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Nutrition

Soft drink giant PepsiCo recently announced its plans to stop sweetening Diet Pepsi with aspartame in response to growing consumer concern, yet the company, regulators and many medical authorities say the potential detrimental effect of the artificial sweetener on human health is overblown. So, what's really going on here and who should you believe? Read More

We frequently hear that eating fish is a healthy thing to do, because it's full of beneficial long chain fatty acids. Unfortunately, the Western diet tends to be short on fish and bigger on beef, which contains short chain fatty acids that aren't quite so good for us. Chinese scientists are creating a work-around, however – genetically-engineered beef that's high in the "good" fatty acids.

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In an effort to increase awareness of nutritional requirements, and to bring simple tech into complex customs, a medical foundation in India has joined forces with a Singaporean ad agency. The plan is to combat iodine deficiencies using bindis, the decorative forehead dots worn by most Indian women and girls. Read More
Even with the growing number of calorie-counting gadgets on the market, keeping track of how healthily we are eating requires a certain amount of discipline. We are seeing devices emerge that are aimed at automating this even further, such as the Bite Counter and the Automatic Ingestion Monitor. The BitBite is the latest take on the eating monitor, relying an a discreet ear-clip to keep tabs on every little nibble. Read More
Vitamin B12 is vital to keep a nervous system healthy. Since it is found mainly in meat and dairy, it is common for people to associate B12 deficiency with vegans, who are aware of this issue (in Germany there's even a B12-enriched toothpaste) and often take measures to supplement. In fact, it is the general population of developing countries who are more likely to lack B12, and it is primarily for them that a team of Canadian researchers has developed a simple, cheap B12 test kit. Read More
Many people say they can’t go vegan because of their addiction to dairy. But that excuse could soon be past its sell-by date if a team of biohackers in California succeeds in scaling up production of a cheese that contains no animal by-products. They call it Real Vegan Cheese. Their aim is to offer a sustainable food alternative with the same nutritional value – and taste – as non-vegan cheese. Read More
We've already heard about a biosensor developed in Brazil for detecting pesticide content in food. Now at CE Week, a Seoul-based company called BioSensor Laboratories has presented Penguin, a home-use sensor that detects the presence of antibiotics in animal products. Read More
According to the Queensland University of Technology's Prof. James Dale, 650,000 to 700,000 children die worldwide every year due to pro-vitamin A deficiency. Many of those children live in East African nations such as Uganda. Dale's proposed solution? Take something that's already grown and eaten there, and genetically modify it to produce the needed vitamin. That's what he's done with the Highland cooking banana. The resulting "super bananas" are about to be the subject of human nutritional trials in the US. Read More
At first glance, "Vessyl" looks like an ultra-modern, but relatively ordinary, 13 oz (385 ml) mug. However, pour something into it and it becomes extraordinary: not only will it identify what type of drink it has in it, but Vessyl will also tell you its dietary content, such as sugar, protein, calories, fat, caffeine – even identifying the beverage by name – then take all of those results and synchronize them to your smartphone. Read More
Joining the ranks of carbon, selenium, sulfur and 24 others as an essential element for animal life is element 35 – bromine – long considered inessential to life and moreso, shunned as a toxic disease-causing agent. However, researchers have identified the role bromine holds in animal development, even demonstrating death in fruit flies without access to this element named for its identifying stench. Read More
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