Children eating half daily sugar allowance at breakfast

Public Health England have announced that children in England are eating half the recommended maximum daily intake of sugar at breakfast. Based on the 2016 National Diet and Nutrition Survey, they found children, on average, are eating the equivalent of 3 cubes of sugar (approx 11g of sugar) at breakfast, found mostly in sugary cereals, juice and spreads. A survey conducted for PHE's Change4Life campaign found that many parents are unsure of what constitutes a healthy breakfast and of those whose child was consuming a breakfast high in sugar 84% thought their child's breakfast was healthy. More education is needed so that parents can make better food choices for their kids at breakfast. For more information, look up ANH-Intl’s Food4Health Guidelines.

Big pharma ramps up vaccine development

For some time now the trend in Big Pharma has been to develop more and more vaccines. Seen as the new ‘magic bullets’ from a profit perspective, the last month alone has seen the following new developments:

New vaccine against Salmonella

Researchers have developed an oral vaccine in mice to protect against Salmonella infection. Salmonella is one of the most common food borne illnesses in the world. In the US Salmonella infection accounts for approximately 380 deaths and 19,000 cases of hospitalisation each year. Giving the vaccine orally uses the same entry route as salmonella. The study found the oral vaccine in mice produced strong immunity against salmonella.

New vaccine against Chikungunya

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain, but is not reported to cause fatalities. Chikungunya has been identified in over 60 countries across the major continents. Researchers at the University of Texas in Galveston have developed the first vaccine for this disease. The vaccine has been made using a virus that only affects insects and supposedly has no impact on humans. The potential vaccine has been tested in both mouse models and non-human primates where it provoked a rapid immunity response, but researchers claim that it did not leave any evidence of the virus in the blood or any signs of illness.

HIV vaccine tested in humans

A new HIV vaccine is being tested in humans in South Africa. The study (which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health in the US) is aiming to recruit 5,400 sexually active young men and women. This study is based on findings of an early-stage HIV vaccine clinical trial that showed comparable immune responses to those reported in a 2009 study in Thailand. The vaccine in the South Africa study has been adapted to the HIV subtype found in Africa. Results are expected in late 2020.

Preservatives in cured meat worsen asthma

A recent study published in the journal Thorax has linked the consumption of processed meat with increased risk of worsening asthma symptoms over time. The study focused on 971 adults from five French cities who ate, on average, 2.5 servings of cured meats per week. Cured meats are high in nitrites, which have been linked to inflammation of the airways. Processed meat has also been linked to increased risk of cancer in a WHO report published in 2015.

Researchers question science behind dietary guidelines

A review published in Annals of Internal Medicine has questioned the science behind nutrition guidelines related to sugar reduction concluding the guidelines, "do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence". This doesn't mean, though the authors are advocating increased sugar consumption, just that the revised guidelines are still not robust or clear enough and that more consistent, quality evidence is required to support dietary guidelines. ANH-Intl has written about the dangers associated with overconsumption of sugar many times and does not recommend intakes of total sugar over 25 g per day. More information on eating a healthy diet can be found in our Food4Health Guidelines.

Vitamin D improves gut flora and risk of metabolic syndrome

A study published in Frontiers has found that vitamin D deficiency is a pre-cursor for the development of metabolic syndrome, a condition that raises your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Researchers found that a high fat diet (a mixture of soybean oil and lard), which caused gut dysbiosis, in conjunction with vitamin D deficiency was required for metabolic syndrome to develop in a mouse model. Vitamin D deficiency can be easily dealt with through appropriate sun exposure (exposing 80% of your body for at least 20 mins when the sun is overhead) and the use of vitamin D3 supplements where necessary.

Aluminium in vaccines is not safe

A new paper in the 2016 Winter issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons states aluminium in vaccines is not safe. Aluminium is added to vaccines (called an adjuvant) to provoke a strong immune reaction. Previous research has linked the injection of aluminium adjuvants to autism in children. The author, Neil Miller (a medical research journalist) concluded there is no convincing evidence of adjuvant safety, but compelling evidence that injected aluminum can be detrimental to health. “Vaccines are normally recommended for healthy people, so safety (and efficacy) standards must be impeccable. Parents, especially, should not be compelled to permit their loved ones to receive multiple injections of toxic metals that could increase their risk of neurodevelopmental and autoimmune ailments. Safe alternatives to current disease prevention technologies are urgently needed.”