Industry-sponsored research: this week’s collection
Here is my latest roundup of industry-sponsored research producing results or opinions that favor the sponsor’s commercial interests.
Sugars and obesity: Is it the sugars or the calories? Choo FL, Ha V, Sievenpiper JL. Nutrition Bulletin, May 19, 2015. DOI: 10.1111/nbu.12137
Conclusion: The higher level evidence reviewed in this report does not support concerns linking fructose-containing sugars with overweight and obesity.
Conflicts of interest: All three authors report scholarship or research support from such entities as the Canadian
Sugar Institute, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Dr Pepper Sapple, Corn Refiners Association, World Sugar Research Organization.
Cranberry Juice Consumption Lowers Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk, Including Blood Pressure and Circulating C-Reactive Protein, Triglyceride, and Glucose Concentrations in Adults. Janet A Novotny, David J Baer, Christina Khoo, Sarah K Gebauer, and Craig S Charron. J. Nutr. 2015; 145:1185-1193 doi:10.3945/jn.114.203190.
Conclusion: LCCJ [low-calorie cranberry juice] can improve several risk factors of CVD [cardiovascular disease] in adults, including circulating TGs [triglycerides], CRP (c-reactive protein], and glucose, insulin resistance, and diastolic BP [blood pressure].
Sponsor: Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. and the USDA. JA Novotny received funding from and C Khoo is employed by Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc.
Effect of cheese consumption on blood lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Janette de Goede, Johanna M. Geleijnse, Eric L. Ding, and Sabita S. Soedamah-Muthu
Conclusion: Despite the similar P/S ratios of hard cheese and butter, consumption of hard cheese lowers LDL-C and HDL-C when compared with consumption of butter.
Funding. The senior author received unrestricted research grants from the Global Dairy Platform, the Dairy Research Institute, and Dairy Australia for the present meta-analysis. One other author, E.L.D., has consulted for the Dairy Research Institute.
Protein Summit 2.0: Evaluating the Role of Protein in Public Health: Proceedings of a conference held in Washington, DC, October 2, 2013. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, June 2015 Supplement.
Program organizer: Shalene McNeill, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and a Contractor to The Beef Checkoff.
Sponsors: The Beef Checkoff, Dairy Research Institute, Egg Nutrition Center, Global Dairy Platform, Hillshire Brands, National Pork Board
My comment: Journal supplements are typically paid for by outside parties—government agencies, foundations, private organizations, or food companies. The papers in this supplement discuss various aspects of protein and health. All emphasize the benefits of animal protein in human diets, as might be expected, given the sponsors.
Commonly consumed protein foods contribute to nutrient intake, diet quality, and nutrient adequacy. Stuart M Phillips, Victor L Fulgoni III, Robert P Heaney, Theresa A Nicklas, Joanne L Slavin, and Connie M Weaver. Am J Clin Nutr June 2015 vol. 101 no. 6 1346S-1352S.
Conclusion: dietary recommendations to reduce intakes of saturated fat and solid fats may result in dietary guidance to reduce intakes of commonly consumed food sources of protein, in particular animal-based protein.
The role of protein in weight loss and maintenance. Heather J Leidy, Peter M Clifton, Arne Astrup, Thomas P Wycherley, Margriet S Westerterp-Plantenga, Natalie D Luscombe-Marsh, Stephen C Woods, and Richard D Mattes.
Conclusion: Collectively, these data suggest that higher-protein diets…provide improvements in appetite, body weight management, cardiometabolic risk factors, or all of these health outcomes.
For the record: Industry sponsorship does not necessarily mean that the reported conclusions are wrong. It just means that the papers require even more than the usual level of critical analysis.
I am happy to post industry-sponsored studies that do not produce results that can be used to market the sponsor’s products. Please send if you find any.