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Period: January 29, 2011 to February 12, 2011
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Products & Brands  

Canadian Legislator Urges Reversal Of “Nightmare” U.S. GM Alfalfa Policy

A decision by the USDA to allow American farmers to plant genetically modified alfalfa seeds is a “looming nightmare” for Canadian alfalfa farmers, according to New Democrat agriculture critic Alex Atamanenko, who has asked Canada’s prime minister to seek a reversal of the U.S. policy. The Monsanto alfalfa seed is engineered to resist the weed killer Roundup. According to Atamanenko, “Any GE (genetically engineered) alfalfa grown in the U.S. will inevitably lead to contamination of alfalfa in Canada.” A bill to protect Canadian farmers from market losses due to GM contamination will be voted on soon, following a final reading in the House of Commons. Atamanenko said alfalfa is important to conventional farming and also organic farming, where it is used as a soil-building component in crop rotation.

"New Democrats call on Harper to stand up for Canadian farmers", News release, New Democracy Party, January 28, 2011

Consumption Of Plant Polysaccharides May Boost Healthy Immune Systems

Scientists have found that adding soluble plant fibers to a diet may enhance the immune system response in healthy individuals. Fibers from plants such as fungi, lichens and algae can positively impact key cellular functions, including changes in protein glycosylation. Glycosylation is an enzyme-directed process where a glycan (a type of polysaccharide, or carbohydrate chain) attaches to a protein, fat or other organic molecule. Glycans play various roles, including proper protein folding and cell-cell adhesion, which is used by immune system cells to help keep the body healthy. According to this study, supplementing the diet of healthy individuals with plant polysaccharides increased the subjects’ levels of fully-processed glycans, resulting in a potential boost in their immune responses.

"An open-label dosing study to evaluate the safety and effects of a dietary plant-derived polysaccharide supplement on the N-glycosylation status of serum glycoproteins in healthy subjects", European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 12, 2011

Research, Studies, Advice  

Daily Soy Isoflavone Supplement Presents No Risks For Healthy Postmenopausal Women

A randomized two-year clinical trial involving 403 healthy postmenopausal women has found that a daily 80-120 mg supplement of soy hypocotyl isoflavones does not present a health risk, and may actually protect against cancer. The trial was designed to test the impact of soy isoflavone supplementation on osteoporosis, but researchers were also trying to determine if long-term supplementation led to adverse health outcomes. Only two women in the soy supplement groups  experienced serious health problems: one case of breast cancer and one case of endometrial cancer. This “was less than the expected population rate for these cancers,” the researchers said. The supplement used in the study was the patented soy germ isoflavone product SoyLife from Frutarom.

"Clinical outcomes of a 2-year soy isoflavone supplementation in menopausal women", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 01, 2011

Antibacterial Paper Coated With Silver Nanoparticles Shows Potential As Food Packaging

Russian and Israeli scientists have developed and successfully lab-tested an antibacterial "killer paper" coated with silver nanoparticles that could be used as food packaging material. The paper helps preserve foods by fighting the bacteria that cause spoilage. Silver is currently used as a bacteria fighter in some medicinal ointments, on kitchen and bathroom surfaces, and even odor-resistant socks. Silver nanoparticles – each 1/50,000 the width of a human hair – are being tested as germ-fighting coatings for plastics, fabrics, and metals because they have a longer-lasting effect than larger silver particles. The silver nanoparticles-coated paper showed potent antibacterial activity against E. coli and S. aureus, two causes of bacterial food poisoning, killing all of the bacteria in just three hours.

"Sonochemical Coating of Paper by Microbiocidal Silver Nanoparticles", pubs.acs.org/Langmuir, January 18, 2011

Intake Of Natural Antioxidants – Not Supplements – Reduces Risk Of Male Urinary Infections

Antioxidants consumed from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables reduce by as much as 50 percent the risk of developing lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in men, according to new U.S. research. High-dose supplemental antioxidants, however, actually increase the risk of LUTS, researchers found, perhaps because of increased urinary acidity caused by the supplements. In a study of 1,466 men, the higher the natural intake of lycopene, beta-carotene and vitamin A (4,780 micrograms a day), the greater the reduction of LUTS risk – as much as 40 to 50 percent – compared to low average intake (775 micrograms a day). Regarding antioxidant supplements, the researchers concluded that “for some men, LUTS could be ameliorated by changing urine composition through modification of high-dose supplement use.”

"Dietary, but Not Supplemental, Intakes of Carotenoids and Vitamin C Are Associated with Decreased Odds of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms in Men", Journal of Nutrition, December 22, 2010

Chemistry behind Vegetarianism

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, January 04, 2011

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