Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

    Why it is Healthy to Eat Foods from Around the World

    We choose to eat at home or away-from-home. Eating at home requires buying groceries. Jahns and colleagues analyzed foods advertised in weekly circulars from one supermarket chain with 8 stores in a predominantly non-Hispanic white, midWestern US city (Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2009). Advertised foods were aggregated into MyPlate food groups:  fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, dairy and oils. 

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    Multivitamins aren’t Drugs but they are Supplements

    Headlines might have you believe vitamin supplements are a wasted investment. How can efforts to achieve recommended nutrient intakes be so distorted? The Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are nutrient reference values set the by Institute of Medicine of The National Academies. They are intended to serve as a guide for good nutrition.

    The reality is many, many people are not consuming enough vitamin and mineral -rich foods to meet the DRIs

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    Improving Nutritional Status to Support Eye Health: Reading, Listening, Acting

    Of the five senses, sight and sound are the most important for learning. While all senses are important,  many people particularly fear the loss of eyesight. Boyers and colleagues sought to determine if scientific effort is an accurate reflection of the global burden of eye and vision disease.

    Their detailed examination of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found gaps in the literature. Age-related diseases (cataract, glaucoma and macular degeneration) received the most attention, 

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    Heading into Autumn Equinox, Vitamin D is Top of Mind (Again)

    Have all the vitamin D researchers been on vacation? Who would believe that it has been almost a month since our last blog on vitamin D? Today’s blog highlights a new scientific report on the role of vitamin D in older adults. Takehome message: “Plasma 25(OH)D concentrations predict subsequent lower 13-y total mortality and incident cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and fractures.

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    breastfeeding mother and infant

    Review Updates on Omega-3 Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids EPA & DHA

    Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCPUFA) experts have been busy publishing reviews on the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

    The Early Nutrition Academy supported a systematic review of human studies on the roles of pre- and postnatal LCPUFA. Using the most recent studies (2008-2013), Koletzko and colleagues report:

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    man on bicycle with helmet

    Suboptimal Vitamin E Status may be Affecting Health

    For the past decade, health professionals have ignored vitamin E. Even the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee chose not to identify vitamin E as a ‘nutrient of concern’ although it was identified as one of 10 nutrients (Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, choline, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber) missing from our diet.

    Plants make 8 different forms of vitamin E but only α-tocopherol is maintained in plasma and tissue. Only the 2R-stereoisomeric forms of α-tocopherol reverse vitamin E deficiency and meet human vitamin E requirements

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    A ‘What-If’ Kind of Day…

    Monday morning blues. An ecological analysis of databases by the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), and World Bank finds a direct dose-response association between the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle with western dietary patterns and the global rise in diabetes prevalence. Depressing news.

    What does it take to help people make healthier lifestyle choices? For years as a professor, I thought the answer was in education. This argument was undermined when the percentage of consumers who could associate foods (and nutrients) with health benefits became apparent . 

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    Measuring Biomarkers to Evaluate Nutritional Status

    As a reader, you will know I recommend using nutritional biomarkers to assess health outcomes rather than dietary intake guestimates. Wood and colleagues affirm these statements.  They analyzed dietary and biological data obtained from approximately 2,000 Scottish women who attended a baseline visit between 1990-1993 as part of the Aberdeen Prospective Osteoporosis Screening Study (APOSS).

    Over the 10 years, their age increased (not surprisingly) as did their body weight (+2 kg), total cholesterol (+0.3 mmol/L), and HDL-C (+0.35 mmol/L). 

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