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Orange Juice May Damage Teeth Enamel

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Some juice is so acidic, it can take part of your teeth with it.

New warning: A U.S. expert says orange juice is so strong it can ‘literally wash away your teeth’

Fruit beverages can cut enamel hardness by 84 per cent causing teeth to erode more than previously thought, according to one U.S. expert.

Dr Yan-Fang Ren, of the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York, said the acid in orange juice ‘is so strong that the tooth is literally washed away’.

Dr Ren and his team made the discovery after studying the effects of over-the-counter teeth whitening products.

He found the effect of six per cent hydrogen peroxide, the common ingredient used for teeth whitening, was ‘insignificant’ compared with acidic fruit juices.

The orange juice markedly cut hardness and increased roughness of tooth enamel.

The researchers used a revolutionary vertical scanning microscope for the first time to see the extensive surface detail on teeth.

It has long been known that fruit juice and carbonated drinks have high acid content and can reduce the strength of enamel.

Dentists have advised some of these drinks should only be consumed with a straw or at the same time as eating food.

But the damaging effects of drinks could be worse than previously thought, according to the article in the Journal of Dentistry.

Weakened and eroded enamel may speed up the wear of the tooth and increase the risk of tooth decay developing and spreading.

Dr Ren said: ‘Most soft drinks, including sodas and fruit juices, are acidic in nature.

‘Our studies demonstrated that the orange juice, as an example, can potentially cause significant erosion of teeth. It’s potentially a very serisevereous problem for people who drink sodas and fruit juices daily.

‘We do not yet have an effective tool to avert the erosive effects, although there are early indications that higher levels of fluoride may help slow down the erosion.’

Dr Ren advises consumers to be aware of the acidic nature of beverages, including sodas, fruit juices, sports and energy drinks.

The longer teeth are in contact with the acidic drinks, the more the erosion will be.

Those who sip their drinks slowly over 20 minutes are more likely to have tooth erosion than those who finish a drink quickly.

Dr Ren said it is important to keep good oral hygiene by brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

The research comes after a recent study revealed that drinking fruit juice dramatically reduces the effectiveness of drugs used to treat cancer, heart conditions and high blood pressure.

Research has shown that orange, apple and grapefruit juice can also wipe out the benefits of some antibiotics and hay-fever pills.

It is thought the drinks stop drugs from entering the bloodstream and getting to work in the body – possibly rendering them useless.

The potential effects are so serious, researchers warned, that if in doubt patients should swap fruit juices for water when on medication.

Source: Mail Online. 2nd. July. ’09

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Five Ways to Keep Bisphenol A (BPA) Out of Your Food

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With new studies linking bisphenol A, a chemical found in the linings of food and beverage cans, to diabetes and heart disease, you may be wondering what you can do to minimize your exposure. Here are some good rules of thumb for reducing your intake of BPA:

1. Buy your tomato sauce in glass jars

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Canned tomato sauce is likely to have higher levels of BPA, because the high acidity of the tomatoes causes more of the chemical to leach from the lining of the can.

 

2. Consume fresh fruits and vegetables instead of canned

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In addition to their BPA-free benefit, fresh produce usually has more nutrients, which often get lost in the process of canning.

3. Purchase beverages in plastic or glass bottles

Canned soda and juice often contain some BPA.

4. Use powdered infant formula instead of ready-to-serve liquid

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An assessment from the Environmental Working Group found that liquid formulas contain more BPA than powdered brands.

5. Think in terms of moderation

Follow a sensible approach, eating less of those foods that are higher in BPA………..

Sources:
U.S. News & World Report September 17, 2008
Journal of the American Medical Association September 16, 2008; 300(11):1353-5
Journal of the American Medical Association September 16, 2008; 300(11):1303-10

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Suppliments our body needs

Erythritol

3D-model of a sucrose molecule. Created by Mic...Image via Wikipedia

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Erythritol is a naturally-derived sugar substitute that looks and tastes very much like sugar, yet has almost no calories. It comes in granulated and powdered forms.

Erythritol has been used in Japan since 1990 in candies, chocolate, yogurt, fillings, jellies, jams, beverages, and as a sugar substitute.

Erythritol is classified as a sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols, also called polyols, are sugar substitutes that are either extracted from plants or manufactured from starches. Some of the more common sugar alcohol sweeteners are sorbitol and xylitol.

Sugar alcohols also occur naturally in plants. Erythritol is found naturally in small amounts in grapes, melons, mushrooms, and fermented foods such as wine, beer, cheese, and soy sauce.

Erythritol is a natural sugar alcohol (a type of sugar substitute) which has been approved for use in the United States and throughout much of the world. It occurs naturally in fruits and fermented foods . At industrial level, it is produced from glucose by fermentation with a yeast, Moniliella pollinis. It is 60-70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is absorbed by the body, therefore unlikely to cause gastric side effects unlike other sugar alcohols. Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value of 0.2 calories per gram (95% less than sugar and other carbohydrates), but some countries like Japan label it at 0 calories. European legislation actually considers it at 2.4 kcal/g but pending discussion will certainly achieve a 0 kcal/g caloric value by 2009.

Erythritol and human digestion
In the body, erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine, and then for the most part excreted unchanged in the urine. Because erythritol is normally absorbed before it enters the large intestine, it does not normally cause laxative effects as are often experienced after over-consumption of other sugar alcohols (such as xylitol and maltitol) and most people will consume erythritol with no side effects. This is a unique characteristic, as other sugar alcohols are not absorbed directly by the body in this manner, and consequently are more prone to causing gastric distress .

As a whole, erythritol is generally free of side-effects in regular use, but if consumed in very extreme quantities (sometimes encouraged by its almost non-caloric nature), effectively consuming it faster than one’s body can absorb it, a laxative effect may result. The laxative response does not begin until you cross your body’s natural absorption threshold, which is the point at which you have ingested more erythritol than is found in reasonable servings of food products and is usually a larger amount than most people will eat in a single sitting. Erythritol, when compared with other sugar alcohols, is also much more difficult for intestinal bacteria to digest, so it is unlikely to cause gas or bloating [5], unlike maltitol, sorbitol, or lactitol. Allergic side effects can be itching with hives.

How is Erythritol Made?
Erythritol is usually made from plant sugars. Sugar is mixed with water and then fermented with a natural culture into erythritol. It is then filtered, allowed to crystallize, and then dried. The finished product is white granules or powder that resembles sugar.

How Sweet is Erythritol?
Erythritol is approximately 70 percent as sweet as table sugar (sucrose). Some manufacturers, however, claim that their erythritol products are as sweet as sugar.

Physical properties

Heat of solution
Erythritol has a strong cooling effect (positive heat of solution when it dissolves in water, often combined with the cooling effect of mint flavors, but proves distracting with more subtle flavors and textures. The cooling effect is only present when erythritol is not already dissolved in water, a situation that might be experienced in an erythritol-sweetened frosting, chocolate bar, chewing gum, or hard candy. When combined with solid fats, such as coconut oil, cocoa butter or cow’s butter, the cooling effect tends to accentuate the waxy characteristics of the fat in a generally undesirable manner. This is particularly pronounced in chocolate bars made with erythritol. The cooling effect of erythritol is very similar to that of xylitol and among the strongest cooling effects of all sugar alcohols.

Blending for sugar-like properties:
Beyond high intensity sweeteners, erythritol is often paired with other bulky ingredients that exhibit sugar-like characteristics to better mimic the texture and mouthfeel of sucrose. Often these other ingredients are responsible for the gastric side effects blamed on erythritol. The cooling effect of erythritol is rarely desired, hence other ingredients are chosen to dilute or even negate that effect. Erythritol also has a propensity to crystallize and is not as soluble as sucrose, so ingredients may also be chosen to help negate this disadvantage. Furthermore, erythritol is non-hygroscopic, meaning it does not attract moisture, which can lead to products, particularly baked goods, drying out if another hygroscopic ingredient is not used in the formulation.

Very commonly, inulin is combined with erythritol, due to inulin offering a complementary negative heat of solution (warming effect when dissolved that helps cancel erythritol’s cooling effect) and non-crystallizing properties. Unfortunately, inulin has a propensity to cause gas and bloating when consumed in moderate to large quantities, particularly in individuals unaccustomed to it. Other sugar alcohols are sometimes utilized with erythritol, particularly isomalt due to its minimally positive heat of solution, and glycerin which has a negative heat of solution, moderate hygroscopicity, and non-crystallizing liquid form.

Erythritol and bacteria:
Erythritol has been certified as tooth-friendly[7]. The sugar alcohol cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria, and so does not contribute to tooth decay. Interestingly, erythritol exhibits some, but not all, of the tendencies to “starve” harmful bacteria like xylitol does. Unlike xylitol, erythritol is actually absorbed into the bloodstream after consumption but before excretion. However, it is not clear at present if the effect of starving harmful bacteria occurs systemically.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythritol
http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsa1/a/Bee_propolis.htm

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Mayonnaise Does Not Spoil Food

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Food poisoning typically increases during the summer, and one ingredient that always attracts suspicion is mayonnaise.

But most mayonnaise contains vinegar and other ingredients that make it acidic, and therefore very likely to protect against spoilage. When problems occur, they usually result from low-acid ingredients like chicken and seafood.

One study published in The Journal of Food Protection found that in the presence of mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad slowed down or stopped completely. The more mayonnaise used, the more the rate of growth decreased.


Sources:
New York Times July 1, 2008

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News on Health & Science

Food Trends to Make You Smart

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When it comes to food trends, losing weight is yesterday’s news. Consumers now want food that will give them sharper minds and tighten those wrinkles as well as help them shed a pound or two, a global report found.

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Blueberries and blackberries for sale at the Westmoreland Berry Farm stand at the Arlington Farmers’ Market in Arlington,
Americans are looking to the cuisines of Japan and Western Europe for the secrets to better skin and digestion, the report by the Centre for Culinary Development said.

Whether it is pigs’ feet packed with collagen to combat aging or probiotic yogurt to aid digestion, Kara Nielsen, a trend spotter at the CCD, said Americans were trying to catch up.

“In American society, we’re kind of catching up to some of these ancient cultures and looking at food and some of its medicinal and wellness properties,” Nielsen said.

The ‘Culinary Trend Mapping Reports’, compiled by San Francisco-based CCD and its 80-member chef council, is based on international market research that examined what was actually consumed, sold or advertised in restaurants, specialty cafes and gourmet food magazines.

The CCD reports, released every two months by publisher Packaged Facts, are used by the US food industry to help develop new products.

The latest issue coined one trend “heutrition”, a term used to encourage consumers to eat a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables. CCD found trends ranging from Japanese stress-erasing candy and collagen-infused elixirs to orange juice and eggs enhanced with Omega-3 fatty acids found in North America.

“We’re seeing this dichotomy appearing between ‘natural, good, local, seasonal, eat your colors’, versus a very manufactured ‘get my vitamins with the food I’m eating normally’ with food that’s not necessarily natural,” said Nielsen. “Consumers are trying to balance out these two sides of where’s the natural goodness, but where can I get a little extra boost with some of this ‘nutraceutical’ food.”

But the food trends and marketing efforts have met resistance.

EU legislation last year banned the use of the term “superfood” on products unless they carry a specific, authorized health claim. In January, a California consumer filed a lawsuit against Dannon, a leader in probiotic dairy, for making unsubstantiated claims about the health value of its products.

Sources: The Times Of India

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