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Diet changes outperform probiotics

Overall, 11 of the 21 studies showed a positive effect on anxiety symptoms by regulating intestinal microbiota, meaning that more than half (52%) of the studies showed this approach to be effective, although some studies that had used this approach did not find it worked. Of the 14 studies that had used probiotics as the intervention, more than a third (36%) found them to be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms, while six of the remaining seven studies that had used non-probiotics as interventions found those to be effective -- a 86% rate of effectiveness. Some studies had used both the IRIF (interventions to regulate intestinal microbiota) approach and treatment as usual. In the five studies that used treatment as usual and IRIF as interventions, only studies that had conducted non-probiotic ways got positive results, that showed a reduction in anxiety symptoms.

Broccoli sprout compound may restore brain chemistry imbalance linked to schizophrenia -- ScienceDaily

They say the results advance the hope that supplementing with broccoli sprout extract, which contains high levels of the chemical sulforaphane, may someday provide a way to lower the doses of traditional antipsychotic medicines needed to manage schizophrenia symptoms, thus reducing unwanted side effects of the medicines. "It's possible that future studies could show sulforaphane to be a safe supplement to give people at risk of developing schizophrenia as a way to prevent, delay or blunt the onset of symptoms," adds Akira Sawa, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of the Johns Hopkins Schizophrenia Center.

Avocados, as a substitution for carbohydrates, can suppress hunger without adding calories: Meals that include fresh avocado can significantly suppress hunger and increase meal satisfaction -- ScienceDaily

The research found that meals including avocado not only resulted in a significant reduction in hunger and an increase in how satisfied participants felt, but also found that an intestinal hormone called PYY was an important messenger of the physiological response.

Inflammation might be the root of preventable disease | Harvard Magazine

Because these compounds have not yet been synthesized as pharmaceuticals, maintaining healthy levels of SPMs is best supported by foods rich in the essential fatty acids EPA, DHA, and arachidonic acid. “There’s a reason they are called ‘essential,’” says Serhan. “You can only get them from your diet.” Fish contains all three, although arachidonic acid is also present in chicken, eggs, and beef, and EPA and DHA can be obtained from certain plant sources and algae. It’s ironic, he points out, that veterinary science has ensured that lab animals (and even pets) in the United States eat better than most people do, because animal food is fortified with omega-3s. Most Americans, he believes, don’t eat enough of them.

Death of the calorie | 1843

The calorie load of carbohydrate-heavy items such as rice, pasta, bread and potatoes can be slashed simply by cooking, chilling and reheating them. As starch molecules cool they form new structures that are harder to digest. You absorb fewer calories eating toast that has been left to go cold, or leftover spaghetti, than if they were freshly made. Scientists in Sri Lanka discovered in 2015 that they could more than halve the calories potentially absorbed from rice by adding coconut oil during cooking and then cooling the rice. This made the starch less digestible so the body may take on fewer calories (they have yet to test on human beings the precise effects of rice cooked in this way). That’s a bad thing if you’re malnourished, but a boon if you’re trying to lose weight.

Could eating garlic reduce aging-related memory problems? -- ScienceDaily

For the study, the researchers gave oral allyl sulfide to mice that were 24 months old, which correlates to people between 56 and 69 years of age. They compared these mice with 4- and 24-month-old mice not receiving the dietary allyl sulfide supplement. The researchers observed that the older mice receiving the garlic compound showed better long- and short-term memory and healthier gut bacteria than the older mice that didn't receive the treatment. Spatial memory was also impaired in the 24-month-old mice not receiving allyl sulfide. Additional experiments revealed that reduced gene expression of neuronal-derived natriuretic factor (NDNF) in the brain was likely responsible for the cognitive decline. This gene was recently discovered by the University of Louisville researchers and is required for long-term and short-term memory consolidation. The researchers found that mice receiving the garlic compound exhibited higher levels of NDNF gene expression. In addition, recombinant-NDNF protein therapy in the brain restored the cognitive abilities of the older mice that did not receive the garlic compound.

Prehistoric Britons rack up food miles for feasts near Stonehenge: Landmark study reveals the monumental distances traveled for national mass gatherings -- ScienceDaily

Using isotope analysis, which identifies chemical signals from the food and water that animals have consumed, the researchers were able to determine geographical areas where the pigs were raised. The study offers the most detailed picture yet of the degree of mobility across Britain at the time of Stonehenge. Dr Madgwick said: "Arguably the most startling finding is the efforts that participants invested in contributing pigs that they themselves had raised. Procuring them in the vicinity of the feasting sites would have been relatively easy. "Pigs are not nearly as well-suited to movement over distance as cattle and transporting them, either slaughtered or on the hoof, over hundreds or even tens of kilometres, would have required a monumental effort. "This suggests that prescribed contributions were required and that rules dictated that offered pigs must be raised by the feasting participants, accompanying them on their journey, rather than being acquired locally."

Immunotherapy for egg allergy may allow patients to eat egg safely long after treatment -- ScienceDaily

"Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies and usually appears in early childhood. It has significant risk for severe allergic reactions and negatively affects quality of life for children with the allergy," said Kim, assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine and director of the UNC Food Allergy Initiative. "While the allergy does seem to go away with age, it can last into the second decade of life for most people. Any treatment that can allow the introduction of egg into the diet of someone with egg allergy provides nutritional benefits and peace of mind for the patient and their family."

Fermented foods, neuroticism, and social anxiety: An interaction model. - PubMed - NCBI

An interaction model, controlling for demographics, general consumption of healthful foods, and exercise frequency, showed that exercise frequency, neuroticism, and fermented food consumption significantly and independently predicted social anxiety. Moreover, fermented food consumption also interacted with neuroticism in predicting social anxiety. Specifically, for those high in neuroticism, higher frequency of fermented food consumption was associated with fewer symptoms of social anxiety. Taken together with previous studies, the results suggest that fermented foods that contain probiotics may have a protective effect against social anxiety symptoms for those at higher genetic risk, as indexed by trait neuroticism.

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong - The Huffington Post

The United States spends $1.5 billion on nutrition research every year compared to around $60 billion on drug research. Just 4 percent of agricultural subsidies go to fruits and vegetables. No wonder that the healthiest foods can cost up to eight times more, calorie for calorie, than the unhealthiest—or that the gap gets wider every year. It’s the same with exercise. The cardiovascular risks of sedentary lifestyles, suburban sprawl and long commutes are well-documented. […]Only 13 percent of American children walk or bike to school; once they arrive, less than a third of them will take part in a daily gym class. Among adults, the number of workers commuting more than 90 minutes each way grew by more than 15 percent from 2005 to 2016, a predictable outgrowth of America’s underinvestment in public transportation and over-investment in freeways, parking and strip malls. For 40 years, as politicians have told us to eat more vegetables and take the stairs instead of the elevator, they have presided over a country where daily exercise has become a luxury and eating well has become extortionate.

Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong - The Huffington Post

the decisive factor in obesity care was not the diet patients went on, but how much attention and support they received while they were on it. Participants who got more than 12 sessions with a dietician saw significant reductions in their rates of prediabetes and cardiovascular risk. Those who got less personalized care showed almost no improvement at all.

The world eats cheap bacon at the expense of North Carolina’s rural poor — Quartz

The state’s General Assembly has proposed rules that would bar new residents in a neighborhood from filing nuisance lawsuits. Another proposed amendment would require residents who lose their nuisance cases to pay for the legal expenses of the farms sued. The state is getting a little less transparent—as of last year, the state government will no longer disclose how many total complaints have been made against hog farms. Instead, North Carolina only reports those that resulted in notices of violation. (Between the start of 2012 and the end of March this year, there were only 15 notices.)

The world eats cheap bacon at the expense of North Carolina’s rural poor — Quartz

There is little denying that whatever the impact of the hog lagoons, it is poorer rural communities of color that bear the effects the most. Almost all of the plaintiffs in the nuisance lawsuits are black Americans. A study released last year by UNCCH found that black North Carolinians were one and a half times as likely to live within three miles of an industrial hog operation as white residents. American Indians were twice as likely and Hispanic residents were 1.39 times as likely to live near these facilities in North Carolina. “This spatial pattern is generally recognized as environmental racism,” the study’s authors concluded.

The Communist Cookbook Responsible for Prague’s Slow Culinary Comeback - Gastro Obscura

Cooks that wanted to deviate from these recipes had to get approval from the Ministry of Health, a request that could take years to go through. Most people opted for the easier route, which is how thousands of nearly identical menus came to be established across the country. Paired with limited ingredient diversity, the nation suffered a creative drought: It wasn’t just that all the same dishes were served, but the dishes were prepared exactly the same way, resulting in identical versions of dishes, too. Each bite was calculated as a means of productivity, and dining for pleasure was considered extravagant. “Special” meals were no longer considered, and the scope of Czech cuisine shrunk. Yet as NYU Prague sociologist Vanda Thorne points out, people were eating outside the home more than ever before. Children ate at school cafeterias, and parents dined at work cantinas. Since prices were controlled and salaries were largely uniform, everyone could afford restaurants. “Meals at home were often prepared from prefabricated components as there was a noticeable lack of fresh produce,” Thorne says. Though homemade meals weren’t as strictly regulated by the state, there was still little opportunity for originality there.

The Communist Cookbook Responsible for Prague’s Slow Culinary Comeback - Gastro Obscura

When communists came to power in 1948, citizens were hopeful they could return to a life containing more prewar luxuries. Though the quality of food improved, life under socialist ideas still proved restrictive. Twenty years later, when liberalization started to gain traction, the party saw a need for even stricter control. In an effort to consolidate power, they purged reformist officials from the government and established a range of restrictions on everyday activities. Eating was no exception. The state Restaurants and Cafeterias company soon issued a national cookbook entitled Receptury teplých pokrmu, or Recipes for Warm Meals. Dubbed “normovacka,” or “the book of standards,” it dictated what cooks in the country could serve in 845 recipes. Ladislav Pravaan, curator of the Gastronomie Muzeum of Prague, explains that the book even specified sources and serving styles for everything from sauces to side dishes.

Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal -- ScienceDaily

Dr Javier Gonzalez, senior lecturer in the Department of Health who co-led the study, said: "This is the first study to examine the ways in which breakfast before exercise influences our responses to meals after exercise. We found that, compared to skipping breakfast, eating breakfast before exercise increases the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolise carbohydrate that we may eat after exercise." Rob Edinburgh, PhD student in the Department for Health who co-led the study, said: "We also found that breakfast before exercise increases carbohydrate burning during exercise, and that this carbohydrate wasn't just coming from the breakfast that was just eaten, but also from carbohydrate stored in our muscles as glycogen. This increase in the use of muscle glycogen may explain why there was more rapid clearance of blood sugar after 'lunch' when breakfast had been consumed before exercise.

A Smartphone App Reveals Erratic Diurnal Eating Patterns in Humans that Can Be Modulated for Health Benefits. - PubMed - NCBI

The daily intake duration (95% interval) exceeded 14.75 hr for half of the cohort. When overweight individuals with >14 hr eating duration ate for only 10-11 hr daily for 16 weeks assisted by a data visualization (raster plot of dietary intake pattern, "feedogram") that we developed, they reduced body weight, reported being energetic, and improved sleep. Benefits persisted for a year.

Beef jerky and other processed meats associated with manic episodes -- ScienceDaily

A study of their records between 2007 and 2017 showed that, unexpectedly, among people who had been hospitalized for mania, a history of eating cured meat before hospitalization were approximately 3.5 times higher than the group of people without a psychiatric disorder. Cured meats were not associated with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder in people not hospitalized for mania or in major depressive disorder. No other foods about which participants were queried had a significant association with any of the disorders, or with mania. "We looked at a number of different dietary exposures and cured meat really stood out," says Yolken. "It wasn't just that people with mania have an abnormal diet."

Liberals do drink more lattes, but maybe not for the reasons you think -- ScienceDaily

In fact, only 16% of liberals, 11% of moderates, and 9% of conservatives prefer lattes. In exploring why liberals show a stronger preference for lattes, the researchers considered numerous factors, including the availability of lattes in one's local area, household income, and gender. Although all of these were predictors of latte drinking, none of them explained the relationship between lattes and liberals. However, latte drinkers' attitudes toward globalization proved most meaningful in explaining why liberals are more likely to drink lattes.

Don’t Eat Before Reading This | Bourdain

Generally speaking, the good stuff comes in on Tuesday: the seafood is fresh, the supply of prepared food is new, and the chef, presumably, is relaxed after his day off. (Most chefs don’t work on Monday.) Chefs prefer to cook for weekday customers rather than for weekenders, and they like to start the new week with their most creative dishes. In New York, locals dine during the week. Weekends are considered amateur nights—for tourists, rubes, and the well-done-ordering pretheatre hordes. The fish may be just as fresh on Friday, but it’s on Tuesday that you’ve got the good will of the kitchen on your side.

Virtual Reality Shows Promise in Treating Eating Disorders | Healthcare Analytics News

“The virtual environment makes it possible to control the unexpected and to be exposed in a safe environment to certain fears that may be difficult to reproduce in real situations,” Peran said in an email. In the future, Peran said, it could be helpful to integrate other senses into treatment, like smell and taste. But right now, the main limitation is that many therapists and physicians simply aren’t trained in using VR. The equipment itself often isn’t cheap, as well. (The cheapest major headset on the market, Google’s Daydream kit, retails for about $99). Patients also may have to deal with “simulation sickness.”   Still, the paper noted that direct studies of VR on eating disorders are few and far between. The paper used data from several clinical trials with a single patient, along with others that examined just a handful. It seems that VR-therapy is still in its infancy—just isolated physicians with the means and expertise giving it a shot on willing patients. Still, the paper notes those isolated trials show signs of progress. The paper found that most researchers focused on exposing users to food stimuli or their own body image, in a controlled format. The authors present VR as a compliment to CBT, the traditional method of therapy that treats anorexia nervosa and bulimia, allowing therapists to work on patients’ response to stimuli (like looking in the mirror or being exposed to food) in a virtual environment, and then apply CBT techniques to help break down their negative body images and anxieties.

How to feed your gut | Life and style | The Guardian

If you were to view your microbiome as a garden, fibre would be your fertiliser. Spector reckons that most people need to double their intake. Foods containing the best fibre types for your microbes – AKA prebiotic foods – include artichokes, jerusalem artichokes, leeks, celery, chicory, onions and garlic. Variety is the top priority. “So, it’s not just focusing on one or two of these examples,” warns Spector. “Our latest research is showing that it’s not necessarily someone who calls themselves vegetarian who has the most healthy gut – it’s the person who eats more diversity of plants in a week. Having the same salad every day isn’t going to be as healthy as eating a rich diversity of food with occasional meat.” This could just as easily be a way of describing the Mediterranean diet, with its kaleidoscope of fruit, veg, nuts, grains and legumes.

Eating Salad Every Day Keeps Brains 11 Years Younger and Prevents Dementia, Study Shows

Nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris and her team at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that people who ate one to two servings of leafy green vegetables each day experienced fewer memory problems and cognitive decline compared to people who rarely ate spinach. In fact, Morris estimates that veggie lovers who included about 1.3 servings a day into their diets had brains that were roughly 11 years younger compared to those who consumed the least amount of foods like spinach or kale.

How Civilization Started | The New Yorker

there is a crucial, direct link between the cultivation of cereal crops and the birth of the first states. It’s not that cereal grains were humankind’s only staples; it’s just that they were the only ones that encouraged the formation of states. “History records no cassava states, no sago, yam, taro, plantain, breadfruit or sweet potato states,” he writes. What was so special about grains? The answer will make sense to anyone who has ever filled out a Form 1040: grain, unlike other crops, is easy to tax. Some crops (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava) are buried and so can be hidden from the tax collector, and, even if discovered, they must be dug up individually and laboriously. Other crops (notably, legumes) ripen at different intervals, or yield harvests throughout a growing season rather than along a fixed trajectory of unripe to ripe—in other words, the taxman can’t come once and get his proper due. Only grains are, in Scott’s words, “visible, divisible, assessable, storable, transportable, and ‘rationable.’ ”

The Thrill of Losing Money by Investing in a Manhattan Restaurant | The New Yorker

Restaurant investing tempts because it allows one to be part of a project that is taken seriously in places like the Times. You can’t own one-forty-second of the next Zadie Smith novel. Restaurant investing is also tempting because of its relatively low entry price, compared with, say, backing a movie. And it seduces because of a category error: I thought I knew something about the business of hospitality, just because guests at a dinner party once said nice things about my panzanella.

The Best Thing to Eat Before a Workout? Maybe Nothing at All - The New York Times

“If we just think of this in evolutionary terms,” he said, “our ancestors would have had to expend a great deal of energy through physical activity in order to hunt and gather food. So, it would be perfectly normal for the exercise to come first, and the food to follow.”