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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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    Could Trends in Metabolic Syndrome be Associated with Vitamin E Status?

    Good news! Nationally representative data collected between 1999 and 2012 finds a reduction in the severity of metabolic syndrome among US adolescents. It was a linear trend. Interestingly, increasing unsaturated fat intake was beneficial. You may ask why.

    Vitamin E is found in many foods (in small quantities) but most often in association with unsaturated fats – vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds – to protect them from oxidation. In brief, people eating more unsaturated fat will likely be consuming more vitamin E. 

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    Circulating Carotenoid Concentrations, Disease Risk, and Genetics

    Scientific interest in antioxidants seems to be waning – for no apparent reason. If anything, limited consumption of vegetables (and fruit) should be driving consumer and researcher interest. Why? Because previous studies have found maintaining high concentrations of serum carotenoids may protect against heart attacks, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease mortality.

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    Looking for an Indulgent Carbohydrate? It is Dietary Fiber

    Did you eat enough dietary fiber today? Hoping so. In the effort to maintain a healthy weight, conversations involving energy balance swirl around physical activity and sources of calories. Alcohol provides empty calories. Too much protein challenges kidneys and grain proteins contain gluten.  Fats are so calorie dense (>2x proteins and carbs). Last but not least, carbohydrates, too often consumed as sugar. We forget that dietary fibers are a form of carbohydrate. High fructose corn syrup and added sugars are often vilified as the evil causes of obesity and diabetes.

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    Measuring Optimal Vitamin D Status

    Vitamin D and parathyroid hormone (PTH) interact to regulate calcium metabolism, bone turnover and bone mineral density.  PTH stimulates the conversion of 25(OH)D3 by the kidneys to the active form  which increases the active absorption of calcium by the intestine. Treatments for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women target metabolic pathways involving parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion to stimulate bone formation and resorption

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    A Sunscreen That Allows Vitamin D Production

    It’s one of those evergreen vitamin dilemmas. Does one apply sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, or leave it off to let the skin make its own vitamin D, with the risk of sunburn? Finally, a research group led by Kockott seems to have provided the perfect solution, with a publication a couple of days ago looking at “optimizing” a sunscreen to maximize vitamin D production whilst minimizing the risk of sunburn. The Daily Mail reports that a sunscreen developed via this principle is already on sale. 

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