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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

Entries filed under 'Obesity'

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    Evidence that Inadequate Multivitamin-Mineral Status Affects Metabolism

    Vitamins have many functions and sources. A common function is to be part of an enzyme involved in a metabolic reaction. The brain is particularly metabolically active. In 2002, the Institute of Medicine estimated that 130 grams of carbohydrate were needed daily to provide sufficient glucose for the brain to function.  Thinking requires energy. So it is not surprising to read that increasing one’s intake of vitamins and minerals might impact metabolism and the brain.

    In a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-groups study of 97 healthy females, Kennedy and colleagues studied the effect of increasing doses of multivitamins/minerals 

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    Is the Liver being Affected by the Double Burden of Hidden Hunger and Overnutrition?

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease in North America. Yesterday, I discussed the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin E status and its role in maintaining normal liver function.  With more and more people being overweight and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the prevalence of NAFLD is increasing

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    Could Trends in Metabolic Syndrome be Associated with Vitamin E Status?

    Good news! Nationally representative data collected between 1999 and 2012 finds a reduction in the severity of metabolic syndrome among US adolescents. It was a linear trend. Interestingly, increasing unsaturated fat intake was beneficial. You may ask why.

    Vitamin E is found in many foods (in small quantities) but most often in association with unsaturated fats – vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds – to protect them from oxidation. In brief, people eating more unsaturated fat will likely be consuming more vitamin E. 

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    Overweight Women Found to be Missing Key Micronutrients

    How does one know if they are eating properly? A common approach involves maintaining a food diary and using food databases. To be meaningful, accurate reporting of serving sizes is required. How much butter was on my sandwich? Was it combined with full-fat mayonnaise or a low-fat alternative? Was I physically active today? How many steps did I take today? How many flights of stairs? It can be done, successfully.

    Tracking micronutrient status is even more difficult. Why? When it comes to monitoring our balance between physical activity and calorie intake, we have bathroom scales. Similarly, we need something that measures micronutrient concentrations in blood to have an accurate assessment of micronutrient status. 

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    Accurate Measurements of Nutritional Status are Needed to Guide Us

    Underreporting of dietary intake undermines efforts to elucidate the role of nutrition (food patterns and nutrient intake) on health and disease outcomes. The most accurate tool to measure energy intake is using doubly labeled water (DLW) with isotopic tracers so total carbon dioxide production can be measured.

    Using DLW data from 2 studies involving >200 adolescents, Stice and colleagues compare DLW data with food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) results and other behaviorial/self-perception measures. The mean underreporting scores for the two studies were 1,270 and 668 kcal per day. That is a lot of calories! 

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