Volume 148 (4) | April 2018
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The Journal of Nutrition Media Alerts
The following articles have been published in the April 2018 issue of  The Journal of Nutrition, a publication of the American Society for Nutrition. Summaries of the selected articles appear below; the full text of each article is available by clicking on the links listed. Manuscripts published in  The Journal of Nutrition are embargoed until the article appears online either as in press ( Articles in Press) or as a final version. The embargoes for the following articles have expired ( Editor's Choice in bold):
  • No evidence that aspartame negatively affects blood sugar, appetite, or body weight
  • Adding lentils to a starchy meal may help lower blood sugar
  • New study finds no evidence to support usefulness of “blood-type diet”
  • Lean mass deposited between birth and 6 months of age is the best predictor of linear growth at 1 year of age
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No evidence that aspartame negatively affects blood sugar, appetite, or body weight
T here is unanimous agreement that today’s obesity rates are at all-time highs, and that both short- and long-term consequences of this trend are dire. As such, there is a strong international preoccupation among researchers, clinicians, and the public to find ways to curb unhealthy weight gain and lose unwanted pounds. The food industry is also committed to providing low-calorie options for the millions of individuals watching their waistlines. Some of the most popular ingredients in this regard are the myriad low-calorie sweeteners on the market. Indeed, many studies show that these sweeteners can help people lose weight and keep it off. However, there remains concern, by some, as to whether low-calorie sweeteners might have unintended consequences, such that they paradoxically stimulate hunger and exacerbate swings in blood sugar. To help address these issues, Dr. Richard Mattes (Purdue University) and colleagues conducted the gold standard of nutrition studies: a randomized, placebo-controlled, dietary intervention trial. Their results, which do not support the view that aspartame (a commonly consumed low-calorie sweetener) has negative effects, can be found in the April 2018 issue of The Journal of Nutrition .

For More Information To contact the corresponding authors, Dr. Richard Mattes, please send an e-mail to mattes@purdue.edu.

Adding lentils to a starchy meal may help lower blood sugar
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 10% of the US population (30 million people) has diabetes, a serious disease and the 7 th leading cause of death. Rates of diabetes are even higher in American Indians/Alaska Natives, non-Hispanic blacks (12.7%), and people of South Asian and Hispanic ethnicity. The vast majority of these individuals have type 2 diabetes, which means their bodies no longer respond appropriately to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. Chronically elevated blood sugar can lead to serious complications, including cardiovascular disease, blindness, and amputations. In a recently published study, Dr. Dan Ramdath (Guelph Research and Development Center) and colleagues investigated whether replacing a portion of common starchy foods (potatoes and rice) with lentils might help people with type 2 diabetes keep their blood sugar in the normal range. Their findings, supporting a positive effect in this regard, are published in the April 2018 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Reference: Moravek D, Duncan AM, VanderSluis LB, Turkstra SJ, Rogers EJ, Wilson JM, Hawke A, Ramdath DD. Carbohydrate replacement of rice of potato with lentils reduces the postprandial glycemic response in healthy adults in an acute, randomized, crossover trial. Journal of Nutrition 2018 148:535-41.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Dan Ramdath, please send an e-mail to dan.ramdath@agr.gc.ca.

New study finds no evidence to support usefulness of “blood-type diet”
Diet fads come and go, often following cyclical patterns over the years. Some examples of these diets include low-carbohydrate, high fat meal plans (e.g., the Atkins Diet); low fat and very low-fat diets (e.g., the Pritikin Principle); “magic foods” diets (e.g., the Cabbage Soup Diet); and liquid diets requiring a person to limit food intake to one or two meal replacements each day. Although books written about these diets are purchased by the millions by a well-meaning public, experts agree that most fad diets lead to weight loss simply because they are low in calories – not because of any nutrient or food component that is or isn’t found in the diet. However, rarely do nutrition researchers take the time (and funding organizations spend the money) to empirically test the effectiveness of fad diets. In the April 2018 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, however, a research team led by Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy (University of Toronto) investigated whether a person’s blood type is associated with the level of benefit of consuming each of 4 “blood-type” diets first recommended in Eat Right 4 Your Type, a popular book written by Dr. Peter D'Adamo and first published in 1996.

Reference: Wang J, Jamnik J, García-Bailo B, Nielsen DE, Jenkins DJA, El-Sohemy A. ABO genotype does not modify the association between the “blood-type” diet and biomarkers of cardiometabolic disease in overweight adults. Journal of Nutrition 2018 148:518-25.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, please send an e-mail to a.el.sohemy@utoronto.ca.

Read full summaries here .
JN  Editor's Choice Article

Lean mass deposited between birth and 6 months of age is the best predictor of linear growth at 1 year of age
The impact of length for age z scores on later linear growth and health outcomes has been studied for decades. However, the impact of body composition on these measures has received little emphasis because the technologies to easily and accurately determine fat mass and fat free mass have, until recently, not been readily available. The authors report the results of a study conducted in Ethiopia using air displacement plethysmography to evaluate body composition at birth and at several points up until 6 months of age in order to determine how body composition influenced linear growth. Admassu and colleagues found that the strongest association was obtained with fat free mass at birth and linear growth between 1 and 5 years of age and that fat free accretion between birth and 6 months was associated with length at 1 year of age. However, fat mass at birth was not associated with linear growth between 1 and 5 years of age. The athors conclude that healthy maternal weight gain and infant nutrition during the prenatal and postnatal periods should be promoted in order to achieve a desirable fat free mass at birth and for deposition in the postnatal period. In a commentary on this article, Widen suggests that changes in body composition may be a more informative measure of growth and eventual health than weight and length alone.

References: Admassu B, Ritz C, Wells JCK, Girma T, Andersen GS, Belachew T, Owino V, Michaelsen KF, Abera M, Wibaek R, Friis H, Kæstel P. Accretion of fat-free rather than fat mass in infancy is positively associated with linear growth in childhood . Journal of Nutrition 2018 148:607-15. C ommentary : Widen EM. New insight about height: Body-composition changes in infancy predict later linear growth . Journal of Nutrition 2018 148:499-500.
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Bitiya Admassu, please send an email to bitiyaa@yahoo.com . To contact the author of the commentary, Elizabeth M. Widen, please send an email to widen@austin.utexas.edu .
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