Nutrition

Orangutan Finding Highlights Need to Protect Habitat

Wild orangutans are known for their ability to survive food shortages, but scientists have made a surprising finding that highlights the need to protect the habitat of these critically endangered primates, which face rapid habitat destruction and threats linked to climate change. Scientists found that the muscle mass of orangutans on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia was significantly lower when less fruit was available. That’s remarkable because orangutans are thought to be especially good at storing and using fat for energy, according a Rutgers-led study in the journal Scientific Reports.

Making homemade baby food is likely easier and cheaper than you think

A recent report from a House Oversight subcommittee revealed that commercial baby foods are “tainted with significant levels of toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury,” a finding that sparked concern for parents across the country.

The report noted that toxic heavy metals could impact a baby’s neurological development and long-term brain function, but a registered dietician from UTHealth said the bottom line is that we don’t really know the impact toxic metals can have on child development.

Sugar not so nice for your child’s brain development

New research led by a University of Georgia faculty member in collaboration with a University of Southern California research group has shown in a rodent model that daily consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages during adolescence impairs performance on a learning and memory task during adulthood. The group further showed that changes in the bacteria in the gut may be the key to the sugar-induced memory impairment.

Announcing NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE

Complimentary press passes are now available for the year’s biggest virtual nutrition meeting, NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE. Join us June 7–10, 2021 for a dynamic program featuring leading scientists, groundbreaking research and the hottest topics in nutrition science.

Nutrition, companionship reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease, UCI-led study finds

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 1, 2021 — Researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the University of Minnesota have found that an enriched diet and companionship can reduce pain in mice with sickle cell disease by increasing serotonin. They also discovered that duloxetine, an antidepressant that boosts serotonin levels, could be an alternative to opioids in treating chronic pain.

Nuclear War Could Trigger Big El Niño and Decrease Seafood

A nuclear war could trigger an unprecedented El Niño-like warming episode in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, slashing algal populations by 40 percent and likely lowering the fish catch, according to a Rutgers-led study. The research, published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment, shows that turning to the oceans for food if land-based farming fails after a nuclear war is unlikely to be a successful strategy – at least in the equatorial Pacific.

Climate Change is Hurting Children’s Diets, Global Study Finds

A first-of-its-kind, international study of 107,000 children finds that higher temperatures are an equal or even greater contributor to child malnutrition than the traditional culprits of poverty, inadequate sanitation, and poor education.

The 19-nation study is the largest investigation to date of the relationship between our changing climate and children’s diet diversity.

Of the six regions examined–in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America–five had significant reductions in diet diversity associated with higher temperatures.

Research finds new link between cell damage in astronauts and geriatric-type health problems observed during space missions

Damage caused to human cells during spaceflight appears to be the underlying cause of many health issues observed in astronauts, it has been discovered by researchers from the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) and School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.

Working in partnership with an international team, their findings have been published today (25 November) in Cell.

Scientific Webinars on the Gut-Brain Connection Spotlight Spike in Research

ILSI North America, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the American Society for Nutrition collaborated on a webinar series capturing the exponential growth of research on the brain, the gastrointestinal tract, and the gut microbiome—a connection characterized as the ‘gut-brain axis.’ This series highlights some of the latest research on the gut-brain axis affecting the work of nutritionists, researchers and other food and nutrition professionals.

The proof is in the pudding:

As Australia’s aged care sector continues to be scrutinised, researchers at the University of South Australia show that plain solutions are often the best, with a new study finding that aged care residents can improve their nutrition intake simply by increasing their meal sizes.

Webinar Series on the Gut-Brain Axis and the Microbiome

There is currently much interest in the gastrointestinal microbiota and its modulation as it relates to implications for host health. A notable aspect is the bidirectional communication between the gut microbiota and brain, referred to as the gut-brain-axis. Nutritional interventions have powerful effects on the gut microbiota but another significant and often overlooked factor is the influence of physical activity.