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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2020

Christopher John Etheridge and Emma Derbyshire

Increasingly, interest in and the uptake of herbal infusions has advanced, namely, owing to their bioactive properties and potential links to health. Given this, the…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasingly, interest in and the uptake of herbal infusions has advanced, namely, owing to their bioactive properties and potential links to health. Given this, the purpose of the present review was to collate evidence from human trials for five popular herbal infusions.

Design/methodology/approach

The systematic review comprised ten human trials (560 participants), investigating inter-relationships between herbal infusions consumption and health. Only human studies involving German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L. Asteraceae), ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe Zingiberaceae), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis L. Lamiaceae), peppermint (Mentha x spicata L. Lamiaceae)/spearmint (Mentha spicata L. Lamiaceae) and rosehip (Rosa canina L. Rosaceae) teas were included in the present paper.

Findings

Most herbal infusions serve as a good source of flavonoids and other polyphenols in the human diet. Studies included in this paper indicate that herbal infusions (1-3 cups tended to be drank daily; infusion rates up to 15 min) could benefit certain aspects of health. In particular, this includes aspects of sleep quality and glycaemic control (German chamomile), osteoarthritic stiffness and hormone control (spearmint), oxidative stress (lemon balm) and primary dysmenorrhea (rosehip).

Research limitations/implications

Ongoing research is needed using homogenous herbal infusion forms, brewing rates and volumes of water to further reinforce these findings. In the meantime, herbal infusions could provide a useful supplementary approach to improving certain aspects of well-being.

Originality/value

The present paper collates evidence from human trials for five popular herbal infusions.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science , vol. 50 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2010

Emma Derbyshire

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is a common problem in pregnancy and may influence the health of both mother and child. The purpose of this paper is to discuss current…

Abstract

Purpose

Iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) is a common problem in pregnancy and may influence the health of both mother and child. The purpose of this paper is to discuss current prevention and treatment strategies for pregnancy IDA and describe alternative methods, such as food‐based approaches that may be another way forward.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to locate and summarise up‐to‐date published studies within the field.

Findings

There is good evidence that iron supplements may be used to prevent and treat IDA in pregnancy. However, there is much debate about “the optimal” dose to recommend. High doses may contribute to oxidative stress and cause gastrointestinal symptoms while there still remain problems with compliance, even for lower dose iron supplements. Encouraging the daily consumption of functional foods containing suitable levels of iron may therefore be an alternative way to improve pregnancy iron status.

Research limitations/implications

There is a wealth of important studying the health implications of iron supplements in pregnancy. More work is needed to establish whether functional foods containing iron could be an alternative way to help improve iron status.

Originality/value

Most papers and research focus on supplement use as a preventative measure and treatment for IDA; few discuss other approaches.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 40 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Emma Derbyshire

Public health messages are a constant reminder, informing us that we need to participate in more physical activity. Such messages when coupled with increased social…

Abstract

Purpose

Public health messages are a constant reminder, informing us that we need to participate in more physical activity. Such messages when coupled with increased social pressures can mean that vulnerable women are at risk of over‐exercising. Research indicates that light‐to‐moderate physical activities are associated with most favourable health outcomes. Intense activities, however, may actually have detrimental effects, including suppression of reproductive function. The aim of this paper is to give a balanced overview discussing how physical activity can affect female health, with a particular focus on fertility.

Design/methodology/approach

The most up‐to‐date and pertinent studies within the literature have been included and summated in this review.

Findings

Statistics indicate that approimately half‐a‐million (443,116) women in the UK are infertile. Furthermore, many women experience some degree of subfertility, although a prevalence rate has not yet been established. Research indicates that reproductive abnormalities are more likely to be present in women at either ends of the energy spectrum (excessively high, or low energy intake). An inadequate energy intake coupled with intense levels of physical activity is known to suppress reproductive function in women. It has been reported that reproduction dysfunction may take place in as many as 6‐79 per cent women engaging in athletic activity.

Originality/value

This paper gives a concise, up‐to‐date informative overview on how physical activity can affect female fertility.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2007

Emma Derbyshire

Research indicates that there has been an overall decline in fertility rates amongst the British female population, particularly in older females. Although subfertility…

Abstract

Purpose

Research indicates that there has been an overall decline in fertility rates amongst the British female population, particularly in older females. Although subfertility and infertility can be attributed to a range of genetic and medical perturbations, research suggests that specific dietary factors can impact upon fertility status. The aim of this paper is to give an overview on how dietary factors can affect female fertility.

Design/methodology/approach

The most up‐to‐date and pertinent studies within the literature have been included and summated in this review.

Findings

Infertility is known to affect one in ten couples, and, although multifactorial, can be attributed to external dietary factors. High alcohol and caffeine intakes and low intakes of antioxidants and minerals are all associated with reduced fertility. The findings from this overview indicate that health messages portraying the link between diet and infertility need to be imparted to women of childbearing age. Dietary advice may also be effective at later stages alongside fertility treatments when couples are having trouble conceiving.

Originality/value

This paper gives a concise, up‐to‐date overview on how a range of dietary factors can affect female fertility.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Katie Elizabeth Lane and Emma Derbyshire

– The purpose of this paper is to review evidence from high-quality randomised controlled trials reporting links between omega-3 enriched functional foods and health.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review evidence from high-quality randomised controlled trials reporting links between omega-3 enriched functional foods and health.

Design/methodology/approach

Using MEDLINE, a search was made for all randomised controlled trials published between 2002 and 2012 that met defined inclusion criteria. Studies had minimum durations of 28 days, clearly stated the food vehicle, dose and type of long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC3PUFA) used, and did not include studies where participants only took LC3PUFA supplements.

Findings

A total of 11 studies were located, ten of which reported potential health benefits linked to omega-3 functional food consumption. Five studies reported significant improvements in markers of cardiovascular (CV) health, while ten bioavailability studies reported increases in omega-3 blood levels when doses of 460 mg or more were integrated into food vehicles.

Research limitations/implications

In the future a meta-analysis would be useful in terms of determining the dose of LC3PUFA associated with overall health benefits.

Practical implications

The present review concludes that omega-3 enriched functional foods are a useful way to improve LC3PUFA status and have been linked to improved health outcomes, namely markers of CV health. More work is now needed to determine whether particular population groups could benefit from consumption of these foods, for example vegetarians and children, in relation to a range of health outcomes, such as cognitive function.

Originality/value

This review provides evidence that integrating omega-3 enriched functional foods within the daily diet could be an effective strategy for helping to improve LC3PUFA status and attenuating CV disease risk.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2010

Emma Derbyshire

Emerging evidence indicates that there may be a link between calcium intake and body composition . However, few review papers to date appear to collate this information…

Abstract

Purpose

Emerging evidence indicates that there may be a link between calcium intake and body composition . However, few review papers to date appear to collate this information. This paper aims to fill this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

All randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and large observational studies published between 1998 and 2009 were identified using Medline scientific database. Studies had a minimum duration of 30 days and included all sources of calcium (dairy and supplemental).

Findings

Twenty‐one studies were identified; including 14 RCTs and seven large observational studies. Twelve studies (seven of the RCTs) reported that regular consumption of dietary or dairy calcium may reduce fat mass in adults. Nine studies (seven of the RCTs) found no association between calcium intake and body composition. Two studies reported that fat loss was augmented when a calcium‐rich diet was combined with energy restriction. Overall, results from reviewed studies yield conflicting findings. Further intervention studies are needed to “separate out” the effects of habitual, supplemental and dairy calcium. More studies also need to investigate the combined effects of a calcium‐rich diet and energy restriction. Only then can calcium‐rich diets be used alongside conventional treatments for obesity.

Originality/value

This paper gives a concise, up‐to‐date review of literature investigating the link between calcium intake and adult body composition.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Lambrini Karaglani and Emma Derbyshire

It has been proposed that the Greek diet is changing and becoming increasingly Westernized. Although previous studies have assessed the diet of Greek adults, few have…

Abstract

Purpose

It has been proposed that the Greek diet is changing and becoming increasingly Westernized. Although previous studies have assessed the diet of Greek adults, few have focused on the elderly in detail. The aims of the present investigation are to: assess habitual dietary intakes of elderly residents living in Athens and compare the modern Greek diet to the traditional Greek diet and UK recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

Thirty‐five free‐living males and 27 females (mean age 71.3 years, SD 7.2) living in Athens completed a background information questionnaire and 24‐h dietary recall.

Findings

Dietary protein, total fat and sodium exceeded dietary guidelines. Energy intake, non‐starch polysaccharide, vitamin D and calcium were below UK recommended levels of intake. Findings indicate that the diet of elderly residents living in Athens appears to be moving away from the traditional Greek diet.

Research limitations/implications

It was a limitation that a larger study population was not recruited. However, due to limited resources, this was only intended to be a small‐scale preliminary study.

Originality/value

This appears to be one of the few studies to investigate the dietary habits of the Greek elderly, prospectively.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Emma Derbyshire and Carrie Ruxton

This review aims to evaluate and review literature published in the area of rising concerns that red meat consumption may be associated with risk of type 2 diabetes…

Abstract

Purpose

This review aims to evaluate and review literature published in the area of rising concerns that red meat consumption may be associated with risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), although there have been discrepancies between study findings, and put the findings into context.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a systematic literature review was undertaken to locate and summarise relevant studies which included epidemiological and clinical studies published between 2004 and 2014.

Findings

A total of 23 studies were found, with 21 epidemiological and two clinical studies meeting the criteria. Overall, the totality of the evidence indicates that while processed meat consumption appears to be associated with T2DM risk, the effect is much weaker for red meat, with some associations attenuated after controlling for body weight parameters. Where studies have considered high intakes in relation to T2DM risk, meat intake has tended to exceed 600 g per week. Therefore, keeping red meat intakes within recommended guidelines of no more than 500 g per week, while opting for lean cuts or trimming fat, would seem to be an evidence-based response.

Research limitations/implications

The majority of studies conducted to date have been observational cohorts which cannot determine cause and effect. Most of these used food frequency questionnaires which are known to be subject to misclassification errors (Brown, 2006). Clearly, more randomised controlled trials are needed to establish whether red meat consumption impacts on markers of glucose control. Until then, conclusions can only be viewed as speculative.

Originality/value

This paper provides an up-to-date systematic review of the literature, looking at inter-relationships between red meat consumption and T2DM risk.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Carrie Ruxton and Emma Derbyshire

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the latest mounting evidence reporting associations between the important role of whole grains and fibre in lowering the risk of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the latest mounting evidence reporting associations between the important role of whole grains and fibre in lowering the risk of chronic diseases and health.

Design/methodology/approach

A general systematic review was conducted to locate and summarise up-to-date published studies within the field. A Medline search identified human-controlled trials and observational studies published in the past five years.

Findings

A total of 49 studies were identified. In observational studies, higher intakes of whole grain and dietary fibre were associated with a significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, abdominal adiposity and certain cancers. This was further supported by human intervention trials, which reported benefits for appetite control, blood lipid levels, glycaemic control, digestive health and secondary cancer prevention. Mechanisms may relate to the micronutrients and phytonutrients present in high fibre foods.

Practical implications

Practical advice is needed to help people identify foods rich in whole grains, e.g. breakfast cereals. UK fibre recommendations should be aligned with European guidelines and food labelling regulations, and a whole grain dietary recommendation, e.g. similar to the US guideline of three portions a day, could be introduced. Government and industry should play a role in communicating dietary fibre guidelines and the health benefits associated with whole grain and fibre, particularly insoluble fibre.

Originality/value

This paper develops knowledge about whole grains, health and the importance of establishing whole-grain dietary recommendations.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Abstract

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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