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Ruxton C.H.,Nutrition Communications | Hart V.A.,Reading Scientific Services Ltd
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2011

There is a belief that caffeinated drinks, such as tea, may adversely affect hydration. This was investigated in a randomised controlled trial. Healthy resting males (n 21) were recruited from the general population. Following 24 h of abstention from caffeine, alcohol and vigorous physical activity, including a 10 h overnight fast, all men underwent four separate test days in a counter-balanced order with a 5 d washout in between. The test beverages, provided at regular intervals, were 4 Ã-240 ml black (i.e. regular) tea and 6 Ã-240 ml black tea, providing 168 or 252 mg of caffeine. The controls were identical amounts of boiled water. The tea was prepared in a standardised way from tea bags and included 20 ml of semi-skimmed milk. All food taken during the 12 h intervention period was controlled, and subjects remained at rest. No other beverages were offered. Blood was sampled at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12 h, and a 24 h urine sample was collected. Outcome variables were whole blood cell count, Na, K, bicarbonate, total protein, urea, creatinine and osmolality for blood; and total volume, colour, Na, K, creatinine and osmolality for urine. Although data for all twenty-one participants were included in the analysis (mean age 36 years and mean BMI 25•8 kg/m 2), nineteen men completed all conditions. Statistical analysis, using a factorial ANOVA approach within PROC MIXED, revealed no significant differences between tea and water for any of the mean blood or urine measurements. It was concluded that black tea, in the amounts studied, offered similar hydrating properties to water. © 2011 The Authors.

Ruxton C.H.S.,Nutrition Communications | Mason P.,The Rectory
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2012

Type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease represent major causes of morbidity, which impact greatly on healthcare expenditure. Clinical studies suggest that ingestion of black tea, which contains a range of bioactive compounds, can inhibit oxidative damage and improve endothelial function. The objectives of this review are to: (1) evaluate observational evidence linking black tea consumption with the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes; (2) consider the mechanisms by which black tea may have a protective effect; and (3) examine the potential role of tea drinking in relation to public health. The findings from epidemiological studies suggested a significant association between regular black tea consumption and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease at around three or more cups per day. For diabetes risk, the data are restricted to a few large cohort studies that suggested a beneficial association at one to four cups daily. These findings need to be confirmed by intervention trials. While some studies suggest that drinking black tea may reduce the risk of stroke, likely mechanisms remain unclear, highlighting the need for more human intervention studies. Disparities found involving studies may have been influenced by variations in reported tea intakes, limited sample sizes in intervention trials and inadequate control of confounders. In conclusion, drinking black tea may have a role in lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Future research should focus on controlled trials and studies to elucidate likely mechanisms of action. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 British Nutrition Foundation.

Ruxton C.H.S.,Nutrition Communications
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2011

Overweight and obese people appear to be at greater risk of suboptimal vitamin and mineral status compared with people of a healthy weight. Nutrients most affected include vitamin D, vitamin B12, carotenoids, folate, vitamin C and iron. The reasons are unknown but may be caused by poor diets, increased requirements or obesity-related changes to nutrient absorption, excretion or metabolism, or a combination of these. Sequestration of fat-soluble vitamins by adipose tissues is also a major factor. Although dietary assessment in obese populations is hampered by under-reporting, there is evidence that dietary patterns characterised by energy-dense, processed foods are more common in groups with a higher body mass index. Dieting practices, bariatric surgery and the use of anti-obesity drugs may compound the risk of nutrient inadequacy, although sustained weight loss helps to improve vitamin D status. A poor nutrient status could accentuate the risk of chronic diseases already experienced by overweight people on account of their excessive fat mass. There is evidence that the use of dietary supplements can improve nutrient status and have a favourable impact on disease risk markers such as lipid profiles and insulin resistance. Whether currently dieting or not, overweight people may benefit from safeguarding vitamin and mineral adequacy by taking a multi-nutrient supplement alongside an increased intake of nutrient-rich foods. © 2011 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2011 British Nutrition Foundation.

Ruxton C.H.S.,Nutrition Communications | Derbyshire E.,Manchester Metropolitan University
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

Women's diets are of interest as they not only impact on wellbeing and risk of chronic disease in women themselves, but also influence pregnancy outcomes and infant health. UK dietary surveys show that, while some improvements have occurred, intakes of key micronutrients, particularly iron, vitamin D, calcium and folate remain below recommended levels. Women's diets are also too high in saturated fat and salt, and low in fibre, oily fish and fruits and vegetables. Evidence suggests that certain chronic conditions are influenced by dietary components, e.g. inadequate calcium and vitamin D intakes reduce bone density, salt and saturated fat increase cardiovascular disease risk, excessive alcohol intakes increase cancer risk, low intakes of long chain n-3 fatty acids may adversely affect fetal development and mental health, while adequate folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects. Focused health initiatives are needed to improve diet quality in women, particularly school-aged girls, women planning a pregnancy, those living in areas of deprivation and elderly women. Vitamin and mineral supplements, and fortified foods may have a role to play alongside dietary improvements in helping women to achieve optimal diet quality. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 British Nutrition Foundation.

Background: The increased availability of caffeinated drinks raises questions about the level of caffeine that is appropriate for children, as well as the benefits and risks associated with their consumption. Methods: Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, this systematic review evaluates evidence from randomised controlled trials investigating the effects of caffeine on cognition, behaviour, mood and exercise performance in children. Observational studies and expert panel guidelines are also discussed. Results: One hundred and nine studies were found, with 11 randomised controlled trials and 13 observational studies meeting the criteria. High caffeine intakes (e.g. >5 mg kg-1 body weight day-1) were associated with an increased risk of anxiety and withdrawal symptoms. However, smaller amounts were not linked with such effects and may benefit cognitive function and sports performance based on adult studies. The evidence suggests that children and adolescents should limit daily caffeine consumption to 2.5 mg kg-1 body weight day-1, equating to one or two cups of tea or one small cup of coffee. Lower contributors of caffeine, such as tea, may be more appropriate for children because they contribute to daily fluid intakes and provide flavonoids. By contrast, caffeinated soft drinks may be less suitable options for children as a result of their acidity, higher caffeine content, presence of added sugar (in some cases) and absence of bioactive compounds. Conclusions: More studies are needed to determine the intakes that represent a risk and whether there may be benefits for alertness and sports performance with moderate intakes of caffeine. © 2013 The British Dietetic Association Ltd.

Ruxton C.H.,Nutrition Communications
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition | Year: 2016

This report summarises the proceedings of a conference organised by the Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists. The aim was to consider the process by which dietary guidelines (DG) are developed and the quality of evidence underpinning these guidelines, as well as debating whether or not this has resulted in DG that are effective in terms of health improvement. Key points were a caution about false positives in research, the importance of holistic DG rather than single nutrient targets, the need for appropriate disease endpoints in studies and control of confounders, a plea for less reliance on observational studies which cannot address cause-and-effect relationships and a need to bear in mind unintended consequences. Options for improving the system and the quality of evidence were discussed. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Ruxton C.H.,Nutrition Communications | Gardner E.J.,Nutrition Communications | McNulty H.M.,Nutrition Communications
Critical reviews in food science and nutrition | Year: 2010

Many countries set quantitative targets for added sugars, justifying this by expressing concern about the likely impact of sugar on weight control, dental health, diet quality, or metabolic syndrome. This review considers whether current intakes of sugar are harmful to health, and analyses recent literature using a systematic approach to collate, rank, and evaluate published studies from 1995-2006. Results from high quality obesity studies did not suggest a positive association between body mass index and sugar intake. Some studies, specifically on sweetened beverages, highlighted a potential concern in relation to obesity risk, although these were limited by important methodological issues. Diet adequacy appeared to be achieved across sugar intakes of 6 to 20% energy, depending on subject age. Studies on metabolic syndrome reported no adverse effects of sugar in the long-term, even at intakes of 40-50% energy. The evidence for colorectal cancer suggested an association with sugar, but this appeared to have been confounded by energy intake and glycemic load. There was no credible evidence linking sugar with attention-deficit, dementia, or depression. Regarding dental caries, combinations of sugar amount/frequency, fluoride exposure, and food adhesiveness were more reliable predictors of caries risk than the amount of sugar alone. Overall, the available evidence did not support a single quantitative sugar guideline covering all health issues.

Currently, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, and retinoids are the mainstay topical treatments for acne vulgaris. However, potential benefits may be offered by natural, marine-derived ingredients, such as those derived from brown seaweed (Laminaria digitata). This article will review the available literature on two ingredients; "seaweed oligosaccharides," which are those derived from the polysaccharide membrane of Laminaria digitata, and a novel seaweed oligosaccharide-zinc complex (SOZC) (Phycosaccharide AC, The Mentholatum Company, East Kilbride, UK). Findings from a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (RCT) will also be reported and likely mechanisms discussed. The findings taken together suggest that SOZC can significantly ameliorate symptoms of acne vulgaris, particularly in terms of reducing sebum production and populations of Propionibacterium acnes.

Ruxton C.,Nutrition Communications
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2013

Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world, after water. Associations between regular tea drinking and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease are well established. The mechanism may relate to bioactive compounds found in tea, which exert anti-arteriosclerotic, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects. However, evidence for other diverse health benefits is emerging. The aim of this review was to evaluate research on three new areas of interest in relation to tea drinking: (1) weight management (and glycaemic control); (2) oral health; and (3) gut health. Databases were searched for meta-analytical, human intervention and epidemiological studies published between 1990 and 2013. For weight management, modest, positive effects were found for green tea when ingested by overweight/obese adults, possibly related to thermogenic effects. Epidemiological studies indicate that tea drinking in general may protect against tooth loss, certain oral/digestive cancers and Helicobacter pylori infection, although the studies were few in number with differing methodologies. A growing body of mechanistic studies suggests that tea has anti-cariogenic, anti-adhesive, anti-bacterial and possible pre-biotic effects - all with the potential to impact positively on the pathogenesis of chronic diseases. Clearly, larger trials are needed to confirm these effects in humans and establish optimal intakes. In the meantime, tea drinking appears to be a simple and beneficial way to support health. © 2013 British Nutrition Foundation Nutrition Bulletin.

Ruxton C.H.S.,Nutrition Communications
Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2011

In 2004, The UK government advice stated that consumers should increase fish consumption to two portions a week, one of which should be oil-rich fish. However, survey data show that this advice has not been acted upon by most members of the public. In addition, limited data on consumer attitudes highlight barriers to increased fish consumption, such as concerns about buying and cooking fish, perceptions that fish is expensive, and worries that fish meals may not be eaten by all family members. The 'two-a-week' message is underpinned by strong scientific evidence for heart health, while weaker emerging evidence associates certain nutrients found in fish with a lower risk of immune dysfunction, normal brain development in infants, insulin sensitivity and maintenance of cognitive function in later life. Clearly, further refinement of the two-a-week message is needed to ensure that greater numbers of people respond. Ideas include determining appropriate portion sizes for babies and children, increasing awareness of the broad range of fish and shellfish species, highlighting sustainable sources of fish, and reassuring consumers that frozen and prepared fish products count towards the two-a-week target. Further work is also needed to address barriers to consumption, particularly among teenagers and younger adults, who have the lowest intakes. © 2011 The Author. Journal compilation © 2011 British Nutrition Foundation.

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