Daily Tips

April 30, 2017
Exercise and Heart Health: It is well known that staying fit with regular exercise can reduce the risk of having a heart attack and, in addition, can decrease damage to the heart should a heart attack occur. Recent studies with animals indicate that daily exercise increases the body's capacity to produce nitric oxide, a short-lasting molecule that stimulates blood vessels to dilate and allow more blood to flow to the heart and other parts of the body.
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Exercise Protects the Heart Via Nitric Oxide, Researchers Discover
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Circ Res. 2011 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print]

April 29, 2017
B2 deficiency and Lip Cuts: If you frequently have an irritation or cut at the corners of your mouth, your diet might be low in vitamin B-2. Reasonable sources of B-2 (riboflavin) include fortified cereals, milk and other dairy products, almonds, and meats.
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Riboflavin works with other vitamins
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Med J Aust. 1984 Nov 10;141(10):635-7.

April 28, 2017
Coffee and Prostate Cancer: An four-year Italian study of almost 7000 men age 50-plus, found that the risk of prostate cancer was lower in men who consumed more coffee. Although some of the headlines on coverage of this study imply that there is something special about Italian coffee, the researchers followed up their epidemiological study with cell culture research using prostate cancer cell lines and concluded that the main contributor to the reduced risk was caffeine.
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Italian-style coffee may reduce risk of prostate cancer
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Int. J. Cancer. 27 April 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

April 27, 2017
Salt and Blood Pressure: Following over 2600 adults over a period of 16 years, researchers found that blood pressure was lower in those consuming more sodium and more potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Although the sodium association clashes with current dietary recommendations, it is not the first study to make this observation.
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Higher sodium intake associated with lower blood pressure. You read that right.
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The FASEB Journal. 2017;31(1 Supp):446.6.

April 26, 2017
Aflatoxin in Sunflower Seeds: The liver carcinogen aflatoxin is produced by a mold known to grow on crops like peanuts when the nuts do not get dried quickly enough. A new study conducted in Tanzania found that sunflower seeds also can carry high levels of aflatoxin.
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Sunflower seeds traced as source of toxic mold, potent liver carcinogen
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PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (4): e0175801.

April 25, 2017
Oats and Gluten: A new systematic review of 28 studies concluded that pure oats do not cause reactions in people with celiac disease. However, one complication is that oats are easily contaminated with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, or barley at many stages of production, handling, and processing.
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Oats appear safe for patients with celiac disease
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Gastroenterol. April 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

April 24, 2017
Air Pollution and B Vitamins: After taking fairly high doses of three B vitamins, folic acid (2.5 mg/day), vitamin B6 (50 mg/day), and B12 (1 mg/day), for four weeks, human volunteers exposed to air pollution had less adverse physiological responses as measured by heart function changes and white blood cell counts. Long term intake of these B vitamins at these doses could potentially have adverse effects. Further studies are required to confirm this study and to evaluate the effect of longer duration of supplementation.
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Vitamin B diminishes effects of air pollution-induced cardiovascular disease
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Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 3;7:45322.

April 23, 2017
Heart Health and Calcium: A recent study on post-menopausal women found that the risk of heart attack was increased by about 20 percent in women taking calcium supplements with or without vitamin D. Additional research is needed to confirm these results and to find the right balance for maintaining both healthy bones and heart function.
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Calcium Supplements Linked to Increased Heart Attack Risk in Post-Menopausal Women: Study
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BMJ. 2011;342:d2040.

April 22, 2017
Diabetes and Renal Health: High blood glucose levels in diabetes are known to contribute to progressive kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy). A recent study of diabetic mice found that a low carbohydrate "ketogenic" diet reversed diabetic nephropathy in two months. The researchers plan to explore how their observations may be tested further in humans.
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Low carbohydrate diet may reverse kidney failure in people with diabetes
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PLoS ONE 2011 6(4): e18604.

April 21, 2017
Salt and Water Intake: During simulated space travel to Mars, salt intake was varied to determine the effect on water consumption and fluid loss from the body. Unlike what was previously thought, higher salt intake on an ongoing basis did not have a significant effect on water consumed nor on water loss in the urine when measured over a period of several months.
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Mission control: Salty diet makes you hungry, not thirsty
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J Clin Invest. April 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

April 20, 2017
Zinc and Heart Health: A new study using piglets as a research model found that relatively short-term zinc deprivation (a few days) triggered a significant increase in oxidative stress in heart muscle. It is not yet clear exactly how this may translate to long term heart health in people. Red meats are among the richest sources of well absorbed zinc.
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Zinc supply affects cardiac health
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J Nutr. 2017 Apr;147(4):521-527.

April 19, 2017
Climate Change and Nutrients: Selenium is a nutritionally essential trace mineral. The amount of selenium in plant foods is directly related to the amount of selenium in the soil the plant is grown in. Based on existing data and models predicting the effects of future climate change, the amount of selenium in foods is likely to decline and cause selenium deficiency in many people around the world. There are similar predictions for a decline in iron and zinc.
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Changing climate could worsen foods’ nutrition
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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Mar 14;114(11):2848-2853.

April 18, 2017
Nut Allergy: People who experience an allergic reaction to one type of nuts often are told that they are allergic to other types based on skin prick or blood tests (sensitivity tests). New research indicates that over half of the people with positive sensitivity tests are not allergic to other nuts when tested with oral consumption of the nuts. Oral food challenges with potentially allergenic foods should only be done under medical supervision.
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Are tree nut allergies diagnosed too often?
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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2017 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print]

April 17, 2017
Carbs and Fiber in Diabetes: People managing type 2 diabetes need to moderate carbohydrate intake. In addition, research has shown that it can help to include sources of viscous fiber in carbohydrate containing meals to slow glucose absorption. Oats and barley are good sources of viscous fiber.
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Recent scientific findings support new nutritional prevention strategies for type 2 diabetes
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Diabetes Care 1997, 20, 1774–1780.

April 16, 2017
Gardening and Your Diet: Not eating your vegetables? Consider taking up gardening. It is good hobby both for physical activity and studies find that people who do gardening generally eat more vegetables.
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Gardening linked to increased vegetable consumption in older adults
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HortTechnology, 20: 711-717 (2010)

April 15, 2017
Burns and Vitamin E: A recent study of children who suffered from serious burn injury found that the body's vitamin E levels tended to drop to seriously low levels during the first 4 weeks of recovery. It is not known why this extreme physiological stress on the body affects vitamin E status or if other types of stress have similar effect.
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Burn injuries rapidly deplete vitamin E
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Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;92(6):1378-84.

April 14, 2017
Questionable Autism Treatments: There is a long history of failed therapies and fads for treating autism in children. Some of these highly promoted treatments are not only expensive, but risky to the child. The Food and Drug Administration provides parents with guidelines to avoid becoming the victim of a risky treatment.
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Autism: Beware of Potentially Dangerous Therapies and Products
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Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2016 Jun;46(6):195-201.

April 13, 2017
Running and Longevity: An updated analysis of multiple large studies on exercise and longevity found that investing two hours a week into running, even slowly, was associated with an average increase in lifespan of a little over 3 years. The associated increase in lifespan plateaued at about four hours of running per week.
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An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life
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Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Mar 29. [Epub ahead of print]

April 12, 2017
Eating Before Exercise: A new study demonstrated what we would expect. Exercise in the fasted state and you will use more energy from body fat tissues than if you exercise a couple hours after consuming a high-calorie carbohydrate-rich breakfast. However, what ultimately results in fat loss is a negative calorie balance maintained over time. So, what you burn up during exercise is less important than how much you eat later to replace those calories - or not.
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To eat or not to eat (before exercising): That is the question
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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2017 Mar 14: [Epub ahead of print]

April 11, 2017
Viral Cause of Celiac: A new study makes the case that a major trigger for celiac disease may be the effects of the body's immune response to a normally innocuous virus (reovirus). There is still much to learn about this and how immune health may play a role.
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Common virus may be celiac disease culprit
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Science. 2017;356(6333):44-50.

April 10, 2017
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Children: An adequate intake of the omega-3 fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA) is known to be important for many things during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. This is especially true for brain and eye development, A study of seven to fourteen year-old children with mood disorders found that supplements of these fatty acids increased blood levels less in heavier children. Their study suggests that recommended intake of EPA and DHA should be based on body weight.
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As kids' weight climbs, power of healthy fat supplements drops
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PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (4): e0173087

April 9, 2017
Beetroot and Workouts: Beetroot juice has been shown to enhance various aspects of exercise performance, such as enabling a person to work out longer. This is due to the naturally high levels of nitrate. Borscht anyone?
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Beetroot juice could help people live more active lives
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J Appl Physiol. 2011 Mar;110(3):591-600.

April 8, 2017
Birth Weight and Later Obesity: Low birth weight is linked to obesity later in life. The cause appears to be compromised brain development in regions of the brain that regulate food intake. The mother's nutrition during pregnancy sets the stage for a baby's life in many ways.
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Why Low Birth Weight Is Linked to Obesity Later in Life: Study Provides Explanation
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Brain Res. 2011 Mar 10;1378:29-42.

April 7, 2017
Potassium and Blood Pressure: For many decades the emphasis has been placed on cutting down on dietary sodium to reduce blood pressure. This recommendation has met with some degree of scientific controversy. However, as emphasized in a recent review article, there is substantial agreement that adequate potassium intake is an important contributor to normal blood pressure. Foods high in potassium (in decreasing order of potassium per common serving) include potatoes, prunes, carrots, most leafy greens, beans, tomato juice and sauces, yogurt, sweet potatoes, orange juice, and bananas. Fun fact: regular potato chips have more than twice as much potassium as sodium.
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Fruit and veg can lower blood pressure according to reviewers
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Am J Physiology Endo Metab. 4 April 2017 Vol. 312 no. 4, E348-E356.

April 6, 2017
Celiac Disease and Anorexia Nervosa: A study that included about 18,000 women with celiac disease found that anorexia nervosa often developed before or after the celiac disease diagnosis. Anorexia causes nutrient deficiency conditions (such as iron deficiency, especially in women) which can damage the intestinal structural integrity and increase the risk of developing allergies and celiac disease. Celiac disease can make eating a negative experience that could feasibly promote disordered eating and an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa.
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Anorexia Nervosa Linked to Celiac Disease in Women
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Pediatrics. April 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

April 5, 2017
Recipe Books and Food Safety: Based on an evaluation of 1,497 recipes containing meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs, from 29 cookbooks that appeared on the New York Times best sellers list, don't expect to get food safety guidelines with these recipes. Only about five percent of the recipes contained positive food safety behavior messages.
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Cookbooks give readers (mostly) bad advice on food safety
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British Food Journal, 2017; 119 (5).

April 4, 2017
Activity and Aging: Telomeres are cell structures that protect chromosomes from deterioration. They progressively shorten with age and reflect biological age more than chronological age. A study with almost 1500 women ages 64 to 95 (average 79) found that women with the least physical activity and most sitting time had shorter telomeres for their age. However, those who did a lot of sitting did not have shorter telomere length if they exercised for at least 30 minutes a day.
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Too much sitting, too little exercise may accelerate biological aging
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Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]

April 3, 2017
Vitamin B12 and Child Development: Vitamin B12 is well known to be essential for development and maintenance of nervous tissues, including the brain. A study conducted in a part of Nepal with low availability of animal foods (B12 sources) found that many infants had vitamin B12 status lower than optimal, but not seriously low. When these children were tested five years later, those who had lower B12 status in infancy scored more poorly on various measures of cognitive function and socialization.
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Children with poor vitamin B12 status early in life struggle more with tasks, recognition and interpreting feelings
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print]

April 2, 2017
Protein to Prevent Excess Evening Calories: Research on overweight and obese men shows that if the men consumed lean protein foods at each of three meals a day in amounts of about 50 grams of protein per meal, the men experienced much less of the evening munchies.
Consumer Link
Adding protein, like lean pork, may help dieters curb late-night munchies
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Obesity. 2011 Apr;19(4):818-24.

April 1, 2017
Weight Loss Tips for Aging: Weight loss in older people can result in significant loss of muscle mass and bone mass. Therefore losing weight in a healthy way can be difficult. In obese seniors 65 years of age and up, a year of combining exercise and diet proved to be much better than diet or exercise treatments alone.
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Diet-Exercise Combo Best for Obese Seniors
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New England Journal of Medicine, 2011; 364 (13): 1218.

March 31, 2017
Vitamin B1 Deficiency in Infants: In 2004, an infant formula mistakenly lacking vitamin B1 (thiamin) was fed to a number of infants. At the time, some infants died from the mistake. Others developed neurological problems that seemed to resolve when vitamin B1 was replenished in their diets. However, a follow-up study of the surviving children at six years of age found that the deficiency in infancy had long-term negative effects on measures of gross and fine motor function and balance skills.
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Infant vitamin B1 deficiency leads to poor motor function and balance
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Matern Child Nutr. 2017 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]

March 30, 2017
Vitamin D and Cancer: A study of postmenopausal women found that those taking vitamin D and calcium supplements did not have a statistically significant difference in the risk of developing cancer compared to those taking a placebo. However, blood levels of vitamin D were significantly lower in women who developed cancer during the 4-year study. This suggests that factors other than vitamin D intake affect vitamin D status. For example, it is known that iron deficiency impairs vitamin D metabolism, but few studies on vitamin D account for iron status of their participants.
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Does Vitamin D decrease risk of cancer?
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JAMA, 2017; 317 (12): 1234 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.2115

March 29, 2017
Exercise Benefits: All types of exercise have been shown to enhance various aspects of health, especially in older people. A new study found that the major beneficial cellular adaptations to 12 weeks of training were greater in those who did high intensity interval training compared to those who did resistance exercise (strength training).
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The Best Exercise for Aging Muscles
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Cell Metab. 2017 Mar 7;25(3):581-592.

March 28, 2017
Sugars and Fats: When the diet is high in carbohydrate and calories, the liver converts more sugar to fatty acids. A two-year intervention study that encouraged six to eight year old children to improve their overall diet and increase exercise, found that the children had a decrease in sugar to fat conversion.
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Blood fatty acids reveal your child's diet
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Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct;104(4):964-972.

March 27, 2017
Iron from Beans: A compound called phytic acid in beans and whole grains greatly reduces absorption of nutrients like iron and zinc in these foods. Therefore, researchers developed beans with reduced amounts of phytic acid. Unexpectedly, lower phytic acid beans did not enhance iron absorption in human volunteers. Part of the problem seemed to be related to higher levels of a naturally occurring toxin (phytohemagglutinin) in the lower phytic acid beans. This toxin, commonly found in beans, was not adequately destroyed by usual cooking practices.
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Can Biofortification or Reduction of Phytic Acid in Beans Increase Iron Uptake?
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J Nutr. 2016 May;146(5):970-5.

March 26, 2017
Milk fat and diabetes risk: A study that followed almost 4000 people for 20 years found that those who consumed the greatest amounts of a trans fatty acid (trans-palmitoleate) naturally present in milk fat had better insulin sensitivity and were less likely to develop diabetes. Based on these results, skim milk may not be the best option.
Consumer Link
Fatty acid in dairy products may reduce type 2 diabetes risk
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Ann Intern Med. 2010 Dec 21;153(12):790-9.

March 25, 2017
Mercury and Fish Safety: A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the levels of mercury consumed in fish do not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults. This was based on two major studies with a total of over 170,000 participants.
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Study finds no association between mercury exposure and risk of cardiovascular disease
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N Engl J Med. 2011 Mar 24;364(12):1116-25. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1006876.

March 24, 2017
Food Insecurity in Early Childhood: A new study found that food insecurity in a child's family during their first two years of life predicted lower cognitive and social-emotional skills at five years of age. Brain development is most rapid during the first two years of life and is dependent on an adequate supply of all essential nutrients. Consequently, it makes sense that food insecurity during this period of rapid brain development can have serious lifelong effects.
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Food insecurity in early childhood linked to young children's skills in kindergarten
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Child Dev. 2017 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]

March 23, 2017
Insulin Resistance and Mental Decline: With older age and sedentary lifestyle, many cells in the body can become less sensitive to insulin. This requires the pancreas to produce more insulin to promote the uptake of glucose from the blood into cells. New research reports that those who develop insulin resistance with age are more likely to experience mental decline. This is another good reason to stay physically active and maintain a healthy body weight with age.
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Insulin resistance may lead to faster cognitive decline
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J Alzheimers Dis. 2017 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]

March 22, 2017
Dairy Foods and Health: A study with 897 Irish adults found that those who consumed more total dairy foods had significantly lower body mass index, percent body fat, waist circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio. The study also reported that blood lipid profiles were less favorable when dairy foods were "eaten as part of a low-fat high-carbohydrate dietary pattern." Due to the cross-sectional design, the researchers stressed that more research is needed to clarify the associations they observed.
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High cheese consumption does not raise cholesterol levels , Irish study suggests
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Nutr Diabetes. 2017 Feb 20;7(2):e243.

March 21, 2017
Hypertension Diagnosis: It is estimated that about 20 percent of people being treated for high blood pressure have been misdiagnosed and do not need medication. The Canadian Hypertension Education Program recommends that traditional manual measurement of blood pressure (the usual approach for decades) not be used for diagnosis of hypertension. Rather, they recommend using newer automated blood pressure measurement techniques.
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Do you really have high blood pressure?
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Can Fam Physician. 2017 Mar;63(3):e193-e199.

March 20, 2017
Gut Microbes: New research questions the applicability of the results of studies transplanting lower intestinal contents from one animal into another animal that was raised in a bacteria-free environment. They found that animals fed normally in a normal environment responded to gut microbiota transplants very differently than bacteria-free mice.
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Effects of gut flora revisited
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Molecular Systems Biology (2017) 13, 921.

March 19, 2017
Fibromyalgia and Exercise: The long-term balance between physical activity and calorie intake determines body weight and body fat levels. People who have the painful condition called fibromyalgia are frequently overweight. Some researchers suggest that weight loss may improve the condition. However, the person with fibromyalgia is in a bit of a bind because the condition causes physical activity to be more painful and, thus, weight loss more difficult.
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Study Probes Obesity Link to Fibromyalgia
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J Pain. 2010 Dec;11(12):1329-37. Epub 2010 Jun 9

March 18, 2017
Exercise to Lower Depression: Exercise programs have been found to be good treatment for some types of depression. A recent study on older people with depression found that even a gentle exercise like tai chi significantly improves the success of standard therapy for depression.
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Tai chi beats back depression in the elderly, study shows
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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]

March 17, 2017
Vitamin E: Most people do not consume recommended amounts of vitamin E. This appears to be especially the case in overweight people with metabolic syndrome. In most people's diets, vegetable oils are the major source of vitamin E. However due to possible oxidation of vitamin E, these oils are not always reliable sources. Moderate use of supplemental vitamin E is a reasonable option, especially for those with metabolic syndrome.
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Vitamin E intakes for healthy hearts
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Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Mar;105(3):571-579.

March 16, 2017
Organic or Conventional: A thorough review and evaluation of organic food production and consumption makes the point that aspects of both approaches have their place in a good sustainable food system. Components of both approaches increasingly are being combined by farmers to optimize production and maintain environmental and agricultural stability.
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Organic is only one ingredient in recipe for sustainable food future
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Science Advances 10 Mar 2017: Vol. 3, no. 3, e1602638.

March 15, 2017
Caffeine and Dementia: Research has linked caffeine consumption with a reduced risk of developing dementia like Alzheimer's Disease. New research with a cell culture model found that caffeine among other substances enhanced the activity of a key protective enzyme that protects against decline in brain function.
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Caffeine boosts enzyme that could protect against dementia
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Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 7;7:43846.

March 14, 2017
Carbohydrate Tolerance: A research study showed that men with a prediabetes glucose tolerance level handled a high carbohydrate meal better early in the day than they did at the end of the day. Results were similar in men with normal glucose tolerance, but these results were not statistically significant.
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Men with impaired glucose metabolism should avoid high-carbohydrate foods in the evening
Research Link
Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 8;7:44170.

March 13, 2017
Folic Acid and Blood Pressure: It is common practice to recommend folic acid supplementation for women during pregnancy to reduce the risk of their offspring having a neural tube defect. New research also shows that the children of women with risk factors for cardiovascular disease are significantly less likely to develop high blood pressure during their first nine years of life when their mothers had good folic acid status during pregnancy.
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High folic acid level in pregnancy may decrease high blood pressure in children
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Am J Hypertension. 2017 06 March. [Epub ahead of print]

March 12, 2017
Eating Disorders and Malnutrition: Eating disorders in teens are often linked to depression, anxiety or other mental disorders. Even suicide thoughts or attempts are commonly reported. Since disordered eating causes nutrient deficiencies, it should not be surprising that serious mental problems can coexist with eating disorders.
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Eating disorders hit more than half million teens
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Mt Sinai J Med. 2004 May;71(3):155-61.

March 11, 2017
Iron deficiency and H. Pylori: About half of us are infected with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori that lives in the stomach lining. Most of us have no obvious symptoms, however, research indicates that children, infected with H. pylori have lower iron levels than children previously treated for this bacteria. Since adequate iron is essential for normal brain development and function, it may become more routine to test children for the presence of H. pylori.
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Helicobacter pylori infection linked to decreased iron levels in otherwise healthy children, according to research at UTHealth
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Am J Epidemiol. 2006 Jan 15;163(2):127-34. Epub 2005 Nov 23.

March 10, 2017
Knee Replacement and Nutrition: Overweight and obese people often develop knee problems that make them candidates for knee replacement surgery. However, nutritional assessment of this population often identifies nutritional problems such as protein deficiency that can contribute to poor outcomes. Preoperative weight loss may improve surgical success along with assuring good nutritional status with no nutrient deficiencies.
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Study identifies strategies to improve knee replacement outcomes in patients with obesity
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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2017 Mar;25(3):188-194.

March 9, 2017
Exercise and Supplementation in Older People: There is a strong tendency for people to lose muscle mass after age 60. A systematic review of studies on exercise and supplementation with things like protein, essential amino acids, and creatine found that exercise predictably had a positive effect on muscle size and function in healthy people over 60 years of age. Some studies reported benefits from various supplements taken during training programs. More exercise and supplementation studies are needed on people with various health problems. These people may be even more likely to benefit.
Consumer Link
Can combined exercise and nutritional intervention improve muscle mass and function?
Research Link
Osteoporos Int. 2017 Mar 1. [Epub ahead of print]

March 8, 2017
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The key components of the biologically active omega-3 fatty acids in the body are EPA and DHA. These often are referred to as the long chain omega-3 fatty acids. A review of 298 studies on EPA and DHA consumption around the world indicates that most of the world's population consumes substantially less than the commonly recommended amounts. The health consequences of low intake may be substantial because these fatty acids are important for immune function, brain function, retinal health, cardiovascular health, etc. Fatty marine fish and special algae oil products are rich sources of DHA.
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The changing face of the omega-3 category
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Prog Lipid Res. 2016 Jul;63:132-52. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2016.05.001. Epub 2016 May 20.

March 7, 2017
Herbal Medications and Heart Disease: Researchers reviewed the 10 most commonly used herbal medications for cardiovascular disease. Their use is so common that the researchers urge physicians to learn about issues related to their use such as possible indications for use, biological functions, clinical data, interactions with drugs, and safety concerns.
Consumer Link
Doctors should discuss herbal medication use with heart disease patients
Research Link
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017 Mar 7;69(9):1188-1199. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2016.11.078.

March 6, 2017
Anorexia Treatment: Anorexia nervosa is very difficult to successfully treat due to strong tendencies for sufferers to relapse after standard treatment. New research has identified physical and functional changes in the brains of those with the condition that appear to take several years after treatment to revert back to normal.
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Even When Anorexia is Contained, Brain Repair Lags Behind
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Am J Psychiatry. Feb 24 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

March 5, 2017
Nutrition During Pregnancy and Brain Development:Research on non-human primates may help us understand what causes deficits in intellect and attention. A 30 percent reduction in nutrient intake by the mother during early pregnancy had a major impact on brain development of the fetus.
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Reducing Diet Early in Pregnancy Stunts Fetal Brain Development, Study Finds
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PNAS February 15, 2011 vol. 108 no. 7 3011-3016

March 4, 2017
Labeling Affects Appetite: Consumer research shows that labeling a food as “healthy” or “tasty and delicious” affects appetite differently. Foods identified as “healthy” were consumed in greater quantity than when the same foods were labeled as “tasty and delicious.”
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Healthy Food Makes Consumers Feel Hungrier When Choices Are Limited
Research Link
JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc. Vol. 37 October 2010

March 3, 2017
Food Subsidies and Taxes: An analysis of the data from 30 studies confirmed what we thought we already knew. Reduce the price of "healthy" foods and people will eat more of them. Increase the price of "unhealthy" foods and people will eat less of them. This leads to the suggested formula: tax foods like sugar-sweetened sodas and use the proceeds to subsidize the cost of foods like vegetables. However, deciding what foods are "healthy" and "unhealthy" is not all that simple.
Consumer Link
Food subsidies, taxes significantly improve dietary choices
Research Link
PLoS One. 2017 Mar 1;12(3):e0172277.

March 2, 2017
Seaweed Nutrients: Researchers find evidence that seaweeds were likely a major part of the diets of our early ancestors. The nutrients in a variety of seaweeds include many that are critical for human brain development. Some of these key nutrients include magnesium, zinc, iodine, vitamin B12, essential fatty acids, and the amino acid taurine. Another key brain nutrient rich in some seaweeds that is not mentioned in the article is iron.
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Did seaweed make us who we are today?
Research Link
J Appl Phycol (2017). [Epub ahead of print]

March 1, 2017
Egg Consumption and Mental Function: In most people, sources of dietary cholesterol like eggs have little or no measurable effect on blood cholesterol levels. However, people who carry the APOE4 gene are more responsive to dietary cholesterol and they are at increased risk of developing dementia like Alzheimer's disease. In a Finnish study of 2,497 men, about one third of whom carried the APOE4 gene, the researchers found that egg consumption was associated with a slight decrease in risk of dementia or Alzheimer's disease whether men had the gene or not. In fact, the consumption of eggs was associated with better performance on tests measuring cognitive function. Eggs are a good source of choline and other nutrients beneficial for brain function.
Consumer Link
High cholesterol intake and eggs do not increase risk of memory disorders
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Feb;105(2):476-484

February 28, 2017
Aspirin Alternative: Many people take aspirin to reduce the tendency of blood platelets to aggregate and form a clot that blocks blood flow through an artery. A new European product made from a special extract of tomatoes (Fruitflow®) promises to provide protection similar to aspirin without the risks of internal bleeding that come with aspirin use.
Consumer Link
What do your platelets say about you?
Research Link
Eur J Nutr. 2016 Jul 7. [Epub ahead of print]

February 27, 2017
Potassium and Blood Pressure: Most of us don't consume enough potassium. More and more research indicates that increasing dietary potassium may be more important for healthful blood pressure than reducing sodium. High potassium foods are mainly vegetables, beans, and many fruits. Potatoes are a good source and even potato chips have more than twice as much potassium as sodium.
Consumer Link
Raising dietary potassium to sodium ratio helps reduce heart, kidney disease
Research Link
Am J Phys Endo Metab. Feb 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

February 26, 2017
Planning for Health: When attempting to make healthful changes in eating habits, it is important to have a clear action plan. Also, as sports psychologists point out, adding mental imagery to clearly visualize carrying out the details of the action plan can increase the likelihood of success.
Consumer Link
Planning and visualization lead to better food habits
Research Link
Psychol Health. 2011 Feb 18:1-17.

February 25, 2017
B12 Deficiency or Alzheimer's Disease: Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed primarily by observation of progressive impairment of memory and other cognitive functions. Research often links high homocysteine and low vitamin B-12 status with the development of Alzheimer's disease. Since, however, B-12 deficiency causes direct damage to nerve structure and can impair memory, B-12 deficiency (which is easily treated) could be misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's diseas
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Vitamin B12 May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease
Research Link
Neurology. 2010 Oct 19;75(16):1408-14.

February 24, 2017
Stress and Obesity: The stress hormone cortisol has been proposed to be a factor that promotes obesity. The level of cortisol in hair is a relatively new measure of cortisol exposure over time. The cortisol level in scalp hair of older adults was found to be positively correlated with obesity and with the persistence of obesity over time. It is not clear if stress and high cortisol contribute to the development of obesity or if obesity causes increased cortisol levels.
Consumer Link
Long-term stress linked to higher levels of obesity, hair samples show
Research Link
Obesity. 2017;25(3):539-544.

February 23, 2017
Resveratrol Inhalation: Studies of oral supplementation with the phytochemical resveratrol have shown some anti-aging benefits. A new study used inhaled resveratrol in mice with a genetic defect that causes rapid lung aging. They found that resveratrol inhaled once per month for three months significantly slowed the rate of lung function decline. Although not ready for human use, it appears that resveratrol inhalation is worth testing in people.
Consumer Link
Resveratrol may be an effective intervention for lung aging
Research Link
Thorax. 2017 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print]

February 22, 2017
Gut Microbiome Effects: New research with mice shows that the genetics of the animal play a significant role in determining the bacterial composition of the microbiome. In addition, molecules produced by the bacteria are absorbed into the animal and influence metabolic functions like insulin production and secretion.
Consumer Link
From mice, clues to microbiome's influence on metabolic disease
Research Link
Cell Rep. 2017 Feb 14;18(7):1739-1750. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2017.01.062.

February 21, 2017
Fructose and Fatty Liver in Children: A study of 271 obese children (age 10 to 13 years) with a diagnosis of fatty liver disease found that high fructose intake was directly associated with the level of fat in the liver. These results do not prove, but they suggest, that lowering total sugar intake, especially from sugars high in fructose, may help to improve liver health in obese children.
Consumer Link
Fructose consumption linked to the increase of liver disease among adolescents and children
Research Link
J Hepatology. Feb 14 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

February 20, 2017
Sodium Guidelines Questioned: Recommendations to consume less than 2300 mg of sodium per day were questioned by a group of international experts. They claim that the evidence for recommending such extreme reduction is questionable and could even be harmful for some people. They claim that we need more research comparing sodium intakes below 3000 mg/day to intakes between 3000 and 5000 mg/day.
Consumer Link
CardioBrief: Int'l Experts Call Sodium Guidelines Far Too Restrictive
Research Link
European Heart Journal. 20 January 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

February 19, 2017
Celiac disease damages the intestinal lining and can impair the absorption of some vitamins and minerals. As a consequence, both children and adults with celiac disease are at increased risk for low bone density. Recent research suggests that taking supplements with vitamins D and K may be especially important to prevent bone loss in those with celiac disease.
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Vitamins needed to help celiacs stave off bone disease
Research Link
Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012 Jun;42(3):322-30

February 18, 2017
Honey Issues: Infants are susceptible to having Clostridium botulinum bacteria thrive in their immature intestine, poisoning them from within. This is why infants should never be fed honey. This concentrated sugar food can harbor the dormant spore form of this bacteria. Fortunately, honey is safe for older children and adults.
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Err on the side of caution when it comes to botulism
Research Link
CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY REVIEWS, Apr. 1996, p. 119–125

February 17, 2017
Vitamin D and Respiratory Infections: A systematic review of 25 randomized controlled trials, with a total of over 10,000 participants, concluded that vitamin D supplementation could protect against acute respiratory tract infection. Participants who were very vitamin D deficient experienced the most benefit.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D Linked to Lower Risk of Respiratory Infections
Research Link
BMJ 2017;356:i6583.

February 16, 2017
Vitamin D and Muscle: Studies have linked good vitamin D status with better muscle function, especially in older people. A new study found that the usual measure of vitamin D status (25-OH Vitamin D) was not the best measure to use in studies of muscle function. The study found that the fully active form of vitamin D (1-25-D) was much more significantly associated with muscle function.
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Increased levels of active vitamin D can help to optimize muscle strength
Research Link
Plos One, February 15, 2017 online

February 15, 2017
Gluten-free Risks and Benefits: Lately, gluten-free has become a marketing tool for many products and people often equate gluten-free with "healthy." However, the evidence for any benefit from a gluten-free diet applies only to those with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. When any major food type is removed from the diet, other foods must fill the gap. This can increase the risk of nutrient inadequacy and excess intake of toxic substances.
Consumer Link
The gluten-free diet in children: Do the risks outweigh the benefits?
Research Link
The Journal of Pediatrics. August 2016;175:206-210.

February 14, 2017
Protein Leverage Hypothesis: The protein leverage hypothesis suggests that people eat to meet their protein needs and when protein is low in the diet people will tend to eat more calories. A study on women in Costa Rica found that calorie intake was lower when the proportion of calories from protein was higher. However, this was observed only for those in the middle and high socioeconomic status groups.
Consumer Link
Research investigates role of protein in obesity among Latin American women
Research Link
Am J Hum Biol. 2017 Jan 25. [Epub ahead of print]

February 13, 2017
Protein and Fitness: Physically fit women and men (age 30 to 65) participated in a 12-week training program that combined resistance, interval, stretching, and endurance training. The program improved multiple aspects of exercise performance and health. However, those who consumed a higher protein intake, (2 grams/kg body weight) that was spread throughout the day, experienced significantly greater improvement in a number of performance and health-related measures.
Consumer Link
Diet quality improves fitness among the fittest
Research Link
Growth Horm IGF Res. 2016 Oct 15.

February 12, 2017
Limitations of a Vegan diet: A vegan diet can provide health benefits, but this diet has specific risks like virtually all styles of eating. The major nutritional limitations of a vegan diet appear to be low intake of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, and iron.
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Vegans' elevated heart risk requires omega-3s and B12
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Feb 9;59(3):777-84.

February 11, 2017
Breakfast and Weight: Studies continue to indicate that breakfast is the best way to start the day. Teenage mothers who ate breakfast regularly had a lower weight for their height and consumed significantly less snack foods and soft drinks than their counterparts who rarely ate breakfast.
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Breakfast Is an Important Meal, Especially for Teen Moms and Their Kids
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan;111(1):124-30

February 10, 2017
Bee Nutrition Smarts: Bees appear to be better than humans at seeking out sources of essential minerals. When specific nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, are running short in their seasonal pollen supply, bees will seek out mineral-rich water to supplement their diet and make up for minerals lacking in their floral diet.
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Despite few taste genes, honey bees seek out essential nutrients based on floral resources
Research Link
Ecological Entomology, 14 December 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

February 9, 2017
Food Insecurity and Childhood Mental Development: A review of 23 studies on household food insecurity in developed countries concluded that, even at marginal levels, food insecurity is associated with behavioral, academic, and emotional problems in children from infancy to adolescence - even after controlling for identifiable confounders. Adequate nutrition that meets essential nutrient needs is required for normal mental development.
Consumer Link
Food insecurity: A threat to the developmental and psychosocial health of children
Research Link
J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017 Feb/Mar;38(2):135-150.

February 8, 2017
Exercise in Children: A study conducted in Finland with 136 children (57 boys and 79 girls) 6 to 8 years old found that those who spent little time doing moderate to vigorous intensity physical activities already had arteries the were measurably more stiff than the arteries of children who frequently participated in these activities. Increased arterial stiffness is considered to be an early sign of the development of cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Brisk exercise linked to better arterial health already in childhood
Research Link
Pediatr Exerc Sci. 2017 Jan 25:1-26.

February 7, 2017
Gut Microbiota and Blood Pressure: More and more, we are finding that the types and amounts of bacteria that thrive in our lower intestine have a major influence on various aspects of health. A new study using rats found that transferring intestinal bacteria cultures from hypertensive rats into rats with normal blood pressure caused them to develop high blood pressure.
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Unhealthy gut microbes a cause of hypertension, researchers find
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Physiol Genomics. 2016 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]

February 6, 2017
Calorie Restriction During Pregnancy: There has been evidence in human observational studies and rodent research that an inadequate calorie intake during pregnancy and lactation not only compromises fetal and infant growth and development, but has lifelong detrimental effects on health. Now, a well controlled study with baboons, a non-human primate, has shown that low calorie intake by the mother during pregnancy and lactation not only impairs early growth and development, but ultimately impairs things like cardiac function when the offspring become adults.
Consumer Link
Poor diet in pregnancy, poor heart health for infants
Research Link
J Physiol. 2016 J Physiol. [Epub ahead of print]

February 5, 2017
Spinach and Fitness: Spinach is not a good source of absorbable iron or calcium, but it does provide other beneficial substances. Recent studies show that the amount of nitrate in spinach is similar to amounts found to enhance performance of endurance exercise.
Consumer Link
Want more efficient muscles? Eat your spinach
Research Link
Free Radic Biol Med. 2010 Jan 15;48(2):342-7.

February 4, 2017
Whey protein and hypertension: Whey protein, a byproduct of cheese production, is commonly used as a protein source in high protein beverages and other products. When young adults with high blood pressure added a daily drink containing 28 grams of whey protein to their usual diet, it normalized their blood pressure. The whey protein drink had no effect on those with normal blood pressure.
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Whey supplements lower blood pressure
Research Link
Int Dairy J. 2010;11:753-760.

February 3, 2017
Hydrogen Peroxide Toxicity: Common household grade hydrogen peroxide is rather safe as it is typically used. However more concentrated versions consumed orally, as promoted by some alternative health practitioners, have been documented to produce oxygen bubbles in the blood and cause embolisms (blockage of blood flow) much the same as nitrogen gas does when deep sea divers get the bends. This has killed some people and permanently impaired others.
Consumer Link
A swig of hydrogen peroxide — a supplement promoted by alternative-health devotees — can kill you
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Annals of Emergency Medicine. January 30, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

February 2, 2017
Skipping Meals: A summary of the research on meal frequency, skipping meals, and intermittent fasting concluded that, ". . . irregular eating patterns appear less favorable for achieving a healthy cardiometabolic profile. Intentional eating with mindful attention to the timing and frequency of eating occasions could lead to healthier lifestyle and cardiometabolic risk factor management."
Consumer Link
Skipping Breakfast Could Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease
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Circulation. January 30, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

February 1, 2017
Lychee (Litchi) Fruit Toxin: A seasonal, sometimes fatal, disease in children has been occurring for decades in the Muzaffarpur district in north-eastern India. Finally, researchers have identified the cause - eating the seasonal fresh lychee fruit without an evening meal. The fresh lychee fruit contains two hypoglycemic compounds that can cause blood sugar to plummet to dangerously low levels.
Consumer Link
Dangerous Fruit: Mystery of Deadly Outbreaks in India Is Solved
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The Lancet Global Health. Jan 31 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

January 31, 2017
Fat Shaming: It's often assumed that feeling bad and shameful about being obese can motivate people to lose weight and improve their health. However, a new study found just the opposite. People who felt bad about their weight were more likely to avoid exercise and consume excess calories to cope with the stress.
Consumer Link
Fat shaming linked to greater health risks
Research Link
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 Feb;25(2):317-322.

January 30, 2017
Eating Disorder Recovery: A study followed up on people diagnosed with eating disorders more than 20 years after their diagnosis. They found that about two thirds of those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa recovered. The bad news is that about one third still suffered from the condition decades later.
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Many Women With Eating Disorders Do Recover, Study Finds
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J Clin Psychiatry. 2016 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]

January 29, 2017
Food Response to Stress: A mouse study clearly demonstrated what human dieters already know. Mice that had previously experienced weight loss diets responded to stress by consuming more high-fat foods than mice that had never been on a weight loss diet. This may be why lost weight is so rarely kept off.
Consumer Link
Yo-yo dieting alters genes linked with stress
Research Link
J Neurosci. 2010 Dec 1;30(48):16399-407.

January 28, 2017
Caffeine and Muscles: Feel like a strong mug of coffee after that long run? It may not be a bad idea. A double-blind study with endurance athletes found that when caffeine was consumed with carbohydrate after exhaustive exercise, the caffeine boosted carbohydrate storage (glycogen) in muscles by 66%.
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Post-exercise caffeine helps muscles refuel
Research Link
J Appl Physiol. 2008 Jul;105(1):7-13.

January 27, 2017
Vitamin B12 and Preterm Birth: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 18 studies concluded that low vitamin B12 status during pregnancy increases the risk of preterm birth. Although a controlled human trial would be needed to prove a cause and effect relationship, it seems that pregnant women who consume a diet low in animal foods should be taking a vitamin B12 supplement.
Consumer Link
Too little food from animal sources may increase risk of preterm birth
Research Link
Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan 20. [Epub ahead of print]

January 26, 2017
Childhood Asthma and Obesity: A study that followed over 2000 five to eight year old children for up to ten years, found that children with asthma were more likely to become obese. However, the use of rescue medications (like inhalers), but not controller asthma medications, reduced obesity risk. Early treatment with the use of rescue medications appears to help prevent the vicious cycle of asthma increasing the development of obesity and obesity promoting increased asthma symptoms.
Consumer Link
Children with asthma may be at higher obesity risk
Research Link
Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Jan 19. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201608-1691OC. [Epub ahead of print]

January 25, 2017
Binge Drinking and Liver Damage: Faced with the common recommendation to consume no more than one to two drinks a day, some people say they will save up all their drinks for the weekend. Based on new research with mice, this is not a good idea. Periodic binge drinking caused a significant increase in signs of liver damage.
Consumer Link
Binge Drinking May Quickly Lead to Liver Damage
Research Link
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2017 Jan 19.

January 24, 2017
Iron Deficiency and Mental Performance: A study conducted with about 100 female college students, age 18-35 years, analyzed the association of iron status and fitness level with GPA. They found that the GPA was significantly greater in women with good iron status (ferritin at least 20 mcg/L). Although higher level fitness was associated with better GPAs, those who had a high level of fitness, but were iron deficient, tended to have lower GPAs than unfit women who had good iron status.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency, fitness, and grade point average – they are interrelated!
Research Link
J Nutr. 2017 Jan;147(1):104-109.

January 23, 2017
Food Assistance Programs: In the U.S., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves as a nutritional safety net for people when they have hard financial times. Such assistance is especially important in families with growing children and teens.
Consumer Link
In the Shopping Cart of a Food Stamp Household: Not What the New York Times Reported
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Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. JUNE 14, 2016.

January 22, 2017
Brain Development and Iron: Several nutrient deficiencies are known to adversely affect brain development. Research shows that a low iron status in teenagers has an impact on the nerve structure of their brains that can persist into the early adult years.
Consumer Link
Kids’ nutritional deficits might affect brain health
Research Link
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 3;109(14):E851-9.

January 21, 2017
Hydration and Diabetes: Maintaining normal hydration in the body is one of the most basic aspects of good nutrition. Chronically low water intake has even been linked to increased risk of diabetes.
Consumer Link
Really? The Claim: Drinking Water Can Help Lower the Risk of Diabetes.
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2011 Dec;34(12):2551-4.

January 20, 2017
Food Allergy: A new 500-plus page document was published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine with the long title, Finding a path to safety in food allergy: Assessment of the global burden, causes, prevention, management, and public policy. The report stresses that there is much to learn about food allergies, but what we do know is not translated well into current practice for diagnosis, prevention, and management of the related conditions. For proper diagnosis, they stress that the gold standard diagnostic test is the oral food challenge under medical supervision and that health care professionals should abandon many unproven tests, such as applied kinesiology, immunoglobulin G panels, and electrodermal testing.
Consumer Link
Public, doctors alike confused about food allergies
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National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016.

January 19, 2017
Fish Categories for Safer Consumption: Because of previous concerns about mercury in fish, many have decreased fish consumption. Now, a new guideline divides the fish into three categories based on mercury content: best, good, and avoid. This guideline does allow more informed choice flexibility, but it does not address which fish options are also good sources of the fatty acid DHA needed especially for brain and retinal health. In addition, the ranking does not consider other toxic minerals such as cadmium that often is high in shellfish like whole clams.
Consumer Link
FDA Offers Guidance on Fish Intake for Kids, Pregnant Women
Research Link
FDA Guidance on Fish Consumption

January 18, 2017
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: On a global level, close to 10 percent of women drink alcohol during pregnancy. In some countries, more than 45 percent of women consume alcohol during pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome is more common there. Among women who drink alcohol during pregnancy, it is estimated that one in 67 will deliver a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Consumer Link
The global toll of fetal alcohol syndrome
Research Link
The Lancet Global Health, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]

January 17, 2017
Chili Peppers and Mortality: A study that measured the frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption in over 16,000 adults reported that the risk of dying was significantly lower in those who consumed hot red chili peppers more frequently. Whether there is a cause and effect relationship is unknown.
Consumer Link
Eat hot peppers for a longer life? Study
Research Link
PLoS One. 2017 Jan 9;12(1):e0169876.

January 16, 2017
Niacin and Parkinson's Disease: Using fruit flies that carry the same genetic defect as people with certain forms of early-onset Parkinson's disease, researchers found that supplementing the diet with a form of niacin prevented the usual progression of neural degeneration seen in this animal model. Randomized controlled trials in humans are needed to see if niacin supplementation could benefit people with Parkinson's disease.
Consumer Link
People with forms of early-onset Parkinson's disease may benefit from boosting niacin in diet, research suggests
Research Link
Biol Open. 2016 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]

January 15, 2017
Those with lactose intolerance are not destined to a diet devoid of high-calcium milk products. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss contain only trace amounts of lactose.
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Even lactose intolerant can drink milk
Research Link
Postgrad Med J. 2005 Mar;81(953):167-73.

January 14, 2017
Protein and Bones:Research shows that dietary protein has a positive influence on bone health, reduced hip fracture risk, and promotes post-fracture recovery. Of course it is important to remember everything in moderation.
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Healthy bones need protein
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Annu Rev Nutr. 2008;28:131-55.

January 13, 2017
Prepocessed Foods - a Culinary Catch 22: Using preprocessed meals is convenient, saves preparation time, and can be easy for a child to prepare. These conveniences cost more than foods prepared from scratch and can be higher in calories. New research shows now that overuse of prepackaged foods may be linked to parents having lower cooking self-efficacy and meal-planning abilities and in turn trains another generation to do the same.
Consumer Link
Parents purchase frozen dinners for more than convenience
Research Link
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2016 Oct 12. pii: S1499-4046(16)30738-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.08.012. [Epub ahead of print]

January 12, 2017
Dietary Cholesterol and Dementia: With the relatively recent awareness that dietary cholesterol has little effect on blood cholesterol levels, it is widely accepted that dietary cholesterol does not significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, a new study conducted in Finland found that neither cholesterol nor egg intake was associated with the risk of dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. Instead, moderate egg intake appeared to have a beneficial association with certain types of cognitive performance.
Consumer Link
High cholesterol intake and eggs do not increase risk of memory disorders
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print]

January 11, 2017
Valerian and Low Blood Sodium: Two cases of hyponatremia (life-threatening low blood sodium) have been linked to excessive thirst caused by the herbal remedy valerian root. This herb is typically taken to aid with sleep, anxiousness, ADHD, and headaches. It is important to remember that herbs contain naturally occurring chemicals that have the same dangerous potential as prescription drugs.
Consumer Link
Valerian Root Supplement Use Linked to Severe Hyponatremia
Research Link
BMJ Case Rep. 2016 Sep 28;2016. pii: bcr2016216348

January 10, 2017
Vitamin C Chemotherapy: There has been some evidence that boosting blood levels of vitamin C by infusing the vitamin intravenously may help to kill cells in some types of cancerous tumors. New research indicates that much of the vitamin C is converted to hydrogen peroxide which can damage cell components in specific types of cancer cells more than it does in normal cells. This kills cancer cells without killing the normal cells.
Consumer Link
Why high-dose vitamin C kills cancer cells
Research Link
Redox Biol. 2016 Dec;10:274-284.

January 9, 2017
Infant Peanut Introduction: Finally some good science supports reliable recommendations for when to introduce peanuts into an infant's diet. The new guidelines recommend not waiting too long and and introducing peanut-containing foods into the diets of babies as early as 4 to 6 months of age. However, children known to have other allergies, such as egg white allergy, should be evaluated by an allergy specialist before introducing peanuts.
Consumer Link
New Guidelines Tell Parents When To Introduce Babies To Peanut Products
Research Link
NIH New Release. January 5, 2017.

January 8, 2017
Hydration and Fitness: Adequate hydration is important for good health. Because exercise increases water needs, it is important to start exercise well hydrated and consume appropriate fluids during and after exercise to limit water and salt deficits.
Consumer Link
Water needs vary with diet and lifestyle
Research Link
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008 Oct;18(5):457-72.

January 7, 2017
Sleep and Weight: Research shows that individuals deprived of sleep tend to consume more calories primarily from snacks with higher carbohydrate content. So don't forget your beauty sleep.
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More sleep could help control weight
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):126-33

January 6, 2017
Microgreens: Microgreens are small immature edible plants. They have become popular primarily as a salad ingredient. New research with red cabbage microgreens indicates that they contain more polyphenols and glucosinolates than the more commonly eaten mature cabbage. These compounds have been found to be protective against cardiovascular disease in some animal models of human disease.
Consumer Link
Red cabbage microgreens lower 'bad' cholesterol in animal study
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2016 Dec 7;64(48):9161-9171.

January 5, 2017
Imported Food: Communities have imported food from other places to feed large populations living in areas that don't have the resources or conditions to grow adequate amounts of foods to feed their people. New archeological evidence indicates that a community of over 10,000 people living in northern New Mexico over 1000 years ago very likely had to import foods like corn from an area about 50 miles away.
Consumer Link
Ancient Chaco Canyon population likely relied on imported food
Research Link
J Archaeol Sci Rep. 2 December 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

January 4, 2017
Military Energy Drink Warning: Military personnel on deployment frequently consume "energy drinks." A study found that those consuming three or more energy drinks a day generally got less sleep, did not sleep as soundly, and were more likely to fall asleep during briefings or on guard duty.
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Army warns of dangers in energy drinks
Research Link
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Nov 9;61(44):895-8.

January 3, 2017
Iron Deficiency and Hearing Loss: Iron deficiency is known to adversely affect nerve structure and function. A new study of over 300,000 adults found that those with iron deficiency anemia had more than double the risk of impaired hearing.
Consumer Link
Low Iron Levels May Be Linked to Hearing Loss
Research Link
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print]

January 2, 2017
Pregnancy, Fish Oil, and Childhood Asthma: Pregnant women who took a supplement with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils (EPA and DHA) had a significantly reduced risk of having children with asthma. Taking the supplement during the third trimester of pregnancy appeared to be especially beneficial.
Consumer Link
Omega-3 supplements can prevent childhood asthma
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2016 Dec 29;375(26):2530-2539.

January 1, 2017
Make Fitness Over Weight Loss: If past New Year’s resolutions to lose weight were short-lived, try changing the resolution to seeking health and fitness and let your body gradually find the weight that is ideal for you.
Consumer Link
Overall health more critical than body size
Research Link
AAOHN J. 2007 Apr;55(4):143-50.

December 31, 2016
Alcohol Associated with Overeating: If weight maintenance or loss is your goal, then only drink moderately. Alcohol contains a fair amount of calories and also stimulates the appetite.
Consumer Link
The effects of a priming dose of alcohol and drinking environment on snack food intake.
Research Link
Appetite. 2015 Dec;95:341-8.

December 30, 2016
World Food Needs: Commonly, you hear that the world doesn't have a food problem, just a food distribution problem. By 2050, that will no longer be true due to the escalating population. Self-sufficiency will only be possible if cereal grain yields increase significantly, especially in Africa.
Consumer Link
Can Africa feed itself?
Research Link
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Dec 27;113(52):14964-14969.

December 29, 2016
Gelatin, Vitamin C and Joints: Collagen is a major protein in the cartilage of joints. The results from a combined study of cell culture and exercise trials in men suggested that consuming gelatin with vitamin C an hour before high intensity intermittent exercise improved indicators of collagen synthesis and could play a beneficial role in injury prevention and treatment.
Consumer Link
Gelatin supplements: Good for your joints?
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov 16. [Epub ahead of print]

December 28, 2016
Vitamin D and Metabolic Syndrome: Based on a study exploring mechanisms in mice, vitamin D deficiency may be a major contributor to the development of metabolic syndrome and fatty liver. Boosting vitamin D status, in mice fed a high fat diet, promoted the health of the intestines, reduced general inflammation in the body, normalized insulin function, and prevented the development of a fatty liver. Human studies are needed to see if the same mechanisms are active in people.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D improves gut flora and metabolic syndrome
Research Link
Front Physiol. 2016 Nov 15;7:498. eCollection 2016.

December 27, 2016
Sugar Recommendations: Guidelines from authoritative organizations vary greatly and range from 5 to 25 percent of total calorie intake. When calorie needs are low, it is difficult to meet essential nutrient needs if sugar intake is a large part of the calories. Much of the confusion likely comes from the fact that people vary greatly in their levels of physical activity and total calorie needs.
Consumer Link
Dietary sugar guidelines are based on low quality evidence
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2016 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]

December 26, 2016
Cranberries and Health: Are you enjoying leftover cranberry sauce or drink? So is your bladder. Substances in cranberries are known to benefit the health of the urinary tract.
Consumer Link
Holiday berry has year-round applications
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;103(6):1434-42. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.130542.

December 25, 2016
Activity and Fitness: Santa is a big man, but he is not overly fat. His very active job keeps him more fit than fat.
Consumer Link
Santa is larger than life but his job keeps him fit
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Nov;109(11):1854-61.

December 24, 2016
High-fat Meals and Heart Attack Risk: High-fat meals may increase the risk of a heart attack for several hours because arteries narrow and blood flow slows. Enjoy the higher fat holiday foods, but in moderation.
Consumer Link
Switch from fat phobia to fat smarts
Research Link
Am J Cardiol. 1997 Feb 1;79(3):350-354

December 23, 2016
Screen time and weight: A new research study of nearly 25,000 high school students shows that approximately 20% used smartphones, tablets, computers, and videogames more than 5 hours a day. These students also were twice as likely to drink a sugary drink each day and not get enough sleep or physical activity. These behaviors increase the risk of becoming obese.
Consumer Link
Smartphones and tablets and adolescents: Small size, big problems?
Research Link
J Pediatr. 2016 Dec 9. pii: S0022-3476(16)31243-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.11.015. [Epub ahead of print]

December 22, 2016
Cooking Vegetables: New archeological evidence indicates that people were cooking both animal and vegetable foods in ceramic cooking vessels over 10,000 years ago. This allowed people to obtain calories and nutrients from plant foods that were not palatable nor safe to eat raw. The process of cooking destroys many of the natural toxins found in plant foods.
Consumer Link
Earliest evidence discovered of plants cooked in ancient pottery
Research Link
Nat Plants. 2016 Dec 19;3:16194.

December 21, 2016
Red Meat and Cardiovascular Disease: Some, but not all observational studies have linked red meat intake to cardiovascular disease. To evaluate the potential meaning of these inconsistent observations, researchers conduct randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to feed people specific diets with controlled amounts of red meat. A review of 24 RCT studies on red meat concluded that moderate red meat consumption had little or no effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors like blood pressure and blood lipids.
Consumer Link
Nutrition data review shows red meat has neutral effect on cardiovascular disease risk factors
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov 23. [Epub ahead of print]

December 20, 2016
Donor Breast Milk for Preemies: Pasteurized donor milk can be safe for premature infants when donors are properly screened for drug use and the milk is collected, stored, and pasteurized correctly. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises not to use nonpasteurized donor milk and it is important to distribute through established human milk banks to decrease risks of bacterial or viral contamination.
Consumer Link
Used Safely, Donor Breast Milk Can Help Preemie Babies
Research Link
Pediatrics Dec 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

December 19, 2016
Maternal Diet and Offspring Obesity: In a rat study, consumption of a high fat diet before, during, and after pregnancy increased the risk of the offspring becoming obese as adults. This occurred both in rats that had the genes for being obesity-resistance and obesity-prone. A variety of human studies seem to support this observation.
Consumer Link
'Western' maternal diet appears to raise obesity risk in offspring
Research Link
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2016 Dec 1;311(6):R1045-R1059.

December 18, 2016
For longterm health, focus on developing fitness rather an "ideal" body weight. Your ideal body weight is the weight at which you function best mentally and physically.
Consumer Link
Overall health more critical than body size
Research Link
AAOHN J. 2007 Apr;55(4):143-50.

December 17, 2016
Safer Alcohol Consumption: To better handle those holiday drinks, avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Eating some food before drinking alcoholic beverages helps to moderate the rise in blood alcohol.
Consumer Link
Sensible ways to enjoy holiday drinks
Research Link
J Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Dec;41(12):1345-50.

December 16, 2016
Energy Drink Case Study: Serious bleeding occurred in a part of the brain of a 57-year old man who consumed one can (2 servings) of a Redline brand energy drink. Within 15 minutes of consuming the beverage, he sensed tingling and numbness in his right arm and leg and developed a shaky gait and movement. This drink contains about 250 mg of caffeine, along with a variety of other ingredients, many of which are associated with increased blood pressure.
Consumer Link
Case study chronicles first brain bleed tied to energy drinks
Research Link
Am J Emerg Med. 2016 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]

December 15, 2016
Social Eating: Men, but not women, tend to overeat in social eating settings. New research suggests that this is due to a competitive mentality to eat more than other males.
Consumer Link
Social eating leads to overeating, especially among men
Research Link
Front Nutr. 2016 Nov 24;3:51. eCollection 2016.

December 14, 2016
Sleep and Calories: In both mice and people, inadequate quality sleep (REM sleep) triggers increased desire to consume highly palatable foods - especially foods high in sugar and fat. Using mice, researchers found when they inhibited the activity of neurons in a specific part of the mouse brain, the mice did not have the usual increased drive to consume highly palatable foods.
Consumer Link
Direct link between REM sleep loss, desire for sugary and fatty foods discovered
Research Link
Elife. 2016 Dec 6. [Epub ahead of print]

December 13, 2016
Prenatal Malnutrition: Animal studies have shown that starvation during pregnancy affects the health of subsequent generations even though they had adequate nutrition. Now, a large, population-based cohort study of families with over 3000 participants across consecutive generations in Northern China found that prenatal exposure to famine significantly increased the risk of high blood glucose and type 2 diabetes in adulthood in two consecutive generations.
Consumer Link
Famine alters metabolism for successive generations
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec 7. [Epub ahead of print]

December 12, 2016
Paleo Diet: Archeological evidence of animal foods eaten by people hundreds of thousands of years ago is typically better preserved than evidence of plant foods consumed. However, new research conducted in Israel found substantial archeological evidence of people 780,000 years ago including a very wide variety of plant foods in their diets, including many cooked foods.
Consumer Link
The real Paleo diet: acorns, clover and grass seed
Research Link
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Dec 5. [Epub ahead of print]

December 11, 2016
Health Benefits of Chicken Soup: Cold and flu viruses often spread when people get together for the holidays. Hot chicken soup can help treat the symptoms by known anti-inflammatory effects and by temporarily increasing the flow of mucus.
Consumer Link
Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt
Research Link
Chest. 2000 Oct;118(4):1150-7.

December 10, 2016
Benefits of Cranberries: Cranberries tend to be consumed as a holiday food. However, research on the chemical components of cranberries indicates that there are good reasons to consume these berries year-round.
Consumer Link
Festive cranberries offer health perks year-round
Research Link
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Aug;50(7):666-79.

December 9, 2016
Exercise and Immune Function: A review of studies on the effects of exercise on the function of the immune system indicates that exercise can both impair immune function and enhance it. Long duration, intense exercise can compromise the immune system, whereas regular moderate exercise seems to help it. The things that may help to counteract exercise-induced suppression of the immune function are adequate carbohydrate consumption during and after exercise and consuming a well-diversified diet that meets increased protein needs and vitamin and mineral needs.
Consumer Link
Carbs During Workouts May Fend Off Colds
Research Link
Journal of Applied Physiology Published 1 December 2016

December 8, 2016
Bariatric Surgery Outcomes: British researchers have proposed a "core outcome set" of the nine most important outcomes that should be evaluated in all bariatric surgery clinical trials. These outcomes include items such as weight lost, diabetes status, overall quality of life, mortality, complications of the operation, follow-up operations, difficulty eating, micronutrient deficiency, and cardiovascular disease risk.
Consumer Link
The 9 Most Important Bariatric Surgery Outcomes
Research Link
PLOS Medicine. November 29, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

December 7, 2016
Bulimia Treatment: Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder with recurrent episodes of uncontrollable binge eating followed by purging behaviors such as vomiting, laxative abuse, or excessive exercise. A new study tested the effectiveness of an online cognitive-behavioral therapy approach using a therapeutic chat group setting. It's long-term effectiveness was similar to that observed in a traditional face-to-face group therapy setting.
Consumer Link
Online group therapy may be effective treatment for bulimia nervosa
Research Link
Psychother Psychosom. 2016 Nov 25;86(1):47-53.

December 6, 2016
Low Fat or High Fat? A study with 46 overweight men (age 30 to 50) on a 12-week weight loss regimen (lost an average of 22 pounds) found that a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet and very high fat, low carbohydrate diet each triggered similar weight and fat loss along with similar changes in other risk factors. It is important to note that this study does not address how these different diets would affect people who are maintaining body weight.
Consumer Link
Very-high-fat diet reversed obesity and disease risk
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Nov 30. [Epub ahead of print]

December 5, 2016
Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis: Low concentrations of vitamin D in newborn infants are associated with an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life. However, some people with normal vitamin D status at birth also developed MS, so it does not appear that vitamin D deficiency at birth causes MS. It may be that other factors associated with low vitamin D status play a role in the causes of MS.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D status in newborns and risk of MS in later life
Research Link
Neurology. 2016 Nov 30. [Epub ahead of print]

December 4, 2016
Marathon Recovery: If you are participating in the Honolulu Marathon next Sunday, it is time to rest. Your best preparation includes muscle repair, recovery from training, and carbo-loading.
Consumer Link
Nutritional guide for marathon
Research Link
J Sports Sci. 2007;25 Suppl 1:S29-38.

December 3, 2016
Step to Health: Walking 30 minutes a day or 5,000 to 10,000 steps a day can benefit overall health. Why not ask Santa for a pedometer?
Consumer Link
Holiday exercise is easy with upfront planning
Research Link
Sports Med. 2009;39(1):29-43.

December 2, 2016
Recurrent Obesity and Microbiome: Some well-designed research with mice has provided good clues to how the lower intestinal bacteria can play a role in promoting weight regain after weight loss. One of the interesting outcomes of this research indicates that increased consumption of some flavanoids found naturally in various herbs and citrus fruits may help to prevent the weight regain.
Consumer Link
Gut microbes contribute to recurrent 'yo-yo' obesity.
Research Link
Nature. 2016 28 November. [Epub ahead of print]

December 1, 2016
Drug-Induced Liver Injury: Almost half of the cases of acute liver failure in the United States are associated with acetaminophen use. Since acetaminophen is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter and prescription pain medications, excessive dosage is far too common. Many other drugs and herbal dietary supplements also have the potential to induce liver injury.
Consumer Link
Acetaminophen, supplements and other medications may trigger drug-induced liver injury
Research Link
AACN Adv Crit Care. 2016;27(4):430-440.

November 30, 2016
Prediabetes: A large meta-analysis of 53 prospective cohort studies that totaled over 1.6 million participants found that the diagnosis of prediabetes was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality. However, the researchers emphasized that "prediabetes is not a disease but rather a risk factor for future diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the findings in our study do not mean that pharmacological treatment is warranted in everyone with prediabetes." Rather, the diagnosis may be a good indicator of the need for lifestyle changes in diet and/or exercise.
Consumer Link
Prediabetes by Any Other Name: Defining cut points -- the controversy continues
Research Link
BMJ. 2016;355:i5953.

November 29, 2016
Healthy Circulation and Healthy Aging: There are many vasoactive food components that help to dilate blood vessels and benefit blood circulation. Resveratrol, a compound in grapes and berries, has been found to enhance brain blood flow in people with type 2 diabetes and improve cognitive performance when compared to a placebo.
Consumer Link
Circulatory and cognitive benefits of resveratrol: benefits for an aging population
Research Link
Nutrients. 2016 Jul 12;8(7). pii: E425.

November 28, 2016
Alcohol and Appetite: A study with rats found that increased blood alcohol levels did not increase overall calorie intake. However, human studies do not find that this occurs in people. This is likely one case where rats are not like people.
Consumer Link
Study in rats finds low blood alcohol levels have no effect on total calories consumed
Research Link
Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2016 Oct 20;150-151:124-133.

November 27, 2016
Vitamin K Functions: Researchers are finding that vitamin K has many more functions than previously thought. The vitamin is showing benefits for both bone and cardiovascular health. To get enough vitamin K eat dark green vegetables regularly.
Consumer Link
Multivitamin takers may miss vitamin K
Research Link
Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5.

November 26, 2016
Diet and Microbiota: Strangely enough, there are trillions of bacterial organisms living in the lower part of the human intestine. A balanced diet helps this "microbiota" protect us against infections, some cancers, and possibly even the development of obesity.
Consumer Link
Useful bacteria build intestine’s fortitude
Research Link
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.

November 25, 2016
Food Allergen Labeling: Food manufacturers often voluntarily label their products with statements like "may contain" or "manufactured in a facility that also processes" specific common allergenic food ingredients. A recent study was conducted on the shopping habits of over 6000 people who either had a food allergy or shopped for someone else who had one. The results indicated that 40 percent of them still purchased foods labeled as manufactured in a facility that also processes the allergenic food ingredient of concern.
Consumer Link
Confusing food labels place consumers with food allergy at risk
Research Link
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2016 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print].

November 24, 2016
Sleepiness myth about turkey: Most animal proteins have lots of the amino acid L-tryptophan. Thanksgiving sleepiness occurs when more blood flow is shunted to the intestine and less to the brain therefore triggering sleepiness. Best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving Day.
Consumer Link
Thankgiving Myth: Turkey Makes You Sleepy
Research Link
USDA Food Composition Databases

November 23, 2016
Probiotics and Stress: The types of bacteria found in cultured foods like yogurt may help our brains cope with stressful situations. At least, this was demonstrated in a zebrafish model. This type of research with zebrafish may provide a rather quick way to screen different types of probiotic bacteria for their potential to benefit neurological function and stress management. Of course, follow-up studies would need to be conducted with humans.
Consumer Link
Common probiotics can reduce stress levels, lessen anxiety
Research Link
Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 19;6:33726.

November 22, 2016
Salad Safety: Just like grinding up beef into hamburger increases the surface area for microbial contact and makes hamburger less safe than steak, a new study shows that the convenience of precut salad greens comes with some increase in risk of microbial contamination.
Consumer Link
Precut salad may encourage growth of salmonella
Research Link
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

November 21, 2016
Oral Health: Maintaining healthy gums is an important part of good nutrition, especially as people age. Now it has been shown that the vapors of e-cigarettes have damaging effects on oral health, similar to smoking conventional cigarettes.
Consumer Link
First-ever study shows e-cigarettes cause damage to gum tissue
Research Link
Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 24. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12857. [Epub ahead of print]

November 20, 2016
Hydration Complications: To ensure adequate hydration, pay attention to your sense of thirst and drink enough so that urine looks more like lemonade than apple juice. Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) in a supplement can complicate this rule by temporarily turning urine bright yellow.
Consumer Link
Water needs vary with diet and lifestyle
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.

November 19, 2016
Nutrition for Denture Wearers: Older individuals who wear dentures tend to consume fewer servings of fruits and vegetables than those with teeth. Food service for older people should include soft foods and juices rich in carotenoids and vitamin C.
Consumer Link
Nutritional requirements more complex for seniors
Research Link
J Public Health Dent. 2009 Fall;69(4):207-16.

November 18, 2016
Infant Nutritional Supplement Formulas: Special products that are concentrated in calories and nutrients have been designed for infants that are too small for their age. Using these products can help infants and toddlers achieve a normal size for their age. However, providing these products to normal size infants may help to promote the development of obesity.
Consumer Link
Companies pushing 'toddler milk' need oversight, experts warn
Research Link
Healthcare (Basel). 2016 Nov 12;4(4). pii: E84.

November 17, 2016
Food Color Preference: Study of non-human primates in their natural environment showed that their food preferences are based largely on availability, with the most preferred foods being those are least often available and high in calories. Based on new research, human food preferences are influenced by similar factors with red foods typically being less readily available and high in calories. However, green foods that are widely available are lower on the preference list for both animals and humans.
Consumer Link
Red is good: The brain uses color to help us choose what to eat
Research Link
Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 14;6:37034.

November 16, 2016
Food Safety: Cooking shows on television have the forum to model good food safety behavior. Unfortunately, a new study found that most shows frequently overlook basic food safety practices. This may put their viewers at risk of food illness and may put the show at a liability risk should viewers get sick from following the show's directions.
Consumer Link
Television cooking shows overlook safe food handling practices
Research Link
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2016;48(10):730-734.

November 15, 2016
Breakfast, Bedtime, and Obesity: A study measured the heights and weights of almost 17,000 children at 3, 5, 7, and 11 years of age. They found that the development of higher BMI values was associated with skipping breakfast and having irregular bedtime routines. Also, If mothers smoked during pregnancy, their children were more likely to develop higher BMI values. Although this type of study design cannot establish a cause and effect relationship, it poses important questions.
Consumer Link
Skipping breakfast and not enough sleep can make children overweight
Research Link
PEDIATRICS. November 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

November 14, 2016
Licorice and Sex Hormones: A natural compound in licorice (called iso for isoliquiritigenin) has been shown to reduce estrogen production in female mice. Licorice root extract is a common ingredient in herbal supplements and purified iso supplements also are available. Women, especially, should be cautious about ongoing use of products containing these substances until appropriate human research can be conducted.
Consumer Link
Licorice compound interferes with sex hormones in ovary
Research Link
Reprod Toxicol. 2016 Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print]

November 13, 2016
Height Matters: The calories used to walk a mile depend mostly on a person's body weight. However, for two people weighing the same, the shorter person will typically use slightly more calories – about one extra calorie (kcal) per mile for each inch difference in height.
Consumer Link
Take that, Stretch! Short people burn more calories walking
Research Link
J Exp Biol. 2010;213:3972-3979.

November 12, 2016
Food Allergies Misidentification: True food allergies can be life threatening, but it is important to know that in a controlled clinical setting, almost 90% of children previously diagnosed with food allergies actually were not allergic to the supposedly offending foods when tested with an oral food challenge test.
Consumer Link
Study suggests over-diagnosis of food allergy in children
Research Link
J Pediatr. 2010 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]

November 11, 2016
Fat and Diabetes: High levels of body fat are associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, not all people with high body fat develop diabetes and some people with low body fat develop the condition. New research may be uncovering at least part of the puzzle. Some fats in the body are converted into compounds called ceramides. People with higher levels of ceramides in their fat tissue are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Finding a way to prevent the accumulation of ceramides may help to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Buildup of 'toxic fat' metabolite could increase diabetes risk
Research Link
Cell Metab. 2016 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print]

November 10, 2016
Soda and Diabetes Risk: A study of 1685 middle-age adults followed for a 14-year period of time found that the regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a greater increase in insulin resistance and risk of developing prediabetes. However, they found no association with the consumption of non-sugar-sweetened "diet" sodas.
Consumer Link
Regular intake of sugary beverages, but not diet soda, is associated with prediabetes
Research Link
J. Nutr. November 9, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

November 9, 2016
Hospital Nutrition: Being hospitalized commonly reduces appetite. Not consuming complete meals when hospitalized and the resulting malnutrition are associated with longer hospital stays and increased mortality risk.
Consumer Link
Not eating enough in hospital: Risk factors are the same all over the world
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr November 2016 vol. 104 no. 5 1393-1402.

November 8, 2016
Celiac Disease in Children: A study of over 100 children diagnosed with celiac disease by intestinal biopsy found that about 20 percent of them still had the intestinal damage characteristic of the disease when checked again after over two years of consuming a gluten-free diet (according to self report from patients). These findings suggest the need for further studies to carefully monitor objective measures of dietary adherence.
Consumer Link
Twenty percent of children with Celiac disease do not heal on a gluten-free diet
Research Link
J Ped Gastro Nutr. November 3, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

November 7, 2016
Cheese and Salt: Most cheeses are high in sodium, however, a new human study confirms the results of animal studies showing that some components of cheese protect against some of sodium’s effects on the cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure. Dilation (expansion) of blood vessels was significantly greater after consuming cheese compared to pretzels or tofu that contained the same amount of salt.
Consumer Link
Eating dairy cheese may protect against sodium-related health risks
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2016 Aug;116(4):658-65.

November 6, 2016
Meeting Iron Needs: Iron needs for physically active individuals can be as much as 30% greater than the needs of their less active friends. Consuming food sources of well-absorbed iron is important for overall health. In general, iron is absorbed better from animal foods than from plant foods.
Consumer Link
Iron - Micronutrient Information Center
Research Link
Dietary Reference Intakes - Food & Nutrition Board

November 5, 2016
Beware Internet Medicine: Doctors often encourage their patients to become "educated consumers" of their medical care and personal health problems. Remember when seeking medical information through the Internet that many website offer medical fiction rather than fact. Seek reliable science-based websites.
Consumer Link
False claims thrive on Internet
Research Link
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.

November 4, 2016
Diet and Headache: Although the triggers for headaches can vary from one person to another, research has identified some dietary components that make a difference for some headache sufferers. A common trigger for headaches (including migraines) in some people includes regular coffee drinkers not consuming coffee or drinking too much coffee or other caffeine sources. Also, consuming too much MSG, especially in liquid foods like soups appears to affect some susceptible people. Other dietary triggers are less common, but a good elimination diet can help headache sufferers identify offending foods.
Consumer Link
Diet can impact migraines
Research Link
The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 2016;56(9):1543.

November 3, 2016
Bugs and Beef: Iron is limited in many types of diets around the world. Red meat is a commonly recommended iron source because it provides iron that is well absorbed. New research on a variety of edible insects indicates that they also provide well absorbed iron and may prove to be a reasonable substitute for red meat - at least as a source of iron.
Consumer Link
The buzz about edible bugs: Can they replace beef?
Research Link
J. Agric. Food Chem. October 12, 2016 online

November 2, 2016
Nutrition and Early-life Stress: Studies on stress during infancy have shown that it can impair learning and memory in later life, indicating that this period of brain development is important. An interesting study using mice found that providing the mother mice with a few supplemental nutrients increased the level of these nutrients in their milk and resulted in preventing later life problems with learning and memory in their offspring.
Consumer Link
Early supplementation may help offset early-life stress on the adult brain
Research Link
FASEB J. October 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

November 1, 2016
Iron vs Lead: Lead is a toxic heavy metal that is well known to irreversibly damage developing brains of infants, children, and teenagers. Having good iron status is known to reduce the absorption of lead into the body. A new study of over 400 children in Morocco provided the children with biscuits that were fortified with sodium iron EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid). Iron is well absorbed from this molecule and the EDTA component binds lead and carries it out of the intestine. Blood lead levels were significantly reduced after 28 weeks of supplementation and iron status was greatly improved.
Consumer Link
Iron supplements in the fight against lead
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]

October 31, 2016
Eye Supplements: Dietary supplements containing lutein (a colorful compound found naturally in some vegetables and fruits) is commonly recommended for the prevention or treatment of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration. However, based on a recent case study report, more than the usually recommended amount (10 mg per day) may be excessive and may potentially impair vision.
Consumer Link
Is more, better? Finding the balance between nutritional supplements and eye health
Research Link
JAMA Ophthalmol. October 27, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

October 30, 2016
Sense of Smell and Nutrition: Too much or too little of some nutrients can change the senses of taste and smell. For example, a deficient or imbalanced intake of iron or zinc can eventually impair normal sensitivity to flavors and odors.
Consumer Link
Balanced living keeps senses sharp
Research Link
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jul;136(7):673-6.

October 29, 2016
Red Yeast Rice and Safety Concerns: It has been known for some time that red yeast rice supplements taken to lower blood cholesterol levels may also contain various toxins. Caution needs to be taken when using these supplements.
Consumer Link
Red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus)
Research Link
J Clin Lipidol. 2013 Mar-Apr;7(2):117-22

October 28, 2016
Diabetes Activity Guidelines: New guidelines from the American Diabetes Association recommend that people with type 2 diabetes do three or more minutes of light activity every 30 minutes during prolonged periods of sitting. This can include activities as simple as arm stretches, moving around in a chair, walking in place, leg lifts, etc. In addition, diabetics are advised to participate in regular exercise of some sort.
Consumer Link
New Guidelines Urge Diabetics to Move More
Research Link
Diabetes Care 2016 Nov; 39(11): 2065-2079.

October 27, 2016
Alcohol, Caffeine, and the Adolescent Brain: The effects of drugs on the brains of adolescent mice have been shown to be similar to the effects on the teenage brain of humans. A new study that exposed adolescent mice to the combination of caffeine and alcohol found that the effects were similar to exposing them to cocaine.
Consumer Link
Mixing energy drinks, alcohol may affect adolescent brains like cocaine
Research Link
Alcohol. 2016 Aug;54:1-9.

October 26, 2016
Brain and Body Fat: Research indicates that many factors influence the amount of fat our individually unique bodies tend to store. Fat cell number and size, level of physical activity, and types of foods we eat are just a few. In addition, a new study indicates that the physical structure of a part of the brain affects how we individually react to and control our intake of various types of food.
Consumer Link
Dieting success may be hardwired into the brain
Research Link
Cogn Neurosci. 2016 Oct 11:1-5. [Epub ahead of print]

October 25, 2016
Appetite and Calorie Intake: An analysis of over 400 studies found that a person's reported appetite is not a good predictor of how much they will eat.
Consumer Link
Scientists find no link between appetite, calorie intake
Research Link
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]

October 24, 2016
Baseball and Body Weight: Based on measures of Body Mass Index (BMI), only 20 percent of professional baseball players have a normal body weight for their height. Eighty percent are either overweight or obese. This trend started about 25 years ago. However, using BMI, a ratio of weight for height, is not ideal for athletes whose extra body weight may be muscle and not just fat.
Consumer Link
Heavy hitters: Obesity rate soars among professional baseball players
Research Link
Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, 2016; 10 (5): 610

October 23, 2016
Vitamin B12 deficiency can damage nerve cells and lead to memory loss similar to Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research suggests that maintaining adequate B12 levels in the body may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Adequate B12 status also helps to prevent the misdiagnosis of B12 deficiency as Alzheimer’s disease.
Consumer Link
Can Vitamin B12 Reduce Alzheimer's Risk?
Research Link
Neurology 2010;75:1408-1414.

October 22, 2016
Sprouts and Health: Like other types of produce, fresh sprouts, including organic sprouts, may become contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms. Individuals with compromised immune systems can still enjoy sprouts if they are cooked before eating.
Consumer Link
Sprouts: What You Should Know
Research Link
J Food Prot. 2003 Jul;66(7):1253-9.

October 21, 2016
TMAO and Meat: The consumer article below and the spokesman commenting in the article for the American Heart Association are both scientifically off base. Due to associations observed between urinary levels of a compound called TMAO and cardiovascular disease, they recommend avoiding red meat. Although there may be reasons to not over-consume red meat, this is not one of them. To avoid confusion it is helpful to go back to original research articles like the one at the link below. It states, "Of 46 different foods investigated, only fish and other sea-products gave rise to significant increases in urinary trimethylamine and N-oxide (TMAO). Ingestion of fruits, vegetables, cereal and dairy produce, and meats had no measurable effects."
Consumer Link
Digestive Byproduct Tied to Meat Raises Risks for Some Heart Patients
Research Link
Food Chem Toxicol. 1999 May;37(5):515-20.

October 20, 2016
DHA Supplements During Pregnancy: A summary of two separate studies reports that supplementation with DHA (a long chain omega-3 fatty acid) during the last two trimesters of pregnancy reduced the number of preterm births. DHA is one of the omega-3 fatty acids in marine fish oils and also is available in dietary supplements made from a specific type of algae oil. The doses used in these studies were 600 and 800 milligrams of DHA per day.
Consumer Link
Nutritional supplement could prevent thousands of early preterm births
Research Link
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2016 Sep;112:44-9.

October 19, 2016
Nitrates and High Intensity Training: A study with young men tested the effects of supplementation with sodium nitrate prior to workouts during a 5-week high intensity training program. They found that the supplement increased their level of the muscle fiber type involved in higher intensity exercise (type IIa) when compared to participants who received a placebo supplement. Foods usually high in nitrates include spinach, beets, and carrots. However, the level of nitrate can vary greatly in these natural foods.
Consumer Link
Eating your greens could enhance sport performance
Research Link
Front Physiol. 2016; 7: 233. Published online 2016 Jun 14.

October 18, 2016
Folic Acid Excess and Vitamin B12 Function: High folic acid intake has been associated with neurological damage when vitamin B12 status is low. A new study found that people with a fairly common gene alteration for a vitamin B-12 transport protein are much more likely to develop peripheral neuropathy, especially when folic acid intake is high.
Consumer Link
High folate intake linked with nerve-damage risk in older adults with common gene variant
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]

October 17, 2016
Walking for Risk Reduction: A new analysis of walking data from 3388 adults indicates that both the number of steps taken and the pace of those steps contribute to reduction of indicators for cardiometabolic disease. A pace of about 100 steps per minute is considered to be a moderately intensive walking pace.
Consumer Link
Want to optimize those 10,000 (or fewer) steps? Walk faster, sit less
Research Link
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Sep 23. [Epub ahead of print]

October 16, 2016
Iodized salt and Thyroid health: Iodized salt is the major source of essential iodine in many people’s diets. When salt is restricted in the diet, alternative sources of iodine need to be included to avoid iodine deficiency and thyroid problems. Food sources include seafood and foods from plants grown near the ocean.
Consumer Link
Salt restriction could increase risk of iodine deficiency
Research Link
Am J Hypertens. 2010 Oct;23(10):1095-102.

October 15, 2016
Hair Loss and Nutrient deficiencies: Hair loss in women is often caused by a diet that is too low in iron and the amino acid lysine. Rich sources of lysine include poultry, fish, and lean red meat. Red meat also is a good source of iron.
Consumer Link
Hair loss in women has contributing factors
Research Link
Clin Exp Dermatol. 2002 Jul;27(5):396-404.

October 14, 2016
Sleep and Calorie Intake in Children: Studies on adults have indicated that a lack of adequate sleep is associated with increased weight gain. Now, a study with three to four year old children reports that sleep deprivation triggered a 20 percent increase in calorie intake and 25 percent intake in sugar.
Consumer Link
Sleep-deprived preschoolers eat more Study has implications for childhood obesity
Research Link
Journal of Sleep Research, 19 September 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

October 13, 2016
Calcium Supplements and Heart Health: A new study on over 2700 people found that high total calcium intake (food and supplements combined) was associated with a decreased risk of coronary artery calcification, especially when the high calcium intake was not from supplement use. In contrast, calcium supplement use was associated with increased risk of coronary artery calcium accumulation.
Consumer Link
Calcium Supplements May Not Be Heart Healthy
Research Link
J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 Oct 11;5(10). pii: e003815.

October 12, 2016
Compulsive Exercise and Eating Disorders: People with anorexia nervosa often have strong compulsions to exercise. A recent study used a variety of methods to evaluate the association of compulsive exercise with anorexia. They found that high scores on the Compulsive Exercise Test were strongly related to anorexia nervosa. Compulsive exercise assessment may be helpful in the diagnosis of anorexia.
Consumer Link
Compulsive Exercise Test Valid for Adults With Anorexia
Research Link
Int J Eat Disord. 2016 Oct 3.

October 11, 2016
Vitamin D and ADHD: At two and a half years of age, children were less likely to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) if their mothers took vitamin D supplements during pregnancy and had good vitamin D status when the child was born. Another study found a similar association between iron supplementation during pregnancy and reduced risk of having an autistic child. Iron deficiency can lower measures of vitamin D status, so each of these nutrients may complement the other. Meeting all nutrient needs during pregnancy is likely the most important take-home message.
Consumer Link
Fewer indications of ADHD in children whose mothers took vitamin D during pregnancy
Research Link
Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2016 Sep 30. [Epub ahead of print]

October 10, 2016
Water Needs: Although there are recommendations to consume specific amounts of water on a daily basis, many factors such as climate and level of physical activity can change water needs significantly. A new study found that human participants had to make more effort to swallow water after drinking excess water. This mechanism likely contributes to overall thirst mechanisms that help people drink enough, but not too much.
Consumer Link
Do you really need eight glasses a day?
Research Link
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 8; 111(14): 5379–5384.

October 9, 2016
B Vitamins and Brain Health: Vitamin B6, b12 and folate may be extremely important for protecting your brain from the typical damage that occurs with aging. A rich source of all three of these nutrients is liver.
Consumer Link
B vitamins help combat the brain drain of aging
Research Link
PLoS One. 2010; 5(9): e12244.

October 8, 2016
Iodine and Nerve Development: Normal nerve development in infants requires adequate iodine from mother's milk or infant formula. Dietary iodine comes primarily from iodized salt. Therefore, if you are limiting salt intake, make sure your dietary supplement contains iodine.
Consumer Link
Researchers fear deficiency of iodine intake
Research Link
Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Feb 15;42(4):1315-23.

October 7, 2016
Children's picture books are still popular and often read to children. Researchers evaluated over 450 fictional picture books with dietary behavior as the central theme. The most popular theme for the 4- to 8-year-old audience was picky eating. To prevent nutrient deficiencies now and in the future, children should be encouraged to explore their food world.
Consumer Link
Analyzing picture books for nutrition education
Research Link
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2016; 48 (9): 602 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.06.005

October 6, 2016
Caffeine and Dementia: A study following over 6000 women 65 years of age and older for about 10 years found that those who consumed the most caffeine were less likely to develop dementia and cognitive impairment. Although the association observed in this study cannot conclude a cause and effect relationship, it provides a basis for additional research.
Consumer Link
For Women, Caffeine Could Be Ally in Warding Off Dementia
Research Link
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Sep 27. [Epub ahead of print]

October 5, 2016
Matcha Tea: Tea is promoted for a number of potentially associated health benefits. However, do not equate matcha tea (finely ground green tea leaf) with the usual brewed teas. Matcha teas are prepared so that the whole leaf is consumed, not just the liquid infusion of the tea leaves. This greatly increases the intake of aluminum and manganese that are both neuro-toxic when consumed at high levels.
Consumer Link
Japan's matcha tea brews up in US
Research Link
Shido, JM. MS Thesis Univ Hawaii 2011.

October 4, 2016
Homeopathic Teething Product Warning: FDA has received many adverse event reports from parents of children using homeopathic teething products available in major drug stores. In response, FDA is recommending that consumers stop using these products and dispose of any in their possession. FDA's concerns include seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation.
Consumer Link
FDA to parents: Avoid homeopathic teething products
Research Link
FDA News Release. Sept 30, 2016.

October 3, 2016
Protein Intake of Older People: Many older people do not consume adequate amounts of protein for optimal health. A study conducted in the United Kingdom found that the major factors that can help older people consume adequate protein are making sure the protein foods are tasty, convenient, easy to prepare, affordable, don't spoil readily, and are perceived to be healthy foods.
Consumer Link
Improving protein intake in older adults
Research Link
Nutrients 2016;8(4):187.

October 2, 2016
Sunshine Not Enough for Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for a healthy immune system and may be especially important as we enter into flu season. Research indicates that even those with seemingly adequate sun exposure may be low in vitamin D. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified milk, and dietary supplements.
Consumer Link
Holiday flu could be caused by a shortage of vitamin D
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2130-5.

October 1, 2016
Muscle Loss and Protein: Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength resulting in frailty in the elderly. Exercise and adequate protein helps to slow this aging process.
Consumer Link
Age exerts major effect on healthy body weight
Research Link
J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Jan;21(1):1-13. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

September 30, 2016
Insects as Alternative Sustainable Protein Sources: Swedish research now shows that crickets can be raised on weeds and agricultural by-products, making them an inexpensive protein source.
Consumer Link
Edible crickets can be reared on weeds and cassava plant tops
Research Link
J Insects Food Feed. 2016, Sept.

September 29, 2016
Hydration Timing: The brain's biological clock is linked to the thirst mechanism. One effect of this is increased thirst in the evening that triggers fluid consumption to prepare the body for water loss during the night. There is significant water loss from the body at night in exhaled air and from evaporation of water from the skin.
Consumer Link
Brain's biological clock stimulates thirst before sleep
Research Link
Nature. 2016;537(7622):685.

September 28, 2016
Peanut Allergy: A study conducted with mice found that peanut extracts from dry roasted peanuts triggered allergic reactions more than extracts from raw peanuts. The researchers think this may be due to compounds that form at the high temperatures used for dry roasting. They speculate that boiled or fried peanuts may not be as likely to trigger allergies.
Consumer Link
Dry roasting could help trigger peanut allergy
Research Link
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Dec; 134(6): 1453–1456.

September 27, 2016
Zinc and Infection: All essential nutrients are part of a balancing act. Too little and too much of a nutrient are both potentially bad. A new study, using a mouse model, found that high zinc intake altered the lower intestinal bacterial ecology in a way that favored the development of the bacterium Clostridium difficile. This bacteria can cause infections that are highly resistant to treatment.
Consumer Link
Excess dietary zinc worsens C. diff infection
Research Link
Nature Medicine. 2016 18 January. [Epub ahead of print]

September 26, 2016
Nutrition During Pregnancy: Atopic eczema is an inflammation of the skin that tends to flare up from time to time. New research indicates that a deficiency of niacin in a mother during pregnancy predisposes the baby to developing eczema that usually starts in early childhood. Naturally occurring niacin is highest in meats, poultry, seafood, fortified cereals, and peanuts.
Consumer Link
Vitamin B levels during pregnancy linked to eczema risk in child
Research Link
Clin Exp Allergy. 2016 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print]

September 25, 2016
Weight and Fitness: Despite increasing rates of overweight and obesity, the current medical system typically allows little time for physicians to counsel patients about weight management. Those with weight problems should request referrals to meet with qualified nutrition and fitness professionals.
Consumer Link
City-Dwelling Women Face Diet And Exercise Challenges
Research Link
Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Oct;116(4):1011-4.

September 24, 2016
Vitamin A is needed for normal growth, reproduction, bone health, blood cell production, skin health and immune function, but too much vitamin A (just 2 to 3 times the current recommended vitamin A intake) has been linked to increased bone loss and birth defects.
Consumer Link
Too much vitamin A can be toxic
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2007 Oct;65(10):425-38.

September 23, 2016
Allergenic Foods and Infants: Eggs and peanuts are among the foods that commonly trigger allergic reactions. A new systematic review of research on this topic indicates that early introduction of eggs (at 4 to 6 months of age) or peanuts (at 4 to 11 months of age) to the infant diet is associated with lower risk of developing allergies to these foods. Although these researchers were not ready to make strong recommendations, their results do not support the concept that there should be a delay in introducing these foods.
Consumer Link
Feeding babies egg and peanut may prevent food allergy, study suggests
Research Link
JAMA. 2016;316(11):1181-1192.

September 22, 2016
The Five-second Rule: Finally, a well designed study tested the popular 'five-second rule.' They found that the amount of bacteria picked up by the food dropped onto a surface did vary somewhat with the type of food. However, bacteria were transferred from the surface to the food virtually instantaneously in less than a second. Of course, how risky it is to consume dropped food depends on what types of bacteria are present on the floor.
Consumer Link
Researchers debunk 'five-second rule': Eating food off the floor isn't safe. Sometimes bacteria transfer in less than a second
Research Link
Appl Environ Microbiol. 2016 Sep 2. pii: AEM.01838-16. [Epub ahead of print]

September 21, 2016
Activity Trackers and Weight Loss: A large study following people in a weight loss program for two years found that participants who used an activity monitoring device actually lost less weight than those who did not use one. It is not clear why this was the case, but it seemed clear that in a long study like this one, the extra information from the device did not help.
Consumer Link
Activity trackers are ineffective at sustaining weight loss
Research Link
JAMA. 2016;316(11):1161-1171.

September 20, 2016
Vitamin B12 and Brain: A study of 100 people (age 50 to 80 years), who were getting care for memory problems, found that those with the lowest vitamin B12 status had the most impaired memory and learning ability. This relationship was observed even in those with blood values for B12 status assessment that were low, but within what is typically considered to be normal.
Consumer Link
Vitamin B12, the Microstructure of the Hippocampus, and Learning in Older Women
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Apr;103(4):1045-54.

September 19, 2016
Vegan Diet: A completely vegan diet lacks vitamin B12 unless it includes foods fortified with the vitamin. Many other nutrients can be inadequate unless foods are carefully selected for the right variety. The long-chain omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oils also are not provided by a vegan diet unless in includes certain algae oil supplements. These fatty acids are especially essential for brain and retina health. The damage to health from B12 and long-chain omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies can take decades to become apparent.
Consumer Link
Can A Vegan Diet Give You All You Need? German Nutritionists Say 'Nein'
Research Link
Ernahrungs Umschau 63(04): 92–102.

September 18, 2016
Low calcium and Kidney Stones: The most common kidney stones are calcium oxalate. Interestingly, low calcium diets increase the risk of forming these stones, apparently because more oxalate is absorbed from the diet when dietary calcium is low.
Consumer Link
This Too Shall Pass: Avoid Kidney Stones Through Diet
Research Link
Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2015 Jul 7;87(2):105-20. doi: 10.4081/aiua.2015.2.105.

September 17, 2016
Magnesium Deficiency and Blood Pressure: Marginal-to-moderate magnesium deficiency may play a role in high blood pressure and conditions associated with inflammatory stress. Boost magnesium in your diet by including green vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
Consumer Link
Brown rice can provide vital magnesium
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2010 Jun;68(6):333-40.

September 16, 2016
Activity Deficiency: Many chronic diseases of aging can be delayed or even prevented by maintaining regular physical activity throughout life - especially during the last few decades of life. Unfortunately, an evaluation of national data found that almost 30 percent of adults are not engaging in any physical activity outside of typical daily living. This percentage increases in older people.
Consumer Link
More than 1 in 4 US adults over 50 do not engage in regular physical activity
Research Link
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:954-958.

September 15, 2016
Fatty Acids and Children: A double-blind placebo-controlled study found that supplementation of nine to ten year-old children for three months with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) plus a small amount of gamma-linolenic acid, improved performance on a variety of reading tests. Those identified by their parents as having attention problems were most likely to have a positive response to the supplement.
Consumer Link
Omega-3, omega-6 supplement improves reading for children
Research Link
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Aug 22. Epub ahead of print]

September 14, 2016
Sugar and Fat: An article about sugar in the New York Times went viral yesterday. In case you were hiding under a rock or just over-worked, the article was based on a journal article in JAMA Internal Medicine that reviewed the role played by the sugar industry in demonizing fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Conclusion? There is plenty of evidence that both too much sugar and too much fat in the diet are associated with a variety of health problems.
Consumer Link
How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. Sept 12, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

September 13, 2016
Glycemic Index and Liver Fat: Although the glycemic index values for specific foods can vary greatly from one person to another, studies do indicate that diets with an overall lower glycemic index can provide health benefits. A recent study found that men consuming a high glycemic index diet had greater accumulation of fat in their liver than when they consumed a low glycemic index diet.
Consumer Link
High Glycemic Index Diet Raises Hepatic Fat, Glycogen Stores
Research Link
Diabetes Obes Metab. 2016 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]

September 12, 2016
Glycemic Index Variability: Glycemic index is a measure used to estimate how much specific foods raise blood glucose. Most often tables of glycemic index present a single value that is an average of the measurements made on several people. The main limitation of the glycemic index is that it varies greatly both in individuals measured at different times with the same food and between different people tested with the same food.
Consumer Link
'Glycemic Index' May Be Too Unreliable to Manage Diabetes: Study
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print]

September 11, 2016
Iron /Iodine and Thyroid Function: Keeping a wide variety of foods in the diet is extremely important, even for the prevention of hypothyroidism. Excessive consumption of cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables, soy products, and millet can interfere with thyroid hormone production.
Consumer Link
Iron plays an important role for the thyroid
Research Link
Endocr Rev. 2009 Jun;30(4):376-408. Epub 2009 May 21.

September 10, 2016
Weight and Exercise Cessation: Both human and animal studies have shown that abruptly stopping an exercise habit results in rapid gain in body fat. By reducing training, rather than stopping altogether helps to maintain lower body-fat levels.
Consumer Link
Abrupt decline in exercise shows up in body fat gain
Research Link
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2006 Nov;14(11):1975-84.

September 9, 2016
Floor Plan and Eating: A study using college students as participants found that floor plans may influence how much we eat. When the kitchen/food service area was separate from the dining area, study participants consumed significantly less food. Out of sight, out of mind?
Consumer Link
Open floor plans may lead to more eating
Research Link
Environment and Behavior, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

September 8, 2016
Gluten-free Diets: A new study indicates that although celiac disease has not increased during recent years, the number of people consuming gluten-free diets has increased substantially. This could be related to an increase in the proposed condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity and/or simply due to gluten-free foods being considered to be more healthy but some people. At least the increased demand for gluten-free foods will make life a bit easier for those with true celiac disease.
Consumer Link
Prevalence of celiac appears steady but followers of gluten-free diet increase
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

September 7, 2016
Caffeine and Aging Memory: A study based on a mouse model demonstrated that caffeine can inhibit reactions that are linked to the type of memory loss seen with aging. This study provides a mechanism that supports studies in humans indicating that caffeine consumption reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of age-related mental decline.
Consumer Link
Caffeine and its analogues counteract memory deficits by normalizing stress responses in the brain
Research Link
Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 11;6:31493.

September 6, 2016
Sweet Preference and Body Fat: A study with toddlers found that those who preferred a sweet treat after a meal gained more body fat during their third year of life than toddlers who preferred a salty snack.
Consumer Link
Chips or cookies? Toddlers with sweet tooth more likely to experience weight gain
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2016 May;137(5).

September 5, 2016
Food Allergy and Asthma Risk: Analysis of the medical records of over one million children indicated that infants with food allergies were much more likely to develop asthma. The most common food allergens were peanuts, milk, eggs, shellfish and soy.
Consumer Link
Children with food allergies predisposed to asthma, rhinitis
Research Link
BMC Pediatrics. 2016;16:133.

September 4, 2016
Thirst and Age: Sensitivity to thirst often declines with age. Therefore, consuming fluids on a schedule rather than when thirsty can become essential to maintain basic body functions such as adequate blood flow throughout the body and especially to the brain.
Consumer Link
Nutritional requirements more complex for seniors
Research Link
Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009;49 Suppl 1:19-27.

September 3, 2016
Exercise and Weight Loss: Although exercise is less likely to promote fat loss in women than in men, exercise does benefit health in both genders and allows both men and women to eat more calories without gaining weight.
Consumer Link
Men, women respond differently to exercise
Research Link
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Feb;296(2):R233-42.

September 2, 2016
Selenium and Liver Cancer: A European study found that low selenium status substantially increases the risk of developing liver cancer. Foods high in selenium include fish, shellfish, meat, milk and eggs. Brazil nuts also are very rich in selenium, however, the selenium upper limit for adults of 400 micrograms per day can be exceeded with just five Brazil nuts that contain over 500 micrograms. Selenium toxicity can lead to fingernail brittleness, hair loss, intestinal disturbances, skin rash, fatigue, irritability, and nervous system problems.
Consumer Link
Selenium status influence cancer risk
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104(2):406-414.

September 1, 2016
Good Nutrition and Social Development: Researchers found that children without obvious signs of iron, riboflavin, niacin, and protein deficiency had much better development of social skills than children with even one sign of a deficiency.
Consumer Link
Good Nutrition Positively Affects Social Development, Penn Research Shows
Research Link
Maternal & Child Nutr. 2016 May. [Epub ahead of print]

August 31, 2016
Coffee Grounds for Dietary Fiber: Coffee grounds left over from making coffee or manufacturing instant coffee often are considered a waste product. However, researchers found that as much as four percent of the weight of the ingredients for muffins could come from spent coffee grounds. The muffins were palatable and a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidant compounds.
Consumer Link
Leftover coffee grounds: Unlocking 6m tonnes of unused antioxidant dietary fibre
Research Link
Food Chemistry. 2017;216:114–122.

August 30, 2016
Shark and neurotoxins: Shark meat and fins from 10 shark species contained both mercury and a cyanobacterial toxin (BMAA) that are both linked to neurodegenerative diseases. In combination, these two neurotoxins are thought to be synergistic with the combination of them being more toxic than either alone.
Consumer Link
Shark fins and meat contain high levels of neurotoxins linked to Alzheimer's disease
Research Link
Toxins 2016, 8 (8), 238.

August 29, 2016
Belief and Experience: What we believe strongly influences what we experience. People tasting two samples of beef jerky indicated that they liked the one labeled as "factory farmed" less than one labeled to indicate more humane farming conditions. However, the two samples were from the same beef.
Consumer Link
Chew on this: How we believe our meat is raised can influence how it tastes
Research Link
PLoS One. 2016 Aug 24;11(8):e0160424. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0160424.

August 28, 2016
Weight and Non-exercise Activity: Does your job keep you too sedentary? Finding ways to make many small extra movements throughout the day, such as fidgeting, walking, and standing can play an important role in weight control.
Consumer Link
Fit in fidgeting if you can't get exercise time
Research Link
Mayo Clin Proc. 2015 Apr;90(4):509-19. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.02.001.

August 27, 2016
Picky Eater or Supertaster?: Why do some people really like flavors that you don’t like? It may be in your genes. Some people are “supertasters” of specific flavors in foods, especially bitter flavors.
Consumer Link
Genetics determines how we taste
Research Link
Chem Senses. 2000 Aug;25(4):447-60.

August 26, 2016
Exercise or Diet for Heart Health: Weight loss generally improves cardiovascular disease risk factors in overweight people. A new study found that weight lost by eating less, exercising more, or doing a combination of the two all had the same impact on reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors such as blood pressure, blood lipids, and blood glucose. The next question is which one of these approaches is best at maintaining the reduced body weight.
Consumer Link
Diet, exercise, both: All work equally to protect heart health
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul 27. [Epub ahead of print]

August 25, 2016
Caffeine Benefits: Reported risks related to caffeine consumption and cardiovascular disease were not supported by research. Instead, research shows that caffeine may have potential health benefits. But remember, everything in moderation.
Consumer Link
Caffeine not linked to certain heart risks in women
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr 92: 509-514, 2010.

August 24, 2016
Vitamin E Status: A recent systematic review of published research indicated that only 21 percent of the global population had blood levels of alpha-tocopherol considered to be beneficial for several aspects of human health. including normal cognitive function, cardiovascular health, liver function, and immune function. Foods high in vitamin E, include vegetable oils, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grain bread. Fortified foods and dietary supplements also are convenient ways to prevent dietary shortfalls.
Consumer Link
Only a Fifth of the Global Population Achieves Optimal Vitamin E Status
Research Link
Int. J. Vitam. Nutr. Res., 2016, 1–21

August 23, 2016
Calcium Supplements and Dementia: Adequate calcium intake is clearly important for maintaining healthy bones. However, there is developing evidence that it is likely best to meet calcium needs with foods rather than supplements. A new study that needs support from future research found that older women taking calcium supplements were more likely to develop dementia, especially if they already had signs of cerebrovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Calcium Supplements Might Raise Older Women's Dementia Risk
Research Link
Neurology. 2016 Aug 17. [Epub ahead of print]

August 22, 2016
Protein and Body Composition: Another human study confirms the importance of maintaining a higher protein intake during reduced calorie intake to promote fat loss and to reduce or prevent loss of lean body mass. The results of this study also indicate that after weight loss, maintenance of adequate protein intake helps to prevent weight and fat regain.
Consumer Link
Protein pacing helps weight loss and maintenance: Study
Research Link
Nutrients. 2016 Jul 30;8(8). pii: E476.

August 21, 2016
Food as Medicine: The link between food and health has been appreciated since at least the time of Hippocrates. Consuming an inadequate amount of even one essential nutrient can increase risk factors for disease.
Consumer Link
Nutrition needed, even with ‘longevity gene’
Research Link
Nutr Health. 2009;20(2):135-66.

August 20, 2016
Physical Activity and Diabetes: The end of summer is near so, it is important to stay physically active. This helps to maintain or achieve a healthy weight and decreases risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Staying active can reduce diabetes risk in adulthood
Research Link
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2005 Jun;68 Suppl1:S73-81.

August 19, 2016
Nutrition and Mental Health: It is well known that normal brain function is the product of complex biochemistry that involves many chemicals, including essential nutrients. Nutritional psychiatry is a growing field of study that aims to include nutrient considerations along with all other aspects of psychiatry such as pharmacology.
Consumer Link
The Importance of Nutrition in Mental Health
Research Link
Lancet Psychiatry. 2015 Jul;2(7):e19.

August 18, 2016
Raw Food & Hepatitis A: Raw fish and shellfish are popular ingredients in Asian/Pacific foods such as sushi. However, there are certain risks to consuming raw seafood. Recently, a hepatitis A outbreak in Honolulu was linked to consuming raw scallops as a sushi ingredient.
Consumer Link
Hawaii authorities urge awareness of raw food risk
Research Link
State of Hawaii Dep of Health, Aug 15, 2016.

August 17, 2016
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Alzheimer's Disease: A new study found that higher blood levels of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA were associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's Disease based on a variety of brain measurements related to the disease. DHA is one of the two key omega-3 fatty acids that are high in fish oils and in some special algae oils.
Consumer Link
Role for Fatty Acid Metabolism in Preclinical AD?
Research Link
JAMA Neurol. August 08, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

August 16, 2016
Breakfast and Academic Performance in Children: Many studies have indicated improved academic performance in children who consume breakfast. This has supported the National School Breakfast Program that provides free and reduced price breakfasts to students from families with a low income. Now, an analysis of academic achievement levels of students found that academic achievement is higher in schools that offer the School Breakfast Program.
Consumer Link
Better breakfast, better grades
Research Link
J Public Econ. 2015 Apr 1;124:91-104.

August 15, 2016
Gestational Diabetes & Child Obesity: A study of 4740 children, 9-11 years of age, indicated that children were more likely to be obese if their mother had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). How exposure to diabetes via mother's womb may increase the risk of offspring obesity is not fully understood.
Consumer Link
Study links child obesity at age 9-11 years to gestational diabetes in mother
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2016 Aug 11. [Epub ahead of print]

August 14, 2016
Cancer and Alternative “cures”: Alternative “cures” for cancer can be very tempting to cancer patients. However, opting for questionable therapies can be very risky and can delay evidence-based treatments to the point that they may no longer be effective.
Consumer Link
How Quackery Harms Cancer Patients
Research Link
Ir Med J. 2008 Mar;101(3):82-4.

August 13, 2016
Iodine Deficiency and Decreased Salt: According to recent research, levels of the essential nutrient iodine have declined in the American diet over the past two decades. As people decrease their intake of iodized salt, it becomes more important to include seafood in the diet on a regular basis.
Consumer Link
Researchers fear deficiency of iodine intake
Research Link
Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008, 42 (4), pp 1315–1323

August 12, 2016
Exercise Placebo Effect: A new study found that those who expected exercise to provide benefits were more likely to have positive psychological responses to a single bout of exercise. This was confirmed by electroencephalogram measurements.
Consumer Link
Believe it or not: Exercise does more good if you believe it will
Research Link
J Behav Med (2016). doi:10.1007/s10865-016-9781-3

August 11, 2016
Green Tea, Bowel Disease, and Iron: Green tea is rich in compounds known as polyphenols. One that has been widely studied has the acronym EGCG. This compound has been shown to reduce inflammation in inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. However, tea polyphenols like EGCG bind to iron. Consequently, when tea components are consumed together with foods rich in iron, it can both reduce the benefits of the EGCG and reduce the absorption of iron.
Consumer Link
Green tea and iron, bad combination
Research Link
Am J Pathol. 2016 Apr;186(4):912-26.

August 10, 2016
Kidney Stones Treatment: Researchers report that a compound called hydroxycitric acid or hydroxycitrate (HCA) shows promise as a treatment to dissolve kidney stones. HCA is very high in a fruit called Garcinia cambogia (Malabar tamarind) which has been an ingredient in controversial supplements marketed for weight loss. Human trials are needed to confirm HCA's possible use for kidney stones.
Consumer Link
Researchers propose new treatment to prevent kidney stones
Research Link
Nature. 2016 Aug 8:1-5.

August 9, 2016
Energy Drinks and Heart Function: A new case study presented another case of high caffeine energy drink consumption triggering an overly rapid heart rate combined with an abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation). This and other case reports are increasingly suggestive that excessive energy drink consumption can adversely affect heart function in some people.
Consumer Link
Cardiac complications from energy drinks? Case report adds new evidence
Research Link
J Addict Med. 2016 Jul-Aug;10(4):280-2.

August 8, 2016
Food Allergies in Siblings: Parents of children with food allergies often are concerned that the child's siblings also will develop allergies. A study of over 1100 children with food allergies found that their siblings were not at significantly increased risk for developing food allergies.
Consumer Link
Most siblings of food allergic kids do not have food allergy
Research Link
J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2016 May 25. [Epub ahead of print]

August 7, 2016
How To Make Food Decisions: When you decide to eliminate a food from your diet, make sure your decision is based on science rather than Internet scare tactics masquerading as the latest nutrition news.
Consumer Link
False claims thrive on Internet
Research Link
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.

August 6, 2016
Choline is Lacking: An analysis of national eating patterns found that older children and adults consume choline containing foods far below the recommended "Adequate Intake" level for this essential nutrient. Since eggs and meat are the richest food sources of this nutrient, limiting these foods also reduces choline intake.
Consumer Link
Little-noticed choline plays essential role
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.

August 5, 2016
Fish Oil Supplement and Muscle Soreness: The first bout of a new exercise often causes muscle soreness that occurs a day or two after the exercise. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). A recent study found that women who took a fish oil supplement (containing a total of 3.6 g/d of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA plus DHA) experienced significantly less symptoms and biomarkers of DOMS. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions against consuming EPA and DHA in excess of 3g/d due to the risk of increased bleeding time. Consequently, long term use of this dose may not be safe.
Consumer Link
Fish oil may reduce muscle soreness after exercising: Study
Research Link
J Diet Suppl. 2016 Jul 21:1-12.

August 4, 2016
Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity: Celiac disease and wheat allergy are well studied medical conditions that are caused by gluten and/or other components in grains like wheat, rye, or barley. However, many people have been found to react adversely to wheat even though they do not fit the diagnostic criteria for celiac disease or wheat allergy. Researchers are now finding new measures to diagnose non-celiac wheat sensitivity.
Consumer Link
Is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Real?
Research Link
Gut. 2016 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print]

August 3, 2016
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Heart Attack Recovery: A placebo-controlled study found that a fish oil-based supplement with high dose omega-3 fatty acids (465 mg EPA and 375 mg DHA) significantly benefited key aspects of recovery from a heart attack. These levels of omega-3 fatty acids are difficult to obtain from food. To do so would require daily consumption of a fish like salmon (which can vary in fatty acid content depending on source and species).
Consumer Link
Omega-3 fatty acids may aid heart attack healing
Research Link
Circulation. 2016;134:378-391.

August 2, 2016
Bariatric Surgery and Bone Loss: A number of studies have found that weight loss, especially when it is rapid, includes bone loss. Consequently, it is not surprising that a Canadian study reported that people who lost weight from bariatric surgery were at increased risk for bone fractures.
Consumer Link
Weight-Loss Surgery Doesn't Boost Bone Health: Study
Research Link
BMJ 2016;354:i3794.

August 1, 2016
HHydration and Body Weight: A study based on data from over 9500 people found that individuals who were overweight or obese, based on BMI (body mass index) also were more likely to be poorly hydrated. It is not clear what this really means in terms of possible causes or effects of obesity, but further research to evaluate potential cause/effect relationships seems warranted.
Consumer Link
Study: Water intake overlooked in obese individuals
Research Link
Ann Fam Med. 2016 Jul;14(4):320-4.

July 31, 2016
Dietary Protein and Bone: Dietary protein tends to increase the loss of calcium in the urine, however, dietary protein also enhances the absorption of calcium. Overall, adequate protein benefits bone health.
Consumer Link
Proper protein is necessary
Research Link
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12.

July 30, 2016
Hydration and Blood Pressure: Dehydration can lead to overly low blood pressure and impair both brain function and balance. Drinking enough fluid can especially help older people avoid falls due to dizziness or disorientation.
Consumer Link
Lower risk of falling with good nutrition
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68(8): 439–458.

July 29, 2016
Selenium and Liver Cancer Risk: A European study found that those with the lowest selenium status had the greatest risk of developing liver cancer. Good food sources of selenium include fish, meats, poultry, eggs, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, tofu, and some fortified cereals.
Consumer Link
Low selenium levels linked to liver cancer development
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun 29. [Epub ahead of print]

July 28, 2016
Influence of Family Food Habits: A study of almost 3000 twins, 18 to 19 years of age, found that dietary food preferences can change substantially during the early adult years. The researchers suggest that this stage of life may represent an important window of opportunity to influence food choices throughout the rest of one's life.
Consumer Link
Family upbringing has no impact on people's food preferences
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]

July 27, 2016
Mercury Toxicity in Skin Products: Most people are aware that it is important to avoid over-consumption of foods high in mercury, a toxic heavy metal. Now, FDA is warning consumers about skin products that can deliver dangerous amounts of mercury into the body through the skin. The most common mercury-containing products are “anti-aging” or “skin lightening” products made outside the U.S. If there is no ingredient list or if the list contains the words “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury,” FDA recommends that you stop using the product immediately.
Consumer Link
The Ancient Chinese Secret For Removing Age Spots May Be Mercury
Research Link
FDA Consumer Health Information. July 2016.

July 26, 2016
Pregnancy, Iron Deficiency, and Thyroid Function: A study of 1900 pregnant women in Brussels found that 35 percent of them were iron deficient during their first trimester. Iron deficient women were more likely to have impaired thyroid function. This is physiologically logical because thyroid hormone production depends on the normal function of an enzyme that requires iron as an essential co-factor.
Consumer Link
Third of pregnant women iron deficient, risk thyroid-related pregnancy complications
Research Link
Eur J Endocrinol July 22, 2016 EJE-16-0288.

July 25, 2016
Physical Activity and Cancer Risk: A combined analysis of the data from 12 large studies (total of 1.44 million participants) found that those reporting the most leisure-time physical activity had a lower overall risk for cancer. One exception was in increased risk of skin cancer (malignant melanoma) in the most active participants - likely due to greater sun exposure without adequate sun protection.
Consumer Link
Increased physical activity associated with lower risk of 13 types of cancer
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Jun 1;176(6):816-25.

July 24, 2016
Essential Nutrients during Exercise: During endurance exercises like jogging, the first nutrient that runs low is water and the second is carbohydrate. For good endurance, stay hydrated during exercise and consume a balanced diet that includes high carbohydrate foods. Both chocolate milk and fruit drinks offer both nutrients.
Consumer Link
Athletes need to hydrate and devour carbohydrates
Research Link
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):709-31.

July 23, 2016
Determinants of Children's Food Choices: Parents are a role model for their children's food choices. If a parent eats a wide variety of wholesome foods, the child is more likely to follow suit.
Consumer Link
Children's nutrition: 10 tips for picky eaters
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr December 2011 vol. 94 no. 6 Suppl 2006S-2011S

July 22, 2016
Antioxidant Supplements: Oxygen, of course, is required for life. However, some theories of disease suggest that various chemical reactions in the body involving oxygen create oxidative stress. It has been proposed that this oxidative stress may trigger certain diseases. Although taking antioxidant supplements may seem like the solution, these supplements may actually worsen some disease states by impairing beneficial oxidation reactions such as those involved in defense mechanisms of the immune system. Maintaining good health always seems to be a balancing act.
Consumer Link
Beware of antioxidant supplements, warns scientific review
Research Link
Br J Pharmacol. 2016 Jul 18. [Epub ahead of print]

July 21, 2016
Nutrition and Social Development in Children: A study of over 1500 3-year old children found that physical signs of deficiency of protein, niacin, riboflavin, or iron were strong predictors of impaired social behavior skills. Consuming a variety of foods from all of the key food groups greatly increases the odds of meeting all essential nutrient needs.
Consumer Link
Good nutrition positively affects social development, research shows
Research Link
Matern Child Nutr. 2016 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]

July 20, 2016
Female Athlete Triad: Female athletes who chronically do not match their exercise energy expenditure with adequate calorie intake develop the three components of the Female Athlete Triad: Menstrual problems, weakened bones, and disordered eating. This can lead to impaired performance and long term health problems such as impaired bone health for life. There also appears to be an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
3 Health Issues That Can Threaten Young Female Athletes
Research Link
Pediatrics. July 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

July 19, 2016
Essential Fatty Acids and Pregnancy: The essential fatty acid DHA is one of several nutrients critical for normal infant brain development, retinal development, and immune function. Supplementing women with DHA, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, was found to greatly reduce the average medical costs of delivery and the first year of the infants' lives. Researchers estimated that supplementation of all pregnant women in the U.S. with DHA would save about six billion dollars in annual medical costs.
Consumer Link
Two Studies Recommend DHA Supplementation During Pregnancy
Research Link
Prost Leuko Ess Fat Acids. 2016;111:8-10.

July 18, 2016
Fruits and Vegetables for Vision: Fruits and vegetable provide a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. In addition, some fruits and vegetables are good sources of carotenoid compounds that are essential for healthy retinal function and sharp vision. These key carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, typically are not included in lists of essential nutrients, but they are essential for good vision.
Consumer Link
Relying upon Diet to Enhance Your Visual Experiences!
Research Link
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Jun 1;57(7):3429-39.

July 17, 2016
Risks of Too Much Tea? Green tea is widely extolled for its beneficial content of polyphenols that are linked to reduced chronic disease risks. However, consuming too much tea (green or black) also can potentially supply excessive amounts of aluminum and fluoride.
Consumer Link
The dark side of healthful 'superfoods'
Research Link
Rev Saude Publica. 2004 Feb;38(1):100-5. Epub 2004 Jan 30.

July 16, 2016
Psoriasis, the Immune System and Nutrition: Since the immune system is clearly involved in psoriasis, maintaining a healthy immune system helps to deal with the disease. Many nutrients are involved in supporting immune function, so meeting all nutrient needs may be step one in treating psoriasis.
Consumer Link
Causes of psoriasis are not yet determined
Research Link
Br J Dermatol. 2005 Oct;153(4):706-14.

July 15, 2016
Magnesium Supplementation and Blood Pressure: Most Americans do not meet recommended magnesium intake. A summary of multiple studies found that supplementation with about 300 mg of magnesium per day lowers blood pressure by about 2 mm Hg on average. Although this was statistically significant, it is likely not biologically significant. However, consuming adequate magnesium from foods and/or supplements is important for overall health.
Consumer Link
Magnesium may modestly lower blood pressure
Research Link
Hypertension. 2016 Aug;68(2):324-33.

July 14, 2016
Binge Eating in Children: An eating disorder called binge eating disorder is characterized by feeling out of control while eating and is typically associated with overweight and obesity. A review of 15 studies on binge eating disorder in children (5 to 12 years of age) found that family-based weight teasing was associated with the behavior. Although the review could not conclude that this caused the disorder, it indicates that emotional support of overweight or obese children may help to prevent binge eating disorder.
Consumer Link
Childhood binge eating: Families, feeding, and feelings
Research Link
Eat Behav. 2016 Apr 9;22:62-71.

July 13, 2016
Low Carb Diet: A tightly controlled study of 17 overweight or obese men was conducted under metabolic ward conditions. The researchers compared the amount of fat lost during 4 weeks of a normal reduced-calorie diet to 4 weeks on a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet. Each diet provided the same amount of calories. Protein intake was the same on both diets. There was little difference in fat loss between the two diets. One problem is that the study design did not randomize the order of the diets.
Consumer Link
Carbohydrate Study Leaves Diet Researchers Divided
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]

July 12, 2016
Exercise and Brain Function: A number of studies have reported that bouts of exercise and exercise training programs benefit mental function. New research appears to be narrowing in on how this might work. During exercise, muscle tissue releases a specific protein factor into the blood that benefits parts of the brain involved in memory.
Consumer Link
Exercise Releases Brain-Healthy Protein
Research Link
Cell Metab. 2016 Jun 21. pii: S1550-4131(16)30247-9.

July 11, 2016
Gut Transit Time and the Microbiome: The colonic microbiome (microorganism quantity and diversity) is being widely studied as a contributor to many potential health outcomes. New research indicates that despite the richness of microbial content, when intestinal contents move too slowly their may be adverse health effects due to certain bacterial byproducts. Consuming a variety of foods with dietary fiber and consuming plenty of fluids helps to speed up transit.
Consumer Link
Food’s transit time through body is a key factor in digestive health
Research Link
Nature Microb. 27 June 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

July 10, 2016
Fat Soluble Vitamins and Body Fat: The fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) naturally accumulate in body fat cells. This appears to increase the need for these vitamins in people who have higher amounts of body fat.
Consumer Link
Overweight people need fat-soluble vitamins
Research Link
J Nutr. 2010 May;140(5):1029-34.

July 9, 2016
Sports Drinks and Children: Sports drinks are designed for athletes to provide water, sugar, and salt. This is what athletes need during endurance exercise. There is a tendency to perceive sports drinks as being a healthy option, however, other than being a bit lower in sugar, they are not much different than soda. Consequently, frequent consumption of sports drinks is generally not a good option for children.
Consumer Link
Children consuming sports drinks unnecessarily
Research Link
Br Dent J. 2016 Jun 24;220(12):639-43.

July 8, 2016
Butter and Cardiovascular Health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of 9 databases indicates that butter consumption was not significantly associated with any cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease or stroke.
Consumer Link
Has Butter Gotten a Bad Rap?
Research Link
PLoS One. Published: June 29, 2016

July 7, 2016
Fish Oil and Pregnancy: Fatty acids from fish is known to be beneficial for brain development of a growing fetus. A recent study, however, shows that fish Oil capsules consumed during pregnancy does not translate into preventing childhood obesity at preschool age.
Consumer Link
Fish oil during pregnancy offers no protection for children against obesity
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jun;103(6):1472-81. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.128520. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

July 6, 2016
Protein Reduces Hypertension: A study of more than 1500 females showed that those who consumed a higher level of protein foods with certain amino acids had both lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness. These amino acids were found both in meat and plant-based protein sources.
Consumer Link
UEA research shows high protein foods boost cardiovascular health
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 Sep;145(9):2130-8. doi: 10.3945/jn.115.214700. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

July 5, 2016
Vitamin B12 and Baby's Brain: The breast-fed infant of a healthy mother can thrive on breast milk alone for four to six months. However, if a mother is deficient in vitamin B-12, her milk also will be deficient. This can irreversibly damage the baby's brain and nerve development. Consequently, vegetarian mothers are commonly advised to take a B-12 supplement.
Consumer Link
New moms need B-12 for baby’s milk
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2008 May;66(5):250-5.

July 4, 2016
Lifelong Benefits of Exercise Starts Early: Frequent, vigorous exercise during the child and adolescent years is becoming recognized as the most effective way to prevent chronic health conditions that develop during the adult years.
Consumer Link
Active kids avoid later health woes
Research Link
Exerc Immunol Rev. 2005;11:108-44.

July 3, 2016
The Brain is a "Sugar Junkie": The brain requires blood sugar for energy, using about 400 calories of glucose each day. If inadequate carbohydrate is consumed, muscle protein may be broken down to provide needed glucose. Consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrate a day to feed the brain and help prevent muscle loss.
Consumer Link
Too much carb cutting affects your brain
Research Link
Prog Brain Res. 2006;153:129-40.

July 2, 2016
The content of some key vitamins in fresh produce begins to decrease soon after harvest. Therefore to get the most nutrients from your produce, buy fresh produce in quantities that can be consumed within a few days.
Consumer Link
Ways to use vegetables in Hawaii
Research Link
Eur J Cancer Prev. 1997 Mar;6 Suppl 1:S21-4.

July 1, 2016
Beer for the Brain: A study of the brains of 125 men (age 35 to 70 years) from the Helsinki Sudden Death Series autopsy study indicated that those who consumed beer regularly had lower brain levels of the beta amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer's disease than those who did not drink or those who consumed other alcoholic beverages. Although this association is interesting, additional prospective research is needed to indicate any cause/effect relationships. The study also found that age was the strongest predictor of brain beta amyloid levels.
Consumer Link
Is beer good for the brain?
Research Link
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 May 24. [Epub ahead of print]

June 30, 2016
Obesity and Genetics: Researchers found that higher levels of a specific protein molecule in fat cells enhanced the function of insulin and promoted fat storage. People that genetically produce more of this protein have more of a tendency to accumulate body fat than other people, especially when their diet is high in carbohydrate and fat.
Consumer Link
Insulin-sensitive fat leads to obesity
Research Link
J Clin Invest. 2016 Jun 20. pii: 84708. doi: 10.1172/JCI84708. [Epub ahead of print]

June 29, 2016
Exercise and ADHD: A study of young male adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) found that 20 minutes of moderately intense cycling exercise significantly improved some of the measurable aspects of ADHD such as confusion, fatigue, and depression.
Consumer Link
Study: Exercise can help adults better cope with ADHD symptoms
Research Link
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Jun;48(6):1153-60.

June 28, 2016
Exercise and Muscle Recovery in Older People: Most older people find that muscle recovery following a bout of exercise is slower than it used to be. Based on a recent study with older mice, muscle recovery from exercise, or other causes of muscle damage, is enhanced by staying in shape with regular exercise training.
Consumer Link
Regular exercise may help muscle repair in older adults
Research Link
FASEB J. 2016 Jun 15. pii: fj.201600143RR. [Epub ahead of print]

June 27, 2016
Insects for Food: Insects are a rich source of many key nutrients found in meats including protein, fat, minerals, and vitamins, including vitamin B12. Many people have an aversion to consuming insects, but indicate more willingness to consume insects when they are included in foods as a ground up ingredient like insect flour.
Consumer Link
Grub's up! How eating insects could benefit health
Research Link
Journal of Insects as Food and Feed: 1 (3) - Pages: 215 - 225

June 26, 2016
Lowering Diabetes Risk: Those with a family history of diabetes can reduce their own risk of developing the disease by maintaining a daily habit of vigorous exercise.
Consumer Link
Staying active can reduce diabetes risk in adulthood
Research Link
Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2005 Jun;68 Suppl1:S73-81.

June 25, 2016
Fresh Produce and Food Safety: All foods have the potential to cause foodborne illness. Even fresh produce needs to be handled, stored, and prepared safely to obtain essential nutrients with minimal risk of illness.
Consumer Link
Reducing Risk of Getting a Foodborne Illness from Fresh Produce
Research Link
Emerg Infect Dis. 1997 Oct-Dec;3(4):459-65.

June 24, 2016
Heat Exposure Risks: Staying properly hydrated is especially important during hot weather. However, when environmental temperature significantly exceeds body temperature, the body can dangerously overheat even when hydration is adequate. Under these conditions, other measures may be needed to prevent the over-heating that leads to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Those who survive heat stroke may experience permanent damage to various organs, including the intestines, kidneys, and even the brain.
Consumer Link
Deadly Degrees: Why Heat Waves Kill So Quickly
Research Link
Compr Physiol. 2015 Apr;5(2):611-47.

June 23, 2016
Low Maternal Thyroid: Women with low blood levels of thyroid hormone during the first half of pregnancy were significantly more likely to have children that developed schizophrenia. Both low iodine and low iron status can impair normal thyroid hormone production.
Consumer Link
Low maternal thyroid hormone during pregnancy increases risk for schizophrenia in offspring
Research Link
Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Jun 15;79(12):962-70.

June 22, 2016
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A diet low in omega-fatty acids is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. An analysis of almost 300 studies found that parts of the world where people, on average, have healthful blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) included the Sea of Japan, Scandinavia, and some areas with indigenous populations. Very low blood levels were documented in North America, Brazil, India, and parts of Europe and the Middle East.
Consumer Link
New global omega-3 status map highlights emerging public health issue
Research Link
Prog Lipid Res. 2016 May 20;63:132-152.

June 21, 2016
Food Safety: Detecting the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in foods is generally a complex and time-consuming process. However, new techniques in nano-technology have developed a molecule that can be used to detect the presence of a disease-causing strain of E. coli in food. This may lead to the development of a simple hand-held device to monitor food safety on the spot.
Consumer Link
Food pathogen detection via handheld 'nanoflower' biosensor
Research Link
Small. 2016 Jun;12(23):3094-100.

June 20, 2016
Food Intake Regulation: Hormonal changes related to the development and maintenance of obesity are complex. Normally, a hormone called uroguanylin is produced by the intestine in response to food intake. It travels through the blood to trigger brain receptors that decrease the drive to eat. However, the production of this hormone decreases in obese animals and may prove to be a new target in the treatment of obesity.
Consumer Link
Broken calorie sensing pathway: How overeating may lead to more eating
Research Link
Nutr Diabetes. 2016 May 23;6:e211.

June 19, 2016
Healthy Weight Loss: Rapid weight loss increases the risk for accelerated bone loss and developing osteoporosis. Gradually building fitness and eating a balanced diet is more likely to result in long term success. "Slow and steady wins the race."
Consumer Link
Bone mass at risk during weight loss
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jun;93(6):2181-7. doi: 10.1210/jc.2007-1473. Epub 2008 Mar 25.

June 18, 2016
Produce Reduces cancer Risk: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables are recommended for reducing cancer risk. Incorporate local fruits and vegetables into your daily diet to help yourself and your local farmer.
Consumer Link
Use of Tropical Vegetables to Improve Diets in the Pacific Region
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Sep;78(3 Suppl):559S-569S.

June 17, 2016
Paleo Diet and Weight Loss: A 4-week study compared the effects of following the eating plan in The Paleo Diet book to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. In this short study, both groups lost weight, but women following the Paleo Diet lost more weight and body fat. However, researchers cautioned that The Paleo Diet was low in some micronutrients. For example, calcium was low enough to likely increase the risk of osteoporosis if consumed over a long period of time.
Consumer Link
Paleo diet linked to faster weight loss, but also lower intake of key micronutrients, study finds
Research Link
Nutrients 2016, 8(5), 314.

June 16, 2016
Coffee and Cancer: The World Health Organization (WHO) updated its evaluation of potential associations between coffee, very hot beverages, and cancer risk. They previously had stated that coffee drinking was "possibly carcinogenic to humans," but this new report concludes that coffee drinking "is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans." However, consumption of very hot beverages was found to be associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer.
Consumer Link
World Health Organization Drops Coffee’s Status as Possible Carcinogen
Research Link
Q&A on Monographs Volume 116: Coffee, maté, and very hot beverages.

June 15, 2016
Foods to Reduce Inflammation: Recent research indicates that polyphenol compounds naturally high in five plant foods (onions, turmeric, red grapes, green tea, and açai berries) show potential to reduce the release of pro-inflammatory mediators in people at risk of chronic inflammation.
Consumer Link
What foods can help fight the risk of chronic inflammation?
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2016 May;115(10):1699-710.

June 14, 2016
Folate in Pregnancy: Researchers measured the blood folate level of over 1500 women shortly after the women gave birth. The women with the lowest blood folate levels were more likely to have children who became obese or overweight. Folate blood levels that were associated with decreased risk of obesity were significantly greater than the currently accepted lower end of the normal range.
Consumer Link
Proper maternal folate level may reduce child obesity risk
Research Link
JAMA Pediatrics DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0845 (2016).

June 13, 2016
Zinc Deficiency: An interesting study conducted with piglets found that just one week with inadequate zinc intake decreased pancreatic production of digestive enzymes and impaired digestion.
Consumer Link
A diet lacking in zinc is detrimental to human and animal health
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2016 May 27:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

June 12, 2016
Potential Problems with Picky Eating: There are more than 40 essential nutrients required in our diets. Picky eaters run the risk of missing out on one or more of these nutrients.
Consumer Link
Varied menu is best path to good health
Research Link
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11494642

June 11, 2016
Good health requires balanced nutrition: If you eat only the “healthy foods” such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you will eventually become deficient in essential nutrients such as vitamin B-12, iron, and protein.
Consumer Link
All essential nutrients needed to stay healthy
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.

June 10, 2016
Vitamin D and Gut Microbes: Most studies on intestinal microbial populations analyze the bacterial populations in the contents of the lower intestine (colon) or from the stool. A new study on the effects of vitamin D supplementation sampled contents of the intestinal tract form the stomach, small intestine, the colon, and the stool. They found that vitamin D supplementation changed and improved the bacterial composition only in the upper or small intestine.
Consumer Link
High-dose vitamin D may boost diversity of the gut microbiome: Study
Research Link
European J Nutr. 2016;55(4):1479–1489.

June 9, 2016
Evaporated Cane Juice: This term often is used in the ingredient lists of products with the concept that it seems more natural than "sugar." The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that this is a deceptive term and recommends that food manufacturers use simpler terminology such as "sugar" or "cane sugar."
Consumer Link
Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says
Research Link
FDA Constituent Update. May 25, 2016.

June 8, 2016
Abdominal Obesity and Kidney Disease: Young adults (age 20 to 40) with abdominal obesity are at significantly increased risk of declining kidney function and the development of chronic kidney disease. However, it is estimated that less than five percent of those with chronic kidney disease in this age group are diagnosed before their kidney failure is severe.
Consumer Link
Obese Young Adults Unaware of Kidney Disease Risk, Study Finds
Research Link
PLoS One. 2016 May 25;11(5):e0153588.

June 7, 2016
Junk Science? The latest study on sweeteners concluded that aspartame intake "is associated with greater obesity-related impairments in glucose tolerance." However, this does not infer causation and may only indicate that obese people with high blood glucose are more likely to opt for artificial sweeteners in attempts to decrease their carbohydrate intake. Even the abstract for this study is confusing, stating that there was a ". . . positive association between BMI and glucose tolerance." This is the opposite of what their conclusion states.
Consumer Link
Sugar substitutes may cut calories, but don't offer health benefits for individuals with obesity: Study
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 May 24:1-4. [Epub ahead of print]

June 6, 2016
Scientific Knowledge and GMO Foods: Research on consumer opinions indicated that about the 84% of those surveyed supported mandatory labeling to indicate a food contains genetically modified ingredients. Similarly, 80 percent also supported a mandatory label for foods containing DNA. Since all plants and animals contain DNA, the would essentially require labeling all foods as containing DNA.
Consumer Link
Consumer knowledge gap on genetically modified food
Research Link
FASEB J. 2016 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]

June 5, 2016
Hyperactivity Not Caused By Sugar: Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that sugar does not cause increased aggressiveness and hyperactivity. In fact, a study of incarcerated teenage boys found that sugar had a calming effect and helped the boys to concentrate and pay attention.
Consumer Link
A researcher's sweet truths
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 1994 May;52(5):173-5.

June 4, 2016
Exercise and Hydration: Exercise causes the body to lose water and salt in sweat. Typical salt loss during exercise is about a half a teaspoon per hour. Some people lose twice this much. Athletes may crave salt because their needs are much greater than the average person.
Consumer Link
Some athletes run risk of low blood sodium
Research Link
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008 Oct;18(5):457-72.

June 3, 2016
Dehydration in Old Age: A common way to evaluate dehydration in young to middle-age adults is to measure the concentration of their urine (osmolality). New research indicates that this measure does not accurately determine hydration status in older people because of common age-related changes in kidney function. Blood tests (osmolality) are much more reliable for assessing hydration status in older people.
Consumer Link
Urine tests not reliable for dehydration in older adults
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 May 25. [Epub ahead of print]

June 2, 2016
Breast Is Best: A study compared feeding infants with breast milk from the breast vs pumped breast milk from a bottle. Those fed primarily from a bottle were at greater risk of getting ear infections. Breast milk fed by either route reduced the risk of diarrhea compared to formula feeding.
Consumer Link
Babies fed directly from breast may be at less risk for ear infections
Research Link
J Pediatr. 2016 May 9. [Epub ahead of print]

June 1, 2016
Homocysteine Reduction: High blood levels of homocysteine are associated with increased risk developing cardiovascular disease. In addition to an adequate intake of specific B-vitamins, consumption of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) helps to reduce homocysteine.
Consumer Link
B-Vitamins, PUFA and Reducing Homocysteine Levels
Research Link
Nutr Res. 2016 Jun;36(6):499-508.

May 31, 2016
Fatty Liver Disease: The most common cause of fatty liver has been excessive alcohol consumption. However, more recently, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become more common. This may be linked to many factors such as a low intake of protein and/or choline. Also, new research found that those with a genetic limitation in the metabolism of alcohol (low acetaldehyde dehydrogenase activity) are at increased risk for NAFLD even without alcohol consumption.
Consumer Link
Even light drinkers should watch for fatty liver disease
Research Link
Nutr Diabetes. 2016 May 23;6:e210. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2016.17.

May 30, 2016
Hot Weather Hydration: As the weather gets hotter, remember that children are more likely than adults to overheat during exercise. This is especially true for overweight children. Keep plenty of fluids available and encourage drinking.
Consumer Link
Demands of exercise different for children and adults
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Apr;33(2):420-7.

May 29, 2016
Importance of Activity for Health: To maintain a healthy body weight (and composition) throughout life requires more than restricting calories. Maintaining a healthy weight often requires both decreasing calories from food and increasing physical activity.
Consumer Link
Youth Physical Activity Guidelines
Research Link
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009;646:71-81.

May 28, 2016
Base Food Choices on Nutrition Facts not Fiction: In the world of nutrition, things that sound reasonable are not always correct. Unfortunately, it is very easy to change your food choices based on fiction and become part of a "mutual illusion support system" of people who unknowingly promote misinformation.
Consumer Link
Zeal does not make it true
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):601-7.

May 27, 2016
Best Exercise Dose: Some studies indicate that excessive daily exercise may be as risky for cardiovascular health as being sedentary. Exercising moderately a few times a week seems to provide the most health benefit. More research is likely needed to clarify this better, but for now, moderate level exercise appears to be the optimal dose.
Consumer Link
Physical activity beneficial for CV health, but excessive exercise may confer harm
Research Link
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Jan 26;67(3):316-29. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.034.

May 26, 2016
Iodine Decline: The trend toward reducing salt intake and switching from common iodized salt to uniodized specialty salts like sea salt, kosher salt, etc. appears to be contributing to a decline in the U.S. consumption of iodine. This reduced iodine intake, along with low iron status contributes to thyroid malfunction.
Consumer Link
Iodine and Thyroid Health: Putting 2 and 2 Together
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 May 18. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.82. [Epub ahead of print]

May 25, 2016
Sodium and Health: A combined analysis of four studies with more than 130,000 participants (about half with hypertension and half without) raises questions about current recommendations for low sodium intake. They found that those with low sodium intake (below 3000 mg/day) had an increased risk of death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure compared to those with moderate sodium intake. This occurred both in those with hypertension and those with normal blood pressure. However, high sodium intake (above 6000 mg/day) increased death and disease risk only in those who had hypertension.
Consumer Link
Could a Low-Salt Diet Hurt Your Health?
Research Link
Lancet. 20 May 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

May 24, 2016
Vitamin A and the Heart: Using a mouse model, researchers found that eating a vitamin A-deficient diet altered how genes were expressed in heart cells. Vitamin A has many functions and it even appears to play an important role in heart function.
Consumer Link
Role of Vitamin A in maintaining a healthy heart
Research Link
Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2016 Apr 15. [Epub ahead of print]

May 23, 2016
Gluten-free for Kids: Gluten-free foods are very important for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, there is a trend to think that foods containing gluten are bad for you and some parents with good intentions feed their children a gluten-free diet. This can lead to a diet that is less nutritious unless nutritionally comparable foods fill in the gaps left by removing gluten-containing foods.
Consumer Link
Is a gluten-free diet really good for children?
Research Link
J Pediatr. 2016 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]

May 22, 2016
Weight Comments and Youth: Eating disorders can develop from excessive dieting, binge eating, and inappropriate weight loss techniques. Research shows that teasing young family members about their weight can trigger these behaviors.
Consumer Link
Criticism may trigger eating disorders
Research Link
Am J Prev Med. 2007 Nov;33(5):359-369.

May 21, 2016
Nausea and Ginger: Studies indicate that the short-term use of ginger can help to relieve pregnancy-related nausea.
Consumer Link
Herbs at a Glance, Ginger
Research Link
Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jun 1;75(11):1689-91.

May 20, 2016
Heartburn Drugs and the Heart: Chronic use of proton-pump inhibitor drugs (like Prilosec and Nexium) for heartburn accelerates the aging of blood vessels. This could contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease, vascular dementia, and renal failure. Short-term use does not seem to be a problem.
Consumer Link
Common antacid linked to accelerated vascular aging
Research Link
Circ Res. 2016 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]

May 19, 2016
BMI and Mortality: A recent study conducted in Denmark found that the BMI (height to weight ratio) with the lowest risk of death increased since the late 1970s from 24 to 27. A BMI of 27 is near the middle of what is considered to be the “overweight” range of 25 to 30. Keep in mind that different racial groups likely have different mortality risk patterns related to BMI.
Consumer Link
Obesity May Not Take Years Off Your Life: Study
Research Link
JAMA. 2016 May 10;315(18):1989-96.

May 18, 2016
Infant Feeding: A study that documented the feeding practices of over 1000 infants, and followed them for six years, found that the timing of introducing solid foods to the infants had no effect on the prevalence of obesity in the children at six years of age.
Consumer Link
CDC study looks at link between age at first solid foods and later child obesity
Research Link
Child Obes. 2016 Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print]

May 17, 2016
HDL Cholesterol Interpretation: A new analysis of the relationships between HDL cholesterol levels in the blood and the risk of cardiovascular disease found that higher levels of this "good" cholesterol do not reduce disease risk when LDL cholesterol and triglycerides also are high.
Consumer Link
Has HDL, the 'good' cholesterol, been hyped?
Research Link
Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2016 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]

May 16, 2016
Fish Oils and Brain Aging: A study of over 900 older people (average age of 81) found less decline in specific brain functions in those who consumed at least one meal per week of seafood providing omega-3 fatty acids. Since the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA found in fish oils is a major component of the brain, this association makes biological sense.
Consumer Link
Stave off cognitive decline with seafood
Research Link
Neurology. 2016 May 4. [Epub ahead of print]

May 15, 2016
Family Exercise: Motivating children to exercise can sometimes seem like a formidable task. But, make it fun and part the daily lifestyle and it can yield lifelong health rewards.
Consumer Link
Kids and Exercise
Research Link
J Pediatr Health Care. 2003 Jan-Feb;17(1):11-7.

May 14, 2016
Nutrition Decisions: When it comes to nutrition and health, it is often a challenge to sort out sensible information from nonsense. Science should drive decisions, not marketing.
Consumer Link
Zeal does not make it true
Research Link
Phys Sportsmed. 1997 Jun;25(6):77-92.

May 13, 2016
Pregnancy and Folic Acid: It has been almost 20 years since mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid was implemented in the U.S. This greatly reduced the incidence of neural tube defects in babies. However, women who do not regularly consume foods made with white flour may need a supplemental source of folic acid during pregnancy. High doses of folic acid are not recommended. Adequate intake is the goal.
Consumer Link
Putting the spotlight on folic acid supplementation in pregnancy
Research Link
Future Science OA. April 21, 2016.[Epub ahead of print]

May 12, 2016
Pregnancy and Child Obesity: A new study found that when mothers experienced high blood glucose and/or had excessive weight gain during pregnancy, they were more likely to have a child who becomes overweight or obese within ten years even if the child's birth weight was normal.
Consumer Link
Mothers' excess pregnancy weight gain, elevated blood sugar 'imprint' obesity in children
Research Link
Maternal and Child Health Journal, pp 1-10, First online: 06 May 2016

May 11, 2016
Brief Exercise and Diabetes: A study on 24 overweight or obese adults with type 2 diabetes showed that light walking for 3 minutes every 30 minutes during an otherwise sedentary 8-hour work day significantly improved measures of blood glucose control throughout the day.
Consumer Link
Even brief bursts of exercise may help inactive people with diabetes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2016 April 13. [Epub ahead of print]

May 10, 2016
Vitamin D Fortified Bread: Milk is the food most commonly fortified with vitamin D. New research found that bread also can be an effective food for vitamin D fortification. This could be especially helpful for groups of people who have little or no milk in their diet.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D-fortified bread effective alternative to supplementation
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Apr 26:jc20161631. [Epub ahead of print]

May 9, 2016
Abdominal Fat: Obesity often is associated with a generalized increase in inflammation in the body. New research has identified a regulatory molecule produced mainly by visceral fat (internal abdominal fat) that triggers the increased inflammation associated with metabolic disease, insulin resistance, reduced fat mobilization from fat tissues, and an increased risk of death. The subcutaneous fat tissue (just below the skin) is not associated with these risks.
Consumer Link
Why is visceral fat worse than subcutaneous fat?
Research Link
Nat Commun. 2016 Apr 25;7:11378.

May 8, 2016
Aging and B12 Deficiency: It has been estimated that one out of seven people over age 65 lose the ability to absorb vitamin B-12 normally and are at risk of developing a deficiency.
Consumer Link
Age plays crucial role in B-12 needs
Research Link
Arch Intern Med. 2005 May 23;165(10):1167-72.

May 7, 2016
Exercise and Sodium: During one hour of exercise in the heat you can lose twice the daily recommended intake of sodium in sweat loss. Remember, sodium is an essential nutrient.
Consumer Link
Fluid needs rise with temperature
Research Link
Current Sports Medicine Reports. 7(4):S1-S2, July/August 2008.

May 6, 2016
Fructose and Brain: Excess intake of fructose or carbohydrate in general is being considered to have damaging effects on various parts of the body, including the brain. Fructose is a sugar found in many wholesome natural foods (especially fruits) but it is not clear how much fructose is too much. New research on rodents indicates that an adequate intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (generally found in fish) helps to protect the brain from the damaging effects of excess fructose consumption.
Consumer Link
Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases
Research Link
EBioMedicine. 2016 April 21. [Epub ahead of print]

May 5, 2016
Water and Calories: In a 12-week study of overweight teens, having them consume one liter of water a day (along with eating their usual diet) resulted in an average drop in calorie intake of more than 200 calories per day. The consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages also decreased.
Consumer Link
A spoonful of sugar? Swapping sugary drinks for water and dairy seems the best medicine
Research Link
Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2016 May;67(3):314-24.

May 4, 2016
Choline Deficiency: Research shows that 90 percent of the U.S. population is consuming less than the recommended "Adequate Intake" for choline. Since choline deficiency can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, there appears to be a need to generate nutrition education efforts to promote foods that are good sources of choline. Foods especially rich in choline include beef liver (450 mg per 3 oz) and eggs (280 mg per egg). The Adequate Intake is 450 mg for women and 550 for men.
Consumer Link
Assessment of total choline intakes in the United States
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2016 Feb-Mar;35(2):108-12.

May 3, 2016
Supplements and Depression Treatment: A new study reviewed 40 studies on taking specific dietary supplements in conjunction with antidepressant medications. They found evidence that supplementation with SAMe, methylfolate (a form of folic acid), omega-3 fatty acids (specifically EPA or ethyl-EPA), and vitamin D all have the potential to enhance drug treatment of depression. One common nutrient deficiency known to contribute to depression, iron deficiency, was not considered in the study.
Consumer Link
Nutrient supplements can give antidepressants a boost
Research Link
Am J Psychiatry. 2016 Apr 26:appiajp201615091228. [Epub ahead of print]

May 2, 2016
Muscle and Heart Health: New research indicates that maintaining or increasing muscle mass may be especially beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Consequently, any attempts to lose body weight should focus on gradual loss of body fat and preservation of muscle mass. Better yet, add a strength training program to build some muscle mass.
Consumer Link
Building Muscle Could Boost the Body's Most Important Muscle
Research Link
Am J Cardiol. 2016 Apr 15;117(8):1355-60.

May 1, 2016
Protein Needs and Aging: The age-associated loss of body protein is called sarcopenia. To increase muscle along with bone density, consume adequate protein and exercise regularly.
Consumer Link
Keep fit for life
Research Link
Maturitas. 2010 Aug;66(4):383-8.

April 30, 2016
Preventing Osteoporosis: It is particularly important to have adequate calcium intake and physical activity in adolescence and young adulthood to prevent bone fractures later in life.
Consumer Link
Nutrition for older persons
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Oct;18(5 Suppl):406S-412S.

April 29, 2016
Diabetes and Brain: Over time, diabetes is known to have negative effects on brain function. A 10-year study was conducted on people with diabetes (45 to 76 years of age). It was found that those who lost weight and exercised by participating in an intensive lifestyle intervention program had less measurable impact on changes in brain structure than those in a less rigorous educational program. Additional research is needed to see if this translates into less cognitive decline.
Consumer Link
Weight loss may limit diabetes-related brain changes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. March 29, 2016.

April 28, 2016
Hydration: A review of national data on water consumption by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the average American is consuming reasonable amounts of water. However, the average water intake by both men and women over age 60 is lower than recommended.
Consumer Link
Americans Getting Adequate Water Daily, CDC Finds
Research Link
NCHS Data Brief No. 242, April 2016.

April 27, 2016
Vitamin D Deficiency: Darker skin is a human evolutionary adaptation to sunny environments. When dark skin individuals, like most African Americans, live in environments with less sun exposure, vitamin D synthesis can drop to low levels. Low vitamin D status is being linked to alterations in gene expression that might increase the risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D insufficiency, low rate of DNA methylation in black teens may increase disease risk
Research Link
PLoS One. 2016 Apr 6;11(4):e0152849.

April 26, 2016
Obesity and Pregnancy: A large study of 15,710 mothers found that maternal pre-pregnancy obesity was associated with an increased risk of the child being overweight at two years of age. However, breastfeeding the baby for at least six months was associated with reduced risk of the child being overweight.
Consumer Link
Pre-pregnancy obesity increases odds of having overweight children
Research Link
Pediatr Obes. 2016 Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print]

April 25, 2016
Chocolate and Athletic Performance: A small study with 9 participants found that consuming 40 grams of dark chocolate daily for two weeks improved some measures of athletic performance compared to when they consumed white chocolate or no chocolate. More research is needed to confirm the potential effects of components in dark chocolate.
Consumer Link
Eating dark chocolate as a daily snack could help boost athletic performance
Research Link
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Dec 15;12:47.

April 24, 2016
Safe Exercise for Children: With the emphasis on decreasing obesity in children, it is important to recognize that overweight and obese children have a greater tendency to overheat during exercise. Be sure to supply adequate hydration, especially on hot days.
Consumer Link
Demands of exercise different for children and adults
Research Link
Sports Med. 1998 Apr;25(4):221-40.

April 23, 2016
Controlling Caloric Intake: Studies show that consumers have difficulty self-regulating the consumption of large portion sizes. Buying food in smaller packages may cost more but can help to prevent adding inches to your waist.
Consumer Link
Big servings lead unwary to overeat
Research Link
Health Educ Res. 2010 Feb;25(1):109-20.

April 22, 2016
Cow's Milk Allergy and Bones: A study compared 52 boys and girls (age 5 to 9 years) who had persistent cow's milk allergies to a group of 29 children with other food allergies and found that bone density was significantly lower in the children with the cow's milk allergy. Milk and milk products provide multiple nutrients essential for bone health - especially protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Consumer Link
Cow's milk allergy in childhood may lead to weaker bones
Research Link
Pediatrics. May 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

April 21, 2016
Strength Training and Health: A large study on more than 30,000 adults over age 65 found that strength training twice a week was significantly associated with living longer. Along with adequate protein intake, strength training is highly beneficial for maintaining a good muscle mass and avoiding age-related sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass).
Consumer Link
Strength training helps older adults live longer
Research Link
Prev Med. 2016 Feb 24;87:121-127.

April 20, 2016
Exercise and Bone Health: Most studies on bone health indicate that exercises like running that put stress on bones help to maintain bone calcium, bone density, and bone strength with aging. A new study that compared middle-aged adult marathon runners to shorter distance runners and sedentary people found that greater running distance was related to increased measures of bone strength in the heel bone (calcaneus).
Consumer Link
The more you run, the denser your bones will be
Research Link
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016 Feb;116(2):327-33.

April 19, 2016
Banned Substance in Supplements: Although not approved for use in dietary supplements, the drug oxilofrine was found in several "fat-burner" supplements. It was listed in the label ingredients as methylsynephrine, another name for the drug. Some may confuse this with a natural compound from bitter orange called synephrine that is a legal supplement ingredient. Oxilofrine stimulates heart function and increases blood pressure like its chemical cousin ephedrine.
Consumer Link
Stimulant, Banned From Sports, Found in Dietary Supplements in U.S.
Research Link
Drug Test Anal. 2016 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print]

April 18, 2016
Folate Deficiency: FDA recently announced approval for voluntary folic acid fortification in corn masa flour, which is a staple food for many Latin Americans. This fortification affects foods such as corn tortillas, tortilla chips, tamales, taco shells, and corn chips. Folic acid is critical for women of childbearing age to prevent birth defects affecting the brain, spine, and spinal cord.
Consumer Link
FDA approves folic acid fortification of corn masa flour
Research Link
Fed Register. Apr 16 2016. 81 FR 22176; 22176 -22183 (8 pages); 21 CFR 172.

April 17, 2016
Protein Needs and Weight Loss: When calorie intake is reduced for weight loss, protein needs actually increase. Consequently, when dieting, cut back on foods that are high in fat, sugar, and starch.
Consumer Link
Careful diet plan sheds fat
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6 Suppl):631S-636S

April 16, 2016
Importance of Variety: Our food environment offers a great variety of foods throughout the year. Despite this modern abundance, many people eat a rather limited variety of foods. Eating too narrow for too long may have serious long-term health consequences due to chronically low intake of some essential nutrients.
Consumer Link
Varied menu is the best path to good health
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.

April 15, 2016
Keeping Lost Weight Off: It often is said that keeping lost weight off is more difficult than losing the weight. New research provides a better understanding of how to maintain weight loss. This study demonstrated that when weight loss is maintained for at least a year, appetite inhibiting and stimulating hormones that drive hunger can return to before-weight loss levels, making maintenance of the lowered weight the "new normal."
Consumer Link
Obese people can maintain stable weight loss
Research Link
Eur J Endocrinol. 2016 Mar 14. [Epub ahead of print]

April 14, 2016
Butter or Vegetable Oils? Substituting high linoleic acid vegetable oils like corn and safflower for butter in the diet has long been thought to reduce blood cholesterol and reduced death, especially from coronary heart disease. However, analysis of previously unpublished data from 50 years ago showed that replacement of saturated fat in the diet with high linoleic acid vegetable oils lowers serum cholesterol but does not translates to a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease or all causes.
Consumer Link
Replacing butter with vegetable oils does not cut heart disease risk
Research Link
BMJ, 2016;353:i1246.

April 13, 2016
Zinc Enriched Plants: In parts of the world where animal protein foods are scarce in the diet, zinc deficiency is common. New research has found the mechanism in plants that transports zinc into plant cells. Breeding new varieties of plants to enhance this transport mechanism promises to increase zinc in many plant foods.
Consumer Link
Researchers find key to zinc rich plants to combat malnutrition
Research Link
Nature Plants, April 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

April 12, 2016
Plant Food Iron Sources: Because iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, researchers have been working to decrease known inhibitors of iron absorption. Although developing beans with lower amounts of the iron absorption inhibitor phytate showed some promise, the lower phytate beans also caused unacceptable gastrointestinal problems.
Consumer Link
Can Biofortification or Reduction of Phytic Acid in Beans Increase Iron Uptake?
Research Link
J Nutr. 2016 Mar 30. [Epub ahead of print]

April 11, 2016
Youth Physical Activity: Increased child obesity often is blamed on changes in the food environment. However, reduced physical activity may be a more significant contributor. Accelerometer data for children in grades 3-5 found that very few of the children achieved the recommended 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Consumer Link
Few children get 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity daily
Research Link
Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2016 Mar 22;13(1):39.

April 10, 2016
Got Nutrients: Too often people equate good nutrition with eliminating the so-called "bad" foods and ingredients from their diets. The number one goal for good nutrition is to meet the need for essential nutrients within a person's calorie requirements.
Consumer Link
People should meet essential nutrient needs
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Apr;24(2):150S-154S.

April 9, 2016
Gallstones and Weight Loss: Two of the major risk factors for gallstone disease are prolonged fasting and rapid weight loss. Restricted food intake, especially when low in fat, slows the release of bile from the gall bladder and gallstones are more likely to form.
Consumer Link
Painful stones gall many U.S. adults
Research Link
Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2006;20(6):1063-73.

April 8, 2016
Sitting Time and Mortality: An analysis of data from 54 countries found that increased sitting time could shorten your life. However, if your job requires a lot of sitting, don't stress too much. Statistically speaking, they found that limiting sitting time to less than three hours a day could, on average, increase a person's life expectancy by 0.2 years, a bit more than two months.
Consumer Link
Too Much Sitting May Shorten Your Life
Research Link
Am J Prev Med. 2016 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print]

April 7, 2016
Food Label and Exercise: In addition to providing the calorie content per serving of a food on its food label, it has been proposed that people would understand calories better if an activity equivalent for the amount of calories also was provided on the label. For something like miles of walking, it would be necessary to determine the best body weight to use. To walk a mile, a person weighing 120 pounds expends about 70 calories whereas a 200 pound person expends about 105 calories.
Consumer Link
Food should be labelled with "activity equivalent" calorie information
Research Link
BMJ 2016;353:i1856.

April 6, 2016
Seafood and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Simply following the recommendation to include fish and seafood in your diet once or twice a week does not necessarily provide adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. It depends on what seafood you select. For example, foods like shrimp, tilapia, and many other "white" fish are low in omega-3 fatty acids. However, fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and anchovy provide substantial amounts of these beneficial fatty acids.
Consumer Link
Do Americans Eat Enough Fish for Omega-3 Recommendations?
Research Link
Nutrients. 2014 Dec 22;6(12):6060-75.

April 5, 2016
Arsenic in Baby Food: Rice is a grain that can accumulate too much arsenic if it is grown in high arsenic soil and/or water. Consequently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set maximum allowable limits for the arsenic content of infant rice cereals.
Consumer Link
Infant rice cereal has inorganic arsenic. The FDA wants to limit it.
Research Link
FDA News Release. April 1, 2016.

April 4, 2016
Breakfast and Blood Sugar Levels: In overweight teenage girls who habitually consume breakfast, increasing protein in the breakfast meal to about 30 grams resulted in reduced morning, afternoon and total overall blood glucose levels.
Consumer Link
Breakfast habits affect teens' metabolic responses to protein-packed morning meals
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;69(8):885-90.

April 3, 2016
Nutrition and Mental Health: Researchers have found that several nutrient deficiencies are linked to depression. Ideally, part of the medical evaluation of depression should include a thorough nutritional assessment.
Consumer Link
Can nutrients affect your mood?
Research Link
Biol Psychiatry. 2005 Nov 1;58(9):679-85.

April 2, 2016
Low Calorie Nutrient Dense Foods to Control Hunger: Supersizing low-energy-dense foods like salads and lower fat soups is a great way to control hunger while restricting energy intake. Salads and soups also provide important essential nutrients.
Consumer Link
Big servings lead unwary to overeat
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1 Suppl):236S-241S.

April 1, 2016
Ancestry and Vegetarian Diet: A new study found that people from populations that historically have consumed primarily vegetarian diets are genetically better at converting the omega-6 fatty acid found in many plant foods (linoleic acid) to the longer and more metabolically active essential fatty acid molecule found primarily in animal fats (arachidonic acid). This may be one of many reasons why some people fare better on vegetarian diets than others.
Consumer Link
Are we what we eat?
Research Link
Mol Biol Evol. March 29, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

March 31, 2016
Multivitamin Supplements and Pregnancy: A study of 344 pregnant women found those who took multivitamin supplements prior to conception and during pregnancy had a substantially reduced risk of having a miscarriage. This was especially apparent in women over age 35.
Consumer Link
Multivitamin Supplements Support Full-Term Pregnancies
Research Link
Fertil Steril. 2016 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print]

March 30, 2016
Sun Exposure and Longevity: A 20-year study of almost 30,000 Swedish women found that those with more sun exposure tended to live a bit longer. Interestingly, nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group. The key factor may be that vitamin D status increases with sun exposure. But, so does skin cancer.
Consumer Link
Are There *Really* Health Benefits to Sunbathing?
Research Link
J Intern Med. 2016 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]

March 29, 2016
Fresh Vegetable Virus Contamination: Frequently, there have been reports about various types of produce being contaminated with viruses that cause food borne illness. A recent study a rotavirus found that plant surfaces with more natural waxes are less likely to allow viral adhesion to the food. Washing the produce helps to reduce the virus, but does not eliminate it.
Consumer Link
Microscopic structures of vegetable surfaces contribute to foodborne illness
Research Link
PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (7): e0132841.

March 28, 2016
Alcohol and Mortality: Many studies have indicated that moderate alcohol consumption may have health benefits, finding that moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. However, a meta-analysis of 87 studies on this subject found that study designs may produce incorrect results when study participants in the non-drinkers group include people who have stopped drinking because of health problems. Their analysis suggests a need for more rigorous study designs. As always, moderation seems to be the key factor.
Consumer Link
Is moderate drinking really good for you? Jury's still out
Research Link
J Studies Alcohol Drugs. 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

March 27, 2016
Issues with Calcium-fortified foods: Calcium-fortified foods make getting your daily calcium relatively simple. Because excess calcium can decrease the absorption of other essential minerals like iron and zinc, it might be prudent to consume only 1 calcium fortified food a day.
Consumer Link
How much is too much calcium?
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 1993 Mar;69(2):533-40.

March 26, 2016
Increasing Bean acceptability: Beans promote good intestinal health, however people often avoid beans because of increased flatulence. Beano, an over-the-counter enzyme product, can decrease or prevent intestinal gas and other gastrointestinal symptoms resulting from a high-fiber diet.
Consumer Link
High-carb food can be a gas to eat at times
Research Link
J Fam Pract. 1994 Nov;39(5):441-5.

March 25, 2016
Star Fruit and Kidneys: Star fruit toxicity (due to high oxalic acid content) has been well documented in those with impaired kidney function. More recent research presents two cases of star fruit toxicity due to high star fruit consumption in people with apparently normal kidney function. Like everything, it's the dose that makes the poison. To reduce the toxicity of star fruit, you can decrease the absorption of the oxalic acid in star fruit by consuming it with a high calcium food like yogurt.
Consumer Link
Oxalic acid in star fruit can kill kidney patients
Research Link
BMC Res Notes. 2015 Dec 17;8:796.

March 24, 2016
Fat Loss and Diabetes: In people with type-2 diabetes, significant fat loss from reduced calorie intake was associated with a loss of fat also from the pancreas. As pancreatic fat dropped, insulin production returned to normal if pancreatic function was not already overly impaired.
Consumer Link
Reverse your diabetes: You can stay diabetes-free long-term
Research Link
Diabetes Care, March 2016 DOI: 10.2337/dc15-1942

March 23, 2016
Vegan Diet: A study in Finland analyzed the diets and nutritional status of those consuming a vegan diet. They found that the vegans should be including dietary supplements for nutrients like vitamins B12 and D, as well as iodine and selenium. Also interesting, the vegans had higher iron intake than the non-vegetarians, but blood measures of iron status were lower in the vegans. This is likely due to the low iron bioavailability in plant foods.
Consumer Link
Use of supplements essential for vegans
Research Link
PLOS ONE, 2016;11(2):e0148235.

March 22, 2016
Satiety and Obesity: Using a mouse model, researchers found a specific enzyme that plays a major part in triggering satiety messages in a specific part of the brain. This may lead to the development of medicines that could help to treat obesity.
Consumer Link
Portion control: Cells found in mouse brain that signal 'stop eating'
Research Link
Science. 2016 Mar 18;351(6279):1293-6.

March 21, 2016
Diet, Exercise and Aging: If you are eating well or not so well, research shows that exercise still is likely to benefit health and longevity.
Consumer Link
Poor diet and lack of exercise accelerate the onset of age-related conditions in mice
Research Link
Diabetes. 2016 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]

March 20, 2016
The body has many complex systems that protect it against oxidative damage and inflammation. Fruits and vegetables are naturally rich sources of vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene and should be consumed daily.
Consumer Link
Plant food diet can protect lungs
Research Link
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005 Apr;9(4):362-74.

March 19, 2016
Aim for Healthy Diets: Many individual foods have special health-promoting qualities. But, a healthful diet depends on the balance of a wide variety of these individual foods.
Consumer Link
Eating for disease prevention may not be healthy
Research Link
J Nutr. 2004 Jul;134(7):1779-85.

March 18, 2016
Green Tea and Iron: A component of green tea (EGCG), known to provide beneficial antioxidant effects in the body, strongly binds to iron in the intestine. This creates a double whammy by blocking the absorption of both iron and EGCG.
Consumer Link
Green tea and iron, bad combination
Research Link
Am J Pathol. 2016 Feb 27. [Epub ahead of print]

March 17, 2016
Technology to track food intake: Weight loss or gain is dependent on both food intake and energy expenditure. There are many technologies to track exercise. Now a new technolgy to document food consumed is being development. This technology is in the form of a necklace that monitors chewing sounds.
Consumer Link
This necklace hears what you eat
Research Link
IEEE Sensors Journal, 2016; 16 (3):806 - 816.

March 16, 2016
Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Research indicates that the prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency is quite high in people who have consumed vegetarian diets for years. Consequently, vegetarians, and especially vegans, should either have periodic testing for deficiency or take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Consumer Link
The Other Vitamin B12 Controversy: Must We Eat Meat?
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2013 Feb;71(2):110-7.

March 15, 2016
Nutritional Supplement for Hearing Loss: Using a mouse model to study a type of hearing loss seen in children with a specific genetic mutation, researchers found that supplementation with beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamins C and E and magnesium helped to slow progression of their hereditary deafness. However, the same supplements given to mice with a slightly different mutation made the condition worse.
Consumer Link
Can nutritional supplements impact genetic hearing loss in children?
Research Link
Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 22690.

March 14, 2016
Often Forgotten Iron Deficiency Symptoms: Swallowing Difficulty and Fingernails: An interesting case study in an open-access journal shows a classic case of seemingly unrelated signs of potential long-term iron deficiency - difficulty swallowing and flattened or spooned fingernails.
Consumer Link
Doctors weren't sure why a woman couldn't swallow until they looked at her nails
Research Link
Clin Case Rep. 2015 Nov 3;3(12):1054-5.

March 13, 2016
Coffee and Parkinson's disease. Research shows that moderate coffee consumption appears to reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Although these types of studies can't claim cause and effect, they do reduce concerns about potential harmful effects.
Consumer Link
In moderation, caffeine found to aid health
Research Link
Mov Disord. 2007 Nov 15;22(15):2242-8.

March 12, 2016
Adequate Essential Nutrients Needed: Leading a full life requires both a strong body and a healthy mind. Marginal deficiencies of many nutrients can contribute to subclinical depression and impaired memory.
Consumer Link
Nutritional requirements more complex for seniors
Research Link
J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct;10(5):377-85.

March 11, 2016
Autism and Nutrient Intake: A study on the food and supplement intake of children with autism spectrum disorders found that many of the 2- to 3-year old children exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for three essential nutrients from their food intake alone (34% exceeded the UL for preformed vitamin A, 44% for manganese, and 40% for zinc). Consumption of supplements added to this already excessive level of nutrient intake, likely increasing the risk of one or more of these nutrients having neuro-toxic effects.
Consumer Link
Dietary Supplementation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Aug;115(8):1237-48.

March 10, 2016
Ready-to-eat Cereals: Cereals have not only been a convenient way to get a quick morning meal, they also have represented a food form that is easily fortified with a number of vitamins and minerals. Breakfast consumption, both with or without cereal, has been associated with numerous health benefits.
Consumer Link
Raise Your Spoon to National Cereal Day
Research Link
Adv Nutr. 2014 Sep 15;5(5):636S-673S.

March 9, 2016
Peanut Allergy Prevention: Recent studies indicate that early feeding of peanuts to infants at high risk for allergy helps to prevent the allergy from developing. Following up on this research, it was found that avoidance of peanuts for a year (following early introduction of peanuts) did not alter the protective effect of early peanut introduction.
Consumer Link
Pioneering approach to prevent peanut allergies in children provides ongoing protection, study shows
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2016 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]

March 8, 2016
Protein and Fullness: A review of research on the effects of consuming a high protein food on fullness found that protein (compared to carbohydrate and fat) is associated with greater fullness ratings in healthy adults. To determine if this short-term effect of protein translates into improved weight management over time requires additional research.
Consumer Link
Increased protein consumption linked to feelings of fullness
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. March 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

March 7, 2016
Diabetes Guidelines: A synopsis of the 2016 American Diabetes Association Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes emphasize individualized care to manage the disease, prevent or delay complications, and improve outcomes. Among other things, the guidelines stress patient self-management, physical activity, and weight management.
Consumer Link
ADA Issues Recs for Management of Diabetes in Primary Care
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 1 March 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

March 6, 2016
Higher Fat Fish and Health: Eating higher fat ocean fish like butterfish, kahala, salmon and sardines, provides the omega-3 fatty acids that are proving to be so important for maintaining many body functions, including vision and the function of the aging brain.
Consumer Link
Cut calories, but not nutrients, as you age
Research Link
J Nutr Health Aging. 2004;8(3):163-74.

March 5, 2016
Caffeine and a Healthy Blood Pressure: Overly low blood pressure (hypotension) can impair both brain function and balance. Caffeine sources like coffee and tea may help some people avoid the blood-pressure drops that commonly occur following meals.
Consumer Link
Lower risk of falling with good nutrition
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb;85(2):392-8.

March 4, 2016
Eye Health and Carotenoids: In addition to the well-known beta-carotene found in many fruits and vegetables, similar carotenoid molecules lutein and zeaxanthin are found in foods like green vegetables and yellow corn. They are especially important for retinal health and prevention of age-related macular degeneration.
Consumer Link
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Most Studied Carotenoids for Eye Health
Research Link
Prog Retin Eye Res. 2016 Jan;50:34-66.

March 3, 2016
Maternal Protein Deficiency: Research with rats shows how protein deficiency during pregnancy can cause molecular changes in the offspring that persist long after the period of protein restriction and adversely affect life-long health. These results confirm observations made on human populations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms.
Consumer Link
Maternal protein deficiency during pregnancy ‘memorized’ by fetal muscle cells
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Aug 28;114(4):519-32.

March 2, 2016
Pregnancy, Diet and Exercise: Remaining fit and healthy during pregnancy is important for having a healthy baby with the foundation to live a long and healthy life. However, taking diet and exercise to extremes can be bad for fetal development and for the baby's long-term health.
Consumer Link
Pregnant moms obsessed with diet and exercise can face serious health risks
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jul;114(7):1099-103.

March 1, 2016
Sports Nutrition: A new updated position paper on Nutrition and Athletic Performance emphasizes the need to individualize nutrition for athletes based on multiple variables such as stage of training, type of training, weight goals, competition schedule, etc.
Consumer Link
Position paper shows evidence-based analysis of nutritional factors that influence athletic performance
Research Link
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Mar;48(3):543-68.

February 29, 2016
Child Nutrition and Potatoes: A survey of the nutrient intake of children one to three years of age found that potassium and dietary fiber were nutrients commonly under-consumed. It can be difficult to get children to eat vegetables that are good sources of these nutrients. However, potatoes are a good source of both nutrients and children generally like them.
Consumer Link
Study shows children's best hope for the potassium and fiber missing in their diets is potatoes
Research Link
Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):241S-6S.

February 28, 2016
Coffee and Blood Pressure: Although it is commonly believed that coffee increases blood pressure, most research evidence indicates that daily consumption of coffee does not increase the risk of high blood pressure.
Consumer Link
Caffeine and Your Health: Controversies and Misconceptions Continue
Research Link
Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008;4(5):963-70.

February 27, 2016
Brain Function and Choline: Choline is a food component that is essential for normal function of all cells, including brain cells. Eggs and meat are rich sources of choline in the North American diet.
Consumer Link
Get to know choline's essential role
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.

February 26, 2016
Breastfeeding and Vitamin D: Breastfed babies, especially those breastfed more than 1 year, commonly develop low vitamin D status. Since breast milk may not meet Vitamin D needs, supplementation of the infant with vitamin D can help to prevent the deficiency from developing.
Consumer Link
Children breastfeeding after first birthday should take vitamin D
Research Link
Am J Public Health. 2016 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print]

February 25, 2016
Meeting Child and Adolescent Nutrient Needs: Recent studies have found that children and adolescents who skip breakfast and/or eat packed lunches instead of school lunches have lower intakes of essential nutrients. Those consuming three meals a day and taking advantage of school breakfast and lunch programs had superior nutrition regardless of their food security status.
Consumer Link
Nutrient Density, Healthy Eating Patterns, and Dietary Guidelines
Research Link
J Nutr. 2016 Feb 10. pii: jn225516. [Epub ahead of print]

February 24, 2016
Weight Loss: A small, but detailed study found that even a modest weight loss equivalent to 5 percent of body weight significantly improved insulin sensitivity in adipose tissue, liver and muscle, showing a substantial reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Little diet pain, big health gain
Research Link
Cell Metabolism. February 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

February 23, 2016
Perspectives on Salt: An analysis of scientific reports on the health effects of salt found substantial polarization between those promoting the health benefits of salt reduction and those finding little or no benefit. The authors question how much previously established notions prevent objective analysis of data on a topic like this.
Consumer Link
Science on salt is polarized, study finds
Research Link
Int J Epidemiol. 2016 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print]

February 22, 2016
Child Food Allergies: Children with allergies early in life tend to outgrow the allergies as they develop. However, both parents and children often assume that the allergies persist. This can result in unnecessary food restriction that results in diets deficient in key nutrients.
Consumer Link
Many school children avoid basic foods unnecessarily
Research Link
Doctoral thesis. 2016 Umea University, Sweden.

February 21, 2016
Facts about Salt: With all the recent hype to limit salt intake, don't forget that the balance of nutrients in the overall diet may be more important to health. Despite being high in salt, the Japanese diet has a great variety of foods and is associated with a low risk of cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Balancing the latest news about salt
Research Link
Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;36(3):600-9. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

February 20, 2016
Nutrition Basics: The number one goal for good nutrition is to meet essential nutrient needs within a person's calorie requirements. Eliminating "bad" foods from the diet without good substitutes can compromise nutrient intake and eventually harm health.
Consumer Link
People should meet essential nutrient needs
Research Link
Am J Lifestyle Med. 2009; 3(1 Suppl): 35S–38S.

February 19, 2016
Organic vs Conventional Meat: Studies on the nutritional differences between organical and conventional produced meat have quite variable results. A meta-analysis review of the literature indicates that organic livestock may have different fatty acid composition than conventional farming and these may be nutritionally desirable. However, it is important to conduct additional studies to address limitations identified with the present studies.
Consumer Link
Nutritional Differences Between Organic and Conventional Meat
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 16:1-18. [Epub ahead of print]

February 18, 2016
Sucrose Substitute: The sugar isomaltulose has the brand name Palatinose. Isomaltulose is composed of the same sugars as table sugar (glucose and fructose) but the sugars are bonded together differently. This difference in chemical structure causes isomaltulose to digest more slowly and increase blood sugar less than sucrose. Although isomaltulose is better for blood glucose control in type 2 diabetics, it is half as sweet as sucrose.
Consumer Link
All sugars are not alike: Isomaltulose better than table sugar for type 2 diabetes patients
Research Link
Diabetes Care, 2015 Dec 30. [Epub ahead of print]

February 17, 2016
Dietary Cholesterol, Eggs, and Coronary Artery Disease: A study in Finland that followed over 800 men for about 21 years, found that egg and cholesterol intakes were not associated with increased coronary artery disease. This also was the case for those identified as having a genetic predisposition to heart disease. This supports previous studies showing little or no effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol levels.
Consumer Link
High-cholesterol diet, eating eggs do not increase risk of heart attack, not even in persons genetically predisposed, study finds
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print]

February 16, 2016
Infant Feeding and Gut Microbes: New research indicates that the major determinant of a healthful diversity of the gut microbial composition is the introduction during infancy of family foods high protein and dietary fiber. Specifically, intake of meats, cheeses, and Danish rye bread, rich in protein and fiber, were associated with an increased diversity that has been associated with a reduced risk of obesity later in life.
Consumer Link
Early diet of infants, not maternal obesity, influences development of gut microbiome
Research Link
mSphere. 2016 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]

February 15, 2016
Vitamin B12 and Brain Development: It is widely acknowledged that folate deficiency can impair brain and neural development during pregnancy and infancy. Add vitamin B12 to the list. Mental and emotional function appears to be impaired by inadequate intake of either of these vitamins at most any stage of life. Diets low in plant foods can be low in folate and diets low in animal foods are low in vitamin B12. Healthful diets include a wide variety of foods.
Consumer Link
Pass the Synthetic B Vitamins Please
Research Link
PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0146797.

February 14, 2016
Iodine Deficiencies: In the U.S., iodized salt has been a major source of the essential nutrient iodine. With the encouragements to cut back on salt, it is important to make sure that people still meet their need for iodine.
Consumer Link
Researchers fear deficiency of iodine intake
Research Link
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.

February 13, 2016
Vitamin B-12 and Memory: Vitamin B-12 deficiency can impair memory, decrease intellectual capacity, and cause emotional instability. Vegetarians are more prone to B-12 deficiency because only animal foods contain significant amounts of B-12.
Consumer Link
Vitamin B-12 deficiency impairs brain
Research Link
Ann Nutr Metab. 2000;44(5-6):229-34.

February 12, 2016
Infant Scurvy: Attempts to eat super healthy can backfire. With good intentions, parents fed their infant an almond beverage and almond flour for several months. Since little or nothing else was fed to the infant, it developed serious scurvy (vitamin C deficiency). The child experienced serious bone fractures, irritability, a great deal of pain, and overall failure to thrive.
Consumer Link
Do Your Dietary Choices Provide Enough Vitamin C?
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2016 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]

February 11, 2016
Vitamin D in Children: A study in Finland found that about 20 percent of children had a serum vitamin D level lower than the commonly recommended level (50 nmol/l). One of the best predictors of serum vitamin D level was the consumption of vitamin D fortified milk.
Consumer Link
Milk, vitamin supplements and exercise raise children's vitamin D levels
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 3:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]

February 10, 2016
Wholegrain Phytochemicals: Whole grain foods have been linked to a variety of possible health benefits. A type of phytochemical compound known as benzoxazinoids is found in a variety of whole grains. These phytochemicals appear to support normal immune function and reduce allergic reactions.
Consumer Link
Wholesome wholegrain
Research Link
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015;59(7):1324-38.

February 9, 2016
ADHD and Obesity: Children with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk of becoming obese as adults, according to a study that followed boys with ADHD and boys without the condition up to an average age of 41 years. It is not known why this association exists, suggesting that further study is warranted to confirm the association and, if confirmed, explore potential causes.
Consumer Link
Childhood ADHD Linked to Obesity in Adulthood
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2013;p131::e1731–e1738.

February 8, 2016
Iron and ADHD: MRI assessment of brain iron levels may be a good tool in the assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, the relationship between blood levels of iron and brain levels is complex and needs more study to determine if nutritional deficiency of iron plays a causative role in ADHD.
Consumer Link
MUSC scientists study iron levels in brain to diagnose ADHD in children
Research Link
Biomark. Med. 2015; 9(5):403–406.

February 7, 2016
Anemia is Not Equivalent to Iron Deficiency: Health problems caused by iron deficiency may go undiagnosed if the deficiency does not produce anemia. This "nonanemic" iron deficiency may have negative effects on brain development during infancy.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency sometimes goes unseen
Research Link
Do current medical procedures sufficiently diagnose iron deficiency?

February 6, 2016
Importance of iodized salt: Iodine is an essential nutrient for nerve development in infants and thyroid function at any age. For some people, iodized salt is a major source of this mineral and cutting back on salt can decrease iodine intake.
Consumer Link
Researchers fear deficiency of iodine intake
Research Link
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.

February 5, 2016
Vitamin D and Bones of Football Players: Some of those big guys playing in the Superbowl may be vitamin D Deficient according to some interesting research on American football players. Those with the lowest vitamin D status were more likely to have bone fractures and players with darker skin were more likely to have lower vitamin D status.
Consumer Link
Football Super Bowl, Bones & Muscle, and Vitamin D
Research Link
Am J Sports Med. 2015 May;43(5):1241-5.

February 4, 2016
Fish Oil and Blood Pressure: About a third of American adults have hypertension. New research indicates that increased fish consumption or supplementation with a daily fish oil supplement significantly lowers blood pressure in many adults with hypertension.
Consumer Link
More Evidence that EPA+DHA Affect Blood Pressure
Research Link
J Nutr. 2016 Jan 27. [Epub ahead of print]

February 3, 2016
Long Term Effects of Low Fiber Diet: New research on successive generations of mice consuming low fiber diets indicates that there is a steady loss of microbial diversity in the intestinal microbiome. The same phenomenon may be occurring in humans consuming common diets that are low in dietary fiber. A loss of microbial diversity in the lower intestine may have a significant negative impact on health that may be very difficult to reverse.
Consumer Link
Low-fiber diet may cause irreversible depletion of gut bacteria over generations
Research Link
Nature. 2016;529:212–215.

February 2, 2016
Zinc Supplementation in Older Adults: Zinc deficiency is common in older adults in nursing homes. When zinc deficient older adults were supplemented with 30 milligrams of zinc per day for 3 months, immune function improved, however some participants still had not reached adequate zinc blood levels. The tolerable upper intake level for zinc is 40 milligrams per day. It is important to note that high zinc intake interferes with the absorption of other important minerals such as iron.
Consumer Link
Zinc supplement boosted serum zinc levels, immunity in older adults, study shows
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jan 27. [Epub ahead of print]

February 1, 2016
Fat Loss without Muscle Loss: Generally, weight loss comes from a combination of fat and lean mass like muscle tissue. However, a new study found that combining an intensive training program with high protein intake (3 times the RDA) during a four-week diet (40 percent calorie reduction) promoted fat loss combined with lean tissue gain.
Consumer Link
Losing fat while gaining muscle: Scientists close in on 'holy grail' of diet and exercise
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jan 27. [Epub ahead of print]

January 31, 2016
Importance of Food Variety: Fruits and vegetables are important in the daily diet, but they are low in protein. This is one reason why other food groups also should be part of our regular fare.
Consumer Link
Muscle is also important as a major protein reserve
Research Link
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80.

January 30, 2016
Memory and Nutrition: For a variety of reasons, some people poorly absorb vitamin B12. These individuals can benefit from monthly injections of the vitamin to prevent short-term memory loss that can mimic early Alzheimer disease.
Consumer Link
Nutritional requirements more complex for seniors
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 May;81(5):1155-62.

January 29, 2016
Oxidized Omega-3 Supplements: The highly unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids in fish or plant oil supplements are highly susceptible to oxidation when products are not produced properly. Oxidation reduces the effective level of omega-3 fatty acids in a product and gives it a bad smell and taste. At this time, it is not clear if the oxidized fatty acids have a significant adverse effect on health.
Consumer Link
Is Oxidized Fish Oil a Cause For Concern?
Research Link
J Nutr Sci. 2015 Nov 4;4:e30.

January 28, 2016
B Vitamins and Brain: It is well known that the B vitamin folic acid is essential for normal development of the brain and nervous system. Now, newer research also is identifying low brain levels of vitamin B12 as a potential contributor to psychiatric conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.
Consumer Link
Pass the Synthetic B Vitamins Please
Research Link
PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0146797.

January 27, 2016
Fitness and Fatness: Professional American football linemen have become much bigger and in many cases fatter over the past several decades. Although the sport requires fitness, some players have developed excessive levels of abdominal fat and the associated disease risk factors. Helping these athletes maintain healthy levels of body fat is likely to enhance both performance and long term health.
Consumer Link
Are football players too obese?
Research Link
Strength Cond J. 2015;37(6):95-101.

January 26, 2016
Gluten Introduction to Infants: An updated and thorough review of research on when to introduce gluten-containing grains like wheat into the diets of infants concluded that early introduction of gluten into the infant diet (4 to 6 months of age) does not increase the risk of celiac disease. Their analysis, however, indicated that later introduction of gluten (after 6 months of age) was associated with increased risk of celiac disease.
Consumer Link
New guidelines reverse previous recommendations on gluten introduction to prevent celiac disease
Research Link
J Pediatr. 2016;168:132-143.

January 25, 2016
Boosting Physical Activity: It is evolutionary-based behavior to conserve energy when possible. Thus, we are inherently lazy. Researchers suggest using drugs like caffeine to reduce the perception of effort during exercise may help to increase physical activity.
Consumer Link
Coffee to keep New Year fitness resolutions
Research Link
Sports Med. 2016;46(1):1-5.

January 24, 2016
Potential Selenium Toxicity in Nuts: Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium. However, moderation is the key since only five nuts a day can contain more selenium than the tolerable upper intake level established by the Institute of Medicine.
Consumer Link
The dark side of healthful 'superfoods'
Research Link
Chemosphere. 1995 Feb;30(4):801-2.

January 23, 2016
Lactose Tolerance: Those with lactose intolerance are not destined to a diet devoid of high-calcium milk products. Hard cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss contain only trace amounts of lactose.
Consumer Link
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk
Research Link
Postgrad Med J. 2005 Mar;81(953):167-73.

January 22, 2016
High Intensity Exercise: All forms of exercise seem to benefit health in a variety of ways and we all tend to gravitate to the types of exercise that fit our capabilities and lifestyles. For those who want to do higher intensity exercise and spend less time exercising, there is rapidly increasing evidence that high intensity interval training (HIIT) provides substantial bene?ts to cardiometabolic health with less time commitment than needed for many lower intensity exercise routines.
Consumer Link
Intensive exercise with intervals 'more effective'
Research Link
Obesity Reviews, 2015;16(11):942-961.

January 21, 2016
B12 Deficiency in Elderly: Based on blood levels of vitamin B12, Canadian researchers found that almost 14 per cent of elderly adults entering long-term care facilities were deficient in the vitamin. This is likely an underestimate of the incidence because there are better tests for vitamin B12 status assessment (methylmalonic acid levels). B12 malabsorption is common at this stage of life and the form of vitamin B12 in natural food sources is very poorly absorbed. Consequently, B12 injections or high dose supplementation is needed to return B12 status to normal.
Consumer Link
B12 deficiency a concern for long-term care
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 19 January. [Epub ahead of print]

January 20, 2016
Fish During Pregnancy: Although it is difficult to study in humans, animal studies show that inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy impairs normal fetal brain development. This fetal damage cannot be corrected by adequate omega-3 fatty acid intake during infancy.
Consumer Link
Why fish intake by pregnant women improves the growth of a child's brain
Research Link
Stem Cells. 2015 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

January 19, 2016
Colorful Carotenoids: Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two carotenoid substances that are high in eggs, yellow corn, and many green and colorful vegetables, are not currently considered to be essential nutrients with recommended levels of intake. With substantial research demonstrating the importance of these compounds for eye health and likely heart and metabolic health too, it is likely that these carotenoids will be considered to be essential nutrients in the future.
Consumer Link
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: Carotenoids for Life
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jan 13. [Epub ahead of print]

January 18, 2016
Affordability of Folate Fortification: Mandatory folic acid fortification of enriched grain products was started in the U.S. almost 20 years ago. Data clearly illustrate that this substantially reduced the incidence of neural tube defects in infants. An economic analysis estimates that the savings in medical costs are several hundred million dollars more than the cost of fortification. It is much more difficult to quantify the reduction in human misery.
Consumer Link
Fortification Costs are Inconsequential Compared to Alternatives
Research Link
Am J Prev Med. 2016 January. [Epub ahead of print]

January 17, 2016
Green Tea and Blood Thinning Medications: Although green tea may provide health benefits, it's important to check with your pharmacist to see if the components in green tea interfere with any pain or blood-thinning medications you take.
Consumer Link
Green tea can clash with common drugs
Research Link
Green Tea, MedlinePlus.

January 16, 2016
Weight and Menopause: If you recently started exercising and haven't noticed any weight loss, remember that you are likely building muscle and losing fat. Changes in inches can occur before pounds. So, step away from the scale!
Consumer Link
Exercise program can result in quick weight gain
Research Link
Menopause. 2009 Jul-Aug;16(4):777-84.

January 15, 2016
Vitamin D and Fertility: A study of wild sheep on a remote Scottish island found that there was a fair amount a variability in vitamin D status among the sheep at the end of summer. Sheep with higher levels of vitamin D metabolites in their blood at the end of summer went on to give birth to more lambs in the following spring. The variability in vitamin D status appears to be genetically linked.
Consumer Link
Sunshine vitamin linked to improved fertility in wild animals
Research Link
Scientific Reports. 2016 Jan 13. [Online ahead of print]

January 14, 2016
New Dietary Guidelines: The recently released updated Dietary Guidelines for Americans continue to emphasize the importance of eating a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods in moderate amounts from each of the major food groups. Previous concerns were removed for cutting back on foods high in cholesterol. This reflects the lack of evidence for dietary cholesterol having a significant effect on blood cholesterol and the fact that good foods like seafood are high in cholesterol.
Consumer Link
2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Released
Research Link
2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

January 13, 2016
Hunger Games with Mice: Much of the research on hunger and dieting has focused on positive reward activity in parts of the brain. New research with mice indicates that specific neurons in the brain reduce hunger through reduction of negative signals caused by hunger rather than simple positive reward. This may lead to new approaches toward achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Consumer Link
Another reason why your diet is doomed: 'Hunger' neurons promote negative feelings
Research Link
Nature. 2015 May 14;521(7551):180-5.

January 12, 2016
DASH Diet + Fat: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) dietary pattern is high in fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy foods. The diet significantly lowers blood pressure as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). A new study found that a higher fat version of the DASH diet lowered blood pressure to the same extent as the standard DASH diet, but also reduced triglycerides and did not significantly raise LDL-C.
Consumer Link
Higher fat variation of DASH diet lowers blood pressure, triglycerides, study shows
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec [Epub ahead of print]

January 11, 2016
Body Fat and Insulin Function: A study of 116 nondiabetic adults ranging in age from 19 to 78 years were tested for insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well insulin facilitates sugar uptake from the blood. Age did not influence insulin sensitivity, but greater levels of fat around the internal organs (visceral fat) and more fat in the liver were both strongly associated with poor insulin sensitivity. Meeting protein needs and avoiding excess calories, especially from carbohydrate and fat, can help to avoid or reduce high levels of visceral and liver fat.
Consumer Link
Changes in fat distribution influence reduction in insulin sensitivity
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinology & Metab. 2015 December 28. [Epub ahead of print]

January 10, 2016
Standing for Weight Loss: To burn more calories - simply stand up. Standing uses twice as many calories per minute as sitting and walking briskly expends about 4 times the calories.
Consumer Link
Too bad we can't put exercise in a pill
Research Link
Food and Nutrition Information Center

January 9, 2016
Exercise and Cancer Prevention: A lifestyle that includes frequent and consistent physical activity helps protect against colon, breast, prostate and lung cancers.
Consumer Link
Exercise helps prevent and treat cancers
Research Link
ACS Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity

January 8, 2016
Gastric Bypass Surgery: Within a period of about three to 8 years after gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y procedure), over two thirds of patients sought health care for symptoms such as abdominal pain, fatigue, anemia, and gallstones. Although most patients reported improved well-being after surgery, the prevalence of symptoms was high and nearly one-third of patients were hospitalized.
Consumer Link
Side Effects Seen With One Method of Weight-Loss Surgery: Study
Research Link
JAMA Surg. 2016 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print]

January 7, 2016
Arsenic in Plant Foods: Arsenic is toxic in excessive amounts. Recently, it was found that rice can accumulate high levels of arsenic, depending on the growing conditions. With a new understanding of the chemical mechanisms involved in arsenic uptake by plant seeds, developing new rice strains resistant to arsenic accumulation may be possible.
Consumer Link
Scientists discover how arsenic builds up in plant seeds
Research Link
Nature Plants. 2015 Dec 21 [Epub ahead of print]

January 6, 2016
Preconception Nutrition: There is gradually increasing evidence that nutrition status can affect fertility. Couples having difficulty conceiving may benefit from assuring that all of their nutrient needs are being met.
Consumer Link
Nutrition: Helping Young Families Grow while being Penny Wise.
Research Link
Nutrients. 2016;8(1). [Epub ahead of print]

January 5, 2016
Eating Time and Mental Function: There is evidence that eating during our usual sleeping time of the day can affect physiological and biochemical functions involved in learning and memory. An innovative mouse study found that feeding mice only during their usual sleeping time of day altered function in specific parts of the brain in ways that adversely affected learning and memory.
Consumer Link
Midnight munchies mangle memory: Eating at the wrong time impairs learning, memory
Research Link
eLife, 2015; 4 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.09460

January 4, 2016
Fat Mobilization Mechanism: Research on how the hormone leptin triggers mobilization of fat from fat cells found that nerves surrounding fat cells are activated to stimulate mobilization of fat from the cells. This may lead to neural stimulation techniques to promote fat loss.
Consumer Link
From brain, to fat, to weight loss: New study reveals neural mechanism responsible for fat breakdown
Research Link
Cell. 2015 Sep 24;163(1):84-94.

January 3, 2016
Headaches and Low Carbohydrates: A common cause of headaches is low blood sugar. Dips in blood sugar levels can be caused by skipping meals or fasting. When dieting, be sure to spread out your meals. Your brain will thank you.
Consumer Link
Diet may play part in your headaches
Research Link
Headache. 2009 May;49(5):744-52.

January 2, 2016
To Lose Body Fat: Consuming too little or too much carbohydrate can complicate weight loss. Eating a moderately low-calorie diet with adequate carbohydrate and protein promotes fat loss, inhibits lean tissue loss and will help to lower weight over time.
Consumer Link
Too much carb cutting affects your brain
Research Link
Obes Rev. 2006 Feb;7(1):49-58.

January 1, 2016
Weight Loss Principles: If you are making New Year resolutions for weight loss, remember that the three most important words in nutrition are variety, balance, and moderation. Avoid extreme changes for long-term success.
Consumer Link
Variety, balance and moderation still outweigh any fad
Research Link
J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3476-84.

December 31, 2015
Exercise and Gut Bacteria: Add exercise to the list of factors that affect the composition of the microbe population in the lower intestine. Physical activity early in life appears to be especially influential on developing a healthful balance of bacterial species that can affect life-long health.
Consumer Link
Early-life exercise alters gut microbes, promotes healthy brain and metabolism
Research Link
Immunol Cell Biol. 2015 Dec 9. [Epub ahead of print]

December 30, 2015
Seaweed as a Food Ingredient: Food scientists are finding that various types of seaweed can be incorporated into many types of food in ways that add both flavor and needed nutrients. Some types of seaweed are good sources of various antioxidants, minerals like potassium, and dietary fiber.
Consumer Link
Food industry can help lower cardiovascular diseases by adding little seaweed to products
Research Link
Phycologia. 2015;54:649-666.

December 29, 2015
Seasonal Depression: Depression that occurs in the winter months (seasonal affective disorder or SAD) has been thought to be related to decreased sun or light exposure. This condition also is more likely to occur in those with low levels of the key fish oil fatty acids (EPA and DHA) according to new research conducted in Japan.
Consumer Link
Feeling Down? Could it be the Season or your Omega-3 Status?
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Dec 22:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

December 28, 2015
Vitamin D and Breast Milk: Breast milk is not an adequate source of vitamin D for the infant if the mother's vitamin D status is low. However, a new study found that breast milk did meet infant vitamin D needs when the mother supplemented her diet with 6,400 IU of vitamin D per day.
Consumer Link
Maternal supplements can provide breast milk with adequate vitamin D
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136(4):625-34.

December 27, 2015
Cranberry and bladder health: Substances in cranberries are known to benefit the health of the urinary tract. For some, this holiday treat could be beneficial if consumed year-round.
Consumer Link
Holiday berry has year-round applications
Research Link
J Funct Foods. 2015 Aug;17:235-242.

December 26, 2015
Healthy Habits: Staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight is much easier than getting fit when out of shape. Helping a child to develop a healthy lifestyle is a great lifelong gift.
Consumer Link
Help children develop good eating habits
Research Link
Ann Med. 1999 Apr;31 Suppl 1:26-32.

December 25, 2015
Santa's Fitness: Santa is a big man, but he is not overly fat. His very active job keeps him more fit than fat.
Consumer Link
Santa is larger than life but his job keeps him fit
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Nov;109(11):1854-61.

December 24, 2015
Pancreatic Cancer and Magnesium: Many of us consume less than recommended levels of magnesium. A new study found that low magnesium intake is associated with an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Although a cause and effect relationship cannot be assumed from this study, it still is another good reason to include green vegetables, nuts, beans, and whole grains in the daily diet.
Consumer Link
Magnesium intake may be beneficial in preventing pancreatic cancer
Research Link
Br J Cancer. 2015;113(11):1615.

December 23, 2015
Nutrition and Breast Milk: For many reasons, mother's milk is best for baby. This assumes that the mother has good nutrition. Inadequate intake by the mother of nutrients like vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) makes breast milk deficient in these nutrients.
Consumer Link
Helping Babies be Their Best
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec 16. [Epub ahead of print]

December 22, 2015
Food Advertising to Children: Much food advertising targeting children is now embedded into Internet "advergames" that integrate brand-related food cues within the media entertainment content. New research indicates that this technique is very effective at influencing children's food selections.
Consumer Link
Candy games stimulate appetite
Research Link
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2016; 9: 26 DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.11.016

December 21, 2015
Fish Oil and Fat: Using a mouse model, researchers found that animals fed diets rich in fish oil gained less fat and had greater energy expenditure at rest due to an increased number of brown and beige fat cells. Though it is questionable that this will work the same in adult humans, it is one more potential reason to include fish in the diet on a regular basis.
Consumer Link
Fish oil helps transform fat cells from storage to burning
Research Link
Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 18013 (2015).

December 20, 2015
Don't Be Too Rushed To Eat: A hectic holiday schedule that makes you too rushed to eat and drink on your normal schedule can back-fire by triggering headaches.
Consumer Link
Diet may play part in your headaches
Research Link
National Headache Foundation

December 19, 2015
Alcohol and Weight: Trying to avoid packing on extra pounds over the holidays? The calories in alcoholic beverages can add up quickly without notice - another reason to drink moderately.
Consumer Link
Alcohol adds to holiday weight gain
Research Link
Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2005;42(3):197-227.

December 18, 2015
Diabetes and Pancreatic Fat: A study using specialized MRI scanning techniques in people losing weight by bariatric surgery found that those with type 2 diabetes had elevated levels of fat in their pancreas. After eight weeks of weight loss, pancreatic fat levels normalized and the type 2 diabetes cleared up. Pancreatic fat levels may be an important factor to evaluate and target in people with type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Type 2 diabetes reversed by losing fat from pancreas
Research Link
Diabetes Care, December 1, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

December 17, 2015
Celiac Disease Risk: A new meta-analysis type of study found that women with sisters or mothers that have celiac disease are at significantly greater risk of developing the condition too.
Consumer Link
Familial risk for celiac disease varies by gender, geographic location
Research Link
Am J Gastroenterol. 2015 Nov;110(11):1539-48.

December 16, 2015
Diet and Environment: When researchers conducted a comprehensive assessment of energy costs and greenhouse gas production related to getting foods from the farm to our forks, they found that meeting calorie needs with more healthful foods (fruits, vegetables, dairy, and seafood) causes more environmental damage than that caused by current dietary habits.
Consumer Link
Vegetarian and 'healthy' diets are more harmful to the environment
Research Link
Environ Sys Dec. 24 November 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

December 15, 2015
Nutrition for Heart and Head: Two new studies separately provide evidence that blood values for two key nutrients are associated with health and optimal function. Low omega-3 fatty acid levels were associated with an increase in heart attacks and low iron status (even mild iron deficiency) impaired various measures of cognitive function.
Consumer Link
Suboptimal Omega-3 and Iron Blood Concentrations Affect Performance & Function
Research Link
J Nutr. December 9, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

December 14, 2015
Eating Disorder Prevention: Using an MRI brain scanning technique, researchers demonstrated that after young women completed The Body Project group-based eating disorder prevention program, they had a reduced reward valuation response to images of thin supermodels and an increase in response to images of healthy, normal weight women.
Consumer Link
Eating disorder prevention program reduces brain reward region response to supermodels
Research Link
PLoS One. 2015 Dec 7;10(12):e0144530.

December 13, 2015
Fish Oil and Macula Degeneration: Fish oils contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids that are needed by the brain and also may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Consumer Link
Fish is good for the brain, study shows
Research Link
Ophthalmic Res. 2015 Nov 27;55(2):62-69. [Epub ahead of print]

December 12, 2015
Walking and Health: Simply walking 30 minutes a day or 5,000 to 10,000 steps a day can benefit overall health. Why not ask Santa for a pedometer?
Consumer Link
Holiday exercise is easy with upfront planning
Research Link
Sports Med. 2009;39(1):29-43.

December 11, 2015
Sugar and Diet: Primarily due to increased sugar-sweetened beverage intake, people around the world are consuming increasing amounts of sugar. However, efforts to curb this trend are beginning to help reduce sugar consumption in a few countries.
Consumer Link
Global diet is getting sweeter, particularly when it comes to beverages
Research Link
Lancet Diabetes & Endo. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

December 10, 2015
Eating Environment: Controlled research with families found that noise distraction affected food consumption of parents the most. A noisy condition increased their consumption of cookies, diet soda, and carrots.
Consumer Link
Distracted dining? Steer clear of it
Research Link
Couple Fam Psych Res Pract. 2015;4(4):199-211.

December 9, 2015
Coffee and Diabetes: Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers have identified two compounds in coffee, cafestol and caffeic acid, that affect blood glucose and likely decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Coffee compounds that could help prevent type 2 diabetes identified
Research Link
J Nat Prod. 2015 Oct 23;78(10):2447-51.

December 8, 2015
Nutrition, Nature, Nurture: We know that a woman's nutrition before and during pregnancy has a strong influence on the lifelong health of her child. Research is increasingly showing that the father's health status information also is passed along to the child through sperm via factors that influence the expression of specific genes that affect things like food intake control, body weight, fat cell number, etc.
Consumer Link
What your father ate before you were born could influence your health
Research Link
Cell Metabolism. 6 December 2016. [Epub ahead of print]

December 7, 2015
Prenatal Iron Status and Fetal Brain: Using a new brain MRI scanning technique on newborn infants, researchers found that mothers with lower iron status during pregnancy gave birth to infants with compromised brain development when compared to infants of mothers with good iron status.
Consumer Link
Prenatal Maternal Iron Intake Shown to Affect the Neonatal Brain
Research Link
Pediatr Res. 2015 Nov 24. [Epub ahead of print]

December 6, 2015
Rights Against Fraudulent Nutrition Products: Are you tired of ads for fraudulent nutrition products? File complaints about questionable products online at the Federal Trade Commission website.
Consumer Link
Law shields consumers from dodgy products
Research Link
Federal Trade Commission Complaints

December 5, 2015
Circulation and Exercise: Compression stockings often are prescribed for people to improve poor circulation in their lower legs. Athletes are now using similar stockings to enhance sports performance and recovery from workouts.
Consumer Link
Athletes hope stockings can improve blood flow
Research Link
J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):101-5.

December 4, 2015
Nutrient Variability in Foods: The actual amount of a nutrient in a food you consume could be significantly more or less than what is reported. Nutrients like vitamin C in a fruit can vary greatly depending on the variety of the fruit, the growing conditions, ripeness, and storage conditions. Therefore nutrient information for natural plant foods should always be considered an estimate.
Consumer Link
A Case Study on the Genetic Basis of Nutritional Variability of Food
Research Link
Food Chemistry 2015;188:399-405.

December 3, 2015
Diet and Epilepsy: A study using a rat model indicated that low carbohydrate ketogenic diets used to treat epilepsy have their beneficial effect on the brain through a specific component of fat rather than the generation of ketone bodies. Consuming fat that is high in a 10-carbon fatty acid called decanoic acid may provide the same benefit to epileptics without the need to restrict carbohydrate.
Consumer Link
New diet provides hope for treating patients with drug resistant epilepsy
Research Link
Brain. 2015 Nov 25. Epub ahead of print]

December 2, 2015
Nutrition and Dementia: Many life factors may contribute to the development of cognitive decline and dementia with aging. However, nutrition plays a much greater role in maintaining brain health than often is appreciated. For example, vitamin B12 deficiency, common in older people, can cause symptoms virtually identical to early Alzheimer's disease. Meeting many other essential nutrient needs throughout life is important for ongoing brain health.
Consumer Link
Nutrition Missing from the Lancet’s Cognitive Footprint of Dementia Prevention
Research Link
Lancet. 2015 Sep 5;386(9997):1008-10.

December 1, 2015
Belly Fat and Vitamin D: A study of over 1000 adults in China found that those with more abdominal (visceral) fat had lower vitamin D status. Vitamin D requirements may be greater in people with more body fat.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D Screening Provides Valuable Information
Research Link
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2015 Nov 25;12:50.

November 30, 2015
Iodine Deficiency: With the current encouragement to eat local and reduce salt intake, iodine can become a nutrient of concern. Soils and water supplies in some parts of the U.S. are low in iodine, so the foods grown there are low as well. Iodized salt is a major source of iodine for many people, so cutting back on salt generally reduces iodine intake.
Consumer Link
Should Iodine be a Nutrient of Concern?
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Nov 24:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]

November 29, 2015
Gut microbes and Health: Strangely enough, there are trillions of bacterial organisms living in the lower part of the human intestine. A balanced diet helps this "microbiota" protect us against infections, some cancers, and possibly even the development of obesity.
Consumer Link
Useful bacteria build intestine’s fortitude
Research Link
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.

November 28, 2015
Cranberries and Bladder Health: It's the season for cranberries, but remember that cranberry juice helps to prevent urinary tract infections and can be a valuable part of the diet year-round.
Consumer Link
Festive cranberries offer health perks year-round
Research Link
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Feb 5;93(2):297-305.

November 27, 2015
Genetic Adaptation to Dietary Change: The human diet has changed significantly since humans started farming about 8500 years ago. Also, new research indicates that substantial genetic adaptation to these dietary changes also has occurred. Consequently, we do not have the same genetic setup as our ancient hunter / gatherer ancestors. This makes arguments for returning to ancient diets questionable.
Consumer Link
How the introduction of farming changed the human genome
Research Link
Nature. 23 November 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

November 26, 2015
Fat Loss: New research indicates that the more fat you have, the harder it may be to lose it. Studies in both mice and humans found that a specific protein increases when body fat amounts are high. This protein inhibits the mobilization of fat from fat cells, making it more difficult to lose fat when you are fatter.
Consumer Link
Stored fat fights against the body’s attempts to lose weight
Research Link
Nat Commun. 2015 Nov 20;6:8951.

November 25, 2015
Vitamin D and Winter: As sun exposure declines during winter months, the need for dietary and/or supplemental sources of vitamin D increases. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk for cardiovascular disease along with other conditions such as metabolic syndrome and depression.
Consumer Link
Using a Vitamin D Supplement During the Winter can Eliminate one Source of Worry
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Nov 20:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

November 24, 2015
Breakfast and School Performance: A new study of 5,000 nine to eleven year old children found that those who consumed breakfast had higher scores on measures of educational performance - more support for breakfast being an important meal for growing children.
Consumer Link
Study provides strongest evidence yet of a link between breakfast quality and educational outcomes
Research Link
Public Health Nutr. 2015 Sep 28:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

November 23, 2015
Caffeine and Pregnancy: A study using data collected on women and their infants between 1959 and 1974 found that there was no association between caffeine intake during pregnancy and a child's subsequent IQ measured at ages 4 and 7. Prior to 1975, there was little concern for caffeine consumption during pregnancy and coffee consumption during pregnancy was higher than today. These results support the safety of the current recommendation to drink no more than one or two cups of coffee a day during pregnancy.
Consumer Link
Caffeine in pregnancy: moderate amounts do not affect baby's IQ
Research Link
Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

November 22, 2015
Importance of food: Don't be seduced into believing that foods are "good" or "bad." Health problems can develop when a person limits their food intake to too few foods, even if they are all "good" foods.
Consumer Link
Food is not the enemy
Research Link
Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015 Feb 18;11:385-94. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S61665. eCollection 2015.

November 21, 2015
Vitamin B6 Sources: As long as you consume a diet with lots of variety and adequate calories, then you should be getting an adequate amount of vitamin B6. Some of the highest B6 containing foods include: fortified foods such as ready to eat cereals, as well as fish and poultry.
Consumer Link
Though B6 is important, don't overdose
Research Link
Institute of Medicine DRI Chapter on Vitamin B-6

November 20, 2015
Personalized Nutrition: A new study shows that the blood glucose response that people have after eating specific foods can vary greatly from one person to another. Measuring how individuals respond to specific foods can help design personalized diets to better treat type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Consumer Link
Personalized diets needed to combat obesity and diabetes
Research Link
Cell. 2015;163(5):1079–1094.

November 19, 2015
Vitamin D and HIV Treatment: Measurement of vitamin D status in HIV infected adults found that good vitamin D status enhanced recovery of immune function after treatment. Vitamin D deficiency impaired recovery.
Consumer Link
Low vitamin D may hamper HIV treatment in adults
Research Link
Clin Nutr. Nov 18, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

November 18, 2015
Coffee and Mortality: A study that followed more than 200,000 U.S. doctors, nurses and other health professionals for almost three decades found that those who consumed regular or decaf coffee, even at amounts over 5 cups a day, had a significantly lower risk of dying than those who did not drink coffee.
Consumer Link
Coffee Drinkers May Live Longer
Research Link
CIRCULATION. November 16, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

November 17, 2015
Hypothyroid and Iron: Evidence continues to indicate that many cases of hypothyroidism are related to low iron status. An enzyme involved in thyroid hormone synthesis is known to be iron dependent, so the relationship makes biochemical sense.
Consumer Link
Iron plays an important role for the thyroid
Research Link
Clinical Endocrinology News. Nov 12, 2015.

November 16, 2015
Diabetes, Diet, and Kidneys: Decline in kidney function often develops in people with type 2 diabetes. A preliminary study that followed over 600 type 2 diabetics for about 10 to 15 years found that those who consumed more potassium (based on urine measures) had a lower risk of renal decline than those consuming low levels of potassium. Indicators of sodium intake, however, showed no correlation with measures of kidney function change over time.
Consumer Link
Potassium-rich diets could protect diabetic patients' kidneys
Research Link
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

November 15, 2015
Joint Pain and Nutrition: Besides adequate hydration, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA may help to decrease joint pain. Key sources of these include fatty fish such as salmon and sardines and supplements of fish or algae oils
Consumer Link
Vitamins can help ease pain in joints
Research Link
Am Fam Physician. 2004 Jul 1;70(1):133-40.

November 14, 2015
Sleep and Weight: For a successful weight loss plan of action, be sure to establish good sleep patterns. Research suggests that inadequate sleep may negatively influence weight by affecting appetite and decreasing effort during physical activity.
Consumer Link
More sleep could help control weight
Research Link
Obesity. 2008 Mar;16(3):643-53.

November 13, 2015
Mode of Transport and Health: A new Japanese study found that, on average, those who used public transport to get to work had a lower prevalence of excess body weight, hypertension, and diabetes than those who drove, walked, or biked to work. Possibly, those who used public transport walked more to get to and from transport stations.
Consumer Link
Taking public transportation instead of driving linked with better health
Research Link
Circulation. 2015; 132: A15214.

November 12, 2015
Gut Microbes and Glucose Control: A study testing a barley-based bread in human volunteers found that only people with greater levels of a specific type of colon bacteria (Prevotella copri) experienced improved blood glucose control compared to when they consumed regular wheat-based bread. Transplanting some of the human fecal bacteria into germ-free mice improved blood glucose control in the mice.
Consumer Link
The gut microbiota can influence the effectiveness of dietary treatments
Research Link
Cell Metab. 2015 Nov 6. pii: S1550-4131(15)00517-3.

November 11, 2015
Energy Drinks: When young to middle-age adults consumed a 16 fluid ounce can of a Rockstar brand energy drink (containing caffeine and various herbal components), they experienced an increase in blood pressure and blood levels of stress hormones. Frequent and excessive consumption of these types of beverages could put some individuals at increased risk for potentially serious health problems.
Consumer Link
Just One Energy Drink Sends Young Adults' Stress Hormone Levels Soaring
Research Link
JAMA. 2015 Nov 8:1-3.

November 10, 2015
Adolescent Body Image and Obesity: There has been some evidence that depressed teenagers are more likely to become obese. However, a new study found that a distorted body image was a better predictor of adolescents developing obesity. Working with teenagers to develop a positive self-perception of their body image may help to prevent later obesity.
Consumer Link
Negative body image, not depression, increases adolescent obesity risk
Research Link
J Affect Disord. 2015 Nov 1;186:162-7.

November 9, 2015
Iron Supplementation: Taking an iron supplement triggers a significant increase in a compound called hepcidin which greatly reduces the absorption of the next dose of iron - especially when the dose is high. Based on this, it appears that taking an iron supplement once every 48 hours may be more effective than once every 24 hours. Further research is needed to prove this.
Consumer Link
Iron supplementation: When less is really more
Research Link
Blood. 2015 Oct 22;126(17):1981-9.

November 8, 2015
Hydration and Fever: Although increased fluid and sodium needs are typically thought to be associated with hot weather and exercise, remember the flu can cause an increased internal temperature that requires increased fluid as well.
Consumer Link
Fluid needs rise with temperature
Research Link
J Occup Med Toxicol. 2008 Jan 29;3:4.

November 7, 2015
Green Tea and Medications: Moderate use of green tea may provide health benefits for many people. However, the caffeine and flavonoids in green tea can interfere with common prescription and nonprescription drugs. Check with your pharmacist.
Consumer Link
Green tea can clash with common drugs
Research Link
Green Tea, MedlinePlus.

November 6, 2015
Energy Drinks, Men, and Sleep: Men are the main target market for energy drinks and the major consumers of them. However, research indicates that men can easily consume excessive amounts of caffeine from energy drinks and experience serious sleep problems.
Consumer Link
Connections discovered between masculinity, energy drink use, and sleep problems
Research Link
Health Psychology, Vol 34(11), Nov 2015, 1100-1106.

November 5, 2015
Fitness and Dental Health: It appears that physical fitness does not necessarily promote dental health. A study of professional football (soccer) players in the UK found that most of these athletes had poor dental health. It is not known why their dental health was compromised.
Consumer Link
Dental health of professional footballers is "poor" and affects performance
Research Link
Br J Sports Med. 2 Nov 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

November 4, 2015
Obesity and Vitamin E Needs: New research indicates that obese people absorb vitamin E less efficiently than those of normal body weight. These results suggest that vitamin E recommendations should be increased for those with obesity.
Consumer Link
Obese people need more vitamin E, but actually get less
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr, 2015; 102 (5):1070-1080.

November 3, 2015
Exercise and the Aging Brain: Physical activity is known to reduce the cognitive decline commonly seen in older people. Studies with exercising mice indicate that starting an exercise program in middle age is likely to help protect the brain against changes associated with mental decline later in life.
Consumer Link
Long-term aerobic exercise prevents age-related brain changes
Research Link
PLOS Biology, 2015; 13 (10): e1002279.

November 2, 2015
Soluble Fiber and Obesity: Increasing soluble fiber in the diets of mice causes changes intestinal bacterial composition and reduces body fat levels. It is not known if a similar relationship exists in humans.
Consumer Link
Diet lacking soluble fiber promotes weight gain, mouse study suggests
Research Link
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015 Oct 1;309(7):G528-41.

November 1, 2015
Active Lifwstyle for Health: The benefits of an active lifestyle are much more important for long-term health than for short-term weight loss. Many health risks associated with excess weight, such as cardiovascular disease, are greatly reduced by regular physical activity.
Consumer Link
Worry about fitness, not fat
Research Link
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2005;(170):137-63.

October 31, 2015
Diabetes and Exercise: Individuals at risk for diabetes should consider adding strength training to their exercise program. Research indicates that strength-building exercise improves the ability to clear sugar from the blood and helps to build muscle and decrease body fat.
Consumer Link
Healthy diet, exercise can avert diabetes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2003 Nov;26(11):2977-82.

October 30, 2015
Vitamin D and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Nutrient deficiencies commonly play a role in chronic disease conditions. A new study found that people with rheumatoid arthritis, who also were deficient in vitamin D, experienced significant improvement in measures of their disease activity after three months of vitamin D supplementation.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D Supplementation Beneficial in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Research Link
Int J Rheum Dis. 2015 Oct 20.

October 29, 2015
Meat and Cancer: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization) released summary information about a report on red meats and processed meats and possible associations with cancer. The full report is yet to be released. The summary states that diets high in red meat and processed meats pose an increased risk of developing cancer - especially colorectal cancer. They also stated that, "Eating meat has known health benefits." The bottom line on all this - don't overdo anything, keep a wide variety of foods in your diet, and don't stress out about it.
Consumer Link
Processed meat and cancer: Let's cut the nonsense
Research Link
IARC/WHO. 2015. Q & A on carcinogenicity of red and processed meat.

October 28, 2015
B12, Dementia and Stroke: Chronic vitamin B12 deficiency can cause dementia and stroke. The deficiency is common in older people and its diagnosis often is missed by health care providers. Diagnosis of the deficiency is not difficult, but it requires the appropriate blood tests. Treating or preventing B12 deficiency can be accomplished by vitamin B12 injections or daily supplementation.
Consumer Link
Vitamin B12 Deficiency and its Contribution to Dementia and Stroke
Research Link
Nutrition Research. 21 October 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

October 27, 2015
Dehydration in Older People: Older people often are dehydrated due to a wide variety of reasons. Although the health consequences of dehydration can be very serious, hydration status is rarely assessed in the medical setting. Researchers have proposed the use of a formula that uses commonly taken blood tests to assess hydration status in older patients.
Consumer Link
Dehydration in older people could be detected by routine blood tests
Research Link
BMJ Open. 2015 Oct 21;5(10):e008846.

October 26, 2015
Folate and Celiac Disease: Even after consuming a gluten-free diet to recover from celiac disease, people with celiac disease had lower blood folate levels than normal healthy controls without celiac disease. Even after recovery, people with celiac disease may have greater nutrient needs than average.
Consumer Link
Celiac Disease and Folate Deficiency.
Research Link
Nutrition Journal 2015, 14:110.

October 25, 2015
Hair Loss: Iron deficiency is one of the most common and serious nutrition problems in the world. Some types of hair loss are among the many possible effects of iron deficiency.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency sometimes goes unseen
Research Link
Clin Exp Dermatol. 2002 Jul;27(5):396-404.

October 24, 2015
Soft Protein: For those with dentures or a decreased ability to chew, mixing a protein powder with a beverage or yogurt can be an easy way to meet protein requirements.
Consumer Link
Nutritional requirements more complex for seniors
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jan;103(1):61-6.

October 23, 2015
Obesity Treatment: Weight loss is difficult and often causes bone loss, increasing the risk of developing osteoporosis with age. An interesting study with adult female rats used a technique to inject a leptin gene into the appetite center of their brains. Leptin is a satiety hormone released by fat cells. Rats receiving the injection lost some weight during the following 18 months (controls gained weight) and they experienced no bone loss. Although any human application of this research will require a great deal more study, it helps to emphasize that the brain can be an important target in achieving a healthy body weight.
Consumer Link
Leptin gene therapy 'may be better than dieting' for weight loss
Research Link
J Endocrinol. 2015 Oct 20. [Epub ahead of print]

October 22, 2015
Rice Fortification: Wheat flour is easy to fortify and has been enriched with key vitamins and iron for decades. Enrichment of rice with similar nutrients could benefit many populations that rely primarily on rice as their staple food. However, rice fortification is not as simple. The best technique to reliably provide added nutrients to rice appears to be rice extrusion using a dough made from rice that is mixed with micronutrients and extruded to create a fortified rice-like product. Consumer acceptance of this form of rice may be the challenge.
Consumer Link
Rice Fortification: An Option for Countries with Rampant Folate Deficiency?
Research Link
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD009902.

October 21, 2015
Calcium, Vitamin D, and Cancer: Some studies indicated the possibility that consuming more dietary calcium and/or vitamin D might reduce the risk of developing colon and rectal cancers. However, a newly published study followed over 2000 people for three to five years and found that daily supplementation with 1200 mg of calcium and or 1000 IU of vitamin D had no effect on the development of colorectal polyps (adenomas).
Consumer Link
Despite promise, vitamin D and calcium do not reduce colorectal cancer risk
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct 15;373(16):1519-30.

October 20, 2015
Food Label Messages: Research indicates that food label messages that encourage people to consider foods as "good" or "bad" are very likely to backfire. People who have adopted this type of black and white thinking about foods are more likely to have difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight.
Consumer Link
Simplistic health labels may not lead to healthy food choices
Research Link
J Health Psychol. 2015 May;20(5):638-48.

October 19, 2015
Poisoning by Candied Apple: About a year ago about three dozen people were infected by listeria bacteria and seven people died. For most of these people, the source of the bacteria was found to be commercially produced, prepackaged caramel-coated apples. Since neither the caramel coating nor the apple provide the conditions for listeria growth, researchers sought to determine why these coated apples were contaminated with the bacteria. They found that the caramel apples supported significant listeria growth when the apple was penetrated with a stick and stored at room temperature. The stick allowed moisture leakage from the apple that created a small but adequate microenvironment between the apple skin and caramel coating to support listeria growth.
Consumer Link
Danger of listeria in caramel apples
Research Link
MBio. 2015 Oct 13;6(5). pii: e01232-15.

October 18, 2015
Food Fears:Fear of foods in the name of health or weight control can create a variety of eating problems. Extreme fear of fat and specific foods can lead to serious health problems and result in dangerous eating disorders and is termed orthorexia.
Consumer Link
Extremes in calorie control plague nation
Research Link
Physiol Behav. 2007 Sep 10;92(1-2):283-90.

October 17, 2015
Weight Loss and Muscle: Losing weight too quickly can cause muscle loss. This lowers calorie needs and makes it more difficult to maintain that lower weight. Moderate calorie-cutting along with an exercise program increases your odds of long-term success.
Consumer Link
Slow fat loss key to lasting weight loss
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Jun;61(6):1179-85.

October 16, 2015
Oxidative Stress and Cancer: A new study indicates that the cancer cells that spread cancer throughout the body by metastasis are less likely to survive when exposed to oxidative stress. Consequently, researchers think that consuming large amounts of antioxidants from the diet and/or supplements may actually promote the spread of cancer. Again, too much of a good thing is not good.
Consumer Link
The latest study about antioxidants is terrifying. Scientists think they may boost cancer cells to spread faster.
Research Link
Nature. 14 October 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

October 15, 2015
Coffee and Hydration: The caffeine in coffee has been known to trigger increased urine production in people. However, research on men found that those who drink coffee regularly do not experience this diuretic effect. Consequently, coffee can contribute to hydration as well as water. The potassium in coffee also may help the body hold on to water.
Consumer Link
Coffee Talk: How It Stacks Up Against Water
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Jan 9;9(1):e84154.

October 14, 2015
Water and Blood Pressure: Older people have a tendency for blood pressure to drop after eating. This can sometimes lead to fainting and falls. A small study on healthy older adults found that drinking about 16 ounces of water (500 ml) before a breakfast helped to reduce the usual post-meal blood pressure decline.
Consumer Link
For Elderly, Water Before Meals May Ease Health Risks
Research Link
Clin Nutr. 2015 Oct;34(5):885-91.

October 13, 2015
Healthcare Cost in the United States: A new analysis of data from the year 2013 showed that the United States spends at least 50 percent more, as a percentage of the overall economy, than any other high income country, including France, Australia, Canada, Germany and Great Britain. It will be interesting to see how the Affordable Care Act Affects this spending in the future.
Consumer Link
U.S. Still Behind Other Countries in Effective Health Care Spending
Research Link
The Commonwealth Fund Report, 2015.

October 12, 2015
Heart Attack and Depression: Following survival of a heart attack, people are almost three times as likely to sufferer from depression. Both quitting smoking and increasing physical activity help to reduce the risk of post-heart attack depression.
Consumer Link
Exercise and stop smoking to improve depression after heart attack
Research Link
Cleve Clin J Med. 2011 Aug;78 Suppl 1:S35-43.

October 11, 2015
Choline and Memory: Choline is a nutrient that the body uses for many functions. In particular, it produces a neurotransmitter used for memory storage. A single egg contains about half of the daily choline recommendation.
Consumer Link
Get to know choline's essential role
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Oct;11(5):473-81.

October 10, 2015
Nutrition Food Facts: There is no perfect food that provides all the essential nutrients we require. This makes nutrition a bit of a balancing act and explains why guidelines for healthful eating stress variety, moderation, and balance.
Consumer Link
A diet of only good foods is impossible
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):100-8.

October 9, 2015
Vitamin E and Metabolic Syndrome: People with metabolic syndrome have excess belly fat, elevated blood pressure, low "good" cholesterol, and high levels of blood glucose and triglycerides. A new study found that people with this syndrome require more vitamin E than people without this syndrome.
Consumer Link
Metabolic syndrome leads one in three Americans to need more vitamin E
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. Oct 7 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

October 8, 2015
Headaches and Skipping Meals: More than 60 factors are known to trigger primary head­aches. Low blood glucose from skipping meals is one trigger we can control.
Consumer Link
Diet may play part in your headaches
Research Link
National Headache Foundation

October 7, 2015
Osteoporosis and Nutrition: A new scientific review published in the journal of the International Osteoporosis Foundation emphasizes that many nutrients are important for bone health. Among the newest recommendations is for increased protein intake in older people. The report stresses that ". . . older people need more dietary protein than do younger people; older people should consume an average daily intake at least in the range of 1–1.2 g/kg body weight/day."
Consumer Link
Nutritional needs for skeletal health change as you age, says new scientific review
Research Link
Osteo Int. 28 September 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

October 6, 2015
Arsenic in Wine: A new study reports that some varieties of American red wines contain more arsenic than the allowable levels in drinking water. Many types of foods are known to provide greater amounts of arsenic than moderate consumption of wine. However, this is one more reason to consume wine in moderation.
Consumer Link
Arsenic found in many U.S. red wines, but health risks depend on total diet
Research Link
J Env Health. 2015;78(3):16–22.

October 5, 2015
Calcium Needs: A new meta-analysis type of study questions current recommendations for high calcium intake to prevent bone fractures. Their results indicate that higher calcium intake does not prevent bone fractures. Too much calcium has potential negative effects on health. It is important to recognize that adequate intake of calcium along with several other nutrients is important for bone health - protein, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, etc. How much calcium is adequate? More research is needed.
Consumer Link
Calcium Supplements Don’t Lower Risk of Bone Fractures, Researchers Say
Research Link
BMJ. 2015 Sep 29;351:h4580.

October 4, 2015
GERD and B12:Medications that decrease stomach acid also increase the risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency. People taking medications for GERD or "heartburn" should also take a supplemental source of vitamin B-12.
Consumer Link
Pills take aim at heartburn's chronic pain
Research Link
Ann Pharmacother. 2002 May;36(5):812-6.

October 3, 2015
Memory and Nutrition: Mental functions can be noticeably affected by inadequate nutrition. Good nutrition is the first step to a healthy mind and an active memory.
Consumer Link
Feed your brain for best performance
Research Link
Rev Neurol (Paris). 2004 Sep;160(8-9):767-92.

October 2, 2015
Climate Change and Pregnancy: A large study conducted in 19 African countries found that a pregnant woman's exposure to reduced precipitation and an increased number of very hot days was associated with having a lower birth weight baby. Low birth weight infants are at much greater risk for a variety of developmental and health problems.
Consumer Link
Climate change negatively affects birth weight, study finds
Research Link
Global Environmental Change, 2015; 35: 125.

October 1, 2015
Exercise Associated Water Intoxication: Drinking excessive water during long endurance exercise, especially when salt is being lost in sweat, can result in a dangerous over-dilution of body fluids. The medical name for the condition is hyponatremia, meaning low blood sodium level. Without prompt and proper treatment, hyponatremia can cause brain damage and even death.
Consumer Link
Doctors warn hikers, other endurance athletes, and medical personnel about the risks of water intoxication
Research Link
Wilderness Environ Med. 2015 Sep;26(3):371-4.

September 30, 2015
Vitamin D During Pregnancy: Adequate vitamin D status during pregnancy is important for the health of both mother and baby. A new study reports that many factors can influence vitamin D status during of pregnancy. Taking supplemental vitamin D was the most consistent means of maintaining good vitamin D status throughout pregnancy.
Consumer Link
How Does Pregnancy Impact Vitamin D?
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 23. [Epub ahead of print]

September 29, 2015
Statins and Aging: Statin drugs are used to treat people with cardiovascular disease. However, the use of these drugs for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in people without the condition may be unwise. New research indicates that statin drugs cause cellular changes that are characteristic of the aging process. This may be what causes the often observed statin side-effects of neurological problems, muscle pain, and increased risk of developing diabetes.
Consumer Link
Statins: Heart disease drug speeds up ageing process, warns new research
Research Link
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2015 Jul. [Epub ahead of print]

September 28, 2015
High Folate Rice: Folate deficiency is a major health problem in many parts of the world. A deficiency of this B vitamin seriously damages normal fetal neurological development among a host of other problems. Researchers at Ghent University in Belgium have developed a way to not only increase the folate content of rice, but also to put the folate in a form that does not degrade in storage. This promises to be a very valuable technology to reduce folate deficiency world-wide.
Consumer Link
Scientists create rice variety with high folate stability
Research Link
Nat Biotechnol. 2015 Sep 21. [Epub ahead of print]

September 27, 2015
Health over 75 years: Studies of people over the age of 75 years report that the heaviest individuals have the lowest risk of death. Consequently, it is not wise to attempt significant weight loss after the age of 75 without medical supervision.
Consumer Link
Age exerts major effect on healthy body weight
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):505-10.

September 26, 2015
Preventing Food Obsessions: Focusing on health and fitness rather than on dieting and achieving an "ideal" body weight helps to prevent food obsessions and an overly self-conscious attitude.
Consumer Link
Overall health more critical than body size
Research Link
AAOHN J. 2007 Apr;55(4):143-50.

September 25, 2015
Trans Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: German researchers measured trans fatty acid levels in the red blood cells of people being evaluated for cardiovascular disease in a German hospital. They found that those with the lowest trans fatty acid levels had higher rates of cardiovascular mortality and sudden cardiac death. The German diet is low in trans fatty acids from food processing, so most of their trans fatty acids likely were from natural sources like milk products and beef. Since Americans typically have higher dietary and red blood cell levels of trans fatty acid, the general results of this German study may not apply directly to the U.S.
Consumer Link
What? Zero Tolerance on Trans Fatty Acid Intake may be Irrational?
Research Link
Eur Heart J. 2015 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print]

September 24, 2015
Seaweed Nutrient Variability: There are many varieties of edible seaweeds and, like land plants, their nutrient compositions vary by species and the environmental conditions in which they were grown. Minerals like iron can be high in some seaweeds but be poorly absorbed by the body due to chemical compounds in the seaweed that interfere with iron's absorption.
Consumer Link
Not All Seaweeds Are Superfoods
Research Link
Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. Volume 43, November 2015, Pages 185–193

September 23, 2015
Fatty Acids and Crohn's Disease: It's not ready for human application, but interesting genetic studies with zebrafish indicate that certain fatty acids commonly found in foods are associated with improving Crohn's disease symptoms, while other fatty acids seem to worsen the condition. Eventually, this may lead to more focused study of the effects of dietary fat sources on Crohn's disease.
Consumer Link
Specific fatty acids may worsen Crohn's disease
Research Link
Genome Biol. 2015 Sep 15;16:190. doi: 10.1186/s13059-015-0722-1.

September 22, 2015
Risk Factors for Disease and Death: Risk factors for health problems are highly dependent on environmental conditions where you live. However, on a global level, the six most important risk factors are diet related, high systolic blood pressure, child and maternal malnutrition, tobacco, air pollution, and high BMI.
Consumer Link
Poor diet and high blood pressure now number one risk factors for early death
Research Link
Lancet. 2015 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]

September 21, 2015
Insects for Food: Insects represent a sustainable nutritious food source that is likely to become more widely used. They provide a variety of culinary and nutritional opportunities that may become more important as pressures increase on the supply of more traditional foods.
Consumer Link
Seven reasons to eat insects
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

September 20, 2015
Nutrition Basics: If the body runs low in even a single essential nutrient, health is compromised initially and completely lost if the deficiency goes too far for too long. To increase your odds of getting enough nutrients without too many calories, eat moderate amounts of a wide variety of foods.
Consumer Link
Food is not the enemy
Research Link
Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):253-5.

September 19, 2015
Kidney Stones and Nutrition: Large research studies have clearly shown that the risk for kidney stone formation decreases when calcium consumption is increased and plenty of fluid is consumed.
Consumer Link
Combat kidney stones with water
Research Link
Ther Umsch. 2000 Mar;57(3):138-45.

September 18, 2015
Nutritional Insecurity: It is possible to have enough food to eat (be food secure) but still be nutritionally insecure. A recent study compared a group of vegetarian women in India to a group of women in the U.S. Apparently due to the limited variety of foods in the diet of the Indian women, blood tests indicated multiple nutrient deficiencies in the Indian women, but none in the U.S. women.
Consumer Link
Understanding the Difference Between Food Insecurity and Nutrition Insecurity
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]

September 17, 2015
Gluten-Free Diet for Autism: Some have proposed that autism may be linked to adverse reactions to food components like gluten and casein. A study of 14 autistic children (3 to 5 years old) found that a gluten-free and casein-free diet consumed for four to six weeks had no significant effects on measures related to autism symptoms. This was followed up with blindly challenging the children with gluten and or casein which also had no significant effect on autism symptoms.
Consumer Link
Gluten-Free Diet Has No Benefit for Children With Autism, Study Finds
Research Link
J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Sep 5. [Epub ahead of print]

September 16, 2015
Calorie Conservation: It is well known that humans have evolved efficient ways of moving that minimize energy costs. New research also indicates that people are very good at quickly learning to minimize energy expenditure when they are exposed to new and different movement conditions.
Consumer Link
You'd have to be smart to walk this lazy, and people are Research suggests that humans are wired for laziness
Research Link
Current Biology, 2015? DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.08.016

September 15, 2015
Smoking and Tooth Loss: There are many good reasons to not smoke or to quit smoking if you do smoke. Along with increased risk of cancer and heart disease, research now indicates that smoking greatly increases the risk of losing teeth.
Consumer Link
Smokers at higher risk of losing their teeth, research shows
Research Link
J Dent Res. 2015 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]

September 14, 2015
Nutrients and Hearing Loss: A new analysis of data from the Nurses' Health Study II with over 65,000 participants indicates that the consumption of carotenoids and folate is associated with a reduced risk of age-related hearing loss. High vitamin C intake, however, was associated with an increased risk of hearing loss. These associations are interesting, but additional research is needed to explore possible causal relationships.
Consumer Link
Nutrients and Hearing - They're Related?!
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print]

September 13, 2015
Adequate Hydration: Getting enough water is very basic for good health. A person requiring 2000 calories a day should typically consume 2.7 liters of water per day coming from both foods and beverages. Physical exercise can greatly increase the daily water needs.
Consumer Link
Water needs vary with diet and lifestyle
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.

September 12, 2015
Restless Legs Syndrome: Various nutrient deficiencies may play a role in Restless Legs Syndrome. Iron deficiency is the most likely contributor. Deficiencies of folic acid and vitamin B-12 also may be part of the cause in some people.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency might play role in jittery legs
Research Link
Altern Med Rev. 2007 Jun;12(2):101-12.

September 11, 2015
Cocoa Flavanols and Blood Vessels: Compounds called flavanols are present in large amounts in some cocoa and chocolate products. Research indicates that regular consumption of these cocoa flavanols can benefit blood vessel flexibility and help to lower blood pressure. Cocoa and chocolate products contain widely varying amounts of flavanols and some products contain excessive levels of toxic lead and cadmium. So, use resources like consumerlab.com to find the safest products.
Consumer Link
Cocoa flavanols lower blood pressure and increase blood vessel function in healthy people
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Sep 9:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

September 10, 2015
Mothers and Eating Disorder Prevention: New research indicates that positive mother-daughter relationships play an important role in helping their daughters build a stable, positive body image that reduces the risk of developing eating disorders.
Consumer Link
Mothers use variety of strategies to mitigate risks to daughters' body image
Research Link
Feminism & Psychology, July 30, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

September 9, 2015
Allergy Risk Reduction: It has been known that people who grow up on farms (especially dairy farms) are less likely to develop allergies. A new study showed that exposing young laboratory mice to farm dust reduced their risk of allergic reactions to the dust mite allergen.
Consumer Link
More evidence that the key to allergy-free kids is giving them plenty of dirt — and cows
Research Link
Science. 2015;349(6252):1106-1110 .

September 8, 2015
Food Insecurity and Adolescent Obesity: In a study of 12- to 18-year old adolescents, household food insecurity was associated with an increased likelihood of being overweight and having central obesity. However, the reasons for this are not clear based on data presented in the study. Future research to clarify this association should evaluate the potential contributions of calorie and protein intake.
Consumer Link
Food insecurity linked to adolescent obesity, metabolic syndrome
Research Link
J Am Osteo Assn. 2015;115(9):536.

September 7, 2015
Promoting Exercise for Teens: A study of middle school age students found that encouraging them to exercise is likely to be ineffective. Rather, providing exercise opportunities that are perceived by the students as something they choose to do is more likely to lead to developing a habit of regular physical activity.
Consumer Link
'Guilting' teens into exercise won't increase activity
Research Link
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Sep;47(9):1913-21.

September 6, 2015
Magnesium and Health: The average adult in the U.S. consumes only 75 to 80 percent of recommended intake for the essential mineral magnesium. Low magnesium intake likely contributes to many chronic ailments. A diet with a wide variety of unprocessed wholesome foods can easily meet magnesium needs.
Consumer Link
Brown rice can provide vital magnesium
Research Link
Magnes Res. 2008 Jun;21(2):77-82.

September 5, 2015
Food Habits Begin Early: Adult habits often start in childhood and this includes being a picky eater. If parents provide a wide variety of wholesome foods as the main fare, children are more likely to learn to appreciate a wide variety of foods and to obtain adequate nutrients throughout their adult life.
Consumer Link
Help children develop good eating habits
Research Link
Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):539-49.

September 4, 2015
Risks of Pure Caffeine: Pure powdered caffeine is readily available for purchase. Although caffeine is clearly a drug, it falls under the regulations of dietary supplements. One teaspoon of caffeine powder is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in about 25 cups of coffee. Consequently, overdosing is extremely easy to do. Last year, two young men in the U.S. died from caffeine overdose.
Consumer Link
FDA Issues Warning Letters to Powdered Caffeine Distributors
Research Link
FDA Consumer Advice on Pure Powdered Caffeine

September 3, 2015
Colorful Potatoes: Various types of potatoes with flesh colors ranging from white to purple are becoming more widely available at markets. The chemical compounds producing these colors have both antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.
Consumer Link
Colorful potatoes may pack powerful cancer prevention punch
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Aug 10;59(15):8155-66.

September 2, 2015
Itchy Fruits: Does your mouth develop an itchy feeling after you eat certain fruits? You may have Oral Allergy Syndrome - also called Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome. It is thought that people who develop an allergic sensitivity to the proteins in pollen from the flowers of a fruit tree can also be sensitive to similar proteins in the fruit from the same type of tree. Cooking the fruit generally eliminates the reaction because it denatures the protein (alters the protein shape).
Consumer Link
Does your mouth itch when you eat apples or other fruits?
Research Link
Dermatitis. 2015 Mar-Apr;26(2):78-88.

September 1, 2015
Vitamin D and Macular Degeneration: A number of nutrients have been identified that help to protect the light-sensitive retina of the eye and prevent or at least slow age-related macular degeneration. Now a new study adds vitamin D to the list of nutrients likely to benefit retinal health.
Consumer Link
Age-Related Macular Degeneration Risk is Influenced by Vitamin D Status
Research Link
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2015 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print]

August 31, 2015
Obesity and Stillbirth Risk: A large study found that obese women are nearly twice as likely as their lean counterparts to have stillborn babies. Since the stillbirths were associated with things like high blood pressure and placental diseases, monitoring obese pregnant women for these problems and providing appropriate treatment may help reduce the rate of stillbirths.
Consumer Link
Obesity-related causes of stillbirth detailed
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr, August 26, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

August 30, 2015
B12 and Blood Tests: Vitamin B-12 deficiency can seriously damage the nervous system. The risk of B-12 deficiency is greatest for the elderly and vegetarians. Blood tests for levels of methylmalonic acid and homocysteine assist physicians in the evaluation of B-12 status.
Consumer Link
Dietary B-12 may not be enough
Research Link
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2005 Dec 10;149(50):2789-94.

August 29, 2015
Balance: With good intentions to eat more healthfully, some people make extreme changes that go too far in the "healthy" direction. Taking healthy eating to an unhealthy extreme can damage health when food variety becomes too limited.
Consumer Link
Varied menu is the best path to good health
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71

August 28, 2015
Protein and Cardiovascular Health: Several amino acids from protein foods such as glutamic acid, arginine, glycine, cysteine, and histidine are known to modulate blood levels of nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Consequently, it is not too surprising that a recent UK study of about 2000 female twins found that the intake of protein and specific amino acids was associated with reduced arterial stiffness and lower blood pressure. The researchers stated that this beneficial effect was similar in magnitude to established lifestyle risk factors such as physical activity and not smoking.
Consumer Link
High protein foods boost cardiovascular health, as much as quitting smoking or getting exercise
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 Jul 22. pii: jn214700. [Epub ahead of print]

August 27, 2015
Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy: Iodine is one of those "old" nutrients that seems to have fallen off of the nutrition "radar screen" to some extent. A new study from Sweden found that the median daily urinary iodine loss of pregnant women was almost half of the WHO recommendation. Urinary iodine loss is directly related to iodine intake. Iodine deficiency impairs neurological development of the fetus and baby.
Consumer Link
Many pregnant women have insufficient iodine; may impair baby's neurological development
Research Link
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015 Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print]

August 26, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Aging: Some research has found that those who consume more of the fish oil type long-chain omega-3 fatty acids maintain better brain function with aging. However, a new large well-designed placebo-controlled study found that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids did not benefit cognitive function. One limitation of this study of people mostly in their mid-70s is that it followed people for 5 years and cannot predict the outcome over a longer period of time.
Consumer Link
NIH Study Shows no Benefit of Omega-3 or Other Nutritional Supplements for Cognitive Decline
Research Link
JAMA. 2015;314(8):791-801.

August 25, 2015
Milk Protein Component and Gut Health: A component of whey protein called glycomacropeptide (GMP) has been used in diet formulations for the nutritional management of phenylketonuria (PKU) - a genetic condition that requires low dietary levels of the essential amino acid phenylalanine. New research with a mouse model indicates that GMP has beneficial prebiotic effects that produce positive changes in the lower intestinal microbiota. Further study on GMP's potential benefits for a variety of human conditions may prove to be valuable.
Consumer Link
Prebiotic dairy protein promotes digestive health, holds therapeutic promise
Research Link
Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2015 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print]

August 24, 2015
Breakfast Protein for Teens: A 12-week study of overweight teens found that those who ate a high protein breakfast, containing 35 grams of protein, consumed about 400 calories less throughout the day than teens that consumed a lower protein breakfast (13 g) or skipped breakfast. The higher protein breakfast group also lost body fat during the study and had better blood sugar control.
Consumer Link
Protein-packed breakfast prevents body fat gain in overweight teens
Research Link
Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print]

August 23, 2015
It is easy to become dehydrated before you realize it, especially in hot weather. To help prevent problems such as urinary tract infections and kidney stones, drink fluids before you become thirsty.
Consumer Link
Make sure you consume enough water
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5 Suppl):535S.

August 22, 2015
Over the past few decades, portion sizes both at home and in restaurants have increased substantially. Maintaining a healthy weight doesn't necessarily mean eliminating favorite foods, but rather making sure that the portion size is appropriate.
Consumer Link
Big servings lead unwary to overeat
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1 Suppl):236S-241S.

August 21, 2015
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Body Composition of Kids: A study of 311 children age seven to twelve found that those who consumed more polyunsaturated fatty acids relative to saturated fatty acids had more lean body mass and less fat mass and less abdominal fat. These results were based on self-reported food intake and the study design cannot demonstrate cause and effect, however, this relationship deserves further study.
Consumer Link
Can PUFA Intakes Affect Body Composition in Young Children?
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 Aug 12. pii: jn212365. [Epub ahead of print]

August 20, 2015
Coffee and Colon Cancer Recovery: A study of 953 people recovering from stage III colon cancer found that those who consumed four or more cups of regular coffee per day had significantly less recurrence of their cancer. Tea and decaffeinated coffee consumption did not have any association with cancer recurrence.
Consumer Link
Drinking coffee daily may improve survival in colon cancer patients
Research Link
J Clin Oncology, August 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

August 19, 2015
Vitamin D and Fall Prevention: Vitamin D helps to maintain muscle structure and function and some studies report that vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk of falls - especially in elderly people. A small single-blind study conducted with older participants in the Meals on Wheels program found that supplementation improved vitamin D status and helped to reduce falling.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D supplements could help reduce falls in homebound elderly
Research Link
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Aug 16. [Epub ahead of print]

August 18, 2015
Tetris and Cravings: A new study reports that playing the video game Tetris reduces cravings for food, drink, an a variety of activities. Most likely any game that requires focusing on the game can take the mind away from thinking about other things. Need to avoid that pastry? Pick up your smart phone and play your favorite game.
Consumer Link
Tetris can block cravings, new study reveals: Playing 'on the go' reduced cravings by one fifth.
Research Link
Addictive Behaviors. 2015;51:165-170.

August 17, 2015
Adulterated Supplements: Many dietary supplements, especially those from smaller companies, have been found to be spiked with a variety of drugs. This illegal practice frequently occurs without detection. However, scientists are working out a variety of new technologies to simplify the testing products for these contaminants.
Consumer Link
Detecting hidden ingredients in dietary supplements
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Jul 31. [Epub ahead of print]

August 16, 2015
Protein and Exercise Maintain muscle: Muscle, the body’s major protein reserve, supports immune function, healing, blood pressure regulation, heart function, and much more. Getting adequate protein in the diet and regular exercise both help to maintain muscle as people age.
Consumer Link
Muscle is also important as a major protein reserve
Research Link
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80.

August 15, 2015
Iron Bioavailability: Some dark leafy greens and beans contain a fair amount of iron, but the mineral is usually in a form that is very poorly absorbed. In comparison, lean beef and chicken thigh provide iron that is efficiently absorbed by the body.
Consumer Link
Lean red meat best source of iron in food
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;62(3):336-41.

August 14, 2015
Dementia Treatment and Weight Loss: Common drugs used for dementia treatment (cholinesterase inhibitors) were found to increase the risk of excessive weight loss in older people. The reason for this association is not clear, but awareness of this potential problem is important for those working with people who have various types of dementia.
Consumer Link
Common medications for dementia could cause harmful weight loss
Research Link
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]

August 13, 2015
Climate Friendly Rice: Rice paddies are known to be major producers of the greenhouse gas methane. The development of a new variety of rice provides an option that produces increased starch levels in the rice with very low methane production.
Consumer Link
Tiny grains of rice hold big promise for greenhouse gas reductions, bioenergy
Research Link
Nature. 2015 Jul 30;523(7562):602-6.

August 12, 2015
Converting White Adipose to Brown: About half of our body fat is stored subcutaneously - just beneath the skin. This large energy reserve is referred to as white fat. Small amounts of brown fat also exist in the body. In contrast to white fat that stores calories, brown fat has lots of mitochondria that expend calories. Using people with severe burn injuries, researchers found that extreme stress over time converts some of the white fat to brown fat. This knowledge may help in the development of pharmacological treatments for obesity.
Consumer Link
How common white fat can be turned into energy-burning brown fat in humans
Research Link
Cell Metabolism, August 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2015.06.022

August 11, 2015
Krill Oil vs Fish Oil: Both krill oil and fish oils are good sources of the key omega-3 fatty acids. EPA and DHA. A new study with rats compared the absorption and utilization of these fatty acids from krill and fish oils. The fatty acids from both oil sources were absorbed with similar efficiency. Most of the absorbed EPA and DHA was used for energy, but more DHA was retained in the body from krill oil than from fish oil. This difference may not be of significance for humans and these fatty acids could be handled differently in humans.
Consumer Link
Don’t Worry - Just Focus on Consuming Recommended Amounts of EPA+DHA
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Aug 3:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

August 10, 2015
Spicy Foods and Health: A study that followed over 400,000 people for about 7 years found that those who ate spicy foods more often had a significantly lower risk of death than those who rarely or never ate them. It is not clear why this association exists, but it is good news for those who enjoy spicy foods.
Consumer Link
Could regularly eating spicy foods help you live longer?
Research Link
BMJ. 2015 Aug 4;351:h3942.

August 9, 2015
Goal of fitness: Can you be fat and fit? Yes! Of course, there are limits, but fit overweight people can have a lower risk of chronic disease than their thin sedentary counterparts. Regular physical activity helps the body gravitate to its unique genetically determined optimal weight.
Consumer Link
Worry about fitness, not fat
Research Link
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2005;(170):137-63.

August 8, 2015
Essential Nutrients and Balance: It is important to consume adequate amounts of all essential nutrients. However, because excessive intake of some nutrients can be harmful, a “Tolerable Upper Intake Level” has been established for many nutrients. These values represent the maximum daily amount of a nutrient thought to not cause harm.
Consumer Link
Vitamin limits hard to set
Research Link
Establishing Upper Intake Levels for Nutrients

August 7, 2015
Meeting Nutrient Needs: When a nutrient bar designed to provide the nutrients typically deficient in Western diets was added to the usual diets of 43 volunteers for 8 weeks, favorable changes occurred in measures of cardiovascular health, insulin resistance, inflammation, and body weight. The greatest changes were observed in those who were overweight or obese. The study supports to concept that meeting essential nutrient needs lays the foundation for optimal function of all body systems.
Consumer Link
Want to improve your health? Focus on nutrition and not weight
Research Link
FASEB J. 2015 Aug;29(8):3287-301.

August 6, 2015
Human Stomach Acidity: Compared to many animals, humans have very acidic stomachs that have a pH similar to scavengers. These carnivores eat foods with a high risk of food-borne pathogen exposure - commonly called food poisoning. The stomach acid kills most microorganisms and helps to prevent microbial infection of the lower intestinal tract.
Consumer Link
Evolutionary link between diet, stomach acidity
Research Link
PLoS One. 2015 Jul 29;10(7):e0134116.

August 5, 2015
Picky Eating in Kids: The psychologist's manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now has an official designation and diagnosis for picky eating. It is called avoidant / restrictive food intake disorder. This maladaptive food restriction takes selective eating to an extreme that can affect health and may be linked with psychological problems as well.
Consumer Link
Even moderate picky eating can have negative effects on children's health
Research Link
Pediatrics, August 3, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

August 4, 2015
Warning on Homeopathic Product: Homeopathic solutions called nosodes are ultradiluted solutions of diseased tissue, pus, blood, or excretions from a sick person or animal. Some homeopaths and naturopaths sell these products to their patients. Health Canada requires these products to include the statement that they are neither a vaccine nor an alternative to vaccination, have not been proven to prevent infection, and that Health Canada does not recommend its use.
Consumer Link
Nosode homeopathic labels must read 'not vaccines or alternatives to vaccines:' Health Canada
Research Link
Paediatr Child Health. 2015 May;20(4):219-22.

August 3, 2015
Breakfast and Type 2 Diabetes: New research indicates that when type 2 diabetics skip breakfast, their blood glucose rise after lunch and dinner is much greater than when they consume breakfast. Eating a good breakfast that includes good protein sources seems to keep things on a more even keel throughout the day, especially for people with type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Skipping breakfast may put diabetics at risk of dangerous blood sugar spikes, warn researchers
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2015 Jul 28. [Epub ahead of print]

August 2, 2015
Rickets and macrobiotic diets: Modern cases of rickets have occurred when well-intentioned parents fed their infants macrobiotic diets that lacked a dietary source of vitamin D. Particularly for infants and toddlers, milk alternatives should be fortified with vitamin D since this may be the sole source of nutrients for the child.
Consumer Link
Rickets makes a comeback
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2001 Apr;107(4):E46.

August 1, 2015
Nutrients essential for endurance exercise: To support exercise demands, the young or old athlete must first stay hydrated and second, consume adequate amounts of high-carbohydrate foods. Without these two nutrients, an athlete's endurance will suffer.
Consumer Link
Athletes need to hydrate and devour carbohydrates
Research Link
Pediatr Clin North Am. 2002 Aug;49(4):829-55.

July 31, 2015
The Taste of Fat: In addition to sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami, new research suggests that there is a sixth basic taste that they call oleogustus - the taste of fat. Most fats and oils in foods are in the form of triglyceride molecules that provide a smooth and creamy texture or mouth feel to many foods, but no apparent taste sensation. The taste sensation appears to come from the small amount of free fatty acids in foods that are not bound up in the form of triglycerides or are freed from triglycerides in small amounts by actions in the mouth.
Consumer Link
Introducing oleogustus: Fat ‘confirmed’ as sixth basic taste
Research Link
Chem Senses. 2015 Jul 3. pii: bjv036.

July 30, 2015
Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss: It is common practice to say it takes a calorie deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound.This is based on the fact that a pound of adipose tissue contains about 3500 calories. However, especially during early weight loss, the body also is losing other body components such as muscle and stored carbohydrate (glycogen) that have a much lower calorie density and are associated with substantial water loss.
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Effective weight loss takes more than cutting calories
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jun; 114(6): 857–861.

July 29, 2015
Eat for Food or Nutrients? Both! Clearly, foods contain many beneficial substances that are not nutrients. However, no matter how special, fresh, natural, and "super" the foods are that we eat, it is absolutely essential that we meet our essential nutrient needs. It can take months or even years of low intake of an essential nutrient to drain the body to the point that health is obviously damaged. Essential means that something will stop working in the body when when the body runs out of an essential nutrient. FYI, Essential = Critical = Vital = Needed for health and life!
Consumer Link
If Only Nutrition was as Easy for Us as it is for an Astronaut
Research Link
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(2):327-30.

July 28, 2015
Emotional Eating: A negative emotional state can create conditions that decrease the sensitivity to taste sweetness. For this reason, researchers think that being in a negative emotional state may drive people to eat more sweet foods.
Consumer Link
Is defeat sweeter than victory? Researchers reveal the science behind emotional eating
Research Link
Appetite. 2015 Jun 27;95:89-95.

July 27, 2015
Iodine and Cardiovascular Health: Iodine deficiency disrupts the normal production of thyroid hormone which affects many body functions. Among the many consequences of iodine deficiency is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with increased blood levels of LDL cholesterol.
Consumer Link
Iodine Supplementation Improves Iodine Status and Cardiovascular Disease Markers
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 Jul 22. pii: jn213439. [Epub ahead of print]

July 26, 2015
A full life requires not only a strong body but also a healthy mind. Marginal deficiencies of many nutrients can cause subclinical depression and in turn impair memory.
Consumer Link
Nutritional requirements more complex for seniors
Research Link
J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct;10(5):377-85.

July 25, 2015
Vitamin B-6 is needed to make blood, keep the nervous and immune systems functioning properly, and regulate blood glucose levels. But, high doses of this vitamin can damage nerves - especially those in the arms, hands, legs and feet.
Consumer Link
Though B6 is important, don't overdose
Research Link
Institute of Medicine DRI Chapter on Vitamin B-6

July 24, 2015
Arsenic in Rice: New research suggests cooking rice in your coffee percolator to remove arsenic. This cooking method removed about half of the arsenic in various types of rice. What the researchers did not report is how this cooking method affects the nutrient content of the rice. It most likely reduces the content of water-soluble vitamins and minerals.
Consumer Link
How to cut worrying levels of arsenic in rice that is eaten all over the world
Research Link
PLoS One. 2015 Jul 22;10(7):e0131608.

July 23, 2015
Protein Recommendations: Developments in research on protein have led protein researchers to recommend a protein intake moderately higher than current recommendations. They also stress the value of consuming moderate amounts of high-quality protein at each meal rather than consuming most of the day's protein in the evening meal. These recommendations appear to be especially important for older people and those with excess body fat and lower calorie diets.
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Current dietary protein recommendations need updating, experts say
Research Link
App Phys Nutr Metab. 22 July 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

July 22, 2015
Poverty and Brain Development: Researchers conducted brain scans on 389 children and adolescents every two years over a six year period. The study found that those living in poverty were more likely to have structural differences in several areas of the brain that are involved in learning skills. It is likely that environment, parenting styles, and nutrition all contribute to this difference.
Consumer Link
Poverty's most insidious damage is to a child's brain
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. 20 July 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

July 21, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Nutrition: It is well known that the key omega-3 fatty acids are essential for many body functions such as brain and eye function and moderating inflammation throughout the body. However, omega-3 fatty acid status is rarely evaluated in clinical settings. Since people vary in their ability to elongate plant oil omega-3 fatty acids to form the active long chain EPA and DHA fatty acids (found in fish oils), researchers are seeking reliable assessment techniques using blood samples.
Consumer Link
A Standardized Approach to Measuring Human Fatty Acid Concentrations would help Everyone
Research Link
Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Aug 15;162(4):373-81.

July 20, 2015
Fat, Diabetes, and Fatty Liver Link: Using a diabetic mouse model, researchers found that when excess fat is consumed, some of the fat is converted to a compound called ceramide. When too much ceramide builds up, it causes insulin resistance and possibly diabetes or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This research provides potentially new directions in human research for the prevention and treatment of these increasingly common conditions.
Consumer Link
Lipid enzyme heightens insulin sensitivity, potential therapy to treat Type 2 diabetes
Research Link
Cell Metabolism. 16 July 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

July 19, 2015
Iodine and Foods: Restaurant and fast-food products, as well as many prepared foods in the U.S. do not contain iodized salt. Therefore researchers fear that poor iodine nutrition may be causing or aggravating many of today's health problems.
Consumer Link
Researchers fear deficiency of iodine intake
Research Link
Environ Sci Technol, 42 (4), 1315-1323, 2008.

July 18, 2015
Portion Size Matters: Changes in market packaging or fast food servings have altered our recognition of a added calories. For example, today’s wraps are often equivalent to 2 tortillas or 3 or 4 slices of bread and a large “mega-muffin” is similar to 4 muffins from 30 years ago.
Consumer Link
Big servings lead unwary to overeat
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1 Suppl):236S-241S.

July 17, 2015
Drinking During Exercise: When people drink too much during very long endurance events, they can dangerously lower their blood sodium level - a condition called hyponatremia. A new consensus statement cautions athletes against drinking before they are thirsty and recommends using thirst as their guide to drink during long bouts of exercise. However, it should be recognized that waiting for thirst can lead to dangerous dehydration in hot and humid situations in which the rate of water loss in sweat can exceed the rate at which water can be absorbed by the intestine.
Consumer Link
Overhydration potentially deadly for athletes, experts warn Statement of the Third International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Development Conference, Carlsbad, California, 2015
Research Link
Clin J Sport Med. 2015 Jul;25(4):303-20.

July 16, 2015
Probiotic Bacteria: Researchers often have found that consuming probiotic bacteria in foods like yogurt does not change the relative numbers of various bacteria in the lower intestine (as might be expected). A new study indicates that although the consumption of a type of lactic acid bacteria (found in some yogurts) did not change the gut mirobe populations, it did affect how the resident microorganisms functioned, especially by promoting beneficial anti-inflammatory activities.
Consumer Link
LGG may ‘transiently’ boost anti-inflammatory functions in the gut microbiota: Human data
Research Link
MBio. 2015 Apr 14;6(2). pii: e00231-15.

July 15, 2015
Coffee or Genes? It is known that people with specific gene variations consume more coffee. Researchers wondered if the observed benefits of coffee consumption might be due to these genes. They conducted a large epidemiological study and found that common health benefits linked to coffee were not related to these genetic differences.
Consumer Link
New research: Coffee not associated with lifestyle diseases
Research Link
Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Apr;44(2):551-65.

July 14, 2015
UV Treated Bread for Vitamin D: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently issued a favorable opinion on the safety of bread that is exposed to ultraviolet radiation to turn ergosterol, produced in bread by yeast, into vitamin D2 after the bread has been baked. The bread contains 0.75 to 3 mcg of vitamin D2 -- that is, up to about 130 IU -- per 100 grams of bread (about three slices).
Consumer Link
Vit D Blog: Fortification Coming to New Foods - Swedish company introduces vitamin D-charged bread
Research Link
EFSA Journal 2015;13(7):4148.

July 13, 2015
Panda Bear Diet: Pandas, like other bears, evolved from carnivorous ancestors. However, pandas adapted to a diet that is 99 percent bamboo. They accomplished this adaptation, not by developing the digestive system anatomy of an herbivore, but by greatly reducing their resting metabolic rate, minimizing their physical activity, and consuming very large amounts of a very low calorie food source.
Consumer Link
Bear necessities: low metabolism lets pandas survive on bamboo
Research Link
Science. 2015 Jul 10;349(6244):171-4.

July 12, 2015
Dieting and Protein Needs: Too often dieters cut the protein in order to cut calories. Did you know that protein needs increase during low calorie dieting?
Consumer Link
Protein is crucial part of a sound diet
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Dec;23(6 Suppl):631S-636S.

July 11, 2015
Memory and Vitamin B12: Short term memory problems are often attributed to that "senior moment." But did you know that short-term memory loss can be a sign of a vitamin B-12 deficiency? Ask you physician for a B-12 check-up.
Consumer Link
Dietary B-12 may not be enough
Research Link
J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct;10(5):377-85.

July 10, 2015
Vitamin D: Genetics, skin pigmentation, and sun exposure all affect how much vitamin D you need in your diet and/or supplements. A recent study with vitamin D deficient African Americans found that supplementation with the currently recommended 600 IU per day was not adequate to raise their blood levels of vitamin D (25-OH vitamin D) to the preferred level during a 16-week period of supplementation. Doses of 2000 and 4000 IU did raise blood vitamin D to the preferred level. 4000 IU per day is currently considered to be the tolerable upper intake level for vitamin D.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D can be Measured: Has Your 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 been Assayed?
Research Link
BMC Obesity 2015, 2:27.

July 9, 2015
Stroke Risk and Fish Oil: Arteries, including those providing blood to the brain, are known to stiffen with age. This is thought to be a major reason why stroke risk increases with age. Many aspects of good nutrition appear to contribute to reduced risk of stroke. A new study indicates that one key nutrient that helps to reduce arterial stiffness in older people is the type of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and algae oils.
Consumer Link
Food for Thought on Strokes and Risk
Research Link
Physiol Rep. 2015 Jun;3(6). pii: e12438.

July 8, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Muscle: Loss of muscle mass is common in older people. Adequate protein in the diet and regular exercise both help to counter this loss. In addition, a new study found that six months of daily supplementation with fish oil (providing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in a couple servings of salmon) increased thigh muscle slightly, along with the strength of various muscles, compared to a control group taking a placebo supplement.
Consumer Link
Want Strong Muscles? Make Sure You're Getting Your Omega-3's!
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):115-22.

July 7, 2015
Pregnancy and Vitamin B12: During pregnancy and lactation, a woman's needs increase for most nutrients. A new study indicates that vitamin B12 is needed in greater amounts than previously thought during both pregnancy and lactation. It is possible that the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 during pregnancy and lactation may need to be increased to meet optimal needs for vitamin B12.
Consumer Link
Are Pregnant Women Getting Enough Vitamin B12?
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 Jul;145(7):1507-14.

July 6, 2015
Bariatric Surgery and Nutrient Toxicity: Since bariatric surgery reduces the absorption of most nutrients, dietary supplementation is necessary. However, a recent study reported that a bariatric surgery patient developed severe vitamin B6 toxicity by consuming 300 mg of the vitamin per day for six months. This dose is three times the Tolerable Upper Intake Level for vitamin B6 that was set for normal healthy individuals with normal gastrointestinal tracts.
Consumer Link
Using the Tolerable Upper Limit to Avoid Excessive Vitamin Supplementation
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;69(7):862-3.

July 5, 2015
Maintaining a healthy immune system requires adequate dietary protein for the production of antibodies as well as many essential vitamins and trace minerals.
Consumer Link
More than luck needed to avoid flu
Research Link
J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):113-9.

July 4, 2015
A common food myth is that sugary foods cause hyperactivity in children. Several well-designed research studies indicate that this was not the case.
Consumer Link
A researcher's sweet truths
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 1994 May;52(5):173-5.

July 3, 2015
Potassium, Sodium and Blood Pressure: An analysis of multiple studies concluded that people with elevated blood pressure may benefit more from increasing potassium intake relative to sodium intake than from just decreasing sodium intake.
Consumer Link
Increased potassium reduces blood pressure in hypertensive people: Nestle meta-analysis
Research Link
J Hypertens. 2015 Jun 2. [Epub ahead of print]

July 2, 2015
Citrus Fruit and Melanoma: An analysis of data from over 100,000 men and women found that those who consumed the most citrus fruit (especially grapefruit) had an increased risk of getting melanoma (skin cancer). This does not mean we should cut citrus fruits out of our diets. Since just about every food has something in it that is bad for us in excess amounts, this is mainly an argument for eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and each in moderation.
Consumer Link
Citrus consumption and skin cancer: How real is the link?
Research Link
J Clin Oncol. 2015 Jun 29. [Epub ahead of print]

July 1, 2015
Preventing Child Obesity: The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to not have high sugar and high calorie foods freely available around the house. Rather, make fruits, vegetables, and other low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods available. In addition, parents should cut back on the amount of time spent in front of the television and other screen devices. Keep the family active and promote good regular sleeping habits. It's not complicated!
Consumer Link
Parents Should Set Good Example to Keep Kids Slim, Pediatrics Group Says
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2015 June 29. [Epub ahead of print]

June 30, 2015
Screen Time and Bone Density: A Norwegian study of 316 boys and 372 girls 15 to 19 years old found that those who spent two to four hours, or more than six hours, in front of the screen every day tended to be slightly heavier than their peers who spent less screen time. On average, the boys spent about 5 hours/day and girls about 4 hours/day in front of the computer and television. Excess screen time also was associated with lower bone mineral density in boys, but not in girls.
Consumer Link
Screen Time Tied to Weaker Bones in Teen Boys
Research Link
BMJ Open. 2015 Apr 22;5(6):e006665.

June 29, 2015
Urine Color and Hydration: Even mild dehydration can affect brain function in adults and children. A new study found that children age 8 to 14 can accurately evaluate their hydration status with a urine color gauge. However, if you use urine color to evaluate your hydration, remember that taking a supplement containing vitamin B2 (riboflavin) can make urine very yellow in color for a few hours even if your hydration status is good.
Consumer Link
Researcher Finds Color of Urine to Be Valid Gauge for Hydration in Children
Research Link
Eur J Nutr. 2015 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]

June 28, 2015
Eating disorders frequently start with a disordered eating pattern that excludes various foods perceived as fattening or "bad for you." If someone is a picky eater, they may be at greater risk of developing a serious eating problem.
Consumer Link
Extremes in calorie control plague nation
Research Link
Physiol Behav. 2007 Sep 10;92(1-2):283-90. Epub 2007 May 25.

June 27, 2015
A large research study in China found that the women in rural counties with a dairy industry had significantly higher bone density associated with their greater consumption of milk products.
Consumer Link
Nutrition issue simmers over milk products
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Aug;58(2):219-27.

June 26, 2015
Food Labeling Effects: A new study found that people trying to control their body weight tend to perceive foods labeled as "fitness foods" as better for keeping trim. There is a tendency to equate these foods with the benefits of physical activity, even without doing the physical activity. Consequently, for some people, there is a risk of consuming excess calories from fitness-branded foods.
Consumer Link
'Fitness' foods may cause consumers to eat more, exercise less
Research Link
J Amer Market Assoc. 22 Apr 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

June 25, 2015
Fiber and Flatulence: Dietary fiber is composed of a number of different compounds. One of these compounds is inulin (sometimes listed on labels as chicory root extract). Inulin is a convenient way to increase dietary fiber in processed foods. However, too much inulin causes substantial flatulence in most people.
Consumer Link
Popular food additive can cause stomach ache
Research Link
Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Apr;49(4):327-60.

June 24, 2015
Microwave Cooking and Nutrient Loss: Some have claimed that cooking in a microwave oven destroys nutrients. Although, some vitamins are heat sensitive and may be reduced in a food by any type of cooking method, microwave cooking is actually one of the best cooking methods to minimize nutrient loss. Cooking also can make some nutrients more readily absorbed by the intestine. So, mix it up. Raw, cooked, it's all good!
Consumer Link
Bastions of healthy eating: Frozen Veggies and Microwaves
Research Link
Am Chem Society. 2015. Food myth video.

June 23, 2015
Vitamin D and Crohn's Disease: Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal condition that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. A small study of 27 Crohn's disease patients in remission found that those taking 2000 IU of vitamin D per day were less likely to experience a return of signs of the condition than those taking a placebo supplement.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D shows promise for treating Crohn's disease.
Research Link
United Euro Gastro J. June 2015;3(3):294-302.

June 22, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Immune Function: Deregulation of the immune system is common In older people. This can contribute to both the severity of infectious diseases and the incidence of some autoimmune diseases that involve chronic inflammation. Supplementation with long chain omega-3 fatty acids (from fish or algae oils), or frequent consumption of fatty fish, has been shown to help reduce inflammatory activity in the body.
Consumer Link
How Long Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve the Immune System of Older Adults
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Jun 10:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

June 21, 2015
Exercise and Overheating in Children: During exercise, children may be more likely to overheat than adults. This is especially true when a child is dehydrated at the start of exercise. Consuming adequate water before and during exercise is essential.
Consumer Link
Demands of exercise different for children and adults
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Apr;33(2):420-7.

June 20, 2015
Green Tea: Benefits and Risks: For most people, moderate use of green tea may provide health benefits. But, those who rely on drugs to treat medical conditions should be aware that green tea and its extracts can clash with many common prescription and nonprescription drugs.
Consumer Link
Green tea can clash with common drugs
Research Link
Green Tea, MedlinePlus.

June 19, 2015
Dietary Supplements and Cancer: Various studies have linked dietary supplement use with both increased and decreased risk of developing various cancers. Possibly part of the reason for this discrepancy is that people who develop a health problem such as cancer often start taking supplements to improve their health. To minimize health risks, take dietary supplements in moderation and always consult your pharmacist about possible interactions with other medications you are tkaing.
Consumer Link
Study of Dietary Changes After Cancer Diagnosis Highlights Pitfall of Epidemiological Research
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2015 Jun 16:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 18, 2015
Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Inadequate maternal weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse effects on the developing baby. Excessive weight gain also puts both mother and baby at increased risk of several health problems. Consequently, proper individual guidance on diet and exercise is especially important before, during, and after pregnancy.
Consumer Link
'Is eating for two' a good idea? Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy helps mother and baby
Research Link
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 17, 2015
Chocolate and Heart Health: Yet another study links chocolate consumption with better heart health. This study followed over 20,000 men and women for about 12 years and found that it didn't seem to matter if the chocolate was dark or the lighter milk chocolate. Both types of chocolate were related to less heart attacks and strokes. The average chocolate eater in this study consumed less than half an ounce per day, but some consumed up to three and a half ounces (100 grams) per day. Remember, chocolate is high in calories.
Consumer Link
Chocolate for your heart
Research Link
Heart, 15 June 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

June 16, 2015
Nuts and Disease Risk: Men and women who eat at least 10 grams (about 1/3 ounce) of tree nuts or peanuts per day have a lower risk of dying from several major causes of death. Mortality reduction was greatest for respiratory disease, neurodegenerative disease, and diabetes, followed by cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Peanut butter, however, was not associated with lower mortality. The authors speculate that this may be due to other added ingredients frequently present in peanut butter.
Consumer Link
Nuts and peanuts -- but not peanut butter -- linked to lower mortality rates, study finds.
Research Link
Int J Epidemiol. 2015 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 15, 2015
Eggs and Carotenoid Absorption: Adding cooked whole eggs to a vegetable salad was found to substantially increase the absorption of carotenoids such as beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin from the vegetables. Additional well-absorbed carotenoids are present in egg yolks.
Consumer Link
Study: Top salads with eggs to better absorb vegetables' carotenoids
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 May 27. [Epub ahead of print]

June 14, 2015
Importance of Hydration: Summer heat increases water needs. Severe dehydration can lead to a medical emergency. Less severe chronic under-hydration has fewer obvious signs but can lead to problems like kidney stones, blood pressure fluctuations, headaches and intestinal problems.
Consumer Link
Summer time is fluid time to stay safe
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;57 Suppl 2:S19-23.

June 13, 2015
Healthy Food Choices Are Not Black and White: Making healthy food choices is not as simple as choosing only “good foods” and avoiding all “bad foods.” Most natural foods contain both healthful properties and properties that in excess can cause harm. Good nutrition is not black and white.
Consumer Link
A diet of only good foods is impossible
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):100-8.

June 12, 2015
Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Fatty Liver: A study of over 2600 people found that regular sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was associated with greater risk of fatty liver disease, particularly in overweight and obese individuals. However, the study did not account for the effects of physical activity on carbohydrate utilization and did not appear to adjust properly for lower protein intake in those who consumed more sugary beverages. Diet soda intake was not associated with measures of fatty liver disease.
Consumer Link
Daily sugary drink habit linked to liver disease
Research Link
J Hepatol. 2015 May 29. [Epub ahead of print]

June 11, 2015
Vitamin D in Pediatric Burn Recovery: The stress of suffering from a severe burn appears to lower vitamin D status and this can persist long after the burn. Even with vitamin D supplementation, 25 percent of pediatric burn patients showed evidence of deficiency one year after the burn.
Consumer Link
New research calls for vitamin D supplementation in critically ill pediatric burn patients
Research Link
J Parenter Enteral Nutr. June 9, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

June 10, 2015
Eating Placenta: Consuming the placenta after birth is becoming an increasingly popular practice and promoted by notables such as Kourtney Kardashian. Proponents claim that this practice reduces the risk of postpartum depression, reduces post-delivery pain, boosts energy, aids lactation, promotes skin elasticity, enhances maternal bonding, or replenishes iron in the body. Although the placenta does provide some iron, researchers could not find evidence that potential benefits exceed potential risks.
Consumer Link
Eating placenta has no proven health benefits, study says
Research Link
Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015 Jun 5. [Epub ahead of print]

June 9, 2015
Alcohol and Pregnancy: Women are commonly advised to not consume alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. However, based on a study with mice, alcohol consumption can permanently alter gene regulation in an embryo at a very early stage before a woman knows she is pregnant. These gene alterations have adverse lifelong effects on the offspring. Avoiding alcohol when there is a chance of becoming or being pregnant is the safest strategy.
Consumer Link
What Happens If You Drink Before You Know You're Pregnant? New Research Has A Scary Answer
Research Link
PLoS One. 2015 May 13;10(5):e0124931.

June 8, 2015
Cooking Food: Are humans the only animal that cook their food? New research shows that when chimpanzees were given a cooking device, the chimps learned to cook sweet potato slices and took the time to cook the sweet potatoes.
Consumer Link
No more raw food diet? Chimps can cook, and would, if they had tools.
Research Link
Proc. R. Soc. B. 3 June 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

June 7, 2015
Children should decide when they have had enough to eat. Parents, however, are responsible for creating a food environment that provides the child with a wide variety of wholesome foods and keeps high calorie tasty treats as occasional options.
Consumer Link
Help children develop good eating habits
Research Link
Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):539-49.

June 6, 2015
More than 300 species of bacteria naturally live in the mouth. Some of these bacteria convert sugar into acids that gradually dissolve and erode tooth enamel. Foods that stimulate saliva flow can protect teeth by helping to flush acids out of the mouth.
Consumer Link
Toothy facts about what you eat
Research Link
J Am Dent Assoc. 2008 May;139 Suppl:18S-24S.

June 5, 2015
How Fat Loss Works: Fat in the body contains plenty of potential energy (calories) in its chemical bonds. When energy is needed, stored fat molecules in the body can be broken down in a stepwise manner to supply it. But, the fat molecule components (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen) are converted into carbon dioxide and water that are mostly excreted from the lungs. So, when you lose fat, you breathe it out!
Consumer Link
Where does the fat go when you lose it?
Research Link
BMJ 2014;349:g7257.

June 4, 2015
Driving Dehydrated: In a controlled laboratory setting, researchers found that driving skills were impaired when study participants were moderately dehydrated. The level of impairment was comparable to driving with a blood alcohol level at the legal limit of 0.08%.
Consumer Link
Dehydrated drivers make the same number of mistakes as drink (drunk) drivers
Research Link
Physiol Behav. 2015 Aug 1;147:313-8.

June 3, 2015
Weight Loss and Bone Loss: Rapid weight loss has been shown to promote bone loss. A review of 41 studies on bone loss during weight loss concluded that the measurable bone loss was primarily in the hip area.
Consumer Link
Review: Diet-Linked Weight Loss Tied to Drop in Hip BMD
Research Link
J Bone Miner Res. 2015 May 25. [Epub ahead of print]

June 2, 2015
Exercise Upper Limits: A recent study indicated that the most favorable running dose for reducing mortality was 1 to 2.4 hours of jogging per week including no more than 3 running days per week at a slow to moderate pace. A related study suggested that 30 miles of running or 46 miles of walking per week is approximately the safe upper limit for optimizing long-term cardiovascular health and life expectancy. Both studies acknowledge that much more research is needed to verify their conclusions. The important message here is that some exercise is much better than none.
Consumer Link
Dose of Jogging and Long-Term Mortality
Research Link
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Feb 10;65(5):411-9.

June 1, 2015
B12, Pregnancy, and Lactation: The importance of folic acid during pregnancy and lactation is well established. New research now also suggests that recommended intake of vitamin B12 should be increased during pregnancy and lactation.
Consumer Link
Help Increase Awareness about B Vitamin Requirements During Pregnancy and Lactation
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]

May 31, 2015
Strictly speaking, there is no dietary requirement for carbohydrate. However, the brain prefers glucose for its metabolic fuel and each day uses about 400 calories of the blood sugar glucose. For this reason, some carbohydrate sources are recommended in all prudent diets.
Consumer Link
Too much carb cutting affects your brain
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;53 Suppl 1:S107-11.

May 30, 2015
Good nutrition is especially important before and after surgery. The amino acid glutamine is known to be especially helpful when significant amounts of body tissue must be repaired and replaced. L-glutamine is especially high in animal foods and also available in supplement form.
Consumer Link
Eat well before, after surgery
Research Link
J Nutr. 2008 Oct;138(10):2040S-2044S.

May 29, 2015
Soy and Asthma: Some research has suggested that supplementation with soy isoflavone may help asthma patients. However, when soy isoflavone supplementation was put to the test of a 24-week double-blind placebo-controlled study, asthmatic adults and children aged 12 years or older did not experience improved lung function and had no change in their asthma symptoms.
Consumer Link
Soy supplements don't improve asthma, study concludes
Research Link
JAMA. 2015 May 26;313(20):2033-2043.

May 28, 2015
Alcohol and Aging: A study of over 4000 older men and women (average age 76) found that greater alcohol intake was associated with subtle adverse alterations in heart structure and function. Although cause and effect conclusions were not possible, women appeared to be more susceptible than men to negative effects of alcohol on heart health. It is possible that the level of alcohol intake considered to be "moderate" may be lower for older adults.
Consumer Link
Moderate drinking in later years may damage heart
Research Link
Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2015;8:e002846.

May 27, 2015
Blood Donation and Iron Status: Maintaining healthy blood donors requires adequate replacement of iron lost from the body in donated blood. Female donors are at greater risk than men of developing iron deficiency due to having much greater iron needs. For frequent blood donors, it is very difficult to replace iron by diet alone. Iron supplementation is usually required.
Consumer Link
Frequent female blood donors often at risk of iron deficiency: study
Research Link
Transfusion Med. June 2014;(2):1-11.

May 26, 2015
Vitamin E and Muscle: Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant throughout the body. Muscle weakness is one of the major effects of vitamin E deficiency. This appears to be due to vitamin E playing an essential role in muscle cell membrane repair. Consequently, low vitamin E status is likely to impair muscle recovery from exercise.
Consumer Link
How vitamin E keeps muscles healthy
Research Link
Free Radic Biol Med. 2015 Apr 3;84:246-253.

May 25, 2015
Livestock and Antibiotic Resistance: The use of antibiotics to treat a sick animal is very different from the widespread use of antibiotics in feed to promote animal growth. There is a substantial amount of evidence that this practice increases the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria that also affect humans.
Consumer Link
Why did the chicken cross the road? So it could continue getting antibiotics.
Research Link
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015 Jun 5;370(1670).

May 24, 2015
Parents are responsible for what, when and where children are able to eat. Providing and promoting a wide variety of wholesome foods is essential for helping a child meet nutrient needs and avoid becoming a picky eater.
Consumer Link
Help children develop good eating habits
Research Link
Ann Med. 1999 Apr;31 Suppl 1:26-32.

May 23, 2015
As adults age, they generally experience a gradual loss of muscle mass. To prevent excessive muscle loss with age, include regular exercise and adequate nutrition.
Consumer Link
Muscle is also important as a major protein reserve
Research Link
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.

May 22, 2015
Snacking for Teens: New research shows that eating high-protein snacks in the afternoon can help teens to control appetite and be less likely to eat unhealthy snacks later in the day. The high protein snacks also improved certain aspects of mood and cognitive function. Choosing high protein snack options on a regular basis should help to prevent excessive weight gain.
Consumer Link
Snacking on protein can improve appetite control, diet quality in teens.
Research Link
J. Nutr. May 20, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

May 21, 2015
Foodborne Illness: With the current drought causing a reduced produce supply from California, more produce will be coming from other parts of the world that may not have food safety regulations as strict as those in the U.S. Consequently, is becoming more important to observe good food safety practices.
Consumer Link
Physicians can play key role in preventing foodborne illness
Research Link
Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 30. [Epub ahead of print]

May 20, 2015
Feed and Fast: A well controlled study in mice found that when the mice were allowed to eat only once a day, it altered insulin production and cellular sensitivity to insulin in ways that promoted increased fat storage, especially in the abdominal area. Similar effects have been observed in small human studies.
Consumer Link
Skipping meals linked to abdominal weight gain.
Research Link
J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Mar 13. [Epub ahead of print]

May 19, 2015
Vitamin B12 and Cardiovascular Disease: Vitamin B12 deficiency can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vegetarians often have inadequate vitamin B12 status due to low amounts of the vitamin in their diet. To lower their risk of heart disease, most vegetarians need to take B12 supplements and/or consume B12-fortified foods.
Consumer Link
Lack of Vitamin B12 may Increase Heart Disease Risk Among Vegetarians
Research Link
Am J Prev Med. 2015;48(6):e11-e26.

May 18, 2015
Low Allergen Soybean: Soybeans are among the most common foods that cause allergic reactions in people. Using conventional plant breeding techniques, researchers have developed a variety of soybean that is very low in key known allergenic proteins and an anti-thiamin factor. This new soybean variety should provide benefits for both animal and human soy-based foods.
Consumer Link
Low-allergen soybean could have high impact
Research Link
Plant Breeding, 21 APR 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

May 17, 2015
Vegetarian diets are not always healthy. Whether you consume animal products or not, "step one" in good nutrition is to consume adequate amounts of all of the essential nutrients. Accomplishing this with food requires consuming a variety of foods from a variety of food groups. Eliminating all foods that don't wave the "healthy" food banner can result in a diet that is not adequate in one or more essential nutrients.
Consumer Link
Vegetarian physician debunks dietary myths
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1607S-1612S.

May 16, 2015
An elevated blood level of homocysteine is considered to be a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Taking a daily multi-vitamin with vitamins B6, B12, and folate can help to reduce homocysteine.
Consumer Link
Take heart care in hand for good life
Research Link
Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1997 Jun;47(2 Suppl 1):9-12.

May 15, 2015
Iron Status and Diabetes Diagnosis: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is considered a good blood test to evaluate chronically elevated blood glucose. However, a new review of 12 studies found that iron deficiency with or without anemia causes a false increase in HbA1c. Consequently, it is important to not rely only on HbA1c values without other measures of blood glucose handling in the body. Measures of iron status also appear to be important.
Consumer Link
Anemia distorts regular method of diabetes diagnosis and questions its reliability.
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2015 May 13. [Epub ahead of print]

May 14, 2015
Food Security: World population growth and increasing dependence on imported foods are contributing to declining resilience in the global food system. Researchers are concerned that this makes the global food supply system increasingly unstable and more susceptible to conditions of crisis.
Consumer Link
World population-food supply balance is becoming increasingly unstable
Research Link
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 May 11. [Epub ahead of print]

May 13, 2015
Fitness and Blood Lipids: A study of over 11,000 men, followed for about 35 years, found that the usual age-related increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol was delayed in those who maintained the highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness.
Consumer Link
Staying Fit May Delay Onset of High Cholesterol, Study Finds
Research Link
J Am Coll Card. 2015;65(19):2091–2100.

May 12, 2015
Meal Frequency and Weight Loss: A small, but well controlled study of eleven obese women found that during two separate 2-week periods of consuming 1200 calories per day (with about 75 grams per day of protein), the women lost more fat and increased fat-free mass when they were consuming six small meals a day compared to two meals per day.
Consumer Link
Want to lose weight? Eat SIX meals a day say nutrition experts in new study
Research Link
Nutr Res. 2015 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]

May 11, 2015
Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Health: The relative risk of coronary heart disease and stroke decreases with increasing blood vitamin C levels. Vitamin C status (plasma vitamin C concentration) is determined by both vitamin C intake and the genetic capacity to maintain higher levels of vitamin C in the body.
Consumer Link
Benefits of Fruit and Vegetables: Researchers Claim it’s all about Vitamin C
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 May 6. [Epub ahead of print]

May 10, 2015
Including enough high fiber plant foods in the diet can benefit intestinal health. Too much fiber, however, can reduce the ability to absorb essential minerals like iron, copper and zinc.
Consumer Link
Balancing the facts on fiber
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2002 May;60(5 Pt 1):127-34.

May 9, 2015
The most common conditions linked to low magnesium intake are high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. That’s a good reason to include green vegetables, beans, whole grains, and nuts in your daily diet.
Consumer Link
Brown rice can provide vital magnesium
Research Link
Magnes Res. 2008 Jun;21(2):77-82.

May 8, 2015
Vitamin D: Researchers are challenging the current RDA for vitamin D, claiming that the Institute of Medicine committee miscalculated from the data they used and set the value at about one tenth of what it should be. Stay tuned on this one!
Consumer Link
Recommendation for vitamin D intake was miscalculated, is far too low, experts say
Research Link
Nutrients 2015, 7(3), 1688-1690.

May 7, 2015
Body Weight and Diabetes: A study of over 10,000 older adults with type 2 diabetes (average age of 63 years) followed for over 10 years, found that those who were overweight or obese were more likely to be hospitalized for cardiovascular reasons. However, being overweight (BMI of 25 to 30) was associated with a lower mortality risk than being normal weight or obese.
Consumer Link
Overweight diabetes patients outlive slimmer ones - study
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2015 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]

May 6, 2015
Blood Pressure Guidelines: A 2013 Systematic Evidence Review From the Blood Pressure Expert Panel of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute concluded that adults over 60 should not be treated for hypertension unless blood pressure exceeds 150/90. However, this information remains to be incorporated into updated guidelines.
Consumer Link
Think your blood pressure is too high? Think again.
Research Link
NHLBI. 2013. Managing Blood Pressure in Adults.

May 5, 2015
Fibromyalgia Triggers: There is little agreement about what causes the chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia. However, a new study found that one out of four people with fibromyalgia had some physical trauma or infection associated with the start of symptoms. Many other variables, such as iron deficiency, have been linked to fibromyalgia, but there appears to be multiple factors causing the condition.
Consumer Link
Can an Infection or Injury Trigger Fibromyalgia?
Research Link
Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

May 4, 2015
Teen Asthma and Insulin Resistance: Asthma and compromised pulmonary function are associated with components of metabolic syndrome, including insulin resistance in teenagers. It is not known why lung function may be linked to impaired insulin function.
Consumer Link
Teen Asthma Strongly Linked to Insulin Resistance
Research Link
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015 Mar 3. [Epub ahead of print]

May 3, 2015
If you frequently have an irritation or a cut at the corners of your mouth, your diet might be low in vitamin B-2. Reasonable sources of B-2 (riboflavin) include fortified cereals, milk and other dairy products, almonds, and meats.
Consumer Link
Riboflavin works with other vitamins
Research Link
Med J Aust. 1984 Nov 10;141(10):635-7.

May 2, 2015
A high level of blood triglycerides is one of many risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Consuming fish two or three times a week provides omega-3 fatty acids that can help to decrease triglycerides.
Consumer Link
Lower blood triglycerides to ward off heart disease
Research Link
Nutr Health. 2009;20(1):11-20.

May 1, 2015
Protein at Breakfast: Another study indicates that consuming a breakfast with 25 to 30 grams of protein helps to moderate blood sugar levels throughout the morning and even helps to moderate the blood glucose response to lunch. This study was conducted with people with type 2 diabetes. Other studies have reported similar results and even have found that a high protein breakfast helps to reduce food cravings later in the day.
Consumer Link
Prevent type 2 diabetes blood-sugar spikes by eating more protein for breakfast, experts say.
Research Link
J Nutr. 2015 Mar;145(3):452-8.

April 30, 2015
Illegal Stimulant in Supplements: Ever since the herbal stimulant ephedra was banned in 2004, the supplement industry has been seeking a reasonable substitute. One of the latest tries is the addition of DMBA (1,3-Dimethylbutylamine). However, FDA considers DMBA to be an untested drug, which makes it illegal in a dietary supplement.
Consumer Link
FDA warns about another illegal stimulant in supplements
Research Link
FDA. April 28, 2015. DMBA in Dietary Supplements.

April 29, 2015
Sodium, Potassium, and Blood Pressure: A study that followed over 2000 adolescent black and white girls for 10 years found that those with higher levels of potassium in the diet had lower blood pressure. The level of sodium intake, however, had no effect on blood pressure.
Consumer Link
Potassium improved blood pressure in teen girls, salt had no adverse effect
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. April 27, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

April 28, 2015
Fluoride in Water: Due to its great impact on dental health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named community water fluoridation one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Now that Americans have access to more sources of fluoride, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, the Department of Health and Human Services reduced water fluoridation recommendations to the lower end of the previously recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter of water.
Consumer Link
Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water
Research Link
CDC. 2015. Community Water Fluoridation.

April 27, 2015
Food Borne Botulism: When not done carefully, home-canned meats, fish, and vegetables can support the growth of Clostridium botulinum bacteria that produce a toxin that causes botulism. Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness that can move throughout the body. Symptoms generally begin 18 to 36 hours after eating a contaminated food, but they can occur as early as 6 hours or as late as 10 days.
Consumer Link
Why Botulism Is Found in Canned Foods and How to Keep Your Pantry Safe
Research Link
CDC. 2014. Botulism.

April 26, 2015
As the weather warms up, the body’s fluid needs increase due to greater sweat loss. Even unnoticeable sweat loss can lead to a drop in blood volume that could increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Remember to drink more fluids in hot weather.
Consumer Link
Fluid needs rise with temperature
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S2-5.

April 25, 2015
Exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand to promote good health. As it turns out, three 10-minute walks are just as beneficial to health as one 30-minute walk and are much easier to fit into a busy lifestyle.
Consumer Link
Burn calories without burning out
Research Link
Sports Med. 2009;39(1):29-43.

April 24, 2015
Menstrual Blood Loss and Iron: A study in Finland of 236 women with heavy menstrual periods found that 27% of the women were anemic and 60% were severely iron deficient based on low ferritin levels. One year after treatment with iron supplementation, the anemic women had a significant increase in energy, along with improved physical and social function, and a decrease in anxiety and depression. It took 5 years to get their iron stores to normal levels.
Consumer Link
Iron supplements improve anemia, quality of life for women with heavy periods
Research Link
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2014 Jul;93(7):654-60.

April 23, 2015
Shiitake Mushrooms and Immune Function: A study with 52 adults found that consuming 5 to 10 grams of dried shiitake mushrooms per day for 4 weeks improved a number of indicators of immune function. They estimated that this was the equivalent of 3 to 6 ounces of fresh mushrooms (5 to 10 medium-size mushrooms).
Consumer Link
Mushrooms boost immunity, suggests research
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Apr 11:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

April 22, 2015
Coffee and Breast Cancer: Components in coffee are proving to inhibit breast cancer development. In addition, consuming coffee during treatment of breast cancer appears to benefit treatment and reduce recurrence of the cancer. At least two cups a day seems to be the effective dose.
Consumer Link
Coffee protects against breast cancer recurrence, detailed findings confirm
Research Link
Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 15;21(8):1877-87.

April 21, 2015
DHA and Brain Development: DHA, one of the fish oil fatty acids, is a major component of the brain and the retina of the eyes in just about all animals. Researchers using frogs found that low DHA in the diet of mothers resulted in low DHA in their offspring. This impaired normal development of the brain and the eyes. Most likely, similar problems could occur in humans.
Consumer Link
Brain development suffers from lack of fish oil fatty acids, UCI study finds
Research Link
J Neurosci. 2015 Apr 15;35(15):6079-92.

April 20, 2015
Sugar and Stress Management: A recent human study found that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages reduced the body's stress response when compared to a beverage sweetened with aspartame. On the positive side, sugar consumption may help to manage stress, but this also may explain why a habit of drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas can be hard to break.
Consumer Link
Sugar-sweetened Beverages Suppress the Body’s Stress Response
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

April 19, 2015
Hair loss and Nutrition. Hair thinning is sometimes a sign of inadequate iron in the diet. Physicians who specialize in treating hair thinning prefer to see the index of body iron stores (ferritin) at a level greater than 70 ng/ml.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency sometimes goes unseen
Research Link
Clin Exp Dermatol. 2002 Jul;27(5):396-404.

April 18, 2015
The average U.S. adult consumes only 75 to 80% of the magnesium recommended. Inadequate magnesium may contribute to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans are all good food sources.
Consumer Link
Brown rice can provide vital magnesium
Research Link
Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):142-51.

April 17, 2015
Food Safety: Not sure if you should toss that meat or fish that has been in the fridge for a week. You probably should. Soon, however, there may be an inexpensive device available that can give you an objective measure of spoilage based on detection of amine compounds that form when these foods are spoiled.
Consumer Link
New sensor detects spoiled meat
Research Link
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2015 Apr 13. [Epub ahead of print]

April 16, 2015
Supplement Quality: Responsibility for the control of the quantity and quality of ingredients in dietary supplements rests primarily on the manufacturers of these products. Consequently, the "buyer beware" aspect of shopping for supplements is a significant concern. Larger companies generally have tighter quality control measures. Some organizations like ConsumerLab.com test products independently to confirm that products contain what they say and are free of common contaminants.
Consumer Link
Do All Vitamin Supplements Have the Same Quality?
Research Link
Dietary Supplement Popularity, Quality, Safety, and Efficacy

April 15, 2015
Gum Disease and Heart Disease: A new study using a rabbit model found that treatment of gum disease prevented heart disease. These results support epidemiological studies that show links between periodontal disease and heart disease. It appears that the inflammation caused by the gum disease triggers inflammation in the arteries, making them more susceptible to plaque accumulation.
Consumer Link
How gum disease treatment can prevent heart disease
Research Link
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]

April 14, 2015
Muscle-building Supplements and Cancer: Athletes are especially open to trying anything that promises to enhance performance. However, a new study raises some cautions about links between muscle-building supplement use and testicular cancer. The risk appears to be greater in those who took these types of supplements when they were younger. Much more needs to be learned about what components of these supplements may triggering this cancer risk.
Consumer Link
Testicular cancer link found for muscle-building supplements
Research Link
Br J Cancer. 2015 Mar 31;112 Suppl:1247-50.

April 13, 2015
Body Mass Index and Dementia: Surprising results from a study of almost two million people indicate that underweight people had a 39% greater risk of developing dementia compared with those with a normal healthy weight. The bigger surprise, overweight people had an 18% reduction in dementia and obese people had 24% less risk. Since overweight and obesity increase the risk for other diseases, the clearest message from this research is to maintain a healthy weight - not too high or too low.
Consumer Link
Being overweight 'reduces dementia risk'
Research Link
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2015 April 10. [Epub ahead of print]

April 12, 2015
The metal zinc is an essential nutrient that has 100s of functions in the body. Among other things, zinc deficiency impairs the senses of taste and smell. The best absorbed sources of zinc are meat, poultry, and fish.
Consumer Link
Think zinc if 20-year-old looks like 10
Research Link
Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Mar;128(3):333-9.

April 11, 2015
A 28-year old theory proposes that iron accumulation in the body increases the risk for coronary heart disease. To date, however, this theory remains unproved, with several studies refuting the theory. It is likely that both too much and too little iron increase health risks.
Consumer Link
Iron level is important to good health
Research Link
Can J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2009;19(1):26-32.

April 10, 2015
Energy Drinks and Teens: The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the consumption of caffeine-containing energy drinks during adolescence. Caffeine consumption has been linked to neurologic and cardiovascular problems in both children and adolescents. However, researchers found that energy drink manufacturers market their products primarily on television programs that appeal to teens.
Consumer Link
Marketing of energy drinks placed on TV channels that appeal to teens
Research Link
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2015 Mar-Apr;47(2):120-126.

April 9, 2015
Sodium and Potassium Recommendations: Another study finds that the current recommendations for cutting down sodium and increasing potassium are too extreme. About three out of 1000 people in the U.S. meet these recommendations. One study found that the few people who met potassium recommendations accomplished it mainly by drinking lots of coffee.
Consumer Link
Are current dietary guidelines for sodium and potassium reasonable?
Research Link
BMJ Open. 2015 Mar 20;5(3):e006625.

April 8, 2015
Fatty Liver and Intestinal Health: When excessive fat accumulates in the liver, it causes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that can progress to a more severe form called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). New research indicates that this condition is linked with "leaky gut" or increased intestinal permeability that allows microorganisms to to more readily cross the gut wall into the body. Two key nutrients that help to prevent NAFLD and NASH are choline and protein.
Consumer Link
Liver injury in NASH leads to a leaky gut
Research Link
Cell Mol Gast Hep. 2015;1(2):222-232.

April 7, 2015
Online Sale of Human Breast Milk: Online sale of human milk is becoming a major business venture. Certainly, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for young babies. However, analysis of breast milk from over 100 online sources found that many of the products were contaminated with a significant amount of unaltered cow's milk. Other studies have found problems with bacterial contamination. Considering these risks of purchasing human milk online, infant formula can be a better choice. It mimics many of the benefits of human milk without the allergenic risks of unaltered cow's milk and bacterial contamination.
Consumer Link
Human milk is best for babies — but not if it’s bought online, study finds.
Research Link
Pediatrics. April 6, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

April 6, 2015
Nutrition and Mental Health: The complex chemical reactions that take place in the brain are dependent on a host of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, etc. Clearly, poor nutrition can result in mental illness. Diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders should always evaluate the potential contribution of malnutrition to the condition. The "fix" could be nutritional rather than pharmacological.
Consumer Link
Diet, nutrition essential for mental health
Research Link
Lancet Psych. 2015;2(3):271–274.

April 5, 2015
A sedentary lifestyle means you require limited calories. This makes it more challenging to meet your daily essential nutrient needs. Physical activity may be good for your health partly because you can eat more! Go exercise!
Consumer Link
Nutrition key to body’s long haul
Research Link
Appl Physiol. 2008 Sep;105(3):988-1001.

April 4, 2015
A 28-year old theory proposes that iron accumulation in the body increases the risk for coronary heart disease. To date, however, this theory remains unproved, with several studies refuting the theory. It is likely that both too much and too little iron increase health risks.
Consumer Link
Iron level is important to good health
Research Link
Can J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2009;19(1):26-32.

April 3, 2015
Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Elderly: Vitamin B12 status can be difficult to evaluate in older people. Despite normal blood levels of B12, markers of B12 function often still indicate a deficient state. New research reports that this is more likely to occur when a person is experiencing increased oxidative stress.
Consumer Link
Wow, Measuring Nutritional Status is Insightful
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan 7.

April 2, 2015
Red Meat and Mortality: One of the few foods that Americans have decreased in their diet during the past couple of decades is red meats. However, this has not translated to any obvious health improvements. This continues to take us back to the concept that a variety of all types of foods in the diet is most likely to meet nutrient needs and promote good health. Eating too much of everything, however, may be the main problem - especially when we are not very active.
Consumer Link
Red Meat Is Not the Enemy
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;67(6):598-606.

April 1, 2015
Exercise in Medicine: Although the prestigious American College of Sports Medicine states that, "Exercise is Medicine," a review of medical school curricula found that most medical school programs do not offer any courses on physical activity, and if they do, they are rarely required. This is unfortunate. For some conditions like type 2 diabetes, exercise can be the best "medicine" for a patient.
Consumer Link
Exercise largely absent from U.S. medical school curriculum, study shows
Research Link
J Phys Act Health. 2014 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]

March 31, 2015
Nutrition During Pregnancy: Research on the causes of death in people who were born in Holland during the 1944/1945 Dutch Hunger Winter is starting to provide information on the long-term effects of compromised nutrition during specific developmental periods. People who were developing during the first trimester of pregnancy during this winter did not have an increased risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease. However, they were more likely to die of other causes when compared to people who did not experience starvation during this stage of development.
Consumer Link
Study provides evidence against the fetal origins of cancer, cardiovascular disease
Research Link
Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Feb 15;181(4):271-9.

March 30, 2015
Vitamin B12 for Infants and Toddlers: A study of 1000 infants and toddlers (ages 6 to 35 months) in northern India found that supplementation with twice the recommended vitamin B12 intake significantly increased growth over a 6 month period compared to those taking a placebo.
Consumer Link
Young Children Require Vitamins to Develop
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2015 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print]

March 29, 2015
Over 50 years ago, Dr. Jean Mayer demonstrated that sedentary people tend to eat more calories than they need. He found that even modest levels of daily physical activity helped to control appetite and promote a healthy body weight.
Consumer Link
Too bad we can't put exercise in a pill
Research Link
Sports Med. 1988 Sep;6(3):135-45.

March 28, 2015
Water is an important essential nutrient. Virtually every function in the body is dependent on the presence of enough water. In addition, adequate water can help to prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
Consumer Link
Make sure you consume enough water
Research Link
Urol Int. 2004;72 Suppl 1:29-33.

March 27, 2015
Fitness and Cancer: Researchers conducted treadmill fitness tests on more than 13,000 men during middle age (49 years old on average). When they followed up on the men after age 65, those who had the highest fitness levels at midlife were significantly less likely to develop lung or colorectal cancer. Once the participants turned 65, the researchers looked at Medicare records for diagnoses of lung, prostate and colorectal cancer, and used the National Death Index to find data on deaths from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Midlife fitness may lower risk of some cancers later
Research Link
JAMA Oncol. Published online March 26, 2015.

March 26, 2015
Milk and Brain Health: Researchers used a high-tech brain scanning technique on older adults to measure brain levels of an antioxidant synthesized in the body (glutathione). They found that its concentrations were higher in those with greater consumption of milk products. They speculated that dairy foods may provide the brain with the precursors needed for glutathione synthesis. More research is needed to prove this.
Consumer Link
Milk could be good for your brain
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Feb;101(2):287-93.

March 25, 2015
Zinc and Inflammation: A deficiency in zinc is related to immune system problems and inflammation. This deficiency could play a role in inflammatory chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. The richest sources of zinc include meats and some seafood; moderate sources of zinc include nuts. The bioavailability of zinc in legumes, whole-grain products and plant proteins is lower due to the relatively high content of phytic acid.
Consumer Link
Zinc deficiency linked to immune system response, particularly in older adults
Research Link
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Feb 5. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400761. [Epub ahead of print]

March 24, 2015
Safe Vitamin D Levels: There has been an abundance of research linking low vitamin D status to a variety of health issues. Recent research evaluating over 247,000 Danes now points to health issues with too much vitamin D as well. A safe range for vitamin D blood levels is currently thought to be between 50 and 100 nmol per litre. The authors recommended the goal for vitamin D should be 70 nmol per litre based on their data.
Consumer Link
High levels of vitamin D is suspected of increasing mortality rates
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb 24:jc20144551. [Epub ahead of print]

March 23, 2015
Generally we think of fruits and vegetables as sources of antioxidants that protect cells from the damage that can lead to aging, cancers and inflammatory diseases. New research has discovered that the amino acid methionine joins the antioxidant ranks. Good sources of methionine include: eggs, meat, fish, sesame seeds and cereal grains.
Consumer Link
Backup system that helps sustain liver during crisis discovered
Research Link
Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 20;6:6479. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7479.

March 22, 2015
Older people usually need less calories as they age, but protein needs don't decrease. In fact, studies indicate that the optimal protein intake is greater for older people.
Consumer Link
Muscle is also important as a major protein reserve
Research Link
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.

March 21, 2015
Large daily doses of vitamin C do not appear to prevent colds, but taking vitamin C supplements during a cold may slightly reduce the duration of cold symptoms.
Consumer Link
Take steps against colds
Research Link
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;(3):CD000980.

March 20, 2015
Vitamin D and Depression: Young women with lower vitamin D status were more likely to suffer from depression symptoms. This association raises an interesting question, but it does not prove that low vitamin D causes depression. One complicating factor is that the body's production of the form of vitamin D measured to assess vitamin D status (25-hydroxy vitamin D) is accomplished in the liver by an iron-dependent enzyme. Iron deficiency is a known cause of depression that also could reduce 25-hydroxy vitamin D production in the liver.
Consumer Link
Low vitamin D levels, depression linked in young women, new study shows
Research Link
Psychiatry Research. March 06, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

March 19, 2015
Obesity and Body Temperature: A new study found that obese individuals, on average, had lower body core temperature during the day than people with normal body weight. This may contribute to accumulation of body fat due to reduced conversion of body energy supply into body heat. The lower heat production could be due to less movement (even less fidgeting types of movement), lower muscle mass, or iron deficiency (which is more common in obese individuals).
Consumer Link
Body Temperature and Obesity: New Study Suggests Connection
Research Link
Chronobiol Int. 2015 Mar;32(2):299-302.

March 18, 2015
Milk Protein Type: Depending on breed, the milk from dairy cattle contains proteins called A1 beta-casein or A2 beta-casein (or sometimes both proteins). There is some evidence that the A2 milk is better for the gastrointestinal function of some people. Test marketing of A2 milk is planned to start in California in about a month.
Consumer Link
California Consumers are About to Get a Taste of ‘A2 Milk’
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;68(9):994-1000.

March 17, 2015
Age-related Brain Decline and Mobility: Small areas of damage in the brain that are visible on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are common in older people. This type of brain damage has been linked to problems with basic movements such as walking. However, a new study found that older people who remained more physically active did not have a decline in their movement abilities even when they did have high levels of brain damage.So, keep moving!
Consumer Link
Exercise may help keep seniors moving longer despite old age brain decline
Research Link
Neurology. 2015 Mar 11. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001417. [Epub ahead of print]

March 16, 2015
Iron and Zinc Affect Mood and Cognition: A systematic review of eleven placebo-controlled studies on iron or zinc supplementation of pre-menopausal women concluded that improving iron status in iron deficient pre-menopausal women significantly improved measures of cognitive function. This was evident in women even when they had non-anemic iron deficiency. There was a limited number of studies on zinc, leaving the authors to suggest a need for more research on this element.
Consumer Link
Iron and zinc found to be a mood booster for women
Research Link
Nutrients. 2014 Nov 14;6(11):5117-41.

March 15, 2015
Everyone knows that consuming enough high calcium foods is good for bones, but did you know that it also lowers the risk of developing kidney stones?
Consumer Link
Study finds diet can affect kidney stones
Research Link
Arch Intern Med. 2004 Apr 26;164(8):885-91.

March 14, 2015
Breast milk of vegetarian mothers can become deficient in vitamin B-12. Because B-12 is needed for infant brain and nerve development, vegetarian women should be especially careful to meet their B-12 needs with supplements or fortified foods.
Consumer Link
New moms need B-12 for baby's milk
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2008 May;66(5):250-5.

March 13, 2015
Vitamin D Status and Mortality: A large study of over 240,000 people found that those with the lowest vitamin D status had a significantly greater risk of dying from cardiovascular related diseases. Also interesting, this risk increased in those with the highest vitamin D status. These associations cannot be attributed to cause and effect, but they do raise some interesting questions and support concerns for taking high dose vitamin D supplements for too long.
Consumer Link
High levels of vitamin D is suspected of increasing mortality rates
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print]

March 12, 2015
Metabolic Effects of Weight Change: A large study followed adults for a seven year period and measured changes in both gene expression and blood components reflecting metabolism. They found that weight gain and weight loss had the opposite effects on many of these measures. This study adds significantly to further understanding of the body's response to weight change and will help to determine the best ways to prevent or treat weight-related health problems.
Consumer Link
How changes in body weight affect human metabolism
Research Link
BMC Medicine 2015, 13:48 doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0282-y

March 11, 2015
Nuts and Health: An epidemiological study of about 200,000 people from the U.S. and China found that the consumption of nuts was associated with a reduced mortality from cardiovascular disease. Although nuts are a good source of important nutrients, their very high calorie content suggests moderation.
Consumer Link
Peanut consumption associated with decreased total mortality and mortality from cardiovascular diseases.
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. March 02, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

March 10, 2015
Food Poisoning: One out of six of us in the U.S. gets sick each year from bacterial contamination of food. Most of us are aware of some of the key foods most likely to make us sick, but some of the risky foods may surprise you. They include the usual culprits of meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, but also include leafy green vegetables, bean sprouts, seeded fruits and vegetables such as melons and tomatoes, and raw milk and cheeses made from raw milk.
Consumer Link
The biggest culprits of foodborne illness
Research Link
Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates - Report, Feb 2015.

March 9, 2015
Vitamin E Under-consumed: The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee found that 90 percent of adults in the U.S. do not consume the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for vitamin E. Theoretically, 50 percent of the population requires more than the EAR, so this level of vitamin E intake is likely contributing to a variety of health problems that include Alzheimer's disease, liver disease, and miscarriages during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Consumer Link
Want to Know if Age or Sex affects Vitamin E Inside the Body?
Research Link
Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.

March 8, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Diabetes: A study that followed 5,697 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) for over ten years found that those with greater blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) had lower blood levels of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs). Elevated blood NEFAs is marker of metabolic dysfunction associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Increasing EPA and DHA Concentrations in Blood to Modify Diabetes Risk
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan 8. [Epub ahead of print]

March 7, 2015
Antibiotics in Milk: Maintaining the health of milk cows sometimes involves the use of antibiotics. However, antibiotics do not end up in the milk we consume when dairy farmers follow regulations for acceptable use of antibiotics and other drugs. An extensive study of almost 2,000 dairy farms, conducted by the Food and Drug Administration, found that less than one percent of the milk they analyzed contained illegal drug residues.
Consumer Link
FDA study finds little evidence of antibiotics in milk
Research Link
National Milk Drug Residue Data Base

March 6, 2015
Lycopene and Kidney Cancer: Renal cell carcinoma is the eighth leading cancer among women. Typically, it is diagnosed at a more advanced stage, making treatment less effective. A study of over 96,000 older women found that those with the greatest intake of lycopene (mostly from tomatoes) had the lowest risk of renal cell carcinoma. This indicates that lycopene in the diet may contribute to prevention of this type of cancer.
Consumer Link
Lycopene may ward off kidney cancer in older women
Research Link
Cancer. 2015 Feb 15;121(4):580-8.

March 5, 2015
Coffee and Coronary Heart Disease: A Korean study of over 25,000 people found that those consuming coffee regularly had reduced odds of developing coronary artery calcium accumulation - a sign of developing heart disease. The risk was lowest for those consuming two to four cups of coffee a day. Presumably, these were 8-ounce cups.
Consumer Link
Drinking up to five cups of coffee a day may benefit the arteries
Research Link
Heart. March 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

March 4, 2015
High Heel Shoes and Knee Problems: A study of walking in high heel shoes found that it changes the mechanical stress on the knees in a way that would be expected to increase the risk of developing over-use arthritis (osteoarthritis). Their results suggest saving those fancy high heels for special occasions, not for daily wear.
Consumer Link
Wearing killer high heels could lead to osteoarthritis, study warns
Research Link
J Orthop Res. 2015 Mar;33(3):405-11.

March 3, 2015
OJ or Whole Orange: Generally, it is thought to be preferable to consume the whole orange rather than orange juice. However, it might make more sense to mix it up a bit. Although the orange has more dietary fiber, a recent study found that certain nutrients in oranges are better absorbed from orange juice. Although processing oranges into pasteurized orange juice slightly reduced the levels of carotenoids and vitamin C, these nutrients were absorbed significantly better from the juice.
Consumer Link
Oranges versus orange juice: Which one might be better for your health?
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2015 Jan 21;63(2):578-87.

March 2, 2015
Iodized Salt: Iodine is an essential nutrient for normal function of the thyroid gland. Iodized salt is a good source of iodine, but if iodized salt is stored in a humid climate it can lose most of its iodine within a month or two. Keep iodized salt tightly sealed and dry.
Consumer Link
We all need the essential mineral iodine
Research Link
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.

March 1, 2015
GERD: If you experience GERD, commonly known as heartburn, eat moderate sized meals, stay upright after eating for at least two hours, and eliminate foods that don’t agree with you. Also, inform your doctor of heartburn symptoms if you are taking a new medication.
Consumer Link
Heartburn linked to many causes
Research Link
Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Jun-Jul;23(3):293-8.

February 28, 2015
Hydration: Body size, physical activity, and weather conditions all affect our daily water needs. The Institute of Medicine recommends: adult males should consume about 3.7 liters (15 cups) and adult females about 2.7 liters (10 cups) each day from foods and beverages combined.
Consumer Link
Water needs vary with diet and lifestyle
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.

February 27, 2015
Alcohol and Health: Research has supported potential health benefits from light to moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages. A new study questions the extent to which this may be true, however it still found that alcohol consumption was associated with reduced all cause mortality rates in women over age 65.
Consumer Link
Benefits of moderate drinking 'may be overestimated'
Research Link
BMJ. 2015 Feb 10;350:h384.

February 26, 2015
Vitamin D and Diabetes: People with prediabetes or diabetes were found to have lower vitamin D status than those with normal blood sugar control. Despite this association with diabetes, body weight and obesity were unrelated to vitamin D status. More research is needed to see if vitamin D supplementation of diabetics can help their blood glucose control.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D deficiency linked more closely to diabetes than obesity
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb 23:jc20143016.

February 25, 2015
Breakfast and Type 2 Diabetes: When people with type 2 diabetes consumed a 700 calorie breakfast (with over 50 grams of protein), a 600 calorie lunch (40 grams of protein), and a 200 calorie dinner (22 grams of protein), they had much better blood glucose control throughout the day than when they had a 200 calorie breakfast, the same lunch, and a 700 calorie dinner. It appears that a good high protein breakfast works best for diabetics.
Consumer Link
High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner helps control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes
Research Link
Diabetologia, Feb 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

February 24, 2015
Childhood Allergies: What is called the "hygiene hypothesis" proposes that environmental microbial exposure during early life reduces the risk of allergy development. A new Swedish study adds some support to this hypothesis. They found that children in families that wash dishes by hand had a significantly reduced risk of developing allergic diseases when compared to children in families using a dishwasher. The high heat in dishwashers makes the dishes more sterile.
Consumer Link
Kids, Allergies and a Possible Downside to Squeaky Clean Dishes
Research Link
Pediatrics. Feb 23, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

February 23, 2015
Dairy Foods and Brain Health: Brain levels of glutathione (an antioxidant produced by the body) generally decline with aging. This may lead to oxidative stress in the brain and neurodegeneration. A new study on people about 60 to 75 years of age found that cerebral glutathione concentrations were greater in those who consumed more dairy products. Clinical trials are needed to determine if consuming dairy foods can increase glutathione.
Consumer Link
Dairy intake is associated with brain glutathione concentration in older adults
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(2):287-293.

February 22, 2015
Choline and Fatty Liver: Diets low in choline can cause fatty liver, liver damage, and muscle damage as well as a 4-fold increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Some individuals have a higher choline requirement than current recommendations. Choline researchers recommend that choline dietary recommendations be increased. Egg yolk is one of the richest sources of choline.
Consumer Link
One size does not fit all: Dietary guidelines for choline may be insufficient
Research Link
FASEB J. 2014 Jul;28(7):2970-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.14-249557. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

February 21, 2015
Multivitamin-Multimineral Supplements: Many Americans take multivitamin-multimineral supplements. A new study found that women who took this type of supplement for three or more years were significantly less likely to die of cardiovascular disease
Consumer Link
Long-term Use of Multivitamin-Multimineral Supplements Linked to Heart Health in Women
Research Link
J. Nutr. March 1, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

February 20, 2015
Exercise and Diabetes: Exercise is commonly recommended as part of the treatment for type 2 diabetes. New research found that resistance exercise (strength training) conducted by type 2 diabetics either before or after eating a meal helped to reduce the blood glucose response to the meal. However, exercise after the meal also reduced plasma triglyceride levels more than exercise before the meal.
Consumer Link
Individuals with type 2 diabetes should exercise after dinner
Research Link
J Appl Physiol. 2014 Dec 24. [Epub ahead of print]

February 19, 2015
Vitamin D and American Football Players: Vitamin D is beneficial to both bone and muscle health. This was shown to be important for football players. Those with lower vitamin D levels were more likely to have bone fractures and other injuries than players with normal vitamin D status.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D helps power athletic performance
Research Link
Am J Sports Med. 2015 Feb 3. pii: 0363546514567297. [Epub ahead of print]

February 18, 2015
Protein Need in Older Adults: There is a strong tendency to lose muscle tissue and strength with age, starting at around age 50 years or so. Plenty of research on older adults has supported the benefits of increasing protein intake above what is currently recommended. A new study on 20 healthy older adults (age 52 - 75) suggests that a protein intake about double current recommendations is beneficial.
Consumer Link
Older Adults: Double Your Protein Intake for Better Health
Research Link
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jan 1;308(1):E21-8.

February 17, 2015
Vitamin D and Winter: In temperate climes north of the equator, vitamin D status generally drops to its lowest level during February, March, and April. Common sources of vitamin D include oily fish such as salmon and sardines, fortified milk, other fortified beverages, fortified breakfast cereals and vitamin D supplements.
Consumer Link
Winter weather depriving city dwellers of vitamin D
Research Link
Endocrine. 2015 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print]

February 16, 2015
Folic Acid Excess: A study conducted with rats found that high folic acid intake (20 times recommended intake) before, during, and after pregnancy caused their babies to become overweight and insulin resistant in adulthood. This effect was more pronounced in female offspring. How this may translate to humans is not clear, but it supports heeding the U.S. folic acid tolerable upper intake level that is about twice the RDA.
Consumer Link
Taking too much folic acid while pregnant may put daughters at risk of diabetes and obesity
Research Link
J Endocrinol. 2015 Mar;224(3):245-59.

February 15, 2015
Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease: The results of a study on over 2,000 people in Finland, found that those with lower vitamin D status during their child and teen years had greater left carotid artery thickness, an indicator of developing cardiovascular disease. Not meeting nutrient needs, especially during developmental years, can have a life-long impact on health.
Consumer Link
Low childhood vitamin D linked to adult atherosclerosis
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb 10:jc20143944. [Epub ahead of print]

February 14, 2015
Mercury and Autoimmune Disease: Researchers analyzed data for 1,352 women aged 16-49 years for their levels of mercury in hair and blood samples. They found that increased levels of mercury were associated with increased indicators of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. However, the research did not consider factors that reduce mercury toxicity such as adequate selenium and iron status.
Consumer Link
Mercury exposure may be a risk factor for autoimmune diseases in women
Research Link
Environ Health Perspect. 2015 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print]

February 13, 2015
Blood Donation and Iron Supplements: Blood donation causes a significant loss of iron from the body. Maintaining healthy blood donors requires replenishing iron to maintain normal iron status. A study found that blood donors taking iron supplements (37.5 mg/day of iron) after blood donation replenished their iron stores in about 76 days. In contrast, 67 percent of blood donors not taking iron supplements did not recover iron stores even by 168 days after donation.
Consumer Link
Study shows iron supplementation after blood donation shortens hemoglobin recovery time
Research Link
JAMA. 2015;313(6):575-583.

February 12, 2015
Dietary Cholesterol: There are indications that the new U.S. Dietary Guidelines, to be released later this year, will drop recommendations to limit dietary cholesterol. It has been known for decades that dietary cholesterol has minimal effects on serum cholesterol levels in most healthy people. When dietary cholesterol increases, the liver production of cholesterol decreases and there is little change in serum cholesterol.
Consumer Link
New U.S. Guidelines Will Lift Limits On Dietary Cholesterol
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 1977 Apr;30(4):490-5.

February 11, 2015
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: An institute of medicine report recommends that chronic fatigue syndrome get a new name - Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease. The report also provides specific diagnostic guidelines that include substantial and persistent reduction in the ability to engage in normal levels of activities that is accompanied by fatigue, worsening of symptoms after exertion (including physical, cognitive, or emotional stress), unrefreshing sleep, and either cognitive impairment or the inability to remain upright with symptoms that improve when lying down.
Consumer Link
Panel Asks: What Defines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Research Link
IOM 2015. Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness.

February 10, 2015
Chili Peppers and Fat Loss: A study using mice found that adding substantial amounts of capsaicin (the hot chemical in chili peppers) to their diet substantially reduced fat gain when they were fed a high fat diet that normally caused obesity. Although this preliminary study will likely lead to new diet pills, keep in mind that extrapolating the dose used in the mice to humans indicates that you would need to consume two to three pounds of extremely hot chili peppers per day to get comparable amounts of capsaicin.
Consumer Link
What's next in diets: Chili peppers?
Research Link
Biochem Soc 59th Annual Meeting. Feb 2015.

February 9, 2015
Protein and Weight Loss: When cutting calories for weight loss, the goal is to lose body fat and conserve calorie-burning lean body mass. Both protein and calorie intake spaced periodically throughout the day help to conserve muscle and allow loss of fat. This emphasizes the importance of eating properly to lose fat - not just weight.
Consumer Link
Short-term energy deficits increase factors related to muscle degradation.
Research Link
The FASEB Journal. 013;27(12):5104-5111.

February 8, 2015
Causes of Obesity: Obesity is a complex condition that appears to develop in individuals from many synergistic factors coming together to promote fat accumulation and maintenance of excess body fat. This "perfect storm" of variables is likely not the same for each person dealing with obesity. Just a few of the elements researchers are exploring include microorganisms, reduced exposure to a broad range of ambient temperatures, smoking cessation, sleep debt, pharmaceutical causes, and a variety of factors associated with pregnancy and infant development.
Consumer Link
Obesity May Be More Than One Disease, Experts Say
Research Link
Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2014 Aug;28(4):533-44.

February 7, 2015
Red Wine and Weight: A phytochemical powder from red grapes was found to inhibit fat accumulation in a human fat cell model. However, don't expect drinking red wine to cause weight loss. The extract has no calories, but grapes and grape products have a fair amount of calories.
Consumer Link
Another reason to drink wine: It could help you burn fat, study suggests
Research Link
J Nutr Bioch 2015;26(1):82-90.

February 6, 2015
Potatoes, Women and Children: A new report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that those receiving support from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (known better as WIC) should be able to use their food purchasing vouchers to buy potatoes. Potatoes are a good source of some key nutrients that are commonly low in U.S. diets: potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.
Consumer Link
White potatoes should be allowed under WIC, says report
Research Link
Food and Nutrition Board, IOM 2015. Review of WIC Food Packages.

February 5, 2015
Vitamin A and Malaria: Vitamin A deficiency is common in many areas where malaria is a problem. A new study of over 20,000 children under 5 years of age, living in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa, found that children taking vitamin A supplements were 54 percent less likely to develop malaria compared to children not getting the supplements.
Consumer Link
Vitamin A and Malaria Risk in Children Under 5 Years
Research Link
Elife. 2015 Feb 3;4. [Epub ahead of print]

February 4, 2015
Exercise and Mortality: A prospective 12-year study of 1,098 healthy joggers between 20 and 86 years of age found that the lowest mortality was among light joggers (based on pace, quantity, and frequency of jogging). Moderate joggers had a significantly higher mortality rate than the light joggers, but lower than that of sedentary nonjoggers. Surprisingly, the strenuous joggers had a mortality rate that was the same as that of sedentary nonjoggers.
Consumer Link
Light jogging is best for a long life
Research Link
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;65(5):411-419.

February 3, 2015
Iron Fortification of Flour: Enriched white flour contains added iron to help reduce the incidence of iron deficiency. In 1995, Sweden stopped mandatory iron fortification of flour after requiring it for 50 years. This primarily affected adolescent girls, increasing their incidence of iron deficiency from 37 percent in 1995 to 45 percent in the year 2000.
Consumer Link
Fortification Provides Vitamins and Minerals Essential for Health
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan 28. [Epub ahead of print]

February 2, 2015
Making Changes: Research shows that a person's health behavior affects their partner. Making positive health behavior changes is likely to be more effective if their partner also makes those changes.
Consumer Link
Friends and Family Influence Your Health: For Better or Worse
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jan 19. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7554. [Epub ahead of print]

February 1, 2015
Nutrition and Mental Health: With knowledge of the roles of nutrients in brain biochemistry increasing, psychiatrists are finding more opportunities to incorporate nutrition and nutrient supplementation into psychiatric practice. Nutrient deficiencies known to contribute to various problems with brain function include iron, zinc, choline, folate, B12, choline, magnesium, vitamin D, some amino acids, and some omega-3 fatty acids.
Consumer Link
Diet, nutrition essential for mental health
Research Link
The Lancet Psychiatry. 2015/01/31. [Epub Ahead of Print]

January 31, 2015
Alcohol and Heart Failure: Heavy alcohol consumption is known to be toxic to the heart and other tissues in the body. However, consuming moderate amounts of alcohol (about a drink a day) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of heart failure.
Consumer Link
Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is linked to reduced risk of heart failure, large study finds
Research Link
Eur Heart J. 2015 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print]

January 30, 2015
Organic vs Conventional Milk: An extensive review of almost 200 publications comparing organic and conventional production of milk concluded that the results of these studies have been largely ambiguous due to the complexity and number of factors that can influence milk composition. The review concluded that, reported differences between organic and conventional milk are mostly due to types of feed given to cows and the breed of the cow. When these variables are the same, there is no clear difference between organic or conventional milk.
Consumer Link
Organic, conventional milk: Comparing apples to apples?
Research Link
J Dairy Sci. 2015 Feb;98(2):721-746.

January 29, 2015
Sodium and Cardiovascular Disease: Estimated sodium intake of older adults (71 to 80 years) was not associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease or heart failure during a 10-year period of study. Although the study used a relatively poor method of estimating sodium intake (food frequency questionnaires), the study does add to the body of literature currently polarizing the thinking about how much dietary sodium is best.
Consumer Link
Salt intake not associated with mortality or risk of cardiovascular disease, heart failure in older adults
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print]

January 28, 2015
Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy: Recommended iodine intake increases by about 50 percent during pregnancy. An Austrian study of 246 pregnant women found that over 80 percent of the women were iodine deficient based on measures of urinary iodine. Even a mild iodine deficiency can impair a child's intellectual development. The situation is probably similar in the U.S.
Consumer Link
Iodine deficiency in pregnant women impairs embryonic brain development
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec 10. [Epub ahead of print]

January 27, 2015
Fish and Mercury Toxicity: Mercury is a toxic heavy metal that can accumulate in many types of fish. However, new research indicates that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish help to prevent the toxicity of mercury. The omega-3 fatty acids and selenium content of fish may together explain why high fish consumption is not associated with developmental problems in high fish-eating cultures like the Republic of Seychelles.
Consumer Link
Fatty acids in fish may shield brain from mercury damage
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr March 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

January 26, 2015
Vitamin A and Type 2 Diabetes: Adult mice consuming a vitamin A deficient diet developed high blood glucose that was associated with impaired pancreas function. This study showed that the function of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas is especially dependent on normal vitamin A status. Adequate vitamin A nutrition also may be important in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes people.
Consumer Link
Could vitamin A deficiency be a cause of type 2 diabetes?
Research Link
J Biol Chem. 2014 Dec 1. pii: [Epub ahead of print]

January 25, 2015
Nitrates and Blood Pressure: A study of feeding beetroot juice (naturally high in nitrate) for four weeks to people with hypertension found that it significantly reduced blood pressure. Beetroot juice without nitrate had no effect. Two weeks after study participants stopped consuming nitrate-containing beetroot juice, their blood pressure returned to hypertensive levels. Common vegetables that are naturally high in nitrate include spinach, beets, green beans, squash, and carrots.
Consumer Link
Drinking beetroot juice reduces high blood pressure, trial shows
Research Link
Hypertension. 2015 Feb;65(2):320-7.

January 24, 2015
Coffee and Melanoma: A study that followed over 400,000 non-Hispanic white adults for about ten years found that increased coffee consumption was associated with a decreased incidence melanoma. This reduced risk of melanoma was observed only for regular coffee, not decaffeinated coffee.
Consumer Link
Coffee consumption linked with reduced melanoma risk
Research Link
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Jan 20;107(2).

January 23, 2015
Potassium and Bone Health: Several studies have found that taking supplements of potassium citrate or potassium bicarbonate reduces calcium loss in the urine and promotes bone health. This helps to explain why including fruits and vegetables in an overall healthful diet is associated with good bone health.
Consumer Link
Research finds potassium salts aid bone health and limit osteoporosis risk
Research Link
Osteoporos Int. 2015 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print]

January 22, 2015
Obesity and Nutrient Deficiency: A large study of over 18,000 adults in the U.S. found that obese people were more likely to have inadequate intakes of key nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. Since this study estimated nutrient intake from self-reported food intake, it needs to be confirmed with more rigorous study designs.
Consumer Link
Hidden Hunger, Micronutrient Inadequacies and Health Consequences in the U.S.
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2015 Jan 7:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

January 21, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Mobility: An adequate intake of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, commonly found in fish and algae oils) is important for multiple aspects of health throughout life. This may be especially true during the latter decades of life. A study in Iceland indicated that women with higher blood levels of EPA and DHA were less likely to develop mobility limitations with aging.
Consumer Link
What is the Role of Nutrition in Healthy Aging?
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print]

January 20, 2015
Folic Acid Fortification of Flour: Since we started adding folic acid to most refined wheat flour products in 1998, the number of babies born with birth defects affecting the brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects) declined by about 35 percent. Enriched white flour contains much more folic acid than corn or whole wheat flours. If you don't eat white flour products, make sure you have other good sources of folic acid in your diet - leafy greens, lentils, orange juice, and many fortified breakfast cereals.
Consumer Link
Folic acid saves 1,300 babies each year from serious birth defects of brain and spine
Research Link
CDC MMWR Report. January 16, 2015. 64(01);1-5.

January 19, 2015
Energy Balance Studies Flawed: The world's top obesity researchers say, "Enough already!" about studies that use participant-reported measures of food intake and physical activity. Evidence regarding the inaccuracy of these measures indicates that they lead to incorrect conclusions and should no longer be used for research purposes.
Consumer Link
For obesity research, self-reported diet, physical activity data too inaccurate, expert report says
Research Link
Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]

January 18, 2015
Chocolate Milk in Schools: This has been documented many times over the past 40 years. When chocolate milk is removed from school food offerings, children consume much less milk. Which is worse? A little sugar and chocolate in the milk or no milk?
Consumer Link
Removing chocolate milk from school program led to a huge drop in total milk intake
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015 Jan. [Epub ahead of print]

January 17, 2015
Tanning Beds and Vitamin D: It generally is assumed that sun exposure cannot lead to excessive vitamin D levels in the body. However, a recent case study of a white woman indicated that her excessively high blood level of vitamin D (hypervitaminosis D) was caused by tanning bed use three to four times a week. When she ceased using the tanning bed, her blood level of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) returned to a normal level within a month.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D Highlights: Too Much Tanning
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Jun 3;160(11):810-1.

January 16, 2015
Iron Supplementation and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Iron supplementation has been observed to sometimes worsen infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. A study conducted with 926 iron deficient South African children (8 to 10 years old), found that iron supplementation with 50 milligrams of iron per day improved iron status and did not increase illness in children if they also took a supplement of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (the type found in fish oils).
Consumer Link
Omega-3 and Iron: Important Partners for Fighting Iron Deficiency
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. March 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

January 15, 2015
Vitamin B12 and Oxidative Stress: It seems logical to measure blood levels of vitamin B12 to evaluate a person's B12 status. However, a better measure, blood levels of methylmalonic acid (MMA), indicates how well a B12-dependent chemical reaction is working. Serum MMA increases in B12 deficiency. A new study found that when markers of oxidative stress are increased, serum B12 can be normal even though serum MMA indicates B12 deficiency.
Consumer Link
Wow, Measuring Nutritional Status is Insightful
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan 7. [Epub ahead of print]

January 14, 2015
Blood Sugar and Cancer Risk: Moderately elevated blood sugar (fasting blood glucose between 100 and 125 mg/dl) is called prediabetes. This puts people at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, new information indicates that prediabetes increases the risk of developing cancer by about 15 percent.
Consumer Link
Breaking News: Prediabetes Ups Cancer Risk 15%
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2014 Nov;57(11):2261-9.

January 13, 2015
Vitamin Supplements and Stomach Cancer: A large meta-analysis type of study found that moderate dose supplementation with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E was associated with a reduced risk of developing stomach cancer. However, supplementation with higher doses, such as those exceeding the tolerable upper intake levels, was associated with an increased risk.
Consumer Link
Can Vitamins Help Prevent Gastric Cancer?
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Dec 30;9(12):e116060.

January 12, 2015
Risks from High Dose Caffeine: Some supplement companies sell products like purified caffeine in bulk powder form. Anyone using this form of any supplement needs to be very careful with dosage. A cup of coffee has about 100 milligrams of caffeine. In comparison, a teaspoon of caffeine powder contains about 5,000 mg of caffeine (50 cups of coffee worth). Overdose on caffeine creates a medical emergency and can even cause death.
Consumer Link
Potent Powdered Caffeine Raises Safety Worries
Research Link
BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Feb 8;2013.

January 11, 2015
Exercise and Waist Circumference: There is a common tendency for waist circumference to increase after middle-age. A 12-year study that followed 10,500 healthy men over the age of 40, found that both resistance exercise (strength training) and aerobic exercise both helped to prevent an increase in waist size during the 12-year period. Although resistance exercise appeared better at preventing waist size increase than aerobic exercise, participating in both forms of exercise was the best.
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Weight training helps keep men's waistline from expanding
Research Link
Obesity. 2014 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]

January 10, 2015
Vitamin B12, Folate, and DDT Toxicity: A study of almost 300 women in China found that those with adequate vitamin B-12 and folate status were less likely to experience adverse reproductive effects due to DDT exposure. Overall, good nutrition helps the body detoxify pesticides and other toxins. For example, normal iron status is well known to be essential for optimal detox enzyme function in the liver.
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Vitamin B May Counter Negative Effects of Pesticide on Fertility
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec. [Epub ahead of print]

January 9, 2015
Magnesium and Diabetes: A study of African American and Hispanic American women found that higher magnesium intake was associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in those with specific gene variations. Foods rich in magnesium include nuts and seeds, beans, spinach and Swiss chard.
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Type 2 diabetes risk varies with magnesium intake, genes and ethnicity
Research Link
J. Nutr. March 1, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

January 8, 2015
Rehydration After Exercise: When water is consumed after exercise to replace the water lost during exercise, much of that water can be lost in the urine. A new study found that water provided post-exercise in the form of milk and milk drinks was retained by the body better than water consumed in a common sports beverage. Protein, carbohydrate, and electrolytes all help the body retain water. These are all present in milk-based beverages.
Consumer Link
Milk and milk drinks 'more effective rehydration options' than Powerade: Study
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Dec;39(12):1366-72.

January 7, 2015
Vitamin D During Pregnancy: An adequate supply of all essential nutrients is especially important during pregnancy. The results of a study that followed people from birth to 20 years of age indicate that maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy led to increased risk of impaired lung development in the offspring that was apparent when evaluated at 6 years of age. Maternal vitamin D deficiency also increased the risk for neurocognitive difficulties that were apparent at age 10, along with a greater risk of eating disorders during adolescence, and lower peak bone mass at age 20.
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More Evidence that Vitamin D Status Affects Health
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Pediatrics. 2014 Dec 15. pii: peds.2014-1860. [Epub ahead of print]

January 6, 2015
Estimation of Sodium and Potassium Intake: Typically, records or recalls of food intake underestimate nutrient intake. However, a study of over 400 people found that a dietary recall method overestimated sodium and potassium intake when compared to the amounts of these nutrients lost in the urine on a daily basis. This may be due to the challenge for food composition nutrient databases to keep up with a rapidly changing food environment.
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CDC Study finds Sodium Intake is Lower than Expected
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. February 2015. [Epub ahead of print]

January 5, 2015
Low Fat or Low Carb? A twelve-month study of 148 participants had half of them limit carbs and the other half limit fat in their diets without limiting calorie intake. By the end of the year, those consuming the low-carb diet lost about eight pounds more on average than those consuming the low-fat diet.
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A Call for a Low-Carb Diet That Embraces Fat
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Sep 2;161(5):309-18.

January 4, 2015
Pregnancy and Body Weight: New research indicates that 75 percent of new mothers are heavier a year after giving birth than they were before becoming pregnant. Factors that promote post-pregnancy weight loss include breast-feeding and moderate exercise.
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Many women don't lose those pregnancy pounds
Research Link
Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2011 Sep;45(9):794-7.

January 3, 2015
Omega-6 Fats: Mice fed high omega-6 corn oil reduced their physical activity and developed signs of diabetes, whereas those fed olive oil did not. Both corn and olive oils are low in omega-3 fatty acids, so it is difficult to fully evaluate these results and determine how this may or may not relate to humans consuming adequate amounts of omega-3-rich fat sources.
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Diet rich in corn oil leads to lethargy and pre-diabetic symptoms: UBC study
Research Link
J Nutr Biochem. December 15, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

January 2, 2015
Cadmium Exposure and Aging: Cadmium, like lead, is a toxic heavy metal. Exposure to cadmium is primarily from dietary sources and tobacco smoking. New research indicates that cadmium intake may contribute to aging by shortening the telomeres on chromosomes. The plant food content of cadmium is affected by the amount of cadmium in soil. Some types of seaweed and related products are very high in cadmium.
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Human Exposure to Metal Cadmium May Accelerate Cellular Aging
Research Link
Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Dec 10. [Epub ahead of print]

January 1, 2015
High Fat Diet and Pregnancy: Studies in rodents and non-human primates indicate that high fat diets during pregnancy increase the odds of diabetes and obesity developing in the offspring. It remains to be seen if this applies to humans as well.
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Add high-fat diet to the ‘don’t’ list for pregnant moms
Research Link
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar;1842(3):507-19.

December 31, 2014
Vitamin D and Prostate Cancer Risk: A new analysis of multiple studies on vitamin D and prostate cancer found that the risk of prostate cancer increased with higher blood levels of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (the form of vitamin D used to measure status). It remains to be determined what level of vitamin D is optimal and how much is too much.
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High serum vitamin D levels linked to prostate cancer risk
Research Link
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014 Sep;140(9):1465-77.

December 30, 2014
Fat and Vitamin D Absorption: Vitamin D is one of the fat soluble vitamins that are absorbed better when consumed with a meal containing fats or oils. A new study found that blood levels of vitamin D were 32 percent greater when a vitamin D supplement was taken with a fat-containing breakfast compared to a fat-free breakfast.
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Ask Well: Eating Fat to Boost Vitamin D and Calcium
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Nov 17. [Epub ahead of print]

December 29, 2014
Vitamin C and Colds: An updated review of vitamin C supplementation found that taking vitamin C does not reduce the risk of catching a cold. However, there is some evidence that vitamin C supplementation may reduce the duration and severity of a cold.
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Can High Dose Vitamin C Keep a Cold at Bay? These Skeptics Say No
Research Link
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Jan 31;1:CD000980.

December 28, 2014
Vitamin D and SAD: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that usually begins in the fall and continues throughout the winter months. It has been thought that SAD is caused by reduced sunlight exposure and interference with the body's biological clock. There also is evidence that SAD may be due to a drop in vitamin D status caused by reduced exposure to sunlight during fall and winter months.
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Researchers link vitamin D deficiency to seasonal affective disorder
Research Link
Med Hypotheses. 2014 Nov;83(5):517-25.

December 27, 2014
Vitamin D and Myopia: Research indicates that children who spend less time outside are more likely to develop myopia (short-sightedness). Speculation that this is related to low vitamin D, due to reduced sun exposure, appears to not be true. Perhaps it is just a matter of using distance vision more when outside - use it or lose it.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D link to short-sightedness ruled out
Research Link
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

December 26, 2014
Saturated Fat: Increasing saturated fat in the diet had less effect on indicators of cardiovascular risk than increasing carbohydrate. As dietary carbohydrate increased, a fat component known as palmitoleic acid also increased. Palmitoleic acid is a biomarker consistently associated with adverse health outcomes.
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Study: Doubling saturated fat in the diet does not increase saturated fat in blood
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Nov 21;9(11):e113605. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113605. eCollection 2014.

December 25, 2014
Santa's Health Status: Although his BMI may place him in the obese category, Santa Claus actually has a healthy level of body fat. Much of his weight is the muscle mass required for carrying heavy bags of toys around the world. He trains throughout the year to stay fit for his Christmas Eve marathon.
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Santa is larger than life but his job keeps him fit
Research Link
Nutr J. 2011 Jan 24;10:9.

December 24, 2014
Nutrition at Conception: Research on people who were conceived during the Dutch Famine (winter of 1944-1945) indicates that the starvation conditions affected the regulation of their DNA expression in a variety of ways. One consequence of this is a tendency to have higher LDL cholesterol levels as adults.
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People conceived during the Dutch famine have altered regulation of growth genes
Research Link
Nat Commun. 2014 Nov 26;5:5592.

December 23, 2014
Paleo Diet: Modern "paleo diets" at best, are a very rough approximation of the real thing. This is a good thing because what we know about ancient diets is that they varied greatly, depending on the location and season. The diet only had to be good enough to support survival and reproduction. Because lifespans were much shorter than now, age-related chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis were unlikely to occur.
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What was the 'Paleo diet'? There was far more than one, study suggests
Research Link
Q Rev Biol. 2014 Dec;89(4):319-57.

December 22, 2014
Inaccuracy of TV Medical Talk Shows: A scientific evaluation of the Dr. Oz show and the Doctors show found that about half of the recommendations made on the shows had either no evidence or were contradicted by the best available evidence. No wonder people are confused about nutrition and health.
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Dr. Ozvorkian gets busted again. You are better off flipping a coin.
Research Link
BMJ. 2014 Dec 17;349:g7346.

December 21, 2014
Vitamin E and Pneumonia: Vitamin E supplementation of older mice, with a dose comparable to 200 IU in a human, significantly enhanced immune function and resistance to bacterial pneumonia infection in comparison to mice consuming a normal amount of vitamin E. It will be interesting to see if vitamin E supplementation provides similar benefit to older humans.
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Extra vitamin E protected older mice from getting common type of pneumonia
Research Link
J Immunol. 2014 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]

December 20, 2014
Selenium and Colorectal Cancer: A European study found that adequate selenium status is associated with a reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer, especially in women. But, be careful with selenium supplements. Selenium has a narrow window between levels that are sub-optimal and those that would be considered toxic. The upper limit for selenium is 400 micrograms per day.
Consumer Link
Decreased risk of colorectal cancer linked with higher selenium levels
Research Link
Int J Cancer. 2015 Mar 1;136(5):1149-61.

December 19, 2014
Glycemic Index and Cardiovascular Risk: Low glycemic index diets have been thought to enhance blood glucose control and reduce cardiovascular disease risk. However, a 5-week controlled feeding study found that a low glycemic index diet was no different than a high glycemic index diet in how it affected insulin sensitivity, lipid levels, or systolic blood pressure. This well controlled study indicates that a lower glycemic index diet does not improve cardiovascular risk factors or insulin resistance.
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Low-glycemic index carbohydrate diet does not improve cardiovascular risk factors, insulin resistance
Research Link
JAMA. 2014 Dec 17;312(23):2531-2541.

December 18, 2014
Blood Glucose Control and Brain Health: A large study that followed over 13,000 people for 20 years, found that those with diabetes or poor blood glucose control during their middle-age years were much more likely to experience late-life cognitive decline. This is another good reason to keep daily physical activity in your life. It helps to maintain balanced blood glucose control.
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Better glucose control in midlife may protect against cognitive decline later in life
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Dec 2;161(11):785-93.

December 17, 2014
Raw Milk: Raw milk often is promoted as being more natural and healthful than pasteurized milk. Unfortunately, disease-causing bacteria like raw milk. With an increasing number of states allowing the sale of raw milk, the incidence of people becoming sick and hospitalized from these bacteria has increased accordingly.
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New study shows increase in raw milk-associated outbreaks
Research Link
Emerging Infectious Diseases, published online 10 December 2014

December 16, 2014
Low Maternal Weight Gain and Fetal Death: Low weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk of fetal death. Male fetuses are more likely to die due to low weight gain. This is likely due to the fact that male fetuses have higher metabolic rates, requiring more calories that female fetuses. Excess body weight also can be a problem - overweight and obesity are associated with increased infant deaths.
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Low maternal weight gain linked to increased risk of male fetal death
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Dec 10;9(12):e114304.

December 15, 2014
Statistics, Eggs, and Health: Aaron Levenstein said, "Statistics are like bikinis - what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital." This is well illustrated by a study that used multiple statistical approaches to explore links between egg consumption, body mass index, and waist circumference. Different statistical approaches to the same set of data produced very different results.
Consumer Link
What Came First, Statistics or the Egg?
Research Link
J. Nutr. December 3, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

December 14, 2014
Vitamin C and Lung Function During Exercise: Vigorous exercise triggers an acute narrowing of the airways (exercise-induced bronchoconstriction) in about 10 percent of the general population, and in 90 percent of asthmatics. A review of recent studies indicates that taking 500 to 2000 milligrams of vitamin C prior to exercise significantly reduces bronchoconstriction and related symptoms.
Consumer Link
Vitamin C may help people who suffer from airway obstruction or respiratory symptoms after exercise.
Research Link
Allergy Clin Immunol Int, doi:10.1186/1710-1492-10-58 ePub 27 November 2014.

December 13, 2014
Supplement for Weight Loss: Researchers developed a compound called inulin-propionate ester that increases the level of the fatty acid propionate in the colon. Although they found that supplementation of overweight adults with this compound caused appetite-suppressing hormones to increase in the blood, there was no significant change in body weight during 24 weeks of supplementation.
Consumer Link
Scientists create food ingredient that will make you feel fuller
Research Link
Gut. 10 December 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

December 12, 2014
Sugar and Blood Pressure: A new review claims that excess added sugar intake contributes to the development of hypertension more than sodium. However, this potential association is complicated by the fact that high sugar intake is associated with excess body weight that, in turn, contributes to increased blood pressure. Stay tuned.
Consumer Link
More than salt, sugars may contribute to high blood pressure
Research Link
Open Heart 2014. 1;1:1-8.

December 11, 2014
Antioxidants in Foods: The global antioxidant response (GAR) is a new technique developed to include gastrointestinal tract components in the assessment of the antioxidant capacity of foods. Using this approach, researchers found that the antioxidant activity of citrus juices was about ten times greater than those indicated by current analysis methods.
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Antioxidants in OJ are 10x Higher than Thought
Research Link
Food Chemistry 164: 396-405, 2014.

December 10, 2014
In a study of over 13,000 adults, those with diabetes and poor glucose control at around age 50 had a much greater risk of mental decline by age 70. One of the best ways to reduce this risk is to be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain after age 50.
Consumer Link
Could midlife diabetes increase risk of cognitive decline?
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Dec 2;161(11):785-93.

December 9, 2014
Vitamin E During Pregnancy: Women with low blood vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) levels during the first trimester of pregnancy had an increased risk of miscarriage. Normal vitamin E status at the time of conception appears to be important for reducing the risk of miscarriage. Common dietary sources of vitamin E include foods like vegetable oils, mayonnaise, and certain nuts and seeds.
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Pregnant Bangladeshis lacking vitamin E nearly twice as likely to miscarry
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr February 2015 ajcn.094920

December 8, 2014
Folic Acid Supplementation and Pregnancy: Folic acid supplementation by pregnant women is known to help prevent neural tube defects in their infants. New research now indicates that folic acid supplementation also significantly reduces the risk of a low birth weight baby, but only if supplementation is commenced prior to conception.
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New study examines the effect of timing of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy
Research Link
BJOG. 2014 Nov 26. [Epub ahead of print]

December 7, 2014
Plant Food Sources of Iron and Zinc: Deficiencies of iron and zinc impair the physical and mental development of infants and children worldwide. Not only are plant foods generally low in these trace minerals, absorption is poor due to natural inhibitors. New research is finding that certain varieties of chickpeas contain greater amounts of these minerals. This may help to meet human needs if absorption inhibitors also can be reduced.
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Fighting malnutrition with a ‘stronger’ chickpea
Research Link
Genome. 2014 Oct 31:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]

December 6, 2014
Bariatric Surgery and Exercise: Both exercise and weight loss have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Consequently, it makes sense that participation in moderate exercise after gastric bypass surgery improves blood glucose control more than the weight loss alone.
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Exercise following bariatric surgery provides health benefits beyond weight loss
Research Link
J Clin Invest. 2014 Dec 1. [Epub ahead of print]

December 5, 2014
Vitamin D and COPD: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) like chronic bronchitis and emphysema often have symptom flare-ups that can worsen and be life-threatening. A new study found that when vitamin D status was low in COPD patients, vitamin D supplements reduced flare-ups by over 40 percent in comparison to those taking a placebo.
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Vitamin D reduces lung disease flare-ups by over 40 percent
Research Link
The Lancet Resp Med. 2 December 2014 [ePub ahead of print]

December 4, 2014
Nutrition Before, During, & After Pregnancy: A mother's nutrition before, during and between pregnancy can have long lasting effects on the health of her children and their risk of disease later in life. Good nutritional status of mothers plays a key role in improving the health of future generations.
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Pregnancy, a missed opportunity to influence later health
Research Link
Infant and Toddler Forum Report. Nov. 2014. (link downloads pdf file)

December 3, 2014
Bariatric Surgery and Vision: Bariatric surgery patients generally need to take vitamin and mineral supplements because of reduced food intake and impaired absorption of nutrients. Failure to take appropriate supplements could lead to vision problems among other potential health problems.
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Warning to bariatric surgery patients: Take your supplements, for eye's sake
Research Link
Obesity Surgery. 26 Nov 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

December 2, 2014
Homemade Infant Formula Risks: When breastfeeding is not possible or is not meeting an infant's needs, parents may be inclined to come up with "natural" homemade alternative infant formulas. This option, however, comes with potentially serious health risks that include severe malnutrition and potentially fatal illness.
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Parents cautioned against using homemade infant formula
Research Link
Health Canada Advisory. November 26, 2014.

December 1, 2014
Dietary Saturated Fat vs Carbohydrate: Although accumulating research indicates that saturated fat in the diet does not increase cardiovascular disease risk as previously thought, higher blood levels of saturated fat do seem to increase risk. A recent controlled study found that increasing dietary saturated fat did not affect blood levels of saturated fat. However, increasing dietary carbohydrate raised the fatty acid blood levels associated with an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Consumer Link
Rise of saturated fat in diet does not raise fats in blood
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Nov 21;9(11):e113605. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113605. eCollection 2014.

November 30, 2014
Calories and Weight Management: Healthful weight management requires more than just cutting calories. The primary source of calories consumed in a meal (carbs, fat, and protein) triggers hormonal shifts in ways that can affect satiety and nutrient storage. For example, meals high in protein and fat provide more satiety than meals high in carbohydrate. Physical activity also plays a major role not only in the amount of calories needed, but also in how calories are utilized and stored in the body.
Consumer Link
Calorie-focused thinking when it comes to obesity may mislead and harm public health
Research Link
Public Health Nutr. 2014 Nov 24:1-11.

November 29, 2014
New Calorie Labeling Law: In one year, restaurants and similar retail food establishments that have 20 or more locations will be required to clearly and conspicuously display calorie information for standard items on menus and menu boards next to the food name or price.
Consumer Link
US orders calorie labeling for chain restaurants
Research Link
FDA News Release

November 28, 2014
Antioxidant Vitamins and Exercise: Exercise creates oxidative stress on muscles. However taking supplements of the antioxidant vitamins C and E does not help and instead prevents some of the desired muscle adaptations to strength training.
Consumer Link
Why Antioxidants Don’t Belong in Your Workout
Research Link
J Physiol. 2014 Nov 10. [Epub ahead of print]

November 27, 2014
Antibiotics During Pregnancy: The lower intestinal microbiota (mixture of microorganisms) is proving to have a major impact on human health, even affecting obesity risk. New research indicates that when a woman takes antibiotic drugs during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, it may affect the microbiota of her infant in ways that significantly increase the risk of developing obesity later in life.
Consumer Link
Taking antibiotics during pregnancy increases risk for child becoming obese
Research Link
Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Nov 11. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.180. [Epub ahead of print]

November 26, 2014
Phytase Enhances Iron Absorption: To meet essential nutrient needs, nutrients must be absorbed from food sources. Many plant-based foods such as whole grains and legumes contain an antinutrient called phytate that inhibits the absorption of multiple minerals in the intestine. Research now shows that adding the enzyme phytase to flour may significantly improve iron absorption.
Consumer Link
Using Phytase in the First 1,000 Days for a Lifelong Impact
Research Link
Food Nutr Bull. 2013 Jun;34(2 Suppl):S90-101.

November 25, 2014
Blueberries and Night Vision: It has been proposed that blueberries improve night vision. Two human research trials show that is not the case. However, blueberries did have a small effect on helping vision recover after brief exposure to a bright light.
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Can eating blueberries really help you see better in the dark?
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Nov 19;62(46):11180-11189. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

November 24, 2014
Soy Foods and Hot Flashes: Some claim that soy foods can help to reduce hot flashes during menopause. However, new research indicates that this is not the case for most women. Soy foods do seem to help some women whose intestinal bacteria convert a component of soy (daidzein) to a compound called equol in larger amounts. The researchers caution that based on their research, women should not be advised to consume diets high in soy to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Consumer Link
Soy spells fewer hot flashes for certain women
Research Link
Menopause. 2014 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print]

November 23, 2014
Crickets in Your Food: Future food predictions indicate that protein will become a limited resource. As part of the solution, crickets are being touted as containing more protein than chicken or beef. But beware, those numbers are comparing dried crickets to fresh chicken and beef. In the live animal form, crickets contain about half the protein of chicken and beef. However, ground crickets or "cricket flour" is a convenient way to add a high protein ingredient to foods. Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The
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Startups Pitch Cricket Flour As The Best Protein You Could Eat
Research Link
Annu Rev Entomol. 2013;58:563-83. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120811- 153704. Epub 2012 Sep 27

November 22, 2014
Kids and Vegetables: Helping children learn to like vegetables can be a challenge. New research found that adding small amounts of vegetable purees to milk and infant cereal early during introduction of foods into an infant's diet increased the future consumption and liking of vegetables.
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Puree helps kids make smooth transition to vegetables
Research Link
Appetite. 2015;84:280–290.

November 21, 2014
Coffee Component and Liver Fat: Coffee is high in a compound called chlorogenic acid that is known to have many biological activities. Using rats made obese with a high fat diet, researchers found that periodic injections of chlorogenic acid significantly reduced fatty liver, body fat, and insulin resistance. The dose was much greater than the amount that can be obtained from drinking coffee, but this research may lead to the use of chlorogenic acid as a component of treatment for obesity and its complications.
Consumer Link
Chemical in coffee may help prevent obesity-related disease
Research Link
Pharm Res. 2014 Sep 24. [Epub ahead of print]

November 20, 2014
Sugar Sodas and Adolescent Health: Although sugar-sweetened sodas provide more sugar than most of us need, a new study found that when active teenagers consumed the equivalent of about two sodas a day (sweetened primarily with glucose or fructose) it had little impact on common markers of metabolic health. The key word is "active" teenagers. For the rapidly growing and highly active adolescent, the sugar in a couple of sodas gets utilized rapidly. For more sedentary individuals, the study results could have been quite different.
Consumer Link
Moderate consumption of sugary drinks has little impact on adolescents' metabolic health
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr September 2014 vol. 100 no. 3 796-805

November 19, 2014
Folate and B12 in Aging: Vitamin B12 deficiency is known to cause neural damage and compromise brain function. A study of almost 3000 people age 65 and older (with high blood homocysteine levels) found that two years of supplementation with folate and vitamin B12 reduced homocysteine levels more than a placebo, but did not have any measurable benefit to scores on thinking and memory tests. This is not surprising in this study because the B12 status of study participants taking the placebo was the same as those taking the supplement.
Consumer Link
Vitamin B may not reduce memory loss risk after all
Research Link
Neurology. 2014 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]

November 18, 2014
Long-chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cancer: Fish oil omega-3 fatty acids often are linked to cardiovascular health. A new review of the scientific literature indicates that higher intake of fatty fish and/or fish oil supplements also is associated with reduced risk of various types of cancer - especially when omega-6 fatty acid intake is not high.
Consumer Link
Study finds marked benefits for cancer prevention with a higher intake of fatty fish
Research Link
Nutr Cancer. 2014 Oct 30:1-6.

November 17, 2014
Walnuts and Prostate Cancer: Walnuts and walnut oil were shown to reduce prostate tumor growth in a mouse model. However, a control diet with the same fatty acid proportions as walnut oil did not reduce tumor growth. For a human to consume a similar amount of walnuts as fed to the mice, it would require almost 500 calories a day of walnuts. Consequently, future research aims to identify the components of walnuts that have this effect.
Consumer Link
Study extols anti-prostate cancer effects of walnuts
Research Link
J Med Food. 2014 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]

November 16, 2014
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Smoking: A double-blind placebo-controlled study of 48 regular cigarette smokers found that supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA decreased daily smoking and tobacco craving. These results indicate that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may improve success in smoking cessation programs.
Consumer Link
Omega-3 reduces smoking, study suggests
Research Link
J Psychopharmacol. 2014 Jun 4;28(8):804-809.

November 15, 2014
Wheat and Celiac Disease: Gluten represents only part of the protein in wheat. A new study found that people with celiac disease are more likely than people without the disease to have immune system reactions to several of the non-gluten proteins in wheat. Damage to the intestinal cells seen in celiac disease may increase the risk of allergies to food proteins in general.
Consumer Link
Celiac disease triggers may include non-gluten proteins
Research Link
J Proteome Res. 2014 Nov 7. [Epub ahead of print]

November 14, 2014
High-fat Diet and Brain Aging: Using a mouse model of an accelerated aging condition called Cockayne syndrome, researchers found that a high fat (low carbohydrate) diet postponed the aging process in these animals. It remains to be seen if this approach has merit for people with this disease or other related conditions.
Consumer Link
Could a high-fat diet help slow brain aging?
Research Link
Cell Metabolism. November 2014. [Epub Ahead of Print]

November 13, 2014
Fish and Pregnancy: New FDA guidelines encourage consuming fish high in omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, but avoiding the types of fish that are high in mercury. Fish high in mercury include shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel. FDA also recommended limiting consumption of albacore tuna to six ounces per week.
Consumer Link
Should pregnant women eat fish?
Research Link
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jul 26.

November 12, 2014
Compulsive Ice Chewing in Iron Deficiency: Many people with iron deficiency develop pagophagia (compulsive ice chewing). A study of people with iron deficiency anemia found that ice chewing enhanced performance on testing of neuropsychological function. The researchers propose that the cold exposure of ice chewing may trigger increased blood flow to the brain.
Consumer Link
Research says ice like ‘coffee’ for people with iron deficiency
Research Link
Med Hypotheses. 2014 Oct;83(4):473-6.

November 11, 2014
Alcohol Craving: An appetite-stimulating hormone called ghrelin is released from the stomach when it is empty. Ghrelin also stimulates the craving for alcohol in alcohol-dependent individuals. It is commonly recommended to consume a meal prior to alcohol consumption to help slow alcohol absorption and moderate blood alcohol levels. It appears that this also may help to reduce the "alcohol appetite."
Consumer Link
Ghrelin stimulates an appetite for drinking alcohol
Research Link
Biol Psych. 2014;76(9):734-741.

November 10, 2014
Vitamin B12 Status Assessment: New research shows that assessment of vitamin B12 status can be done accurately from finger stick blood drops after the blood has dried. This new technique, that measures methylmalonic acid (an indicator of B12 function), promises to make screening for B12 status much simpler for the clinician.
Consumer Link
Simple new test developed to detect vitamin B12 deficiency
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Oct;144(10):1658-63.

November 9, 2014
Asthma and Vitamin D: A study of over 20,000 adults with asthma found that those with vitamin D deficiency were 25 percent more likely to have asthma attacks than those with normal status. Low vitamin D status may be linked with other nutrient problems such as iron deficiency, so it is difficult to know if vitamin D supplementation alone will be helpful.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D deficiency linked to increased risk of asthma attacks
Research Link
Allergy. 2014 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]

November 8, 2014
Resveratrol Supplements and Exercise: Resveratrol supplementation (150 mg/day) of men during a 4-week period of low volume, high intensity interval training impaired some of the usual responses to exercise. Interestingly, this relatively high dose of resveratrol (roughly the amount in 300 6-ounce glasses of red wine) blunted the usual training-induced increase in the body's production of an antioxidant enzyme known as superoxide dismutase-2.
Consumer Link
Resveratrol supplements 'may impair body's response to exercise'
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Nov;39(11):1305-13.

November 7, 2014
Ketogenic Diets and Epilepsy: A review of studies on using ketogenic diets (high fat and low carb) for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in adults found that the diet cut the frequency of seizures at least in half for about one out of three people. Five to nine percent of those trying the diet experienced more than a 90% reduction in their seizures. It is not clear why this diet helps some, but not others.
Consumer Link
Low carb, high fat diets may reduce seizures in tough-to-treat epilepsy
Research Link
Neurology. 2014 Oct 29. [Epub ahead of print]

November 6, 2014
Vitamin A and Infants: Infants often have very low levels of vitamin A in their body at birth. Since this vitamin is known to play essential roles in normal growth and development, researchers are using rat models to study how vitamin A supplementation affects various parts of the body. This should help us eventually understand how and when vitamin A supplementation may be important for infants.
Consumer Link
Researchers probe link between newborn health, vitamin A
Research Link
J Lipid Res. 2014 Jun 9;55(8):1738-1749.

November 5, 2014
Beetroot, Nitrate, and Muscle: Due to its high nitrate content, beetroot juice has been found to increase nitric oxide and expand blood vessel diameter to increase blood flow to working muscles. A new study with rats indicates that beetroot juice preferentially increases blood flow to fast-twitch muscle fibers that play a major role in higher intensity exercise.
Consumer Link
Beetroot beneficial for athletes and heart failure patients, research finds
Research Link
Nitric Oxide. 2014 Oct 2. [Epub ahead of print]

November 4, 2014
Cocoa Flavanols and Memory: A study of healthy older people (age 50 to 69) found that three months of supplementation with a high cocoa flavanol extract (900 mg of cocoa flavanols per day) reversed measures of age-related memory decline. This small, but promising study needs confirmation from larger studies, along with identification of the types of flavanols that may provide positive effects on brain function.
Consumer Link
Dietary flavanols reverse age-related memory decline
Research Link
Nat Neurosci. 2014 Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print]

November 3, 2014
Iodine Deficiency: A U.K. study of young women (mostly students in nutrition and dietetics) found that about one out of four had mild iodine deficiency. The foods most highly correlated with good iodine status were milk and milk products, eggs, and fish.
Consumer Link
Iodine Deficiency: 90 Years of Progress, But Much To Be Done
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2014 Oct 2:1-9.

November 2, 2014
DHA Health Claim Approved: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved a food and supplement labeling health claim for the fish oil omega-3 fatty acid DHA for its contribution to normal brain development from infancy to adulthood. To bear the health claim, a product must provide at least 100 mg DHA for older infants and young children below the age of 24 months and 250 mg DHA for children from 2 to 18 years of age.
Consumer Link
EFSA Approves Health Claim for DHA and Normal Brain Development
Research Link
EFSA Journal 2014;12(10):3840.

November 1, 2014
Omega-3 and Cardiovascular Risk: A person's omega-3 fatty acid status is assessed by measuring the percentage of total fatty acids in red blood cell membranes that are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) - also called the omega-3 index. An omega-3 index of about 8% is considered to be cardioprotective. The average American has an omega-3 index of 4.3% due to relatively low intake of fish on average.
Consumer Link
Hopefully your Omega-3 Index Exceeds 8%? Find Out Why
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct 22. [Epub ahead of print]

October 31, 2014
Arsenic in Gluten-free Foods: Many gluten-free food alternatives substitute rice for gluten-containing grains. Since some sources of rice are high in arsenic, those with celiac disease who rely on these foods may be consuming excessive amounts of arsenic. Since some sources of rice are low in arsenic, manufacturers of rice-based gluten-free products should seek rice ingredients with lower arsenic content.
Consumer Link
Some rice-based foods for people with celiac disease contain relevant amounts of arsenic
Research Link
Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2014 Aug;31(8):1358-66.

October 30, 2014
Resveratrol and Bone Health: In just four months, middle-aged obese men who were taking high-dose resveratrol supplements (500 mg/day) had a significant increase in bone mineral density at the spine and elevated levels of a key biochemical marker of bone formation. Resveratrol is found naturally in red grapes and some types of nuts.
Consumer Link
Resveratrol boosts spinal bone density in men with metabolic syndrome
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Oct 16. [Epub ahead of print]

October 29, 2014
Spiked Dietary Supplements: About half of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) class I drug recalls over the past ten years have involved dietary supplements that were illegally adulterated with banned drug ingredients. To make matters worse, many of these adulterated products were still sold online by distributor websites months or years after being banned. These were mostly weight loss and muscle building products with names like EverSlim, Forged Extreme Mass, and Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Capsule - not from major dietary supplement companies.
Consumer Link
Recalled dietary supplements still contain banned substances
Research Link
JAMA. 2014;312(16):1691-1693.

October 28, 2014
Non-dairy Milks and Vitamin D Status: Alternatives to cows milk like soy milk are increasingly being selected by parents for their children for perceived health benefits. However, these milk substitutes are not nutritionally equivalent to milk and are low in or lack nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. When choosing these milk substitute products, select the calcium and vitamin D fortified options.
Consumer Link
Lower vitamin D levels found in children who drink non-cow's milk.
Research Link
CMAJ. 2014 Oct 20. pii: cmaj.140555. [Epub ahead of print]

October 27, 2014
Fish Oil and Atrial Fibrillation: An adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oils, is considered to be beneficial for overall cardiovascular function. However, high dose fish oil supplementation (4 grams/day) did not help to prevent episodes of rapid heart rate in those with atrial fibrillation.
Consumer Link
Fish oil supplements have little effect on irregular heartbeat
Research Link
Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Oct 7;64(14):1441-8.

October 26, 2014
Grapefruit Juice and Mice: Grapefruit is a wonderful tasty fruit. A new study with young growing mice consuming a high fat diet reports that feeding them grapefruit juice reduced their gain of body fat compared to mice not getting the juice. Although this study may give those recycled grapefruit diets another boost, it is unlikely that adult humans will respond to grapefruit juice the same way as young growing mice.
Consumer Link
Could grapefruit juice curb the effects of a high-fat diet?
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Oct 8;9(10):e108408.

October 25, 2014
Fried Food and Gestational Diabetes: The risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) was significantly greater in women who consumed the most fried foods prior to pregnancy. This risk was linked primarily to fried foods consumed away from home, suggesting that repeated use of frying oil, typical in commercial establishments, may be a factor.
Consumer Link
Women who eat fried food regularly before conceiving at increased risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2014 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]

October 24, 2014
Energy Drink Risks: Researchers from the World Health Organization reviewed the scientific literature on caffeine-containing energy drinks and expressed concern for potential risks to public health. Of major concern was the practice of mixing energy drinks with alcoholic beverages which tends to make people not realize how drunk they are.
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Rising energy drink consumption may pose a threat to public health, says WHO
Research Link
Frontiers in Public Health, 14 October 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

October 23, 2014
Breakfast Protein and Food Cravings: When older teenage girls consumed a higher protein breakfast (35 g of protein), it reduced their food cravings when compared to skipping breakfast. Other studies have found that including high protein foods at each main meal helps to maintain the body's muscle mass and facilitate lowering body fat.
Consumer Link
Eating breakfast reduces cravings, overeating
Research Link
Nutr J. 2014 Aug 6;13:80.

October 22, 2014
Artificial Sweeteners: A recent study reported that the sweetener saccharin altered the composition of colonic bacteria in mice which adversely affected their blood glucose control. Four out of seven humans experienced similar changes in blood glucose control after consuming high levels of saccharin for a week. Sucralose and aspartame did not have the same effect in mice and were not tested on humans.
Consumer Link
Get facts on sweeteners before ditching diet soda
Research Link
Nature. 2014 Oct 9;514(7521):181-6.

October 21, 2014
Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: We have known for some time that all saturated fatty acids do not have the same effects in the body on cardiovascular risk factors. Consequently, lumping all "saturated fat" into one "bad" category is not scientifically valid. Ongoing scientific study is urging a re-evaluation of current dietary guidelines founded on older research on saturated fats.
Consumer Link
Dietary fat under fire
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Oct 8:1-3. [Epub ahead of print]

October 20, 2014
Sugar and Brain: Adolescent rats provided access to sugar water for 30 days, consumed 35 to 40 percent of their calories from sugar. The high sugar intake adversely affected spatial memory performance in a maze. It is not clear if this was due to direct effects of the sugar or, more likely, limited intake of nutrients displaced by the high sugar intake.
Consumer Link
Sugar linked to memory problems in adolescent rats
Research Link
Hippocampus. 2014 Sep 20. [Epub ahead of print]

October 19, 2014
Caffeine and Health: Caffeine does not affect everyone in the same way. According to new genetic research, specific gene variants are linked to specific physical and psychological effects of caffeine. This knowledge should help to determine who is most likely to benefit from caffeine and who might be better off avoiding it.
Consumer Link
Coffee in the genes? New genetic variants associated with coffee drinking
Research Link
Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 7. [Epub ahead of print]

October 18, 2014
Fiber and Colon Health: For some time, the consumption of foods that provide dietary fiber has been thought to benefit lower intestinal health. This was thought to be due to the bacterial production of a fat component called butyrate that increases when fiber is consumed. New research confirms that butyrate does help to reduce intestinal inflammation and likely reduce cancer risk. The B-vitamin niacin benefits the colon in a similar fashion.
Consumer Link
Findings bolster fiber's role in colon health
Research Link
Immunity. 2014 Jan 16;40(1):128-39.

October 17, 2014
Hispanic Mothers and Folate: A new report indicates that Hispanic women in the U.S. often consume inadequate folic acid. This is partly due to their diet being based largely on corn flour. Most white flour (from wheat) is enriched with specific vitamins, including folic acid. Enriched white flour is much higher in folic acid than corn or whole wheat flours. If you switched from white bread to whole wheat bread or corn tortillas, make sure you have other good sources of folic acid in your diet.
Consumer Link
Health of Hispanic moms, babies a growing concern, new report says
Research Link
March of Dimes Special Report on Health in US Hispanic Populations. 2014.

October 16, 2014
Folic Acid and Autism Risk: Folic acid is known to be important for neurological development of the fetus during pregnancy. A recent study links folic acid supplementation, especially around the time of conception, with reduced risk of autism in the offspring.
Consumer Link
Lower autism risk with folic acid supplements in pregnancy
Research Link
JAMA. 2013 Feb 13;309(6):570-7.

October 15, 2014
Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: In African American women, breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of specific types of aggressive breast cancer. Promotion of breastfeeding should emphasize benefits both to the infant and to the mother.
Consumer Link
Study strengthens evidence that breastfeeding can help prevent aggressive breast cancer in African-Americans
Research Link
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Sep 15;106(10). pii: dju237.

October 14, 2014
Vitamin C and COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung disorder in which people commonly experience muscle weakness. Intravenous infusion of two grams of vitamin C helped to relieve muscle fatigue in COPD patients. It remains to be seen if vitamin C supplementation would be helpful for people with COPD.
Consumer Link
Vitamin C could ease muscle fatigue in COPD patients
Research Link
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2013 Nov 15;305(10):R1163-70.

October 13, 2014
Exercise and ADHD: Providing children the opportunity to engage in physical activity in the morning prior to class can reduce attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors during class time. These kids may need recess before, during, and after school to function normally. Maybe this should be considered to be normal levels of physical activity for children.
Consumer Link
Exercise before school may reduce ADHD symptoms in kids
Research Link
J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2014 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]

October 12, 2014
Chocolate and Blood Flow: A small study of 20 people who had peripheral artery disease (reduced blood flow to the legs) found that they could walk farther and longer two hours after eating dark chocolate when compared to milk chocolate. The researchers think that the greater amount of polyphenol compounds in dark chocolate enhanced arterial dilation and improved blood flow to the muscles.
Consumer Link
Polyphenols could yield small benefit for people with PAD
Research Link
J Am Heart Assoc. 2014 Jul 2;3(4).

October 11, 2014
Age and Muscle Loss: After age 50, there is a steady decline in the ability to maintain muscle mass. The combination of strength exercise and adequate protein intake can help to minimize this age-related muscle loss. This also helps to keep the body's calorie needs higher, allowing greater food intake without excessive weight gain.
Consumer Link
Strength as you age: 1 in 3 adults 50+ suffer progressive muscle loss, research shows
Research Link
Age Ageing. 2014 Sep 21. [Epub ahead of print]

October 10, 2014
Winter-related Dermatitis in Children: Some children have a tendency to develop eczema (atopic dermatitis) during winter months. A study conducted with children in Mongolia found that vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced this skin condition. Due to the limited sun exposure during winter months in Mongolia, the children likely had vitamin D deficiency during the winter season.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D significantly improves symptoms of winter-related atopic dermatitis in children
Research Link
Br J Dermatol. 2008 Jul;159(1):245-7.

October 9, 2014
Depression and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: About 30 percent of people being treated with interferon for hepatitis C virus infection develop depression. Supplementation of these patients during treatment with the fish oil fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) substantially reduced the incidence of depression.
Consumer Link
Some forms of depression may be prevented by omega-3 fatty acids
Research Link
Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Oct 1;76(7):559-66.

October 8, 2014
Caffeine and Athletes: Young adult low-caffeine-consuming athletes experienced more nervousness and insomnia after consuming an energy drink with about 200 milligrams of caffeine (like two cups of coffee). This may not occur in athletes that commonly consume caffeine, however, this was not evaluated in this study.
Consumer Link
Energy drinks cause insomnia and nervousness in athletes
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep 12:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

October 7, 2014
Osteoporosis Risk: Early childhood and adolescence are the most important stages of life to prevent osteoporosis later in life. These are the times during which bone mass develops most rapidly as long as adequate nutrition is available.
Consumer Link
Osteoporosis: bone health in childhood 'is an important factor'
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2014 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]

October 6, 2014
Gluten and Infants: A study of over 700 infants with a family history of celiac disease found that the incidence of developing celiac disease was the same in infants given gluten-containing foods at six or twelve months of age. Unfortunately, the study did not account for the iron status of the infants. Iron deficiency can impair intestinal development which would be expected to increase the risk of developing celiac disease.
Consumer Link
Infant's Early Diet Doesn't Change Celiac Disease Risk, Study Finds
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2014 Oct 2;371(14):1295-303.

October 5, 2014
Organic Foods: Although organically grown foods have not been shown to provide more nutrients, a recent review found evidence that organically grown foods do have higher concentrations of antioxidant compounds, lower concentrations of toxic cadmium, and a lower incidence of pesticide residues. It remains to be demonstrated that these differences between organic and conventionally grown foods are significant enough to affect overall health.
Consumer Link
Organically grown foods may offer greater health and safety than foods conventionally grown
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2014 Sep;112(5):794-811.

October 4, 2014
Vitamin D and Diabetes: Epidemiological studies have reported links between low vitamin D status and diabetes. However, other study designs used to identify cause and effect relationships do not indicate that low vitamin D status causes diabetes. Good vitamin D status is important for good health, but it remains to be seen if it helps to prevent diabetes.
Consumer Link
New study challenges claims that low vitamin D causes type 2 diabetes
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2012 Aug;55(8):2173-82.

October 3, 2014
Turmeric and Brain Health: A rat study found that a specific compound isolated from turmeric promoted the proliferation of neural stem cells in parts of the brain. Consequently, this compound may prove to be helpful in the prevention of dementias like Alzheimer's disease. However, this does not suggest that taking turmeric or curcumin supplements is safe or beneficial due to other potentially toxic compounds in these spice components.
Consumer Link
Promising drug candidate for Alzheimer's found in turmeric compound
Research Link
Stem Cell Res Ther. Sept 2014;5(4):100.

October 2, 2014
Eating Disorders and Autoimmune Disease: A study found that autoimmune disease was more common in eating disorder patients than in a group of controls with no eating disorders. The study concluded that autoimmune disease may predispose some people to eating disorders. It seems more likely that disordered eating creates nutrient deficiencies that compromise intestinal integrity and immune function - conditions that could cause autoimmune problems.
Consumer Link
Patients with eating disorders have increased risk of autoimmune diseases
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Aug 22;9(8):e104845.

October 1, 2014
Hookworm Treatment for Celiac Disease: When hookworm parasites live in the small intestine, they protect themselves from immune system attack by secreting a protein that reduces inflammation. When 20 hookworms were introduced into the small intestines of eight volunteers with celiac disease, they became tolerant of gluten. The researchers hope to identify and isolate the hookworm protein to see if it is possible to use it like a drug and not need to use the live parasite - which, over time, can cause excessive blood loss and iron deficiency.
Consumer Link
Celiac disease: A wriggly solution to a first-world problem
Research Link
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Aug 29. [Epub ahead of print]

September 30, 2014
Bariatric Surgery and Bone Loss: Rapid weight loss from any means often includes a significant amount of bone loss. As would be expected, this bone loss occurs following weight loss surgery. However, this post-surgery bone loss seems to continue even after weight has stabilized, increasing the long term risk of developing osteoporosis.
Consumer Link
Bone loss persists two years after weight loss surgery
Research Link
J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Jul;29(7):1507-18.

September 29, 2014
Soy vs Whey Protein: Two weeks of supplementation with soy protein or whey protein did not affect estrogen levels in men involved in strength training. However, testosterone levels were a bit lower following the soy protein supplementation period.
Consumer Link
The effects of soy and whey protein supplementation on acute hormonal responses to resistance exercise in men
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(1):66-74.

September 28, 2014
There has been plenty of research supporting light to moderate alcohol consumption having potential health benefits. However, some caution is indicated by a new study that followed 2609 men for about 20 years and found that those who consumed alcohol most frequently (even moderately) had a significantly greater risk of dying from a stroke.
Consumer Link
Drinking alcohol several times a week increases risk of stroke mortality
Research Link
Acta Neurol Scand. 2014 Aug;130(2):118-24.

September 27, 2014
Exercise and Dental Health: There is some evidence that extensive exercise training is associated with an increased risk of tooth enamel erosion and dental caries. It is not clear what may cause this, but it might be related to reduced saliva flow during exercise. It may be helpful for both dental health and hydration to drink frequently during exercise. When possible, follow up sports drinks with water to rinse sugars from the mouth.
Consumer Link
Is Exercise Bad for Your Teeth?
Research Link
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2014 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

September 26, 2014
Diabetes Trend: National U.S. data predict a continued increase in the incidence of diabetes in future years, with about 40 percent of the population developing the condition. If diabetes runs in your family, probably the best preventive action you can take is to maintain a daily physical activity program.
Consumer Link
2 Out Of Every 5 Americans Expected To Develop Type 2 Diabetes During Their Lifetime
Research Link
The Lancet Diab Endo. 13 August 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

September 25, 2014
Best Exercise for Obese Teens: A 6-month study of 304 adolescents (age 14 to 18), who were either obese or overweight with related risk factors, found that a combination of aerobic and resistance exercises reduced body fat more than participation in only one of the two forms of exercise.
Consumer Link
Best exercise for obese youths analyzed
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. September 22, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

September 24, 2014
A new study reported that low iron intake during pregnancy and lactation was associated with a greater risk of autism in the child. This risk from low iron intake was even greater for mothers 35 or older at the time of the child's birth or if the mother suffered from metabolic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, or diabetes.
Consumer Link
Mothers of children with autism less likely to have taken iron supplements
Research Link
Am. J. Epidemiol. 2014, September 22. [Epub Ahead of Print]

September 23, 2014
Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye and often develop in older individuals. Although oxidative damage may play a role in the development of cataracts, a five years study of over 11,000 men found that supplementation with the antioxidant nutrients vitamin E and selenium did not reduce the incidence of cataracts.
Consumer Link
Vitamin E, selenium supplements unlikely to effect age-related cataracts in men
Research Link
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep 18. [Epub ahead of print]

September 22, 2014
Vitamin D and Quality of Life: A study of almost 1500 Canadians over age 50, found that those with good vitamin D status were significantly less likely to have problems with mobility or difficulty participating in their usual activities. They also were less likely to experience depression. This study supports the need to conduct intervention research on vitamin D status and quality of life measures.
Consumer Link
Study links vitamin D to quality of life
Research Link
Qual Life Res. 2014 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]

September 21, 2014
Dairy Foods and Cardiovascular Risk: In a study of 233 French Canadians, greater consumption of milk products was associated with lower blood glucose levels and lower blood pressure. The researchers also found that blood levels of a natural trans fatty acid (trans-palmitoleic acid) was a good indicator of dairy food intake.
Consumer Link
More cheese, please! News study shows dairy is good for your metabolic health
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Sep 16:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]

September 20, 2014
Fatty Acids During Pregnancy, Lactation, and Early Infancy: The 2005 Dietary Reference Intakes provided recommendations based on the plant oil omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic and linoleic). Ongoing research, however, emphasizes that consumption of the longer chain fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found primarily in fish and some algae oils, are especially important during pregnancy, lactation, and early infancy.
Consumer Link
Review Updates on Omega-3 Long-chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids EPA & DHA
Research Link
Ann Nutr Metab 2014;65:49-80.

September 19, 2014
Vitamin E Deficiency: It is estimated that at least 90 percent of Americans consume less than the estimated requirement for the average person. The adverse consequences of inadequate vitamin E include increased infection, anemia, stunting of growth, and poor outcomes during pregnancy for both infant and mother.
Consumer Link
Vitamin E intake critical during 'the first 1,000 days'
Research Link
Adv Nutr vol. 5: 503-514, 2014.

September 18, 2014
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Development: A study of about 510,000 students around age 15 in 65 countries found that students scored higher on an international test (on mathematics, reading, and science) in countries where levels of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA were higher in women's breastmilk. High levels of the omega-6 linoleic acid in breastmilk predicted lower performance on the tests.
Consumer Link
Breast milk reveals a correlation between dietary fats and academic success
Research Link
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2014 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]

September 17, 2014
Dietary Protein and Blood Pressure: A study that followed about 1300 middle-aged adults for over eleven years found that those with higher intakes of dietary protein from both animal and plant sources had significantly lower risk of developing high blood pressure. The researchers concluded that protein intake may play a role in the long-term prevention of high blood pressure.
Consumer Link
High protein diets lead to lower blood pressure, study finds
Research Link
Am J Hypertens. 2014 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]

September 16, 2014
Protein and Bone Health: Two of the major components of bones are calcium and protein. A recent study with rats confirms evidence reported about humans that higher protein diets can benefit bones.
Consumer Link
In rat model, hyperproteic diets found to be beneficial for bones
Research Link
Food Funct. 2014 Apr;5(4):716-23.

September 15, 2014
Hypertension, BMI, and Salt: A French study of over 8500 people found that those with greater body weight for their height (Body Mass Index) were more likely to have high blood pressure. Salt intake, however, was not associated with blood pressure in this group of people.
Consumer Link
Study: sodium's influence on blood pressure statistically insignificant
Research Link
Am J Hypertens. 2014 Sep 3. [Epub ahead of print]

September 14, 2014
Omega-3 and Epilepsy: Adults with drug-resistant epilepsy experienced a 33 percent reduction in seizure frequency while taking three fish oil capsules per day providing a total intake of 1080 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). When the dose was twice this amount, seizure frequency increased to the same level as taking a placebo. Although, omega-3 fatty acids are clearly not a 'cure' for epilepsy, the proper level of intake may be an important component of overall treatment of epilepsy.
Consumer Link
Omega-3 fish oil 'could reduce seizure frequency for epilepsy patients'
Research Link
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2014 Sep 8. [Epub ahead of print]

September 13, 2014
Appetite and Mortality: A study of more than 1800 independently living Taiwanese over the age of 65 found that those who had poor appetites usually died sooner than those with good appetites. A poor appetite generally resulted in people consuming a less diverse diet that was lower in calories, protein, and other nutrients.
Consumer Link
Appetite is a reliable predictor of mortality in old age
Research Link
Appetite. 2014 Aug 14;83C:89-96.

September 12, 2014
Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease: High blood sugar levels, as seen in diabetes, are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. New research indicates that some compounds produced from sugar in the body can bind to and modify 'good' cholesterol (HDL), making it 'go bad.' It remains to be understood how significant this effect of sugar may be.
Consumer Link
Sugar substance 'kills' good HDL cholesterol
Research Link
Nutr Diabetes. 2014 Sep 1;4:e134.

September 11, 2014
Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency, affecting at least two billion people around the world. For many people, the major sources of iron in the diet are grains and legumes. Unfortunately, these foods contain substances that strongly inhibit the absorption of iron by the intestine. Plant breeding that increases iron in these foods also needs to focus on decreasing inhibitors such as phytate.
Consumer Link
Are you Familiar with all the Tools to Reduce Prevalence of Iron Deficiency Anemia?
Research Link
J. Nutr. November 1, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

September 10, 2014
A study of people diagnosed with liver injury attributed about 20 percent of the cases to the use of a variety of herbal dietary supplements, especially the types marketed to bodybuilders. It is important to consider herbal products to be comparable to drugs and to use them with caution.
Consumer Link
Liver injury caused by herbals, dietary supplements rises in study population
Research Link
Hepatology. 2014 Jul 12. [Epub ahead of print]

September 9, 2014
A 12-month study conducted with obese middle-age women and men provided half of the participants with guidance on following a low fat diet and the other half received guidance on following a low carbohydrate diet.The low carbohydrate group lost almost eight pounds more than the low fat group. The difference in weight loss was most likely due to the fact that the low carbohydrate diet provided substantially more protein that prevented the loss of lean tissue.
Consumer Link
Low-carb trumps low-fat for weight loss and cardiovascular risk
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Sep 2;161(5):309-18.

September 8, 2014
A large study of postmenopausal women found that those with the greatest amount of potassium in their diets had a lower risk of all types of stroke and all-cause mortality. Most people in the U.S. do not reach recommended levels of potassium intake. Some key foods that are high in potassium include bananas, papayas, oranges, prunes, raisins, potatoes, tomatoes, beans, lentils, salmon, milk, yogurt, and coffee.
Consumer Link
Potassium-rich foods could lower stroke risk in older women
Research Link
Stroke. 2014 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]

September 7, 2014
A study of 1000 infants and toddlers (age 6 to 30 months), in low- to middle-income neighborhoods in New Delhi, reported that more than of two-thirds of the children were anemic. The researchers attributed this to diets that were deficient in iron, folate, and vitamin B12.
Consumer Link
Anaemia common in north Indian children: Study
Research Link
Nutrition. 2014 May;30(5):531-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.09.015. Epub 2013 Oct 15.

September 6, 2014
Vitamin A deficiency causes irreversible damage to the health of millions of children, causing blindness in many. "Golden Rice" provides enough beta-carotene to meet most, if not all, of the vitamin A recommendation for children in rice-eating cultures. New efforts are under way to explore the appropriate use of this genetically modified rice to reduce the burden of vitamin A deficiency.
Consumer Link
Golden Rice gets push to solve vitamin A deficiency
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Sep;96(3):658-64.

September 5, 2014
Iodine During Pregnancy: It is estimated that one-third of pregnant women in the Unites States are marginally iodine deficient. This has the potential to impair cognitive development of their child. Some prenatal dietary supplements do not include iodine and some that do, don't have adequate amounts. The usual recommendation is to get 150 micrograms per day in a supplement along with a diet that includes iodized salt to obtain a total of 220 micrograms during pregnancy and 290 during lactation.
Consumer Link
Why are iodine supplements recommended? A pediatrician’s view
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2014 Jun;133(6):1163-6.

September 4, 2014
Diabetes and Calcium: Many factors are involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. A new study adds elevated serum calcium levels as a risk factor. However, this is unlikely to be related to calcium intake. Since serum calcium levels are regulated tightly by hormonal mechanisms, elevated serum calcium likely represents maladjusted hormonal changes.
Consumer Link
Calcium Concentration Tied to Diabetes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2014 Aug 19. pii: DC_140898. [Epub ahead of print]

September 3, 2014
Much of the deterioration in bone and joint health seen with aging appears to be due to a more sedentary lifestyle rather than just aging itself. The concept of "use it or lose it" increases in importance with age.
Consumer Link
Lifetime of fitness: Fountain of youth for bone, joint health?
Research Link
J Am Acad Orthop Surg September 2014 vol. 22 no. 9 576-585

September 2, 2014
Research volunteers were fed either one or two pounds of cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables daily for two weeks. The effect of this on systemic inflammation markers was measured. One out of four inflammation markers was reduced, but only in those consuming the two pound dose. Because the cabbage family contains a natural toxin to the thyroid, consuming this amount of cruciferous vegetables on an ongoing basis could damage thyroid function, especially without consuming adequate amounts of iodine (such as iodized salt).
Consumer Link
Clinical Studies With Food Highlight Limitations of Nutrition Research
Research Link
J. Nutr. August 27, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

September 1, 2014
Food products that indicate zero grams of trans fat per serving may still contain some trans fatty acids if the product contains partially hydrogenated oil. If a food has less than a half a gram of trans fat per serving, labeling regulations require that the product indicate zero grams on the label. Generally this is not a concern because a typical adult would need to consume more than five servings a day of these types of food to exceed the American Heart Association's recommendation to consume less than one percent of dietary calories in the form of trans fats.
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When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food
Research Link
Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:140161.

August 31, 2014
A high intake of plant foods and especially tomato products as part of an overall diet with foods from all food groups may help protect against prostate cancer. Common cancer prevention recommendations don't typically focus on prostate cancer.
Consumer Link
Tomato-rich diet lowers prostate cancer risks
Research Link
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2014 Jul 13. [Epub ahead of print]

August 30, 2014
Krill oil supplements often are marketed as being superior to fish oil for providing essential omega-3 fatty acids. A new study comparing these two marine oils found that there is no significant difference between the two oils in their effects on blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The main difference between the oils is that krill oil contains a colorful antioxidant called astaxanthin.
Consumer Link
Fish-to-Krill isn’t exactly Apples-to-Apples
Research Link
Lipids Health Dis. 2014 Aug 26;13(1):137. [Epub ahead of print]

August 29, 2014
Unusual food cravings commonly occur during pregnancy and sometimes non-food substances are craved and consumed. The consumption of these non-food substances is called pica. A study of 158 pregnant adolescents found that almost half of them engaged in pica behavior. The most common pica behavior was craving and consuming large amounts of ice. Those engaged in pica had significantly lower iron status than those not practicing pica.
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Pica in pregnant teens linked to low iron
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]

August 28, 2014
Fortification of enriched flour with the B vitamin folic acid significantly reduced the prevalence of neural tube defects in infants. Another food component known as choline also appears to be important for the prevention of of this birth defect. Recommended choline intake increases during pregnancy and lactation.
Consumer Link
Choline, B-vitamins and Neural Tube Defects
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. August 13, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

August 27, 2014
Beta-carotene, found in many colorful fruits and vegetables, has antioxidant functions in the body and can be converted to active vitamin A. An excessive intake of this beneficial substance, however, appears to have negative effects on the functions of vitamin A in the body.
Consumer Link
Potential 'dark side' to diets high in beta-carotene
Research Link
J Biol Chem. 2012 May 4;287(19):15886-95.

August 26, 2014
A study conducted with rats found that adding fructose to a high fat diet increased fat accumulation in the liver. Although this may provide a small piece of information related to the causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the study did not compare fructose to glucose and rats are known to handle sugars and fats differently than humans. So, be careful when trying to apply the results of this type of study to human health problems.
Consumer Link
Adding sugar to high-fat Western diet could be worse than high-fat diet alone
Research Link
Exp Physiol. 2014 Jun 27. [Epub ahead of print]

August 25, 2014
Genetically modified (GMO) plant foods are traditionally produced by introducing a foreign gene from another plant or organism into the plant's genetic makeup. Watch for a new approach to genetic modification called genetic editing. This approach does not involve introducing any foreign genes.
Consumer Link
Coming soon: Genetically edited 'super bananas' and other fruit?
Research Link
Trends in Biotechnology, August 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

August 24, 2014
An adequate supply of various nutrients is known to be important for normal fertility in women. A new study found that women deficient in vitamin D are half as likely to conceive using in vitro fertilization (IVF)compared to women without vitamin D deficiency.
Consumer Link
Women using IVF 'half as likely to conceive if vitamin D deficient'
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Aug 14. [Epub ahead of print]

August 23, 2014
We are just beginning to understand all the factors that influence vitamin D status in people. The body's level of active vitamin D appears to be affected by sun exposure, dietary and supplement intake of vitamin D, individual genetics, and the status of some other nutrients in the body (such as iron). Consequently, the only way to really know how well you are doing with this vitamin is with the appropriate blood test (25-hydroxy vitamin D).
Consumer Link
How Can Anyone Know if Vitamin D Status is Optimal without Measurement?
Research Link
South Med J. 2014 Apr;107(4):214-7.

August 22, 2014
Magnesium: It has been estimated that over 75 percent of women older than 65 years consume significantly less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium. A recent study of older women found that taking a 300 mg per day magnesium supplement significantly improved responses to a 12-week exercise program in comparison to women in the same program that did not take the supplement. Foods rich in magnesium include most fish, beans, most green vegetables, and nuts.
Consumer Link
Magnesium supplements help physical performance in elderly women
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print]

August 21, 2014
When in doubt, throw it out. Foods contaminated with microorganisms make people extremely sick and can even kill.
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How to keep bacteria off the menu
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2008 Feb;66(2):103-8.

August 20, 2014
A study of the food intake of over 500 toddlers (age 12 to 16 months) in Australia found that the intake of iron-rich meats was low in many of the children. Normal brain development is dependent on an adequate supply of iron during these critical months of growth.
Consumer Link
Children Need to Eat More Meat Study Suggests
Research Link
Aust N Z J Public Health. 2014 Aug;38(4):326-31. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12249.

August 19, 2014
A study of the diets of over 7000 children and adolescents found that without nutrient-fortified foods in the diet, a high percentage of the children and adolescents had inadequate intakes of numerous vitamins and minerals. Consumption of fortified foods substantially reduced the the number of participants that did not meet the Estimated Average Requirement for many, but not all nutrients
Consumer Link
Fortified foods make up for some missing nutrients: study
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jul;114(7):1009-1022.e8.

August 18, 2014
It has been known for some time that the lower intestinal cells use a small fatty acid produced by bacteria as a major energy source. Known as butyric acid, this fatty acid also has been shown to benefit the immune system and reduce inflammation in the colon. Supplements of butyric acid may benefit those with various types of bowel diseases.
Consumer Link
Gut bacteria's fatty acid boosts immune system, reducing inflammation
Research Link
Nature. 2013 Dec 19;504(7480):446-50.

August 17, 2014
An international study indicates that anemia continues to persist in about one third of the global population. Iron deficiency is by far the top preventable cause of anemia, followed by parasitic infections and malaria in some parts of the world.
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New report illustrates persistent global burden of anemia among high-risk populations
Research Link
Blood. 2014 Jan 30;123(5):615-24. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-06-508325. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

August 16, 2014
The effects of diet and nutrition on health are typically expected to have an impact only after months and years of making a change. However, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease had beneficial changes in lung function when they reported recently consuming fish, grapefruit, bananas or cheese. Exactly what this means is not clear, but it indicates the possibility that some foods may influence lung function within a fairly short span of time.
Consumer Link
Link between healthy diet and better lung function in COPD patients
Research Link
Am Thoracic Society Int Conf. 2014.

August 15, 2014
You need more protein when you are dieting for weight loss. When calorie intake is low, the body uses protein components for energy supply more than usual. it helps to consume about twice the normally recommended protein. This is about 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.7 grams per pound).
Consumer Link
Flesh out the truth from weight-loss advice
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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011 Nov;66(11):1218-25.

August 14, 2014
It can take years of inadequate intake of a nutrient like iron to finally cause health problems. Once the problems start, however, the ramifications can be complicated and serious. Women are at much greater risk than men of developing an iron deficiency.
Consumer Link
Neglecting your iron intake can lead to serious problems
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144(6):906-14.

August 13, 2014
Even nutrients can be toxic in excess. The Institute of Medicine has established upper limits for the intake of nutrients most likely to cause problems when consumed in excessive amounts for too long. For most nutrients it takes months or years of excessive intake for noticeable problems to manifest. Nutrients of most concern include vitamins A, B-6, and D as well as calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and copper.
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Dietary supplements help fill gaps, but use caution
Research Link
How much is too much?

August 12, 2014
Research continues to find beneficial aspects to coffee and tea. However, over-consumption of these beverages can cause problems. For example, both coffee and tea components can interfere with a wide variety of drugs. Check with your pharmacist to see if drugs you take can be affected by too much coffee or tea.
Consumer Link
Consuming coffee and tea comes with downsides, too
Research Link
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Nov;16(6):688-97.

August 11, 2014
Research shows that eating disorders and pre-eating disorders are increasing. It seems that more focus on being healthy and less focus on being thin is needed.
Consumer Link
Disordered Eating May Affect 10 to 15 Percent of Women
Research Link
Int J Eat Disord. 2009 Mar;42(2):158-65.

August 10, 2014
Another research study questions the common assumption about what constitutes the best BMI for older people. A review of 32 studies that totaled almost 200,000 participants, age 65 and older, found that mortality risk increased both below a BMI of 23 and above a BMI of 33.
Consumer Link
Yes, you can be too skinny — especially if you’re over 65
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;99(4):875-90.

August 9, 2014
There is a substantial body of evidence that the fatty acids in fish oils help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. These fatty acids can be found in fatty marine fish like salmon and sardines as well as fish and algae oil supplements.
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There is No Question: EPA and DHA are Important for Cardiovascular Health
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2013 Oct;71(10):692-707.

August 8, 2014
High dose niacin supplementation has been used as a treatment for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol and raising the "good" HDL cholesterol in people with cardiovascular disease. Recent research, however, indicated that niacin supplementation did not reduce heart attack or stroke rates compared with a placebo. Also, niacin had some serious side effects in some people such as liver problems, excess infections, excess bleeding, gout, loss of control of blood sugar for diabetics and the development of diabetes in people who didn't have it when the study began.
Consumer Link
Niacin too dangerous for routine cholesterol therapy, experts say
Research Link
N Engl J Med 2014; 371:271-273.

August 7, 2014
Many Americans have a low intake of vitamin E. Increasingly common metabolic conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may be aggravated by low vitamin E status. Good food sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, and avocados as well as some vegetable oils such as safflower and peanut oils.
Consumer Link
Is Your Life Being Shortened by a Lack of Vitamin E?
Research Link
FASEB J. 2014;28(1)Sup:1041.7.

August 6, 2014
Frequently, babies at birth have low vitamin K stores in their body. Since exclusive breastfeeding does not provide adequate vitamin K, it is common practice to inject vitamin K at birth. Parents who refuse their child's vitamin K injection should be provided with educational materials about the signs of vitamin K deficiency.
Consumer Link
Babies are so Precious. Why Gamble with their Health? With their Future?
Research Link
Adv Neonatal Care. 2013 Dec;13(6):402-7.

August 5, 2014
"Eat more fruits and vegetables" is a common message in health promotion circles. But, how much more makes sense? An in-depth meta-analysis of 16 studies, examining the data from over 800,000 participants, found that health benefits were found only for consuming up to a total of five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Beyond five servings a day, there was no additional benefit. All types of foods are important for health.
Consumer Link
Five portions of fruit and veg a day are enough
Research Link
BMJ. 29 July 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

August 4, 2014
Zinc and Health: Zinc status is rarely evaluated in people, however, inadequate zinc in the diet can lead to a wide variety of health problems. Low zinc intake may be increasing in modern diets. Common foods that provide the most zinc include lean beef and some enriched breakfast cereals.
Consumer Link
Eight ways zinc affects the human body
Research Link
Comp Rev Food Sci Safety. 2014;13(4):358-376.

August 3, 2014
B Vitamins & Alzheimer Disease: A population-level study concluded that B vitamin supplementation to lower blood levels of a compound called homocysteine was not associated with a reduced risk of the cognitive decline typical of Alzheimer Disease. However, it should be kept in mind that the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are very similar to those observed in the development of Alzheimer disease. Thorough testing of vitamin B12 status is highly recommended in cases of cognitive decline.
Consumer Link
Alzheimer's disease not prevented by B vitamins
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun 25;100(2):657-666. [Epub ahead of print]

August 2, 2014
Rice, Arsenic, Infants & Children: Due to its low potential for allergenicity, rice cereals often are used as an infant's first food. However, since rice can accumulate high levels of toxic arsenic in some growing environments, recommendations from researchers urge the monitoring of arsenic levels in rice products for infants and children along with the development of limits for arsenic levels.
Consumer Link
Experts recommend avoiding rice drinks for infants and young children due to concerns over arsenic content
Research Link
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Jul 11. [Epub ahead of print]

August 1, 2014
Fish Oils and Alzheimer's: Fish oils are rich in a fatty acid (DHA) that is found at very high levels in the brain. New evidence indicates that supplemental intake of fish oils may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Consumer Link
Older adults benefit from fish oil supplements which reduce incidence of cognitive decline, may improve memory function
Research Link
Alzheimers Dement. 2014 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]

July 31, 2014
Probiotics and Fatty Liver: Fat accumulation in the liver is associated with a variety of serious health problems. A study using genetically obese rats found that feeding them the types of microorganisms commonly found in yogurt helped to lower the fat level in the liver. It is not known if this also would be the case in humans.
Consumer Link
Consuming probiotics for a month helps diminish fat accumulation in the liver, according to a new study
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 May 22;9(5):e98401.

July 30, 2014
Exercise and Diabetes: Daily exercise is one of the best components of lifestyle change to manage type 2 diabetes. A new review of the research literature indicates that both aerobic exercise and strength training are beneficial. Including both forms of exercise in one's exercise program appears to be the most beneficial approach.
Consumer Link
Combined aerobic and resistance training may be best for controlling blood sugar in diabetes
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2014 Jul 5. [Epub ahead of print]

July 29, 2014
Malnutrition in early childhood (up to 5 years of age) increases the risk of developing high blood pressure during the adult years. This appears to be due to abnormal cardiovascular development during these critical years.
Consumer Link
Childhood malnutrition linked to higher blood pressure in adults
Research Link
Hypertension. 2014 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print]

July 28, 2014
For those being treated for kidney cancer, low blood cholesterol is associated with worse survival. Currently, it is not known why this is the case.
Consumer Link
Low cholesterol not a good sign for patients with kidney cancer
Research Link
BJU Int. 2014 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print]

July 27, 2014
Protein and Exercise: Protein consumption following exercise is known to increase muscle protein synthesis and recovery from exercise. A new study found that a mixture of 25 percent isolated soy protein combined with milk proteins (50 percent casein and 25 percent whey) enhanced muscle protein synthesis following exercise more than whey protein alone.
Consumer Link
Soy-dairy protein blend increases muscle mass reaffirmed by study
Research Link
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Jun 1;116(11):1353-64.

July 26, 2014
Beef and Blood Pressure: A study of 36 people (ages 30 to 65) with normal health tested the effect of four different diets on blood pressure. The diet with the most lean beef (about 5.5 ounces/day) in the daily fare resulted in the lowest blood pressure. Each diet period lasted for five weeks, so it is not know if this effect would still occur over a longer period of time.
Consumer Link
Eating lean beef daily can help lower blood pressure
Research Link
J Hum Hypertens. 2014 Jun 19. [Epub ahead of print]

July 25, 2014
Iron and Brain Development: Normal iron status is well known to be essential for normal brain development, especially during the earliest years of life. Infants and young children adopted from institutional settings should always have their iron status evaluated to determine if iron supplementation is warranted.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency important to assess in children adopted from institutional settings
Research Link
Child Dev. 2014 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]

July 24, 2014
Iron and Cardiovascular Disease: Using a blood measure of iron status called transferrin saturation, researchers found that both low and high levels increased the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The Goldilocks Principle repeatedly applies to most (if not all) aspects of nutrition.
Consumer Link
Researchers find simple blood iron test predicts fatal outcomes in the general population
Research Link
QJM. 2014 Mar 20. [Epub ahead of print]

July 23, 2014
Vitamin D and Weight Loss: A study of vitamin D supplementation (2000 IU per day) in overweight and obese women during weight loss treatment found that supplementation had little effect on weight loss and related factors unless vitamin D status was raised to adequacy (blood levels of 25-OH-vitamin D at least 32 ng/mL or 80 nmol/L).
Consumer Link
Vitamin D and its effect on weight loss examined in new study
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5):1015-25.

July 22, 2014
Vitamin C and Cancer Treatment: Studies on taking oral vitamin C supplements during cancer treatment have found no benefit. However, new research indicates that providing vitamin C intravenously can enhance the effects of chemotherapy and reduce the negative side effects of the treatment. More research is needed to confirm this.
Consumer Link
Vitamin C as cancer treatment? High doses boost chemotherapy in study
Research Link
Sci Transl Med. 2014 Feb 5;6(222):222ra18.

July 21, 2014
Vitamin D Supplementation: A large review of multiple studies concluded that vitamin D supplementation, with or without calcium, does not significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, or bone fractures. These results seem to indicate that nutrient adequacy is more important than excess. The Institute of Medicine's Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin D is 4000 IU (100 micrograms). The Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals of the Food Standards Agency, United Kingdom recommends that daily intake of vitamin D from supplements not exceed 1000 IU (25 micrograms).
Consumer Link
Study questions health benefits of vitamin D supplementation
Research Link
Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2014 Apr;2(4):307-20.

July 20, 2014
Vitamin E, Selenium and Prostate: A large double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that daily supplementation with selenium (200 micrograms) and/or vitamin E (400 IU) significantly increased the risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who had the highest vitamin E status at the beginning of the study were more likely to develop prostate cancer if they were taking the selenium supplement (in the form of selenomethionine).
Consumer Link
Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT)
Research Link
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print]

July 19, 2014
Vitamin D and Colorectal Cancer: A study of almost 1600 people with colorectal cancer found that those with the best vitamin D status had significantly longer survival times than those with lower vitamin D status. Studies are needed on the effect of vitamin D supplementation during colorectal cancer treatment on survival time.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D ups bowel cancer survival odds, study finds
Research Link
J Clin Oncol. 2014 Jul 7. [Epub ahead of print]

July 18, 2014
Milk and Knee Osteoarthritis: Women with knee osteoarthritis who consumed the most milk experienced a reduced progression of their disease. Milk provides several nutrients that could benefit joints, including protein, calcium, riboflavin, etc.
Consumer Link
'A glass of milk a day' may delay knee osteoarthritis in women
Research Link
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Jun;66(6):802-9.

July 17, 2014
Food Allergy Treatment: There may be hope for treatment of certain types of food allergies (IgE-mediated). Although it is not ready for clinical application, gradually exposing those with a food allergy to slowing increasing amounts of the offending food (oral immunotherapy) shows promise for eliminating the allergic reaction. Working out the proper dose for exposure to various types of foods for people of varying ages and severity of reaction to the food is a complex process.
Consumer Link
Researchers propose new treatment option for food allergy
Research Link
Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2014 Jun 1;27(2):42-50.

July 16, 2014
Alcoholic fatty lung: Excess alcohol consumption is known to cause fat to accumulate in the liver and slowly damage it. This is commonly called alcoholic fatty liver disease. Researchers studying rats found that heavy alcohol consumption also led to fat accumulation in the lungs. Since rats are known to differ somewhat from humans in how they metabolically handle fat, it remains to seen if this applies to humans as well.
Consumer Link
Alcoholic fatty lung: fat damages the lungs of heavy drinkers
Research Link
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Jun 18. [Epub ahead of print]

July 15, 2014
Omega 3 fatty acids and osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is the type of arthritis associated primarily with joint injury and the type of wear that occurs with aging. A study of obese mice that were exposed to arthritis-inducing joint injury found that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced arthritis severity compared to a diet higher in saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids. The degree of obesity in the animals was not associated with severity of the arthritis.
Consumer Link
Omega 3 fatty acids lessen severity of osteoarthritis in mice
Research Link
Ann Rheum Dis. July 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

July 14, 2014
Oats and blood glucose: A meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trial studies concluded that daily consumption of oats significantly reduced fasting insulin levels and decreased the response to a glucose tolerance test. However, there was no significant effect on fasting glucose levels or the hemoglobin A1c measure commonly used to evaluate overall blood glucose control.
Consumer Link
Are you Feeling your Oats Today?
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 2014 Aug;112(3):457-66.

July 13, 2014
A review of studies on the relationships between physical activity and mental and physical decline in postmenopausal women found that all the reviewed studies indicated that mental and physical function benefited from physical activity. Exercise interventions (or lifestyle activities) that improved cardiorespiratory exercise capacity showed the most positive impact on physical health.
Consumer Link
Exercise is the best medicine, study shows
Research Link
Maturitas. 2014 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]

July 12, 2014
Excessive intake of antioxidant compounds in foods and supplements may actually increase cancer risk according to cancer researchers. Good health is supported by balance rather than going to extremes. Back to the Goldilocks Principle. Again!
Consumer Link
How antioxidants can accelerate cancers, and why they don't protect against them
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2014 Jul 10;371(2):177-8.

July 11, 2014
When well-controlled type 2 diabetics were fed 50 grams of whey protein 30 minutes before consuming a high glycemic index breakfast, their blood glucose response to the breakfast was reduced by 28 percent compared to when they only consumed water prior to the meal. Well-timed protein consumption appears to be important for managing blood glucose levels in diabetics.
Consumer Link
In people with diabetes, consuming whey protein before meals could help improve blood glucose control
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2014 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

July 10, 2014
Many of the caffeine-containing energy drinks are attractive to children and adolescents. However, the risks of excess caffeine consumption by younger people are unknown. This is especially true when caffeine is combined with other exotic ingredients.
Consumer Link
Energy Drinks Raise New Questions About Caffeine’s Safety
Research Link
Curr Opin Pediatr. 2012 Apr;24(2):243-51.

July 9, 2014
A study that evaluated changes in physical activity and calorie intake during the 20 years between 1990 and 2010 found that leisure-time physical activity declined greatly in both men and women. However, average calorie intake did not change.
Consumer Link
Less exercise, not more calories, responsible for expanding waistlines
Research Link
The Am J Med. 2014 March. [Epub ahead of print]

July 8, 2014
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is considered to be responsible for three out of four stomach ulcers, two thirds of all gastric tumors and practically all duodenal tumors. When it causes these problems, the proper antibiotics can cure them. However, more recent research also indicates that the presence of H. pylori in the body may benefit the immune system - as long as it is kept under control.
Consumer Link
When Scientists Experiment on Themselves: H. pylori and Ulcers
Research Link
Med J Aust 2014; 201 (1): 22.

July 7, 2014
Although less than one percent of the U.S. population has celiac disease that requires a gluten-free diet, there has been a major trend to use "gluten-free" on labeling of foods and meals in restaurants. On the surface, this would seem to make things easier for people with celiac disease. However, this is not the case when those processing or preparing these foods do not carefully exclude any potential source of gluten, including sources as seemingly minor as most soy sauces.
Consumer Link
Gluten-free: The truth behind the trend
Research Link
Gastroenterol Nurs. 2011 Nov-Dec;34(6):

July 6, 2014
An extensive review was conducted of medical records that included prescribing the herbal antidepressant drug St. John's Wort. It was found that in almost one out of three cases, patients also were taking drugs that have serious interactions with this herbal supplement. The researchers stress that this type of herbal product should provide precautionary drug interaction information in product packaging for use by both patients and physicians.
Consumer Link
Common herbal supplement can cause dangerous interactions with prescription drugs
Research Link
J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

July 5, 2014
A study that fed men 50 grams of almonds a day for four weeks found that it increased their blood levels of vitamin E and benefited blood vessel function. Almonds are high fat, protein, fiber, and calories, all of which have high satiety value. Because 50 grams of almonds provide about 300 calories, it would be prudent to remove 300 calories of other snack foods from the diet to prevent undesired weight gain.
Consumer Link
Almonds reduce the risk of heart disease, research shows
Research Link
Free Radic Res. 2014 May;48(5):599-606.

July 4, 2014
To avoid foodborne illness during summer festivities, remember the basics of food safety: thaw frozen foods correctly, cook foods thoroughly, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold, refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving, and reheat cooked leftovers thoroughly when reserving them.
Consumer Link
Food safety advice will help cooks spread joy, not germs
Research Link
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

July 3, 2014
When mice genetically predisposed to developing Alzheimer's disease were fed a high polyphenol extract from an unfermented form of cocoa, it prevented the usual degenerative brain changes. It is hoped that further research will identify how this works and what components of the cocoa benefit the brain.
Consumer Link
Could a cocoa extract prevent Alzheimer's?
Research Link
J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;41(2):643-50.

July 2, 2014
Consumer-based research shows that most food and food ingredient fears often are based on lack of knowledge. Increased knowledge about the history and production of a feared ingredient generally reduces fear of the ingredient.
Consumer Link
The best way to avoid ingredient-based food fear
Research Link
Food Qual Pref. 2014;38:40–48.

July 1, 2014
With all the vitamin and mineral fortified foods such as a wide variety of breakfast cereals for kids, children can have nutrient intakes from foods alone that exceed the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for several nutrients. Add one of the popular children's multivitamin/mineral supplements and the risk of nutrient toxicity can be quite high. Read labels to see how things add up and compare the totals to the established UL values.
Consumer Link
American children consuming too many vitamins and minerals
Research Link
How Much is Too Much?

June 30, 2014
A review of seven studies concluded that increasing dietary fruit and vegetable intake does not promote weight loss. These researchers concluded that in addition to increasing fruits and vegetables, messages should also include the need to reduce calories from other foods. The researchers, however, failed to address the potential that increased fruit and vegetable intake may result in lower dietary protein - another important part of the successful weight loss formula.
Consumer Link
Fruits and Vegetables: Good for Health, Not Necessarily a Weight Loss Method
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print]

June 29, 2014
Drug induced liver injury also can be caused by some common herbal supplements. For example, green tea extract is known to cause liver injury when consumed in excess. To put this into perspective, the average cup of green tea has 50-150 mgs of the active catechin components, whereas some green tea extract pills contain over 700 mg. Taking this dose multiple times a day can be dangerous.
Consumer Link
Liver dangers from herbal supplements, OTC and RX drugs, new guidelines warn
Research Link
Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print]

June 28, 2014
Want to detox? New research indicates that Mom was right - eat your broccoli. Compounds found in broccoli and related plant foods contain substances that help the body detoxify and eliminate a variety of toxic compounds commonly found in our modern environment.
Consumer Link
Broccoli plant compound detoxifies air pollutants in the body
Research Link
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]

June 27, 2014
A one-year study of older women found that taking 200 mg per day of supplemental calcium (with about 1000 mg/day from diet) resulted in excessively high blood calcium in about one out of ten women and excessive urinary calcium levels in almost one out of three. Since this increases a variety of health risks, especially kidney stones, the researchers suggested that women should have blood and urine calcium levels checked prior to and three months after starting calcium supplementation. The vitamin D the women were also taking did not appear to affect the calcium levels.
Consumer Link
Some older women taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may need to reduce the dose
Research Link
Menopause. 2014 Jun 16. [Epub ahead of print]

June 26, 2014
Do you fall for all the "healthy" buzzwords? A study found that terms on food labels such as antioxidants, organic, gluten-free, and whole grains often are used to give an otherwise standard food or even not so healthy food the "healthy" halo.
Consumer Link
UH Research Focuses on How Food Marketing Creates a False Sense of Health
Research Link
Food Studies. 2014;3(1):9-18.

June 25, 2014
A study of women with heavy menstrual periods found that more than half of them were severely iron deficient. Iron supplementation improved health-related quality of life after a year of treatment with iron supplementation. However, it took five years to return iron stores to normal.
Consumer Link
Iron supplements improve anemia, quality of life for women with heavy periods
Research Link
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2014 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]

June 24, 2014
As we learn more about the mix of microorganisms living in our lower intestine, it grows increasingly evident that investigating the effect of the whole diet is more applicable than studying the effects of individual foods.
Consumer Link
White bread helps boost some of the gut's 'good' microbes
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 23, 2014
Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness in older people. There is increasing evidence that a diet with plenty of the long chain omega-3 fatty acids helps to prevent this common retinal problem. These fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are found in fish and algae oils.
Consumer Link
Omega-3 inhibits blood vessel growth in age-related macular degeneration
Research Link
PNAS. 2014 June 16. [Epub ahead of print]

June 22, 2014
In people with celiac disease, components of the gluten protein in wheat triggers a serious autoimmune reaction that damages intestinal cells. However, the effects of gluten are not limited to the intestinal tract. Many people with celiac disease experience other problems such as inflammatory skin reactions and even impaired mental function.
Consumer Link
Gluten-free diet relieves 'brain fog' in patients with Celiac disease
Research Link
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014 May 28. [Epub ahead of print]

June 21, 2014
Using an obese and insulin resistant mouse model, researchers found that supplementation with retinoic acid (a compound formed in the body from vitamin A) reduced the accumulation of body fat (especially abdominal fat). Retinoic acid also helped to normalize blood sugar levels and improve cardiovascular health. Retinoic acid is toxic at even moderately high doses (like the retinol form of vitamin A), so we have much to learn before this research is applied to humans.
Consumer Link
Vitamin A derivative potentially treats type 2 diabetes and prevents its complications
Research Link
App Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 June. [Conference Abstract]

June 20, 2014
A review of research on vitamin D and mortality pooled the data from 32 studies. Their analysis indicated that greater blood levels of vitamin D were associated with a significant decrease in mortality. The greatest benefit was achieved at blood levels that require a daily intake of about 1,000 IU of vitamin D3. The recommended upper limit for vitamin D is 4,000 IU per day.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D, Tanning and All-cause Mortality
Research Link
Am J Public Health. 2014 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]

June 19, 2014
Type 2 diabetics experienced significant improvement in blood glucose control when they consumed whole wheat bread made with added Canola oil compared to regular whole wheat bread. The Canola oil bread had over 50 percent of its calories from fat.
Consumer Link
Canola oil may be an oil of choice for people with type 2 diabetes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2014 Jun 14. [Epub ahead of print]

June 18, 2014
Kombucha tea, is black tea with added sugar that is then fermented with a yeast and bacterial culture. Although it is promoted for its health benefits, there is little evidence that it is beneficial to people. Unless it is made under well-monitored conditions by knowledgeable preparers, the beverage can be dangerous to consume.
Consumer Link
Kombucha - Amazing for your health or just an overrated fermented drink?
Research Link
J Environ Health. 2013 Nov;76(4):8-11.

June 17, 2014
Early malnutrition is known to have many lasting and irreversible effects on growth and development. It appears that even the composition of the bacterial "microbiome" in the lower intestine fails to develop normally and may be adversely affected for many years, if not for life. The long-term health ramifications remain to be determined.
Consumer Link
How Malnutrition Affects the Microbiome
Research Link
Nature. 2014 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print]

June 16, 2014
Many nutrients are important for bone health. A new study adds vitamin B12 to the list. Detailed mouse research, confirmed by human study data, indicates that low vitamin B12 status in the mother impairs bone development in her offspring. Vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods. Vegan diets naturally lack the vitamin.
Consumer Link
Biological Process Behind Role of Vitamin B12 In Bone Formation Unraveled
Research Link
J Clin Invest. 2014 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]

June 15, 2014
Consuming a gluten-free diet is challenging for those with celiac disease. However, some protection against the damage from unintended gluten consumption may be available in the future. A 6-week study exposed people with celiac disease to daily gluten consumption. Those who consumed a specific gluten-digesting enzyme product together with the gluten-containing meals had no detectable intestinal damage.
Consumer Link
Potential new treatment may protect celiac patients from gluten-induced injury
Research Link
Gastroenterology. 2014 Jun;146(7):1649-58.

June 14, 2014
An analysis of data compiled from seven large studies found that the risk of having a stroke was significantly lower in study participants with the highest protein diets. These studies followed people for 10 to 18 years. Both animal and vegetative protein were associated with reduced risk, but animal protein was the most protective.
Consumer Link
Higher Protein Intake Linked to Reduced Stroke Risk
Research Link
Neurology. 2014 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

June 13, 2014
Gerontogens are factors that can accelerate the aging process. They include everything from arsenic and benzene exposure to sunlight, tobacco smoke, and, even psychological stress. More research is needed on these non-genetic factors that impact the aging process.
Consumer Link
Scientists Urge Study of Environmental Factors That May Speed Aging
Research Link
Trends Mol Med. 2014 May. [Epub ahead of print]

June 12, 2014
A study that fed supplements of lycopene (a colorful compound in tomatoes) to cardiovascular disease patients found that lycopene significantly improved the ability of their blood vessels to expand. Blood vessel widening helps to reduce the risk of heart attach or stroke.
Consumer Link
Tomato pill' improves function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease
Research Link
PLoS ONE 9(6): e99070.

June 11, 2014
It seems like exercise is good for just about everything. A new study found that regular exercise is associated with more diversity of the intestinal bacteria population. This is considered to be a good thing. It is not known why this occurs, but the greater food consumption of active people may play a role.
Consumer Link
Gut bacteria diversity improves with exercise, study shows
Research Link
Gut. June 2014 [Epub Ahead of Print]

June 10, 2014
Adequate vitamin D status has been linked with a variety of aspects of positive health. However, there is a lack of good evidence that vitamin D is related to brain function and health in older people. The bottom line on vitamin D is probably like most everything else - get enough, but not too much and not too little.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D Blog: No Link to Brain Vessel Disease
Research Link
Eur J Neurol. 2014 May 21. [Epub ahead of print]

June 9, 2014
Growing evidence shows that a mother's diet affects the nutrient content of her breast milk. This also includes the non-nutrient, but beneficial phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin. In this respect, what the mother eats, so does the baby.
Consumer Link
Change is Constant: Even Breast Milk Varies with Dietary Intake
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print]

June 8, 2014
Bromine is now known to be an essential nutrient. It is required for the formation of cross-linking between collagen protein molecules that form structural tissue components throughout the body. We are likely consuming plenty of bromine, however there are some medical conditions that may require supplementation with the element.
Consumer Link
VU investigators confirm bromine’s critical role in tissue development
Research Link
Cell. 2014 Jun 5;157(6):1380-1392.

June 7, 2014
Step one in nutrition is meeting essential nutrient needs. Most nutritionists agree that the ideal way to accomplish this is by eating the amounts and types of foods that provide all of these nutrients in adequate amounts. Unfortunately, many people do not consume diets that are adequate to meet recommended amounts of several key nutrients. For these people, a nutritional supplement can be very important for long term health.
Consumer Link
The value of vitamin, mineral supplements: the debate is far from over
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Jun 3;160(11):807

June 6, 2014
Resveratrol, a phytochemical in red grapes and peanuts, has been shown to have some beneficial effects on the body. However, a new study indicates that resveratrol supplements during pregnancy may be harmful to the developing fetus. A study with Japanese macaque monkeys found that monkeys that consumed resveratrol supplemented diets during pregnancy gave birth to infants with abnormal pancreases.
Consumer Link
Healthy' component of red wine, resveratrol, causes pancreatic abnormalities in fetuses
Research Link
FASEB J. 2014 Feb 21. [Epub ahead of print]

June 5, 2014
Reduced risk of heart attacks has been linked to habitual consumption of moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages (one or two drinks per day). Now, a large research meta-analysis also indicates that similar moderate alcohol consumption is linked with decreased risk of ischemic stroke (blockage of blood flow to a part of the brain).
Consumer Link
Have a drink or two — but no more — to reduce risk of stroke
Research Link
Int J Cardiol. 2014 Apr 26. [Epub ahead of print]

June 4, 2014
A study using female mice found that even a four to five day period of low zinc in the diet just prior to ovulation can seriously impair embryonic development. Zinc is a nutrient that we need regularly because the body does not store it well. To allow for limitations on zinc absorption from vegetarian diets, the Institute of Medicine recommends that vegetarian diets need to contain 50 percent more zinc than omnivorous diets.
Consumer Link
Zinc deficiency before conception disrupts fetal development
Research Link
Biol Reprod. 2014 Apr 25;90(4):83.

June 3, 2014
Increased DNA damage is a sign of aging. A recent study found that the amount of damaged DNA in the sperm of older men was lower in those who consumed more of some of the key antioxidant nutrients. These included vitamins C and E, folate and zinc.
Consumer Link
Nutrition Tied to Improved Sperm DNA Quality in Older Men
Research Link
Fertil Steril. 2012 Nov;98(5):1130-7.

June 2, 2014
The free period for the National Hearing Test has been extended to June 15. This test is an accurate, validated hearing test, developed with funding from NIH. This screening is taken over a telephone to help determine the need for a complete hearing evaluation.
Consumer Link
Test your hearing via phone during free screening period
Research Link
The National Hearing Test

June 1, 2014
Vitamin D deficiency was found in 49 percent of 250 stroke patients compared to 32 percent of a control group. Although you cannot conclude from this that vitamin D deficiency causes strokes, it is one more of many links between vitamin D status and health.
Consumer Link
Lack of vitamin D raises stroke risk
Research Link
J Stroke. 2014 Jan;16(1):44-50.

May 31, 2014
The fish oil omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA function in the body in ways that are expected to benefit cardiovascular health. Although this may be the case in general, taking fish oil supplements after the age of 50 did not show any significant benefit in a study of over 4000 people.
Consumer Link
Supplements not associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in elderly
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2014 May 1;174(5):763-71.

May 30, 2014
It is known that the iron needs are increased by athletic training. This is especially a concern in female athletes. A systematic review of research on iron supplementation of female athletes found substantial evidence for iron supplementation improving performance. They concluded that both preventing and treating iron deficiency is important for female athletes.
Consumer Link
Iron Supplementation is Beneficial for Female Athletes
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144(6):906-14.

May 29, 2014
It seems that many people don't know that gluten is just a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people have an allergy-like reaction to this protein that damages their intestinal lining (celiac disease) and may cause other problems as well. Gluten does not seem to cause any health problems in people that do not have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Consumer Link
Gluten: Friend or Foe?
Research Link
Nutrients. 2010 Jan;2(1):16-34.

May 28, 2014
Smoking tobacco during pregnancy adversely affects fetal lung development and increases the risk of developing asthma. Vitamin C supplementation (500 mg/day) of pregnant women who were unable or unwilling to stop smoking, helped to decrease the effects of smoking on respiratory health of the infants.
Consumer Link
Vitamin C Supplements as a Strategy to Improve Infant Lung Function
Research Link
JAMA. 2014 May 18. [Epub ahead of print]

May 27, 2014
Studies in mice show that supplementing the diet with the alpha-tochopherol form of vitamin E improves lung function, but the gamma-form worsens lung function. A newly published study of over 4500 people followed for 20 years found a similar relationship in humans. Other studies have found health benefits associated with both the alpha and gamma forms of vitamin E. Therefore Including a variety of vegetable oils in the diet is likely the best option to maintain a balanced intake of the various forms of vitamin E.
Consumer Link
Vitamin E-rich oils linked to lung inflammation
Research Link
Respir Res. 2014 Mar 15;15:31.

May 26, 2014
A woman's diet prior to pregnancy may affect the birth and health of her infant. According to a recent study, women who consumed a diet with more high protein foods and fruits were less likely to have preterm births than women who consumed diets that were high in sugar, fat and refined foods and those who consumed primarily vegetarian type diets.
Consumer Link
Poor diet before pregnancy linked with preterm birth
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]

May 25, 2014
A double-blind, placebo controlled study with 408 asthmatic patients with low vitamin D status, found that supplementation with vitamin D was no better than a placebo in the treatment of asthma. There also were no negative effects from vitamin D supplementation.
Consumer Link
Asthma: vitamin D supplements 'do not improve symptoms or treatment'
Research Link
JAMA. 2014 May 18. [Epub ahead of print]

May 24, 2014
Many Americans consume low protein meals in their early and mid-day meals and consume most of their protein in their evening meal. New research demonstrates that consuming moderate amounts of protein at each of three meals a day is much better for supporting muscle protein synthesis and maintenance of muscle tissue. This is especially important for maintaining a healthy body composition and bone mass in older people.
Consumer Link
For maximum muscle health we need a full serving of protein at each meal
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144(6):876-80.

May 23, 2014
A study of over 1000 mothers and their children found that a child was more likely to have asthma at age seven if their mother's intake of some key nutrients, especially choline and folic acid, were low during the first trimester of pregnancy. Eggs are a rich source of choline. Good folic acid sources include green vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils.
Consumer Link
Maternal Dietary Methyl Donors May Decrease Risk of Childhood Asthma: Presented at ATS
Research Link
Am Thoracic Soc Conf 2014 (abstract) [Publication Page: A5118]

May 22, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new sweetener called advantame. It is similar to aspartame in chemical structure, but is about 100 times sweeter than aspartame and 20,000–37,000 times sweeter than sucrose. Since extremely small amounts are needed as a sweetener, there is no risk for people with phenylketonuria and no requirement for a label statement for those with PKU.
Consumer Link
FDA Approves New High-Intensity Sweetener Advantame
Research Link
WHO Food Additives Series: 68; 2013.

May 21, 2014
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in oily fish. It is a major structural and functional component of the brain that plays important essential roles in brain function. A new review of scientific studies found evidence that adequate amounts of DHA in the diet may enhance recovery from mild traumatic brain injuries such as those that can occur in sports.
Consumer Link
Could Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Reduce Sports-Related Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
Research Link
Adv Nutr. 2014 May 14;5(3):268-277. doi: 10.3945/an.113.005280. Print 2014 May.

May 20, 2014
Does coffee give you heartburn? A study with nine volunteers found that dark roast coffee triggers less stomach acid secretion than medium roast.
Consumer Link
Is Coffee Giving You Heartburn? Try a Darker Roast!
Research Link
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]

May 19, 2014
Some people joke that they consume only one to two alcoholic drinks a day on average, consuming them all on Saturday. New research on the effects of binge drinking shows that this is not a good idea. They found that consuming four to five drinks within a two hour period compromised the intestine in a way that caused bacterial toxins to enter the body and show up in the blood.
Consumer Link
Single episode of binge drinking can adversely affect health, according to new study
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 May 14;9(5):e96864.

May 18, 2014
A new study with type 2 diabetics found that consuming a diet providing 500 calories below needs was more effective at supporting weight loss and positive metabolic changes when participants consumed two meals a day compared to the same amount of calories consumed in six meals a day.
Consumer Link
Diabetics: Two large meals better than 6 small meals with same calories for controlling weight, blood sugar
Research Link
Diabetologia, May 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 17, 2014
Nitrate and nitrite are a food additives that turn out to have beneficial effects in the body. These are used to inhibit microbial growth in foods like hot dogs. As it turns out, spinach contains about 80 times as much nitrate as hot dogs and beets have about 25 times as much. In the body, nitrates and nitrites are used to produce nitric oxide which helps to lower blood pressure.
Consumer Link
Once-maligned nitrates, nitrites touted as beneficial
Research Link
Annu Rev Nutr. 2013;33:129-59.

May 16, 2014
Some studies indicate that resveratrol (a compound found in red grapes, some berries, chocolate, and peanuts) helps to reduce inflammation in the body. However, a recent Italian study suggests that the amounts of resveratrol consumed in the diet do not reduce measures of inflammation nor enhance longevity.
Consumer Link
Diets rich in antioxidant resveratrol fail to reduce deaths, heart disease or cancer
Research Link
JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 15, 2014
Coffee is a complex mixture of natural compounds, only one of which is caffeine. New research indicates that some of these compounds appear to benefit the health of the retina in the eye. Consequently, reasonable consumption of coffee may help to prevent conditions like macular degeneration that commonly occur with aging.
Consumer Link
Can coffee protect our eyesight?
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Dec 20. [Epub ahead of print]

May 14, 2014
A new study conducted in the United Kingdom found that the diagnosis of celiac disease (autoimmune reaction to gluten) increased fourfold during the past 20 years. However, the diagnosis of a related skin condition (dermatitis herpetiformis) decreased by more than 50 percent. The researchers speculate that this may be due to earlier diagnosis of celiac disease preventing progression to dermatitis symptoms.
Consumer Link
Coeliac UK announces fourfold increase in the rate of diagnosed cases of coeliac disease in the UK
Research Link
Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 May;109(5):757-68.

May 13, 2014
A study of women age 70 and older found that those who typically slept significantly less or more than average were more likely to have impaired mental function.
Consumer Link
Study: Sleeping less than 5 hours, or more than 9, can lead to cognitive decline
Research Link
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 May 1. [Epub ahead of print]

May 12, 2014
Ear infections are a common problem in young children. Before prescribing antibiotics, doctors generally recommend watchful waiting to see if the infection will clear on its own. Parents often want to use alternative therapies during this waiting period. However, since infections often clear up on their own, it is easy to give credit to an alternative therapy when it actually had nothing to do with resolution of the problem.
Consumer Link
Ear infection treatment: Do alternative therapies work?
Research Link
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2013 Jun;77(6):926-31.

May 11, 2014
New research reports that increased carbon dioxide levels in the air can cause common staple grain foods to have reduced levels of zinc, iron, and protein. Since the supply of these nutrients already is limited in many parts of the world, we need to seek ways to prevent this from causing massive nutrient deficiencies in the future.
Consumer Link
Rising CO2 poses significant threat to human nutrition
Research Link
Nature 07 May 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 10, 2014
Supplementation with the amino acid glutamine often is used to benefit intestinal health and immune function in seriously compromised patients. However, a new study found that those with organ failure, especially kidney failure, should not be given supplemental glutamine.
Consumer Link
Glutamine supplements in ICU may increase risk of patient death
Research Link
JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2014 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]

May 9, 2014
Nonceliac gluten sensitivity (sensitivity to gluten in wheat and similar grains that does not meet diagnostic criteria of celiac disease), was found in one out of four people who thought they were gluten sensitive. In other words, a gluten-free diet relieved health problems in 25 percent of these people.
Consumer Link
Many people with gluten sensitivity haven’t had proper tests
Research Link
Nutr Clin Pract April 16, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 8, 2014
We hear plenty about concerns for high blood pressure, but excessively low blood pressure (hypotension) can cause serious health problems as well. Symptoms can include dizziness or light-headedness, blurry vision, confusion, weakness, fatigue, and/or nausea. Older people, especially, are more at risk for experiencing hypotension after they have eaten a meal.
Consumer Link
What Is Hypotension?
Research Link
J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Mar 12. pii: S1525-8610(14)00073-5.

May 7, 2014
A meta-analysis type of review of over 30 years of research concluded that children with autism spectrum disorder have a greater prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms than other children. Currently, it is not known why this is the case, but it may be a clue to help determine the potential causes of the condition.
Consumer Link
Gastro Woes More Common in Kids With Autism: Review
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2014 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print]

May 6, 2014
A study following over 25,000 U.S. adults for about 10 years found that those taking statin drugs for reducing blood cholesterol were heavier in weight and consuming more calories and fat than those not taking statins. This was not the case at the beginning of the study, only toward the end of the study period in 2010. Apparently, it is important for statin users to have dietary guidance along with drug treatment.
Consumer Link
Statin Users Eating More Bad Food Than a Decade Ago, Study Shows
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]

May 5, 2014
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing among children and teenagers in the United States. Type 1 diabetes rose 21 percent between 2001 and 2009 and type 2 diabetes increased 30 percent.
Consumer Link
Rise in Type 1, 2 diabetes among US youths: study
Research Link
JAMA. 2014;311(17):1778-1786.

May 4, 2014
We cannot digest dietary fiber, but some of it can be broken down and used for energy by bacteria in the colon. New research indicates that one of the bacterial byproducts of fiber utilization, called acetate, is absorbed into our body . This is a normal molecule that we also produce in the body, but increased levels of acetate in the blood can enter the brain and affect appetite centers in a way that tends to reduce calorie intake.
Consumer Link
Discovery of anti-appetite molecule released by fibre could help tackle obesity
Research Link
Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 29;5:3611.

May 3, 2014
A review of 20 randomized controlled trials that included almost 30,000 people came to the conclusion that supplementation with vitamin D with or without calcium does not significantly alter the relative risk of falling. Other studies that have shown beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation have generally focused on bone fractures rather than falls.
Consumer Link
Does the Latest Vitamin D Meta-Analysis Cast Doubt on Vitamin D Recommendations?
Research Link
Lancet Diab Endo. 24 April 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

May 2, 2014
The Mediterranean diet has become a "catch phrase" for a diet based on a wide variety of wholesome foods that includes a balance of just about everything. The key foods include grains, beans, dairy foods, fish, poultry, a bit of red meat, and plenty of fruits and vegetables. One of the benefits of eating this way appears to be reduced inflammation in the body.
Consumer Link
Study further illuminates heart-healthy benefits of Mediterranean diet
Research Link
Blood. 2014 Mar 31. [Epub ahead of print]

May 1, 2014
A study that followed over 600,000 women for about nine years found no difference in overall cancer occurrence in those who at primarily organic food compared to those who did not. However, the researchers did find a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in those mostly or always consuming organic foods. Other studies are needed to determine if this observation was based on chance alone and if it has a logical explanation.
Consumer Link
Organic food does not reduce women's risk of cancer
Research Link
Br J Cancer. 2014 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print]

April 30, 2014
There is more good news for coffee drinkers. A very large study found that those who increased their coffee intake during a four-year study period were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not change coffee consumption. Those who decreased their coffee drinking during the study were more likely to develop diabetes.
Consumer Link
Increasing consumption of coffee associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds
Research Link
Diabetologia, April 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

April 29, 2014
New research finds that requirements for the essential nutrient choline can vary among individuals due to genetic differences. Consequently, some people with different ethnic and racial backgrounds may have substantially greater needs for choline than others. It can be difficult to meet the current choline recommendations without including eggs in the diet, and this study indicates that recommendations may need to be increased.
Consumer Link
Dietary guidelines for choline may be insufficient
Research Link
FASEB J. 2014 Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print]

April 28, 2014
Children diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome are 4 times more likely to have celiac disease than other children. Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by uncomfortable or painful intestinal sensations that typically improve with defecation, and are associated with a change in stool frequency and stool form.
Consumer Link
Bowel Illnesses Sometimes Coincide in Kids
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Apr 21. [Epub ahead of print]

April 27, 2014
When 12 healthy volunteers consumed a drink containing 27.5 g of green tea extract and had their brain scanned by functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers were able to observe enhanced activity in brain locations involved in working memory. The participants also performed better on a variety of memory tasks. This study used a pharmacological dose of green tea extract that could have serious side-effects in some people, especially if consumed in this amount on an ongoing basis. In other words, "Don't try this at home!"
Consumer Link
Green tea may boost our working memory
Research Link
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2014 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]

April 26, 2014
An analysis of 25 studies on health risks associated with sodium intake (data on 274,683 people in total) found that both low and high intake of sodium were associated with health problems. None of the 25 studies indicated that a low-sodium intake had beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. This study indicated that a safe range for daily adult sodium intake is 2,645 to 4,945 mg. There is growing evidence that we need to re-assess public health recommendations regarding sodium and salt intake.
Consumer Link
CDC sodium intake guidelines 'excessively and unrealistically low'
Research Link
Am J Hypertens. 2014 Apr 1. [Epub ahead of print]

April 25, 2014
To achieve or maintain a healthy body weight can be challenging if it requires a low calorie intake. Consuming adequate protein in combination with resistance exercise (strength training) seems to be the best way to conserve lean muscle tissue and lose body fat.
Consumer Link
Whey protein consumption may lead to significant decreases in body weight and body fat and significant increases in lean body mass
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2014 Apr;33(2):163-75.

April 24, 2014
The essential trace mineral chromium functions in the body to enhance insulin function and support normal glucose uptake into insulin-sensitive cells in tissues like muscle and adipose. Like most nutrients, consuming more than adequate amounts of chromium does not appear to boost its function nor benefit the body's handling of glucose.
Consumer Link
Are chromium supplements helpful in lowering blood sugar levels?
Research Link
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Jan;157(1):1-8.

April 23, 2014
It is challenging to collect accurate records of people's food intake for research purposes. To deal with this limitation, scientists are finding that the blood levels of various substances can be used as indicators of the usual consumption of some specific types of foods and nutrients.
Consumer Link
Advancing nutritional epidemiology to a whole new level?
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

April 22, 2014
After bariatric surgery, major dietary and lifestyle adjustments are necessary to maintain weight loss and health. Serious nutrient deficiencies can occur due to limited food intake and malabsorption of nutrients.
Consumer Link
Bariatric surgery can lead to deficiencies in nutrition
Research Link
Annu Rev Nutr. 2013;33:183-203.

April 21, 2014
The foundation of good nutrition is consuming the right variety and proportions of foods to meet essential nutrient needs. However, during the past 35 years, much of the public health focus switched to more of a focus on "good" and "bad" foods. Unfortunately, many of the foods deemed to be "bad" foods (eggs, butter, red meats and dairy foods) also are key sources of essential nutrients.
Consumer Link
Focus on good and bad foods has unintended consequences
Research Link
McGovern Report - FatHeadMovie Exerpt

April 20, 2014
It is well established that, immediately after an infant is born, clamping of the umbilical cord should be delayed for about two minutes to maximize blood transfer from the mother to the baby. A new study found that the baby does not need to be held at the level of the vagina (and placenta) as previously recommended. Equivalent blood transfer occurs when the baby is held on the mother's abdomen or chest.
Consumer Link
The Lancet: Changing Where a Baby Is Held Immediately After Birth Could Lead to Improved Uptake of Procedure That Reduces Infant Iron Deficiency
Research Link
The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 17 April 2014 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60197-5

April 19, 2014
Banning chocolate milk in school meals to cut back on sugar has been debated for decades. A recent study of 11 schools that stopped offering chocolate milk found that (after one year) there was an overall 10% decrease in milk sales and a 29% increase in milk waste. This change would also decrease the calcium and protein consumed.
Consumer Link
Surprising consequences of banning chocolate milk
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Apr 16;9(4):e91022.

April 18, 2014
Iron continues to be the most commonly deficient nutrient in the U.S. Even without anemia, iron deficiency can have many serious effects on the health of young and old alike.
Consumer Link
Neglecting your iron intake can lead to serious problems
Research Link
Adv Nutr. 2011 Mar;2(2):112-21.

April 17, 2014
Analysis and characterization of the bacterial composition of fecal matter from of a modern hunter-gatherer community (the Hadza of Tanzania), found that these people had a much greater variety of bacterial species in their lower intestines than urban-living Italians. Researchers consider gut bacterial diversity to be healthful and think that we may have a lot to learn about how the environmental and dietary factors in the Hadza lifestyle may affect various types of disease risk.
Consumer Link
Lifestyle determines gut microbes: Study with modern hunter-gatherers tells tale of bacteria co-evolution
Research Link
Nature Communications. 2014;5:3654.

April 16, 2014
Quinoa is a grain-like food that has become increasingly popular in the U.S. during the past five years or so. It is a good source of some nutrients. However, quinoa also is high in oxalate and should be avoided by people that are predisposed to forming calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Consumer Link
5 Things to Know About Quinoa
Research Link
J Alim Nutr. 2009;20(4):669-675

April 15, 2014
Cutting fat in the diet is not the simple answer to weight loss according to an extensive review of the research on weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. This likely is due to the fact that when fat calories are cut, more calories will be derived from carbohydrate. A high carbohydrate diet boosts insulin levels and helps to support fat storage. Both fats and carbohydrates in the diet are a good thing when consumed in the right proportions to meet your calorie needs.
Consumer Link
Low-fat does not guarantee diet success, review shows
Research Link
Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment, 2013.

April 14, 2014
Loss of muscle mass is common in older people. Animal research on a compound in green tomatoes (tomatidine) indicates that this substance is very effective at preventing muscle loss and boosting recovery of muscle mass. Although promising, it remains to be determined if tomatidine will have the same effect in people. So, don't expect your fried green tomatoes to bulk you up until we know more.
Consumer Link
Green tomatoes may hold the answer to bigger, stronger muscles
Research Link
J Biol Chem. 2014 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

April 13, 2014
A systematic review and meta-analysis of 24 studies concluded that iron supplementation significantly improves maximal and submaximal exercise performance of physically active women of reproductive age. Most of the studies reviewed were conducted with non-anemic women who had low iron stores (low serum ferritin).
Consumer Link
Taking iron improves women's exercise performance, study shows
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]

April 12, 2014
Recent indications that childhood obesity is on the decline in the U.S. were tempered by a new study that analyzed data from 1999 through 2012. They found no significant changes in obesity prevalence in the most recently available years. However, their data showed an upward trend in the prevalence of more severe forms of childhood obesity.
Consumer Link
Actually, kids are getting heavier in the US: study
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Apr 7.

April 11, 2014
Including beans and other legumes in the daily diet can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels according to a new review of 26 randomized, controlled trials. Like all good things, however, when over consumed, legumes can significantly reduce absorption of trace minerals like iron and zinc due to their high phytate content - therefore remember moderation!
Consumer Link
Daily serving of beans, peas, chickpeas or lentils can significantly reduce bad cholesterol
Research Link
CMAJ. 2014 Apr 7. [Epub ahead of print]

April 10, 2014
Olestra, also known by the brand name Olean, is a nonabsorbable fat substitute used in some reduced calorie foods. Since olestra can bind fat soluble substances and carry them out of the body, recent research indicates that consuming olestra can significantly reduce fat soluble toxins in the body such as PCBs. However, olestra also can bind fat-soluble vitamins and prevent their absorption too.
Consumer Link
Chips with olestra cause body toxins to dip, study finds
Research Link
J Nutr Biochem. 2014;25(4):483-488.

April 9, 2014
Based on a study of students at a large U.S. midwestern university, one out of two students who consume energy drinks daily also are taking prescription stimulant drugs such as Adderall (illegally without a prescription).
Consumer Link
A new risk for energy drink users.
Research Link
Substance Abuse. 2014;35:96–103.

April 8, 2014
Mix equal parts fact and fiction and you have the simple recipe for profitable sales in the dietary supplement business. It can be challenging to sort out fact from fiction, so seek guidance from knowledgeable health professionals when you are looking for reliable sources of dietary supplements.
Consumer Link
Telling safe supplements from snake oils
Research Link
N Engl J Med 2014; 370:1277-1280.

April 7, 2014
Soon, you will be able to check your blood cholesterol (and other things) using a device that works with your smart phone.
Consumer Link
New tech lets cholesterol-tracking smartphone users take lifesaving selfies
Research Link
Lab Chip. 2014 Feb 21;14(4):759-63.

April 6, 2014
Vitamin D levels were found to be lower in children with type 1 diabetes than in other children. Researchers encourage vitamin D supplementation as early as possible when a child is showing indications of type 1 diabetes.
Consumer Link
Type 1 diabetes: Vitamin D deficiency occurs in early stage
Research Link
Diabetologia. 2014 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print]

April 5, 2014
The first several months of a baby's life can be a period of great joy for a mother. However, this postpartum period also carries a high risk of postpartum depression for new mothers. This condition may be preventable in many cases because it is potentially caused by postpartum iron deficiency that occurs in almost 50 percent of the women in some racial/ethnic groups.
Consumer Link
Low iron after pregnancy a problem for many women
Research Link
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jul;193(1):36-44.

April 4, 2014
The increased prevalence of autism may be linked to compromised vitamin D status according to new research. The researchers found that the synthesis of a key neurotransmitter (serotonin) is affected by vitamin D. They also emphasize that an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and iron likely contributes to the prevention and the potential treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
Consumer Link
Research by CHORI Scientists Indicates Causal Link between Vitamin D, Serotonin Synthesis and Autism
Research Link
FASEB J. 2014 Feb 20. [Epub ahead of print]

April 3, 2014
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert panel unanimously recommended approval of a new at-home stool test that screens for colorectal cancer. The test, called Cologuard, has more than a 90 percent accuracy rate for correctly identifying the presence of colorectal cancer. This type of cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women 50 years of age and older.
Consumer Link
FDA Panel Recommends At-Home Colon Cancer Test
Research Link
FDA Executive Summary: March 27, 2014 (PDF - 559KB)

April 2, 2014
The 2013 guidelines of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association expand the indications for statin therapy to an extent that almost 50 percent of all U.S. adults qualify for treatment. It also is estimated that about 80 percent of these statin qualified adults are people without cardiovascular disease. Where do preventive nutrition and lifestyle approaches fit into this equation?
Consumer Link
Questioning Medical Recommendations on Drugs vs Multivitamin Supplements
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2014 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print]

April 1, 2014
Don't tell villains that dwell on the dark side, but researchers have proposed that the reason that good generally triumphs over evil is because the villains are likely deficient in vitamin D! Honest, this is not just an April Fool's joke, there is a real journal reference for this daily tip.
Consumer Link
Hobbit villains hobbled by 'vitamin D deficiency'
Research Link
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (11): 805-806.

March 31, 2014
Requiring fruits and vegetables to be placed on each child's tray in school food service can result in about 70% of these items ending up in the trash. Helping children learn about and taste fruits and vegetables so that they will choose them represents a more effective and less wasteful approach to promoting diets that meet nutrient needs.
Consumer Link
School Lunch Programs, Nutrition Adequacy, and Sustainability
Research Link
Public Health Nutr. 2013 Dec;16(12):2281-8.

March 30, 2014
A new study found that marinating meat in beer before cooking on a charcoal grill reduced the formation of potential carcinogens during cooking. Previous studies have found similar benefits from marination with wine or tea.
Consumer Link
Beer marinade could reduce levels of potentially harmful substances in grilled meats
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Mar 18. [Epub ahead of print]

March 29, 2014
A study evaluating the effects of a soda tax on body weight found that the tax had little or no impact. Apparently, when people consume less sugar-sweetened soda, they make up for the calories with other foods. However, it would be interesting to see if the new sources of calories improve nutrient intake.
Consumer Link
Soda tax does little to decrease obesity, study shows
Research Link
Health Econ. 2014 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]

March 28, 2014
Blood folate (folic acid) levels in women can be decreased significantly by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight according to a new study conducted in Australia. Since good folic acid nutrition is critical during pregnancy, further understanding of this effect is important.
Consumer Link
UV exposure found to lower folate levels in young women
Research Link
J Photochem Photobiol B. 2014 Feb 5;131:90-5.

March 27, 2014
Many people feel that essential nutrients are only available from fresh produce. However, a recent study from Michigan State University analyzed nutrient data from more than 40 scientific studies and concluded that frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are cost-effective and provide quality nutrition for meeting nutrient needs.
Consumer Link
The benefits on nutrition, cost and safety of canned foods
Research Link
Am J Lifestyle Med. Feb 27, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 26, 2014
Fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and coffee were the main contributors to dietary antioxidants found to reduce the risk of developing cataracts in a large Swedish study of older women.
Consumer Link
Antioxidants, Vitamins, Carotenoids and Eye Health
Research Link
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014 Mar 1;132(3):247-52.

March 25, 2014
Many proponents of raw milk have claimed that it reduces the symptoms of lactose intolerance when compared to pasteurized milk. A researcher tested this in 16 lactose intolerant individuals and found no difference in symptoms and breath hydrogen levels (a measure of lactose maldigestion) between raw and pasteurized milk. Another urban myth goes down. The only well established difference is that pasteurized milk is safer to consume.
Consumer Link
Claim that raw milk reduces lactose intolerance doesn't pass smell test, study finds
Research Link
Ann Fam Med. 2014 Mar-Apr;12(2):134-41.

March 24, 2014
It has been proposed that vitamin E helps to prevent prostate cancer. Supplementation trials, however, have provided inconsistent evidence for this. A new study indicates that genetic variations can affect vitamin E handling in the body and vitamin E levels in the blood. Consequently, future studies should measure both vitamin E consumption and blood levels of the vitamin.
Consumer Link
Prostate Cancer and Vitamin E – The Forgotten “Nutrient of Concern”
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Mar 12. [Epub ahead of print]

March 23, 2014
People with depressive symptoms often have low vitamin D status. However, vitamin D supplementation does not consistently help to treat depression. It is possible that vitamin D status is low in some people due to low iron status (when measured by blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D). The liver's capacity to produce 25-hydroxyvitamin D is dependent on iron-containing enzymes. It is known that iron deficiency can cause depression. So, it is possible that low iron status could simultaneously cause depression and low vitamin D status. We need a balance of all the essential nutrients.
Consumer Link
Study finds no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression
Research Link
Psychosom Med. 2014 Mar 14. [Epub ahead of print]

March 22, 2014
As people get older, calorie needs generally decline, but protein needs do not decline and may even increase. A new study out of Japan followed over 1000 people (mostly in their late 60s) for seven years and found that men who consumed more animal protein were more likely to maintain higher-level functional capacities that included social and intellectual aspects as well as measures related to common activities of daily living.
Consumer Link
Diets high in animal protein may help prevent functional decline in elderly individuals
Research Link
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Mar;62(3):426-34.

March 21, 2014
Using over 30,000 women from the prospective Swedish Mammography Cohort study, it was found that supplementing the diet with vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, zinc and copper reduced the 5-year risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 25% and risk reduction increased to 34% by 10 years.
Consumer Link
Antioxidants, Vitamins, Carotenoids and Eye Health
Research Link
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014 Mar 1;132(3):247-52.

March 20, 2014
A recent analysis of medical record data of almost 2000 autistic children found a higher rate of seizures among children with autism when they were fed infant formula containing soy protein rather than milk protein. This association was more likely in autistic girls, however, most of the children in the study were boys.
Consumer Link
Potential association between soy formula, seizures in children with autism
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 12;9(3):e80488.

March 19, 2014
Daily supplementation of postmenopausal women for two years with 1000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D3 benefited blood lipid levels by increasing HDL cholesterol, lowering LDL cholesterol, and reducing triglycerides. The researchers concluded that these health benefits were primarily due to improved vitamin D status.
Consumer Link
Calcium and vitamin D improve cholesterol in postmenopausal women
Research Link
Menopause. 2014 Mar 3. [Epub ahead of print]

March 18, 2014
A 24-week study of glucosamine supplementation of people with mild to moderate pain in one or both knees found that there was no difference between the supplement and a placebo pill.
Consumer Link
Glucosamine fails to prevent deterioration of knee cartilage, decrease pain
Research Link
Arthritis & Rheumatology.March 11, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 17, 2014
Resveratrol is a polyphenolic compound found in dark grapes, red wine, and peanuts in amounts that are generally less than one or two milligrams per typical serving. A recent study of obese men found that 30 days of taking a daily supplement containing 150 milligrams of resveratrol reduced fat cell size. Stay tuned to see what other studies may find.
Consumer Link
Aaahhh, the Joys (and Science) of Resveratrol and Red Wine
Research Link
Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print]

March 16, 2014
Research published over 50 years ago launched an era of recommendations to cut back on fat, especially saturated fat. As a consequence of cutting fat, carbohydrate intake increased along with polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils. Reanalysis of this older research along with newer research results indicates that getting back to a more balanced, lower carbohydrate diet is likely better for overall reduction in chronic disease risk.
Consumer Link
Low saturated fat diets don't curb heart disease risk or help you live longer
Research Link
Open Heart 2014;1: doi:10.1136/openhrt-2013-000032

March 15, 2014
Feeling anxious or depressed lately? Research indicates that exercise can be an effective antidote for these mental/emotional problems. Make your muscles happy and the brain will follow.
Consumer Link
Exercise for physical, mental fitness
Research Link
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006 Jan;38(1):173-8.

March 14, 2014
Derived from fish and some algae oils, the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a major component of the brain and other neural tissues in the body. In a controlled trial with children who had sleeping problems, a DHA supplement improved the children's sleep significantly. Larger studies are needed to confirm this effect of DHA.
Consumer Link
Higher levels of omega-3 in diet are associated with better sleep, study shows
Research Link
J Sleep Res. 8 MAR 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 13, 2014
A meta-analysis of five studies concluded that the death rate from breast cancer was much lower in women who had good vitamin D status at the time of diagnosis when compared to those with low vitamin D status.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D increases breast cancer patient survival, study shows
Research Link
Anticancer Res. 2014 Mar;34(3):1163-6.

March 12, 2014
It has been suggested that unrealistic images of beautiful people in popular media may trigger eating disorders in susceptible individuals. Now, a study found that heavy use of Facebook may have a similar effect. Presumably, this is because people generally share what makes them look their best.
Consumer Link
Is Facebook obsession tied to eating disorders?
Research Link
Int J Eat Disord. 24 JAN 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 11, 2014
Children who were iron deficient upon adoption from institutions were found to be more likely to have a low IQ when IQ was assessed at the age of about three years, one year after their adoption.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency important to assess in children adopted from institutional settings
Research Link
Child Dev. 2014 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]

March 10, 2014
A recent scientific workshop evaluated the associations between red and processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer. The workshop emphasized that research results about disease links with individual foods can be misleading when not considered within the context of a balanced diet that meets nutrient needs.
Consumer Link
Eating red, processed meat: What scientists say
Research Link
Meat Science. 2014 24 February. [Epub ahead of print]

March 9, 2014
A new meta-analysis of the effects of dietary fructose intake on fatty liver problems in humans indicates that fructose only is a problem when calorie intake is excessive. Excess calorie intake from other carbohydrate sources appears to cause the same problems as excess fructose.
Consumer Link
Fructose not responsible for increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Research Link
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print]

March 8, 2014
Middle-aged, overweight men, who consumed 70 grams (2.5 ounces) of dark chocolate per day for four weeks, had changes in blood vessel function that decreased their risk of cardiovascular disease. This may lead to the development of a drug that can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, we will just need to eat dark chocolate.
Consumer Link
Why dark chocolate is good for your heart
Research Link
FASEB J. 2014 Mar;28(3):1464-73. doi: 10.1096/fj.13-239384. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

March 7, 2014
When garlic bulbs are left around too long, they begin to sprout with green shoots. Most of us toss them out at that point. However, a new study stresses that these sprouting garlic bulbs are higher in antioxidant components. The study did not provide a comparison of sprouted garlic's culinary attributes compared to regular garlic. Feeling adventurous?
Consumer Link
Don’t throw out old, sprouting garlic — it has heart-healthy antioxidants
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Feb 26;62(8):1875-80.

March 6, 2014
Including fish in the diet has often been shown to have health benefits. A new study reports that increasing fish in the diet resulted in increased levels of the more protective larger HDL particles in the blood.
Consumer Link
Increased intake of fish can boost good cholesterol levels
Research Link
PLoS One. 2014 Feb 28;9(2):e90352.

March 5, 2014
Two of the colorful compounds in fruits and vegetables are called lutein and zeaxanthin. Although these are not considered to be essential nutrients, it does appear that these compounds are very important for health of the retina in the aging eye.
Consumer Link
On a Slow Monday, is the Solution More Lutein and Zeaxanthin?
Research Link
Nutrients. 2014;6(3):974-984.

March 4, 2014
Wheat is a major staple in 97.4% of countries around the world along with rice (in 90.8%) and soy (in 74.3%). This reduction of food crop diversity has heightened interdependence among countries in relation to availability and access to these food sources. Decreased diversity in key staple foods increases the risk of future famine.
Consumer Link
Global food supply grows increasingly homogeneous, study says
Research Link
PNAS. Jan 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

March 3, 2014
Nutrition research attempts to determine the optimal levels of nutrient intake. However, translating nutrient information into guidelines on what foods to eat can be complicated. This is especially true with a nutrient like sodium. To concurrently meet the low recommendations for sodium and high recommendations for potassium is very rarely achieved by adults in the U.S.
Consumer Link
Government Sodium Guidelines: Are They Possible To Follow?
Research Link
Nutr Res. 2013 Mar;33(3):188-94.

March 2, 2014
Choline is essential for normal function of all cells, including brain cells. The intake of choline by older children, men, women, and pregnant women is far below recommended adequate intake levels. Two of the richest sources of choline are eggs and meat.
Consumer Link
Get to know choline's essential role
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.

March 1, 2014
A large supplementation study on selenium and vitamin E concluded that selenium supplementation did not reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men with low selenium levels and it increased risk in those with high selenium levels. The study also found that vitamin E should not be taken in levels above recommended daily intakes.
Consumer Link
Selenium, Vitamin E Show No Benefits, Only Risks, for Prostate Cancer
Research Link
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print]

February 28, 2014
Muscle loss is common in older people. This condition, called sarcopenia, is not inevitable according to an Australian study of 100 women aged 60-90 years. Strength training helped build muscle, however, those who also consumed about five ounces of lean red meat six days a week had an 18 percent greater increase in muscle strength and gained an additional pound of muscle mass over a four-month period of study.
Consumer Link
Red meat and exercise could be the key to keeping body and mind in peak condition as we age
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]

February 27, 2014
Avoidance of milk products is associated with reduced bone density. Research indicates that most lactose intolerant people can consume up to 8 fluid ounces of milk without symptoms, especially when consumed with a meal. Don't like milk? Most cheeses contain little or no lactose and also are good sources of calcium.
Consumer Link
Even lactose intolerant can drink milk
Research Link
Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 192

February 26, 2014
The fear of getting too much iron in their diet seems to be causing many seniors to get too little iron. The health consequences of both extremes are serious. When making diet changes for health, remember iron is an essential nutrient.
Consumer Link
Seniors still need adequate iron for good health
Research Link
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Oct 1;62(7):1565-72.

February 25, 2014
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial provided a multivitamin supplement or placebo to 14,641 US male physicians 50 years of age or older. They were followed for an average of 11.2 years. In those taking the multivitamin, there was a modest and significant reduction in the risk of developing a cataract. The multivitamin consisted of Centrum Silver plus additional vitamins E and C.
Consumer Link
Daily multivitamin use could reduce cataract risk for men
Research Link
Ophthalmology. 2014 Feb;121(2):525-34.

February 24, 2014
Exercise is known to produce oxidative stress, especially in active muscle tissues. The research on using anti-oxidant supplements to decrease this stress has produced mixed results. It seems likely that athletes with adequate anti-oxidant nutrient status will not benefit from supplementation, but those with poor status may benefit.
Consumer Link
The Use of Antioxidant Vitamins For Exercise Performance
Research Link
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014 Feb 19;11(1):4.

February 23, 2014
A new study confirms older research that showed iron deficiency increases platelet aggregation, making the blood more "sticky." This is likely to increase the risk of having a stroke.
Consumer Link
Iron deficiency may increase stroke risk through sticky blood
Research Link
PLoS ONE 9(2): e88812.

February 22, 2014
Consuming adequate amounts of folic acid is important to overall health. However, taking high dose folic acid supplements can interfere with the timely diagnosis of vitamin B-12 deficiency that is common in older people and strict vegetarians.
Consumer Link
Taking folate supplements not for all
Research Link
Nutr Rev. 2004 Jun;62(6 Pt 2):S3-12.

February 21, 2014
During pregnancy, both vitamin A deficiency and excessive intake can be very damaging to the developing fetus. New results from a study using a mouse model found that vitamin A deficiency during pregnancy caused the offspring to have lung developmental problems that commonly trigger asthma.
Consumer Link
Potential link between prenatal vitamin A deficiency and postnatal asthma
Research Link
J Clin Invest. 2014 Feb 3;124(2):801-11.

February 20, 2014
A study of 42 people suffering from hives, a type of skin rash with red, itchy bumps, found that symptoms were significantly reduced by taking a vitamin D3 supplement of 4000 IU per day for 12 weeks. Those taking 600 IU per day had no improvement. Interestingly, there was no association between vitamin D blood levels and symptoms.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D provides relief for those with chronic hives, study shows
Research Link
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2014 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]

February 19, 2014
A recent study found that Americans who consumed the most dietary fiber obtained a substantial amount of their fiber from whole grains. The study's conclusion was that whole grain foods should be promoted to help Americans meet recommended fiber intake. For example, a cup of cooked oatmeal provides 4 grams of fiber. However, don't forget other high fiber foods. A cup of chili beans has about 15 grams of fiber.
Consumer Link
Getting More of the Good Stuff: Dietary Fiber
Research Link
Nutrition Research - 17 January 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

February 18, 2014
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a warning about Uncle Ben's infused rice products because some people were having negative reactions to them. Apparently, excessive amounts of the B vitamin, niacin were mistakenly added to the rice during the enrichment process. High dose niacin is known to cause symptoms similar to what was being experienced by those consuming the rice products.
Consumer Link
FDA warns against eating Uncle Ben’s infused rice products served at schools, restaurants
Research Link
Int J Clin Pract. 2013 Dec;67(12):1238-46. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12213. Epub 2013 Sep 15.

February 17, 2014
Some nutrition experts are extending their concerns about sugar-sweetened beverages to fruit juices that typically have about the same amount of sugar as sodas. Sorry Jamba Juice. But to top this off, the U.S. MyPlate system currently considers 1 cup of fruit or fruit juice and ½ cup of dried fruit to be equivalent. However, be careful. One cup of grapes has about 23 grams of sugar, a cup of grape juice has 36 grams of sugar, and a half cup of raisins has 45 grams of sugar. Any questions?
Consumer Link
Fruit juice 'as bad' as sugary drinks, say researchers
Research Link
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 10 February 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

February 16, 2014
A study of over 1000 Mexican-American children found that those who were overweight or obese had significantly lower blood levels of vitamin E and alpha and beta carotene. The study could not determine why these fat soluble nutrients were lower in children with more body fat, but the study does open some important questions that need further exploration.
Consumer Link
Serum Carotenoid & Vitamin E Concentrations: The ‘Canary in the Mine’ for Longterm Health?
Research Link
J Nutr. 2014 Feb 5. [Epub ahead of print]

February 15, 2014
If you woke up "feeling a little flushed" and all you indulged in last night was Valentine's Day chocolates, you may have over-consumed the compound theobromine. Although not a nutrient, theobromine can dilate blood vessels and stimulate the heart causing a "flushed" sensation.
Consumer Link
The benefits of chocolate
Research Link
Curr Hypertens Rep. 2006 Jun;8(3):205-11.

February 14, 2014
A 2-gram supplement of the amino acid tyrosine was found to enhance reactions that help you to stop - like stopping a car. The popular articles about this study suggest eating spinach or eggs to get this effect. However, according to USDA food data, to get the amount of tyrosine used in the study, you would need to consume about 5 cups of cooked spinach or 8 eggs. Don't try this at home . . . or anywhere else.
Consumer Link
Tyrosine helps you stop faster
Research Link
Neuropsychologia. 2014 Jan 13. [Epub ahead of print]

February 13, 2014
As a stimulant, it seems logical that caffeine might affect heart function. A new study indicates that caffeine may have positive effects on heart function by decreasing the risk of developing a fairly common heart rhythm problem called atrial fibrillation. Potential beneficial effects of habitual caffeine intake on people who already have atrial fibrillation needs further research.
Consumer Link
More Caffeine May Lower Afib Risk
Research Link
Can J Cardiology. January 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

February 12, 2014
Research based on the large EPIC-Norfolk study on more than 25,000 men and women living in Norfolk, UK, found that the risk of developing diabetes was significantly reduced in those who regularly consumed fermented milk products, especially yogurt.
Consumer Link
Study shows yogurt consumption reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes
Research Link
Diabetologia. Feb 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

February 11, 2014
A study of more than 350 children, age 2 to 11 years, who had broken the bone in their arm just above the elbow (supracondylar humeral fracture) found that the fractures were more likely to be complex and result in serious complications in obese children. It is not known why this risk increases in obesity, but it could be related to the extra weight or to the fact that vitamin D status tends to be lower in obese individuals.
Consumer Link
Obese children more likely to have complex elbow fractures, further complications
Research Link
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2014 Feb 05;96(3):e18 1-10.

February 10, 2014
Researchers found a strawberry suited for farming in space that could produce berries for astronauts during long space travel. The plant produces well even with a short light cycle. This cultivar, called Seascape, could probably be good for "apartment gardening" as well.
Consumer Link
Low-maintenance strawberry may be good crop to grow in space
Research Link
Adv Space Res. 2010;46(6):735–743.

February 9, 2014
Nutrition recommendations often promote reducing dietary fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. However, there is stronger evidence that chronic disease risk is more substantially reduced by eating a varied diet of wholesome foods selected from all of the food groups, especially fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish.
Consumer Link
Whole diet approach to lower cardiovascular risk has more evidence than low-fat diets
Research Link
Am J Med. 2013;Dec. [Epub ahead of print]

February 8, 2014
Nutritionists often stress that the best way to meet nutrient needs is to consume a variety of wholesome foods from all of the food groups. However, when people cannot or will not eat this way, proper nutrient fortification of key foods can prevent a great deal of misery and save lives. For example, folic acid fortification of wheat flour resulted in a reduction of the incidence of neural tube defects in infants by 33% in Brazil and 59% in Mexico.
Consumer Link
Was Folic Acid Fortification Successful in Latin America?
Research Link
Pub Health Nutr. 2014;17(03):537-550.

February 7, 2014
New studies suggest that vitamin E intake greater than the RDA may benefit cardiovascular health. The current adult RDA is 15 mg/day (22.4 IU/day). An intake of about twice that amount may be optimal.
Consumer Link
Desirable Vitamin E Requirements Need to be Defined
Research Link
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2013 Apr;83(2):129-36.

February 6, 2014
Think you know the difference between conventionally and organically grown produce? Most of us have only a vague idea. The actual differences in nutrient amounts and pesticide residues are less significant than you might think. Read the links below this tip to help put it into a clear perspective.
Consumer Link
Organic vs. conventional produce: Organic doesn’t equal better
Research Link
CTAHR/UHM Food Safety and Technology. Dec 2013;FST-56.

February 5, 2014
Don't try this at home, but there is hope for a treatment of children with peanut allergy. By very gradually increasing consumption of peanut flour (in children 7 to 16 years of age) from a very tiny amount to an amount equivalent to about 5 peanuts over a period of 26 weeks, researchers found that about 90 percent of the children were able to consume small amounts of peanuts without serious adverse effects.
Consumer Link
Peanut desensitization can ease parents’ fears
Research Link
The Lancet. 30 January 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

February 4, 2014
A review of 20 controlled feeding trials that substituted fructose for glucose in the diet found that there was little difference between the sugars in how they affected common cardiovascular disease risk factors. The most important consideration is not about which sugar is best or worst, but about not over-consuming either of them.
Consumer Link
New study finds no reason to replace fructose with glucose
Research Link
Curr Opin Lipidol. 2014 Feb;25(1):8-19.

February 3, 2014
An evaluation of dietary supplements sold for infants and children found that the levels of some vitamins were significantly greater than recommended levels. In products designed for 1 to 3 year old children, the average amounts of vitamin A and niacin exceed the tolerable upper intake levels set by the Institute of Medicine.
Consumer Link
Kids' vitamins often surpass daily recommendations
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. January 27, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]

February 2, 2014
Too much of a good thing can be bad. A new study found that feeding mice supplemental amounts of the antioxidants N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and vitamin E markedly increased tumor progression and reduced survival. This result is similar to the effects seen in smokers taking beta-carotene supplements.
Consumer Link
Antioxidants may speed up lung cancer progression
Research Link
Sci Transl Med. 2014;6(221):221ra15.

February 1, 2014
Bariatric surgery, like gastric banding, produces weight loss by reducing the amount of food that can be consumed. Unless the diet is carefully designed to provide an adequate nutrient supply within the reduced calorie intake, nutrient deficiencies will develop over time and seriously harm health.
Consumer Link
Gastric banding patients should closely monitor nutrition following surgery
Research Link
J Investig Med. 2013 Dec;61(8):1165-72.

January 31, 2014
Supplementation of adult men with vitamin D2 (3800 IU/day) for 6 weeks caused an increase in blood markers of muscle damage. Based on this study, high dose supplementation with vitamin D may have detrimental effects in athletes.
Consumer Link
Taking vitamin D2 is a poor choice for athletes, research shows
Research Link
Nutrients. 2013 Dec 20;6(1):63-75.

January 30, 2014
The seeds of the quinoa plant have become a popular nutty-tasting grain-like food that is gluten-free and well tolerated by people with celiac disease. Quinoa, however, is high in oxalates and can contributes to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones in people that have a tendency toward developing kidney stones.
Consumer Link
Quinoa well tolerated in patients with celiac disease
Research Link
Am J Gastroenterol. 2014 Jan 21. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2013.431. [Epub ahead of print]

January 29, 2014
Especially when diabetes is not well controlled, it can cause damage to the retina of the eye, resulting in serious vision loss. People with diabetes should have regularly scheduled eye exams because early treatment is important for preventing vision loss.
Consumer Link
Many people with diabetes still lose vision, despite availability of vision-sparing treatment
Research Link
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]

January 28, 2014
A sedentary life and high calorie diet can lead to excess accumulation of fat in the liver, a condition often called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NALFD). This leads to inflammation, oxidative stress, and eventually liver damage. A new study conducted with a mouse model indicates that the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid called DHA (high in fish oils) helps to prevent this liver damage.
Consumer Link
Surprising research results for one type of omega-3 fatty acid: DHA
Research Link
PLoS ONE 8(12): e83756.

January 27, 2014
When someone develops a strong craving to chew on ice, it very often indicates that they are deficient in iron. It is not known why iron deficiency triggers this craving in some people, but the craving to chew ice goes away when the person's iron status is improved.
Consumer Link
Addictive ice cravings signal mineral deficiency
Research Link
Transfusion. 2013 Aug;53(8):1637-44.

January 26, 2014
The phytochemical lycopene makes tomatoes red and it also functions as an antioxidant. Cooking tomatoes actually increases the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content.
Consumer Link
Cooking Tomatoes Boosts Disease-Fighting Power
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2002 May 8;50(10):3010-4

January 25, 2014
Large scale studies have found that blood pressure, on average, tends to be highest during the winter and also is higher in people who live farther from the equator. A new study indicates that sun exposure to the skin increases the production of nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
Consumer Link
Sunshine May Benefit Blood Pressure
Research Link
J Invest Derm. 2014, 20 January. [Epub ahead of print]

January 24, 2014
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in about 18 percent of women during pregnancy. Due to the potentially serious harm to the long-term health of both mother and baby, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all pregnant women have blood glucose levels evaluated at 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Consumer Link
Gestational diabetes should be tested for, and if detected, treated early
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jul 16;159(2):115-22.

January 23, 2014
Healthy eating is important, but taking healthy eating to an unhealthy extreme can damage a person's health. This over-obsession with health and fear of foods is a condition called orthorexia nervosa.
Consumer Link
Varied menu is the best path to good health
Research Link
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.

January 22, 2014
Many people have claimed that diets designed for specific blood types improved their health. In a study of almost 1500 people, researchers at the University of Toronto found that three of the four "blood type diets" provided some specific health benefits. However, a person's blood type had nothing to do with these health benefits. This well-designed study debunks the blood type diet with some reasonable science.
Consumer Link
Theory Behind Popular Blood-Type Diet Debunked
Research Link
PLoS ONE 9(1): e84749.

January 21, 2014
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish often are called long-chain omega-3 fatty acids to differentiate them from the similar, but shorter omega-3 fatty acids found in some plant oils. A study conducted in Finland over a period of almost 20 years found that men with the highest blood levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids had a reduced risk of developing diabetes.
Consumer Link
Fish Derived Serum Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Reduce Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2014 Jan;37(1):189-96.

January 20, 2014
A recent study observed that "overweight and obese adults drink more diet beverages than healthy-weight adults." This, of course, does not mean that diet beverages cause obesity.
Consumer Link
Does opening an umbrella make it rain? More illogical nonsense about diet soda.
Research Link
Am J Public Health. 2014 Jan 16. [Epub ahead of print]

January 19, 2014
A new study using mice indicates that dietary fiber and the B-vitamin niacin both benefit colon health through a similar mechanism that reduces colon cancer. Future studies in humans will evaluate the effects of niacin supplementation on colon cancer.
Consumer Link
Findings Bolster Fiber's Role in Colon Health
Research Link
Immunity. 2014 Jan 7. pii: S1074-7613(13)00564-5.

January 18, 2014
It can be difficult to put potential risks into perspective when the science is not so simple. The compound bisphenol A (BPA) can leach into foods and beverages from certain types of hard plastic. Some animal studies indicate we should be concerned. However, when the designs of the animal studies are put into proper perspective, the risk seems to be rather insignificant for humans.
Consumer Link
Oh no, not again: BPA and cancer…in miceare
Research Link
Endocrinology. 2014 Jan 1:en20131955. [Epub ahead of print]

January 17, 2014
A new study on 93,000 postmenopausal woman found that greater sedentary time was linked to earlier mortality.
Consumer Link
Don’t Just Sit There! Prolonged Sitting Linked to Early Mortality in Women
Research Link
Am J Prev Med 2014;46(2):122–135

January 16, 2014
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common problem in older people and those who do not consume animal foods. Probably the best current test for B12 status is measurement of blood levels of methylmalonic acid. Its levels increase as B12 status declines. A new rapid analysis technique will help to make assessment of B12 status simpler and much quicker.
Consumer Link
Improved Vitamin B12 Test May Help Young and Old Alike
Research Link
J Chromatography B. 2011;879(19):1502-1506.

January 15, 2014
Green tea and green tea extracts are known to conflict with a wide variety of prescription and non-prescription drugs. A recent study found that daily consumption of green tea significantly reduced the absorption of a common beta-blocker drug used for treatment of high blood pressure.
Consumer Link
Green tea disease-fighting compounds may weaken blood pressure drugs
Research Link
Clin Pharm & Therap. 2014 13 January. [Epub ahead of print]

January 14, 2014
When people studied images of objects, then consumed 200 mg of caffeine, they were better, 24 hours later, at recalling what they had seen than when they consumed a placebo.
Consumer Link
Caffeine may boost long-term memory
Research Link
Nature Neuroscience. 2014 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print]

January 13, 2014
Our genes may make us more or less susceptible to certain chronic diseases. However, it appears that many factors related to diet and lifestyle can increase or decrease the likelihood that high risk genes will be active or inactive. A relatively new field of study called nutritional epigenetics explores how diet and lifestyle factors affect the activity of risky genes.
Consumer Link
Epigenetics: New Link Between Nutrition, Cancer
Research Link
Nutr Cancer. 2013;65(6):781-92.

January 12, 2014
Adequate fiber in the diet appears to benefit the immune function of the lungs. New research links the production of short chain fatty acids from dietary fiber by gut bacteria with healthy function of the lung immune system. This, in turn, may help to reduce the risk of asthma developing.
Consumer Link
Dietary Fibers Protect Against Asthma, Study Suggests
Research Link
Nat Med. 2014 Jan 5. [Epub ahead of print]

January 11, 2014
Caffeine in coffee is known to trigger increased urine production following consumption. However, studies have shown that moderate coffee consumption as part of the overall diet hydrates the body as well as other beverages in people who habitually consume coffee.
Consumer Link
Hydrate with…coffee? Maybe. New study says it’s not a diuretic.
Research Link
PLoS ONE 9(1): e84154.

January 10, 2014
It has been shown that improving vitamin D status in older people can improve strength and balance. Similar benefits may be present very early in life. A new study found that good vitamin D status in mothers during pregnancy was associated with greater strength in their children when the children were tested at four years of age.
Consumer Link
Muscle strength in children linked to vitamin D levels in pregnancy
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jan;99(1):330-7.

January 9, 2014
About half of us have H. pylori bacteria living in our stomach. Yet, the bacteria causes stomach irritation and ulcers in only about ten percent of its carriers. New research indicates that other types of bacteria that live in the stomach may prevent H. pylori from causing damage.
Consumer Link
Some Bacteria May Protect Against Disease Caused by Stomach Infection
Research Link
Infect Immun. 2013 May;81(5):1382-9.

January 8, 2014
Research shows that HDL, also known as "good cholesterol" is more beneficial for males that exercise regularly, regardless of weight, than it is for men who were sedentary. The exercise used in this research was strength training.
Consumer Link
When It Comes to the Good Cholesterol, Fitness Trumps Weight
Research Link
J Appl Physiol. 2013 Oct 1;115(7):1043-9.

January 7, 2014
A new study reports that depression is associated with lower blood levels of zinc. Good food sources of zinc include beef, crab, pork, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Consumer Link
Depression Tied to Low Zinc Levels in Blood
Research Link
Biological Psych. 20133;74(12):872-878.

January 6, 2014
A new review of studies on the effect of fructose consumption on blood triglyceride levels concludes that substituting fructose for other forms of carbohydrate in the diet does not affect triglyceride levels. Like other sugars and starch, adding fructose in excess of calorie needs does raise post-meal triglyceride blood levels - an apparent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Fructose Does Not Impact Emerging Indicator for Cardiovascular Disease, Research Suggests
Research Link
Atherosclerosis. 2014;232(1):125 -133.

January 5, 2014
A small study of weekend drinking by 18 to 23 year-olds (consuming 6 to 8 drinks on the weekend) found that measures of oxidative damage to DNA were significantly greater in drinkers that non drinkers.
Consumer Link
Alcohol Leaves Its Mark On Youngsters' DNA
Research Link
Alcohol. 2013 Nov;47(7):501-4.

January 4, 2014
Although currently there are no proven ways to prevent or cure Alzheimer's disease, a recent study found that supplementing the diet of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease with vitamin E (2000 IU/day of alpha tocopherol) helped to slow progression of the disease.
Consumer Link
Vitamin E Slows Functional Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease
Research Link
JAMA. 2014 Jan 1;311(1):33-44. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.282834.

January 3, 2014
Research shows that there are viruses that infect specific types of bacteria and have no effect on people. Spraying foods with a solution containing a bacteriophage (a bacterial virus) is a relatively new way to kill bacteria like salmonella in a way that is non-toxic for humans.
Consumer Link
FDA approves SALMONELEX™ against Salmonella as new food processing aid
Research Link
Bacteriophage. 2013 Apr 1;3(2):e25518.

January 2, 2014
If you are confused by reports on the value of vitamin supplements, you can blame flawed research designs according to a new study of past research on vitamin C. The authors point out many problems such as the failure to assess initial vitamin status of participants in supplementation studies.
Consumer Link
Most Clinical Studies On Vitamins Flawed by Poor Methodology
Research Link
Nutrients 2013, 5(12), 5161-5192.

January 1, 2014
A recent Institute of Medicine report states that excessive sodium intake can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, but further indicated that present-day research does not support reducing daily sodium consumption below 2,300 milligrams. Overly low sodium intake may worsen conditions like diabetes and congestive heart failure.
Consumer Link
Inadequate sodium in diet also poses risk to health
Research Link
Institute of Medicine. Sodium Intake in Populations (2013)

December 31, 2013
Eating disorders in boys and young men can be very different from those in women. However, male eating disorders do include an obsession with appearance, generally seeking increased muscularity. Frequently this obsession can lead to risky use of drugs and dietary supplements.
Consumer Link
Eating disorders may look different in boys
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Nov 4. [Epub ahead of print]

December 30, 2013
A compound called acrylamide is produced in carbohydrate foods during high temperature cooking procedures like frying and baking. Based primarily on animal studies, excessive intake may be neurotoxic and/or carcinogenic. Although acrylamide toxicity is relatively low and debatable, concerns for its potential toxicity provide one more reason to limit fried foods in your diet.
Consumer Link
You Can Help Cut Acrylamide in Your Diet
Research Link
Evaluation of certain contaminants in food: seventy-second report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives

December 29, 2013
The European Union has established limits on the amount of coumarin allowed in foods. This natural compound found in some types of cinnamon has been linked to liver damage in people sensitive to the substance. The most common cinnamon (cassia variety) can be high in coumarin. The less common and more expensive Ceylon cinnamon is low in coumarin.
Consumer Link
Is this the end of the cinnamon roll?
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2013 May 8;61(18):4470-6.

December 28, 2013
In a study of over 8,000 women who did not have peanut or tree nut allergy, higher consumption of these nuts during pregnancy was associated with a lower risk of peanut or tree nut allergy in their offspring. This study supports the hypothesis that early allergen exposure increases tolerance and lowers risk of childhood food allergy.
Consumer Link
Eating nuts during pregnancy 'may curb allergies'
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. Published online December 23, 2013.

December 27, 2013
According to a study of over 150,000 pregnant women, inadequate weight gain during pregnancy puts infants at significantly increased risk of dying during infancy, especially infants of mothers who were under-weight at the start of pregnancy.
Consumer Link
Inadequate Pregnancy Weight Gain a Risk Factor for Infant Mortality
Research Link
Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]

December 26, 2013
A study of 30 teenagers (25 female) who were suffering from headaches, found that cessation of gum chewing caused significant improvement in 26 of the cases and complete resolution in 19. Those who later returned to chewing gum reported a recurrence of headaches.
Consumer Link
How Chewing Gum Can Cause Headaches
Research Link
Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Nov 1. [Epub ahead of print]

December 25, 2013
Quote from Santa: "Although I am big, I'm fit and healthy. Thanks to my daily exercise and Mrs. Claus's great cooking, I have high HDL levels, low triglycerides, and my blood glucose is perfect. After all, I train year-round for my annual Christmas Eve marathon."
Consumer Link
Santa is larger than life but his job keeps him fit
Research Link
BMJ 2009;339:b5261.

December 24, 2013
Although cancer is still a major cause of death, new data indicate that we are making progress. Cancer death rates declined steadily during the past two decades, dropping in men by almost three percent a year between 2005 and 2010.
Consumer Link
Cancer deaths continue slow decline, despite persistent alarms of “cancer epidemic” from scaremongers
Research Link
Cancer. 16 Dec 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

December 23, 2013
About 30 years ago, it was proposed that iron contributes to the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Solid support for this theory has been mixed at best. A new study conducted at UCLA with a mouse model found no support for the theory.
Consumer Link
UCLA study challenges long-held hypothesis that iron promotes atherosclerosis
Research Link
Cell Reports. 2013;5(5):1436-1442.

December 22, 2013
New blood pressure guidelines from an expert panel recommend not using blood pressure lowering medications with adults aged 60 or older unless their blood pressure exceeds 150/90. Current guidelines from other groups recommend treatment when blood pressure exceeds 140/90.
Consumer Link
New Blood Pressure Guidelines Raise the Bar for Taking Medications
Research Link
JAMA. December 18, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

December 21, 2013
The artificial sweeteners sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium (Sunett or Sweet One) were tested in a well-controlled study to evaluate their effects on the body's response to consuming the sugar glucose. When beverages with these artificial sweeteners were consumed 10 minutes before drinking a glucose sweetened beverage, there was no effect on blood glucose or hormonal responses.
Consumer Link
Gut reaction: Zero-calorie sweeteners produce same response as water.
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2013 vol. 36 no. 12 e202-e203.

December 20, 2013
It has been known for some time that low calcium diets are associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. A new study of the effect of calcium on colon cell growth in zebrafish identified mechanisms that may lead to treatments and prevention strategies for colon cancer in humans.
Consumer Link
Decoding the link between calcium deficiency and colon cancer
Research Link
Cell Death Differ. 2013 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print]

December 19, 2013
Growing up with a dog in the family appears to be good for the human gut. Apparently, dogs help to keep a wider variety of friendly microorganisms in the household environment. This, in turn benefits the lower intestine and the immune system in ways that can even enhance lung health.
Consumer Link
Research Shows How Household Dogs Protect Against Asthma and Infection
Research Link
PNAS. December 16, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

December 18, 2013
The dietary supplement industry is big business and many people taking dietary supplements may not need them. However, it is difficult to conduct definitive studies with a shotgun approach to see if taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement for years will reduce health problems in people that may already be meeting their nutrient needs with an adequate diet. If someone's diet is deficient in a nutrient, taking an appropriate supplement can prevent or reverse serious health problems.
Consumer Link
Medical journal: 'Case closed' against vitamin pills
Research Link
Ann Intern Med. 2013;159(12):850-851-851.

December 17, 2013
The European Food Safety Authority completed the most extensive evaluation of aspartame safety to date. They concluded (again) that, ". . . Aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure."
Consumer Link
EFSA completes full risk assessment on aspartame and concludes it is safe at current levels of exposure
Research Link
EFSA Journal 2013;11(12):3496 [263 pp.].

December 16, 2013
A study on fatty acid content of organic and conventionally produced milk found that organic milk had a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. However, milk is not considered to be a good source of these fatty acids. According to data in this publication, a one-cup serving of organic or conventional whole milk provides less than five percent of the recommended adequate intake for the key omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid.
Consumer Link
Organic whole milk provides best heart-health benefits, study says
Research Link
PLoS ONE 8(12): e82429.

December 15, 2013
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD or heartburn, is caused by acid-laden stomach contents passing from the stomach up into the lower part of the esophagus. The acid can seriously damage the esophagus when the condition becomes chronic. Common treatments that reduce stomach acid to protect the esophagus impair vitamin B-12 absorption. This makes vitamin B-12 supplementation an essential component of treatment.
Consumer Link
Pills take aim at heartburn's chronic pain
Research Link
JAMA. 2013;310(22):2435-2442.

December 14, 2013
A United Kingdom study found that common commercial baby foods consumed with typical amounts of infant formula by six to twelve month old infants frequently did not meet their needs for calcium, magnesium, copper and selenium.
Consumer Link
Jars of Baby Food Very Low in Micro-Nutrients, UK Study Suggests
Research Link
Food Chem. 2012 Dec 15;135(4):2796-801.

December 13, 2013
A study of 63 healthy children, ages 4 to 8 year, found that those who consumed and absorbed the most magnesium had better bone mass than those who consumed less. However, there was no significant association between calcium intake and bone mass. Foods such as beans, nuts, some green vegetables, and salmon are good sources of magnesium.
Consumer Link
Magnesium May Be as Important to Kids' Bone Health as Calcium
Research Link
J Bone Miner Res. 2013 Jun 20.

December 12, 2013
Grape seed extract has been shown to have anti-cancer activity, especially for prostate cancer. Grape seed extract is a complex mixture of chemicals, including a variety of polyphenols. New research has identified a specific polyphenol called B2G2 that appears to be the most active cancer-preventive compound in grape seed extract.
Consumer Link
Active Component of Grape Seed Extract Effective Against Cancer Cells
Research Link
Nutr Cancer. 2013 Nov 5. [Epub ahead of print]

December 11, 2013
A survey of 508 college students found that greater consumption of energy drinks was associated with increased alcohol consumption and negative consequences such as hangovers and getting into trouble. It is not known why this occurs, but it makes sense that caffeine use may increase awake drinking time.
Consumer Link
Energy Drinks Plus Alcohol Pose a Public Health Threat
Research Link
J Adolesc Health. 2013 Nov 19. Epub ahead of print]

December 10, 2013
People with autism spectrum disorders frequently suffer from intestinal problems as well as mental challenges. Using a mouse model for autism, researchers found that treatment with a specific probiotic microorganism helped to repair the "leaky" intestinal lining and reduced repetitive behaviors and signs of anxiety. How this may or may not apply to humans remains to be studied.
Consumer Link
Probiotic Therapy Alleviates Autism-Like Behaviors in Mice
Research Link
Cell. 155, 1–13, December 19, 2013.

December 9, 2013
The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a major component of brain tissues. A study of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease found that taking a supplement high in DHA for six months raised levels of DHA in the cerebral spinal fluid. This indicated increased DHA levels in the brain. There also were indications that disease progression was slowed.
Consumer Link
Omega-3 Dietary Supplements Pass Blood-Brain Barrier
Research Link
J Int Med. Dec 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

December 8, 2013
A marker of aging is the shortening of telomeres - the ends of the strands of DNA in our chromosomes. Working with a type of yeast that shares some genetic similarities with humans, researchers found that caffeine exposure caused the telomeres to shorten, while alcohol lengthened them. Since studies have found that most centenarians drink coffee, it is difficult to determine the significance of this study for people.
Consumer Link
Coffee or Beer? The Choice Could Affect Your Genome
Research Link
PLoS Genet. 2013 Sep;9(9):e1003721.

December 7, 2013
Although low vitamin D levels have been associated with some disease states, new research indicates that boosting vitamin D levels is not likely to prevent these diseases. In some cases, the disease may cause lower vitamin D levels in the body.
Consumer Link
Study casts doubt on whether extra vitamin D prevents disease
Research Link
The Lancet Diab & Endo. 6 December 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

December 6, 2013
A new evaluation of current scientific evidence by the Canadian Paediatric Society indicates that maternal avoidance of milk, egg, peanut or other potential allergens during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of allergy in a baby at high risk for allergy due to family history. The report also recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the infant's life and to not delay the introduction of any specific solid food beyond six months of age. Later introduction of foods like peanut, fish or egg does not prevent, and may even increase, the risk of developing food allergy.
Consumer Link
No need to delay introduction of food allergens to high-risk babies, paediatricians advise
Research Link
Canadian Paediatric Society Position Statement

December 5, 2013
Infants and toddlers learn with all of their senses, including their sense of touch. It is easier for them to learn to differentiate between objects if they are solid and can be handled. The same goes for less solid things like yogurt and jam. The seemingly senseless playing with food is actually a valuable learning experience.
Consumer Link
Toddlers who mess with their food 'are learning'
Research Link
Dev Science. 1 DEC 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

December 4, 2013
Adequate dietary fiber seems to help keep things moving through the intestinal tract. A new study indicates that this may be due, at least in part, to bacteria in the lower intestine that are thriving on the fiber. When the bacteria are short on this energy supply, they trigger the intestine to slow down its rate of transport.
Consumer Link
Intestinal Bacteria Influence Food Transit Through the Gut
Research Link
Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Nov 13;14(5):582-90.

December 3, 2013
A study conducted in Africa found that HIV positive individuals significantly reduced the risk of immune decline and progression to AIDS when they took a multivitamin supplement with selenium in the early stages of HIV infection.
Consumer Link
Multivitamin, selenium supplements may delay onset of AIDS
Research Link
JAMA. 2013;310(20):2154-2163.

December 2, 2013
A study conducted with forty-five young to middle-age adults, found that when they chewed pizza at lunch twice as much as usual, they ate 15 percent less food. It awaits further research to determine if increased chewing will assist in sustainable weight loss.
Consumer Link
Does Increased Chewing Reduce Food Intake?
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Nov 9. pii: S2212-2672(13)01375-0.

December 1, 2013
Forty-eight healthy adults were fed Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal on one occasion and HoneyNut Cheerios on another. Although an equal number of calories was consumed along with milk for each meal, the oatmeal had a significantly greater satiety effect, reducing hunger and the desire to eat more than the Cheerios for up to four hours after the meal. The oatmeal was higher in fiber and protein but lower in sugar than the Cheerios.
Consumer Link
Oatmeal Beats Ready-To-Eat Breakfast Cereal at Improving Appetite Control
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(4):272-9.

November 30, 2013
Gradual loss of lean muscle mass is a common observation In middle-aged and older men. Both adequate dietary protein and strength training (resistance) exercise help to maintain or build muscle mass. A recent study with 35 men around the age of 59 years found that consuming 6 ounces of moderately lean ground beef (providing 36 grams of protein) at a meal substantially increased muscle protein synthesis, especially when it followed a strength training workout. Other high quality protein sources would likely have the same effect.
Consumer Link
Beef Up: Middle-Aged Men May Need More to Maintain Muscle Mass
Research Link
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2013 Feb;38(2):120-5.

November 29, 2013
Iodine is essential for a baby to develop normally. When dietary iodine is low, it appears to be better to give an iodine supplement to the mother than to the baby if the baby is being breastfed. The iodine is very efficiently transferred to the baby through mother's milk.
Consumer Link
Breastfeeding Provides Babies With Iodine
Research Link
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 22 November 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

November 28, 2013
A new study found that 45 minutes of daily exercise at a moderate intensity can prevent many of the negative metabolic changes that typically take place during periods of overeating - a well-timed study for the holiday season.
Consumer Link
The Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise
Research Link
J Physiol. 2013 Nov 25. [Epub ahead of print]

November 27, 2013
Just in case you have been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years, a very large 10-country European study of over 400,000 people found that consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with reduced mortality, especially from cardiovascular disease. This relationship was strongest for people with high alcohol consumption, high body mass index, and for smokers. Of course, we still need foods from other food groups to meet all nutrient needs.
Consumer Link
Experts Confirm That Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Reduces Risk of Mortality
Research Link
Am. J. Epidemiol. (2013) 178 (4): 590-602.

November 26, 2013
Vitamin D status is generally determined by 25-hydroxyvitamin D (a form of vitamin D) in the blood. Blacks typically have lower blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D than whites. However, a new study found that the amount of unbound 25-hydroxyvitamin D, the form of vitamin D available to cells, was the same in blacks and whites.
Consumer Link
Current Practice May Over-Diagnose Vitamin D Deficiency
Research Link
N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 21;369(21):1991-2000.

November 25, 2013
Endurance athletes, especially females, are at increased risk for developing iron deficiency. A new study does not support the theory that inflammation from exercise increases the hormone hepcidin (which reduces iron absorption). Therefore, the most likely contributors to iron deficiency in endurance athletes are small but significant iron losses in sweat and inadequate dietary bioavailable iron.
Consumer Link
Scientists Far from Finish Line in Understanding Anemia in Female Athletes
Research Link
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2013 Oct;23(5):513-21.

November 24, 2013
The taste buds of mice with diet-induced obesity respond more weakly to sweet flavors than the taste buds of their normal weight controls. This may help to understand how the sense of taste may change in humans as they develop obesity.
Consumer Link
Does Obesity Reshape Our Sense of Taste?
Research Link
PLoS One. 2013 Nov 13;8(11):e79403.

November 23, 2013
A study published in the British Medical Journal indicated that eating two or more servings of oily fish a week could reduce the risk of stroke.Fish oil supplements did not have the same beneficial effect.
Consumer Link
Couple of Weekly Portions of Oily Fish Can Help Ward Off Stroke; But Fish Oil Supplements Don't Have the Same Effect, Study Finds
Research Link
BMJ. 2012 Oct 30;345:e6698. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e6698.

November 22, 2013
A new study found that pregnant women were at significantly greater risk of having a premature birth when they had higher urinary levels of phthalates and their metabolites. Phthalates are a type of chemical commonly found in perfumes, hair spray, nail polish, deodorants, and body lotions. Based on this study, avoiding excessive exposure to these products during pregnancy would be prudent.
Consumer Link
Everyday chemical exposure linked to preterm births
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. November 18, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

November 21, 2013
Although replacing saturated animal fats with oils high in linolenic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) can lower serum cholesterol levels, it increases the risk of death from coronary artery disease according to a new study. Lowering blood cholesterol does not always reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Some 'Healthy' Vegetable Oils May Actually Increase Risk of Heart Disease
Research Link
CMAJ November 11, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

November 20, 2013
Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for more than one million deaths a year by causing pneumonia, meningitis, and other serious infectious diseases. New evidence shows that zinc can inhibit the microbe by blocking the bacteria's uptake of essential manganese.
Consumer Link
How Zinc Starves Lethal Bacteria to Stop Infection
Research Link
Nature Chemical Biology. 10 November 2013 [Epub ahead of print].

November 19, 2013
It is common practice in most countries to give vitamin K injections to infants shortly after birth. This promotes normal blood clotting. Some parents have refused to have their infant injected with vitamin K. This puts the infant at risk of internal bleeding. If internal bleeding takes place in the brain, the effects can be irreversible.
Consumer Link
Vitamin K and Infant Bleeding: What Happens When Parents Refuse Preventive Measures?
Research Link
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) November 15, 2013.

November 18, 2013
When the body is deficient in an essential vitamin or mineral, it can influence gene expression and cause the level of specific proteins to decrease or increase. Scientists are using this concept to evaluate nutrient status by measuring the blood levels of specific proteins. This promises to provide a much quicker and less expensive way to evaluate vitamin and mineral status.
Consumer Link
New Testing Strategy Detects Population-Wide Vitamin, Mineral Deficiencies
Research Link
J Nutr. 2013 Oct;143(10):1540-8.

November 17, 2013
Certain types of gut bacteria produce chemicals that can affect brain function. Researchers are exploring the use of certain types of probiotic bacteria that may be used in cultured foods such as yogurt to treat conditions like depression.
Consumer Link
Are Probiotics a Promising Treatment Strategy for Depression?
Research Link
Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Nov 15;74(10):720-6.

November 16, 2013
A study in Spain on teenagers found that those who consumed more chocolate (about an ounce and a half per day) had lower levels of body fat. However, this type of study cannot establish a cause and effect relationship. One complication, the teens who were more active consumed more chocolate. Bottom line: the study is not a license to binge on chocolate, but it does suggest that moderate intake of chocolate in physically active teenagers is just fine and may even be a good thing.
Consumer Link
The Health Benefits of Chocolate
Research Link
Nutrition. 2013 Oct 17. [Epub ahead of print]

November 15, 2013
Researchers have developed what could be called a "happy onion." It has less of the eye-irritating protein that makes you tear-up over your chopped onions. It also contains a compound similar to one in garlic that is thought to enhance cardiovascular health.
Consumer Link
Tearless' Onions Could Help in Fight Against Cardiovascular Disease, Weight Gain
Research Link
J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 6;61(44):10574-81.

November 14, 2013
In case you didn't already figure it out, chicken nuggets provide more calories from fat and carbohydrate than from protein. Although this information has been available in the USDA nutrient database for some time, researchers from a medical center published a "tongue-in-cheek" paper in which they performed surgery and microscopic analysis of chicken nuggets to see what they were made of.
Consumer Link
Look Inside a Chicken Nugget
Research Link
Am J Med. 2013 Nov;126(11):1018-9.

November 13, 2013
Iron and zinc deficiencies are common in people who subsist primarily on grain-based diets. A new strain of pearl millet, developed in India to contain greater amounts of iron and zinc, was found to be capable of meeting these mineral needs of children that consumed millet as a dietary staple.
Consumer Link
New Pearl Millet Can Meet Full Iron Needs of Children: Study
Research Link
J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1489-93.

November 12, 2013
A detailed study on protein deficiency using a rat model found that protein deficiency not only impaired growth, but brain function as well. A chronic protein deficiency impaired learning, memory and cognitive function. The results of the study, conducted by researchers in India, supported observations of the impact of protein deficiency on malnourished children in India.
Consumer Link
Deficiency of protein linked to learning issues
Research Link
PLoS One. 2013 Oct 3;8(10):e76556.

November 11, 2013
Women often are recommended to take an iron supplement during pregnancy to meet increased iron demands. Some women experience negative gastrointestinal side-effects from daily iron supplementation. A study conducted in a rural VietNam setting found that taking the supplement twice weekly, instead of daily, provided similar benefits to both infant and mother.
Consumer Link
Twice Weekly Iron Supplementation to Pregnant Women as Effective as a Daily Regime
Research Link
PLoS Med. 2013 Jun;10(6):e1001470.

November 10, 2013
Rapeseed is the source of Canola oil. Generally, the seed components remaining after oil pressing are used in animal feeds. New methods of processing these pressings are producing protein isolates that may soon show up in human foods as well.
Consumer Link
Soy Protein Can Be Replaced by Rapeseed Protein
Research Link
Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;32(4):519-26.

November 9, 2013
Want to get people to eat more? Tell them the food is "healthy." People have a tendency to think that healthful food is lower in calories and they will typically eat more of it.
Consumer Link
People choose larger portions of ‘healthy' foods
Research Link
Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]

November 8, 2013
Involving children in food preparation not only prepares them for life, it also increases their awareness of foods and how to eat a more varied diet.
Consumer Link
Kids Who Cook Are Hungrier for Healthy Food Choices
Research Link
Public Health Nutr. 2013 Jan;16(1):108-12.

November 6, 2013
Inadequate sleep has been linked with weight gain. A new study found that specific brain centers are affected by sleep deprivation in ways that increase the desire to consume more high-calorie foods that are capable of triggering weight-gain.
Consumer Link
Sleep Deprivation Linked to Junk Food Cravings
Research Link
Nat Commun. 2013;4:2259. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3259.

November 5, 2013
A study of people eating at fast food restaurants found that adults and adolescents generally underestimate the calorie content of meals. This was especially true when they were consuming large meals and when they were eating at Subway restaurants.
Consumer Link
Consumers largely underestimating calorie content of fast food
Research Link
BMJ. 2013 May 23;346:f2907. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f2907.

November 4, 2013
During and after high intensity strength exercise, blood testosterone levels generally increase in men. A recent study found that two weeks of supplementation with soy protein isolate reduced this testosterone increase in comparison to the response following supplementation with whey protein isolate.
Consumer Link
Effects of Soy, Whey Protein Supplementation Post-Exercise
Research Link
J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(1):66-74. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2013.770648.

November 3, 2013
In mentally processing words, especially new ones, people mentally "mouth" the words which seems to help remember them. However, if the mouth is busy chewing, people don't remember the words as well, apparently because the mouth is mentally busy with a task that competes with mouthing the words.
Consumer Link
Popcorn at the Movies: Oral Interference Sabotages Advertising Effects
Research Link
J Consumer Psych. 29 September 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

November 2, 2013
It may be a bit of a stretch, but a new study on roundworms may lead to better ways to promote human weight loss. The research indicates that elevating the levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin along with a slight increase in the levels of adrenaline (epinephrine) may help to reduce body fat. It is possible that appropriate supplementation with the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine could do this. Future research may explore this.
Consumer Link
Eat More, Weigh Less: Worm Study Provides Clues to Better Fat-Loss Therapies for Humans
Research Link
Cell Metab. 2013 Oct 8. pii: S1550-4131(13)00376-8.

November 1, 2013
Supplementation with three B vitamins (folate, B-6, and B-12) can help to reduce blood levels of a cardiovascular disease risk factor known as homocysteine. A new review of 14 studies found that supplementation with these vitamins reduced the statistical risk of having a stroke by about seven percent.
Consumer Link
Can Vitamin B Supplements Help Stave Off Stroke?
Research Link
Neurology. 2013 Oct 8;81(15):1298-307.

October 31, 2013
For quite some time, it has been popular to refer to fish as "brain food." There is scientific support for this belief, since the fish oil component called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a major component of brain tissues. A recent study of 493 schoolchildren, aged 7-9 years, found that children with the lowest blood levels of DHA were more likely to have reading, cognition, and behavioral problems.
Consumer Link
Low Omega-3 Could Explain Why Some Children Struggle With Reading
Research Link
PLoS One. 2013 Jun 24;8(6):e66697.

October 30, 2013
Studies have found that the risk of coronary heart disease decreases with increasing alcohol consumption. However, when alcohol consumption exceeds moderate intake levels, the risk increases for other health problems such as strokes and various types of cancer.
Consumer Link
Excessive Alcohol Consumption Increases Progression of Atherosclerosis, Risk of Stroke
Research Link
Acta Neurol Scand. 2013 Mar;127(3):186-91.

October 29, 2013
Even in the absence of type 2 diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance, new research indicates that chronically higher blood glucose levels can adversely affect memory, possibly due to structural changes in learning-relevant brain areas. Strategies (such as regular physical activity) aimed at lowering glucose levels even within the normal or pre-diabetic ranges may help to protect cognitive function with aging.
Consumer Link
High blood sugar tied to memory problems: study
Research Link
Neurology. 2013 Oct 23. [Epub ahead of print]

October 28, 2013
A new study concludes that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of anemia in children. This may be due to low iron status causing both the anemia and the low vitamin D status because activation of vitamin D in the liver is dependent on an adequate supply of iron.
Consumer Link
Low Vitamin D Levels Raise Anemia Risk in Children
Research Link
J Pediatr. 2013 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]

October 27, 2013
A component in broccoli and other cabbage family plants called sulforaphane has been found to protect cartilage and help to prevent osteoarthritis in mice. Human studies are needed to see if humans experience similar benefits. In the meantime, remember to eat your veggies.
Consumer Link
Broccoli Could Be Key in the Fight Against Osteoarthritis
Research Link
Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Aug 27. [Epub ahead of print]

October 26, 2013
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is most common in those with obesity and diabetes. Adequate protein and choline intake can help reduce the fat accumulation in the liver. New research also indicates that caffeine helps to mobilize fat from the liver and benefit the treatment of NAFLD.
Consumer Link
Coffee and Tea May Contribute to a Healthy Liver
Research Link
Hepatology. 2013 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]

October 25, 2013
Although caffeine in coffee and tea may benefit adults in various ways, the same does not appear to apply to children and adolescents. A rat model indicates that caffeine consumption during critical developmental periods can have long lasting adverse effects on sleep and brain development.
Consumer Link
Caffeine Consumption Slows Down Brain Development, Rat Study Shows
Research Link
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 4;8(9):e72539.

October 24, 2013
A study of over 1800 children found that risk of developing type 1 diabetes was reduced when solid foods were introduced to infants between 4 and 5 months of age along with continued breast-feeding. Introducing foods both before 4 months and after 6 months were associated with increased risk. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that body iron stores typically run low at 4 to 6 months of age in breast-fed infants and solid foods or supplements that provide iron can be important for optimal infant health.
Consumer Link
Solid Food Timing for Babies Tied to Diabetes Risk
Research Link
JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Sep 1;167(9):808-15.

October 23, 2013
According to a new study using DNA barcoding to identify herbal ingredients, when it comes to herbal products available in the U.S. and Canada, you have about a 50/50 chance of getting what is on the product label. About 60 percent of the products tested had labels that were incorrect and some products had none of the labeled herb in the product.
Consumer Link
Analysis of Herbal Products Shows Contamination Is Common
Research Link
BMC Medicine, October 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

October 22, 2013
A Finnish study that followed over 4000 children from birth to age 16, found that those eating five meals per day (3 meals and 2 snacks) were much less likely to be obese than those who consumed fewer meals and skipped meals. This occurred even in those who had genes that put them at increased risk for obesity.
Consumer Link
Five Regular Meals a Day Reduce Obesity Risk Among Adolescents
Research Link
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 10;8(9):e73802.

October 21, 2013
A recent study shows that home-schooled children are leaner than those attending traditional schools. These results challenge the concept there is an increased risk for excessive weight gain with increasing time at home.
Consumer Link
Home Schooled Children Leaner Than Traditionally Schooled Kids
Research Link
Obesity. 2013 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

October 20, 2013
Research conducted over 40 years ago made it clear that the effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol is so small that it is almost immeasurable. A new study found that this was the case in adolescents as well.
Consumer Link
Eating Eggs Is Not Linked to High Cholesterol in Adolescents, Study Suggests
Research Link
Nutr Hosp. 2013 May-Jun;28(3):868-77.

October 19, 2013
In a novel study, researchers found adult twin pairs in which one was lean and the other obese. When Microbial samples from the feces of these twins were transplanted into the intestines of germ-free laboratory mice, the mice that received microbes from the obese twins developed more body fat than those receiving the lean twins' microbes.
Consumer Link
Human Gut Microbes Alter Mouse Metabolism, Depending On Diet
Research Link
Science. 2013 Sep 6;341(6150):1241214.

October 18, 2013
There is a new wrinkle in the relationship between salt and health. A new study found that lower levels of blood chloride (as in sodium chloride or salt) are associated with increased mortality. Why this might be the case raises some interesting questions that require more research.
Consumer Link
Yin-Yang Effect of Sodium and Chloride Presents Salt Conundrum
Research Link
Hypertension. 2013 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

October 17, 2013
Since a salad smothered in a rich salad dressing can be a high calorie meal, calorie-conscious people may opt for low fat or fat-free dressings. However, many of the beneficial colorful carotenoids in vegetables are poorly absorbed when they are consumed without a source of fat or oil in the meal. About a tablespoon and a half of canola oil (180 calories) added to a salad was found to be effective at promoting carotenoid absorption.
Consumer Link
Study: No-Fat, Low-Fat Dressings Don't Get Most Nutrients out of Salads
Research Link
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2012 Jun;56(6):866-77.

October 16, 2013
A study following over 4500 men diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer found that men who replaced dietary carbohydrate and animal fat with vegetable fats had a reduced risk of all-cause mortality. The men were followed for about 8 years on average. More research is needed to confirm the potential roles of carbohydrate and fat intake and the type of fat.
Consumer Link
Men With Prostate Cancer Should Eat Healthy Vegetable Fats, Study Suggests
Research Link
JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jul 22;173(14):1318-26.

October 15, 2013
High levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as the "good cholesterol," are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. In contrast, high levels of HDL are linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and to enhanced cancer aggressiveness. This HDL link with breast cancer is providing insights into understanding breast cancer development and new treatment targets.
Consumer Link
Does Good Cholesterol Increase Breast Cancer Risk?
Research Link
Breast Cancer Res. 2013 Sep 24;15(5):R87. [Epub ahead of print]

October 14, 2013
A variety of polyphenol compounds found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, etc. have been proposed to benefit health and promote longevity. A newly published 12-year study conducted in Italy found that people with the greatest amount of polyphenols in their daily urine were significantly more likely to live longer. This is a more reliable estimate of polyphenol intake than the dietary questionnaires commonly used in other studies.
Consumer Link
New research suggests that high dietary intake of polyphenols are associated with longevity
Research Link
J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1445-50.

October 13, 2013
It has long been thought that excess abdominal fat puts one at greater risk of cardiovascular disease than fat in the hips and thighs. New research questions this assumption, finding that gluteal fat in the hips and thighs also affects factors that increase the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Consumer Link
Study Deflates Notion That Pear-Shaped Bodies More Healthy Than Apples: Abnormal Proteins from Buttock Fat Linked to Metabolic Syndrome
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar;98(3):E514-7.

October 12, 2013
Smart phone applications (apps) are available to assist with weight loss. However, according to a new study, most apps are lacking many evidence-based behavioral strategies known to improve motivation, reduce stress, and assist with problem solving.
Consumer Link
Evaluating Mobile Weight Loss Apps on Use of Evidence-Based Behavioral Strategies
Research Link
Am J Prev Med 2013;45(5):576–582.

October 11, 2013
A recent study found that men who had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during childhood were about twice as likely to become obese as adults when compared to men who did not have ADHD as youth.
Consumer Link
Link Between Childhood ADHD and Obesity Revealed in First Long-Term Study
Research Link
Pediatrics. 2013 Jun;131(6):e1731-8.

October 10, 2013
Famous athletes frequently are featured in ads for foods and beverages that are rich in calories, but poor in nutrients. Keep in mind that these athletes are being paid for their image, not their nutritional expertise. Although these types of food can fit into a healthful diet, they still should be consumed in moderation.
Consumer Link
Athletes endorse food and drink products. So what?
Research Link
Pediatrics. 7 Oct 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

October 9, 2013
Basic research on the effects of zinc deficiency in yeast cells shows that certain proteins fold abnormally which disrupts their normal function. This abnormal protein folding is similar to what is observed in some age-related brain diseases in humans. Understanding this process in yeast cells may lead to research in human cells to see if zinc is involved in brain disease.
Consumer Link
Zinc Discovery May Shed Light On Parkinson's, Alzheimer's
Research Link
J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]

October 8, 2013
A recent study reported that children who developed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were less likely to have been breastfed for their first three to six months of life. It is not known why breastfeeding appears to have a protective effect.
Consumer Link
Breastfed Children Are Less Likely to Develop ADHD Later in Life, Study Suggests
Research Link
Breastfeed Med. 2013;8(4):363-7.

October 7, 2013
A study on a folic acid dependent enzyme in mice indicated that the effects of folic acid deficiency during pregnancy could be expected to adversely affect the health of more than one future generation. Folic acid sources include beans, leafy green vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals, and enriched white bread.
Consumer Link
Folic Acid Deficiency Can Affect the Health of Great, Great Grandchildren
Research Link
Cell. 2013;155(1):81-93.

October 7, 2013
Some have proposed food labeling that uses a traffic light system. Foods are identified as red (unhealthy), yellow (less healthy), or green (healthy). Unfortunately, foods are not all that simple. It may be risky to overly simplify the complexity of food composition into a system normally used to convey only go/caution/stop.
Consumer Link
'Traffic-Light' Labeling Increases Attention to Nutritional Quality of Food Choices
Research Link
Prev Med. 2013 Oct;57(4):253-7.

October 6, 2013
A study of Peruvian babies found that those borne by iron deficient mothers were able to absorb a greater percentage of the iron from their food than babies of mothers with adequate iron status. However, the babies of iron deficient mothers were shorter and weighed less.
Consumer Link
How Iron Status Affects Iron Absorption in Infants
Research Link
Am J Clin Nutr. 2 Oct 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

October 5, 2013
A study using transgenic mice that produce large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids found that the animals had a greater exercise endurance capacity and lower body weight than normal rats. It remains to be seen if any aspects of this study will apply to humans.
Consumer Link
Certain Type of Fat Could Help Humans Lose Weight
Research Link
J Lipid Res. 2013;54:2636-2646.

October 4, 2013
A colorful diet may help maintain brain function into the later years of life. A study of almost 3000 middle-aged adults found that those with the greatest intake of foods with colorful carotenoids maintained better cognitive function during aging.
Consumer Link
Nutrition Lessons on Carotenoids from Dr Seuss
Research Link
Br J Nutr. 27 Sep 2013. [Epup ahead of print]

October 3, 2013
A large review of over 300 randomized controlled trials that involved more than 300,000 participants with cardiovascular disease found that exercise treatments were generally as effective as drug treatments for reducing mortality. For stroke patients, exercise was significantly more effective than drugs.
Consumer Link
Exercise 'can be as good as pills'
Research Link
BMJ 2013;347:f5577.

October 2, 2013
You may have seen recent headlines stating that girls who ate more peanut butter had less benign breast disease later in life. Although the related study demonstrated an interesting association, the study design cannot be interpreted to mean that eating more peanut butter will reduce breast disease.
Consumer Link
Peanut butter and breast disease: is there really a connection?
Research Link
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013;141(2):299-306.

October 1, 2013
A study of over 4000 women found that seafood was a relatively minor contributor to mercury accumulation in the body. These results suggest that advice to limit eating fish during pregnancy may need to be revisited.
Consumer Link
Fears over fish mercury 'unfounded'
Research Link
Environ Health Perspect. 30 Sep 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

September 30, 2013
The starchy root of the cassava plant (source of tapioca) serves as the major staple food for many people around the world. Researchers recently determined that, in addition to the starch in the tuberous root of the plant, the stems of the plant contain rather high amounts of starch. Techniques to utilize the plant stems for food and bioenergy production are under development.
Consumer Link
Utilizing wasted cassava stem starch could provide food for an extra 30 million people without using additional arable land, researchers say.
Research Link
GCB Bioenergy. 9 Sep 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

September 29, 2013
A large Swedish study found that those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were not more likely to have the intestinal damage diagnostic of celiac disease. However, those with ASDs were more likely to to have a positive response to blood tests commonly used in celiac diagnosis. The researchers thought that this may indicate a greater likelihood of nonceliac gluten sensitivity in ASD.
Consumer Link
No link between celiac disease and autism: study
Research Link
JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]

September 28, 2013
Recent research now shows that at least some cases of obesity and other eating disorders have a neurological basis. This knowledge may help develop effective treatments for eating disorders.
Consumer Link
Scientists Identify Brain Circuitry That Triggers Overeating
Research Link
Science. 2013 Sep 27;341(6153):1517-21.

September 27, 2013
A new study confirms that adequate dietary calcium is very important to bone health. Vitamin D also plays an important role, but increasing vitamin D intake above recommended levels had less impact than calcium intake on hormonal factors benefiting bone.
Consumer Link
Vitamin D Alone Does Little to Protect Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women
Research Link
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Sep 24. [Epub ahead of print]

September 26, 2013
An 18-day sleep lab study found that sleep deprivation led to increased calorie intake. Other studies have suggested that a chronic shortage of sleep time is linked with weight gain.
Consumer Link
Sleep less, weigh more.
Research Link
Sleep. 2013 Jul 1;36(7):981-990.

September 25, 2013
Changes in the appearance of the tongue and inside of the mouth can be clues of nutrient deficiencies. An ongoing deficient intake of some B vitamins, vitamin C, or iron can cause a variety of signs and symptoms.
Consumer Link
Oral and facial signs offer clues to vitamin deficiency
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113:693-701.

September 24, 2013
There is some evidence that moderate exercise may enhance sleep. However, a new study suggests that is may work the other way. People who got more sleep were more likely to exercise for longer durations on the following day.
Consumer Link
Sleep or Exercise?
Research Link
J Clin Sleep Med. 2013 Aug 15;9(8):819-24.

September 24, 2013
Changes in the appearance of the tongue and inside of the mouth can be clues of nutrient deficiencies. An ongoing deficient intake of some B vitamins, vitamin C, or iron can cause a variety of signs and symptoms.
Consumer Link
Oral and facial signs offer clues to vitamin deficiency
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113:693-701.

September 24, 2013
Changes in the appearance of the tongue and inside of the mouth can be clues of nutrient deficiencies. An ongoing deficient intake of some B vitamins, vitamin C, or iron can cause a variety of signs and symptoms.
Consumer Link
Oral and facial signs offer clues to vitamin deficiency
Research Link
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113:693-701.

September 23, 2013
Women with diabetes prior to pregnancy are much more likely to have a child with a spinal cord deformity. New knowledge from animal studies indicates that the expression of specific genes plays a role in causing this problem. Consequently, prevention may be possible through targeting this mechanism with appropriate drugs or dietary changes.
Consumer Link
New Approach to Prevent Diabetes-Induced Birth Defects?
Research Link
Sci Signal. 2013 Aug 27;6(290):ra74.

September 22, 2013
Claims have been made that copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps can relieve the symptoms of arthritis. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted on people with rheumatoid arthritis. It found that these devices provided no benefit.
Consumer Link
Copper bracelets and magnetic wrist straps fail to help rheumatoid arthritis, says York research
Research Link
PLoS ONE 8(9): e71529.

September 21, 2013
A Finnish study of over 2000 men followed for 13 to 20 years found that the risk of depression was lowest in men that had a healthy dietary pattern that met nutrient needs. Coffee consumption also was linked with a reduced risk of depression.
Consumer Link
Diet Is Associated With Risk of Depression
Research Link
Doctoral Dissertation: Diet is associated with the risk of depression

September 20, 2013
to me Planning a trip to the Space Station? The micro-gravity conditions cause the loss of muscle and bone, making good nutrition and resistance exercise extremely important to minimize these losses.
Consumer Link
Eating Healthy in Zero Gravity: Nutrition During Space Flight
Research Link
Adv Nutr. 2013 Sep 1;4(5):521-3.

September 19, 2013
MRI brain scanning indicates that carbonation of a beverage makes it more difficult for the brain to sense the difference between sugar and a mixture of the non-caloric sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame. Carbonation also appears to blunt the sensation of high levels of sugar in a beverage, making it easy to consume potentially excessive amounts of sugar.
Consumer Link
Carbonation Alters the Mind's Perception of Sweetness
Research Link
Gastroenterology. 2013 Sep;145(3):537-539.e3.

September 18, 2013
Vitamin D is known to promote immune function by increasing the production of a key protein involved in immune function. In a cell culture experiment, this action of vitamin D was enhanced by compounds found in dark grapes (resveratrol) and blueberries (pterostilbene). It is not known if this effect takes place in a live human, but it is another potential reason to enjoy these fruits.
Consumer Link
Red Grapes, Blueberries May Enhance Immune Function
Research Link
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Sep 14. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300266. [Epub ahead of print]

September 17, 2013
Data from multiple sources on health and mortality of the U.S. population from 1987 to 2008 indicated that substantial increases occurred in quality-adjusted life expectancy, or how long we are likely to live without serious impairment. Compared to a 25-year old person in 1987, a 25-year old person in 2008 has 2.4 more years of quality-adjusted life expectancy.
Consumer Link
Americans 'healthier and living longer'
Research Link
Am J Public Health. 2013 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]

September 16, 2013
The long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA (commonly found in fish oils and some types of algae oil) is a major component of the brain. A study with 7 to 9 year old children with reading and behavior problems found that 16 weeks of DHA supplementation improved both reading and behavior.
Consumer Link
Low Omega-3 Could Explain Why Some Children Struggle With Reading
Research Link
PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e43909.

September 15, 2013
Many cancer cells that develop in the body are essentially digested and do not progress to tumors. New understanding of the mechanisms involved in this process may lead to new ways to prevent and treat cancer.
Consumer Link
Forcing Cancer to Digest Itself
Research Link
Sci Transl Med. 2013;(5):202ra123.

September 14, 2013
Cognitive decline often occurs in people with Type 2 Diabetes. It now appears that this is due to brain shrinkage. It is not known why this occurs, however, the mental decline is similar to that seen in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Consumer Link
Brain Atrophy Linked With Cognitive Decline in Diabetes
Research Link
Diabetes Care. 2013 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print]

September 13, 2013
A new breakthrough in aging research found that mice that produced higher levels of the Sirt1 protein in specific regions of the brain functioned better and lived longer. This is the same protein that increases during caloric restriction. Finding other ways to increase this protein in the brain may lead to new ways to extend the human lifespan.
Consumer Link
Aging Really Is in Your Head: Scientists Answer Hotly DebatedQuestions About How Calorie Restriction Delays Aging Process
Research Link
Cell Metab. 2013;18(3):416-430.

September 12, 2013
The amino acid arginine is known to improve blood glucose control. A new study with normal and diabetic mice has shown how arginine promotes insulin secretion. Common foods high in arginine include meat, fish, poultry, and a variety of protein powders.
Consumer Link
Amino Acid with Promising Anti-Diabetic Effects
Research Link
Endocrinology. 2013 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]

September 11, 2013
An innovative study explored the effect of lower intestinal bacteria on obesity by studying human female twins in which one was thin and the other obese. When the bacterial cultures from the twins' lower intestines were transplanted into bacteria-free mice, the mice who received bacteria from obese twins became heavier than those getting bacteria from the lean twins.
Consumer Link
Can Gut Bugs Make You Fat? Or Skinny?
Research Link
Science. 2013;341:1241214

September 10, 2013
A project called the Human Urine Metabolome has measured over 2500 chemical components found in human urine. This information is available for researchers and already is leading to urine-based diagnostic tests for conditions such as colon and prostate cancers, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. Increased use of urine for the assessment of nutrition status is another likely outcome of this ongoing project.
Consumer Link
Human Urine Metabolome: What Scientists Can See in Your Urine
Research Link
PLoS ONE. 2013;8(9):e73076.

September 9, 2013
In response to recent concerns about arsenic in rice, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed the arsenic content of more than 1300 samples of rice and rice products from a wide variety of locations. Products were considered to be within reasonable levels for foods that can be included in an overall healthful diet. However, a food like rice bran cereal, should likely be consumed in moderation because most arsenic is in the outer bran layer of whole grain rice.
Consumer Link
FDA tests find very low levels of arsenic in rice
Research Link
U.S. FDA Questions & Answers: Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products

September 8, 2013
A condition called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (previously called exercise-induced asthma) is a narrowing of the bronchial airways to the lungs that occurs in 10 to 50 percent of athletes, depending on the sport and environmental conditions. A review of three studies concludes that taking 500 to 2000 mg of vitamin C before exercise significantly reduces broncho-constriction and symptoms in those who suffer from this condition.
Consumer Link
Vitamin C May Be Beneficial Against Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction
Research Link
BMJ Open. 2013 Jun 20;3(6).

September 7, 2013
An analysis of data on the intensity of physical activity in over 4500 adults found that those who engaged in higher-intensity short bouts or higher-intensity long bouts of physical activity regularly were less likely to be overweight or obese. However, the design of the study prevents a cause and effect conclusion. It is possible that people with lower body weight are more likely to engage in higher-intensity exercise.
Consumer Link
Short Bouts of Brisk Exercise May Help Cut Obesity Risk
Research Link
Am J Health Promot. 2013 Sep-Oct;28(1):41-9.

September 6, 2013
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been found to be associated with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. New research in a rat model for ADHD reports that early supplementation with long chain omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil type) had beneficial effects on behavior and brain neurotransmitter levels in male rats.
Consumer Link
Omega-3 Reduces ADHD Symptoms in Rats
Research Link
Behav Brain Funct. 2012 Dec 10;8:56.

September 5, 2013
Fibromyalgia is a poorly understood condition that causes chronic pain. Treatment typically focuses on pain management and lifestyle changes. A new study found that fibromyalgia sufferers who consume light to moderate amounts of alcohol have significantly lower fibromyalgia symptoms and better QOL compared those who consume no alcohol.
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Alcohol, Fibromyalgia, and Quality of Life
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Arthritis Res Ther. 2013 Mar 15;15(2):R42.

September 4, 2013
The perception that there is a peanut allergy "epidemic" appears to have been driven by a combination to factors that increased awareness of the seriousness of this allergy. Fortunately, however, deaths from peanut allergy are about as common as deaths from lightning strikes.
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Researcher Digs Into the Contested Peanut-Allergy Epidemic
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Soc Sci Med. 2013 Aug;90:49-55. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.04.031. Epub 2013 May 6.

September 3, 2013
From 1875 to 1975, the height of the average adult male in Britain increased by almost 5 inches. Improved nutrition and a reduced prevalence of childhood diseases likely were contributing factors in this change.
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Men's average height 'up 11cm since 1870s'
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Oxford Economic Papers. Sept 1, 2013.

September 2, 2013
The enzyme lactase is necessary for the digestion of lactose, the sugar in mother's milk. Research now shows that before animal husbandry, the production of lactase stopped shortly after weaning. Early dairy practices generally made cheeses and fermented yogurts that have little or no lactose. The persistence of lactase production into adulthood in those who commonly consumed milk is an example of a genetic adaptation.
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Spread of Farming and Origin of Lactase Persistence in Neolithic Age
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Nature. 2013;500:20–22.

September 1, 2013
Many studies have shown that it is difficult to achieve weight loss without losing a significant amount of lean mass - mostly loss of muscle tissue. A new study indicates that consuming twice the recommended level of protein during calorie restriction helps to maximize fat loss and minimize the loss of lean tissues. Increasing protein intake to three times the RDA did not confer any additional benefit.
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Doubling the Daily Allowance of Protein Intake With Diet and Exercise Protects Muscle Loss
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The FASEB J. 2013;27(9):3837-3847.

August 31, 2013
Studies on young to middle age adults have found that greater frequency, intensity and duration of exercise provides greater health benefit. However, recent studies of women over age 60 indicate that even just one workout a week provides similar benefits as two or three times a week.
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Exercising One Day a Week May Be Enough for Older Women
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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Jan 30. [Epub ahead of print]

August 30, 2013
In response to an apparent increase in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published new labeling regulations for the use of "gluten-free" on food labels. This will increase gluten-free labeling by food manufacturers and be a great help for those who must avoid this protein from wheat and related grains.
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Latest regulations make gluten-free eating easier
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U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2013.

August 29, 2013
Sodium is one of the few nutrients that we crave when we do not get enough to meet our needs. Based on a summary of studies conducted across 5 decades and in 45 countries, when people are left to their natural drives, they consume an average of about 3,600 milligrams of sodium per day with a common range of intake between 2,600 and 4,800 milligrams per day.
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Salt intake controlled by brain, not diet
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Am J Hypertens. August 26, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

August 28, 2013
Have you ever been surprised that someone else likes the taste of a particular sweetener that tastes bitter or metallic to you? It turns out that minor differences in specific genes can have a major impact on how we sense substances like artificial sweeteners. This is why the big soda companies typically offer a variety of sweetener options in their diet sodas.
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Multiple genes manage how people taste sweeteners
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Chem Senses. 2013 Jun;38(5):379-89.

August 27, 2013
Although crocodiles are highly carnivorous, it turns out that they do venture into plant foods at times. These reptiles may even play an important role in the dispersal of the seeds of some fruits.
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Crocodile Confession: Meat-Eating Predators Occasionally Eat Fruit
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J Zoology. 16 JUL 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

August 26, 2013
It is common to think of genetically modified crops as those designed to maximize the profits of big corporations and mega-farms. However, golden rice, modified to contain beta-carotene (a vitamin A precursor), was developed by the nonprofit International Rice Research Institute. The goal is to prove an affordable source of vitamin A to people who do not have the means to obtain this nutrient from other foods. This rice has the potential to prevent rampant blindness and deaths due to impaired immune function in many parts of the world.
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Golden Rice: Lifesaver?
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Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1776-83.

August 25, 2013
The assumption that obese people are unhealthy and lean people are healthy is not always correct. Due to this assumption, a leaner person may have a delay in diagnosis of a health condition compared to an overweight or obese person. This can make the condition worse by the time it is diagnosed.
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BMI does not Depict An Accurate Picture About Health
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Science 23 August 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6148 pp. 856-858.

August 24, 2013
It appears that type 2 diabetes is not just a disorder of the pancreas and insulin function. Intestinal function also plays a role. Interestingly, sweet taste receptors in the intestine detect glucose and trigger a response that accelerates glucose absorption in diabetics more that healthy non-diabetics.
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Gut Taste Mechanisms Are Abnormal in Diabetes Sufferers
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Diabetes. 2013 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]

August 23, 2013
A study of more than 28,000 children and youth between 6 and 24 years of age recently initiating the use of an antipsychotic medication had a 3-fold greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to about 14,000 matched controls not taking these drugs for the same conditions. This risk was elevated within the first year of antipsychotic drug use and increased with longer use.
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Antipsychotic Drugs May Triple Kids' Diabetes Risk
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JAMA Psychiatry. August, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

August 22, 2013
Most of us are aware of the potential for animal products to harbor disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella. However, it is important to be aware that vegetarian foods such as the cultured soy food tempeh have the potential to support bacterial growth and should be handled and prepared with the same precautions as meat, poultry, and fish.
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A Salmonella Warning for Vegetarians
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Emerging Infectious Diseases (CDC)

August 21, 2013
Pancreatic cancer is very aggressive and deadly. New research on pancreatic cancer cells indicates that a flavonoid called apigenin, that is found in foods such as celery, artichokes, and Mexican oregano, is likely to help prevent pancreatic cancer and may enhance treatment of the cancer when used in conjunction with chemotherapy.
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Celery, Artichokes Contain Flavonoids That Kill Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells
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