Research Tips

January 12, 2009
The three most important words in nutrition are variety, balance, and moderation. Making extreme changes in your diet may seem to have short-term benefits but can lead to long-term problems.
J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3476-84


January 16, 2009
Picky eaters risk missing important nutrients. Variety is not only the spice of life but also the substance of good nutrition. Eat a wide variety of foods for best health
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


January 21, 2009
Health messages that encourage you to eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, assume you are already eating adequate protein and calcium sources to meet your nutrient requirements.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


January 23, 2009
Healthy eating is important, but taking healthy eating to an unhealthy extreme can damage a person's health. This condition is called orthorexia nervosa.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71


January 27, 2009
With our growing knowledge of how Vitamin D plays many roles in health, many researchers worldwide are recommending over 1000 IU/day - about double the amount in current recommendations.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan;85(1):6-18.


January 30, 2009
Getting too little protein can cause muscles and the immune system to weaken. Be sure to include high protein foods along with those fruits and vegetables.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80


February 10, 2009
Some types of tofu provide a significant amount of easily absorbed calcium, and some types do not. If the food label indicates "30 percent," then a serving provides about 300 mg of calcium.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


February 12, 2009
Especially during hot weather, it is easy to become dehydrated before you realize it. Plan ahead on fluid intake and you will reduce your risk of developing urinary tract infections, kidney stones, bladder and colon cancer, and possibly even blood clots.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5 Suppl):535S-541S


February 13, 2009
Research indicates that the amount of iodine in foods has declined over the past two decades. This nutrient is essential for normal function of the thyroid gland.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008


February 26, 2009
Body size, physical activity, and weather conditions all affect our daily water needs. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adult males consume about 3.7 liters (15 cups) and adult females about 2.7 liters (10 cups) each day in their foods and beverages combined.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.


March 2, 2009
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.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008


March 3, 2009
It is well known that chewing sugarless gum can benefit dental health. Did you know that chewing gum also can boost brain function? This may be due to increased blood flow to the brain stimulated by the chewing motions of the jaws.
Nutrition Today 43(2), 75-81, 2008.


March 4, 2009
Diets composed mostly of whole grains and beans can stunt a child’s growth and also delay sexual maturation. These problems occur due to limitations in the ability of humans to absorb zinc from these foods.
J Am Coll Nutr. 1988 Oct;7(5):377-84.


March 5, 2009
Don't over-react to popular reports that paint certain foods as all good or all bad. It is easier to meet your essential nutrient needs if your diet consists of a wide variety of foods and food sources.
Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):253-5.


March 8, 2009
Most colds are caused by one of more than 100 rhinoviruses. The best strategy to stay healthy is to avoid exposure to these viruses. However, since that is not always possible, maintaining a balanced diet will promote overall good health and speed recovery from a cold.
Ann Nutr Metab. 2007;51(4):301-23.


March 10, 2009
It is more important to focus on eating an all-around healthy diet than on eliminating "unhealthy foods." A healthy diet includes a wide variety of foods that can provide all essential nutrients and other important food components.
Can J Public Health. 2005 Jul-Aug;96 Suppl 3:S15-9, S16-21.


March 18, 2009
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.
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.


March 23, 2009
Vitamins are absolutely essential for normal body function. Carbohydrate and fiber, however, are debatably essential but proper amounts in the daily diet can benefit health.
J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2005 Nov-Dec;20(6):451-60.


March 25, 2009
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.
Urol Int. 2004;72 Suppl 1:29-33.


March 29, 2009
In addition to helping blood clot normally, vitamin K benefits both bone and cardiovascular health. To get enough vitamin K eat dark green vegetables regularly.
Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5.


April 6, 2009
About 60 percent of the students in a high school had blood test results associated with iron deficiency. Symptoms, including dizziness, irritability, and depression, were successfully treated with iron supplements. Food sources of iron include red meat, dark poultry meat, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Scand J Prim Health Care. 2005 Mar;23(1):28-33.


April 7, 2009
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.
Yakugaku Zasshi. 2008 Mar;128(3):333-9.


April 8, 2009
Equilibrium is the key to maintaining good health. It is best to maintain a balanced nutrient intake with a wide variety of wholesome foods. When that is difficult, reasonable use of nutritional supplements can fill some gaps.
Nurs Times. 2005 Jan 4-10;101(1):30-1.


April 10, 2009
Over 50 specific chemicals such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids are required for the body to function. Picky eaters often miss out on many essential nutrients and other beneficial food components. Get excited about exploring the world of food and it will benefit your health throughout your life!
Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Sep;8(9):685-98.


April 11, 2009
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils are known to provide a variety of health benefits. Similar fatty acids in plant oils like canola and flax oils don’t have the same effects, but new plant oils are being developed that may match the benefits of fish oils.
J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):5-10. Epub 2008 Dec 3.


April 14, 2009
Exercise stimulates muscles to accumulate protein and build muscle fibers. But, this is only possible with an adequate supply of key nutrients, including protein. Both regular exercise and adequate nutrition play essential roles in maintaining muscle.
Nutr Res. 2008 Oct;28(10):651-8.


April 16, 2009
The average U.S. adult consumes only 75 to 80 percent of the amount of magnesium recommended. This may contribute to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. Green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans are all good food sources.
Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):142-51.


April 26, 2009
The Internet is loaded with misinformation. Before you let the Internet drive your beliefs and your food choices, be sure that you are surfing reliable websites with sound science-based advice.
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.


April 27, 2009
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.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S2-5.


May 2, 2009
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.
Med J Aust. 1984 Nov 10;141(10):635-7.


May 4, 2009
Vitamin B-12 is essential for many nervous system functions including overall brain function and especially short-term memory. B-12 is naturally present in animal foods like meat, milk products, and eggs. Also, this vitamin is added to some foods like fortified soymilk.
Clin Chim Acta. 2002 Dec;326(1-2):47-59.


May 8, 2009
If you find yourself craving salt as the weather heats up, there could be a good reason. Due to increased sodium loss in sweat, the sodium needs of those who work outdoors all day can substantially exceed current recommendations for sodium intake.
J Occup Med Toxicol. 2008 Jan 29;3:4.


May 10, 2009
Since about one out of every 200 people carries a gene that makes them susceptible to iron overload disease, iron supplements should not be taken needlessly. However, medically supervised use of iron supplements is extremely important for treating the much more common problem of iron deficiency.
Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2003:40-61.


May 12, 2009
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.
Nutr Rev. 2002 May;60(5 Pt 1):127-34.


May 13, 2009
Fats and oils in our diet provide nutrients called essential fatty acids. However, some fats are rather low in these nutrients. For example, it requires about 2,000 calories of olive oil to meet the daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids compared to only 200 calories worth of soybean oil.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;77(6):937-46. Epub 2008 Oct 28.


May 15, 2009
The “longevity gene” may play a role in the length of a person’s life, but nutrition and exercise are still extremely important to the quality of life. Even if health begins to decline, good dietary habits can decrease the progression and severity of problems no matter what genes you have.
Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52 Suppl 1:2-5.


May 20, 2009
After mid-life, people generally experience a gradual loss of muscle mass. Both regular exercise and adequate nutrition play essential roles in preventing excessive muscle loss with age.
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.


May 27, 2009
To increase your odds of getting plenty of essential nutrients and other beneficial food components that promote the highest level of health, eat moderate amounts of a wide variety of foods.
Clin Biochem. 1984 Apr;17(2):132-42.


May 29, 2009
A steady supply of oxygen is essential for life. Too much oxygen, however, can be harmful to the body. Consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans and grains helps to protect lungs from oxidative damage.
Proc Nutr Soc. 2004 Nov;63(4):579-85.


May 30, 2009
Choline is an essential nutrient required by all cells. It is especially important for normal brain and muscle function. Most foods provide choline, with the richest sources being liver and eggs, followed by most meats, poultry, and fish.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2006;26:229-50.


June 2, 2009
The best way to protect your lungs from the oxidative damage that can lead to lung diseases is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as part of an overall balanced diet.
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005 Apr;9(4):362-74.


June 6, 2009
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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):100-8.


June 11, 2009
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.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;57 Suppl 2:S19-23.


July 5, 2009
Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but excessive sun exposure damages the skin. Food sources include oily ocean fish like salmon and sardines along with milk, and fortified juices.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2130-5.


July 9, 2009
If a person claims a food is all “good” or all “bad” – beware. Nutrition science is complex and nutrition misinformation is common. Eating a balanced variety of foods to meet your nutritional needs is likely the safest and wisest choice.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):601-7.


July 11, 2009
With an increasing number of calcium-fortified foods available, the likelihood for some people to consume too much calcium is potentially real. Excess calcium can reduce the absorption of other essential minerals like iron and zinc. It is all about balance!
Br J Nutr. 1993 Mar;69(2):533-40.


July 12, 2009
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.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep-Oct;10(5):377-85.


July 22, 2009
Good nutrition is always important for health, but it becomes even more important before and after surgery. Nutritional preparation for surgery means providing the body with adequate nutrient building blocks for both optimal immune function and tissue repair.
Curr Opin Crit Care. 2008 Dec;14(6):690-5.


July 29, 2009
Choline was recently discovered to be an essential nutrient. It is needed for many things, including normal brain and liver function. Many foods contain modest amounts of choline, but eggs are especially rich. One egg provides over half of the adult daily need for choline.
J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Oct;11(5):473-81.


July 30, 2009
Skimping on fruits and vegetables may not cause identifiable short-term health problems, but the long-term health ramifications may be significant. So balance your diet with enough fruits and veggies!
Cancer. 1993 Aug 1;72(3 Suppl):1015-8.


August 5, 2009
As people get older, their calorie needs often decrease, however their nutrient needs stay the same or may even increase for some nutrients. Consequently, as the quantity of food consumed decreases, the quality of the overall diet needs to improve.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Aug;106(8):1172-80.


August 12, 2009
A healthy body is a body in balance. To maintain an internal balance requires adequate nutrients from a variety of foods and food groups. Focusing on some food groups at the expense of others leads to imbalance.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


August 13, 2009
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.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;62(3):336-41.


August 14, 2009
Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin in response to sunlight. Because most of us are avoiding sun exposure and wearing sunscreens to promote skin health, we need to obtain vitamin D from foods like milk and fish or from dietary supplements.
Risk assessment for vitamin D


August 15, 2009
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.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80.


September 1, 2009
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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71


September 7, 2009
It is thought that 25 to 50 percent of a person's potential for longevity is directly related to their genetic makeup. Even so, good nutrition also plays an important role in health with or without good genes for longevity.
Ann Nutr Metab. 2008;52 Suppl 1:2-5.


September 16, 2009
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.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.


September 17, 2009
If the body runs low on one or more of the essential nutrients, 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.
Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):253-5.


September 21, 2009
Trillions of bacteria live in the lower part of our intestine. They thrive on our “leftovers” – food components that we can’t digest and absorb. A balanced diet supports the right proportions and amounts of beneficial types of these bacteria.
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.


October 8, 2009
Eating a wide variety of foods helps ensure you'll meet all your essential nutrient needs. Miss just one essential nutrient and eventually serious health problems can develop.
Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Sep;8(9):685-98.


October 9, 2009
The B-vitamin biotin is required by cells for normal gene function. It is presently thought that biotin is especially important for cell function in older individuals. Foods rich in biotin include eggs, lean meats, salmon, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
J Nutr. 2007 Jan;137(1):25-30.


October 11, 2009
There is no perfect food that provides all the nutrients we require. This makes nutrition a bit of a balancing act and explains why guidelines for healthful eating stress variety, moderation, and balance.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):100-8.


October 12, 2009
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.
J Am Coll Nutr. 1992 Oct;11(5):473-81.


October 17, 2009
The body requires about 50 specific chemicals that must be obtained from foods. Inadequate intake of even one of these essential nutrients eventually impairs body function and leads to related health problems.
J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2005 Nov-Dec;20(6):451-60.


November 5, 2009
The senses of taste and smell have been essential for successful evolution and survival of the human species. Consuming a diet with adequate food variety helps to prevent marginal nutrient deficiencies that can dull these senses.
Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar;23(2):171-7.


November 7, 2009
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.
J Occup Med Toxicol. 2008 Jan 29;3:4.


November 12, 2009
Most people function best with something for breakfast. The most beneficial breakfasts provide a balanced mixture of carbohydrate, protein and fat. Without all three of these energy sources, many people fade out before lunch time.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):211-20.


November 16, 2009
Optimal nutrition promotes optimal health. But optimal nutrition means consuming balanced amounts of essential nutrients, not excessive amounts that could strain organs like the liver and kidneys. This balance is easiest to achieve with a varied diet.
J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3476-84.


November 24, 2009
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.
Clin Biochem. 1984 Apr;17(2):132-42.


November 25, 2009
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.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.


November 26, 2009
As a person moves towards retirement age, their energy requirements typically go down but their protein requirements often go up. Eat good protein sources first and then consider holiday sweets.
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.


November 27, 2009
Nutrition misinformation is widespread on the Internet. Be sure that you are surfing reliable websites with sound science-based advice before you make radical changes in your diet.
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.


November 30, 2009
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.
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.


December 1, 2009
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.
Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5.


December 2, 2009
If you don't consume milk products, your diet could be low in riboflavin (vitamin B-2). A low intake of B-2 is associated with an increased risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease and cataracts.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;77(6):1352-60.


December 7, 2009
With aging, there is a gradual decline in physical activity and calorie needs. Some nutrient needs, however, actually increase. For example: vitamin D recommendations double at age 51 and triple for those over 70.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Aug;106(8):1172-80.


December 17, 2009
Meeting the body's need for nutrients is "step one" in nutrition. A short supply of just one of about 50 essential nutrients will eventually lead to serious health problems.
J Nutr. 2009 Jun;139(6):1198-202.


January 24, 2010
Riboflavin (vitamin B-2) deficiency is most common in adolescent girls, the elderly, and some vegetarians. Rich food sources of riboflavin include milk products, fortified soy milk, and fortified breakfast cereals.
Med J Aust. 1984 Nov 10;141(10):635-7.


January 26, 2010
Contrary to popular belief, Popeye does not eat spinach to get iron. Because of other components in spinach, it takes about five cups of cooked spinach to provide the same amount of absorbable iron found in three ounces of lean beef.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;62(3):336-41. Epub 2007 Apr 18.


January 30, 2010
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.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80.


February 2, 2010
Iodine is an essential nutrient needed for normal function of the thyroid gland. Good food sources of iodine include most seafood and seaweeds. Sea salt, however, is actually very low in iodine.
Nutr Rev. 2007 Dec;65(12 Pt 1):535-43.


February 9, 2010
Recommendations for daily calcium intake are based on the assumption that the body absorbs about 30 percent of the calcium in the diet. Milk products and calcium-fortified juices are reliable rich sources of well-absorbed calcium.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


February 11, 2010
Virtually every function in the body is dependent on the presence of an adequate amount of water. Getting adequate fluid is important for both short- and long-term health.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5 Suppl):535S-541S.


February 13, 2010
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.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.


February 19, 2010
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.
Am J Lifestyle Med. 2009; 3(1 Suppl): 35S–38S.


February 27, 2010
Vegetables are an excellent source of many nutrients, but on average it takes about 20 pounds of raw vegetables to provide the typical daily calorie need of 2000 calories.
Appetite. 2003 Aug;41(1):97-8.


February 28, 2010
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.
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.


March 4, 2010
The most common conditions linked to chronically low magnesium intake include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. A diet with a wide variety of unprocessed wholesome foods can easily meet magnesium needs.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 22


March 5, 2010
Poor nutrition at any stage of life can affect health. Consuming adequate quantities of a wide variety of foods from all food groups is the best way to get all of your nutrients.
Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009;49 Suppl 1:19-27.


March 7, 2010
A busy lifestyle can lead to less healthful diets and contribute to obesity and chronic health problems. Making time for adequate nutrition now will lead to more "quality time" in the future.
Appetite. 2006 Sep;47(2):196-204.


March 13, 2010
If people eat a wide variety of wholesome foods, they generally meet their need for nutrients. However, people with low calorie needs, pregnant women, and those with special medical problems may benefit from multivitamin/mineral supplements often recommended by health professionals.
NIH Consens State Sci Statements. 2006 May 15-17;23(2):1-30.


March 14, 2010
Dietary fiber is important to overall health. But when consumed in excess, fiber can adversely affect the intestinal absorption of calcium.
Diabetes Care. 2009 Jun;32(6):990-5. Epub 2009 Mar 11.


March 16, 2010
Many individual foods have special health-promoting qualities. But, a healthful diet depends on the balance of a wide variety of these individual foods.
J Nutr. 2004 Jul;134(7):1779-85.


March 21, 2010
A breakfast that contains carbohydrate, protein and fat will help to provide mental sharpness and prevent a dive in energy level that occurs when only carbohydrate is consumed.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):211-20.


March 22, 2010
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.
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005 Apr;9(4):362-74.


March 29, 2010
The mineral copper is an essential nutrient needed for the production of normal blood cells and multiple other biological functions. Good sources of copper include: organ meats, shellfish, nuts, seeds, and chocolate. Other foods that contain significant amounts of copper are wheat bran cereals and whole grain products.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Copper, 2001; pp 224-257.


April 6, 2010
When looking at the "Nutrition Facts" information on a food label, the first thing to notice is the serving size. Everything else on the label indicates the amount in one serving.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov;90(5):1351-7.


April 10, 2010
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.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Apr;24(2):150S-154S.


April 12, 2010
Fats and the essential fatty acid components of fat are required for numerous important functions in the body. People who attempt to eat a nearly fat-free diet or limited amounts of certain types of fat may not be meeting their essential fatty acid requirements.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;77(6):937-46. Epub 2008 Oct 28.


April 13, 2010
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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


April 19, 2010
Many people may not meet their need for the B vitamin biotin. Since a biotin deficiency increases the risk of birth defects, pregnant women should consume good food sources of biotin such as eggs, lean meats, salmon, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):154-7.


April 23, 2010
Vitamin K, found in green vegetables, is well known for it role in normal blood clotting, but this vitamin also is needed for supporting the health of bones and arteries.
Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5.


April 25, 2010
The Internet has opened a Pandora's box of nutritional misinformation. Even though there is a strong human tendency to just believe what sounds good, being a skeptic has its long term health benefits.
Complement Ther Med. 2004 Dec;12(4):217-27.


May 4, 2010
Moderate amounts of fats and oils are essential for a healthful diet. Not only do they provide essential fatty acids, but they also help the body absorb certain vitamins and other beneficial food components.
Biochem Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;77(6):937-46.


May 8, 2010
Eating only "healthy foods," rather than an overall healthy diet, can lead to inadequate protein, excessive fiber and iron deficiency, among other problems. Good nutrition is often as simple as variety, balance, and moderation.
J Nutr. 2003 Nov;133(11):3476-84


May 13, 2010
Optimal nutrition promotes optimal health only when all nutrient needs are met. The World Health Organization defines health as "complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Aug;102(8):1096-104.


May 14, 2010
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.
Phys Sportsmed. 1997 Jun;25(6):77-92.


May 17, 2010
The essential mineral zinc is more efficiently absorbed from animal foods than from plant foods. Vegetarian diets need to contain about 50 percent more zinc to meet the body's needs.
Zinc Health Professional Fact Sheet


May 26, 2010
Recent research indicates that many of us do not consume enough of a nutrient called choline. It is especially important for normal brain and muscle function. Rich food sources include liver and eggs, followed by most meats, poultry, and fish.
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.


May 27, 2010
Dietary potassium may play a role in decreasing blood pressure. Papaya is one of many fruits that provides a good potassium source.
USDA National Nutrient Database


May 28, 2010
A diet that promotes the "good" and "bad" foods concept should raise a red flag. We require a variety of nutrients and that means consuming a variety of foods.
J Fam Health Care. 2006;16(5):143-5.


May 29, 2010
Biotin is an essential B vitamin that is important at all ages. Recent research found that food levels of biotin are significantly lower than previously thought. Good food sources include eggs, lean meats, salmon, peanuts, and sunflower seeds.
J Food Compost Anal 2004 Dec;17(6):767-776.


June 1, 2010
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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Apr;106(4):601-7.


June 11, 2010
Keeping all of your senses sharp requires meeting the body's need for all essential nutrients. Many nutrient deficiencies impair the function of the nervous system.
Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2007 Mar;23(2):171-7.


June 12, 2010
Variety, balance, and moderation are the three most important words in nutrition. Extreme diet changes may seem to have short-term benefits but too often can lead to long-term unforeseen problems.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1543S-1548S.


June 14, 2010
The use of sunscreen helps to prevent skin damage, but it greatly reduces the body's production of vitamin D. Obtaining adequate vitamin D in foods and/or supplements seems to be the safest way to meet the need for this nutrient.
Medical News Today, June 10, 2010.


June 18, 2010
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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


June 19, 2010
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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


June 22, 2010
On an average, a sedentary adult should drink 6 to 7 cups of water per day, as water. Exposure to hot weather and trade winds, however, increases invisible sweat loss and water needs.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;64(2):115-23.


July 1, 2010
Vitamins are essential nutrients your body requires in small amounts for vital functions in the human body. Vitamin K plays an essential role in both normal blood clotting and helps to promote bone health.
Clin Calcium. 2009 Sep;19(9):1354-60.


July 4, 2010
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.
Prog Brain Res. 2006;153:129-40.


July 7, 2010
Fat is required in the diet for numerous important biological functions. Without some dietary fat, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are poorly absorbed. Deficiencies in these vitamins can lead to serious health problems.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Apr;53 Suppl 1:S84-8; discussion S88-93.


July 13, 2010
Food sources of fats and oils provide various amounts of the essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Low fat diets make it important to carefully select the fats and oils that provide enough of these fatty acids to meet recommended intake.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2004;24:597-615.


July 15, 2010
Optimal nutrition promotes optimal health. The World Health Organization defines health as complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Üstün & Jakob. 2005;83:802


July 21, 2010
For nursing infants to obtain adequate iodine from mother's milk, it is essential that the mother consume enough iodine in her diet. If you are cutting back on salt, it can reduce iodine intake and lower the iodine content of breastmilk. Be sure to find other sources of iodine.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.


August 7, 2010
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.
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.


August 23, 2010
Consuming the right balance of essential nutrients is the foundation for good health. These nutrients can be obtained from a balanced intake of a wide variety of foods. When diet is limited, proper use of nutritional supplements can be required to meet nutrient needs.
JAMA. 2005 Jul 20;294(3):351-8.


August 26, 2010
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.
Nutr Health. 2009;20(2):135-66.


August 28, 2010
Some B vitamins are essential for energy metabolism, the process of utilizing the calories in carbohydrate, fat, and protien. Good sources of thiamin, riboflavin and niacin include whole and enriched grain products.
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference


September 2, 2010
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.
Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009;49 Suppl 1:19-27.


September 18, 2010
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.
Nutr Rev. 2010 Jun;68(6):333-40.


September 26, 2010
For middle-age adults, the overall risk of death is greatest for the thinnest and the heaviest. Individuals in the middle weight range have the lowest risk. However, for people over 75, those with the most body fat are most likely to survive hospitalization.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):505-10.


October 7, 2010
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.
Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Feb 15;42(4):1315-23.


October 14, 2010
Consuming adequate dietary fiber requires including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in the diet. However, too much fiber can reduce the ability to absorb essential minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. Good health is a matter of balance, not extremes.
Nutr Rev. 2002 May;60(5 Pt 1):127-34.


October 25, 2010
Evidence continues to support eating the recommended amount of vegetables to reduce chronic disease risk. The adult recommendation for 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day assumes that the vegetables are consumed as part of an overall balanced diet with all food groups included.
Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]


October 28, 2010
Vitamin D is known to be important for healthy bones. More recent research shows vitamin D also is essential for many other physiological functions, such as a strong immune system.
Br J Nutr. 2007 Oct;98 Suppl 1:S29-35.


November 1, 2010
Based on a mouse study, consuming white button mushrooms can enhance potentially beneficial immune system function.
J Nutr. 2008 Mar;138(3):544-550.


November 6, 2010
There has been considerable debate about how much protein a person needs during their last decade or two of life. Recent studies, however, indicate that for optimal health, protein needs increase somewhat during these years.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2009 Jun;57(6):1073-9.


November 8, 2010
Although increased fluid and sodium needs are associated with hot weather and exercise, remember the flu can cause an increased internal temperature that requires increased fluid as well.
J Occup Med Toxicol. 2008 Jan 29;3:4.


November 10, 2010
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.
Dietary Reference Intakes - Food & Nutrition Board


November 17, 2010
Iron needs for physically active individuals may be 30% greater than the needs of their less active friends. Meeting iron needs with food sources of well-absorbed iron is important for overall health. In general, iron is absorbed better from animal foods than from plant foods.
Dietary Reference Intakes - Food & Nutrition Board


November 26, 2010
Many studies have reported a reduced risk of chronic disease in people who eat more fruits and vegetables. Researchers initially expected this was due to increased beta-carotene intake. However, recent research indicates that alpha-carotene may be the protective factor. Like beta-carotene, alpha carotene is found in many yellow-orange and dark green fruits and vegetables.
Arch Intern Med [ePub online November 22, 2010]


December 1, 2010
Yesterday the Institute of Medicine recommended a moderate increase in daily vitamin D intake. The non-profit Vitamin D Council considers these recommendations to be much too low because the Institute based their recommendation on bone health rather than considering the many other functions of vitamin D.
Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D


December 2, 2010
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 may even play a role in the prevention of obesity.
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.


December 18, 2010
For most of us, holiday eating tends to be higher in fat and calories than how we eat the rest of the year. Maintaining modest amounts of fruit and vegetables in the diet can help to reduce the potential short-term adverse effects of high-fat meals on the cardiovascular system.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 May 21;41(10):1744-9.


December 22, 2010
Many food lists indicate that clams are a good iron source. Chopped and minced clam products however are actually very low in iron. Whole baby clam products that are generally rich in iron can contain excessive amounts of other minerals due to environmental conditions.
J Food Comp and Analysis. 2009;(22):S78-S82.


December 28, 2010
University of Mass. Medical School research showed that what a mouse is fed before becoming a father can affect health risk factors in their offspring. Male mice fed a low protein diet fathered offspring that had altered synthesis of lipids and cholesterol in the liver. This research will undoubtedly open many new research doors.
Cell. 2010 Dec 23;143(7):1084-96.


January 7, 2011
Low vitamin D blood levels have been associated with increased falls, fractures, cancer, immune system problems, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. The best food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs from hens fed vitamin D, and fortified cereals and milk products.
Osteoporos Int. 2007 Mar;18(3):251-9.


January 9, 2011
The Institute of Medicine has set recommended levels of intake for fluoride (Adequate Intake values). The range of safe intake, however, is fairly narrow. The Adequate Intake for adults is 3 to 4 mg/day and the Tolerable Upper Intake Level Level is 10 mg/day.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


January 21, 2011
A balanced diet helps to maintain a balanced population of beneficial bacteria living in the lower part of the intestinal tract. This helps to protect us from pathogenic bacteria, some cancers, and possibly even the development of obesity.
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.


February 9, 2011
People often end up in the hospital for ailments that demand symptomatic medical treatment. However, studies show that malnutrition is a frequent, but unnoticed, cause or component of these medical conditions.
J Nutr Health Aging. 2010 Aug;14(8):622-8.


February 21, 2011
Some of the components of nutritional supplements can break down over time and lose their effectiveness. This is especially true when supplements are stored in humid locations like the bathroom.
J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Mar 24;58(6):3532-40.


February 23, 2011
Why will some children eat vegetables and others turn up their nose? It may be largely due to the sensitivity of their bitter taste receptors that appears to be genetically determined. Children with a bitter taste gene have a greater aversion to bitter foods and a greater preference for sweet foods. Luckily for health, the bitterness aversion tends to decline with age.
Pediatrics. 2005 Feb;115(2):e216-22.


March 19, 2011
It is well known that vitamin A is important to human nutrition and fetal development. However, we now know that the retinol form of vitamin A plays an extremely important role the production of energy at a cellular level. Both too much and too little vitamin A can disturb normal energy production and cause cellular havoc.
FASEB J. 2010 Feb;24(2):627-36.


March 28, 2011
Do you find it challenging to plan out a week’s worth of food shopping? Then, consider that NASA food scientists are striving to work out ways to provide 3 to 5 years of food supplies to meet all of the nutritional needs of astronauts on a Mars mission.
Journal of Food Science, 2011; 76 (2): R40-48.


April 4, 2011
Many types of inflammatory conditions appear to improve when the two key omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil (EPA and DHA) are consumed in adequate amounts. Researchers recently identified a DHA derivative that reduces the inflammatory chemicals and airway hyperresponsiveness associated with asthma.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]


April 10, 2011
Getting all of the essential nutrients in the diet is not always easy. Dietary variety is possibly one of the most basic but important ways to accomplish this.
J Nutr. 2004 Jul;134(7):1779-8


April 12, 2011
A coalition of European scientists reviewed which vitamins and minerals needed the most attention for research to update their levels of recommended intake. Vitamin D, iron and zinc were ranked as the highest-priority nutrients across all age groups.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;64 Suppl 2:S19-30.


May 2, 2011
The brain's main energy source is glucose (blood sugar). Long-term consumption of excessively low carbohydrate diets may have a negative effect on the mood of some people.
Arch Intern Med. 2009 Nov 9;169(20):1873-80.


May 9, 2011
Should everyone drink 8 cups of water a day? For most people this is more than enough. However, some athletes can sweat off 8 cups of fluid during one hour of exercise. Water to replace these losses can come from many types of beverages and foods.
Mil Med. 1999 Jul;164(7):502-8.


May 17, 2011
The ability of the human body to efficiently use carbohydrate for energy and then switch to fat when carbohydrate is not available is shared even by fruit flies. Consequently, studies of the metabolic switches in fruit flies may be leading to better treatments for diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Cell. 2011 May 13;145(4):596-606.


May 18, 2011
Higher body fat levels have been found to be associated with lower vitamin D status (low plasma 25(OH) vitamin D) in adults. The same relationship also has been observed in 8 to 18 year-old black and white children.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 May;96(5):1560-7.


May 20, 2011
We have all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If this is true, what foods are best to consume at breakfast? A growing body of research supports consuming a variety of breakfast foods that always include some high protein foods.
Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 May 5. [Epub ahead of print]


June 3, 2011
A rarely appreciated function of vitamin C is its antioxidant function in brain cells - especially during the rapid brain development of fetal and early infancy stages of growth. Research on guinea pigs found that a moderate deficiency of dietary vitamin C that did not cause scurvy symptoms did impair brain development and impaired spatial memory.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Sep;90(3):540-6.


June 15, 2011
With the increased use of vegetable oils that started about 75 years ago, omega-6 fatty acid intake has almost tripled. High intake of these fatty acids is related to increased production of pro-inflammatory messengers in the body that increase the risk for various chronic diseases. Those with African ancestry appear to have a greater propensity for converting omega-6 fatty acids into these inflammatory messenger molecules.
BMC Genet. 2011 May 20;12(1):50. [Epub ahead of print]


June 28, 2011
Vitamin B-12 deficiency often goes undiagnosed and can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system, including the brain. New research provides evidence that it may be possible to develop a relatively simple breath test to accurately assess vitamin B-12 status.
J Breath Res. 2011 Jun 23;5(4):046001.


July 6, 2011
Vitamin E is naturally present in foods in two major forms - tochopherols and tocotrienols. Supplementation of stroke-prone mice with the lesser known tocotrienol form was found to help prevent the brain cell death that normally occurs after a stroke.
Stroke. 2011 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print]


July 17, 2011
After puberty, meeting nutritional needs can be more challenging for girls than it is for boys due to increasing iron requirements. In many cultures, however, during times of food insecurity, boys commonly get preferential treatment and maintain better nutritional status.
Pediatrics. 2011 Feb;127(2):e398-405.


July 18, 2011
Current recommendations for a very low salt diet have been challenged by some researchers. Among the many issues related to inadequate salt in the diet is that insulin resistance can develop and cause increased blood glucose.
Metabolism. 2011 Jul;60(7):965-8.


September 5, 2011
Low intake of magnesium is common in U.S. diets. Since low magnesium intake can contribute to many chronic ailments, the daily diet should include high magnesium foods such as green vegetables, nuts, beans, milk products and whole grains.
Magnes Res. 2008 Jun;21(2):77-82.


September 14, 2011
Sodium and chloride, the components of salt, are essential nutrients that were difficult for early humans to obtain. Our enjoyment of the taste of salt is thought to be tied to basic survival drive mechanisms in the brain.
Physiology & Behavior, 94 (5), p.709-721


September 16, 2011
Breakfast cereals are commonly fortified with vitamins and minerals. A recent study of over 3700 low income individuals in the U.K. found that study participants who commonly consumed breakfast cereals generally had a greater intake of micronutrients than those who did not consume cereals.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 Aug 10. [Epub ahead of print]


November 1, 2011
New collaborative research by Duke and MIT researchers has confirmed that zinc is involved in nerve function in specific parts of the brain. Zinc deficiency is linked to problems such as depression and zinc excess appears to aggravate epilepsy. An adequate, but not excessive intake of zinc is likely essential for normal brain function.
Neuron. 2011 Sep 22;71(6):1116-26. Epub 2011 Sep 21.


November 11, 2011
The risk of teenagers developing metabolic syndrome is lower in those who have a greater intake of high fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. However, the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol was not associated with the risk. These results emphasize the importance for health messages to stress what to eat rather than what not to eat.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov;111(11):1688-95.


December 31, 2011
The ideal level of dietary protein is still a matter of debate. A recent well-designed, study found that healthy young men fed a diet with almost four times the recommended protein intake for three weeks had improved mental reaction time.
Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun;30(3):303-11.


January 17, 2012
Even mild dehydration can affect cardiovascular function and blood concentration. Women in a state of mild dehydration experienced measurable mood changes, increased perception of task difficulty, lower concentration, and headache symptoms.
J Nutr. 2011 Dec 21. [Epub ahead of print]


January 26, 2012
New research shows that methionine, an essential nutrient for humans, may now be able to be used as a safe and effective insecticide against caterpillars that threaten the citrus industry. This is an example of the unique roles that nutrients have in various species.
J Economic Entomology, 2011; 104 (6): 1986.


January 27, 2012
Increased awareness of the importance of vitamin D, has greatly increased the use of blood tests to assess vitamin D status. New standards are being developed to increase the consistency of these blood test results.
Anal Chem. 2012 Jan 17;84(2):956-62.


January 28, 2012
The term "balanced diet" often is used to describe a combination of foods that meets essential nutrient needs. Consuming a diet with plenty of variety increases the odds of obtaining adequate amounts of all nutrients. Recent research shows that this concept runs throughout the animal kingdom. Even beetles select a combinations of foods that provides optimal nutrient intake.
Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Jan 11. [Epub ahead of print]


January 30, 2012
Age-related macular degeneration (in the retina of the eye) is a common cause of vision loss in older people. Several nutrients are thought to be important for maintaining retinal health. New research adds vitamin D to that list.
Neurobiol Aging. 2012 Jan 2. [Epub ahead of print]


February 11, 2012
Nutritionists emphasize the value of eating a balanced variety of various types of foods to meet the body's need for all essential nutrients. When foods are limited in variety or amount, meeting nutrient needs may be impossible without the appropriate use of fortified foods or a vitamin/mineral dietary supplement.
J Nutr. 2010 Oct;140(10):1879-86. Epub 2010 Aug 11.


February 14, 2012
There is a tendency to think of scurvy as a disease of historical interest. However, a recent study in Canada found that about 20 percent of emergency patients had blood levels of vitamin C diagnostic of scurvy. Treating these patients with vitamin C supplements significantly improved their moods within 10 days.
Linus Pauling Institute - Micronutrient Research for Optimum Health


February 19, 2012
Meeting the body's essential nutrient needs requires consuming enough of the right types of foods. When food intake declines, due to aging or weight loss efforts, the risk of developing one or more nutrient deficiencies increases.
Mech Ageing Dev. 2010 Jul-Aug;131(7-8):473-9.


February 28, 2012
Since its discovery, vitamin D has been known to benefit bone health. Research during the past decade has identified many other vitamin D health benefits including enhanced immune function and reduced inflammation.
J Immunol. 2012 Mar 1;188(5):2127-35. Epub 2012 Feb 1.


March 4, 2012
With the glow of youth still present in the young adult years, it is difficult for most people to realize that dietary habits and lifestyle during the twenties can set the stage for the occurrence of health problems later in life. New research supports the value of establishing healthful habits early in life. Got Nutrients?
Circulation. 2012 Feb 28;125(8):996-1004.


March 6, 2012
Since some types of fish accumulate mercury, consuming fish for heart health has been questioned by some. However, research on fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acids supports the benefits of consuming a variety of fish about twice a week. Low mercury alternatives to eating fish include taking fish and algae oil supplements.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011:93 (1); 27-36.


March 10, 2012
In a study of more than 900 Austrian women in a nursing home, those with low vitamin D status at the start of the study were much more likely to die during the 27 months of data collection. This study strongly indicates that vitamin D deficient people should be treated for this essential nutrient deficiency.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]


March 25, 2012
Early exposure to an appropriate combination of beneficial bacteria appears to be very important for optimal health. Although good hygiene is important for avoiding pathogenic bacteria, adequate exposure to the "good guys" may help to prevent some immune-mediated conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and asthma.
Science 2012 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print]


March 26, 2012
Gatorade for athletes and Pedialyte for infants and children are both designed to provide water, carbohydrate, and electrolytes. Although both beverages are essentially properly diluted Kool-Aid with a pinch of salt (sodium and potassium), Gatorade provides more carbohydrate to meet the energy demands of exercise. Pedialyte has a higher electrolyte content with a primary focus on hydration of sedentary infants and children.
JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2006 Sep-Oct;30(5):433-9.


April 1, 2012
It is estimated nine out of 10 Americans do not obtain an adequate amount of vitamin E in the food they consume. Although the intake is not low enough to cause frank signs of deficiency, it is difficult to know how chronic inadequate intake will affect long term health.
What We Eat in America, NHANES 2001-2002. Usual Nutrient Intakes from Food Compared to Dietary Reference Intakes.


April 2, 2012
Studies show that choline deficiency in developing animals compromises brain function for the life of the animal. The same is likely true for people. Eggs and meat are the richest food sources of choline.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2000 Oct;19(5 Suppl):528S-531S.


April 10, 2012
Guidelines about how to eat are worthless if they do not first meet the goal of providing adequate amounts of all essential nutrients. Basing recommendations primarily on statistical associations with chronic disease risks is fraught with potential problems.
Nutrition. 2010 Oct;26(10):915-24.


April 15, 2012
As body weight goes up, vitamin D status tends to go down. Why this occurs is not currently understood. Add darker skin color to obesity and it further increases the risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Metabolism. 2008 Feb;57(2):183-91.


April 18, 2012
The recommendation to include omega-3 fatty acids in the diet should emphasize that there are 3 major omega-3 fatty acids in foods and they don't all provide the same benefits. Some plant oils are high in alpha-linolenic acid, an 18-carbon omega-3 fatty acid. However, the major health benefits seem to come primarily from the two longer omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that are found in fish and some algae oils.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Oct;94(4):1097-103. Epub 2011 Aug 24.


April 22, 2012
New research indicates that the evolutionary success of the human race and development of a large brain was closely related to the consumption of meat. At our current stage of evolution, the challenge has changed to determining how much meat is appropriate in the contemporary human diet.
PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (4): e32452 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032452


May 17, 2012
Meat often is considered to be a food more for men than for women. From a nutrient perspective, however, women have a much greater need for iron, a key nutrient in meat.
Journal of Consumer Research, October 2012


May 21, 2012
New research on omega-3 fatty acid function at the cellular level is likely to help explain how the fish oil fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the right dosage, yet be potentially pro-inflammatory when consumed in excess.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 May 14. [Epub ahead of print]


May 23, 2012
Eating a wide variety of foods provides the foundation for meeting essential nutrient needs. Including the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables also enhances intake of the non-essential, but beneficial, phytonutrients that contribute protective antioxidant functions in the body.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]


June 10, 2012
Adequate vitamin C intake helps to protect the body from oxidative stress. Despite not being clinically deficient in vitamin C, people with a low vitamin C diet showed much greater evidence of oxidative stress than people with a high vitamin C diet after they were each exposed to high oxygen concentrations in a hyperbaric chamber.
British Journal of Nutrition 14 June 2012 107 : pp 1645-1654


June 26, 2012
An individual's risk from exposure to natural or man-made toxins is reduced by meeting all nutrient needs. Nutrient deficiencies can make it more difficult for the body to detoxify and eliminate toxins.
Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Jun;120(6):771-4.


July 1, 2012
Vitamin C is important for many critical functions in the body, including functioning as an antioxidant. Many individuals may not be consuming enough of this essential nutrient. Those that may require additional vitamin C include women taking oral contraceptives, woman who are pregnant or breastfeeding, smokers, people recovering from surgery, and burn victims.
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin C


June 30, 2012
Vitamin C is important for many critical functions in the body, including functioning as an antioxidant. Many individuals may not be consuming enough of this essential nutrient. Those that may require additional vitamin C include women taking oral contraceptives, woman who are pregnant or breastfeeding, smokers, people recovering from surgery, and burn victims.
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin C


July 2, 2012
An evaluation of two commonly used methods for the clinical assessment of vitamin D status found that these techniques significantly underestimate true vitamin D status. Both clinical and research results based on these systems may need reevaluation.
Endocrine Society 2012 Meeting (Poster Presentation)


July 3, 2012
Determination of the optimal levels of nutrient intake is more complicated than estimating requirements. Using the mineral selenium as an example, researchers propose that modest deficiency of the nutrient forces the body to sacrifice less essential functions to protect the more immediately essential functions. The sacrificed functions protect the body in the short run, but accelerate aging over time.
FASEB J. 2011 Jun;25(6):1793-814.


July 15, 2012
Here is more evidence that fish is brain food - or at least fish oils are brain food. The DHA component of fish oils was found to accumulate in a specific memory center of the brain in mice that were supplemented with this fish oil fatty acid. This also enhanced communication among brain cells in this region of the brain.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]


July 17, 2012
When the RDA for vitamin C was set in the year 2000, it was based on the amount needed for antioxidant protection (not just the prevention of scurvy). However, the committee emphasized that research was needed to explore the use of new biomarkers to set vitamin C requirements. Some researchers are now proposing that the adult RDA should be about 200 mg per day to reduce chronic disease risk. The recommended intake of fruits and vegetables can provide this amount.
Critical Rev Food Sci Nutr 2012;52(9):815-829.


July 19, 2012
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, confusion and depression, but the specific problems can vary from one person to another. Some of the symptoms are similar to those of Alz­hei­mer's disease. Since older people are at greater risk of developing both B12 deficiency and Alzheimer's disease, it is important to be careful to distinguish between the two conditions.
Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2012 Mar;28(2):151-8.


July 23, 2012
The recommendations for both sodium and potassium intake are very rarely met by Americans. A study of over 12,000 adults found seven people who actually met the recommended intake for both nutrients.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jul 3. [Epub ahead of print]


August 28, 2012
For several decades after its discovery, vitamin K was primarily recognized for its important function in normal blood clotting. More recently, research on the vitamin has identified important functions in bone, brain, eye and vascular health.
Biofactors. 2012 Mar-Apr;38(2):151-7.


October 3, 2012
A study conducted in the optically transparent young zebrafish found that specific types of gut bacteria can enhance the absorption of fat. Understanding the mechanism of this effect could lead to finding new ways to enhance or inhibit fat absorption.
Cell Host & Microbe. 2012;12(3):259-261.


November 7, 2012
A study of over 1000 middle-aged people who were offspring of parents that lived into their 90s, found that they had significantly lower vitamin D status (blood levels of 25-OH vitamin D) than their partners. However, this statistical difference may not be biologically significant since the average vitamin D level was well within the normal range.
CMAJ November 5, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]


November 22, 2012
Meals high in fat have been shown to reduce the normal capacity of blood vessels to dilate (expand in diameter) following the meal. This has the potential to increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Consuming sources of antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E along with a high fat meal helps to normalize blood vessel dilation.
JAMA. 1997 Nov 26;278(20):1682-6.


November 30, 2012
A critical review of omega-3 fatty acid nutrition concluded that food or supplement sources of these fatty acids that provide both EPA and DHA (such as fish oils or algae oils), are needed for cardiovascular health benefit. Plant oil sources such as flax oil and chia seed oil do not provide the same benefits.
J Lipid Res. 2012 Dec;53(12):2525-45.


December 5, 2012
Researchers have now found that the right kind of high-energy diet is necessary for some whales and dolphins to be successful predators. Here is another example that the quality of an animal’s diet can play an important role in its survival.
PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50096.


January 2, 2013
One hundred years after the discovery of vitamins, there is still much to learn about these amazing molecules. During the year 2012, vitamin D was the most researched, but all 13 vitamins are still under study.
Pubmed Search Page for Vitamin D


January 15, 2013
Although it has been known for many decades that moderate sun exposure can maintain vitamin D status in normal healthy people, many people are deficient in this nutrient. Limited food sources of vitamin D and clothing that prevents sun exposure both increase the need for dietary fortification or supplementation with vitamin D.
BMC Public Health. 2013, Jan. [Epub Ahead of Print]


February 3, 2013
As countries develop and food production increases, starvation, nutrient deficiency, and obesity often coexist in the population. Simply producing more food will not solve nutrition problems unless the variety of foods is adequate to meet nutrient needs.
European J Clin Nutr. 2013, 30 January. [Epub ahead of print]


February 9, 2013
The essential nutrient choline appears to be especially important for fetal brain development. Choline supplements taken by pregnant women during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy enhanced normal brain functions associated with a reduced risk of developing schizophrenia. Eggs are the richest common food source of choline,
Am J Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 15. [Epub ahead of print]


February 16, 2013
Since the sugar fructose is more readily converted to fat in the liver than other common sugars like glucose, it has been proposed that fructose in the diet can increase liver fat levels. A recent 10-week study fed human volunteers as much as 30 percent of their calories in the form of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup and did not find any significant change in liver fat levels. Studies with a longer feeding duration may follow.
App Physiol Nutr Metab. 12 Feb 2013. [Epub ahead of print]


March 21, 2013
The severe malnutrition condition in children called kwashiorkor has been thought to be caused primarily by inadequate protein along with inadequate calorie intake. However, new research indicates that restoring a healthful ecology of bacteria in the colon may be very important for recovery from the condition.
Science. 2013 Feb 1;339(6119):548-54.


March 23, 2013
Vitamin D is well known for its benefits on bone health. Ongoing research is uncovering many other benefits of good vitamin D status associated with the vitamin's effects on the expression of hundreds of genes linked to multiple health risks such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease.
PLoS ONE 8(3): e58725.


April 5, 2013
The United States Dietary Guidelines for sodium intake have been controversial with some researchers considering them to be so low that they could cause health problems. A new study using food pattern modeling found that dietary patterns that meet the sodium recommendations are incompatible with meeting potassium recommendations.
Nutr Res. 2013 Mar;33(3):188-94.


May 6, 2013
Although many people have low vitamin D status, much remains to be learned about the best blood levels of vitamin D for good health. A study of over 10,000 people found that as blood levels of 25-OH vitamin D increased up to the median level (21 ng/mL), there was a decrease in mortality. However, vitamin D levels above the median did not appear to confer additional benefit.
Am J Med. 2013 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print]


May 9, 2013
Get familiar with the term "single nucleotide polymorphisms". More commonly called SNPs (pronounced snips), these are the small variations in the DNA pattern in specific genes that make us each a little different from one another. Some of these SNPs, we are learning gradually, can affect our nutrient needs and risk for specific health problems. The field of nutrigenomics that combines genetics with nutrition is moving toward the ability to individualize nutrition recommendations based on your SNPs.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 May;67(5):430-5.


May 29, 2013
Research conducted on fat in the diet over the past several decades is not as clear-cut as common dietary recommendations may seem to indicate. The focus on limiting saturated fatty acids is being displaced by more of a focus on consuming an appropriate balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids - especially the long chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils.
Adv Nutr. 2013;4;294-302:2013.


May 31, 2013
General guidelines in medicine and nutrition are not intended for every individual under all conditions. For example, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for nutrient intake is set to meet or exceed the needs of the average healthy person in a specific age and gender group, consuming foods typical of the general population. The nutrient needs of an individual with a health problem or who consumes an atypical diet may be entirely different.
JAMA. May, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]


June 2, 2013
There is a lack of good science to support using blood type to determine an individual's unique dietary needs. When this approach seems to "work," it is likely just because the diet has improved on the individual's prior style of eating.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 May 22. [Epub ahead of print]


June 6, 2013
Both low and high calcium intake are associated with increased risk of death from all causes and specifically from cardiovascular disease. High calcium intake over 1400 mg per day seems to be more risky when the calcium comes from supplements rather than food sources.
BMJ. 2013 Feb 12;346:f228.


June 12, 2013
A new report on global malnutrition in the journal Lancet stresses that the sustainable development agenda must put addressing all forms of malnutrition and meeting nutrient needs at the top of its goals.
The Lancet. June 6, 2013 - Special issue on Maternal and Child Malnutrition


June 23, 2013
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.
Institute of Medicine. Sodium Intake in Populations (2013)


July 5, 2013
The American Society for Nutrition considers the top priorities for future impact on human health to include understanding individual genetic variability in responses to diet and foods, the impact of nutrition on healthy growth and development, the role of nutrition in health maintenance and medical management, as well as food supply and environmental relationships.
J Nutr. 2013 Jun 19. [Epub ahead of print]


July 21, 2013
Thirsty? Drink some water. Your brain will appreciate it. Brain function is biochemically complex, requiring a steady supply of oxygen, glucose and a full array of vitamins and minerals. An adequate blood flow to the brain is essential for optimal function and normal hydration supports blood flow. A recent study found that drinking a few cups of water improved brain response time, especially when the person was thirsty.
Front. Hum. Neurosci., 16 July 2013. [Epub ahead of print]


August 10, 2013
Nutrition recommendations often encourage reducing foods high in calories, added sugar, or saturated fatty acids. However, according to a new study, many foods that fit into these "bad food" descriptions provide key micronutrients that may be difficult to obtain in adequate amounts from other foods. Enjoy a variety of foods.
Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:116 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-116


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.
Am J Hypertens. August 26, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Nature. 2013;500:20–22.


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.
Hypertension. 2013 Aug 26. [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.
J Pediatr. 2013 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1489-93.


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.
N Engl J Med. 2013 Nov 21;369(21):1991-2000.


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.
Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Nov 13;14(5):582-90.


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.
The Lancet Diab & Endo. 6 December 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.
Cell Reports. 2013;5(5):1436-1442.


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.
Immunity. 2014 Jan 7. pii: S1074-7613(13)00564-5.


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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


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.
Transfusion. 2013 Aug;53(8):1637-44.


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.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2013 Apr;83(2):129-36.


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.
J Nutr. 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.
Nutrition Research - 17 January 2014. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Am Fam Physician. 2000 Oct 1;62(7):1565-72.


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.
Nutr Res. 2013 Mar;33(3):188-94.


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.
Nutrients. 2014;6(3):974-984.


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.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 Mar;62(3):426-34.


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.
Psychosom Med. 2014 Mar 14. [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.
J Photochem Photobiol B. 2014 Feb 5;131:90-5.


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.
Diabetologia. 2014 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Adv Nutr. 2011 Mar;2(2):112-21.


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.
McGovern Report - FatHeadMovie Exerpt


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Jan;157(1):1-8.


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.
Am J Hypertens. 2014 Apr 1. [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.
FASEB J. 2014 Mar 26. [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.
Blood. 2014 Mar 31. [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.
J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144(6):876-80.


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.
Fertil Steril. 2012 Nov;98(5):1130-7.


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.
Biol Reprod. 2014 Apr 25;90(4):83.


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.
Cell. 2014 Jun 5;157(6):1380-1392.


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.
Eur J Neurol. 2014 May 21. [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!
N Engl J Med. 2014 Jul 10;371(2):177-8.


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.
BMJ. 29 July 2014. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
J Nutr. 2014 Jun;144(6):906-14.


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.
Blood. 2014 Jan 30;123(5):615-24. doi: 10.1182/blood-2013-06-508325. Epub 2013 Dec 2.


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).
South Med J. 2014 Apr;107(4):214-7.


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.
Food Funct. 2014 Apr;5(4):716-23.


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.
Pediatrics. 2014 Sep 29. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
March of Dimes Special Report on Health in US Hispanic Populations. 2014.


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.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2014 Oct 8:1-3. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
EFSA Journal 2014;12(10):3840.


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.
Food Chemistry 164: 396-405, 2014.


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.
J. Nutr. December 3, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
BMJ. 2014 Dec 17;349:g7346.


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan 28. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1977 Apr;30(4):490-5.


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.
Endocrine. 2015 Feb 14. [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.
Am J Sports Med. 2015 Feb 3. pii: 0363546514567297. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
FASEB J. 2014 Jul;28(7):2970-8. doi: 10.1096/fj.14-249557. Epub 2014 Mar 26.


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.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.


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.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.


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.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print]


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?
Arch Intern Med. 2004 Apr 26;164(8):885-91.


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.
Nat Commun. 2015 Mar 20;6:6479. doi: 10.1038/ncomms7479.


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.
Urol Int. 2004;72 Suppl 1:29-33.


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.
Can J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2009;19(1):26-32.


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.
Nutr Clin Pract. 2008 Apr-May;23(2):142-51.


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.
J Neurosci. 2015 Apr 15;35(15):6079-92.


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.
CDC. 2015. Community Water Fluoridation.


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.
Med J Aust. 1984 Nov 10;141(10):635-7.


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!
Nutrients 2015, 7(3), 1688-1690.


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.
Magnes Res. 2008 Jun;21(2):77-82.


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1607S-1612S.


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.
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.


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.
J Nutr. 2008 Oct;138(10):2040S-2044S.


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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):100-8.


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1993 Aug;58(2):219-27.


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.
Science. 2015 Jul 10;349(6244):171-4.


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.
Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Aug 15;162(4):373-81.


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!
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(2):327-30.


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.
PLoS One. 2015 Jul 29;10(7):e0134116.


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.
FASEB J. 2015 Aug;29(8):3287-301.


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.
Br J Nutr. 2015 Aug 3:1-9. [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.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80.


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.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5 Suppl):535S.


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.
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2015 Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71


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.
Magnes Res. 2008 Jun;21(2):77-82.


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.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 9. [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.
Appetite. 2009 Feb;52(1):253-5.


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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2002 Jan;102(1):100-8.


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.
BMJ Open. 2015 Oct 21;5(10):e008846.


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.
Institute of Medicine DRI Chapter on Vitamin B-6


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.
Nature. 23 November 2015. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Br J Nutr. 2015 Nov 24:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Ophthalmic Res. 2015 Nov 27;55(2):62-69. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
National Headache Foundation


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.
Am J Prev Med. 2016 January. [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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jan 13. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0146797.


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.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2001 Jun;56(6):M373-80.


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jan 27. [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.
Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 3:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Am J Lifestyle Med. 2009; 3(1 Suppl): 35S–38S.


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.
Int J Epidemiol. 2007 Jun;36(3):600-9. Epub 2007 Feb 22.


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.
Int J Epidemiol. 2016 Feb 17. [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.
J Nutr. 2016 Feb 10. pii: jn225516. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.


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.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 Mar;48(3):543-68.


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.
J Nutr. 2004 Jul;134(7):1779-85.


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.
Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2005 Apr;9(4):362-74.


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.
Br J Nutr. 1993 Mar;69(2):533-40.


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.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Apr;24(2):150S-154S.


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.
EBioMedicine. 2016 April 21. [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.
FASEB J. 2016 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 May 24:1-4. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.


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.
Prog Lipid Res. 2016 May 20;63:132-152.


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.
J Nutr. 2010 May;140(5):1029-34.


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.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2016 Jun 1;57(7):3429-39.


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.
Nutr Metab (Lond). 2009 Mar 13;6:12.


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.
Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov;67(11):615-23.


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.
Int. J. Vitam. Nutr. Res., 2016, 1–21


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016;104(2):406-414.


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.
Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2009;49 Suppl 1:19-27.


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.
JAMA Intern Med. Sept 12, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Nature. 2016;537(7622):685.


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.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Apr 8; 111(14): 5379–5384.


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.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010 Jul;136(7):673-6.


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.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Dietary Reference Intakes - Food & Nutrition Board


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.
Nutr Rev. 2005 Jun;63(6 Pt 2):S30-9.


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.
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.


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.
Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5.


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.
Am J Epidemiol. 2017 Jan 20. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Physiol Genomics. 2016 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Ecological Entomology, 14 December 2016. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
Plos One, February 15, 2017 online


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.
European Heart Journal. 20 January 2017. [Epub ahead of print]


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.
PLoS One. 2017 Mar 1;12(3):e0172277.


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.
PNAS February 15, 2011 vol. 108 no. 7 3011-3016


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.
Prog Lipid Res. 2016 Jul;63:132-52. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2016.05.001. Epub 2016 May 20.


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.
The FASEB Journal. 2017;31(1 Supp):446.6.


May 7, 2017
Sodium Basics: Sodium is an essential nutrient. The optimal amount to consume continues to be a hot and controversial topic. The results of a recent study conducted in Belgium go against current recommendations for low salt diets. The study found that those with the lowest salt intake had the greatest death rate from cardiovascular disease.
JAMA. 2011 May 4;305(17):1777-85.


June 3, 2017
Inadequate Nutrition and Aging:The human body can survive without optimal nutrition for long periods of time. New research, however, proposes that this survival is at the expense of accelerated aging. The body seems to protect the most immediately essential functions of a limited nutrient at the expense of functions that are of less immediate concern.
The FASEB Journal June 2011 vol. 25 no. 6 1793-1814


June 4, 2017
Clinical Effects of Marginal Nutrition: Major intestinal surgery can reduce the absorption of essential nutrients like vitamin A. Based on case studies, it may take years or even decades for the effects of malabsorption to become clinically apparent.
Br J Ophthalmol. 2006 Aug; 90(8): 955–956.