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200 percent rise among US children in consumption of Low-calorie sweeteners (LCS)

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Assugrin, Wikimedia

Delhi, Jan 10,2017: The consumption of low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) such as aspartame, sucralose and saccharin has seen a whopping 200 per cent rise among US children. This puts them at the risk of obesity, diabetes and related issues, researchers have warned.

About 25 percent of children and more than 41 percent of adults reported consuming foods and beverages containing low-calorie sweeteners in a recent nationwide nutritional survey — representing a 200 percent increase in LCS consumption for children and a 54 percent jump for adults from 1999 to 2012.

“Just 8.7 percent of kids reported consuming low-calorie sweeteners in 1999 and 13 years later, that number had risen to 25.1 percent. More adults are also taking in low-calorie sweeteners in diet soft drinks and in a variety of foods and snack items,” said Allison Sylvetsky, assistant professor at the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

The findings are important, especially for children, because some studies suggest a link between low-calorie sweeteners and obesity, diabetes and other health issues, Sylvetsky stressed.

Low-calorie sweeteners are often used in place of added sugars such as sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers conducted a cross sectional study using data from nearly 17,000 men, women and children included in the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) from 2009 to 2012 and compared the findings to their prior analysis using data from 1999-2008.

“Of those reporting consumption of low-calorie sweeteners, 44 percent of adults and 20 percent of children consumed low-calorie sweeteners more than once a day,” the study noted.

Seventeen percent of adults had a food or beverage sweetened with these products three times a day or more.

The likelihood of consuming low-calorie sweeteners went up as adult body mass index (BMI), a measure of obesity, went up.

Nineteen percent of adults with obesity compared to 13 percent of normal weight adults used LCS products three times a day or more.

About 70 percent of LCS consumption occurred at home and the study, which appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, shows that children as young as two are eating or drinking LCS-sweetened foods and beverages.

The findings suggest that parents may not realise the term “light” or “no added sugar” may mean that a product contains a low-calorie sweetener.

“Parents may be buying the light versions of the family favourites thinking they are healthier,” Sylvetsky added. (IANS)

 

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Researchers Develop Non-Fibrillating Form of Human Insulin to Treat Diabetes

Typically, the chemical modification of insulin causes structural destabilisation and inactivation

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Diabetes
The discovery of glycoinsulin presents a promising solution for patients of diabetes. Pixabay

 In a promising discovery that could improve the clinical delivery of insulin for people living with diabetes, researchers have developed a non-fibrillating form of human insulin.

Using a novel glycosylation technique, the research team from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Australia, has successfully synthesised an insulin analogue called glycoinsulin that demonstrates the same glucose-lowering effects as native insulin in preclinical studies without fibril formation.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, said that fibrils can arise when insulin compounds aggregate together forming clumps.

For people with diabetes who rely on pump infusions to administer insulin, fibrils pose serious risk in blocking the delivery of insulin which can potentially lead to life threatening under-dosing, it added.

The discovery of glycoinsulin presents a promising solution for patients.

“Not only did our research demonstrate that glycoinsulin does not form fibrils, even at high temperature and concentration, but also that it is more stable in human serum than native insulin,” said study researcher Akhter Hossain.

“Together, these findings could position glycoinsulin as an excellent candidate for use in insulin pumps and a way to improve the shelf life of insulin products,” Hossain added. “We now hope to streamline the manufacturing process for glycoinsulin so this compound can be further investigated in larger, clinical studies,” he added.

Over 25,000 people in Australia and 350,000 people in the US use insulin pumps as part of their diabetes management. In what can cause significant patient burden and medicine wastage, insulin pump infusion sets are required to be replaced every 24-72 hours to mitigate the occurrence of fibrils.

Diabetes
In a promising discovery that could improve the clinical delivery of insulin for people living with diabetes, researchers have developed a non-fibrillating form of human insulin. Pixabay

Critical to the success of the study was the engineering of an insulin-sugar complex from egg yolks using a method jointly developed by collaborators, Associate Professor Ryo Okamoto and Professor Yasuhiro Kajihara, from Osaka University, Japan.

“Typically, the chemical modification of insulin causes structural destabilisation and inactivation, but we were able to successfully synthesise glycoinsulin in a way that retains its insulin-like helical structure,” said study co-author John Wade.

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“The result is an almost fully active insulin analogue which has demonstrated near-native binding to insulin receptors in both lab and animal studies,” Wade added. (IANS)