The Health News Australia March 15 2018

  • According to University of Newcastle molecular nutritionist Emma Beckett, adding synthetic vitamins and minerals to food — called fortification — or replacing those lost during processing — called enrichment — may seem like modern marketing ploys, but their history extends to the early 1900s. The reason is to tackle widespread nutritional deficiencies. In Australia, the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals is set by the National Health and Medical Research Council. And while it’s possible to hit those targets by eating seasonal produce and wholefoods, not everyone can access or afford such a diet.
  • An Australian study has shown the cooking spice saffron has the potential to be an effective treatment in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The spice saffron is being investigated as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents, with an Australian trial showing some promising results. The researchers are now investigating whether the combined use of saffron and a pharmaceutical antidepressant works better than an antidepressant alone, in adults with depression.
  • Healthy Australians are being urged to buy rockmelons as the industry grapples with the aftermath of a fatal listeria outbreak linked to a rockmelon grower in the NSW Riverina. Two elderly Victorians and two elderly people from NSW have died from the outbreak, which has infected 17 elderly people across the country and lead to a huge reduction in rockmelon sales at the end of its summer season. Listeria is a type of bacterium that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals through contaminated food.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 15th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-03-12/breakfast-foods-added-vitamins-minerals-fortification-nutrition/9526804

According to University of Newcastle molecular nutritionist Emma Beckett, adding synthetic vitamins and minerals to food — called fortification — or replacing those lost during processing — called enrichment — may seem like modern marketing ploys, but their history extends to the early nineteen hundreds. The reason is to tackle widespread nutritional deficiencies. Doctor Beckett added: “Food fortification has a history going back more than one hundred years when certain foods weren’t always readily available, and when you had big divisions between rich people and poor people.”

In Australia, the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals is set by the National Health and Medical Research Council. And while it’s possible to hit those targets by eating seasonal produce and wholefoods, not everyone can access or afford such a diet. One of the big reasons cereals are fortified, Doctor Beckett said, is because they’re cheap. Everyone can get a hold of them.
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Food Standards Australia New Zealand governs how much of each vitamin and mineral can be added — and what foods can be fortified too.
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Refined flour uses only the tissue inside the wheat seed. The bran and germ, which contain many essential nutrients, are discarded. Some synthetic vitamins are biologically and chemically identical to the natural forms. For others, there are slight differences.
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Folic acid is one form of folate. Doctor Beckett said: “The synthetic version [of folic acid] is very stable, which is why they use it in fortification and supplementation.”
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Australian millers have been required to add folic acid to bread-making flour since September two thousand nine. Prior to this, twenty out of ten thousand babies born to women of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin had a neural tube defect. Doctor Beckett’s advice is not to bother with supplements, unless a doctor recommends one for a certain condition — or folic acid for pregnancy.

https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/mental-health/37/news/aap/study-shows-saffron-reduce-symptoms-of-depression-and-anxiety/3230/

An Australian study has shown the cooking spice saffron has the potential to be an effective treatment in reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The spice saffron is being investigated as a possible treatment for depression and anxiety symptoms in adolescents, with an Australian trial showing some promising results.

Researchers at Murdoch University in Western Australia tested the impact of a high-dose saffron supplement on nearly seventy Australian adolescents, aged tweleve to sixteen, suffering from moodiness or mild anxiety.

For the eight week randomised, double-blind trial, the adolescents were given fourteen milligrams of patented saffron supplement or a placebo twice daily. Overall, the teens on the saffron treatment reported a thirty three percent improvement in their mood, compared to seventeen percent in people taking the placebo. The active treatment was also associated with “superior” improvements in anxiety levels as measured by the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).Psychologist and co-author Doctor Adrian Lopresti says the study has shown saffron has the potential to be an effective treatment that has very few side effects.

The researchers are now investigating whether the combined use of saffron and a pharmaceutical antidepressant works better than an antidepressant alone, in adults with depression.

https://www.9news.com.au/health/2018/03/13/05/19/listeria-outbreak-rocks-melon-industry


Healthy Australians are being urged to buy rockmelons as the industry grapples with the aftermath of a fatal listeria outbreak linked to a rockmelon grower in the New South Wales Riverina. Two elderly Victorians and two elderly people from NSW have died from the outbreak, which has infected seventeen elderly people across the country and lead to a huge reduction in rockmelon sales at the end of its summer season.
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The contamination was linked to a grower at Nericon near Griffith with the grower voluntarily ceasing production on February twenty three. A recall was issued by the business on February twenty eight for rockmelons on supermarket shelves between February nine to twenty three.
All affected fruit has since been removed from the supply chain domestically and in the export market. But, the impact on other melon businesses across Australia has been severe with sales dropping by more than ninety percent.
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As a result of the outbreak, the industry is reminding consumers of the safe ways to eat fruit.
Cut fruit should be refrigerated and should not be left outside for more than two hours. Whole fruit should be washed on the outside, cut on a clean cutting board and the skin should be cut from the outside from the top to the bottom rather than through the middle.

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Listeria is a type of bacterium that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals through contaminated food. Health experts say listeria is everywhere in the environment and can be found in dirty water, irrigation water, soil and fertiliser.

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