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[check mark] Can Resveratrol Help Prevent Cancer?


[check mark] "Good Fat" Protein Identified


[check mark] New Logo Helps Shoppers Find Healthy Foods


Birth Defect Risks Linked to Pre-pregnancy Diabetes

Women who receive a diagnosis of type 1 or 2 diabetes before they become pregnant are 3 to 4 times more likely to have a child with 1 or even multiple birth defects than do those who have diabetes or those who develop diabetes during pregnancy (pregnancy-induced gestational diabetes) but who previously did not have diabetes, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Defects include heart defects, defects of the brain and spine, oral clefts, defects of the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract, and limb deficiencies. Researchers also found that some of the pregnant women with gestational diabetes were more likely to have a child with birth defects. Because birth defects associated with diabetes are more likely to occur during the first trimester of pregnancy and before a diagnosis of gestational diabetes is made, some of the mothers who have it probably had undiagnosed diabetes before they became pregnant but signs and symptoms went unnoticed until pregnancy. The associations of gestational diabetes with various birth defects were noted primarily among women who had pre-pregnancy obesity, which is a known risk factor for both diabetes and birth defects. Preconceptional care is especially important for women with pre-pregnancy obesity to prevent birth defects and reduce the risk of health complications. The National Birth Defects Prevention Story is a population-based, case-control study that incorporates data from 30,0000 participants in 9 birth defect centers in the United States (Arkansas, California, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah) in the largest study of birth defects causes ever undertaken in the United States. Birth defects affect 1 in 33 infants and are a leading cause of infant mortality. For some birth defects, some risk factors or causes have been identified; however, for most birth defects, the causes remain unknown.


Source: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Researchers Identify Cancer Preventive Properties in Common Vitamin Supplement

Early laboratory research suggests that resveratrol, a common dietary supplement, suppresses the abnormal cell formation that leads to most types of breast cancer, suggesting a potential role for the agent in breast cancer prevention. Resveratrol is a natural substance found in red wine and red grapes that is also sold as a dietary supplement at most major drug stores.


The researchers report that resveratrol has the ability to prevent the first step that occurs when estrogen starts the process that promotes the cancer by blocking the formation of estrogen DNA adducts. The formation of breast cancer is a multistep process that differs depending on the type of disease, a patient's genetic makeup, and other factors. However, scientists know that many breast cancers are fueled by increased estrogen, which collects and reacts with DNA molecules to form adducts. Resveratrol suppressed the formation of these DNA adducts in tissue culture with doses as low as 10 [mu]mol/L. A glass of red wine contains between 9 and 28 [mu]mol/L of resveratrol. Resveratrol also suppressed the expression of CYP1B1 and the formation of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, 2 known risk factors for breast cancer. Resveratrol works by inducing an enzyme called quinone reductase, which reduces the estrogen metabolite back to an inactive form. By making estrogen inactive, resveratrol decreased the associated risk. However, it is a long way from tissue cultures to effects in humans, and those results must be confirmed in large human studies.


Source: Cancer Prevention Research


Study Identifies Protein That Produces "Good" Fat

A fundamental question in adipocyte biology is what controls the development of fat depots. Bone Morphogenic Protein are a family of proteins known to regulate organ formation during embryonic development. Researchers guessed that different members of Bone Morphogenic Protein determine brown versus white fat cell fate.


Now, a new study has shown that a protein known for its role in inducing bone growth can also help promote the development of brown fat, a "good" fat that helps in the expenditure of energy and plays a role in fighting obesity.


Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and is closely linked to the metabolic syndrome, a collection of medical problems associated with insulin resistance that can lead to an increased risk of coronary artery disease. The researchers, who worked with mice, identified that a bone-inducing protein called BMP-7 drives precursor cells that become brown fat cells. There are 2 main types of fat cells in the body-white and brown. White fat cells are the "conventional" form of fat designed to store energy. By contrast, the main role of brown fat is to burn calories by generating heat. Brown fat cells largely disappear by adulthood in humans, but their precursors still remain in the body.


A 2005 study discovered genes that control the creation of the precursor cells of brown fat, and a more recent study in 2007 found clusters of brown fat cells dispersed between bundles of muscle fibers in an obesity-resistant strain of mice and identified BMP-7 as the protein capable of inducing the formation and function of brown fat cells. Delivery of BMP-7 into mice using adenovirus as a vector resulted in an increase in the development of brown fat tissue. In one experiment, the mice that developed brown fat tissue gained less weight than did those that did not. In another experiment, mice that received injections of progenitor cells-similar to stem cells-that had been pretreated with BMP-7 also developed additional brown fat tissue.


Source: Nature


Logo Helps Make Good Choices

People shopping for healthy options can now find the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters logo on more than 1,000 different food labels in stores nationwide. To carry the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters logo, food products must meet strict nutrition guidelines for total fat, saturated fat, trans-fat, added sugar, fiber, and sodium content. Consumers can look for the logo when shopping as a designation that a product is nutritious and to remind them to eat more fruits and vegetables for better health. Healthful habits, like eating fruits and vegetables, may help lower the risk of obesity and other related diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.


Retailers, growers, packers, and manufacturers across the country support the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption by including the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters logo prominently on both nationally marketed, brand name products. According to Produce for Better Health, the nonprofit entity who, together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is behind the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters health initiative, "when you see the Fruits & Veggies-More Matters logo on a package of frozen, canned, 100 percent juice, dried, or fresh-cut fruit or vegetables, you know we've already done the label reading for you. It makes purchasing decisions easier." Not all products will qualify to use the logo; Produce for Better Health evaluates each product's ingredients and nutrition panel to ensure that it meets CDC's stringent guidelines before we allow the logo to appear on its packaging.


Source: Produce for Better Health


What We Eat in America

High-quality and timely data on the dietary intakes of the American population are needed. New nationwide dietary intake data were collected in the integrated survey What We Eat in America (WWEIA), National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the years 2005-2006 and are now available for public use on the Internet. The data include information on the dietary intakes of 9,349 individuals from 2 nonconsecutive 24-hour dietary recalls along with sample weights that can be used to make estimates about intakes of the US population. These data are used by federal- and state-level decision makers and researchers in such tasks as monitoring the nutritional adequacy of US diets, measuring the impact of food fortification on nutrient intakes, estimating exposure of population groups to contaminants, developing dietary guidance and related programs, evaluating the nutritional impact of US Department of Agriculture food assistance programs, and assessing the demand for agricultural products. Linked with health indicators from other components of NHANES, these data provide opportunities to study relationships between eating patterns and health conditions. Information about WWEIA, NHANES, with links to relevant methodology (interview method and database), are available at The WWEIA, NHANES 2005-2006 dietary interview data and related files are available at


Source: US Department of Agriculture