Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

    Getting Insight into Factors Limiting Healthy Dietary Choices

    What influences our meal choices? Researchers from the Netherlands attempted to answer this question.  They hypothesized that socioeconomic status might be involved.

    Kamphuis and colleagues conducted face-to-face interviews among 399 adults (mean age 63y) participating in the Health and Living Conditions in Eindhoven and surrounding cities (GLOBE) cohort study. Five meal attributes (taste, healthiness, preparation time, travel time to shops, and price) were assessed with 3 or 4 levels for each attribute. 

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    Fortification Provides Vitamins and Minerals Essential for Health

    Today’s blog, based on data from Sweden, highlights the benefits of consuming fortified foods. Sweden has a history of mandatory iron fortification of white flour since 1944. In 1995, this practice was discontinued.

    Sjoberg and Hulthen examined the impact of changes in fortification policy on iron intake and serum ferritin stores in 15-16y old adolescents. After the withdrawal of iron fortification in 1995,

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    Man and woman jogging on beach together having fun

    Friends and Family Influence Your Health: For Better or Worse

    Who doesn’t want to be healthy? In an effort to be healthier, we often purchase gym memberships, buy exercise equipment and join weight loss programs. Many will use dietary supplements to ensure nutrient adequacy. However it is hard to change habits, especially if family and friends don’t share similar goals.

    Using prospective data from adult (≥ 50y) married and cohabiting couples (n = 3,722), Jackson and colleagues examined the influence of partner’s behavior on making positive health behavior changes. 

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    Blindness, Vitamin A, and Policy Recommendations

    In setting public policy to control vitamin deficiency, no interventions should be necessary if normal vitamin status is sustained from a diversified diet”.  Wise words from West and colleagues in their commentary on vitamin A policies. We are what we eat.

    Unfortunately, many people in many countries for many reasons do not eat diversified diets.  Failure to consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals occur in the stunted and the overweight

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    Screening for Vitamin D Status: What Do Experts Think?

    Last month, we had posted an article about the release of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for vitamin D deficiency, which effectively said that they were neither for or against screening, and that more evidence was needed before making a decision. However, we were of the opinion that given the widespread prevalence of low vitamin D intake and the increasing prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, screening was a good idea. What do the experts think?

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    Child Development More Sensitive to Maternal Intake of DHA than Mercury Found in Fish

    Fish and shellfish contain high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids and are low in saturated fat. However, nearly all fish and shellfish contain mercury. Mercury is a neurotoxin to the brain and nervous system. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advise women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, are nursing and their young children to avoid certain types of fish (shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish).

    Strain and colleagues investigated the relationship between maternal mercury exposure and child development in 1,265 mother-child pairs from a high fish-eating population. 

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    Remember what you ate yesterday? Me neither.

    Memory is a tricky thing.

    Tell me, what did you eat yesterday? What about the day before? What about 3 months ago – perhaps on October 20th? (well, ok maybe that’s cheating since it was my birthday – so for me the answer is cake and a lot of it.) In nutrition, we rely on the ability of our memories to accurately recall what we ate yesterday (as in a 24 hour recall), which is problematic at best. Now imagine trying to get an accurate picture of what you’ve been eating over the last 3 to 6 months or so (as in a food frequency questionnaire)? Trusting our own recall and honesty is often problematic at best, and what can be worse is using the information we get from our own recall in an inappropriate fashion. Is there a better way?


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    Whole grains: Re-invigorate Your New Year’s Resolution

    The third week of January is marked by wavering resolve to New Year’s resolutions.  If you have already regressed to former habits you are not alone!  A study from the University of Scranton found that losing weight and staying fit and healthy are top resolutions for Americans. But, only 8% achieve their resolutions.  The good news is it is never too late to start over.  Recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help adopt healthy eating habits such as increasing dietary fiber from whole grains.  Dietary fiber supports heart health and new evidence suggests that whole grain consumption is also linked with mortality.  

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