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What was the top nutrition research in February 2019?

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Medical News Today
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Scientific Reports
the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan
the American Journal of Physiology
the First Hospital of China Medical University
King's College London
JAMA Internal Medicine
the Sorbonne University
the Avicenne Hospital
Flinders University
Healthline Media UK Ltd

Virginia Woolf
Takayuki Teruya
Zhi Li
Emma Miller


the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology

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the United Kingdom

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What should you eat, what should you avoid, and which dietary patterns should you choose?Researchers are constantly hard at work to get a better understanding of these issues and offer suggestions for better dietary practices.In this Spotlight feature, we look at some of the most important findings in nutrition research that were published last month.Existing studies have suggested that intermittent fasting — in which a person fasts for a set number of hours each day but eats freely in the remaining hours — can help with losing weight and may provide other health benefits, including prolonging a person's lifespan and reducing harmful inflammation.Essentially, fasting triggers changes in the body — such as stimulating weight loss — by acting on metabolic processes.Usually, our bodies rely on carbohydrates to produce energy, but when a person fasts and carbohydrates are no longer readily available, the body starts looking for and utilizing other resources.A study published in the journal Scientific Reports early last month identified some metabolic changes triggered by fasting that researchers had not previously been aware of.Specifically, the study's authors — who are based at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan — found that fasting boosts levels of purine and pyrimidine, two organic compounds that act on gene expression and protein synthesis at a cellular level."These [substances] are very important metabolites for maintenance of muscle and antioxidant activity," explains study author Dr. Takayuki Teruya. These changes affect metabolic processes, accelerating the consumption of energy, and thus lowering markers associated with obesity.In addition to this, they help boost glucose (sugar) tolerance, which may mean that they have a protective effect against features that define other metabolic conditions, such as diabetes, which is characterized by impaired glucose tolerance.According to other research published last month, onions and garlic, two key ingredients in global cuisines, are also important allies when it comes to safeguarding our health.Garlic already has a reputation as a natural antibiotic, as it has antibacterial properties, and many people traditionally use it to fight the flu or treat insect bites.In a paper, published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology last month, researchers from the First Hospital of China Medical University report that these two vegetables have an anti-cancer effect.Both garlic and onions belong to the family of allium vegetables, all of which have similarly pungent smells and flavors.The present study looked at 833 individuals who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, assessing how many allium vegetables they tended to consume on a regular basis. In the present study, the authors have, for perhaps the first time, concluded that as little as a 10 percent increase in the amount of ultra-processed food that we eat leads to a 14 percent higher mortality risk.Another study, featured in the journal Stroke, drew some bleak conclusions about the consumption of artificially sweetened diet drinks.The team that conducted this research was specifically interested in seeing how diet drink consumption affected women over 50, so they analyzed data from 81,714 women in this age category.The analysis revealed a worrying trend: Women who had two or more diet drinks per day had a 23 percent higher risk of stroke and a 29 percent higher risk of a heart attack or a similar event.That being the case, the study authors urge us to reconsider whenever we feel tempted to reach out for a low-calorie soft drink and opt for an alternative.Finally, a team of scientists from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, has turned its attention to the harms of alcohol, which, according to the team's new study — published in PLOS ONE — many people still ignore.The Australian researchers chose to focus on alcohol's well-recognized status as a risk factor for breast cancer.

As said here by Maria Cohut