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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals

Archive for 'January 2011'


    Dietary Guidelines 2010 Released

    On January 31, 2011, the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The announcement is available online. The Guidelines are used by food assistance program administrators, policy makers, and nutrition professionals to help Americans adopt healthy eating and lifestyle practices. The last meeting of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee was held on May 12, 2010. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 is the translation of their recommendations into actionable advice.

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    New Evidence Increases Vitamin D Recommendations for Adolescent Girls by 24%

    Dr Kevin Cashman and associates reported new evidence establishing mean daily vitamin D intakes of 18.6 micrograms per day to maintain serum 25(OH)D levels of 50 nmol/L or better in healthy, white girls just over 11 years of age. The study was reported Jan 26 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from two randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, 12 month intervention trials (RCT). These results exceed the December 2010 Institute of Medicine recommendations of 15 micrograms (600 IU) for girls 9-13 years old by 24%.

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    Nutrition Key(s) to Health!

    The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) launch Nutrition Keys front-of-package labeling system to help consumers make informed food choices when shopping. The Nutrition Keys initiative will use front-of-pack icons to guide consumers in their choices of 4 basic nutrition properties (calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugar) and emphasize ‘nutrients to encourage’ – vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, iron, potassium and fiber.

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    Antioxidants Key to Conceiving and Birthing Healthy Kids

    Vitamins essential to birth healthy children. An estimated 30-80% of male subfertility cases may be due to oxidative stress on sperm. A January 18 Cochrane Review of 34 trials involving 2876 couples concluded that antioxidant supplementation affected primary outcomes. The study included a combination of vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc and folate. Antioxidant supplementation by men increased live birth rate (vs placebo) and pregnancy rate by almost 5-fold.

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    Biotin Status: Easy to Measure and Often Marginal

    Most vitamins were discovered 60-100 years ago. However, scientists are not yet able to accurately estimate individual requirements because of a lack of robust methods to measure vitamin status. New research published today in the Journal of Nutrition identifies a simple, urinary method to assess biotin status. Biotin is an essential vitamin needed for normal metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids and carbohydrates.

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    Vitamin A Needed for Healthy Immune System

    According to UNICEF, acute diarrhea is a leading cause of child deaths with more than 1.5 million children under 5 years of age dying annually. New research finds that vitamin A supplementation may help reduce fecal pathogen numbers, lower fecal cytokine concentrations, and possibly resolve infections in young children. In a paper published January 19 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dr Long and associates report on a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (RCT) in Mexico City

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    Dermatologists Recommend Vitamin D Foods and/or Supplements

    The American Academy of Dermatology updated its Vitamin D position statement on Jan 19 to recommend that the ‘public obtain vitamin D from a healthy diet that includes food naturally rich in vitamin D, foods and beverages fortified with vitamin D, and/or dietary supplements.’ The Academy reaffirmed their position that vitamin D should not be obtained from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or indoor tanning devices.

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    Trying to Manage Hot Flashes?

    Many women seek relief from hot flashes associated with menopause. Because of risks associated with estrogen or progesterone treatments, there is growing interest in alternative remedies. Today’s issue of JAMA has a multicenter, 8 week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial (RCT) evaluating a selective serotonin inhibitor (SSRI) called escitalopram. Women 40-62 years of age with at least 28 hot flashes or night sweats per week and 4 or more classified as bothersome or severe were randomized to

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    Antioxidant Vitamins and Men's Urinary Health

    High dietary intakes of carotenoids and vitamin C reduced risk of lower urinary tract symptoms in men according to a Journal of Nutrition study which study 1,466 men living in the Boston area. Among the carotenoids, beta-carotene and lycopene had inverse associations with lower urinary tract symptoms, indicating 40-50% decreased risk with higher intake levels. Differences in race/ethnicity were found for associations between dietary beta-carotene, total carotenoids, and vitamin A.

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