Health Effects Of Consuming Alcohol, Dairy Foods, And Iron-Fortified Products ToBe Debated

May 07, 1998

CHICAGO--The potential health benefits and risks of consuming light to moderate amounts of alcohol, dairy foods, and iron-fortified products will be discussed at the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT's) 1998 Annual Meeting & FOOD EXPO in Atlanta in June.

The benefits of light to moderate alcohol consumption (one to two drinks per day) and the hazards of heavier drinking (more than two drinks per day) will be discussed in the symposium "Alcohol, Nutrition and Health" (Session 75, June 24, 9 AM). Biological and epidemiological studies to date will be examined. Research over the past 30 years links light to moderate alcohol consumption to healthier fat and blood clotting profiles and lower rates of coronary heart disease, diabetes, ischemic stroke and overall mortality. The effects of alcohol consumption on fats, hormones, and clotting factors will be examined along with risk of obesity, breast cancer, and heart disease, areas of greatest research. National health recommendations will be debated, weighing the possible benefits of alcohol consumption against its potential for abuse.

"The Role of Dairy Foods in Reducing the Risk of Colon Cancer" (Session 22, June 22, 9 AM) will cover the epidemiological, in vitro, animal, and human studies associating dairy food components with decreased risk of colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. These components are thought by researchers to include calcium, vitamin D, conjugated linoleic acid, sphingolipids (cell membrane fats), butyric acid, and probiotic cultures (friendly bacteria). The scientific standards for health claims on food labels will also be presented by speakers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Quaker Oats Co. will provide an industry perspective of the regulatory landscape and economic effects of getting a health claim approved by the FDA, followed by a discussion of the National Dairy Council's potential pursuit of a health claim for dairy foods.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent nutritional disorder in the world, affecting a billion people, mostly women and children. "Iron Fortification of Foods" (Session F-3, June 21, 1:30 PM) will show that fortifying commonly eaten foods with iron is one of the least expensive and potentially most effective ways per capita of supplying this essential micronutrient to target populations. The forum will present new ingredients and methods that have the potential to increase the bioavailability of iron in fortified products without adversely affecting food quality.

IFT's Annual Meeting will be at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
Founded in 1939, IFT is a non-profit scientific society with 28,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.

Institute of Food Technologists

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