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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


    Time to Get Real About Preventing Neural Tube Defects in Europe

    Babak and co-workers published an analysis of neural tube defect prevalence in Europe over a twenty year period from 1991 to 2011. The data was obtained from the extensive EUROCAT birth defect registry, which collects data from 43 registries in 23 countries in Europe.  It seems that in the past 20 years, the rate of neural tube defects has largely remained unchanged at around 9 pregnancies affected out of every 10,000. In contrast, rates of neural tube defects has fallen over the same period in the US. What is the difference? 

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    Should Iodine be a Nutrient of Concern?

    Do you know your iodine status? I don’t. In fact, rarely do I even look for the iodine content of a food. For people living in regions where the iodine content of soils and ground water is low, consuming crops grown locally can lead to iodine deficiency. In fact, 26-70% of children living in the Great Lakes, Appalachians and Northwestern regions of the US were iodine deficient with clinically apparent goiters in the early 1900’s. Iodization of salt changed their lives and millions of others. However, salt iodization is only effective if people consume iodized salt.

    Anaforoglu and colleagues studied 864 healthy pregnant women from an iodine deficient region of 

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    A Cautionary Tale on Avoiding Carbohydrates and Unintended Pregnancies

    Countries such as the USA and Canada legislated folic acid fortification of flour to help prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy. Mandatory legislation was important because a baby’s brain stem and spine closes during the first trimester of pregnancy – a time when many women do not yet realize they are pregnant. After the first few months of pregnancy, it is too late to begin supplementation to protect the infant.

    According to the CDC, half of pregnancies in the US are unintended. Unintended pregnancies are those which are mistimed, unplanned or unwanted at time of conception. 

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    Using a Vitamin D Supplement During the Winter can Eliminate one Source of Worry

    As the winter solstice approaches in the northern hemisphere, people living north of the equator need to remember that vitamin D is a nutrient of concern. Without skin exposure to sunlight, people must rely upon dietary intake of vitamin D. Since very few foods are naturally rich in vitamin D and regulatory agencies restrict the categories of foods and beverages which can be fortified, most people will need to supplement.

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    Looking to Maintain a Beautiful Smile? Search no Further

    What do you notice about a person? Is it their hair? Maybe their eyes? Their skin? For me, it is teeth. I notice smiles and especially notice if teeth when are well maintained. For this reason, today’s main citation caught my attention.

    Eighty-six individuals (63 nonsmokers and 23 smokers) with chronic periodontitis were evaluated for healing and reduced probing depth (PD) at baseline and 8-16 weeks after scaling and root planing. 

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