Friday, April 28, 2006

Bacteria secret to gas-free beans: "Two strains of bacteria are the key to making beans flatulence-free, Venezuelan researchers reported today. They identified two bacteria, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, which can be added to beans so they cause minimal distress to those who eat them, and to those around the bean-lovers, Marisela Granito of Simon Bolivar University in Caracas, Venezuela and colleagues reported. Flatulence is gas released by bacteria that live in the large intestine when they break down food. Fermenting makes food more digestible earlier on. Writing in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Ms Granito and colleagues found that adding the two gut bacteria to beans before cooking them made them even less likely to cause flatulence."

This is great news for the food freaks who use potassium salt instead of ordinary table salt: "A new study has found that high potassium levels are causing nerve damage in people with kidney disease. Doctors at the University of New South Wales and the Prince of Wales Hospital tested patients with kidney problems who suffered loss of feeling in their body. After dialysis, in which excess potassium was removed, doctors found the patient's nerve function improved. Associate Professor Matthew Kiernan says patients were told to avoid eating potassium-rich foods such as bananas, peanuts, soy, dried fruit and soft drink. "Nerve dysfunction and nerve failure is very prevalent in patients who have kidney disease," he said. "It's about 70 and 100 per cent of patients who require dialysis have evidence of neuropathy. "This is a significant advance because it shows that if you can try and control the amount of potassium, you can preserve nerve function."

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