Hot Right Now: China's health food crackdown, diet's influence on cancer risk, and new gut health developments

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Hot Right Now: China's health food crackdown, diet's influence on cancer risk, and new gut health developments

Related tags: Vitamin c, Alzheimer's disease, Cancer, Probiotics, Yoghurt, Pectin

Read about diet's influence on cancer and Alzheimer's risk, China's '100-day operation', and new innovations and research in the gut health space in this round-up of our top five trending stories on social media.

Mounting research on vitamin C's role in cancer and infection may change treatment methods

A growing body of research around vitamin C's role against cancer and infectious diseases​ is gaining prominence, increasing the vitamin's therapeutic potential for use in medical treatment.

Scientists and doctors in APAC, North America and Europe have been conducting trials on the effects of vitamin C on tumours, as well as patients undergoing chemotherapy.

According to Otago University's Professor Margreet Vissers, this coincides with an improved understanding of vitamin C over the last 10 years, especially with regards to pharmacokinetics (the metabolic process) of how it works in the body, as well as its potential in treating cancer, and infectious diseases like pneumonia and sepsis.

Personalised diet and supplementation needed to lower Alzheimer's risk: Pharmacology expert

A highly personalised supplementation and diet programme is vital to lowering risk and managing symptoms in Alzheimer's disease​, according to an expert in neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr Dale Bredesen, a professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, told NutraIngredients-Asia​ there were certain vitamins, supplements and foods that could prevent or slow cognitive decline.

He referred to the ReCODE Protocol, which he had developed to evaluate 150 factors known to contribute to Alzheimer's. This protocol identifies an individual's disease subtype or combination of subtypes so an effective treatment protocol can be devised.

Strict and serious: '100-day operation' to clean up China's health food market

The Chinese authorities have started a '100-day operation'​ in a bid to weed out unscrupulous industry practices prevalent in the country's health food market.

The operation, which started on January 8, focuses on stemming fake advertisements, the manufacturing and selling of counterfeits, and other illegal and deceptive actions that disrupt market order. 

Spearheaded by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), the cross-department operation also involves 12 other government units, including the National Health Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the Ministry of Public Security.

Vegan probiotic yoghurt: Israeli start-up driving APAC ambition with proprietary formula

An Israeli start-up is using a proprietary formula​ to develop a range of vegan-friendly, allergen-free and dairy-free probiotic products alternatives in Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Yofix Probiotics, which recently began selling ONLY, its dairy-, soy- and gluten-free yoghurt, in Israel, says it uses no additives, processed ingredients, or artificial flavours or colours in the product.

Instead, it relies on the fermentation of what it calls its Bio 5 Formula — a proprietary mix of coconut, oats, lentils, sesame, and sunflower seeds — to produce the yoghurt, which currently comes in three flavours: apple and cinnamon, banana and maple, and berries.

Newly discovered 'specialist' gut bacterium points to microbiome's evolution and dietary adaptation

Recent findings by Kiwi researchers imply that the human gut microbiome is evolving to adapt​ to the growing consumption of fibre-rich foods.

Scientists at New Zealand's Plant & Food Research institute, together with local and international research partners, have discovered a gut bacterium that specialises in breaking down pectin, a carbohydrate found in plants that is typically difficult to digest.

Called Monoglobus pectinilyticus​, the bacterium is said to be the first to specialise in pectin degradation and utilisation.

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