Alzheimer’s disease - diet and lifestyle risks

If you’re female, over 50 and have higher levels of belly fat you have a significantly increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers publishing in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that women with fat around their middle had a 39% increased risk of developing dementia than those without. In other research, published in Neurology, researchers have found that combining healthy lifestyle behaviours, physical activity, not smoking, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, a high-quality diet and activities that stimulated the brain are associated with a substantially lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The study included data from nearly 3,000 research participants. Those who adhered to four or all five of the specified healthy behaviours were found to have a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s. Both studies underline the need for us to make changes to lifestyle and diet to combat the risk of an increasingly common and debilitating disease.

Calls for establishment of CBD regulatory pathway

The US based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is calling on the US Food and Drug Administration to legalise the use of CBD in dietary supplements in its recently submitted Citizen’s Petition. The call comes as demand for CBD products boomed as people sought to alleviate lockdown stress during the current pandemic. In the UK, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI) has announced it will lead a consortium to study and assess the safety of CBD along with recommended daily doses for CBD in response to increasing focus from regulators on the topic of safety around CBD products. The study will investigate whether CBD causes drowsiness, liver toxicity or interacts with other drug substances. It will also assess different delivery modalities and bioavailability. The team at ANH continue to monitor the situation around CBD closely and work with companies and trade associations to ensure CBD remains available to citizens and prevent it from being hijacked by Big Pharma.

GM by the backdoor in the UK?

Under EU regulations the UK has been protected from the onslaught of genetically modified animals, plants and foods. With Brexit looming and the passage of the new UK Agriculture Bill through Parliament, vested interests are trying sneak GM technologies in through the back door. Support for the inclusion of genome editing appears to come predominantly from those in Parliament with close ties to agribusiness. Opposition to the amendment seems to have been effective as it has yet to be tabled. However, despite consumer opposition to such technologies in the food chain, it’s unlikely to quietly disappear given the power of the pro-GM lobby in the UK.

Paul McCartney joins calls for school meals to be meat-free

Paul McCartney and two of his daughters have co-signed a letter backing PETA’s campaign to have the mandatory requirement for meat to be served in schools removed, as part of the National Food Strategy consultation. In a statement the McCartney’s said, “No one needs to eat meat, so it shouldn’t be mandatory to serve it in schools. It’s time to revise the School Food Standards to help the planet, spare animals, and promote healthy eating.” Providing all the essential nutrients a child needs to be healthy and strong is far more challenging when animal products are excluded. The resulting diet is all too often low in protein and healthy fats particularly, but also essential vitamins,  minerals and amino acids e.g. vitamin B12, iron, vitamin A, zinc, taurine, arginine and carnosine. However, we wholeheartedly support the notion of a more wholefood, diverse, plant-based diet as recommended by our Food4Kids (aged 1-6) and Food4Health guidelines (aged 7 and upwards).

Lab gown breast milk - another Gates venture…

First it was lab grown meat, then fish. Now a new company, Biomilq, is seeking to produce human breastmilk in a lab. Such is the interest in cultured breastmilk that Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a group of investors which includes the ubiquitous Gates Foundation, has invested $3.5 million in a bid to disrupt the hugely profitable infant formula market. Unsurprisingly, co-founder and CEO Michelle Egger previously worked for the Gates Foundation. The Biomilq founders say they’re seeking to eventually make milk that is nutritionally, but not necessarily immunologically close to breast milk. They have so far managed to produce two of the most common components of breastmilk – casein (a protein) and lactose (a milk sugar). Breastmilk is vastly complex in its composition, but also completely individual and tailored to the infant drinking it. The synergy between mother and baby and the ability to make changes to the composition of the breastmilk at will is something that no lab or bioreactor could even come close to. Many components of breastmilk aren’t even produced in the breast, so any artificially created product is likely to be heavily fortified, most likely with synthetic nutrients. While we agree breast is best where a mother is able to breastfeed, the health consequences of feeding a baby with ‘breastmilk’ out of a bioreactor could be devastatingly far reaching.