Chart of the Day: Global Warming Potential per 100 grams of Food

Global Warming Potential (GWP) in kilograms of CO₂ equivalents associated with 100 grams of each food. Values are the mean of three or more entries if there was sufficient data available. Error bars indicate standard deviation away from the mean across multiple LCA data points when three or more were available. Items marked with *asterisk had fewer than three data points and therefore do not include standard deviation and are either the average of two values or just reporting of one value, depending on data availability.

Source: MDPI

Hot Smoked Salmon, Tomato and Cream Cheese Bagel


2 bagels
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 scallion, chopped
olive oil
4 slices smoked salmon (about 4-1/2 oz)
4 tbsp cream cheese lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Preheat the broiler on a medium—high setting.
  2. Slice the bagels in half horizontally and place them cut sides down on the rack in the broiler pan. Toast until browned, then turn over.
  3. Cover the bottom halves of the bagels with tomato slices. Sprinkle with lemon zest and scallion, then season with pepper (but not salt—the smoked salmon will be salty when cooked). Trickle a hint of olive oil over the tomatoes. Broil for 1-2 minutes, until the bagels are toasted and the tomatoes are lightly cooked. Remove the top halves and set aside.
  4. Arrange the smoked salmon slices on the tomatoes, wrinkling them slightly, and replace them under the broiler for a minute, to lightly cook the salmon and brown the edges in places.
  5. Top each with a couple of dollops of cream cheese and the bagel lids.
  6. Serve at once, with lemon wedges, for adding a squeeze of juice.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Toast It!

In Pictures: Home-cooked One-plate Breakfasts

Obesity, Drinking and Unhealthy Diet Add to Gout Risk

Lisa Rapaport wrote . . . . . . . . .

Behavior changes could potentially reduce a large part of the risk for developing gout, a U.S. study suggests.

Based on data from more than 14,000 people, researchers calculated how much factors like being overweight, following a diet that isn’t heart-healthy, drinking alcohol or taking water pills known as diuretics contribute to high levels of uric acid, known as hyperuricemia, which is a precursor to gout.

The findings “support the hypothesis that the majority of hyperuricemia and resulting gout cases could be prevented by modifying key risk factors in the U.S.,” said Dr. Hyon Choi, lead author of the study and a researcher at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“Blood uric acid levels go up when people are obese, drink too much, eat certain things, or take diuretics, which leads to the increased risk of gout,” Choi said by email. “In contrast, blood uric acid levels go down if people lose weight or change their diet or drinking habits or stop taking diuretics, which would reduce the risk of developing gout.”

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that can cause severe pain and joint tenderness. Previous research has linked several modifiable risk factors to gout including: a diet with too much meat and sweets; obesity; diuretics to treat high blood pressure; and alcohol consumption.

To see how much each of these factors might contribute to the development of gout, the study team analyzed data on a nationally-representative sample of 14,624 U.S. adults who completed a series of health surveys from 1988 to 1994.

People who were overweight were 85% more likely than those with a healthy body mass index (BMI) to have hyperuricemia, while obese people were 2.7 to 3.5 times more likely to have the condition, the researchers report in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

They calculated that 44% of the hyperuricemia cases were attributable to excess weight alone. They also concluded that 9% of hyperuricemia cases could be prevented by following a heart-healthy diet, 8% were attributable to alcohol use and 12% to diuretic use.

The study did not actually examine whether eliminating those risk factors prevented gout cases in a real population.

Still, the results may point patients with gout in the right direction to do what they can to ease their symptoms or reverse the condition, said Dr. Michal Melamed, a researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, who wasn’t involved in the study. There’s a lot people can do even if they’re obese or overweight and struggling to shed excess pounds.

“The take-home message is that the risk factors that they examined are modifiable – some of them are easier to modify than others, so individuals can decide what they think they are able to do,” Melamed said by email.

“Some can start with eating less red meat or drinking less alcohol,” Melamed said. “If patients are on a diuretic, they can discuss the risk of high uric acid levels with their physician and see if a different blood pressure medication may be better for them.”

Source: Reuters

Alcohol-producing Gut Bacteria Could Cause Liver Damage Even in People Who Don’t Drink

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the build-up of fat in the liver due to factors other than alcohol. It affects about a quarter of the adult population globally, but its cause remains unknown. Now, researchers have linked NAFLD to gut bacteria that produce a large amount of alcohol in the body, finding these bacteria in over 60% of non-alcoholic fatty liver patients. Their findings, publishing in the journal Cell Metabolism, could help develop a screening method for early diagnosis and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver.

“We were surprised that bacteria can produce so much alcohol,” says lead author Jing Yuan at Capital Institute of Pediatrics. “When the body is overloaded and can’t break down the alcohol produced by these bacteria, you can develop fatty liver disease even if you don’t drink.”

Yuan and her team discovered the link between gut bacteria and NAFLD when they encountered a patient with severe liver damage and a rare condition called auto-brewery syndrome (ABS). Patients with ABS would become drunk after eating alcohol-free and high-sugar food. The condition has been associated with yeast infection, which can produce alcohol in the gut and lead to intoxication.

“We initially thought it was because of the yeast, but the test result for this patient was negative,” Yuan says. “Anti-yeast medicine also didn’t work, so we suspected [his disease] might be caused by something else.”

By analyzing the patient’s feces, the team found he had several strains of the bacteria Klebsiella pneumonia in his gut that produced high levels of alcohol. K. pneumonia is a common type of commensal gut bacteria. Yet, the strains isolated from the patient’s gut can generate about four to six times more alcohol than strains found in healthy people.

Moreover, the team sampled the gut microbiota from 43 NAFLD patients and 48 healthy people. They found about 60% of NAFLD patients had high- and medium-alcohol-producing K. pneumonia in their gut, while only 6% of healthy controls carry these strains.

To investigate if K. pneumonia would cause fatty liver, researchers fed germ-free mice with high-alcohol-producing K. pneumonia isolated from the ABS patient for 3 months. These mice started to develop fatty liver after the first month. By 2 months, their livers showed signs of scarring, which means long-term liver damage had been made. The progression of liver disease in these mice was comparable to that of mice fed with alcohol. When the team gave bacteria-fed mice with an antibiotic that killed K. pneumonia, their condition was reversed.

“NAFLD is a heterogenous disease and may have many causes,” Yuan says. “Our study shows K. pneumonia is very likely to be one of them. These bacteria damage your liver just like alcohol, except you don’t have a choice.”

However, it remains unknown why some people have high-alcohol-producing K. pneumonia strain in their gut while others don’t.

“It’s likely that these particular bacteria enter people’s body via some carriers from the environment, like food,” says co-author Di Liu at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “But I don’t think the carriers are prevalent — otherwise we would expect much higher rate of NAFLD. Also, some people may have a gut environment that’s more suitable for the growth and colonization of K. pneumonia than others because of their genetics. We don’t understand what factors would make someone more susceptible to these particular K. pneumonia, and that’s what we want to find out next.”

This finding could also help diagnose and treat bacteria-related NAFLD, Yuan says. Because K. pneumonia produce alcohol using sugar, patients who carry these bacteria would have a detectable amount of alcohol in their blood after drinking a simple glucose solution. “In the early stages, fatty liver disease is reversible. If we can identify the cause sooner, we could treat and even prevent liver damage.”

“Having these bacteria in your gut means your body is exposed to alcohol constantly,” Liu says. “So does being a carrier mean you would have higher alcohol tolerance? I’m genuinely curious!”

Source: Science Daily

Today’s Comic