This month’s Bulletin contains news items and recently published studies that will help you keep your body strong and your mind sharp.
First up, we’ll see how the FDA continues to protect the dairy industry, further confirming the influence of corporate lobbying efforts.
Next, we’ll learn about the ineffectiveness of a new flu vaccine. Drug developers touted their high hopes for a more effective version of the flu shot, but it didn’t turn out as they hoped.
We’ll wrap up the year’s last Bulletin with some useful and exciting news. A new study has found that 10 minutes a day of exercise improves memory. The details will help you put this strategy in action to maintain good memory and build stronger bones.
Big Dairy Buys Influence At The FDA To Squelch Milk Alternatives
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suddenly started to reconsider whether the makers of milk alternatives like almond, cashew, oat, or soy milk should be allowed to use the word milk in their names and descriptions.
Earlier this year FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb raised the question of whether these products met the administration’s “standards of identity.” He suggested that nut and plant milk producers might be banned from calling their beverages milk because the FDA’s definition of milk includes cows.1
Producers of milk from other animals such as goats and sheep label their products milk, so clearly, the FDA’s standard of identity definition of milk is neither accurate nor used as the basis for current labeling rules. The reason the commissioner is raising the issue now isn’t nutrition or accuracy. It’s money and politics.
The National Milk Producers Federation is a group that lobbies on behalf of the dairy industry. Upon the installation of the FDA’s new commissioner, they began to intensify lobbying efforts, calling attention to the unused and outdated standard of identity for milk.
The National Milk Producers Federation argues that those standards are not being enforced correctly. Gottlieb's comments come after the foundation ratcheted up its lobbying efforts.
Chris Galen, senior vice president of communications for the federation, said the organization has doubled down on its work in the past 18 months, not simply because the FDA got a new commissioner but because “plant-based imitation products” seem to be growing in popularity. He cites the existence and widespread availability of not only almond- and soy-based drinks but those made of hemp, flax, quinoa and even potatoes. Though cows are mentioned in the definition, federal standards also allow for “milk” to be produced from other animals but not from vegetable or plant products, Galen said.
Dictionary definitions are also broader and make allowances for nuts, which could eventually lead to legal action from producers of non-dairy beverages if the FDA begins enforcing the standard.1
It’s no surprise that the dairy industry is making desperate claims. A study released in January revealed that US non-dairy milk sales grew by 61% between 2012 and 2017. Meanwhile, dairy milk sales diminished by 15%.2
People are discovering the detriments of drinking milk , in spite of what television commercials and the Medical Establishment claims. The myth that milk is good for bone health has been busted, and the public is turning to healthier alternatives for their oatmeal, coffee, cereal, and cookie-dunking needs.
There are plenty of alkalizing plant-based foods that are better safer sources of calcium, Vitamin D, and protein than dairy milk. No matter what the FDA decides producers are allowed to call them, milk-alternatives derived from nuts and plants are preferable for your bones and your overall health.
Faced with increased lobbying efforts from the dairy industry, the FDA has questioned whether they will continue to allow producers of non-dairy milk alternatives to use the word milk to describe their products.
New Flu Vaccine Doesn’t Improve On The Old One
In a study published earlier this year, the FDA examined the flu vaccine success rates of 13 million Medicare beneficiaries, comparing the kind of flu shot they received and whether they needed hospitalization for flu-like symptoms.
The results were disappointing for the drug developer Seqirus. They produce the alternative flu vaccine Flucelfax by growing viruses in animal cells instead of chicken eggs.
Overall, flu vaccines barely worked at all in keeping people 65 and older out of the hospital, with roughly 24 percent effectiveness.
The best performance was by a new shot called Flucelvax; it was about 26.5 percent effective in that age group. The difference wasn't as large as some had hoped.
“The big problem is still the same — we need better vaccines. But these incremental improvements are very important,” said Brendan Flannery, a flu expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.3
The issue with the new vaccine, as with the old, is that the strains of the virus that are used to produce the vaccine rarely match the mutations of the virus that spread each year.
Instead of relying on an acidifying drug that can cause an adverse reaction, take care of your whole health by boosting your immune system naturally through diet and exercise.
A new version of the flu vaccine isn’t significantly more effective than the traditional, and highly ineffective, vaccine.
Ten Minutes of Exercise A Day Improves Memory
A new study suggests that just 10 minutes of physical activity boosts cognitive function, helping the brain to distinguish between similar memories.4
Scientists in Japan conducted the study, which concluded that light exercise increased connectivity between parts of the brain responsible for memory formation and storage. The activities were mild, comparable to walking, yoga, and tai chi.
“The scientists asked 36 healthy volunteers in their early 20s to do 10 minutes of light exercise – at 30% of their peak oxygen intake – before assessing their memory ability. The memory test was then repeated on the same volunteers without exercising.
The same experiment was repeated on 16 of the volunteers who had either undertaken the same kind of exercise or rested, with researchers scanning their brain to monitor activity. In the brains of those who had exercised they discovered enhanced communication between the hippocampus – a region important in memory storage – and the cortical brain regions, which are involved in vivid recollection of memories.
The people who had exercised were better at separating or distinguishing between the different memories.”5
The authors are currently conducting similar studies on older adults over more extended periods. We’ll keep an eye on the results, but this shorter study on younger people indicates the cognitive benefits of a small amount of exercise.
The team of researchers who conducted the study found the results so compelling that they changed their daily habits in the lab to include regular 10-minute breaks for physical activity.
That’s a great example to follow if your daily routine is fairly sedentary- go on a short walk every couple of hours to refresh your body and mind. Walking is a great form weight-bearing exercise that you can use to build bone. But even on a rainy day, there are plenty of indoor exercises you can use to activate your body’s bone-building process. Thanks to this research, we know you’ll be improving your memory too.
Engaging in 10 minutes of light exercise such as yoga, walking, and tai chi improves the brain’s ability to separate and distinguish between similar memories.
Another Year Of Growth
Savers don’t just build bone– they build knowledge. Keeping up with the latest news from the fields of nutrition and medicine allows you to make informed choices about your health, including making adjustments to your diet and exercise routine.
A deeper understanding or new information can breathe life into your workout, provide motivation to try a new recipe, and reinforce your determination to live your life to its fullest and healthiest. Celebrate the learning you’ve done this year, and look forward to the discoveries awaiting us in the year ahead!
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
1 Lindsey Ellefson. “Non-dairy beverages like soy and almond milk may not be ‘milk,' FDA suggests.” CNN. July 19, 2018. Web. https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/19/health/fda-soy-almond-milk-trnd/index.html
2 “US non-dairy milk sales rise to $2.11bn in 2017 – Mintel” FoodBev Media. January 5, 2018. Web. https://www.foodbev.com/news/non-dairy-milk-sales-mintel/
3 Mike Stobbe. “New flu vaccine only a little better than traditional shot.” AP News. June 20, 2018. Web. https://www.apnews.com/ebd47b7368a14ae79f83d68a571b8363
4 Kazuya Suwabe, et al. “Rapid stimulation of human dentate gyrus function with acute mild exercise.” PNAS October 9, 2018 115 (41) 10487-10492. Web. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/41/10487
5 Anthea Lacchia. “Ten minutes of exercise a day improves memory.” The Guardian. September 24, 2018. Web. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/sep/24/10-minutes-of-exercise-a-day-improves-memory