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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Photo: FNRB logo. Link to latest issue.

New ARS Food and Nutrition Research Briefs Issued

July 27, 2017

Research showing extracts of red or purple rice bran can stimulate glucose uptake in mice fat cells, offering potential to help with diabetes management, is among the new nutrition and health findings in the latest issue of the Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Food and Nutrition Research Briefs.

The latest issue can be found at:

The popular online newsletter reports discoveries from researchers at ARS laboratories nationwide.

Among other findings, the current issue reports the following:

  • A faster, more sensitive and less expensive test for detecting the major foodborne toxin staphylococcal enterotoxin type E has been developed by ARS scientists. The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which makes a variety of toxins including SEE, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.
  • A new highly sensitive test that, for the first time, can identify all known subtypes of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria including new and emerging serotypes has been developed.
  • Adequate blood zinc levels are vital to higher T-cell counts and better immune response in older adults. But at least 30 percent of the recruited participants from Boston-area nursing facilities, 65 or older, were zinc deficient when tested.
  • The USDA Branded Food Products Database, a free online resource for families, the food industry and researchers containing nutrition details on more than 80,000 name brand prepared and packaged foods available at restaurants and grocery stores is now online. Eventually, it should include up to 500,000 products with an expanded level of detail.
  • ARS scientists have identified eight spinach varieties that have naturally low oxalate levels. Oxalic acid, or "oxalate," is a naturally occurring plant chemical and in the human diet has been linked to kidney stone formation.
  • Mice on high-fat diets that also ate either mature red cabbage or red cabbage microgreens had lower blood-cholesterol levels and less liver inflammation than mice on high-fat diets without the vegetable. The mice on diets with red cabbage microgreens also had lower levels of "bad" cholesterol than mice on diets with mature red cabbage.

ARS Food and Nutrition Research Briefs is offered with color photos and illustrations on the Web. And by clicking the "subscribe" link on the newsletter's home page, readers can sign up for either of two e-mail options: They can receive the full text of the newsletter by e-mail or simply an advisory when a new issue has been posted online.

For more information contact Kim Kaplan, ARS Office of Communications.

The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $17 of economic impact.

Last Modified: 8/22/2017
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