Sunday, December 08, 2013
Trying for a baby? Eat Brussels sprouts: Vegetable helps boost fertility in both men and women
Just theory. No research cited
Many people shudder at the thought of Brussels sprouts with their minds conjure up images of bitter, overcooked school vegetables. But new research suggests that couples who are trying for a baby should tuck into a regular helping of the festive staple.
According to studies, nine per cent of all conceptions take place over the Christmas period, making December the most fertile month of the year. Parties and festive tipples are thought to be partly responsible for this trend.
However, Neema Savvides, a nutritional therapist at the Harley Street Fertility Clinic, says the increased consumption of sprouts could also play a role. She said: ‘Believe it or not, this green micro cabbage is a baby making super food.
‘Firstly, they are bursting with folic acid which is essential for boosting fertility in both men and women. ‘This vitamin rich source also increases sperm levels and helps line the womb with the right nutrients raising sperm survival chances.
‘Another benefit of this folic rich food is that it also helps to decrease the risk of miscarriages and birth defects.’
Brussels sprouts also contain a phytonutrient called di-indolylmethane, which helps women absorb balanced levels of the hormone oestrogen.
In fact, it binds to environmental oestrogens, like pesticides and hormones in meat and dairy products, and helps rid the body of excess hormones – this boosts fertility.
The vegetable is also thought to lower cholesterol levels and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Trials discover that controversial sweetener aspartame is actually SAFE and doesn't cause headaches or nausea
The aspartame warriors will block their ears
The controversial sweetener aspartame has effectively been cleared as safe to eat by Government experts following human feeding trials.
Human guinea pigs were fed cereal snack bars, some of which contained the artificial sweetener, by a team of researchers at Hull York Medical School.
The study recruited 50 people who had reported reactions after consuming aspartame in the past, such as headaches and nausea.
There was also a control group of another 50 others who have eaten aspartame in food and fizzy drink over many years without any ill-effects.
However, the investigation found no evidence of harm in either those who reported past sensitivity to aspartame or the control group.
Significantly, this was a so-called double-blind trial where neither the trial participants or the researchers knew which of the bars was being eaten.
Yesterday, the Food Standards Agency announced that as a result of the British research, the Committee on Toxicity(CoT) had decided there is no need to ban or control the sale or consumption of the sweetener.
The FSA said: ‘The expert committee concluded that 'the results presented did not indicate any need for action to protect the health of the public'.’
The government watchdog has not released the full details of the research because they remain confidential until they have been published in a peer reviewed journal.
And despite concluding there is no reason to protect consumers, the FSA said the committee had not carried out an overall safety evaluation of aspartame
A separate safety evaluation is being conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is due to be published this month. The FSA said it will send the results of the British trial to EFSA, so they can be taken into account.
The conclusions of the experts on the CoT are unlikely to satisfy the many critics of aspartame, who include Erik Millstone, Professor of Science Policy at the University of Sussex.
He insists there is good quality independent research projects that have identified potential problems, ranging from premature births in women who enjoy diet drinks, to cancer.
Prof Millstone, of the university’s Science and Technology Policy Research unit, believes that EFSA’s evaluation is biased in favour of aspartame.
He claims the EFSA panel set up to carry out the safety assessment is dominated by experts linked to manufacturers or regulators that have previously supported aspartame.
The professor pointed to several studies that raise real questions about the safety of aspartame and justify the need for further research.
An EU funded project published in 2010 found pregnant women who down cans of fizzy drink containing artificial sweeteners appear to be at greater risk of having a premature baby,.
It is rare for a mother to be to give birth early - before 37 weeks - assuming all aspects of the pregnancy have been normal. The research found this low risk was increased by 38per cent if the woman was drinking an average of one can of diet drink a day.
The statistics, gathered by academics in Denmark, showed that a woman who routinely drank at least four cans a day could increase the risk by as much as 78per cent. This meant that if the risk of a premature birth was normally one in a 100, it increased to 1.78 in 100.
The professor also highlighted work by the independent Ramazzini Foundation in Italy, which has published research suggesting aspartame caused several types of cancer in rats at doses very close to the current acceptable daily intake for humans.
The concern about artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, relates to the fact that they contain methanol.
Methanol is a nerve toxin, which can be metabolised in the body to form formic acid, which is another nerve toxin, as well as formaldehyde, which is the chemical used to preserve dead bodies.
All of these research studies have formed part of the EFSA review. A paper detailing the review’s draft conclusions found they did not identify a health risk.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:13 AM