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Funkční potraviny

Science Briefs

In recent years, both functional food and organic food products have become increasingly popular, not least due to the health benefits, or perceived health benefits, associated with them. Studies, however, have also shown that food carrying nutrition or health claims can sometimes be perceived as unnatural, especially if they have been altered to provide added nutrition or health benefit.

Researchers from Aarhus University (Denmark) and the University of Kassel (Germany) investigated how consumers of organic food react to a combination of organic and functional food, i.e. their attitudes towards and their buying behaviour of an organic product bearing a nutrition or health claim. While no significant difference was observed with regards to choosing a product with or without a claim, occasional buyers of organic food were more likely to choose an organic food product with a claim. Furthermore, opting for a product with a claim was associated with reading the claim and perceiving the product as healthier when compared to the other options available.

Health benefits are the key message of functional foods bearing health claims. Actual food choice, however, is influenced by various other motives. Scientists from the University of Belgrade and IPSOS Strategic Marketing researched the effect of food choice motives, nutritional knowledge, and the use of food labels on consumer attitude towards foods with health claims. The expectation of a functional food benefitting one's health is strongly influenced by a person's trust in food labels. At the same time, consumers also expect functional foods to be tasty and pleasant in the sense of enhancing one's mood.
A new review by the European Food Information Council and Aarhus University explores how European consumers respond to health claims on food and drink products. Specific attention is given to how product- and consumer-related factors affect attitudes, understanding and purchasing behaviour.
The past decade has seen great advances in our understanding of the role of gut bacteria, probiotics and prebiotics in promoting human health and disease. A review published by a team of North American and European researchers discusses the current scientific evidence accumulated in this area from 2000-2010.
Plant-derived sterols, known as phytosterols, have been shown repeatedly to lower bad LDL cholesterol in the blood. A combined analysis of existing trials, published in the Journal of Nutrition, now shows the average size of the effect can be estimated from the dose given.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of health-promoting nutrients called carotenoids. However, benefits to human health depend on how well these nutrients are absorbed by the body after digestion. A new study has shown that fruit carotenoids are better absorbed than those from green vegetables. This means that fruit carotenoids may be a better choice as ingredients for functional food and beverage products.

A Finnish study has looked at the heart health benefits associated with 26 antioxidant nutrients from the Flavonoid group (part of the Polyphenol family of antioxidants). Flavonoids are found in certain fruits and vegetables, in tea, coffee, red wine and cocoa. Sub-classes of flavonoids include flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols and anthocyanidins.
Research presented at the annual American Heart Association conference suggests that eating wholegrain cereals can lower the risk of heart failure. The research was based on data from the Physicians’ Health Study, which followed the health and lifestyle of more than 10,000 American doctors from 1982 to 2006.
Children who eat a Mediterranean-style diet seem to have a lower risk of developing asthma, suggests new research. The survey of nearly 700 children living on the Greek island of Crete showed that a high intake of nuts, grapes, tomatoes and oranges was linked with a 50-80% lower risk of wheezing in 7 to 18 year olds.
Tomatoes are a rich source of the antioxidant nutrient, lycopene. Studies have shown that lycopene can help protect body cells from oxidative damage in the same way that antioxidants in food processing prevent fats from becoming rancid.
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Evropská rada pro informace o potravinách (European Food Information Council, EUFIC) je nezisková organizace, která poskytuje vědecky podložené informace o bezpečnosti a jakosti potravin, zdraví a výživě médiím, výživovým odborníkům, lékařům, pedagogům a lidem ovlivňujícím veřejné mínění tak, aby byly pro spotřebitele srozumitelné.

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Tato stránka byla naposledy aktualizována dne 24/08/2016
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