Sunday, April 03, 2011

Regular Breakfast Helps Reduce Lead Poisoning in Children

This article just about refutes itself. It admits to a class effect. So poor children are both exposed to more lead and get less well fed. Breakfast effect not needed to explain the results

It is known that fasting increases lead absorption in adults and consequently regular meals and snacks are recommended for children to prevent lead poisoning. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health demonstrates that having a regular breakfast is associated with lower blood lead levels in children.

China Jintan Child Cohort Study compared blood lead levels to social factors, eating patterns and intake of micronutrients. While there were no differences in breakfast patterns for age or gender of the child there were differences in blood lead levels. The risk of lead poisoning in boys was almost twice that of girls, and four and five year olds had twice the risk of lead poisoning than three year olds. Nevertheless, when variables, such as age and the gender of the child were taken into account, children who ate a regular breakfast had 15% lower blood lead levels than those who skipped breakfast.

Breakfast habits were determined by family tendencies with both the parents and grandparents of children who ate breakfast tending to be professionals or more educated. Dr Jianghong Liu said, "Parental or caregivers' characteristics, including education and occupation, are major determinants of breakfast frequency. Consequently improving parent's knowledge about the links between nutrition and blood lead might help to prevent lead poisoning in these children."


Maple syrup's high level of antioxidants make it a champion food choice

Pure speculation -- relying on the anti-oxidant mythology

BLUEBERRIES, broccoli and fish rich in Omega 3 are among the best known superfoods, but something rather sweeter can be added to the list of healthy foods with high levels of antioxidants to boost the immune system.

Maple syrup is even being described by scientists in America as a "one-stop shop" for beneficial compounds.

Tests on the syrup, which is made by boiling sap from the maple tree, found that it contains compounds which could help manage type 2 diabetes, as well as acting as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.

Researchers identified 54 compounds, twice as many as previously thought. Five were found to be unique to maple syrup. They discovered that several of the syrup's polyphenol, or water-soluble, compounds inhibited the enzymes that convert carbohydrates to sugars, raising the prospect of a new way of managing type 2 diabetes.

They also found that many of the antioxidant compounds, which prevent the oxidation and ageing of the body's cells, aren't found in other natural sweeteners.

Dr Navindra Seeram, who led the research at the University of Rhode Island, said: "We don't know yet whether the new compounds contribute to the healthy profile of maple syrup.

"But we do know that the sheer quantity and variety of identified compounds with documented health benefits qualifies maple syrup as a champion food. "It is a one-stop shop for these beneficial compounds, several of which are also found in berries, tea, red wine and flaxseed, just to name a few."

Explaining the science behind the findings, he said: "We found a wide variety of polyphenols in maple syrup. "We discovered that the polyphenols in maple syrup inhibit enzymes that are involved in the conversion of carbohydrate to sugar. "In fact, in preliminary studies, maple syrup had a greater enzyme-inhibiting effect compared to several other healthy plant foods such as berries, when tested on a dry-weight basis."

By 2050, one in three people will be afflicted with Type 2 diabetes, so finding a potential anti-diabetic compound in maple syrup is interesting for the scientific community and the consumer.

The findings of Dr Seerams team were presented at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, California.

Genevihve Biland, marketing director for the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, one of the sponsors of the research, said: Maple is the most important food derived from the pure sap of trees, and given its amazing potential for human health and great nutritional value, it is a natural choice for a healthy lifestyle.


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