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Study finds correlation between high salt intake and atopic dermatitis

A higher intake of salt - as measured by the concentration of sodium in urine - is associated with an increased likelihood of atopic dermatitis, says a study published in JAMA Dermatology. The researchers used data on the amount of sodium in urine samples from more than 215,000 people in the UK, collected in a previous study. The authors suggest that restricting salt intake "may be a cost-effective and low-risk intervention" for this skin disease. 

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Study shows correlations between consumption of different types of ultra-processed foods and mortality

People who eat more ultra-processed foods have a "slightly higher" mortality rate, according to an analysis published in The BMJ. The study analysed data from more than 110,000 people followed up for over 30 years in the United States. The correlation between ultra-processed food intake and all-cause mortality was strongest for the meat, poultry and seafood group. 

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Reactions: Study estimates that replacing red meat consumption with sardines or anchovies could prevent up to 750,000 deaths by 2050

Switching some of the world's red meat consumption to forage fish - such as sardines, herring or anchovies - would reduce the number of deaths by between 500,000 and 750,000 by 2050, according to a study published in BMJ Global Health. The authors used data projections for that year for both red meat consumption and forage fish catches in 137 countries, substituting one for the other without exceeding the supply limit for the latter. The research estimates that sardines, herring and anchovies could replace 8% of the world's red meat, which would also serve to reduce the prevalence of diet-related diseases.

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Reactions to study linking ultra-processed food to 32 health effects, with varying degrees of evidence

Eating more ultra-processed foods is linked to a higher risk of health problems, according to an umbrella review of 45 previous meta-analyses, involving almost 10 million people in total. The research, published in The BMJ, finds direct associations between exposure to ultra-processed foods and 32 health parameters. The strongest evidence links this exposure to cardiometabolic health problems, mental disorders and overall mortality.

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Reactions: mercury concentration in tuna has not been reduced in the last decades

Mercury concentrations in tuna have remained stable between 1971 and 2022, even though emissions of this metal from human activities have decreased over the same period, a study says. 'Aggressive' emission reduction targets are needed to achieve measurable declines in concentrations of this pollutant, which is toxic for human health, the authors write in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The Minimata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty that entered into force in 2017, bans new mercury mines and includes provision to reduce mercury use, but mercury has already accumulated in the ocean 'for centuries', the article says.

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Reaction: study suggests that pregnant women who follow vegan diets are at increased risk for preeclampsia and low birth weight babies

Women who follow vegan diets during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia and giving birth to underweight newborns, suggests an observational study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. In the investigation, more than 65,000 women identified themselves as omnivores, more than 800 as vegetarians -in some of their different modalities- and 18 as vegans.

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Reaction: gluten sensitivity may be partly due to the nocebo effect in non-coeliacs

People who do not have coeliac disease or wheat allergy sometimes reduce their gluten intake because they believe it is the cause of their gastrointestinal symptoms. A study has found that there may be a nocebo effect - negative anticipation of a substance or treatment, the opposite of the placebo effect - on gluten sensitivity in these people, so that the mere thought of ingesting gluten causes more symptoms in those who believe they are sensitive to it. The results are published in the journal The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

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Reaction: Beef and dairy products have nutrients that enhance the immune response to cancer

A fatty acid present in the meat and dairy products of grazing animals, such as cows and sheep – trans-vaccenic acid (TVA) – enhances the ability of CD8+ T cells to infiltrate tumors and eliminate cancer cells, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago (USA), published today in the journal Nature.

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Reaction: replacing animal foods with plant foods is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality

A dietary shift from animal-based foods, such as red or processed meat and eggs, to plant-based foods, such as nuts, pulses and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of death and diabetes or cardiovascular disease. For example, replacing 50 grams of processed meat per day with 28-50 grams of nuts is associated with a 27% decrease in cardiovascular risk. These are the conclusions of a systematic review of 37 studies published in the journal BMC Medicine.

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Reactions: study links emulsifier consumption by pregnant mice to health problems in offspring

A study in mice found "mild metabolic and neuropsychological malprogramming" in the offspring of females who, during gestation and lactation, had ingested emulsifiers, substances used to improve the texture of ultra-processed foods. The article, led by a team from IDIBAPS in Barcelona and published in PLoS Biology, states that the consumption during these periods of carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80 - two common emulsifiers - diluted in water was associated with metabolic and cognitive deficits in the mouse offspring.

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