Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals
    gooey chocolate stack

    Compounds Found in Chocolate May Help Cognitive Function

    Could the chocolate in your advent calendar have health benefits including improving cognition and metabolic measures?  Flavanols which are found in green tea, red wine, cocoa, and yes, chocolate have previously been reported to be associated with cardiovascular and metabolic health.  The results of study published this week, suggest beneficial effects of flavanol consumption from cocoa in older adults.  

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    CDC Study finds Sodium Intake is Lower than Expected

    New study finds 24h dietary recall overestimate sodium and potassium intake. Using objective measures of nutritional status, in this case 24 hour urinary collection, Mercado and colleagues suggest that the discrepancy may partially reflect inaccurate food databases. In other words, foods may contain less than expected amounts of sodium.

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    Does fortification work outside of the US?

    Food fortification has been an extremely powerful public health tool, improving the nutrient intakes of the public and preventing nutritional deficiencies. Much of the data we refer to in TalkingNutrition is based on information in the United States, however today we have new data from Ireland showing a similar beneficial impact of fortification.

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    Raising awareness about healthy livers and vitamin E

    With over one-third of American children being classified as overweight or obese, we are becoming increasingly aware of the consequences of the childhood obesity epidemic. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one such consequence in which fat accumulates in the liver, resulting in inflammation and disruptions in liver function, with the potential to result in liver failure. Right now, the primary treatment for this condition involve lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, but an emerging option is that of vitamin E supplementation.

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    More Evidence that Vitamin D Status Affects Health

    Low maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy has been associated with offspring language impairment. A new study finds maternal vitamin D deficiency (measured at week 18 of pregnancy) is associated with impaired lung development in the child at 6y of age, neurocognitive difficulties at 10y of age, increased risk of eating disorders in adolescence, and lower peak bone mass at 20 years.

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    Possible Concentrations of an Essential Element in the Diet

    The Future is Coming: Understanding Nutrient Requirements by Gender and Genetics

    Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are based upon an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) – the average daily nutrient intake to meet the requirements of half the individuals. Adjustments are made for life stage (age, pregnancy, lactation)because they influence requirements. Because gender affects nutrient requirements, DRIs are established separately for males and females. As genetic insights grow, expect current male and female DRIs to be delineated into appropriate subgroups.

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    Counting steps is Good. What about Sunshine Goals for Health?

    Even though vitamin D can be made in skin exposed to sunshine, vitamin D insufficiency is a global health concern. Normal serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations can usually be achieved by exposing arms and face to sunshine for 15-20 minutes daily. Clothing, use of sunscreens, skin color, geographical location (near the equator or the poles of the earth) and time of day also affect vitamin D synthesis.

    Mazahery and colleagues examined serum 25(OH)D3 status of Middle Eastern women living in New Zealand. 

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    Vitamin E Needs a 9-1-1 Call

    The FDA finalized new pregnancy and lactation labeling requirements on prescription drugs and biological products. The ruling involves a subsection, Females and Males of Reproductive Potential, that will encompass information about potential effects on fertility. I wish there was more emphasis on nutrition recommendations, especially vitamin E, with respect to fertility, full-term pregnancies and baby development.

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