Categorized | Health

Researchers considers effect from multiple foods

Updated: Oct 23, 2010

inger bjorck 03 2 Researchers considers effect from multiple foods health A new study from researchers at Lunds University in Sweden have investigated the combined effect of a specific diet rather than focusing on single components. The results are quite staggering, and eating their diet show a reduction of cholesterol by 33%, blood lipids by 14%, blood pressure by 8% and risk marker for blood clots and inflammation in the body was greatly reduced while memory and cognitive function were improved.

These are quite impressive results, and it also show how it’s necessary to consider the diet as a whole instead of focusing only on single elements. No previous study has managed to produce similar effects on healthy subjects. They don’t know what specifically triggered the positive effects, but that’s also the idea behind it, that it’s the interaction of food together which is important and not each single component. Maybe the joint effort of healthy food is greater than the sum of its parts.

On a question as to how much meat the participants consumed in the test diet Maria Johansson replied:

The subjects consumed lean meat and lean ham. Meat intake was restricted maninly due to the fact that the active diet contained proteins from other sources e.g. fat fish, soy, whey. Usually the subjects had one sandwich with lean ham for lunch and for dinner meat was served about two times per week.

This is most probably within the guidelines of 300 grams of red meat per week as set forward by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research in their 2007 report. It would have been interesting to see what the results had been if the study had been performed using a completely plant based diet.

Tthe diet used was called the “Active Diet” which includes a number of food features with recognized physiological effects. The categories they focused on can be summarized as follows:

  • Low glycemic index (ex. viscous fibe-rich muesly, cinnamon, vinegar),
  • Cholesterol-lowering (ex. plant stanols, soybeans/soy protein, almonds),
  • Antioxidants/anti-inflammatory (cinnamon, blueberries, omega 3 fatty acids),
  • Probiotics and prebiotics (Lactobacilli, viscous dietary fibers),
  • Whole grain (dietary fiber, antioxidants, bioactives),
  • Barley

The Control diet was non-vegetarian, contained limited amounts of the active components and was formulated according to Swedish nutrition recommendations. In the study alcohol was not excluded, but limited.

The study has a politically explosive power, emphasize Inger Björck, professor of food-related nutrition at Lund University and head of the University’s Antidiabetic Food Centre. Björck also states that:

“We hope that these results on healthy subjects will inspire more intense preventive efforts in society.”

I really hope so as well!

A video with a presentation going through the study is available here.

A summary of the study is given below:

Purpose

Find out which preventive effect can be obtained on established risk markers by combining food concepts with an expected positive impact on inflammation.

Hypothesis

A diet combining foods capable of reducing risk markers may result in an improved overall effect

Method

Forty-four healthy, overweight people between the ages of 50 and 75 took part in the diet study. For four weeks they ate foods which are presumed to reduce low-grade inflammation in the body, a condition which in turn triggers metabolic syndrome and thus obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Diet

The test diet was high in antioxidants, low-GI foods (i.e. slow release carbohydrates), omega fatty acids, wholegrain products, probiotics and viscous dietary fiber. Examples of food the test subjects were eating are: barley, soy protein, blueberries, almonds, cinnamon, vinegar and a certain type of wholegrain bread and oily fish (and meat 2 times per week as mentioned in the article).

[Alphagalileo] via [Sciencedaily]


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32 Responses to “Researchers considers effect from multiple foods”

  1. Niclas says:

    The headline is wrong, the subjects ate fish which is not a plant.

    • Yup, you're right, I tried to clarify this in the first sentence of the article where I wrote; "mostly plant based" . I see that this can be confusing, I'll change the headline to reflect fish. I have also contacted the researchers to get the complete list of what the diet consisted of. Hopefully they will provide it!

      Thank you for commenting :)

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    Mediterranean Europeans show their pride in their European heritage, and align thelmesves with other European countries. North Africans and Middle Easterners show pride in being North African and Middle Eastern and align thelmesves with each other. However, rarely do you hear Mediterraneans aligning thelmesves with other MediterraneansMediterranean countries have shared a common history for thousands of years, and have created some of the greatest civilizations the World has ever known, such as Ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt.Why don’t these countries show pride in their common Mediterranean heritage?@Nev,You misunderstood; I’m not saying people aren’t proud to be Italian or Greek or whatever. I know MANY are.I’m saying most align thelmesves with other Europeans. Which they should, but I don’t understand why they don’t align thelmesves with other Mediterraneans when the countries from this region share a long history together.

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    Ancient Greece 8 to 6 century BCEAncient Rome easilert 10 century BCEAncient Egypt 3600 to 4000 BCEThey are neither similar nor ancient alike.Ancient Egypt was an African civilisation that had its peek and decline before it was invaded and destroyed. Egypt and the other African countries along the Mediterranean are now Arabic and share a common heritage more with Arabia than with southern European Christians. Greece and Italy are now a part of the European Union and aspire towards a common European heritage. But Italy still maintains a Latin pride with Spain and Portugal.

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