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In June, European courts settled the matter. Only milk can be called milk in Europe, not those plant concoctions. In the US, the dairy industry is fighting to get FDA to enforce its regulations about what is milk and what is not. The FDA says it’s gotta come from cows, but the USDA is not cooperating. They say that “soy milk” is plain language in everyday use. And over the objections of FDA, they’ve insisted on using it in consumer nutrition education materials. No wonder consumers are confused. Here’s a responsible government agency “knowingly dressing fiction as fact” as Rachel Visontay would say.

Milking a cow

The range of white, non-milk liquids calling themselves milk could make your head spin. Soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, barley milk, quinoa milk. The list goes on. Dairy producers don’t like it one bit when all these fake milks try to pass themselves off as some sort of holy water super milk. Early in the 20th century, FDA started setting standards for genuine foods. And for milk, FDA’s standard says the real thing comes from a cow’s udder. Anything else is fake. – Thanks to ConscienHealth’s Ted Kyle for this report.

PS: According to Australia and New Zealand Food Standards. “Milk means the mammary secretion of milking animals, obtained from one or more milkings for consumption as liquid milk or for further processing but excludes colostrum. Skim milk means milk from which milkfat has been removed.”

Here at GI News we are wary of publishing the results of rodent studies. First, the poor animals are typically force fed, overfed and then killed; and after all that unpleasantness, the relevance of the study’s outcome is questionable because rats and mice aren’t people. However, because there are biological similarities, research scientists find them valuable trial subjects. What scientists working in diabetes research have found is that sometimes pharmacological treatments that work in mice fail without an explanation in humans. They now know why this may be.Milking a cow

Writing in ScienceAlert Signe Dean explains. “New medicines come to our pharmacies through a rigorous process that begins in the lab and ends with multiple trials in humans. Along the way there can be animal studies, such as trials of type 2 diabetes drugs in mice. Researchers from Lund University in Sweden and King’s College London have found that mice and humans have previously unknown differences when it comes to having G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) on insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. GPCRs are found on the surfaces of many cells, where they receive chemical messages via various molecules called G proteins. We have nearly 1000 different GPCRs, each finely tuned to react to a particular molecular signal. These receptors have a laundry list of jobs in the body, including detection of certain tastes and smells, immune system regulation, transmission of nerve signals and many more. That’s why pharmaceuticals can be used to target specific GPCRs. This avenue of delivering drugs is so popular, it is estimated that around 40 per cent of all modern prescription meds target this receptor type. But when it comes to developing GPCR-targeted drugs for type 2 diabetes, we’ve had little success. And that could well be because the receptors in mouse and human beta cells just don’t match up.”

“Free-from” is totally trendy with a just touch of fake. For example, while avoiding FODMAPs may be helpful for some of us, it’s not such a good idea for all of us. In fact, Prof Fred Brouns suggests we may be throwing the baby out with the bathwater as people adopting free-from FODMAPs diets are often adopting a diet that is low in dietary fibre – the long-standing driver of good gut health. It is well established that diets rich in dietary fibre reduce our risk of bowel cancer along with numerous other chronic diseases.

FODMAPs, rapidly fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, do seem to exacerbate intestinal discomfort in people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and prescribing a FODMAP-free diet (carried under medical or dietetic supervision) has proven beneficial for reducing symptoms for many people. But as Fred Brouns points out in The Dietary Fibres–FODMAPs Controversy, there is an increasing perception that FODMAPs which are a problem for some, can be detrimental to everyone’s gut health leading to the worldwide development and commercialization of low-FODMAP diets and products. All very concerning in light of the actual body of evidence that clearly shows we need at least 25 grams and optimally more than 35 grams of nondigestible carbohydrates (including FODMAPs) every day for good gut health.

New research presented at the European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Porto, Portugal in May 2017, shows that a high intake of protein in early childhood, particularly from animal food sources, is associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) due to increased body fat and not to increases in fat-free mass (internal organs, bones, muscles, water and connective tissue). The study was conducted by Dr Trudy Voortman and colleagues at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The authors conducted a population-based cohort study of 3564 Dutch children whose dietary intake was assessed using food-frequency questionnaires at age 1 year. From that, the researchers calculated intakes of total protein, protein from different sources; of total carbohydrates, polysaccharides, monosaccharides, and disaccharides; and of total, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat.

Participants had their height and weight repeatedly measured between the ages of 1 and 10 years, while fat (fat mass index – FMI) and fat-free masses (fat-free mass index – FFMI) were assessed using dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scanning at age 6 and 10 years. The data were adjusted to take account of variables such as maternal age and education, child’s ethnicity, total energy intake, physical activity levels and whether the child was breastfed or not.

The study found that a higher intake of both total and animal protein (from dairy and non-dairy sources) was associated with being taller, heavier, and having a higher BMI up to the age of 10. This was true regardless of whether protein was replacing carbohydrates or fats in the diet. The authors say: “Our results suggest that high protein intake, particularly from animal food sources, in early childhood is associated with higher body fat mass, but not fat-free mass … Future studies are needed to examine the optimal range of protein intake and macronutrient composition of the diet for infants and young children and translate these findings into dietary guidelines targeted at this specific age group.”

“Pre-diabetes is a call to action,” says Prof Clare Collins, writing in The Conversation. “It’s diagnosed when blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as having type 2 diabetes. What you choose to eat, or avoid, influences this risk. We know from the findings of numerous diabetes prevention program studies that people can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by eating more healthily, losing 5–10% of their body weight, and walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The results of a self-directed diabetes prevention program for men with pre-diabetes our team has just published in the American Journal of Men’s Health found that improved eating patterns were associated with an average weight loss of 5.5kg and better blood glucose regulation. So, what are these improved eating patterns to help prevent type 2 dibetes? Eat more vegetables and fruit, ditch soft drinks, eat a plant based diet, make use of the glycemic index, drink more coffee.”

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