As innovative and exciting as so many reports in nutrition can be, often there’s a long history behind it. In nutrition, the relationship between the Mediterranean diet and heart disease goes back to the 1950s when it was first described by Ancel Keys, an early pioneer in the field nutrition epidemiology. Dr. Keys made an observation that residents of Naples, Italy had a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease, which he suggested was due to their unique diet. Generally speaking, this diet was low in saturated fats and high in green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, and olive oil.
“Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system”. This is the conclusion of the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA). The expert committee determined a cause and effect relationship exists between the dietary intake of vitamin D and contribution to the normal function of the immune system. It is a beneficial effect.
This scientific opinion extends the benefits of vitamin D beyond recognized benefits in the maintenance of normal bones and teeth.
In the New York Times, Margo Sanger-Katz writes about the difficulties researchers have in assessing food intake. Based on three sets of data, the federally-executed National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES) of approximately 8,000 individuals, the Nielsen consumer data company tracking of in-store food purchases of 100,000 families, and the United States Department of Agriculture tracking all food grown and sold in the US, three trends are identified.
Treating iodine deficiency is perhaps best known for being the cheapest and easiest way to reduce brain damage and cognitive impairment in the world. Salt iodization programs cost only around 5 cents per person per year and are effective in raising the population’s iodine status. But is there an effect on other areas of health?
Around the world, lifespan is increasing and creating new challenges. Reductions in childhood mortality was a major driver of this change. More recently, people are living longer because of medical advances in late life. Unfortunately for many, quality of life diminishes with age because of chronic disease – diabetes, cardiovascular, and osteoporosis. Many of these diseases are strongly correlated with obesity and overweight so there is a tremendous educational effort to have people consume fewer calories and to vilify certain types of macronutrients.