New Sweets of Shiseido Parlour in Tokyo, Japan

Summer Fruit Parfaits

Blueberry

Peach

Apple Mango

Strawberry

The prices are from 2,100 yen to 2,800 yen (tax included).

The Sense of Smell in Older Adults Declines When It Comes to Meat, But Not Vanilla

That grandpa and grandma aren’t as good at smelling as they once were, is something that many can relate to. And, it has also been scientifically demonstrated. One’s sense of smell gradually begins to decline from about the age of 55. Until now, it was believed that one’s sense of smell broadly declined with increasing age. However, a study from the University of Copenhagen reports that certain food odors are significantly more affected than others.

The Department of Food Science’s Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge and her fellow researchers have tested the ability of older Danes to perceive everyday food odors. The researchers measured how intensely older adults perceived different food odours, as well as how much they liked the odours.

“Our study shows that the declining sense of smell among older adults is more complex than once believed. While their ability to smell fried meat, onions and mushrooms is markedly weaker, they smell orange, raspberry and vanilla just as well as younger adults. Thus, a declining sense of smell in older adults seems rather odor specific. What is really interesting is that how much you like an odor is not necessarily dependent on theintensity perception” says Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge.

For example, liking of seemed to be largely unaffected for fried meat, onions and mushrooms, despite the largest decline in intensity perception was seen for these specific odors. Also the ability to smell coffee declined, among other things, though they didn’t like the aroma of coffee to the same degree as younger adults.

The test subjects included 251 Danes between the ages of 60 and 98 and a control group consisting of 92 people between the ages of 20 and 39.


FOOD ODOURS FROM EVERYDAY LIFE

Instead of using odours of chemical origin, which is commonly the procedure when testing the sense of smell, Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge developed a test kit including 14 natural food odours familiar from everyday life, including bacon, onions, toast, asparagus, coffee, cinnamon, orange and vanilla. The odours were made primarily from essential oils and presented to test subjects by sniffing sticks.


The food odours were chosen based upon commonly consumed foods and dishes that older people often eat and enjoy most according to meal plans and surveys from a Danish catering company that provides food for the elderly.

What’s the story?

The researchers can only speculate as to why the declining sense of smell in older adults seems to be odors specific, and why, in some cases, liking is largely unaffected. However, they can only speculate of why the intensity decline was most pronounced for fried meat, onions and mushrooms – foods that are referred to as ‘savory’ or umami in nature.

“This may be due to the fact that these are common food odours in which saltiness or umami is a dominant taste element. It is widely recognized that salty is the basic taste most affected by aging. Since taste and smell are strongly associated when it comes to food, our perception of aroma may be disturbed if one’s taste perception of saltiness is impaired to begin with,” explains Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge.

Health and quality of life

The researchers hope that their findings can be deployed by those working to improve the meals and dining experiences of older adults. Figures show that half of those over 65 admitted to Danish hospitals are malnourished. The same applies to one in five nursing home residents.

While the sense of smell is important for stimulating appetite and our serotonin levels as well, according to Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge, our study demonstrates that the sensitivity of one’s sense of smell need not be decisive. For several of the food odours, the respondent’s liking of an odour remained unchanged, even while their ability to perceive it had declined.

“Our results show that as long as a food odour is recognizable, its intensity will not determine whether or not you like it. So, if one wants to improve food experiences of older adults, it is more relevant to pay attention to what they enjoy eating than it is to wonder about which aromas seem weaker to them,” concludes Eva Honnens de Lichtenberg Broge.

The study is published in the scientific journal Food Quality and Preference.

Source: University of Copenhagen

Which Blood Sugar Meds Work Best Against Type 2 Diabetes?

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . . . .

You have type 2 diabetes, and you are already taking an old standby drug, metformin. But you still need help controlling your blood sugar levels. Which medication would be the best?

New research pitted several diabetes drugs against each other and came up with an answer: The diabetes drugs Lantus and Victoza were better at controlling blood sugar over time than Amaryl or Januvia.

“We’ve known that type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, and these medications, in general, do not reduce or obliterate progression, and that the ability of these medications to slow the rise in glucose varies amongst them,” explained Dr. Steven Kahn, a professor of medicine, metabolism, endocrinology and nutrition at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is a member of the executive committee that oversaw the trial.

The goal was to see which of these drugs kept average blood sugar levels in the recommended target range, at an A1C level of less than 7%. A1C blood tests are a standard means of gauging long-term blood sugar control.

“When we look at the rise in A1C over time, it’s clear that there are initial beneficial impacts of one drug over the other, but they tend to fail at a very similar rate,” Kahn said. “So, beyond the first couple of years, all the failure seems to be occurring at the same rate, but overall failure was less with Lantus and Victoza.”

Lantus (insulin glargine) and Victoza (liraglutide) are both injectable drugs, while Amaryl (glimepiride) and Januvia (sitagliptin) are pills.

The study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, included more than 5,000 people with type 2 diabetes, average age 57. The participants, 20% of whom were Black and 18% of whom were Hispanic, were randomly assigned to one of the four drugs along with metformin in the trial, which ran an average of four years.

The researchers found that Lantus and Victoza were the most effective in keeping A1C levels under 7%, while Amaryl or Januvia had the lowest effect and higher odds of letting A1C levels rise above 7%.

The results were similar across gender, race, ethnicity and age group.

Other findings included:

  • Patients given Victoza and Januvia were more likely to lose weight than those taking Amaryl. Those taking Lantus maintained a stable weight.
  • Victoza caused more gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, than the other drugs. Amaryl was linked to a higher risk for low blood sugar than the other drugs.
  • Victoza was linked to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart and vascular complications than the other drugs.

Dr. Caroline Messer, an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said the study confirms that these medications are appropriate and should be used as a second-line treatment after metformin, or as a first-line treatment if metformin isn’t tolerated.

Messer noted that although some of the newer drugs are expensive, they are covered by most health insurance plans.

“I think the only disservice of the study is that I don’t want people to start thinking that you should be using insulin [Lantus] as a second-line treatment,” she explained. “I think that it does a disservice, because if people are reaching for insulin too quickly because of this trial, that would be a shame.”

The findings were presented Monday at the virtual annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association. Findings presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, an emeritus professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, was not surprised by the findings, but thinks the trial is outdated.

“It certainly proves that Victoza and Lantus are better medications to improve blood sugar control when metformin is not enough,” he said.

The problem with the study is that it didn’t include other drugs that were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when the study began, so there may be more effective drug combinations that are yet to be tested, Zonszein said.

“We need to know what the best combination is for treatment of diabetes early in the disease and not to use the antiquated step-up approach — what to do when the medication fails? We have an excellent choice of medications, and there is no reason to have individuals with diabetes not well-treated,” he added.

And when managing diabetes, treating blood sugar is not the only consideration, Zonszein noted.

“We treat each patient and individualize regimens accordingly. Treatment includes obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension, among others. We aim to improve and prolong a good quality of life,” he said. “For instance, the weight loss found with Victoza is important for many, and not found with the other agents in the study. Victoza’s gastrointestinal side effects are also well-known, and these are decreased when using newer weekly drugs.”

Although blood sugar levels are important, treatment aims to avoid or delay the complications of diabetes, Zonszein said.

Because stroke and heart attack are the common causes of death among diabetes patients, treatment should include medications that prevent heart attack, stroke and other heart and vascular complications, as well as kidney disease.

“The… trial is therefore outdated, and doesn’t help people or their health care providers to make decisions in 2021 — the train has left the station,” Zonszein said.

“Treatment of diabetes has shifted towards individualizing therapy, using proper medications from the get-go. We now use medications that do not cause low blood sugar or need frequent blood sugar checking. Certainly, we use medications that can help with weight loss and cause less cardiovascular complications,” he explained.

Kahn said he is all for individualized treatment for type 2 diabetes. He also wishes that drug companies would do head-to-head trials of the newer drugs to determine the best combination treatment.

Source: HealthDay

Pistachio Ice Cream

Ingredients

4 egg yolks
6 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp corn flour
1-1/4 cups 2% milk
1 cup pistachio, plus a few extra, to decorate
1-1/4 cups whipping cream
a little green food colouring
chocolate dipped waffle cones, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until the mixture is thick and foamy.
  2. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan, gently bring it to the boil, then gradually whisk it into the egg yolk mixture.
  3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook it over a gentle heat, stirring constantly until the custard thickens and is smooth. Pour it back into the bowl, set aside to cool, then chill in the refrigerator until required.
  4. Shell the pistachios and put them in a food processor or blender. Add 2 tbsp of the cream and grind the mixture to a coarse paste.
  5. Pour the rest of the cream into a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil, stir in the coarsely ground pistachios, then leave to cool.
  6. Mix the chilled custard and pistachio cream together and tint the mixture delicately with a few drops of food colouring.
  7. Using an ice cream maker, churn the mixture until firm enough to scoop. Serve in cones or dishes, sprinkled with extra pistachios.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Ice Cream and Iced Desserts


Today’s Comic