Video: Is MSG Bad for You?

Few ingredients come with as much baggage as MSG. Otherwise known as monosodium glutamate, the compound has had a bad reputation for nearly 50 years.

This video debunks MSG myths and explains why the scientific consensus is that this flavor enhancer, known for its savory umami flavor, is perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.

Watch video at You Tube (3:00 minutes) . . . . .

British-style Pies with Pork Shoulder, Pork Belly and Bacon

Ingredients

Pastry

4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more
1 tsp kosher salt
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten, for brushing

Filling

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 celery stalk, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp minced sage
6 oz crustless white bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup chicken stock
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more
freshly ground black pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 oz skinless pork belly, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 oz slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Method

  1. To prepare the pastry, combine the flour with the salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Pour in 3/4 cup ice-cold water and pulse briefly until the dough begins to clump. Scrape the dough onto a work surface, knead until it just comes together, then mold into a ball. Halve the dough, with one piece slightly bigger than the other, and shape each half into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap each rectangle in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. To make the filling, warm the oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 16 minutes. Stir in the parsley and sage, then scrape into a bowl. Add the bread and stock, season with salt and pepper, and mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Add the chicken thighs and breast to the stuffing and mix until evenly combined. In another bowl, toss the pork shoulder with the pork belly, bacon, nutmeg, white pepper, and the 1-1/2 teaspoons salt until evenly combined.
  3. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the larger dough rectangle into an 18-by-14-inch rectangle, halve it crosswise and lengthwise to make four 9-by-7-inch rectangles. Fit the 4 rectangles into the bottom and up the sides of four 5-3/4-by-3-inch loaf pans lined with parchment paper. Divide the pork mixture among the pans and press it evenly into the bottoms. Divide the chicken and stuffing mixture evenly among the pans and press it evenly over the pork. Roll the second dough rectangle into a 16-by-12-inch rectangle, halve it crosswise and lengthwise into four 8-by-6-inch rectangles, and place each rectangle over the stuffing in each pie. Trim the edges of the dough to be flush with the pans and pinch together to seal. Poke three 1/2-inch-wide holes into the top of each pie and brush the tops of the pies with the egg wash.
  5. Place the pies on a baking sheet and bake until the crusts are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of each pie reads 160°F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer the pies to a rack and unmold. Serve the pies with the chutney at room temperature, or chill for 4 hours and serve cold.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: BBC

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Less is More: Potential Breakthrough for Treating Hypertension with Ultra Low-dose Combinations

A small but clinically important trial of a new ultra-low dose four-in-one pill to treat high blood pressure has produced remarkable results.

Every patient on the pilot trial conducted by The George Institute for Global Health saw their blood levels drop to normal levels in just four weeks.

Professor Clara Chow, of The George Institute, said the results published in The Lancet were exciting but larger trials were needed to see if these high rates could be maintained and repeated.

Professor Chow, director of the Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute in Sydney, said: “Most people receive one medicine at a normal dose but that only controls blood pressure about half the time. In this small trial blood pressure control was achieved for everyone. Trials will now test whether this can be repeated and maintained long-term.

“Minimising side effects is important for long-term treatments – we didn’t see any issues in this trial, as you would hope with very low dose therapy, but this is the area where more long-term research is most needed.

“We know that high blood pressure is a precursor to stroke, diabetes and heart attack. The need for even lower blood pressure levels has been widely accepted in the last few years. So this could be an incredibly important step in helping to reduce the burden of disease globally.”

Hypertension or high blood pressure affects over four million people in Australia.

Over four weeks 18 patients in Sydney were either given a quadpill – a single capsule containing four of the most commonly used blood pressure-lowering drugs each at a quarter dose – or a placebo. This was then repeated for a further four weeks with the patients swapping their course of treatment.

Blood pressure levels were measured hourly over a 24 hour period at the end of each treatment, allowing researchers to significantly reduce the amount of patients normally required in a clinical trial.

Key findings

  • 100 per cent of patients on trial saw their blood levels drop below 140 over 90. Just 33 per cent of patients on the placebo achieved this rate.
  • None of the patients experienced side effects commonly associated with hypertension lowering drugs, which can vary from swollen ankles to kidney abnormalities depending on the type of class of the drug.

Professor Chow said: “What makes these result every more exciting is that these four blood pressure medications are already in use. We are increasingly finding there are opportunities to treat many commons diseases hiding in plain sight. This ultimately means we will be able to deliver life changing medications much more quickly, and more affordably.”

Source: The George Institute for Global Health


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