The caloric value on both food labels and respective nutrient tables is thus off 25% too high. And the corrected energy content per 100g of almonds is 456kcal/100g not 575kcal/100g (nutritiondata.com), or even higher values you will find when you google "almonds kcal" - I am curious if at least the nutrition labes will ever be updated.
A similar but less pronounced mismatch has been found for pistachios by the same researchers earlier this year, already. According to a paper published in the January edition of the British Journal of Nutrition (Bear. 2012), the actual energy content of these heart healthy nuts 565kcal/100g, which is ~5% less than the currently established value.
- Bioavailability of pistachio polyphenols, xanthophylls, and tocopherols is very high - until you put them into a muffin (Mandalari. 2013) -- Bioavailability, i.e. the ratio of the total amount of a certain molecule that's in the food we eat in intact or at least active form in our bloodstream, can be a real issue for many of the good things the spectral analyzer of brainy scientists detects in our foodstuff.
In the upcoming January issue of Nutrition a group of researchers from the UK and Italy report the results of an investigation into the bioavailability of polyphenols, xanthophylls (lutein), and tocopherols (among them the rare gamma-variety) from raw pistachios, roasted salted pistachios, and muffins made with raw pistachios. You can see the original polyphenol, xanthophyll and tocopherol (mind the 90% gamma-tocopherol content, which has better chemoprotective effects than alpha-tocopherol; see "Vitamin(S!) E" post from 2011) content in table 1.
Table 1: Phenol, lutein and tocopherol content of the raw, roasted and salted pistacchios and regular and pistaccio (17g/100g) muffins (Madalari. 2012)
Interestingly enough the availability of the tocopherols was almost identical for all three tested forms (raw, roasted, in muffins) and even the muffin reduced only the bioaccessability of protocatechuic acid (78%) and luteolin (36%), the rest of the phenols achieved the same ~90% Madalari et al. observed for the raw and roasted + salted pistachios in their million dollar model of the human digestive tract (click here for an article about this "artificial gut")
- When the gut "tastes" phenylalanine (PHE), leucine (LEU), glutamate (GLUT) and tryptophane (TRP), satiety ensues (Daly. 2012) -- In their most recent paper Christin Daly et al. report on the cholecystokinin (CCK) release in the gut. According to the scientists from the University of Liverpool (UK) and the Kyushu University (Japan), the effect is mediated by interactions with the gastrointestinal bitter taste receptors. Since CCK inhibits food intake and reduces appetite, this provides another mechanistic explanation for the satiety promoting effects of high protein intakes. The effects was observed only for the L- and not the D-amino acids.
Interestingly, the beneficial effects of PHE, LEU and GLUT on CCK (but not the TRP-stimulated CCK secretion) were blunted in the presence of gurmarin. "Gurmarin?" Yeah, that's the rodent specific sweet taste inhibitor in Gymnema sylvestre (note gurmarin does not work in humans; cf. Sigoillot. 2012), which is sold as an anti-diabetes supplement. Inosine, on the other hand increased the CCK release n response to all of the amino acids.
How significant that is specifically for those who have a problem keeping their ravenous appetite in check is however questionable. After all the satiety response to CCK has been shown to be disturbed (at least in rodents; cf. Balaskó. 2012)
Acesulfame potassium, cyclamate and saccharin are potential anti-convulsants (Talevi. 2012) -- It may sound counter-intuitive in view of all the bad stuff you have probably heard about artificial sweeteners, but it is their particular molecular structure and similarities between the T1R3 sweet taste receptor they are supposed to bind to ant several metabotropic glutamate receptors from different species that is probably behind the anticonvulsant effects a group of researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the National University of La Plata (UNLP) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Table 2: Number of mice protected by the administered drug in the MES test (Talevi. 2012)
The overall effect size the scientists observed in their rodent model (see table 2) is yet far from earth shattering and generally more pronounced if the sweeteners had been ingested 4h instead of just 20 min before a Maximal Electroshock Seizure (MES) test. Whether this makes them worth "supplementing" is however more than questionable.
Suggested additional reads:
- Stevia - More Than Super Sweet: More Scientific Evidence, More Potential Implications for Weight Loss & -Maintenance, Anti-Diabetic & -Autoimmune and Even Pro-Anabolic Effects
- Fructose Epimer D-Psicose First Sweetener to Actively Promote Weight Loss? Reduced Weight Gain and Direct Inhibitory Effect on Adipocyte Maturation in Rodent + Reduced Postprandial Glucose & Insulin in Human Trial
- The Unsatiating Truth About Aspartame, Acesulfam K, Sucralose & Co: They Don't Induce Glucose or Insulin Spikes, But Do They Make You Hungry?
- other posts with the tag "artificial sweetener"
- Putting things into perspective: While the DPPH radical scavenging activity is not a really good measure of the in-vivo anti-oxidant potency of a given molecule it may yet still be worth mentioning that the one of Dendrobium (IC50 = 29.6 μg/mL) is more than 80% lower than that Areca catechuvar. Cinnamon cassia, Paeonia suffruticosa and Alpinia officinarum extracts which share IC50 values <6µg/mL (Lee. 2003). In other words, you need 80% more Dendrobium than cinnamon, for example, to neutralize the same amount H2O2 radicals.Dendrobium extract ameliorates renal fat accumulation, hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in rodents on "high fat" diet (Lee. 20012) -- While I cannot say if this is the same Dendrobium extract that's used in a pre-workout supplement that's "all the craze", these days, I can tell you that a group of researchers just published a paper on the renoprotective, hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of an extract from Dendrobium moniliforme (a cursory search revealed that even within this genus of orchids there are at least 90 sub-types ranging from Aochidori to Yuten).
Lee et al. administered the methanolic extract at dosages of 200mg/kg (HED ~16mg/kg) for nine weeks and reduced the elevated serum glucose, total cholesterol concentration and renal lipid accumulation in the HFD-fed mice. It also ameliorated renal dysfunction biomarkers including serum creatinine and renal collagen IV deposition. So that the scientists conclude that methanolic extracts from Dendrobium moniliforme exhibit pleiotropic effects on obesity induced parameters and exert renoprotective effect in HFD-fed mice.
That's it for today, unless you are are interested in one of the following facebook news:
- Crape ginger (Costus speciosus Koen) has significant anti-arthritic properties - at least in a rodent model (read more)
- Ayurvedic polyherbal Unani formulation shows promising results in Acne vulgaris patients - 45 days, 45 subjects, significant improvements on Cook's acne scale (read more)
- Endocannabinoids increase, leptin decreases a "sweet tooth" - And you can take this almost literally, since they do actually modulate sweet taste receptor sensitivity (read more)
- Baer DJ, Gebauer SK, Novotny JA. Measured energy value of pistachios in the human diet. Br J Nutr. 2012 Jan;107(1):120-5.
- Balaskó M, Soós S, Párniczky A, Koncsecskó-Gáspár M, Székely M, Pétervári E. Anorexic effect of peripheral cholecystokinin (CCK) varies with age and body composition (short communication). Acta Physiol Hung. 2012 Jun;99(2):166-72.
- Gebauer SK, Novotny JA, Baer DJ. Macronutrient absorption from almonds: the measured energy value of almonds in the human diet. FASEB Journal. 2012;26:820.25.
- Lee SE, Hwang HJ, Ha JS, Jeong HS, Kim JH. Screening of medicinal plant extracts for antioxidant activity. Life Sci. 2003 May 30;73(2):167-79.
- Lee W, Eom DW, Jung Y, Yamabe N, Lee S, Jeon Y, Hwang YR, Lee JH, Kim YK, Kang KS, Kim SN. Dendrobium moniliforme Attenuates High-Fat Diet-Induced Renal Damage in Mice through the Regulation of Lipid-Induced Oxidative Stress. Am J Chin Med. 2012;40(6):1217-28.
- Mandalari G, Bisignano C, Filocamo A, Chessa S, Sarò M, Torre G, Faulks RM, Dugo P. Bioaccessibility of pistachio polyphenols, xanthophylls, and tocopherols during simulated human digestion. Nutrition. 2013 Jan;29(1):338-44.
- Novotny JA, Gebauer SK, Baer DJ. Discrepancy between the Atwater factor predicted and empirically measured energy values of almonds in human diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;96(2):296-301.
- Sigoillot M, Brockhoff A, Meyerhof W, Briand L. Sweet-taste-suppressing compounds: current knowledge and perspectives of application. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Nov;96(3):619-30.
- Talevi A, Enrique AV, Bruno-Blanch LE. Anticonvulsant activity of artificial sweeteners: a structural link between sweet-taste receptor T1R3 and brain glutamate receptors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Jun 15;22(12):4072-4.