New Study: Mice Lost Weight and Lowered Cholesterol with Fiber Supplement

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The Holy Grail drug to effective weight loss has yet to be discovered. But recently, a new study conducted by the researchers from the Georgia State University might change the way we will deal with weight loss. The secret? The fermentable fiber inulin.

What did the Study Analyze?

To conduct the study, the researchers fed mice with a supplement containing inulin and observed the progress. After a few weeks, those that consumed the inulin supplements showed reduced metabolic syndrome even when fed with a high-fat diet. Those that were fed with the fiber had decreased weight gain, better cholesterol levels, and a limited spike in their blood sugar levels.

But aside from inulin, there are still other compounds in fiber-rich foods that make them good for the overall gut health. For instance, resistant starch called amylose is found in fiber and has the ability to protect against genetic damage that can lead to colon cancer. It can also help fight against Type 2 diabetes.

A multitude of studies have underestimated the role of dietary fibers in weight loss. But only recently did scientists find out that dietary fibers play a role in the growth of good bacteria in the gut or colon. Studies show that those who consume a high-fiber diet are able to balance their blood sugar level, lower cholesterol levels, lower the risk of heart problems, and have better digestion than those who consume high protein-rich foods.

The role of fiber in maintaining good health has always been touted by many health experts.  But it is only recently that most consumers have started to eat more fiber. In fact, market research indicated that 87% of the consumers consider it to be healthy and 60% of the respondents actively seek products containing more fiber.

Fiber is Growing as an Important Health Claim


Food and beverage manufacturers have quickly responded to the demands of the consumer for more products that contain high amounts of fiber. Currently, products like Fiber One ice cream and Activia yogurt contain high amounts of fibers. Other beverage companies have also followed suit and started adding soluble fiber into their beverages.

Aside from the food industry, the trend has also reached government institutions. This is the reason why the US Food and Drug Administration is thinking of releasing a new Nutrition Facts label about putting the measurements of dietary fiber on food products. Unfortunately, the institute has not yet fully defined what counts as dietary fiber.

It is interesting to take note that fiber-rich foods are not only popular among older consumers but also the millennial generation. Younger consumers particularly millennials are consuming high-fiber products because of their touted health benefits. This opened opportunities for companies whose target markets are the millennials and younger consumers to produce products that are rich in fiber.  These include Dannon, General Mills, and Tale & Lyle.

The thing is that consumption of soluble fiber has been found to be very effective in improving not only the weight loss capacity of individuals but also their overall health. Fiber is gaining traction because consumers are getting more conscious about their food choices.

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1/3 of Protein Bars Have as Much Fat as a Krispy Kreme Donut

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Has the New Year, New You health and wellness trend hit you this year? How many protein shakes, protein bars and workouts are you taking in? Well, if you love the taste of your favorite protein bar, you might want to look at the label a little closer. Protectivity, a U.K. based health, sports, and travel specialists revealed in new research that more than 33% of all protein bars have more saturated fat than a Krispy Kreme donut.

How Protectivity Analyzed 56 Protein Bars

Protectivity created a fitness food index to help people look at the protein, carbohydrate, sugar, and fat content to look at a variety of products including protein bards. The index shows that protein bars often contain large amounts of sugar and fat. They found that 10 of the 56 bars analyzed contained more sugar than a Krispy Kreme donut.

Nutritional shakes and bars have been one of the most active markets over the past five years. From 2010 to 2015, the category grew at 10% year over year. In 2016, the market reached over $9 billion in sales around the world. It’s safe to say that these formulas of high fat and sugar content will not last long as protein bars have typically been seen as part of the clean eating trend.

Large CPG Companies Acquiring the Nimbler Bar Brands

It’s evident that the smaller brands are catching the eye of the giant CPG companies. These brands have already created formulas that meet consumer needs with low sugar, low fat, and great taste. Big CPG sees no reason to reinvent the wheel and instead believes the acquisition is the best way to gain market share. Last November, Mars took a minority stake in KIND bar. Kellogg acquired RXBAR to grow its clean label protein bar offerings for over $600 million in 2017. The nutritional bar market is hot, and we expect more acquisitions in this area in 2018.

Consumers Must Recognize Protein Bars as a Meal Replacement, Not a Snack

Brands must educate consumers on protein bars and nutritional products. Many of these products are not formulated to be eaten as a casual snack but as a meal replacement or a post-workout fuel. Brands should be concerned about the high levels of fat and sugar because if consumers don’t see results, they will switch to another favorite food solution. 2018 and 2019 should be the years that these brand focus on adding healthier ingredients and formulating these bars to be more reliable nutritional products for consumers.

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Mom’s Sweet Tooth May Be to Blame for Child’s Allergies

The World Health Organization reports that around 235 million people suffer from asthma and children lead the list. To make matters worse, the number is predicted to increase to 400 million by the year 2025.

Asthma is a global health threat, and reports indicate that 50% of children are more sensitive to one or more allergens. This respiratory epidemic has been rising over the last 50 years, and the unlikely cause is the change in diet.

If your child is suffering from allergies, then chances are that the culprit is your sweet tooth. In a study published in the European Respiratory Journal, women who consume sugary foods during pregnancy may increase the risk of their baby developing allergies.

According to the lead author of the study, Annabelle Bedard from the Queen Mary University of London, there has been a rise when it comes to the intake of free sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup over the last five decades. Free sugar is not found naturally in fruits and vegetables, and these include syrups, honey, sweeteners, and table sugar to name a few.

How the Study Was Conducted on Children’s Allergies 

The researchers used data obtained from 9,000 mother and child pairs in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. This is a long-term and ongoing research study that tracks the health of families with children who were born between April 1991 and December 1992.

To investigate the connection between the diet of the mother and the allergies of their children, the researchers calculated the number of free sugars consumed by women during their pregnancy through questionnaires. The researchers then looked into the sugar consumption and the allergies of their children.

The Sugar-Allergy Relationship

The study shows that 62% of children in the study do not suffer from any allergies, but the rest suffered from common allergies (22%), eczema (16%), and asthma (12%). On the other hand, the researchers looked into the sugar consumption of moms during pregnancy.

Children from moms who had a high sugar intake have a 38% increased risk of developing allergies compared to those who are born from moms who consumed less sugar. The researchers calculated that kids from moms who consumed more sugar are also likely to suffer from two or more allergies such as asthma, hay fever, and eczema. For instance, the risk of allergic asthma increased by 101% for kids born from moms with high sugar consumption group versus the low sugar group.

Although there is a strong link, researchers emphasized that the results are inconclusive such that there are other factors that can lead children to suffer from allergies. Allergies are complex diseases that are associated with different factors such as genetic defects, pollutants, and many others.

In fact, senior lecturer in immunology at the University of Manchester, Sheena Cruickshank, noted that more studies should be carried out to determine the cause of the relationship between sugar consumption of mothers and the allergies of their children.

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Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids?

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for growing kids. The new recommended daily dietary allowance for Vitamin D is 600 UI per day. Most parents think their child is getting enough vitamin D from milk and playtime in the sun. Surprisingly, several studies have shown vitamin D deficiencies in children of all age groups. A recent survey by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has revealed that the daily dietary allowance of vitamin D is insufficient for children. Participants in the study consumed almost twice the amount of the vitamin, and it still proved to be inadequate. Therefore, we now need to re-define how much of the vitamin is “enough”.

The significance of Vitamin D

vitamin d sunlight Vitamin D is not only necessary for healthy bones, but also helps prevent some major chronic diseases that may occur later in life. Deficiency may also result into bone-softening or rickets. The excessive low levels of the vitamin may have its basis in lifestyle changes. Preventing deficiency will only be possible by increasing the intake of vitamin D in children and all age groups.

The research at Pittsburgh University was conducted on 73 white candidates and 84 black candidates from ages between 8 to 14 years old. The kids were administered with a dosage of 1,000 UI of Vitamin D3 or with a placebo. The study spanned over six months during which blood tests were conducted to check vitamin D levels.

The result was that the baseline concentration was higher in the kids who received supplements as compared to those who were administered with the placebo. At first, the Vitamin D levels in the children (even those who were given supplements on a daily basis) remained small. Therefore, the degree of vitamin D was effectively raised in children who were given 1,000 UI of Vitamin D3. But, by the end of 6 months, this level too wasn’t sufficient.

Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids

Kumaravel Rajakumar, a professor of pediatrics at Pittsburgh University and the leading authority on the research stated that “Our findings suggest that the currently recommended daily dietary allowances of vitamin D of 600 UI may be inadequate for preventing vitamin D deficiency in children.” The administered dosage of the vitamin did no harm to the participating children. Therefore, it is safe to assume that the parameters be re-evaluated again.

Meanwhile growing children must be given the adequate amount of the essential vitamin in school lunches through fortified formulas and milk.

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NutriFusion Vitamin D From Shiitake Mushrooms

shiitake mushrooms vitamin D deficiency nutrifusionWe have always understood the importance of vitamin D for our essential micronutrient blends. Most people wonder how we supply a natural form of vitamin D since it primarily comes from the sun. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the few foods high in vitamin D because they naturally absorb the vitamin from sunlight and store it. We use shiitake mushrooms in all of our blends to provide an ample amount of natural vitamin D at a given level. If you are interested in learning more about our GrandFusion fruit and vegetable blends, please visit your respective category.


Mayo Clinic Sees Low Vitamin D Toxicity in People Who Take Supplements

Past studies conducted on Americans show that vitamin D deficiency is high, and this has caused the use of Vitamin D supplements to rise. Vitamin D is known for its capacity to boost bone health and prevent some conditions such as diabetes and cancer. The Mayo Clinic conducted a study with an aim of learning more about vitamin D consumption and the health of those consuming supplements.

Sources of Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be obtained both naturally and artificially. Natural sources include some oily fishes, milk, and exposure to sunlight. When it comes to exposure to sunlight, one is advised not to bask in the sun for long as this could lead to damage to the skin or increase the risk of contracting skin cancer. Some literature recommends an exposure of about three to ten minutes in the morning or evening, at a time when the sun is not too hot.

Artificial sources are supplements and are frequently recommended to those who have a vitamin D deficiency. Consumers of synthetic supplements are who the Mayo Clinic are concerned with toxicity. Vitamin D which is taken naturally is only absorbed by the body in the right quantities. The findings by the Mayo clinic come as a relief to most of the Americans who have been worried about the effects of the supplements. It’s understood that the excessive intake of vitamin D can have serious repercussions, but the study revealed that the artificial supplements have little to no toxicity effect when taken in the right quantities.

Toxic Levels are Low

The study found that consumption of supplements does not lead to high toxicity. With the study, it is now clear that vitamin D is a rare form of toxicity and can only happen when there is an intentional intake of a high dose. Vitamin D levels are determined by a lab test where a blood test is conducted; the average level is usually 20-50 nanograms per milliliter. Anything higher that 50 ng/ml is excess while less than 20 ng/ml is deficient.

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Reduced Diversity in Processed Foods Leads to Obesity

A researcher has claimed that obesity and cancer are not only a result of high-fat content, sugar, and salt in our diet but also the lack of diversity in our diets. Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at the King’s College London, believes we are restricting our diets to processed foods with fewer ingredients. He thinks processed foods are responsible for the decrease in diversity of microbes in our guts.

Limiting Our Diets to Fewer Ingredients

Consumption of junk food is known by many as a big health risk, mainly due to saturated fats, high calories, chemicals, artificial colors, and sugar. 80% of processed foods are made up of four main ingredients: corn, wheat, soy, and meat. When compared to what our ancestors consumed, it is way too low. It is estimated that they consumed around 150 ingredients every week, something that we do not even come close to doing.

Studies have shown that it is the proliferation of a particular type of bacteria in our guts that are fueling the craving for junk food. The craving is leading to overconsumption, something that is definitely to blame for the high incidences of obesity, cancer, diabetes, and other lifestyle conditions. Literature suggests that each type of microbe in our gut prefers a given type of food, when it is deprived of that food, the bacteria is capable of doing anything to ensure it survives, the action can include signaling for more food intake.

Less Processed Foods, More Real Foods

low-calorie foods 1We have to fight back against these deadly lifestyle diseases and that starts with what we eat. At this point in humanity, it would be crazy to completely eliminate processed foods, but we have to eat less of them. We need to focus on consuming more real foods like our ancestors. As mentioned above, we need to eat a variety of ingredients. One should eat foods which are rich in fiber and consume adequate fresh fruits and vegetables. Manufacturers are also urged to reformulate their products in order to boost the diversity of ingredients in their products. Companies must accept that a majority of their foods are causing more harm than good, and should focus on improving the health of their customers as they move forward in creating products.

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Adults Not Meeting Daily Value of Fruits and Vegetables

Eating more fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of heart disease, strokes, some cancers, and also adds vital nutrients to our diets. When consumed in place of more energy-dense foods, vegetables and fruits can help in managing body weight. It is recommended that adults who engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity should consume 2 – 3 cups of vegetables and 1.5 – 2.0 cups of fruits daily.

There are two methods of determining the daily vegetable and fruit intake recommendations for adults who engage in less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. The first is the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) while the other is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and is expressed in cup equivalents. However, a recent study conducted during 2007 – 2010 found that half of the total U.S. population consumed less than 1.5 cups of vegetables and less than one cup of fruit daily; 87 percent did not meet the daily value recommendations, and 76 percent did not meet fruit intake recommendations. National estimates indicate low fruit and vegetable consumption with substantial variation by state.

CDC’s Model Says Fruits and Vegetables Intake is Abysmal

fruits and vegetablesVegetable and fruit consumption information are available from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which is the sole source of dietary surveillance information for most states. However, the federal vegetable and fruit intake recommendations, expressed in cup equivalents are not directly comparable to the frequency of input captured by BRFSS.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) did an analysis of the median daily frequency of vegetable and fruit intake based on BRFSS’s 2013 data for the District of Columbia and the 50 states. They applied newly developed prediction equations to BRFSS to calculate the percentage of the population of each state that meets vegetable and fruit intake recommendations.  The result was a bit disturbing. Overall, only 13.1 percent of the participants met the recommended fruit intake, ranging from 17.7 percent in California to 7.5 percent in Tennessee, and 8.9 percent met the recommended vegetable intake, ranging from 13.0 percent in California to 5.5 percent in Mississippi.  What this means is that a lot of effort is needed to build consumer demand for vegetables and fruits through placement, competitive pricing, and promotion in schools, child care, grocery stores, worksites, and communities.

Since vegetable and fruit consumption is currently low across all states and affects multiple health outcomes, continued efforts are needed to increase demand and consumption. Improving intake during childhood might be the key to improving fruits and vegetables consumption for adults.

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NutriFusion® to the Rescue

All the research points to the health and nutrition benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. The problem is we are not doing a good job as a society in encouraging that behavior and making fruit and vegetable nutrition readily available. This study by the CDC speaks to why we do what we do. Our special blends give consumer packaged food companies, beverage companies, and supplement companies the ability to incorporate natural nutrition from fruits and vegetables into their products. NutriFusion® is processing stable meaning that it can withstand the heating and cooling of modern day food processing. The NutriFusion® innovation is leading a revolution in the food industry to use simpler ingredients and make some of our favorite foods much better for us. If you are interested in learning more about NutriFusion® for your processed foods, beverages, or supplements, please click below.


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