Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals
    young cau girl drinking milk with mother breakfast

    Young Children can Benefit from Multi-Vitamin-Mineral Supplementation

    Scientific progress is much slower than news the news cycle. So it is surprising when scientific studies create a media frenzy. After all, assembling the totality of the evidence isn’t  a matter of immediacy. The creation of regulations is even slower.

    Last January, Madden, DeBias & Cook published a market analysis of vitamin supplements in JAMA Pediatrics.  

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    Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Health: Algal, Krill or Fish Oil Supplements

    Most people do not consume enough fatty fish containing long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 LCPUFAs). Consequently, our intake of the ω-3 LCPUFAs - eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – is low. ω-3 LCPUFAs help reduce production of triglycerides by the liver and increase triglyceride clearance. Increasing ω-3 LCPUFA intake can also increase HDL-cholesterol concentrations. Based on this evidence, the FDA approved the use of omega-3 LCPUFAs in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia

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    Clinical Studies With Food Highlight Limitations of Nutrition Research

    Today, two studies that conducted clinical trials using food appeared on my nutrition research radar: a study by Navarro and co-workers looking at the effect of cruciferous vegetables on markers of inflammation, and another by Pereira-Caro and colleagues on the bioavailability of polyphenols from orange juice. What do these types of studies tell us about health benefits of foods and phytonutrients?

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    Fish-to-Krill isn’t exactly Apples-to-Apples

    Krill oil has hit the Omega-3 supplement market as an alternative to fish oil, touting claims of better absorption. But is it really true? A recent re-examination of the evidence challenges these assumptions.

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    Child about to eat an enormous cookie

    Do Parents’ Shifts in Identifying Childhood Obesity Reflect the Normalization of Excess Bodyweight?

    Hansen and colleagues report on how parents’ perceptions of childhood overweight have changed over 15 years. Comparing sampling periods from 1988-1994 with 2005-2010, the researchers found that the probability that parents correctly identify their child as overweight decreased by 16% between the two study periods, with more parents thinking that their overweight or obese child had a weight that was about right. What is going on here?

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    Man on bathroom scales

    Using Technology Advancements to Improve Nutritional Assessments

    Nutrient intakes are routinely used to estimate nutrient status. Because of day-to-day variability in eating patterns, the number of days of food intake data required varies tremendously by nutrient. Food intake must be recorded for 5-16 days to estimate the true average vitamin B intake for a group of individuals and greater than 19 days for vitamins A and C. Most nutrient intake studies are not this comprehensive.

    Ideally, nutritional status is assessed using objective measures

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    Baby WFP powder

    Micronutrient Powders Improve At-Risk Infants’ Language Development

    Malnutrition can have long term effects on health and development, especially when it occurs during the first thousand days of a child’s life, from before conception to the age of two. From a nutrition stand-point, the best outcomes for children occur when their mothers are well-nourished from the pre-pregnancy period up until birth, and they receive appropriate and adequate nutrition that is tied to their age and development throughout infancy and childhood. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. The prevalence of children who are negatively affected by malnutrition is high in low- and middle-income, and probably limits the health and cognitive ability of populations, to the extent that overall national development is impaired. Can micronutrient supplementation be helpful?

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