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TalkingNutrition

Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals
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    Suboptimal Vitamin E Status may be Affecting Health

    For the past decade, health professionals have ignored vitamin E. Even the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee chose not to identify vitamin E as a ‘nutrient of concern’ although it was identified as one of 10 nutrients (Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, choline, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fiber) missing from our diet.

    Plants make 8 different forms of vitamin E but only α-tocopherol is maintained in plasma and tissue. Only the 2R-stereoisomeric forms of α-tocopherol reverse vitamin E deficiency and meet human vitamin E requirements

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    A ‘What-If’ Kind of Day…

    Monday morning blues. An ecological analysis of databases by the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), and World Bank finds a direct dose-response association between the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle with western dietary patterns and the global rise in diabetes prevalence. Depressing news.

    What does it take to help people make healthier lifestyle choices? For years as a professor, I thought the answer was in education. This argument was undermined when the percentage of consumers who could associate foods (and nutrients) with health benefits became apparent . 

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    Measuring Biomarkers to Evaluate Nutritional Status

    As a reader, you will know I recommend using nutritional biomarkers to assess health outcomes rather than dietary intake guestimates. Wood and colleagues affirm these statements.  They analyzed dietary and biological data obtained from approximately 2,000 Scottish women who attended a baseline visit between 1990-1993 as part of the Aberdeen Prospective Osteoporosis Screening Study (APOSS).

    Over the 10 years, their age increased (not surprisingly) as did their body weight (+2 kg), total cholesterol (+0.3 mmol/L), and HDL-C (+0.35 mmol/L). 

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    Who is Modeling Preventive Health Behaviors for Children?

    Millions of children are missing important preventive health care opportunities in the US. Boyle and colleagues report wide divides in use of clinical preventive services by race/ethnicity, geography and health care coverage.

    For example, 50% of infants who failed their hearing screening did not receive a follow-up evaluation. Twenty-two percent of children had not had their vision checked professionally by 5y of age. The US has one of the highest per capita incomes but nearly half of American children grow up in families that are poor or near poor (below 199% of the federal poverty level).

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    Possible Concentrations of an Essential Element in the Diet

    Why won’t the Nutrition Elite Treat us like Animals?

    When it comes to writing stories about nutrition, facts seem secondary (or even further down the list). Maybe controversy sells. Maybe rich people not only eat more expensive foods but they buy more books and magazines.

    The food and supplement industry are not evil. Advances in agriculture and technology are feeding the world. Yesterday at the Arkansas Nutrition Conference sponsored by The Poultry Federation, I learned the efficiency of raising chickens (broilers), measured by feed conversion (adjusted to a 2300g bird), has improved by 15% 

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    Ensuring Vitamin A Adequacy: Different Approaches Needed in Different Countries

    The World Health Organisation has named vitamin A deficiency to be a public health problem in over half of all countries. Vitamin A is needed for vision, and also to prevent infections. Various public health measures are used around the world to help people with deficient diets to meet their vitamin A needs, such as food fortification, supplementation programs, improving dietary diversity and increasing the pro-vitamin A content of staples through bio-fortification. But there is no “one size fits all” measure to improve vitamin A status. We explain further.

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    Is Breakfast an Important Part of Children's Diets?

    We’ve been told since we were children that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? What have you done for me lately, breakfast? Recently published data shows us that for children and adolescents, regular breakfast consumption is associated with a healthier diet.

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    Are you Familiar with all the Tools to Reduce Prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anemia?

    Whole grains, legumes and nuts provide plenty of minerals. However, they also contain high levels of phytate which binds with iron (Fe), calcium and zinc. Phytate-bound minerals cannot be absorbed. Iron bioavailability from vegetarian diets are lower (5-12%) compared to mixed diets (14-18%) and heme iron present in meat (25%). Phytates are a major reason that vegetarians and others who do not regularly eat red meat can become iron-deficient.

    Iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common nutritional disorder globally. 

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