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HEADLINE: ‘Emotional toll of diabetes ‘needs more recognition’

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Nutrilicious Dietetic Comments – Take Home Messages

This news article highlighted that many people with diabetes are suffering from related emotional issues. A survey from Diabetes UK (involving 8,500 people with diabetes) found that three out of five said their condition made them feel down. Only three in ten felt they had control of their condition. Dietitians, alongside other healthcare professionals have an important role to play in educating people with diabetes. When people are diagnosed with diabetes, thoughts around food choices are often present and can persist. As shown in the news article, one survey participant stated ‘I am constantly thinking about food.” Dietitians Nutritionists and all involved in food and health communications have a role in helping those with Diabetes to feel like that they can take control of their food choices and it not become a big burden on their daily life. For both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, education programmes are offered which can help people manage their condition better. Whilst improvements are in need in terms of access to specialist healthcare professionals and other areas, we should be reminded of the Diabetes UK Checklist for the 15 healthcare essentials that people with diabetes should receive (see below).

Where to find useful information on the topic
Diabetes UK,
Diabetes UK, Emotional Wellbeing

HEADLINE: Tofu IS linked to prostate cancer, study reveals – but experts stress men shouldn’t cut it out of their diets just yet


Nutrilicious Dietetic Comments – Take Home Messages

The study behind this headline involved 27,004 men and they found an association between dietary intake of isoflavones and an elevated risk of advanced prostate cancer. A food frequency questionnaire was used to establish dietary intake of isoflavones from soya sources. It should be noted that this is an association found, not a cause and effect relationship and in terms of the totality of the evidence to date we cannot draw the conclusion that tofu causes prostate cancer. To the contrary the American Institute of Cancer Research in their latest review of soya and cancer mentions that in some cases, research indicates that soya isoflavones may in fact lower the risk of prostate cancer. Some studies suggest that lifelong soya consumption and exposure to isoflavones – especially before and during puberty – may protect against the development of prostate cancer. Prostate Cancer UK have spoken about this new research and stated that ‘much more research is needed to measure the actual intake of isoflavones in people with varied eating habits.’ It is very difficult to draw solid conclusions from trials trying to isolate the impact of a single food type when we eat such a varied diet. The take home message is that we do not need to be cutting tofu out from our diet based on this study; much more research is needed. Tofu is a nutritious food and can indeed form part of a healthy diet; it is low in saturated fat (1g per 100g) and offers a good source of protein (12g per 100g).

Where to find useful information on the topic

Prostate UK, Diet, physical activity and your risk of prostate cancer
BDA Food Facts, soya

HEADLINE: Drinking coffee may help prevent liver cancer, study suggests


Same story also reported by
Daily Mail, ‘Drinking three cups of coffee each day could save your life: Beverage slashes the risk of fatal liver diseases by 70%, reveals review’

The Sun, Drinking three to five cups of coffee a day reduces risk of liver cancer, experts say

The Express, ‘Drinking coffee can cut the risk of cancer’

Nutrilicious Dietetic Comments – Take Home Messages

This headline was based on the analysis of 26 studies (involving more than 2.25 million participants), which concluded that people who drink more coffee, including decaffeinated (to a lesser extent), were less likely to get liver cancer. Compared with non-coffee drinkers, those who drank one cup a day had a 20% lower risk of developing the most common form of liver cancer. Those who consumed two cups a day had a 35% reduced risk and for those who drank five cups, the risk was halved. However, the researchers judged the quality of the evidence they found using the GRADE criteria and deemed it be ‘very low’. One reason for this is the lack of randomised controlled trials (considered to be the gold standard within research). In this study, it is hard to be certain whether it was the coffee causing the outcome or other non-controlled for factors. E.g. do the coffee drinkers tend to have a healthier lifestyle in other ways which may confound the results? Nevertheless, this is an interesting study and moderate consumption of coffee is not a problem and can help towards our daily hydration needs. The EFSA advise that intakes up to 400mg of caffeine are safe for healthy adults in the general population. The exception lies with pregnant women who are advised to limit this to 200mg per day, the equivalent of two mugs of instant coffee.

NHS, pregnancy and caffeine
EFSA, Scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine

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