Cancer risk reduction

Researchers say stable isotope technology could be one possible – albeit costly – way of filling in in vivo knowledge gaps for prebiotics. © / Ben-Schonewille

Special edition: Microbiome metrics & advances

Beyond microbiota: Prebiotics need hard health endpoints

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

Hard health endpoints, not just changes to microbiota, are needed to secure EU prebiotic health claims and bring fibre intakes up to recommended levels, according to European researchers.

'Sources of contamination should be identified for highly contaminated products and remediating measures taken,' say EU researchers. Photo credit: / Elenathewise

EC study reveals carcinogenic PAHs in supplements

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

Levels of carcinogenic PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in EU supplements vary widely from under safe limits to way over, according to a European Commission study ahead of new regulation on the issue.

'Fibre has been shown to have a protective effect, but microbiota and butyrate presence does determine the degree of protection.'

Peek inside Probiota 2016: Amsterdam, February 2-4

The microbiome & its potential in cancer prevention

By Will Chu

Conflicting results from human epidemiological studies have made it difficult to be sure whether dietary fibre offers genuine protection against colorectal cancer.

“Given the excellent results achieved in the study, we are currently investigating scope to undergo a human clinical trial in the near future.

Brown seaweed extract battles cancer

By Lynda Searby

Health evidence for fucoidan stacks up as a new Australian study finds that the seaweed polysaccharide has potential to battle Helictobacter pylori-related diseases and gastric cancer through an anti-adhesion mechanism.

Heavy lycopene molecules may help explain the carotenoid's bodily metabolism

Scientists trace lycopene activity

By Louisa Richards

Scientists in the US have found a novel way to trace the activity of lycopene in the human body, which could help explain its potential cancer-combating properties.  

The researchers found that polyamines modulate the circadian period by regulating interaction between clock proteins

Sleep on it: Supplements show circadian potential

By Louisa Richards

The lengthening of the circadian period with age can be reversed by polyamines, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have found. The studies on mice published in Cell Metabolism identify a reciprocal metabolic feedback loop between...

If left untreated, the risk of CIN progressing to invasive cervical carcinoma is about 30–50%

Selenium may help fight pre-cancer cervical condition

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

Long-term consumption of selenium supplements may help reverse the progression of the ‘pre-cancer’ condition cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1), say researchers in Iran.

Norway investigates 'alternative' fish oil for the first time - and records first instances of contaminants in 15 years of testing

Norway warns on polluted fish oil supplements

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has urged consumers to throw away three 'alternative' fish oil supplements after tests revealed they contained carcinogenic contaminants way over EU safe limits. 

Probiotics are widely recommended by medical bodies in Europe and beyond, the International Yakult Symposium was told

Dispatches from the International Yakult Symposium

No health claims but probiotics remain on medical agenda

By Shane Starling from Berlin

Probiotics are yet to win a health claim in the European Union but they continue to receive backing by various bodies for gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea.


Delayed reactions and industry in-jokes: The psychology of functional foods

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

According to Euromonitor International, fortified or functional food and drink sales jumped by 25% between 2008 and 2013 to reach $267.6bn (€249bn). But what does this industry term really mean to consumers anyway and what are the motivators behind such...

Broccoli is the only commonly eaten vegetable that contains meaningful quantities of glucoraphanin – a naturally occurring compound beneficial to health

Functional broccoli may lower cholesterol

By Niamh Michail

A functional variety of broccoli with a high glucoraphanin content - the vegetable's 'healthy' compound - may reduce cholesterol by altering the body's fat-synthesising signal pathways.