Diet and so many other things that affect our Lives in a positive or a negative way. We discussed about exercise, happiness, love, addictions.
But above all, we had FUN! 

Boys were buzzing non-stop and though this collaborative experience, we all learned some useful things.
From now on, it is up to us to start implementing them.
By making small changes in the way we eat and live, we can improve our Lives.
By thinking (Food) Science when we choose and prepare our food, our life quality can be improved and then we can more easily reach further out like the song suggests...

A special "Thank you" to all the Teachers and the Boys in St Munchins for this beautiful day!

(from a Dad)

We Are The World

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And it's time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of God's great big family
And the truth, you know
Love is all we need
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me
Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand
We are the world, we are the children

Friday, 10 November 2017

Are food colourings safe to eat?

that was a very interesting question at I'm a Scientist

My answer...

Ioannis Zabetakis answered on 10 Nov 2017:

I’ll tell you a story: if you drink squash at the house, have a look at the label, you can read about the flavourings and the artificial sweetenets you have there…
Each of these chemicals is safe to eat on its own but NOBODY has studied if eating two of these chemicals together is safe or toxic…Imagine now how many different chemicals (preservatives, sweeteners, flavourings etc) we eat every day. All these end up in our body…nobody knows if they react together or if they cause any synergistic effect. Synergy is when the end result is greater of the sums.
now look at this picture

two chemicals can have this synergistic toxicity…
conclusion: the less chemicals we eat, the better!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

What would be the greatest thing to happen to you in your career?

 One of the most challenging questions so far...
What would be the greatest thing to happen to you in your career?

Scientists reveal their career dreams in Food Zone of

fish is much more than omega 3s !!!

some fish that we have fished with spear guns and enjoyed with ouzo :)

on today's Guardian, there is this article

Struggling to eat two portions of oily fish a week? Time for a rethink 

what we need to remember is this:

1. fish is a very nutritious food in relation to inflammation (i.e. CVDs, cancer, stroke, diabetes etc)
2.there is much much more in fish than omega 3s.
for some fish specific bioactivities against chronic diseases, you can have a look here

and here

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

I am a Scientist - Food Zone

From Monday 6th November (yesterday) till Friday 17th November, primary school teachers and students can participate in an online chat about various science themes "I am a Scientist".

I am glad to contribute to the "Food Zone"

Please, pass this word around to encourage your kids, your students, your friends to take part!
It is great fun and a super way to communicate Science.

Yesterday, at my first chat, I was delighted to be asked questions ranging from which type of chocolate is best (white, dark or milk) to why oil is lighter than water.

Great time! Thanks to all of you for your questions and your Teachers for making this true!

Chat soon again,


Monday, 6 November 2017

new paper: Phospholipids of Animal and Marine Origin: Structure, Function, and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

In this review paper, the latest literature on the functional properties of phospholipids in relation to inflammation and inflammation-related disorders has been critically appraised and evaluated. The paper is divided into three sections: Section one addresses the relationship between the anti-inflammatory bioactivities of different phospholipids in relation to their structures and compositions. Sections two and three are dedicated to the structures, functions and anti-inflammatory properties of dietary phospholipids from animal and marine sources. Most of the dietary phospholipids of animal origin come from meat, egg and dairy products. To date, there is very limited work published on meat phospholipids, undoubtedly due to the negative perception that meat consumption is an unhealthy option due to its putative associations with several chronic diseases. These assumptions are addressed with respect to the phospholipid composition of meat products. Recent research trends indicate that dairy phospholipids possess anti-inflammatory properties, which has led to an increased interest into their molecular structures and reputed health benefits. Finally, the structural composition of phospholipids of marine origin is discussed. Extensive research has been published in relation to ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and inflammation, however this research has recently come under scrutiny and has proved to be unreliable and controversial in terms of the therapeutic effects of ω-3 PUFA, which are generally in the form of triglycerides and esters. Therefore, this review focuses on recent publications concerning marine phospholipids and their structural composition and related health benefits. Finally, the strong nutritional value of dietary phospholipids are highlighted with respect to marine and animal origin and avenues for future research are discussed.

Lordan, R.; Tsoupras, A.; Zabetakis, I. Phospholipids of Animal and Marine Origin: Structure, Function, and Anti-Inflammatory Properties. Preprints 2017, 2017110038 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201711.0038.v1).

Friday, 3 November 2017

the Inuit diet

a lot of fish in the diet --> a lot of polar lipids in the bloodstream --> no cardiovascular diseases!

but... there is another risk when they fish...

Enjoy the video 👦

research trends and product innovation

The students' presentations on Research trends started today. All of them top quality!
It was great to see that product development and research ideas can come into such a beautiful fruition like the photo above : a product that the students made themselves and distributed to all of us!

Well done Ellen, Danielle and Dian!


Thursday, 2 November 2017

Demonising cholesterol! What a mistake!

This article in the Irish Times is good! At last, some voices on how wrong it is demonising cholesterol!

Followers of this blog may remember this 

related paper

innovation challenge

This year, at the module "Research Trends in Health and Food", I asked my students to face 

Innovation challenge 
to propose a novel food that addresses the most important needs of Irish market

 Some excellent ideas were developed and some truly innovative products  have been suggested ranging from soup and yogurt drink to snack bar, tea drink and pasta sauce.
The beauty of the projects is that the food composition was linked to specific health claims.
After this, we are ready to R+D real foods and drinks!
Well done Everybody!