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?
The television commercials of tanned, active young men and women enjoying outdoors activities, especially the beach, effectively compel us to warmer climates during the winter months. When skies are cloudy, temperatures are cool, and conditions can be downright wet or cold, people yearn to feel the sun warming their bodies. It feels good. It is good because vitamin D supports bone and muscle health. Especially important for teenagers.
The link between fish-based omega-3 fatty acids and heart health has been recognized since the 1960’s. We now have recommendations from the American Heart Association (among others) for intakes of omega-3 fatty acids which aim to support heart health. But what’s a person to do if they don’t like fish? Or if you’re a vegetarian? Are there other sources of EPA and DHA?
While the nutrient choline is not considered a vitamin in the strictest sense, as it can be synthesized by the body in limited amounts, it has nonetheless garnered research interest as it participates in the same group of biochemical reactions as B-vitamins such as folate and vitamin B12. In particular, as Zeisel explains, it may be especially important for expecting mothers and their infants. Choline is required for normal fetal development and the proper functioning of the liver and placenta.
When people think about vitamins and dietary supplementation, the tendency is to think about prolonging life for older adults - reducing risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease later in life. Vitamins are also important to conceive and carry a baby to full term.
Approximately one out of four couples have fertility problems. Vitamin insufficiency is associated with impairments in sperm production and sperm competitiveness.
Everyone should have an annual physical assessment. In addition to routine measurements (weight, height, blood pressure, reflexes, prostate exam for men, breast examination for women), blood and urinary samples are important tools to assess disease risk. Preventive medicine should be more than disease assessment and subsequent management. Maintaining healthy nutrition levels is important for longevity.
Many of you will have heard low vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The risk was 2.25 higher for individuals who were severely deficient (serum 25(OH)D3 < 25 nmol/L) and 1.5 times higher for deficient (≥25 to <50 nmol/L). To be clear, this is a correlative study describing a relationship.
In a new report, Ford conclude baseline vitamin D concentrations do not predict mortality
Despite headlines to the contrary, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) does not cure periodontal disease, or anything else. Omega-3s are nutrients not medicines. However, inadequate DHA intakes have health consequences. Omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA, are important for brain and cardiovascular health. From conception and throughout life.