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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

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    EFSA Recognizes Vitamin D helps Maintain the Immune System

    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.

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    Don’t Like Counting Calories, Better Nutrition Tools are Coming

    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. 

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    Iodine Supplementation Improves Iodine Status and Cardiovascular Disease Markers

    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?

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    Choose Nutrient Rich Foods, Especially Enriched/Fortified Ones!

    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.

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    Not all Meta-Analyses and Review Papers Adopt the Same Standards

    What to believe? Who to trust? Complicated questions with so many available information sources, clamoring for attention. Historically, governments had the last word on nutrition policy but social media is challenging agencies every day.

    Because of financial interests, scientific research funded by industry has been viewed suspiciously but people are motivated by many factors other than financial gain. White hat bias is a threat to the integrity of scientific reporting because it distorts interpretation and fuels misunderstanding. 

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