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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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    Two Studies Recommend DHA Supplementation During Pregnancy

    The last 3 months of pregnancy is a period of rapid increase in brain volume of an infant. It is a time when docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) accumulates in the brain and eye of the developing child. Because humans are extremely inefficient at converting α-linolenic acid (ALA) to DHA, it is important for women, especially when pregnant or lactating, eat seafood or use dietary supplements to obtain adequate amounts of DHA.

    The Kansas University DHA Outcomes Study (KUDOS) examined the effect of supplementing 600 mg DHA per day 

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    Relying upon Diet to Enhance Your Visual Experiences!

    If you live in North America, you can expect to see fireworks this weekend as both Canadians and Americans will be celebrating. Several years ago, my wife and I were flying across the US on July 4th and we could see fireworks below our plane as it descended into Newark airport. We were awed by the contrasting explosions of bright colors against the darkening skies below us. Our visual acuity was aided by xanthophyll carotenoids concentrated in the macula of the retina.

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    Dietary Choices, Organic Foods and Nutrient Intakes

    Based on double-digit growth in sales of organically produced goods, you might think organic foods are healthier choices than conventional foods. Especially given the price premiums for organic products (see USDA Organic Market Overview). Baudry and colleagues investigated the relationships between nutrition and health from 28,245 participants of the NutriNet-Sante study using a semi-quantitative, organic frequent food questionnaire (FFQ) with 264 foods items.

    For each every food item consumed, participants were asked “How often was the product of organic origin”? 

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    Eat More Fiber and Use Clinical Measurements to Monitor Health

    In a JAMA viewpoint, the opening sentence claims the US obesity epidemic costs $190 billion in health care expenditures annually. That is a tremendous cost to society and individual quality of life. Malik and associates explain the new changes to the nutrition and supplements facts panels along with the new Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs) and serving sizes. The authors write ‘Careful monitoring of how food manufacturing changes in response to the label changes will be an important step in ensuring nutritional quality of food products.’

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    Can a Micronutrient Powder Help Amazonian Children Avoid Deficiency?

    Reading various blogs, one would expect that the bounties of the Amazon rainforest – guava, manioc and armadillo – are enough to provide all the nutrition that children need. Eating foods that are foraged is apparently the secret to good health. Top Amazonian superfoods include acai berries, raw cacao, passionfruit and sacha inchi seeds. Amazonian tribes are also reported to have the most diverse gut microbiota, with its purported health benefits. So it may be surprising to learn that indigenous populations in South America are actually at a greater nutritional risk than national populations.

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