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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


    Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Impossible Clinical Trial?

    Randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trials are seen as the gold standard for biomedical research for proving that a given intervention causes a certain result. However, there are a few issues with testing interventions for chronic diseases that begin to develop decades before the clinical disease. One example of this is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). How can we adequately test the relationship?

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    The Complexities of Vitamin D

    Two very different vitamin D research studies demonstrate the complexities of nutrition. After identifying 20 eligible studies involving 9,209 participants, Zhang and colleagues report vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Qi and colleagues report that carrying a specific vitamin D polymorphism, the T allele of DHCR7 rs 12785878, may benefit individuals with greater improvements in insulin resistance (vs non-carriers) when following a high-protein weight-loss diet. 

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    Pills / vitamins woman

    Update on Supplemental Folic Acid During Later Pregnancy

    One of our most popular posts looks at whether supplemental folic acid is worthwhile in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. A group of researchers lead by Wang have now conducted a study that looks at supplemental folic acid use during pregnancy and risk of pre-eclampsia that provides more evidence in favor of continuing supplementation during pregnancy.

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    Should Pregnant Women Be Screened or Routinely Supplemented to Prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia?

    Pregnant women are at high risk of iron deficiency anemia, and the US Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF) recently updated their guidelines regarding screening for iron deficiency, or its prevention with routine supplementation. Pregnancy increases the demand for iron as both the fetus and the mother’s circulatory system require the production of iron-containing red blood cells. For this reason, guidelines for iron intake are much higher than for women who are not pregnant.

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    Fortification and Enrichment of Whole-Grain Wheat Flours: The Case for Folic Acid

    For many children, the favorite foods are all the same: French fries, pizza, sausages in all shapes and forms, candy, and white bread. For a short period of time, however, my daughter bucked the white bread trend: she was also a chocoholic and ate dark brown bread readily in the hope that it was chocolate-flavored. Ms Almost-Five has wised up to the situation, and like “normal” children she also prefers white bread. White bread is enriched so that it contains the B-vitamins of whole grain flour, however whole grain flour is not fortified with folic acid. How does choice of whole grain vs. white wheat-based products affect folate intakes?

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