Research TipsFebruary 8, 2009
Iodine is a critical nutrient for normal nerve development in infants. Since infants need a fresh supply of iodine each day in mother's milk, mom’s dietary supplement needs to contain iodine.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008
February 16, 2009
Food is the fuel that keeps the body going. To get a good start at meeting your daily nutrient requirements, it is recommended that a fourth of the day’s calories be eaten at breakfast. Skipping breakfast is like starting a long trip on a near empty gas tank.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5):743-60.
February 20, 2009
A thoughtless comment about a teenager’s body weight or fatness can impact their sense of self-worth. This can be a key factor that triggers an eating disorder such as anorexia (starving) or bulimia (binge eating and purging).
Health Promot Int. 2008 Jun;23(2):173-89.
March 7, 2009
The risk of birth defects is greatest between two and eight weeks after conception. Therefore, during early pregnancy, it is wise to eat a varied and balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables. Taking prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy also can help to promote the best outcome.
Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 2008;61:79-89.
March 11, 2009
Breast milk of vegetarian mothers can become deficient in vitamin B-12. Because B-12 is needed for infant brain and nerve development, vegetarian women should be especially careful to meet their B-12 needs with supplements or fortified foods.
Nutr Rev. 2008 May;66(5):250-5.
March 13, 2009
During pregnancy, daily caffeine intake exceeding 300 milligrams may increase the risk of miscarriage and result in reduced infant birth weight. A strong 8-ounce cup of coffee can contain as much as 180 milligrams of caffeine.
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2009 Feb 24. [Epub ahead of print]
April 19, 2009
Drinking cranberry juice may be just what is needed to prevent urinary tract infections. This prevention occurs by reducing the ability of unwanted microorganisms to adhere to cells lining the urinary tract.
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2006 Feb 5;93(2):297-305.
April 23, 2009
Some pregnant women may get too little of the “unsung” B-vitamin biotin. This may increase the risk of certain birth defects. Foods rich in biotin include eggs, most lean meats, some fish such as salmon, and some nuts and seeds like peanuts and sunflower seeds.
J Nutr. 2009 Jan;139(1):154-7.
May 3, 2009
Both excess iron and iron deficiency are common in older people. Either extreme may lead to health problems if not treated. To maintain health, older individuals should consume adequate amounts of iron-containing foods and have their iron status checked periodically.
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1996;66(1):66-70.
May 24, 2009
Parents are responsible for what, when and where children are able to eat. Providing and promoting a wide variety of wholesome foods is essential for helping a child meet nutrient needs and avoid becoming a picky eater.
Ann Med. 1999 Apr;31 Suppl 1:26-32.
June 4, 2009
Children should decide when they have had enough to eat. Parents, however, are responsible for creating a food environment that provides the child with a wide variety of wholesome foods and keeps high calorie tasty treats as occasional options.
Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):539-49.
June 5, 2009
Encouraging family health by being a good role model for healthy eating and regular physical activity can be a lifelong gift to your child. Try providing frequent opportunities for enjoyable physical activities to help prevent excess weight gain in children and teens.
Eur J Pediatr. 2000 Sep;159 Suppl 1:S35-44.
June 28, 2009
Eating disorders frequently start with a disordered eating pattern that excludes various foods perceived as fattening or "bad for you." If someone is a picky eater, they may be at greater risk of developing a serious eating problem.
Physiol Behav. 2007 Sep 10;92(1-2):283-90. Epub 2007 May 25.
August 19, 2009
In efforts to restrict salt, some mothers may not obtain adequate iodine from the combination of iodized table salt and foods. This is especially a problem for their infants who must obtain iodine from mother's milk.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.
August 21, 2009
Teenagers are sensitive about their appearance and especially about their weight. Even a joking comment or criticism about a young person's appearance can be the first step to an eating disorder.
Health Promot Int. 2008 Jun;23(2):173-89.
August 26, 2009
Birth defects are most likely to occur in a developing fetus before a woman knows she is pregnant. The greatest risk is during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. Research suggests that eating a balanced diet and taking prenatal vitamins before and during pregnancy are associated with a reduced risk of birth defects.
Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 2008;61:79-89.
September 8, 2009
Adult habits often start in childhood and this includes being a picky eater. If parents provide a wide variety of wholesome foods as the main fare, children are more likely to learn to appreciate a wide variety of foods and to obtain adequate nutrients throughout their adult life.
Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):539-49.
October 22, 2009
For those with dentures or a decreased ability to chew, mixing a protein powder with a beverage or yogurt can be an easy way to meet protein requirements.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jan;103(1):61-6.
November 13, 2009
The Internet is the largest medical library in the world, but likely contains as much health fiction as fact. This is especially true for information on food and weight loss. Seek reliable science-based websites when surfing the web.
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.
January 23, 2010
Vitamin B-12 is essential for normal infant brain development. If a mother has little B-12 in her diet, her milk will be low in the vitamin. Vegetarian mothers must be especially careful to consume good sources of B-12.
Nutr Rev. 2008 May;66(5):250-5.
February 16, 2010
Skipping breakfast is like starting a long trip on a near empty gas tank. Eating breakfast helps most people, especially children, to function better both mentally and physically.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5):743-60.
February 23, 2010
Research shows that children eating breakfast are more likely to get needed nutrients and are more likely to participate in physical activities.
Nutr Res. 2008 Nov;28(11):744-52.
March 12, 2010
Most birth defects develop during the first two to eight weeks of pregnancy. For women who might become pregnant, it is wise to have an adequate diet even before conception.
J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2007 Dec;29(12):1003-26.
April 16, 2010
Good nutrition is especially important when a woman is pregnant. Much of the calcium needed for infant bone development is drawn from the mother’s bones. Consuming adequate amounts of high calcium foods helps to maintain bone health of the mother.
J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2005 Apr;10(2):105-18.
April 28, 2010
To have a healthy baby, always tell your doctor what dietary supplements you are taking. Consuming some herbal products and high intake of some nutrients during pregnancy can increase the risk of having a baby with birth defects.
Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol. 2003 Dec;68(6):505-10.
May 21, 2010
Studies indicate that the short-term use of ginger can help to relieve pregnancy-related nausea.
Am Fam Physician. 2007 Jun 1;75(11):1689-91.
June 24, 2010
The vitamin folate is important for promoting healthy pregnancies and reducing the risk of heart disease. Foods rich in folate include liver, green vegetables, beans, some fruits, and enriched cereals.
Ther Umsch. 2005 Sep;62(9):641-6.
July 9, 2010
Poor nutrition at any stage of life can affect health. Even the nutritional status of parents before conception can affect their child's lifelong health. Missing even one essential nutrient can impair the function of many cell types, including cells of the reproductive organs.
Indian J Med Res. 2009 Nov;130(5):600-8.
July 23, 2010
If you eat a wide variety of wholesome foods, your child is more likely to follow suit.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jun;103(6):692-8.
July 27, 2010
Parents feeding their infants and toddlers vegetarian milk alternatives need to be careful that the child is obtaining enough vitamin D and calcium. Children of well-intentioned parents have ended up with deformed bones due to rickets.
Pediatrics. 2001 Apr;107(4):E46.
August 3, 2010
Cases of the bone deformity disease called rickets occurred when infants were fed macrobiotic diets by well-intentioned parents. This happened because the diet lacked vitamin D that can be found in fortified cow and soy milks.
Pediatrics. 2001 Apr;107(4):E46.
September 28, 2010
Although vitamin B12 deficiency is common in those over 65 years of age, the deficiency often goes unrecognized because of its subtle clinical symptoms. Taking a preventive B-12 supplement is recommended for those entering their sixth or seventh decades of life.
QJM. 2009 Jan;102(1):17-28. Epub 2008 Nov 5.
October 2, 2010
Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength resulting in frailty in the elderly. Exercise and adequate protein helps to slow this aging process.
J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Jan;21(1):1-13. Epub 2009 Oct 1.
October 15, 2010
Researchers find that teens and young adults with eating disorders frequently attempt to hide their condition under the guise of a vegetarian diet.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Apr;109(4):648-55.
October 16, 2010
It is estimated that iron deficiency affects as much as 15 percent of infants and toddlers up to the age of 3 in the United States. Unfortunately, iron deficiency during this life stage can have irreversible adverse effects on cognitive and behavioral development.
Pediatrics. 2010 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]
October 17, 2010
An article, “Pediatricians Issue New Iron Guidelines,” released by HealthDay news service, contains a dangerous error recommending a toxic level of iron (11 mg of iron per kg body weight per day) for infants age 6 months to a year rather than 11 mg per day as cited by the researchers. This misinformation is now on many websites including government sites.
Pediatrics. 2010 Oct 5.
October 20, 2010
The "Got Nutrients?" October 17th tip warned about a serious error rapidly spreading on the Internet that recommended excessively high iron intake for infants. The original source of this error was a press release that has now been corrected and can be viewed at today's consumer link. It will take awhile to get this error corrected elsewhere on the web.
Pediatrics. 2010 Oct 5.
October 21, 2010
Treatment of the eating disorder anorexia nervosa requires normalizing nutrition for psychological complications to resolve. Recent research shows that involving family members as a component in the treatment process can improve successful recovery.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010 Oct;67(10):1025-32.
November 14, 2010
Doctors often encourage their patients to become "educated consumers" of their medical care and personal health problems. Remember when seeking medical information through the Internet that many website offer medical fiction rather than fact. Seek reliable science-based websites.
Indian J Med Sci. 2004 Aug;58(8):321-6.
November 15, 2010
What causes food allergies in infants is not well understood. A recent study found that the women who ate the most peanuts during pregnancy were the most likely to have infants that developed peanut allergies.
J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]
November 23, 2010
Along with the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, there is good news from a recent survey by the American Dietetic Association. Since 2003, the number of families daily eating meals together at home increased from 52 to 73 percent.
American Dietetic Association Press Release
November 30, 2010
Exclusively breast-fed infants should be given an iron supplement starting at 4 months of age. The supplement should provide 1 mg of iron per kg body weight per day until the infant is consuming an adequate amount of iron-rich foods.
Pediatrics. 2010 Nov;126(5):1040-50.
December 15, 2010
A study conducted on 8 to 10 year-old children in Hong Kong found that the children who consumed the least fluid and least liked eating fruits and vegetables were more than 10 times as likely to have constipation.
J Clin Nurs. 2010 Dec;19(23-24):3390-400.
December 29, 2010
Eating habits of the mother may affect what foods her toddler will eat. Research indicates that toddlers are less likely to consume adequate fruits and vegetables if their mother does not.
Public Health Nurs. 2010 Sep;27(5):408-17.
January 2, 2011
Research on children in New Zealand reported that those who were vitamin D deficient at birth were more likely to have respiratory infections and wheezing problems during early childhood than children with normal vitamin D status. However, the risk of asthma was not related to vitamin D status in this study.
Pediatrics. 2010 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print]
January 6, 2011
Although strokes are uncommon in children, they do sometimes occur. Some research indicates that iron deficiency anemia is associated with the risk of strokes in children.
Arch Dis Child. 2010 Oct 27. [Epub ahead of print]
January 14, 2011
Mother's milk is the best food for young babies. New recommendations from a variety of sources suggest that supplemental or food sources of iron should be fed to exclusively breastfed babies beginning at about 4 months of age. This is because breast milk is low in iron and most babies are born with only about 4 months worth of iron stored in their body.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2008 Jan;46(1):99-110.
January 26, 2011
Children are regularly targeted by commercials promoting calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods. It is now clear that excess sugar and fat are linked to obesity. Don't expect children to be able to make wise food choices from a selection of foods that should only be consumed as occasional treats.
Appetite. 2011 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print]
February 7, 2011
It is not clear why, but girls from 2 to 5 years of age are more likely to be overweight if their family has been experiencing food insecurity and hunger. The same association was not found for boys.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2009 Oct;109(10):1790-4.
February 8, 2011
Binge drinking is defined as consuming four drinks (women) or five drinks (men) on a single occasion within the past 2 weeks. This type of drinking, especially in teenagers and young adults, can cause permanent brain damage that results in memory problems and impaired cognitive function. Remember moderation.
Psychol Bull. 2009 Jan;135(1):142-56.
February 10, 2011
Studies continue to indicate that breakfast is the best way to start the day. Teenage mothers who ate breakfast regularly had a lower weight for their height and consumed significantly less snack foods and soft drinks than their counterparts who rarely ate breakfast.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Jan;111(1):124-30.
February 28, 2011
When attempting to make healthful changes in eating habits, it is important to have a clear action plan. Also, as sports psychologists point out, adding mental imagery to clearly visualize carrying out the details of the action plan can increase the likelihood of success.
Psychol Health. 2011 Feb 18:1-17.
March 1, 2011
Researchers studying omega-3 fatty acids have found that humans can convert less than one percent of alpha-linolenic acid (the plant oil omega-3 fatty acid) into DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid in fish and algae oils. Since DHA makes up over 90 percent of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain, DHA deficiency during fetal and infant stages may contribute to the development of mental disorders.
Lipids. 2009 Aug;44(8):685-702. Epub 2009 Jul 9.
March 4, 2011
A new study about nutrition during early pregnancy in non-human primates provides potentially breakthrough concepts that may help us understand what causes deficits in intellect and attention. Just 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 10, 2011
Eating disorders in teens are often linked to depression, anxiety or other mental disorders. Even suicide thoughts or attempts are commonly reported. Since disordered eating causes nutrient deficiencies, it should not be surprising that serious mental problems can coexist with eating disorders.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.22
March 13, 2011
During pregnancy, a woman’s Recommended Dietary Allowance for iron increases from 18 to 27 mg per day. Meeting this need may be extremely important for the lifelong health of a woman’s child. Recent research links maternal iron deficiency to increased risk of asthma in the child.
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2011 Feb;106(2):131-139.e1.
March 29, 2011
A recently published study of over 4000 pregnant women found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin B-12 in their blood were about 4 times as likely to have babies who cried excessively (3 or more hours a day). Adequate B-12 is required for normal neurological development in the fetus and infant, so a cause and effect relationship is certainly possible.
Early Hum Dev. 2011 Apr;87(4):309-14.
April 3, 2011
Researchers have found that poor nutrition during pregnancy and early infancy can have serious long-term impact on the baby’s health much later in their adult years. This appears to occur due to mechanisms that effect how DNA functions in cells.
Nutr Rev. 2010 Nov;68 Suppl 1:S38-47.
April 11, 2011
Research suggests that omitting breakfast can interfere with learning and the effect is greater in children who are nutritionally at-risk than it is in well-nourished children.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Apr;67(4):804S-813S
April 19, 2011
A study of over 60,000 women found that those who consumed the most alcohol during pregnancy were about 4 times more likely to have "very preterm" births (<32 weeks) than women who never drink alcohol. However, it still remains unclear how much alcohol is unsafe and the best recommendation is to not drink alcohol if pregnancy is even possible.
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2011, 11:27doi:10.1186/1471-2393-11-27
April 28, 2011
Women who have had a pregnancy with a preterm delivery are at increased risk for recurrence with future pregnancies. Moderate intake of fish during pregnancy may help to reduce repeat preterm pregnancies.
Obstet Gynecol. 2011 May;117(5):1071-1077.
May 16, 2011
Nutrition during the first two years of life can have life-long effects on health and function later in life. A follow-up study on over 1400 Guatemalan adults (at age 32) found that those who had received an infant supplement providing extra protein and calories scored higher on intellectual tests of reading comprehension and cognitive functioning than those who had received a similar supplement with no protein and less calories.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008 Jul;162(7):612-8.
May 22, 2011
Research indicates that excessive daytime sleepiness in children is linked with both obesity and asthma. However, it remains unclear why these conditions tend to coexist.
Sleep. 2011 Apr 1;34(4):503-7.
May 24, 2011
A type of diabetes called gestational diabetes frequently develops in women during the third trimester of pregnancy. Women who gain a significant amount of weight after their first pregnancy are at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes during their second pregnancy.
Obstetrics & Gynecology 2011;117 ( 6):1323-1330.
May 25, 2011
Errors of fact are now easier than ever to spread around the world via the Internet - even when the original toxic error has been corrected. The correct iron dose for infants 6 months to a year of age should be 11 mg of iron per day NOT 11 mg of iron per kg per day.
Pediatrics. 2010 Nov;126(5):1040-50.
May 27, 2011
A woman's nutrition before and during pregnancy may be a major factor in the risk of having a child with autism. Women who reported taking a daily prenatal vitamin supplement during the 3 months before pregnancy and during the first month of pregnancy had almost half the risk of having a child with autism in comparison with women who did not take a prenatal supplement.
Epidemiology. 2011 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]
May 28, 2011
Male fertility can be affected by many things. Normal vitamin D status may be one of these factors. New research from Denmark found that sperm motility was greater for men with normal vitamin D status than for men who had low blood levels of the vitamin.
Hum Reprod. 2011 Jun;26(6):1307-17.
June 1, 2011
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, 2011
Some children with autism have abnormalities in energy metabolism. When these autistic children were given supplements of ribose (a sugar component of ATP) or NADH (a derivative of the vitamin niacin), it normalized some of these abnormalities.
Autism Insights 2011:3 3-13.
June 11, 2011
It has been suggested that the greater intake of phytoestrogens such as isoflavones and lignans by women in Asian countries may reduce postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sweating. However, a well-controlled study found that high intake of lignans from flax seeds had no effect on these postmenopausal symptoms.
J Nutr. 2010 Feb;140(2):293-7.
June 12, 2011
A mother's nutrition during pregnancy can have life-long effects on the health of her young. Based on a recent study with mice, a mild deficiency of the B vitamins folate, B-2, B-6, and B-12 in the diet of the mother can greatly increase the risk of colorectal cancer in her offspring.
FASEB J. 2011 Jun 6. [Epub ahead of print]
June 13, 2011
It is commonly assumed that mothers have the greatest influence on the food preferences of their children. However, new research indicates that fathers may have even greater influence on the food choices of their children.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2011 May-Jun;43(3):142-9.
June 14, 2011
A new study provides more evidence that poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy and lactation can have a major impact on the adult health of their offspring. When baboon mothers were fed a diet reduced to70 percent of normal while pregnant and nursing, their children developed insulin resistance as adults along with a predisposition to develop type 2 diabetes.
Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print]
June 17, 2011
Depression during and after pregnancy occurs in about one out of ten women. A new study reports that women who experience this peri-pregnancy depression are much more likely to have histories of eating disorders. Could nutrient deficiencies due to the eating disorders be related?
J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2011 Jun;20(6):863-70.
July 12, 2011
If you need a good reason to make exercise and a healthful diet part of your lifestyle, recent research indicates that doing the opposite is strongly associated with sexual dysfunction.
J Sex Med. 2011 May 13. [Epub ahead of print]
July 16, 2011
Substantial evidence is accumulating that compromised nutrition during pregnancy can have life-long effects on the offspring. For example, when pregnant mice were fed a low protein diet, their offspring produced lower than normal levels of the hormone leptin, potentially increasing the risk of metabolic syndrome.
FASEB J. 2011 Jun 15. [Epub ahead of print]
July 25, 2011
When undernutrition occurs during the first few years of life, it can have life-long impacts. Early malnutrition can adversely affect things like growth, learning, and insulin sensitivity in later childhood and the adult years of life.
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Jun;8(6):1817-46.
July 26, 2011
Can't get your kids to eat vegetables? Researchers found that by incorporating pureed vegetables into several standard recipes, they were able to nearly double vegetable intake and the children naturally consumed 11 percents less calories.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul 20. [Epub ahead of print]
July 28, 2011
If your mother said you should stay out of the water after eating, she may have been right. Japanese researchers found that about 80 percent of those who died from accidental drowning had food in their stomach compared to 43 percent of those who died from suicidal drowning.
Med Sci Law. July 2011 [Epub ahead of print]
August 6, 2011
A new study conducted in the United Kingdom confirmed previous research that women with eating disorders have more difficulty conceiving. Also interesting, these women are more likely to have unplanned pregnancies than women who eat normally.
BJOG. 2011 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of print]
August 8, 2011
When pregnant women took an omega-3 fatty acid supplement (400 mg a day of DHA from an algal source) during the last half of pregnancy, their infants were less likely to catch a cold and had a shorter duration of symptoms if they did catch a cold.
Pediatrics. 2011 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]
August 13, 2011
Want to have a child who is not a picky eater? Keep in mind that what a mother eats during pregnancy and breastfeeding passes food flavors along to the fetus and infant and appears to ultimately affect the flavor preferences of the child.
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009 Mar;48 Suppl 1:S25-30.
August 17, 2011
A body mass index (BMI) value of 30 is classified as obese. However, new research emphasizes the importance of accounting for coexisting risk factors such as abnormal values for blood pressure, serum lipids, and fasting glucose, as well as physical limitations, and psychopathology before a high BMI is considered to be a medical problem needing treatment.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Aug 14. [Epub ahead of print]
August 23, 2011
A study of over 35,000 Danish women found that taking multivitamin/mineral supplements before and after conception significantly reduced the risk of having a small-for-gestational-age (low birth weight) baby.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul 27. [Epub ahead of print]
September 8, 2011
A recent study found that men and women over 50 with healthy habits (staying physically active, eating healthfully, and not smoking or drinking excessively) had a significantly reduced risk of developing diabetes even if they were overweight and had a family history of diabetes.
Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(5):292-299.
September 18, 2011
According to a well-designed mouse study, when mice consume a high fat diet before and during pregnancy, they have babies that grow up fatter and have smaller livers. Although this cannot be directly applied to humans, it does suggest that extreme diets are a bad idea during pregnancy.
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep 6. [Epub ahead of print]
September 27, 2011
For many decades, it has been common practice for hospitals to send new mothers home with a supply of free infant formula. Fortunately, this practice is beginning to decline as hospital personnel realize that it tends to reduce breastfeeding which is almost always better for the baby’s health.
Pediatrics 2011; Sept [ePub Ahead of Print]
October 1, 2011
Children commonly go through picky eating phases. However, refusal to eat enough food or the avoidance of a complete food group can result in a "feeding disorder." Feeding disorders can seriously impair physical and mental development. Due to the risk of permanent damage professional intervention is needed.
Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute
October 4, 2011
Body mass index or BMI often is applied to the health assessment of individuals. This, however, is risky business. An evaluation of the use of BMI with children found that 2 out of 3 children classified as obese by BMI actually had normal levels of body fat.
J Young Invest. 2011 July;22(1):13-35.
October 8, 2011
The flavors of foods that a mother consumes during breastfeeding pass into her milk. Consequently, when a mom consumes a varied diet during breastfeeding that includes fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, her baby is less likely to be a picky eater after it makes the transition to solid foods.
Food Qual Prefer. 2006 October; 17(7-8): 635–637.
October 18, 2011
Obese kids with asthma often have more difficulty controlling the condition. Consequently, helping them find safe ways to exercise regularly and eat a healthful diet without excess calories can help both their weight and their asthma.
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Aug 5. [Epub ahead of print]
October 25, 2011
A substantial and growing amount of basic research on animal species is demonstrating that nutrition and lifestyle factors can alter DNA-associated proteins in ways that can pass on to the the next generation and even affect lifespan.
Nature. 2011 Oct 19. [Epub ahead of print]
October 31, 2011
With Halloween approaching, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that eating too much black licorice candy at once can be life-threatening. The compound glycyrrhizin present in most licorice can cause a drop in potassium levels in some people, leading to abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and even congestive heart failure.
FDA Consumer Health Information
November 14, 2011
Preventing childhood obesity involves much more than targeting at-risk children. It is increasing apparent that the root cause of this problem involves social changes in values and lifestyle that have occurred over time. Health professionals need to promote the values that will lead to core societal changes that support overall human well-being.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Nov;165(11):973-5.
December 4, 2011
Want to get kids to eat vegetables? A new study demonstrates what many parents may already know. Give kids a tasty dressing or sauce to dip the vegetables in and they will eat them.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov 21. [Epub ahead of print]
December 5, 2011
Improving the overall quality of women's diets may help to reduce birth defects more than focusing on meeting needs for a single nutrient like folic acid.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011 Oct 3. [Epub ahead of print]
December 21, 2011
Rickets, a severe bone disease in infants, has long been known to be caused by vitamin D deficiency. Unfortunately, there is a resurgence of this ancient infant disease in the children of parents trying to do all the right things. Exclusive breastfeeding does not meet infant vitamin D needs. Without some sun exposure, infants require supplemental vitamin D.
Indian J Med Res. 2008 Mar;127(3):250-5.
December 26, 2011
For normal weight women, adequate weight gain during pregnancy is very important. For the obese woman, weight gain can be much less, but consuming a diet that meets all nutrient needs is extremely important for supporting a healthy pregnancy.
Semin Perinatol. 2011 Dec;35(6):317-23.
December 29, 2011
Since even mild iodine deficiency can adversely affect cognitive function in children, the American Thyroid Association recommends that pregnant or lactating women take a supplement providing 150 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that total iodine intake (from food and/or supplements combined) be 220 mcg/day during pregnancy and 290 mcg/day while breastfeeding.
Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Nov;18(9):338-43.
January 9, 2012
To understand the growing prevalence of type 2 diabetes, researchers are even looking at the effect of maternal nutrition during pregnancy on their offspring's risk of developing diabetes. Based on both rat and human data, limited protein intake by the mother during pregnancy can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in her offspring.
Cell Death Differ. 2012 Jan; [Online ahead of print].
January 15, 2012
It often is reported that people with less education and lower incomes consume less fruits and vegetables than those with more education and higher incomes. Some have suggested that government subsidies to reduce the prices of fruits and vegetables could help to increase their consumption.
Nutr J. 2011 Oct 25;10:118
January 22, 2012
Exclusively breastfed infants who have little or no sun exposure are at high risk for vitamin D deficiency. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that these infants be given 400 IU of supplemental vitamin D per day.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep;96(9):2681-3.
February 16, 2012
Vitamin B12 deficiency is most common in vegans, vegetarians, and older people. However, three autistic children with vision problems were recently diagnosed with B12 deficiency that was caused by restrictive eating habits. Treatment with B12 corrected the vision problems.
February 23, 2012
Although light to moderate alcohol consumption may have some health benefits, excessive consumption comes with increased health risks. A recent study found that college students significantly underestimate the amounts of alcoholic beverages they consume.
Drug Alcohol Rev. 2011 Nov 3. [Epub ahead of print]
February 29, 2012
A new Policy Statement from The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages exclusive breastfeeding of healthy full-term infants for the first 6 months of life. In addition, they recommend vitamin D supplementation of breastfed infants starting at birth, supplementation with iron before 6 months of age as needed, and introduction of foods rich in iron and zinc at about 6 months of age.
Pediatrics February 27, 2012. [ePub Ahead of Print]
March 2, 2012
Adding prebiotic components to infant formula helped to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the lower intestine of infants. This made the colonic bacteria of these infants more similar to that of breastfed infants.
JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2012 Jan;36(1 Suppl):95S-105S.
March 14, 2012
A study of 99 men found that high saturated fatty acid intake was associated with lower sperm quality. In contrast, a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids predicted higher sperm quality.
Hum Reprod. 2011; March 13 [Epub ahead of print]
March 17, 2012
It is not unusual for the calorie intake of older people to drop too low. This leads to the loss of both muscle and bone. Consequently, snacking can be important for older adults to consume enough calories.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2007 May;107(5):800-6.
March 18, 2012
Meeting the need for the B vitamin biotin is proving to be especially important for pregnant women and people with diabetes. Rich food sources of biotin include eggs, liver (especially chicken liver), peanuts, and meat, fish, and poultry in general.
J Nutr. 2011 Mar;141(3):353-8. Epub 2011 Jan 19.
March 19, 2012
A dietary supplement of genistein, a phytoestrogen compound found in soybeans, was found to significantly reduce menopause-related hot flashes in women. The daily amount of genistein taken was 30 milligrams. About ten ounces of tofu contains this amount of genistein.
Maturitas. 2011 Feb;68(2):189-96. Epub 2010 Dec 15.
April 25, 2012
A large California study found that mothers of children with autism were less likely to report taking prenatal vitamins during the 3 months before pregnancy or the first month of pregnancy. This supports other research findings that malnutrition even before a woman knows she is pregnant can adversely affect development.
Epidemiology. 2011 Jul;22(4):476-85.
May 1, 2012
Entertaining TV ads for alcoholic beverages target the adult population. However, according to new research, these ads may encourage underage drinking by teens as well. Underage drinkers were significantly more aware of ads for alcoholic beverages than those who did not drink. It is not clear whether the ad awareness or the drinking came first.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 March 26.
May 2, 2012
Adding baby foods to the diet of infants between 4 and 6 months of age is designed to meet some key nutrient needs that become significant at this stage of life. Recent analysis of widely used commercial baby foods in the U.K. found that many of these products may be running short on nutrients.
Food Chemistry, 2011; 128 (1): Pages 123–128
May 8, 2012
The headline in the consumer article below is almost good enough for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It is no surprise that the fitness of children has declined along with the elimination of physical education as a requirement in schools.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2012; 42 (5): 452 DOI:
May 11, 2012
Proper function of the immune system depends on the body having an adequate supply of virtually all essential nutrients. Vitamin D appears to be playing an important supportive role in helping the immune system deal with viral infections.
J Leukoc Biol. 2012 May;91(5):829-38. Epub 2012 Feb 17.
June 1, 2012
Food and nutrition may be the basis for human monogamy. New research indicates that the evolutionary driver of monogamy was females choosing mates that could provide adequate food for successful reproduction. Raising a family required a steady supply of food to meet nutrient needs.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 29, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1200717109
June 4, 2012
You probably already guessed it. Now, research supports it. Children are very observant and the eating practices of mothers has a strong influence on how the child chooses to eat.
Am J Clin Nutr May 2012 vol. 95 no. 5 1031-1037
June 6, 2012
Including fruits and vegetables in a varied diet along with a physically active lifestyle are two of the most well established habits that promote more high quality years in the latter part of life.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 May;60(5):862-8.
June 7, 2012
Family meals not only help to ensure a child is getting nutrients, but mealtime may also provide parents with added opportunity to provide their child with social support.
Journal of Marriage and Family Volume 74, Issue 3, pages 476–493, June 2012
June 27, 2012
Balancing the stress of work with family life can be a challenge. A study of both employed and unemployed people found that the employed people who experienced high work stress were more likely to do less food preparation and to provide less healthful diets for their families.
Soc Sci Med. 2012 Aug;75(3):496-504. Epub 2012 Apr 21.
July 26, 2012
Recommendations for exclusive breast feeding of infants for the first six month of life may represent a reasonable guideline. However, many other factors need to be considered such as health of the mother, the baby's nutrition status, and the mother's family and work life.
BMJ Open 2012;2:e000504
August 10, 2012
An Australian study of children's diets during the first two years of life found that children with diets that regularly included biscuits (cookies), chocolate, sweets, soft drinks and chips had IQs up to two points lower at age eight than children who had consumed diets that regularly included more wholesome nutrient dense foods.
Eur J Epidemiol. 2012 Jul;27(7):525-35. Epub 2012 Jul 19.
August 15, 2012
There is good research support for the concept that exercise is beneficial for brain function and that exercise may help those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). New research on rats and humans indicates that a specific gene variant may determine the likelihood that an individual with ADHD will respond to exercise.
Neuroscience. 2012 Jul 26;215:59-68. Epub 2012 Apr 30.
August 17, 2012
It often is forgotten that poor dental health can be a sign of poor nutrition. A recent study found that oral health problems in disadvantaged elementary and high school students were highly associated with lower grade point averages.
Am J Public Health. 2012 Sep;102(9):1729-34.
August 18, 2012
A new online tool developed by researchers at Columbia University provides a way to estimate the potential impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity. The calculator has the ability to assess 14 different interventions such as increased exercise, cutting out a high calorie food, or decreasing television time. Although the numbers generated must be considered rough estimates, they do provide some interesting perspectives.
August 22, 2012
Some observational studies have suggested that puberty occurs earlier in children who consume cow’s milk during their infant and toddler years. A new study of 7523 children conducted in Hong Kong, however, found no association between milk consumption and age of puberty.
Pediatrics. 2012 Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print]
August 30, 2012
A double-blind study of Mongolian children with low vitamin D status found that consuming 300 IU of vitamin D daily for three months helped to reduce respiratory tract infections, but was not an adequate dose to raise vitamin D status to normal.
Pediatrics. 2012 Aug 20. [Epub ahead of print]
September 14, 2012
During pregnancy, good nourishment of a woman's body provides an adequate supply of nutrients to the developing fetus and supports milk production after birth to meet the baby's needs. Poor nutrition of the mother can impair normal development in ways that are irreversible and can have serious adverse effects that persist even into adult life.
Nutr Rev. 2011 Nov;69 Suppl 1:S3-16.
September 18, 2012
A woman's adequate consumption of many nutrients during and after pregnancy is known to be essential for optimal development of an infant. New research indicates that good vitamin D status during pregnancy is associated with improved mental and psychomotor development in infants. Vitamin D is important for much more than bone health.
Pediatrics. [Published online September 17, 2012]
September 25, 2012
In attempts to eat healthfully, pregnant women may avoid some foods that are good sources of the nutrient choline. The richest sources of choline include eggs and beef. New research is finding that adequate choline intake by a mother during pregnancy is likely important for the life-long expression of specific genes important to the health of a child throughout its life.
FASEB Journal, 2012; 26 (8): 3563.
October 4, 2012
Research indicates that zinc needs increase in older individuals. Inadequate zinc intake could be contributing to many chronic health problems. Among commonly consumed foods, lean beef is the richest source of well-absorbed zinc. Some fortified breakfast cereals contain high zinc levels, but the zinc bioavailability is unknown.
J Nutr Biochem. Oct, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]
October 9, 2012
A recent Japanese study indicates that diet may be a factor in childhood asthma. Children with a greater dietary intake of vitamins C and E were less likely to have asthma.
Public Health Nutr. 2012 Oct 1:1-6. [Epub ahead of print]
October 21, 2012
Canadian researchers found that after the age of 12 years, overweight/obese children use more prescription medications than their normal weight peers. The most commonly used medications were for nervous system and respiratory problems such as asthma.
Arch Dis Child. 2012 Sep;97(9):842-7.
November 1, 2012
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of undernourished children age 6 to 11 found that iron supplementation benefited cognitive function. Supplementation with fish oil type omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) was less effective, appearing to somewhat benefit the boys, but not the girls.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print].
November 16, 2012
A new study helps to bring some clarity to the question of moderate drinking during pregnancy. Children of women who had one of four genetic variants in alcohol metabolizing genes had a lower IQ if their mother consumed even moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.
PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (11): e49407.
November 17, 2012
A recent study on infants and children found that those who consumed even small amounts of fish between ages six months and one year had about a 36 percent decreased risk of wheezing, a sign of asthma. Introducing fish before or after this age range was not associated with the risk of asthma. Although this type of study does not prove that eating fish at this age helps to prevent asthma, it does indicate the need for further study.
Pediatrics. 2012 Nov 12. [Epub ahead of print]
November 18, 2012
A British study found that milk intake during childhood was associated with improved physical function later in life between ages 63 and 86 years. They also found that greater protein intake during adult years was associated with faster walking times on a walking test.
Age Ageing. 2012 Nov;41(6):776-84.
November 21, 2012
The pressure on teens to achieve a desirable appearance can drive both boys and girls to unhealthful nutrition extremes. Excessive consumption of protein powders and even steroid use is growing increasingly common among teens.
Pediatrics. 2005 Aug;116(2):e214-20.
November 23, 2012
New research with a guinea pig model found that even marginal vitamin C deficiency in the mother impairs normal development the fetal hippocampus. The function of this important memory center in the brain is compromised for life. This very likely works the same way in humans.
PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e48488 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048488
December 3, 2012
Good vitamin D status has long been known to benefit bone health. Dental health is closely linked with bone health, so it is not surprising that teeth also benefit from good vitamin D status.
Nutrition Reviews. 9 NOV 2012 [Epub ahead of print]
December 7, 2012
A large ongoing study of European adolescents found that about one in five had blood values indicating subclinical deficiency of vitamin B6 and folic acid. Due to rapid growth and development during this phase of life, these deficiencies could result in lifelong health problems.
Nutr Res. 2012 Nov;32(11):817-826.
December 10, 2012
A review of studies on the use of chelation therapy to treat autism concluded that the treatment is not effective and is potentially detrimental.
Res Autism Spect Dis. 2013;7(1):49-55.
December 11, 2012
A Swedish study of 285 infants born with a "marginally low" birth weight (2 to 2.5 kg or about 4.4 to 5.5 pounds) found that providing the infants with iron supplementation during their first 6 months of life significantly reduced the prevalence of behavioral problems measured in the children when they reached 3.5 years of age.
December 18, 2012
Adequate consumption of milk helps to promote good bone development in kids by supplying a good balance of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. However, excessive milk consumption can reduce iron absorption and potentially compromise important iron-dependent body functions, including normal brain development.
Pediatrics. 2012 Dec 17. [Epub ahead of print]
December 21, 2012
The concept of a "gut level" feeling is getting a new meaning. A complex community of microorganisms in the lower intestine interfaces with the nervous system in ways that can affect how we feel and behave. What we feed this community may ultimately have substantial effects on our well-being.
J Bacteriol. 2012 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]
December 22, 2012
Both the brain and the retina of the eyes contain high levels of the omega-3 fatty acid commonly called DHA. A new meta-analysis type of study indicates that supplementing infant formula with long chain omega-3 fatty acid sources like fish and algae oils can benefit the development of infant vision.
Pediatrics. 2012 Dec 17. [Epub ahead of print]
December 24, 2012
A new study indicates that eating meals as a family as well as cutting up fruits and vegetables can both help to increase fruit and vegetable intake by children.
J Epidemiol Community Health. 2012 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]
December 30, 2012
For a variety of reasons, including decreased intake of iodized salt, Iodine intake in the U.S. has declined substantially during the past few decades. Due to excessively low intakes in many people, iodine researchers recommend that all pregnant and lactating women consume a dietary supplement containing iodine. However, many prenatal vitamins do not contain iodine and only about one in five pregnant women are taking iodine-containing supplements.
JAMA December 19, 2012, Vol 308, No. 23 p2463
December 31, 2012
When college students are home for semester breaks, it is a good time for parents to notice behavioral changes in their children that could be related to eating disorders. It is estimated that 25% of college students have eating disorders.
J Am Diet Assn. 2011:111(8);1236-1241.
January 3, 2013
The trend for schools to cut back on recess to garner more time for academics is counterproductive. According to pediatric researchers, the physical activity and mental breaks provided by recess enhance a child's ability to mentally process information and concepts presented in the classroom.
Pediatrics Vol. 2013;131(1):183 -188.
January 12, 2013
A new Institute of Medicine report compares health and mortality of the U.S. population to 16 other peer countries. For most every category of causes of death, the U.S. ranked the worst for adults up to the age of 50. On the positive side, those in the U.S. who live past the age of 75 can expect to live longer than people in the peer countries.
IOM Report Brief on U.S. Health in International Perspective.
January 18, 2013
Increasingly, we are learning that the composition of the bacterial community in the lower intestine can have substantial effects on the body. New studies are even finding likely links between the makeup of the intestinal microbiota and autoimmune disease.
Science, January 17, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
January 19, 2013
It can be challenging for infants and toddlers to meet their nutrient needs as they make the transition from breast milk or formula to foods. Parents need to help the child by offering an increasingly wide variety of nutrient dense foods as the child explores the world of tastes and textures to meet nutrient needs.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan 16. [Epub ahead of print]
January 20, 2013
Low-income families with normal weight children are more likely to spend more time together at meal times than families with overweight children. Why quality time spent together for family meals might affect children's body weight is not known.
Econ Hum Biol. 2012 Dec;10(4):365-74.
January 24, 2013
Although meeting all nutrient needs is an essential component of good health at all stages of life, some especially key factors that help to maintain muscle in older people include adequate protein, vitamin D, and an overall diet with a balance of foods from all food groups - including fruits and vegetables.
Osteoporos Int. 2012 Dec 18. [Epub ahead of print]
January 30, 2013
Supplementing pregnant women and newborns with the fish oil type omega-3 fatty acids and involving toddlers and children in early educational activities were both associated with an increased IQ.
Psychological Science, 2013;8(1):25.
January 31, 2013
Images of pencil-thin models in the media have been thought to have a strong influence on body dissatisfaction in teenage girls. New research indicates that peer pressure has a much greater influence.
J Youth Adolesc. 2013 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print]
February 10, 2013
Daily aspirin use is associated with reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, life is full of trade-offs. New research indicates daily aspirin therapy may increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Jan 21:1-7.
February 24, 2013
The common statement that excess fat stored below the waist does not increase the risks for heart disease and diabetes has been challenged by new research. The main observation was that gluteal adipose tissue secretes abnormal levels of key proteins that can lead to inflammation and insulin resistance in individuals with early metabolic syndrome.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print]
February 28, 2013
The omega-3 fatty acid DHA, that is generally obtained from fish oils, is known to be important for infant brain development. A new study of 350 women found that a DHA supplement taken by the mother during pregnancy resulted in less preterm and low birth weight babies. This study will be evaluating future outcomes as the children age.
Am J Clin Nutr April 2013 ajcn.050021 Ahead of publication
March 2, 2013
Every essential nutrient is important for normal fetal development during pregnancy. New research indicates that even marginal vitamin C deficiency has the potential to impair normal brain development in a way that can permanently compromise memory function.
PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48488.
March 5, 2013
Based on studies of the properties of saliva in people resistant to developing cavities, a new type of sugar free candy with a patented technology called AlkaGen is about ready to hit the market. The brand names of two products will be BasicBites and BasicMints.
J Clin Dent. 2008;19(1):1-8.
March 12, 2013
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently began promoting nursing home dining practice recommendations that stress resident choice and urge providers to use caution with restricted diets. Overly restrictive diets can be unpalatable and lead to unintended weight loss and nutrient deficiencies.
New Dining Practice Standards for Nursing Home Residents (video)
March 25, 2013
Going into surgery well nourished may help to enhance recovery. New research with a mouse model also indicates that consuming a lower fat diet during the weeks preceding surgery may help recovery, especially in those with excess body fat.
Surgery. 2013 Apr;153(4):584-93.
April 1, 2013
Prebiotics are nondigestible food components that can promote the growth beneficial bacteria in the colon. There is some evidence that a prebiotic supplement added to infant formula and foods may prevent eczema in infants up to two years of age. Further research is needed to determine if it makes sense to add prebiotic components to formula or foods for all infants or just for infants at high risk for developing eczema and other allergies.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2013.
April 19, 2013
Breastfeeding is almost always best for a baby's health. However, a new study emphasizes the importance of the duration of breastfeeding. Babies breastfeed more than 12 months were at significantly greater risk of developing iron deficiency. This observation supports the importance of introducing iron fortified infant foods between 4 and 6 months of age.
Pediatrics. 2013: April 15. [Epub ahead of print]
April 23, 2013
Based on recent surveys, people are spending much less time preparing meals and much more time eating out or picking up take-out meals. This needs to be taken into account when designing dietary guidance systems for the nation.
Nutrition J. 2013;12:45.
April 24, 2013
"Convenience foods" are not always bad for nutrition. A study in elementary schools found that simply providing fresh fruit cut up and offered in convenient portions increased fruit intake by over 50%.
Am J Prev Med. 2013;44(5):477-480.
May 5, 2013
A protein-lipid complex from human milk called HAMLET has bactericidal activity that helps to protect infants from infections. New research indicates that HAMLET combined with antibiotics helps the antibiotics work against bacteria that are antibiotic resistant.
PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (5): e63158.
May 8, 2013
Are you pregnant or breastfeeding a baby? According to current research, many women in the U.S. have inadequate iodine in their diets. This can seriously damage normal fetal and infant development. If your dietary supplement does not include iodine, find one that does.
J Nutr. 2013 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]
May 14, 2013
A new study found that newborn infants who were losing weight during their first 48 hours benefited by giving them just 10 milliliters (about 2 teaspoons) of infant formula with a syringe after each breastfeeding session. This temporary fix resulted in less need for formula at one week and three weeks of age compared to similar infants who did not receive the early formula intervention.
Pediatrics. May 13,2013 [Epub ahead of print]
May 15, 2013
Human milk has countless special qualities that are known to provide optimal support for infant health. A recent study of premature very low birth weight babies found that they benefited greatly from being fed human milk, despite their inability to nurse. The infants that consumed the most human milk were less likely to develop infections (sepsis) and the neonatal intensive care unit costs were reduced greatly.
J Perinatology. January 31, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
May 27, 2013
In developed countries, there is a tendency to assume that everyone is consuming adequate amounts of iodine. However, studies in the U.S. and now in the U.K., demonstrate that many pregnant women have inadequate iodine status that can cause lifelong impairment of cognitive function in their children.
The Lancet. 22 May 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
June 10, 2013
Persistent diarrhea in infants can be life-threatening. Researchers in India found that providing supplemental zinc to high risk infants (6 months to one year of age) significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhea.
Pediatrics. 2013 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print]
June 13, 2013
In attempts to eat healthfully, some people become inordinately afraid of foods that may be perceived as "bad" and not "pure." This can result in a condition called orthorexia nervosa that eventually leads to nutrient deficiencies due to an overly limited diet.
Eat Weight Disord. 2012 Dec;17(4):e226-33.
June 22, 2013
Following the implementation of a mandatory program to use iodized salt in bread, Australian researchers found that the iodine status of pregnant women was still generally inadequate without additional supplementation. Since iodine needs increase during pregnancy, medically supervised iodine supplementation can be important for supporting healthful fetal development and future cognitive function. Iodized salt typically is not used in commercial food production in the U.S.
Nutr J. 2013 Mar 15;12:32.
June 24, 2013
A review of 92 studies concludes that taking iron supplements during pregnancy reduces the risk for maternal anemia and for having a baby with low birth weight. A low birth weight is associated with many health risks in the infant, including impaired cognitive development and chronic diseases later in life.
July 22, 2013
Although research conducted during the past 50 years has repeatedly demonstrated that dietary cholesterol has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels, yet another study confirms this in adolescents.
Nutrición Hospitalaria, 2013; 28:868-877
July 25, 2013
Sunscreen use reduces skin aging and the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen use also reduces the production of vitamin D in skin exposed to sunlight, making it more important to have a dietary and/or supplemental source of vitamin D.
Calcif Tissue Int. 2013 Feb;92(2):163-76.
July 29, 2013
A study conducted in the Republic of Seychelles, where fish consumption is very high, found that there was no consistent association between prenatal mercury exposure and autism spectrum disorder in children. This is an important study because the mothers of these children have mercury levels that are six to ten times greater than levels found in the U.S. and Europe.
Epidemiology. 2013 Jul 18. [Epub ahead of print]
August 12, 2013
A lack of good sleep has been associated with increased body weight. New brain scanning techniques show that insufficient sleep reduces activity in brain regions involved in higher-order judgement functions and increases the activity of brain centers involved in basic drives linked to food selection.
Nat Commun. 2013 Aug 6;4:2259.
August 13, 2013
Kids won't eat their veggies? Give them a tasty dip and they are likely to eat vegetables that they usually don't like. It probably works with adults too.
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Aug;113(8):1090-5.
August 14, 2013
The eating habits of children can be greatly influenced by the adults in their lives. In addition to parental influence, new research indicates that when teachers eat with their young students it provides an opportunity to positively affect the food preferences of children.
J Nutr Educ Behav. 2013 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]
August 16, 2013
Research has shown that between the ages of 3 to 5, cognitive function can be affected by the fatty acids in formula during their first year of life. Of the 81 children studied, those fed the docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid performed better on cognitive function tests compared to those without these fatty acids. Because breast milk reflects dietary intake, lactating women may benefit their child's health by consuming an adequate amount of these fatty acids.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):403-12.
August 23, 2013
A study of more than 28,000 children and youth between 6 and 24 years of age recently initiating the use of an antipsychotic medication had a 3-fold greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to about 14,000 matched controls not taking these drugs for the same conditions. This risk was elevated within the first year of antipsychotic drug use and increased with longer use.
JAMA Psychiatry. August, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
September 3, 2013
From 1875 to 1975, the height of the average adult male in Britain increased by almost 5 inches. Improved nutrition and a reduced prevalence of childhood diseases likely were contributing factors in this change.
Oxford Economic Papers. Sept 1, 2013.
September 6, 2013
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been found to be associated with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids. New research in a rat model for ADHD reports that early supplementation with long chain omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil type) had beneficial effects on behavior and brain neurotransmitter levels in male rats.
Behav Brain Funct. 2012 Dec 10;8:56.
September 10, 2013
A project called the Human Urine Metabolome has measured over 2500 chemical components found in human urine. This information is available for researchers and already is leading to urine-based diagnostic tests for conditions such as colon and prostate cancers, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. Increased use of urine for the assessment of nutrition status is another likely outcome of this ongoing project.
PLoS ONE. 2013;8(9):e73076.
September 16, 2013
The long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA (commonly found in fish oils and some types of algae oil) is a major component of the brain. A study with 7 to 9 year old children with reading and behavior problems found that 16 weeks of DHA supplementation improved both reading and behavior.
PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e43909.
September 17, 2013
Data from multiple sources on health and mortality of the U.S. population from 1987 to 2008 indicated that substantial increases occurred in quality-adjusted life expectancy, or how long we are likely to live without serious impairment. Compared to a 25-year old person in 1987, a 25-year old person in 2008 has 2.4 more years of quality-adjusted life expectancy.
Am J Public Health. 2013 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]
September 18, 2013
Vitamin D is known to promote immune function by increasing the production of a key protein involved in immune function. In a cell culture experiment, this action of vitamin D was enhanced by compounds found in dark grapes (resveratrol) and blueberries (pterostilbene). It is not known if this effect takes place in a live human, but it is another potential reason to enjoy these fruits.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Sep 14. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300266. [Epub ahead of print]
September 29, 2013
A large Swedish study found that those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) were not more likely to have the intestinal damage diagnostic of celiac disease. However, those with ASDs were more likely to to have a positive response to blood tests commonly used in celiac diagnosis. The researchers thought that this may indicate a greater likelihood of nonceliac gluten sensitivity in ASD.
JAMA Psychiatry. 2013 Sep 25. [Epub ahead of print]
October 7, 2013
A study on a folic acid dependent enzyme in mice indicated that the effects of folic acid deficiency during pregnancy could be expected to adversely affect the health of more than one future generation. Folic acid sources include beans, leafy green vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals, and enriched white bread.
October 8, 2013
A recent study reported that children who developed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were less likely to have been breastfed for their first three to six months of life. It is not known why breastfeeding appears to have a protective effect.
Breastfeed Med. 2013;8(4):363-7.
October 11, 2013
A recent study found that men who had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) during childhood were about twice as likely to become obese as adults when compared to men who did not have ADHD as youth.
Pediatrics. 2013 Jun;131(6):e1731-8.
October 14, 2013
A variety of polyphenol compounds found in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, etc. have been proposed to benefit health and promote longevity. A newly published 12-year study conducted in Italy found that people with the greatest amount of polyphenols in their daily urine were significantly more likely to live longer. This is a more reliable estimate of polyphenol intake than the dietary questionnaires commonly used in other studies.
J Nutr. 2013 Sep;143(9):1445-50.
October 20, 2013
Research conducted over 40 years ago made it clear that the effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol is so small that it is almost immeasurable. A new study found that this was the case in adolescents as well.
Nutr Hosp. 2013 May-Jun;28(3):868-77.
October 21, 2013
A recent study shows that home-schooled children are leaner than those attending traditional schools. These results challenge the concept there is an increased risk for excessive weight gain with increasing time at home.
Obesity. 2013 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]
October 24, 2013
A study of over 1800 children found that risk of developing type 1 diabetes was reduced when solid foods were introduced to infants between 4 and 5 months of age along with continued breast-feeding. Introducing foods both before 4 months and after 6 months were associated with increased risk. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that body iron stores typically run low at 4 to 6 months of age in breast-fed infants and solid foods or supplements that provide iron can be important for optimal infant health.
JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Sep 1;167(9):808-15.
October 31, 2013
For quite some time, it has been popular to refer to fish as "brain food." There is scientific support for this belief, since the fish oil component called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is a major component of brain tissues. A recent study of 493 schoolchildren, aged 7-9 years, found that children with the lowest blood levels of DHA were more likely to have reading, cognition, and behavioral problems.
PLoS One. 2013 Jun 24;8(6):e66697.
November 9, 2013
Want to get people to eat more? Tell them the food is "healthy." People have a tendency to think that healthful food is lower in calories and they will typically eat more of it.
Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]
November 19, 2013
It is common practice in most countries to give vitamin K injections to infants shortly after birth. This promotes normal blood clotting. Some parents have refused to have their infant injected with vitamin K. This puts the infant at risk of internal bleeding. If internal bleeding takes place in the brain, the effects can be irreversible.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) November 15, 2013.
November 20, 2013
Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for more than one million deaths a year by causing pneumonia, meningitis, and other serious infectious diseases. New evidence shows that zinc can inhibit the microbe by blocking the bacteria's uptake of essential manganese.
Nature Chemical Biology. 10 November 2013 [Epub ahead of print].
November 23, 2013
A study published in the British Medical Journal indicated that eating two or more servings of oily fish a week could reduce the risk of stroke.Fish oil supplements did not have the same beneficial effect.
BMJ. 2012 Oct 30;345:e6698. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e6698.
November 29, 2013
Iodine is essential for a baby to develop normally. When dietary iodine is low, it appears to be better to give an iodine supplement to the mother than to the baby if the baby is being breastfed. The iodine is very efficiently transferred to the baby through mother's milk.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 22 November 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
December 5, 2013
Infants and toddlers learn with all of their senses, including their sense of touch. It is easier for them to learn to differentiate between objects if they are solid and can be handled. The same goes for less solid things like yogurt and jam. The seemingly senseless playing with food is actually a valuable learning experience.
Dev Science. 1 DEC 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
December 8, 2013
A marker of aging is the shortening of telomeres - the ends of the strands of DNA in our chromosomes. Working with a type of yeast that shares some genetic similarities with humans, researchers found that caffeine exposure caused the telomeres to shorten, while alcohol lengthened them. Since studies have found that most centenarians drink coffee, it is difficult to determine the significance of this study for people.
PLoS Genet. 2013 Sep;9(9):e1003721.
December 11, 2013
A survey of 508 college students found that greater consumption of energy drinks was associated with increased alcohol consumption and negative consequences such as hangovers and getting into trouble. It is not known why this occurs, but it makes sense that caffeine use may increase awake drinking time.
J Adolesc Health. 2013 Nov 19. Epub ahead of print]
December 14, 2013
A United Kingdom study found that common commercial baby foods consumed with typical amounts of infant formula by six to twelve month old infants frequently did not meet their needs for calcium, magnesium, copper and selenium.
Food Chem. 2012 Dec 15;135(4):2796-801.
December 19, 2013
Growing up with a dog in the family appears to be good for the human gut. Apparently, dogs help to keep a wider variety of friendly microorganisms in the household environment. This, in turn benefits the lower intestine and the immune system in ways that can even enhance lung health.
PNAS. December 16, 2013. [Epub ahead of print]
December 26, 2013
A study of 30 teenagers (25 female) who were suffering from headaches, found that cessation of gum chewing caused significant improvement in 26 of the cases and complete resolution in 19. Those who later returned to chewing gum reported a recurrence of headaches.
Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Nov 1. [Epub ahead of print]
December 27, 2013
According to a study of over 150,000 pregnant women, inadequate weight gain during pregnancy puts infants at significantly increased risk of dying during infancy, especially infants of mothers who were under-weight at the start of pregnancy.
Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]
December 31, 2013
Eating disorders in boys and young men can be very different from those in women. However, male eating disorders do include an obsession with appearance, generally seeking increased muscularity. Frequently this obsession can lead to risky use of drugs and dietary supplements.
JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Nov 4. [Epub ahead of print]
January 5, 2014
A small study of weekend drinking by 18 to 23 year-olds (consuming 6 to 8 drinks on the weekend) found that measures of oxidative damage to DNA were significantly greater in drinkers that non drinkers.
Alcohol. 2013 Nov;47(7):501-4.
January 10, 2014
It has been shown that improving vitamin D status in older people can improve strength and balance. Similar benefits may be present very early in life. A new study found that good vitamin D status in mothers during pregnancy was associated with greater strength in their children when the children were tested at four years of age.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Jan;99(1):330-7.
January 22, 2014
Many people have claimed that diets designed for specific blood types improved their health. In a study of almost 1500 people, researchers at the University of Toronto found that three of the four "blood type diets" provided some specific health benefits. However, a person's blood type had nothing to do with these health benefits. This well-designed study debunks the blood type diet with some reasonable science.
PLoS ONE 9(1): e84749.
January 24, 2014
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in about 18 percent of women during pregnancy. Due to the potentially serious harm to the long-term health of both mother and baby, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all pregnant women have blood glucose levels evaluated at 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jul 16;159(2):115-22.
February 9, 2014
Nutrition recommendations often promote reducing dietary fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. However, there is stronger evidence that chronic disease risk is more substantially reduced by eating a varied diet of wholesome foods selected from all of the food groups, especially fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish.
Am J Med. 2013;Dec. [Epub ahead of print]
February 11, 2014
A study of more than 350 children, age 2 to 11 years, who had broken the bone in their arm just above the elbow (supracondylar humeral fracture) found that the fractures were more likely to be complex and result in serious complications in obese children. It is not known why this risk increases in obesity, but it could be related to the extra weight or to the fact that vitamin D status tends to be lower in obese individuals.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2014 Feb 05;96(3):e18 1-10.
February 28, 2014
Muscle loss is common in older people. This condition, called sarcopenia, is not inevitable according to an Australian study of 100 women aged 60-90 years. Strength training helped build muscle, however, those who also consumed about five ounces of lean red meat six days a week had an 18 percent greater increase in muscle strength and gained an additional pound of muscle mass over a four-month period of study.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]
March 11, 2014
Children who were iron deficient upon adoption from institutions were found to be more likely to have a low IQ when IQ was assessed at the age of about three years, one year after their adoption.
Child Dev. 2014 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]
March 12, 2014
It has been suggested that unrealistic images of beautiful people in popular media may trigger eating disorders in susceptible individuals. Now, a study found that heavy use of Facebook may have a similar effect. Presumably, this is because people generally share what makes them look their best.
Int J Eat Disord. 24 JAN 2014. [Epub ahead of print]
March 20, 2014
A recent analysis of medical record data of almost 2000 autistic children found a higher rate of seizures among children with autism when they were fed infant formula containing soy protein rather than milk protein. This association was more likely in autistic girls, however, most of the children in the study were boys.
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 12;9(3):e80488.
March 31, 2014
Requiring fruits and vegetables to be placed on each child's tray in school food service can result in about 70% of these items ending up in the trash. Helping children learn about and taste fruits and vegetables so that they will choose them represents a more effective and less wasteful approach to promoting diets that meet nutrient needs.
Public Health Nutr. 2013 Dec;16(12):2281-8.
April 5, 2014
The first several months of a baby's life can be a period of great joy for a mother. However, this postpartum period also carries a high risk of postpartum depression for new mothers. This condition may be preventable in many cases because it is potentially caused by postpartum iron deficiency that occurs in almost 50 percent of the women in some racial/ethnic groups.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Jul;193(1):36-44.
April 14, 2014
Loss of muscle mass is common in older people. Animal research on a compound in green tomatoes (tomatidine) indicates that this substance is very effective at preventing muscle loss and boosting recovery of muscle mass. Although promising, it remains to be determined if tomatidine will have the same effect in people. So, don't expect your fried green tomatoes to bulk you up until we know more.
J Biol Chem. 2014 Apr 9. [Epub ahead of print]
April 17, 2014
Analysis and characterization of the bacterial composition of fecal matter from of a modern hunter-gatherer community (the Hadza of Tanzania), found that these people had a much greater variety of bacterial species in their lower intestines than urban-living Italians. Researchers consider gut bacterial diversity to be healthful and think that we may have a lot to learn about how the environmental and dietary factors in the Hadza lifestyle may affect various types of disease risk.
Nature Communications. 2014;5:3654.
April 20, 2014
It is well established that, immediately after an infant is born, clamping of the umbilical cord should be delayed for about two minutes to maximize blood transfer from the mother to the baby. A new study found that the baby does not need to be held at the level of the vagina (and placenta) as previously recommended. Equivalent blood transfer occurs when the baby is held on the mother's abdomen or chest.
The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 17 April 2014 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60197-5
May 3, 2014
A review of 20 randomized controlled trials that included almost 30,000 people came to the conclusion that supplementation with vitamin D with or without calcium does not significantly alter the relative risk of falling. Other studies that have shown beneficial effects of vitamin D supplementation have generally focused on bone fractures rather than falls.
Lancet Diab Endo. 24 April 2014. [Epub ahead of print]
May 5, 2014
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are increasing among children and teenagers in the United States. Type 1 diabetes rose 21 percent between 2001 and 2009 and type 2 diabetes increased 30 percent.
May 7, 2014
A meta-analysis type of review of over 30 years of research concluded that children with autism spectrum disorder have a greater prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms than other children. Currently, it is not known why this is the case, but it may be a clue to help determine the potential causes of the condition.
Pediatrics. 2014 Apr 28. [Epub ahead of print]
May 21, 2014
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in oily fish. It is a major structural and functional component of the brain that plays important essential roles in brain function. A new review of scientific studies found evidence that adequate amounts of DHA in the diet may enhance recovery from mild traumatic brain injuries such as those that can occur in sports.
Adv Nutr. 2014 May 14;5(3):268-277. doi: 10.3945/an.113.005280. Print 2014 May.
May 23, 2014
A study of over 1000 mothers and their children found that a child was more likely to have asthma at age seven if their mother's intake of some key nutrients, especially choline and folic acid, were low during the first trimester of pregnancy. Eggs are a rich source of choline. Good folic acid sources include green vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils.
Am Thoracic Soc Conf 2014 (abstract) [Publication Page: A5118]
May 26, 2014
A woman's diet prior to pregnancy may affect the birth and health of her infant. According to a recent study, women who consumed a diet with more high protein foods and fruits were less likely to have preterm births than women who consumed diets that were high in sugar, fat and refined foods and those who consumed primarily vegetarian type diets.
J Nutr. 2014 Apr 30. [Epub ahead of print]
June 2, 2014
The free period for the National Hearing Test has been extended to June 15. This test is an accurate, validated hearing test, developed with funding from NIH. This screening is taken over a telephone to help determine the need for a complete hearing evaluation.
The National Hearing Test
June 6, 2014
Resveratrol, a phytochemical in red grapes and peanuts, has been shown to have some beneficial effects on the body. However, a new study indicates that resveratrol supplements during pregnancy may be harmful to the developing fetus. A study with Japanese macaque monkeys found that monkeys that consumed resveratrol supplemented diets during pregnancy gave birth to infants with abnormal pancreases.
FASEB J. 2014 Feb 21. [Epub ahead of print]
June 9, 2014
Growing evidence shows that a mother's diet affects the nutrient content of her breast milk. This also includes the non-nutrient, but beneficial phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin. In this respect, what the mother eats, so does the baby.
J Nutr. 2014 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print]
June 13, 2014
Gerontogens are factors that can accelerate the aging process. They include everything from arsenic and benzene exposure to sunlight, tobacco smoke, and, even psychological stress. More research is needed on these non-genetic factors that impact the aging process.
Trends Mol Med. 2014 May. [Epub ahead of print]
June 17, 2014
Early malnutrition is known to have many lasting and irreversible effects on growth and development. It appears that even the composition of the bacterial "microbiome" in the lower intestine fails to develop normally and may be adversely affected for many years, if not for life. The long-term health ramifications remain to be determined.
Nature. 2014 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print]
July 10, 2014
Many of the caffeine-containing energy drinks are attractive to children and adolescents. However, the risks of excess caffeine consumption by younger people are unknown. This is especially true when caffeine is combined with other exotic ingredients.
Curr Opin Pediatr. 2012 Apr;24(2):243-51.
July 13, 2014
A review of studies on the relationships between physical activity and mental and physical decline in postmenopausal women found that all the reviewed studies indicated that mental and physical function benefited from physical activity. Exercise interventions (or lifestyle activities) that improved cardiorespiratory exercise capacity showed the most positive impact on physical health.
Maturitas. 2014 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]
July 25, 2014
Iron and Brain Development: Normal iron status is well known to be essential for normal brain development, especially during the earliest years of life. Infants and young children adopted from institutional settings should always have their iron status evaluated to determine if iron supplementation is warranted.
Child Dev. 2014 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]
July 29, 2014
Malnutrition in early childhood (up to 5 years of age) increases the risk of developing high blood pressure during the adult years. This appears to be due to abnormal cardiovascular development during these critical years.
Hypertension. 2014 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print]
August 6, 2014
Frequently, babies at birth have low vitamin K stores in their body. Since exclusive breastfeeding does not provide adequate vitamin K, it is common practice to inject vitamin K at birth. Parents who refuse their child's vitamin K injection should be provided with educational materials about the signs of vitamin K deficiency.
Adv Neonatal Care. 2013 Dec;13(6):402-7.
August 20, 2014
A study of the food intake of over 500 toddlers (age 12 to 16 months) in Australia found that the intake of iron-rich meats was low in many of the children. Normal brain development is dependent on an adequate supply of iron during these critical months of growth.
Aust N Z J Public Health. 2014 Aug;38(4):326-31. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12249.
August 24, 2014
An adequate supply of various nutrients is known to be important for normal fertility in women. A new study found that women deficient in vitamin D are half as likely to conceive using in vitro fertilization (IVF)compared to women without vitamin D deficiency.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Aug 14. [Epub ahead of print]
August 28, 2014
Fortification of enriched flour with the B vitamin folic acid significantly reduced the prevalence of neural tube defects in infants. Another food component known as choline also appears to be important for the prevention of of this birth defect. Recommended choline intake increases during pregnancy and lactation.
Am J Clin Nutr. August 13, 2014. [Epub ahead of print]
August 29, 2014
Unusual food cravings commonly occur during pregnancy and sometimes non-food substances are craved and consumed. The consumption of these non-food substances is called pica. A study of 158 pregnant adolescents found that almost half of them engaged in pica behavior. The most common pica behavior was craving and consuming large amounts of ice. Those engaged in pica had significantly lower iron status than those not practicing pica.
J Nutr. 2014 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]
September 3, 2014
Much of the deterioration in bone and joint health seen with aging appears to be due to a more sedentary lifestyle rather than just aging itself. The concept of "use it or lose it" increases in importance with age.
J Am Acad Orthop Surg September 2014 vol. 22 no. 9 576-585
September 5, 2014
Iodine During Pregnancy: It is estimated that one-third of pregnant women in the Unites States are marginally iodine deficient. This has the potential to impair cognitive development of their child. Some prenatal dietary supplements do not include iodine and some that do, don't have adequate amounts. The usual recommendation is to get 150 micrograms per day in a supplement along with a diet that includes iodized salt to obtain a total of 220 micrograms during pregnancy and 290 during lactation.
Pediatrics. 2014 Jun;133(6):1163-6.
September 13, 2014
Appetite and Mortality: A study of more than 1800 independently living Taiwanese over the age of 65 found that those who had poor appetites usually died sooner than those with good appetites. A poor appetite generally resulted in people consuming a less diverse diet that was lower in calories, protein, and other nutrients.
Appetite. 2014 Aug 14;83C:89-96.
September 18, 2014
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Brain Development: A study of about 510,000 students around age 15 in 65 countries found that students scored higher on an international test (on mathematics, reading, and science) in countries where levels of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA were higher in women's breastmilk. High levels of the omega-6 linoleic acid in breastmilk predicted lower performance on the tests.
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2014 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]
September 20, 2014
Fatty Acids During Pregnancy, Lactation, and Early Infancy: The 2005 Dietary Reference Intakes provided recommendations based on the plant oil omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic and linoleic). Ongoing research, however, emphasizes that consumption of the longer chain fatty acids (EPA and DHA), found primarily in fish and some algae oils, are especially important during pregnancy, lactation, and early infancy.
Ann Nutr Metab 2014;65:49-80.
September 22, 2014
Vitamin D and Quality of Life: A study of almost 1500 Canadians over age 50, found that those with good vitamin D status were significantly less likely to have problems with mobility or difficulty participating in their usual activities. They also were less likely to experience depression. This study supports the need to conduct intervention research on vitamin D status and quality of life measures.
Qual Life Res. 2014 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]
September 24, 2014
A new study reported that low iron intake during pregnancy and lactation was associated with a greater risk of autism in the child. This risk from low iron intake was even greater for mothers 35 or older at the time of the child's birth or if the mother suffered from metabolic conditions such as obesity, hypertension, or diabetes.
Am. J. Epidemiol. 2014, September 22. [Epub Ahead of Print]
October 2, 2014
Eating Disorders and Autoimmune Disease: A study found that autoimmune disease was more common in eating disorder patients than in a group of controls with no eating disorders. The study concluded that autoimmune disease may predispose some people to eating disorders. It seems more likely that disordered eating creates nutrient deficiencies that compromise intestinal integrity and immune function - conditions that could cause autoimmune problems.
PLoS One. 2014 Aug 22;9(8):e104845.
October 13, 2014
Exercise and ADHD: Providing children the opportunity to engage in physical activity in the morning prior to class can reduce attention-deficit, hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) behaviors during class time. These kids may need recess before, during, and after school to function normally. Maybe this should be considered to be normal levels of physical activity for children.
J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2014 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
October 15, 2014
Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: In African American women, breastfeeding is associated with a reduced risk of specific types of aggressive breast cancer. Promotion of breastfeeding should emphasize benefits both to the infant and to the mother.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014 Sep 15;106(10). pii: dju237.
October 16, 2014
Folic Acid and Autism Risk: Folic acid is known to be important for neurological development of the fetus during pregnancy. A recent study links folic acid supplementation, especially around the time of conception, with reduced risk of autism in the offspring.
JAMA. 2013 Feb 13;309(6):570-7.
October 25, 2014
Fried Food and Gestational Diabetes: The risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) was significantly greater in women who consumed the most fried foods prior to pregnancy. This risk was linked primarily to fried foods consumed away from home, suggesting that repeated use of frying oil, typical in commercial establishments, may be a factor.
Diabetologia. 2014 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]
November 6, 2014
Vitamin A and Infants: Infants often have very low levels of vitamin A in their body at birth. Since this vitamin is known to play essential roles in normal growth and development, researchers are using rat models to study how vitamin A supplementation affects various parts of the body. This should help us eventually understand how and when vitamin A supplementation may be important for infants.
J Lipid Res. 2014 Jun 9;55(8):1738-1749.
November 13, 2014
Fish and Pregnancy: New FDA guidelines encourage consuming fish high in omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, but avoiding the types of fish that are high in mercury. Fish high in mercury include shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel. FDA also recommended limiting consumption of albacore tuna to six ounces per week.
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jul 26.
November 22, 2014
Kids and Vegetables: Helping children learn to like vegetables can be a challenge. New research found that adding small amounts of vegetable purees to milk and infant cereal early during introduction of foods into an infant's diet increased the future consumption and liking of vegetables.
November 24, 2014
Soy Foods and Hot Flashes: Some claim that soy foods can help to reduce hot flashes during menopause. However, new research indicates that this is not the case for most women. Soy foods do seem to help some women whose intestinal bacteria convert a component of soy (daidzein) to a compound called equol in larger amounts. The researchers caution that based on their research, women should not be advised to consume diets high in soy to relieve menopausal symptoms.
Menopause. 2014 Nov 6. [Epub ahead of print]
November 27, 2014
Antibiotics During Pregnancy: The lower intestinal microbiota (mixture of microorganisms) is proving to have a major impact on human health, even affecting obesity risk. New research indicates that when a woman takes antibiotic drugs during the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, it may affect the microbiota of her infant in ways that significantly increase the risk of developing obesity later in life.
Int J Obes (Lond). 2014 Nov 11. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.180. [Epub ahead of print]
December 2, 2014
Homemade Infant Formula Risks: When breastfeeding is not possible or is not meeting an infant's needs, parents may be inclined to come up with "natural" homemade alternative infant formulas. This option, however, comes with potentially serious health risks that include severe malnutrition and potentially fatal illness.
Health Canada Advisory. November 26, 2014.
December 4, 2014
Nutrition Before, During, & After Pregnancy: A mother's nutrition before, during and between pregnancy can have long lasting effects on the health of her children and their risk of disease later in life. Good nutritional status of mothers plays a key role in improving the health of future generations.
Infant and Toddler Forum Report. Nov. 2014. (link downloads pdf file)
December 8, 2014
Folic Acid Supplementation and Pregnancy: Folic acid supplementation by pregnant women is known to help prevent neural tube defects in their infants. New research now indicates that folic acid supplementation also significantly reduces the risk of a low birth weight baby, but only if supplementation is commenced prior to conception.
BJOG. 2014 Nov 26. [Epub ahead of print]
December 9, 2014
Vitamin E During Pregnancy: Women with low blood vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) levels during the first trimester of pregnancy had an increased risk of miscarriage. Normal vitamin E status at the time of conception appears to be important for reducing the risk of miscarriage. Common dietary sources of vitamin E include foods like vegetable oils, mayonnaise, and certain nuts and seeds.
Am J Clin Nutr February 2015 ajcn.094920
December 16, 2014
Low Maternal Weight Gain and Fetal Death: Low weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk of fetal death. Male fetuses are more likely to die due to low weight gain. This is likely due to the fact that male fetuses have higher metabolic rates, requiring more calories that female fetuses. Excess body weight also can be a problem - overweight and obesity are associated with increased infant deaths.
PLoS One. 2014 Dec 10;9(12):e114304.
December 27, 2014
Vitamin D and Myopia: Research indicates that children who spend less time outside are more likely to develop myopia (short-sightedness). Speculation that this is related to low vitamin D, due to reduced sun exposure, appears to not be true. Perhaps it is just a matter of using distance vision more when outside - use it or lose it.
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]
January 1, 2015
High Fat Diet and Pregnancy: Studies in rodents and non-human primates indicate that high fat diets during pregnancy increase the odds of diabetes and obesity developing in the offspring. It remains to be seen if this applies to humans as well.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Mar;1842(3):507-19.
January 7, 2015
Vitamin D During Pregnancy: An adequate supply of all essential nutrients is especially important during pregnancy. The results of a study that followed people from birth to 20 years of age indicate that maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy led to increased risk of impaired lung development in the offspring that was apparent when evaluated at 6 years of age. Maternal vitamin D deficiency also increased the risk for neurocognitive difficulties that were apparent at age 10, along with a greater risk of eating disorders during adolescence, and lower peak bone mass at age 20.
Pediatrics. 2014 Dec 15. pii: peds.2014-1860. [Epub ahead of print]
January 21, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Mobility: An adequate intake of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, commonly found in fish and algae oils) is important for multiple aspects of health throughout life. This may be especially true during the latter decades of life. A study in Iceland indicated that women with higher blood levels of EPA and DHA were less likely to develop mobility limitations with aging.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan 14. [Epub ahead of print]
January 28, 2015
Iodine Deficiency During Pregnancy: Recommended iodine intake increases by about 50 percent during pregnancy. An Austrian study of 246 pregnant women found that over 80 percent of the women were iodine deficient based on measures of urinary iodine. Even a mild iodine deficiency can impair a child's intellectual development. The situation is probably similar in the U.S.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Dec 10. [Epub ahead of print]
February 2, 2015
Making Changes: Research shows that a person's health behavior affects their partner. Making positive health behavior changes is likely to be more effective if their partner also makes those changes.
JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jan 19. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7554. [Epub ahead of print]
February 13, 2015
Blood Donation and Iron Supplements: Blood donation causes a significant loss of iron from the body. Maintaining healthy blood donors requires replenishing iron to maintain normal iron status. A study found that blood donors taking iron supplements (37.5 mg/day of iron) after blood donation replenished their iron stores in about 76 days. In contrast, 67 percent of blood donors not taking iron supplements did not recover iron stores even by 168 days after donation.
February 18, 2015
Protein Need in Older Adults: There is a strong tendency to lose muscle tissue and strength with age, starting at around age 50 years or so. Plenty of research on older adults has supported the benefits of increasing protein intake above what is currently recommended. A new study on 20 healthy older adults (age 52 - 75) suggests that a protein intake about double current recommendations is beneficial.
Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jan 1;308(1):E21-8.
February 23, 2015
Dairy Foods and Brain Health: Brain levels of glutathione (an antioxidant produced by the body) generally decline with aging. This may lead to oxidative stress in the brain and neurodegeneration. A new study on people about 60 to 75 years of age found that cerebral glutathione concentrations were greater in those who consumed more dairy products. Clinical trials are needed to determine if consuming dairy foods can increase glutathione.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101(2):287-293.
February 27, 2015
Alcohol and Health: Research has supported potential health benefits from light to moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages. A new study questions the extent to which this may be true, however it still found that alcohol consumption was associated with reduced all cause mortality rates in women over age 65.
BMJ. 2015 Feb 10;350:h384.
March 21, 2015
Large daily doses of vitamin C do not appear to prevent colds, but taking vitamin C supplements during a cold may slightly reduce the duration of cold symptoms.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;(3):CD000980.
March 22, 2015
Older people usually need less calories as they age, but protein needs don't decrease. In fact, studies indicate that the optimal protein intake is greater for older people.
Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct;27(5):675-84.
March 25, 2015
Zinc and Inflammation: A deficiency in zinc is related to immune system problems and inflammation. This deficiency could play a role in inflammatory chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. The richest sources of zinc include meats and some seafood; moderate sources of zinc include nuts. The bioavailability of zinc in legumes, whole-grain products and plant proteins is lower due to the relatively high content of phytic acid.
Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Feb 5. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201400761. [Epub ahead of print]
March 30, 2015
Vitamin B12 for Infants and Toddlers: A study of 1000 infants and toddlers (ages 6 to 35 months) in northern India found that supplementation with twice the recommended vitamin B12 intake significantly increased growth over a 6 month period compared to those taking a placebo.
Pediatrics. 2015 Mar 23. [Epub ahead of print]
March 31, 2015
Nutrition During Pregnancy: Research on the causes of death in people who were born in Holland during the 1944/1945 Dutch Hunger Winter is starting to provide information on the long-term effects of compromised nutrition during specific developmental periods. People who were developing during the first trimester of pregnancy during this winter did not have an increased risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease. However, they were more likely to die of other causes when compared to people who did not experience starvation during this stage of development.
Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Feb 15;181(4):271-9.
April 7, 2015
Online Sale of Human Breast Milk: Online sale of human milk is becoming a major business venture. Certainly, breast milk is the best source of nutrition for young babies. However, analysis of breast milk from over 100 online sources found that many of the products were contaminated with a significant amount of unaltered cow's milk. Other studies have found problems with bacterial contamination. Considering these risks of purchasing human milk online, infant formula can be a better choice. It mimics many of the benefits of human milk without the allergenic risks of unaltered cow's milk and bacterial contamination.
Pediatrics. April 6, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]
May 28, 2015
Alcohol and Aging: A study of over 4000 older men and women (average age 76) found that greater alcohol intake was associated with subtle adverse alterations in heart structure and function. Although cause and effect conclusions were not possible, women appeared to be more susceptible than men to negative effects of alcohol on heart health. It is possible that the level of alcohol intake considered to be "moderate" may be lower for older adults.
Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2015;8:e002846.
June 1, 2015
B12, Pregnancy, and Lactation: The importance of folic acid during pregnancy and lactation is well established. New research now also suggests that recommended intake of vitamin B12 should be increased during pregnancy and lactation.
J Nutr. 2015 May 20. [Epub ahead of print]
June 6, 2015
More than 300 species of bacteria naturally live in the mouth. Some of these bacteria convert sugar into acids that gradually dissolve and erode tooth enamel. Foods that stimulate saliva flow can protect teeth by helping to flush acids out of the mouth.
J Am Dent Assoc. 2008 May;139 Suppl:18S-24S.
June 7, 2015
Children should decide when they have had enough to eat. Parents, however, are responsible for creating a food environment that provides the child with a wide variety of wholesome foods and keeps high calorie tasty treats as occasional options.
Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):539-49.
June 9, 2015
Alcohol and Pregnancy: Women are commonly advised to not consume alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. However, based on a study with mice, alcohol consumption can permanently alter gene regulation in an embryo at a very early stage before a woman knows she is pregnant. These gene alterations have adverse lifelong effects on the offspring. Avoiding alcohol when there is a chance of becoming or being pregnant is the safest strategy.
PLoS One. 2015 May 13;10(5):e0124931.
June 10, 2015
Eating Placenta: Consuming the placenta after birth is becoming an increasingly popular practice and promoted by notables such as Kourtney Kardashian. Proponents claim that this practice reduces the risk of postpartum depression, reduces post-delivery pain, boosts energy, aids lactation, promotes skin elasticity, enhances maternal bonding, or replenishes iron in the body. Although the placenta does provide some iron, researchers could not find evidence that potential benefits exceed potential risks.
Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015 Jun 5. [Epub ahead of print]
June 18, 2015
Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Inadequate maternal weight gain during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse effects on the developing baby. Excessive weight gain also puts both mother and baby at increased risk of several health problems. Consequently, proper individual guidance on diet and exercise is especially important before, during, and after pregnancy.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]
June 21, 2015
Exercise and Overheating in Children: During exercise, children may be more likely to overheat than adults. This is especially true when a child is dehydrated at the start of exercise. Consuming adequate water before and during exercise is essential.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Apr;33(2):420-7.
June 22, 2015
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Immune Function: Deregulation of the immune system is common In older people. This can contribute to both the severity of infectious diseases and the incidence of some autoimmune diseases that involve chronic inflammation. Supplementation with long chain omega-3 fatty acids (from fish or algae oils), or frequent consumption of fatty fish, has been shown to help reduce inflammatory activity in the body.
Br J Nutr. 2015 Jun 10:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]
July 4, 2015
A common food myth is that sugary foods cause hyperactivity in children. Several well-designed research studies indicate that this was not the case.
Nutr Rev. 1994 May;52(5):173-5.
July 7, 2015
Pregnancy and Vitamin B12: During pregnancy and lactation, a woman's needs increase for most nutrients. A new study indicates that vitamin B12 is needed in greater amounts than previously thought during both pregnancy and lactation. It is possible that the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 during pregnancy and lactation may need to be increased to meet optimal needs for vitamin B12.
J Nutr. 2015 Jul;145(7):1507-14.
July 22, 2015
Poverty and Brain Development: Researchers conducted brain scans on 389 children and adolescents every two years over a six year period. The study found that those living in poverty were more likely to have structural differences in several areas of the brain that are involved in learning skills. It is likely that environment, parenting styles, and nutrition all contribute to this difference.
JAMA Pediatr. 20 July 2015. [Epub ahead of print]
August 2, 2015
Rickets and macrobiotic diets: Modern cases of rickets have occurred when well-intentioned parents fed their infants macrobiotic diets that lacked a dietary source of vitamin D. Particularly for infants and toddlers, milk alternatives should be fortified with vitamin D since this may be the sole source of nutrients for the child.
Pediatrics. 2001 Apr;107(4):E46.
August 5, 2015
Picky Eating in Kids: The psychologist's manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders now has an official designation and diagnosis for picky eating. It is called avoidant / restrictive food intake disorder. This maladaptive food restriction takes selective eating to an extreme that can affect health and may be linked with psychological problems as well.
Pediatrics, August 3, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]
August 9, 2015
Goal of fitness: Can you be fat and fit? Yes! Of course, there are limits, but fit overweight people can have a lower risk of chronic disease than their thin sedentary counterparts. Regular physical activity helps the body gravitate to its unique genetically determined optimal weight.
Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2005;(170):137-63.
August 21, 2015
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Body Composition of Kids: A study of 311 children age seven to twelve found that those who consumed more polyunsaturated fatty acids relative to saturated fatty acids had more lean body mass and less fat mass and less abdominal fat. These results were based on self-reported food intake and the study design cannot demonstrate cause and effect, however, this relationship deserves further study.
J Nutr. 2015 Aug 12. pii: jn212365. [Epub ahead of print]
August 31, 2015
Obesity and Stillbirth Risk: A large study found that obese women are nearly twice as likely as their lean counterparts to have stillborn babies. Since the stillbirths were associated with things like high blood pressure and placental diseases, monitoring obese pregnant women for these problems and providing appropriate treatment may help reduce the rate of stillbirths.
Am J Clin Nutr, August 26, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]
September 5, 2015
Food Habits Begin Early: Adult habits often start in childhood and this includes being a picky eater. If parents provide a wide variety of wholesome foods as the main fare, children are more likely to learn to appreciate a wide variety of foods and to obtain adequate nutrients throughout their adult life.
Pediatrics. 1998 Mar;101(3 Pt 2):539-49.
September 17, 2015
Gluten-Free Diet for Autism: Some have proposed that autism may be linked to adverse reactions to food components like gluten and casein. A study of 14 autistic children (3 to 5 years old) found that a gluten-free and casein-free diet consumed for four to six weeks had no significant effects on measures related to autism symptoms. This was followed up with blindly challenging the children with gluten and or casein which also had no significant effect on autism symptoms.
J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Sep 5. [Epub ahead of print]
September 18, 2015
Nutritional Insecurity: It is possible to have enough food to eat (be food secure) but still be nutritionally insecure. A recent study compared a group of vegetarian women in India to a group of women in the U.S. Apparently due to the limited variety of foods in the diet of the Indian women, blood tests indicated multiple nutrient deficiencies in the Indian women, but none in the U.S. women.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]
September 22, 2015
Risk Factors for Disease and Death: Risk factors for health problems are highly dependent on environmental conditions where you live. However, on a global level, the six most important risk factors are diet related, high systolic blood pressure, child and maternal malnutrition, tobacco, air pollution, and high BMI.
Lancet. 2015 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
September 30, 2015
Vitamin D During Pregnancy: Adequate vitamin D status during pregnancy is important for the health of both mother and baby. A new study reports that many factors can influence vitamin D status during of pregnancy. Taking supplemental vitamin D was the most consistent means of maintaining good vitamin D status throughout pregnancy.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep 23. [Epub ahead of print]
October 2, 2015
Climate Change and Pregnancy: A large study conducted in 19 African countries found that a pregnant woman's exposure to reduced precipitation and an increased number of very hot days was associated with having a lower birth weight baby. Low birth weight infants are at much greater risk for a variety of developmental and health problems.
Global Environmental Change, 2015; 35: 125.
October 18, 2015
Food Fears:Fear of foods in the name of health or weight control can create a variety of eating problems. Extreme fear of fat and specific foods can lead to serious health problems and result in dangerous eating disorders and is termed orthorexia.
Physiol Behav. 2007 Sep 10;92(1-2):283-90.
October 24, 2015
Soft Protein: For those with dentures or a decreased ability to chew, mixing a protein powder with a beverage or yogurt can be an easy way to meet protein requirements.
J Am Diet Assoc. 2003 Jan;103(1):61-6.
November 5, 2015
Fitness and Dental Health: It appears that physical fitness does not necessarily promote dental health. A study of professional football (soccer) players in the UK found that most of these athletes had poor dental health. It is not known why their dental health was compromised.
Br J Sports Med. 2 Nov 2015. [Epub ahead of print]
November 10, 2015
Adolescent Body Image and Obesity: There has been some evidence that depressed teenagers are more likely to become obese. However, a new study found that a distorted body image was a better predictor of adolescents developing obesity. Working with teenagers to develop a positive self-perception of their body image may help to prevent later obesity.
J Affect Disord. 2015 Nov 1;186:162-7.
November 13, 2015
Mode of Transport and Health: A new Japanese study found that, on average, those who used public transport to get to work had a lower prevalence of excess body weight, hypertension, and diabetes than those who drove, walked, or biked to work. Possibly, those who used public transport walked more to get to and from transport stations.
Circulation. 2015; 132: A15214.
November 18, 2015
Coffee and Mortality: A study that followed more than 200,000 U.S. doctors, nurses and other health professionals for almost three decades found that those who consumed regular or decaf coffee, even at amounts over 5 cups a day, had a significantly lower risk of dying than those who did not drink coffee.
CIRCULATION. November 16, 2015. [Epub ahead of print]
November 22, 2015
Importance of food: Don't be seduced into believing that foods are "good" or "bad." Health problems can develop when a person limits their food intake to too few foods, even if they are all "good" foods.
Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015 Feb 18;11:385-94. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S61665. eCollection 2015.
November 23, 2015
Caffeine and Pregnancy: A study using data collected on women and their infants between 1959 and 1974 found that there was no association between caffeine intake during pregnancy and a child's subsequent IQ measured at ages 4 and 7. Prior to 1975, there was little concern for caffeine consumption during pregnancy and coffee consumption during pregnancy was higher than today. These results support the safety of the current recommendation to drink no more than one or two cups of coffee a day during pregnancy.
Am J Epidemiol. 2015 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]
November 29, 2015
Gut microbes and Health: Strangely enough, there are trillions of bacterial organisms living in the lower part of the human intestine. A balanced diet helps this "microbiota" protect us against infections, some cancers, and possibly even the development of obesity.
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80.
December 7, 2015
Prenatal Iron Status and Fetal Brain: Using a new brain MRI scanning technique on newborn infants, researchers found that mothers with lower iron status during pregnancy gave birth to infants with compromised brain development when compared to infants of mothers with good iron status.
Pediatr Res. 2015 Nov 24. [Epub ahead of print]
December 8, 2015
Nutrition, Nature, Nurture: We know that a woman's nutrition before and during pregnancy has a strong influence on the lifelong health of her child. Research is increasingly showing that the father's health status information also is passed along to the child through sperm via factors that influence the expression of specific genes that affect things like food intake control, body weight, fat cell number, etc.
Cell Metabolism. 6 December 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
December 10, 2015
Eating Environment: Controlled research with families found that noise distraction affected food consumption of parents the most. A noisy condition increased their consumption of cookies, diet soda, and carrots.
Couple Fam Psych Res Pract. 2015;4(4):199-211.
December 22, 2015
Food Advertising to Children: Much food advertising targeting children is now embedded into Internet "advergames" that integrate brand-related food cues within the media entertainment content. New research indicates that this technique is very effective at influencing children's food selections.
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 2016; 9: 26 DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.11.016
December 23, 2015
Nutrition and Breast Milk: For many reasons, mother's milk is best for baby. This assumes that the mother has good nutrition. Inadequate intake by the mother of nutrients like vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) makes breast milk deficient in these nutrients.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Dec 16. [Epub ahead of print]
December 26, 2015
Healthy Habits: Staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight is much easier than getting fit when out of shape. Helping a child to develop a healthy lifestyle is a great lifelong gift.
Ann Med. 1999 Apr;31 Suppl 1:26-32.
December 28, 2015
Vitamin D and Breast Milk: Breast milk is not an adequate source of vitamin D for the infant if the mother's vitamin D status is low. However, a new study found that breast milk did meet infant vitamin D needs when the mother supplemented her diet with 6,400 IU of vitamin D per day.
Pediatrics. 2015 Oct;136(4):625-34.
January 6, 2016
Preconception Nutrition: There is gradually increasing evidence that nutrition status can affect fertility. Couples having difficulty conceiving may benefit from assuring that all of their nutrient needs are being met.
Nutrients. 2016;8(1). [Epub ahead of print]
January 15, 2016
Vitamin D and Fertility: A study of wild sheep on a remote Scottish island found that there was a fair amount a variability in vitamin D status among the sheep at the end of summer. Sheep with higher levels of vitamin D metabolites in their blood at the end of summer went on to give birth to more lambs in the following spring. The variability in vitamin D status appears to be genetically linked.
Scientific Reports. 2016 Jan 13. [Online ahead of print]
January 20, 2016
Fish During Pregnancy: Although it is difficult to study in humans, animal studies show that inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy impairs normal fetal brain development. This fetal damage cannot be corrected by adequate omega-3 fatty acid intake during infancy.
Stem Cells. 2015 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]
February 3, 2016
Long Term Effects of Low Fiber Diet: New research on successive generations of mice consuming low fiber diets indicates that there is a steady loss of microbial diversity in the intestinal microbiome. The same phenomenon may be occurring in humans consuming common diets that are low in dietary fiber. A loss of microbial diversity in the lower intestine may have a significant negative impact on health that may be very difficult to reverse.
February 6, 2016
Importance of iodized salt: Iodine is an essential nutrient for nerve development in infants and thyroid function at any age. For some people, iodized salt is a major source of this mineral and cutting back on salt can decrease iodine intake.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (4), 1315–1323, 2008.
February 7, 2016
Anemia is Not Equivalent to Iron Deficiency: Health problems caused by iron deficiency may go undiagnosed if the deficiency does not produce anemia. This "nonanemic" iron deficiency may have negative effects on brain development during infancy.
Do current medical procedures sufficiently diagnose iron deficiency?
February 9, 2016
ADHD and Obesity: Children with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk of becoming obese as adults, according to a study that followed boys with ADHD and boys without the condition up to an average age of 41 years. It is not known why this association exists, suggesting that further study is warranted to confirm the association and, if confirmed, explore potential causes.
February 12, 2016
Infant Scurvy: Attempts to eat super healthy can backfire. With good intentions, parents fed their infant an almond beverage and almond flour for several months. Since little or nothing else was fed to the infant, it developed serious scurvy (vitamin C deficiency). The child experienced serious bone fractures, irritability, a great deal of pain, and overall failure to thrive.
Pediatrics. 2016 Jan 18. [Epub ahead of print]
February 15, 2016
Vitamin B12 and Brain Development: It is widely acknowledged that folate deficiency can impair brain and neural development during pregnancy and infancy. Add vitamin B12 to the list. Mental and emotional function appears to be impaired by inadequate intake of either of these vitamins at most any stage of life. Diets low in plant foods can be low in folate and diets low in animal foods are low in vitamin B12. Healthful diets include a wide variety of foods.
PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0146797.
February 16, 2016
Infant Feeding and Gut Microbes: New research indicates that the major determinant of a healthful diversity of the gut microbial composition is the introduction during infancy of family foods high protein and dietary fiber. Specifically, intake of meats, cheeses, and Danish rye bread, rich in protein and fiber, were associated with an increased diversity that has been associated with a reduced risk of obesity later in life.
mSphere. 2016 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]
February 22, 2016
Child Food Allergies: Children with allergies early in life tend to outgrow the allergies as they develop. However, both parents and children often assume that the allergies persist. This can result in unnecessary food restriction that results in diets deficient in key nutrients.
Doctoral thesis. 2016 Umea University, Sweden.
February 26, 2016
Breastfeeding and Vitamin D: Breastfed babies, especially those breastfed more than 1 year, commonly develop low vitamin D status. Since breast milk may not meet Vitamin D needs, supplementation of the infant with vitamin D can help to prevent the deficiency from developing.
Am J Public Health. 2016 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print]
February 29, 2016
Child Nutrition and Potatoes: A survey of the nutrient intake of children one to three years of age found that potassium and dietary fiber were nutrients commonly under-consumed. It can be difficult to get children to eat vegetables that are good sources of these nutrients. However, potatoes are a good source of both nutrients and children generally like them.
Adv Nutr. 2016 Jan 15;7(1):241S-6S.
March 2, 2016
Pregnancy, Diet and Exercise: Remaining fit and healthy during pregnancy is important for having a healthy baby with the foundation to live a long and healthy life. However, taking diet and exercise to extremes can be bad for fetal development and for the baby's long-term health.
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 Jul;114(7):1099-103.
March 3, 2016
Maternal Protein Deficiency: Research with rats shows how protein deficiency during pregnancy can cause molecular changes in the offspring that persist long after the period of protein restriction and adversely affect life-long health. These results confirm observations made on human populations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms.
Br J Nutr. 2015 Aug 28;114(4):519-32.
March 9, 2016
Peanut Allergy Prevention: Recent studies indicate that early feeding of peanuts to infants at high risk for allergy helps to prevent the allergy from developing. Following up on this research, it was found that avoidance of peanuts for a year (following early introduction of peanuts) did not alter the protective effect of early peanut introduction.
N Engl J Med. 2016 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]
March 28, 2016
Alcohol and Mortality: Many studies have indicated that moderate alcohol consumption may have health benefits, finding that moderate drinkers live longer than non-drinkers. However, a meta-analysis of 87 studies on this subject found that study designs may produce incorrect results when study participants in the non-drinkers group include people who have stopped drinking because of health problems. Their analysis suggests a need for more rigorous study designs. As always, moderation seems to be the key factor.
J Studies Alcohol Drugs. 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
March 30, 2016
Sun Exposure and Longevity: A 20-year study of almost 30,000 Swedish women found that those with more sun exposure tended to live a bit longer. Interestingly, nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group. The key factor may be that vitamin D status increases with sun exposure. But, so does skin cancer.
J Intern Med. 2016 Mar 16. [Epub ahead of print]
April 4, 2016
Breakfast and Blood Sugar Levels: In overweight teenage girls who habitually consume breakfast, increasing protein in the breakfast meal to about 30 grams resulted in reduced morning, afternoon and total overall blood glucose levels.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;69(8):885-90.
April 16, 2016
Importance of Variety: Our food environment offers a great variety of foods throughout the year. Despite this modern abundance, many people eat a rather limited variety of foods. Eating too narrow for too long may have serious long-term health consequences due to chronically low intake of some essential nutrients.
J Am Diet Assoc. 1997 Mar;97(3):266-71.
April 21, 2016
Strength Training and Health: A large study on more than 30,000 adults over age 65 found that strength training twice a week was significantly associated with living longer. Along with adequate protein intake, strength training is highly beneficial for maintaining a good muscle mass and avoiding age-related sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass).
Prev Med. 2016 Feb 24;87:121-127.
April 26, 2016
Obesity and Pregnancy: A large study of 15,710 mothers found that maternal pre-pregnancy obesity was associated with an increased risk of the child being overweight at two years of age. However, breastfeeding the baby for at least six months was associated with reduced risk of the child being overweight.
Pediatr Obes. 2016 Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print]
May 1, 2016
Protein Needs and Aging: The age-associated loss of body protein is called sarcopenia. To increase muscle along with bone density, consume adequate protein and exercise regularly.
Maturitas. 2010 Aug;66(4):383-8.
May 8, 2016
Aging and B12 Deficiency: It has been estimated that one out of seven people over age 65 lose the ability to absorb vitamin B-12 normally and are at risk of developing a deficiency.
Arch Intern Med. 2005 May 23;165(10):1167-72.
May 12, 2016
Pregnancy and Child Obesity: A new study found that when mothers experienced high blood glucose and/or had excessive weight gain during pregnancy, they were more likely to have a child who becomes overweight or obese within ten years even if the child's birth weight was normal.
Maternal and Child Health Journal, pp 1-10, First online: 06 May 2016
May 13, 2016
Pregnancy and Folic Acid: It has been almost 20 years since mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid was implemented in the U.S. This greatly reduced the incidence of neural tube defects in babies. However, women who do not regularly consume foods made with white flour may need a supplemental source of folic acid during pregnancy. High doses of folic acid are not recommended. Adequate intake is the goal.
Future Science OA. April 21, 2016.[Epub ahead of print]
May 14, 2016
Nutrition Decisions: When it comes to nutrition and health, it is often a challenge to sort out sensible information from nonsense. Science should drive decisions, not marketing.
Phys Sportsmed. 1997 Jun;25(6):77-92.
May 18, 2016
Infant Feeding: A study that documented the feeding practices of over 1000 infants, and followed them for six years, found that the timing of introducing solid foods to the infants had no effect on the prevalence of obesity in the children at six years of age.
Child Obes. 2016 Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print]
May 30, 2016
Hot Weather Hydration: As the weather gets hotter, remember that children are more likely than adults to overheat during exercise. This is especially true for overweight children. Keep plenty of fluids available and encourage drinking.
Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Apr;33(2):420-7.
June 2, 2016
Breast Is Best: A study compared feeding infants with breast milk from the breast vs pumped breast milk from a bottle. Those fed primarily from a bottle were at greater risk of getting ear infections. Breast milk fed by either route reduced the risk of diarrhea compared to formula feeding.
J Pediatr. 2016 May 9. [Epub ahead of print]
June 12, 2016
Potential Problems with Picky Eating: There are more than 40 essential nutrients required in our diets. Picky eaters run the risk of missing out on one or more of these nutrients.
June 14, 2016
Folate in Pregnancy: Researchers measured the blood folate level of over 1500 women shortly after the women gave birth. The women with the lowest blood folate levels were more likely to have children who became obese or overweight. Folate blood levels that were associated with decreased risk of obesity were significantly greater than the currently accepted lower end of the normal range.
JAMA Pediatrics DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0845 (2016).
June 23, 2016
Low Maternal Thyroid: Women with low blood levels of thyroid hormone during the first half of pregnancy were significantly more likely to have children that developed schizophrenia. Both low iodine and low iron status can impair normal thyroid hormone production.
Biol Psychiatry. 2016 Jun 15;79(12):962-70.
June 24, 2016
Heat Exposure Risks: Staying properly hydrated is especially important during hot weather. However, when environmental temperature significantly exceeds body temperature, the body can dangerously overheat even when hydration is adequate. Under these conditions, other measures may be needed to prevent the over-heating that leads to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Those who survive heat stroke may experience permanent damage to various organs, including the intestines, kidneys, and even the brain.
Compr Physiol. 2015 Apr;5(2):611-47.
July 3, 2016
The Brain is a "Sugar Junkie": The brain requires blood sugar for energy, using about 400 calories of glucose each day. If inadequate carbohydrate is consumed, muscle protein may be broken down to provide needed glucose. Consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrate a day to feed the brain and help prevent muscle loss.
Prog Brain Res. 2006;153:129-40.
July 5, 2016
Vitamin B12 and Baby's Brain: The breast-fed infant of a healthy mother can thrive on breast milk alone for four to six months. However, if a mother is deficient in vitamin B-12, her milk also will be deficient. This can irreversibly damage the baby's brain and nerve development. Consequently, vegetarian mothers are commonly advised to take a B-12 supplement.
Nutr Rev. 2008 May;66(5):250-5.
July 14, 2016
Binge Eating in Children: An eating disorder called binge eating disorder is characterized by feeling out of control while eating and is typically associated with overweight and obesity. A review of 15 studies on binge eating disorder in children (5 to 12 years of age) found that family-based weight teasing was associated with the behavior. Although the review could not conclude that this caused the disorder, it indicates that emotional support of overweight or obese children may help to prevent binge eating disorder.
Eat Behav. 2016 Apr 9;22:62-71.
July 19, 2016
Essential Fatty Acids and Pregnancy: The essential fatty acid DHA is one of several nutrients critical for normal infant brain development, retinal development, and immune function. Supplementing women with DHA, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, was found to greatly reduce the average medical costs of delivery and the first year of the infants' lives. Researchers estimated that supplementation of all pregnant women in the U.S. with DHA would save about six billion dollars in annual medical costs.
Prost Leuko Ess Fat Acids. 2016;111:8-10.
July 23, 2016
Determinants of Children's Food Choices: Parents are a role model for their children's food choices. If a parent eats a wide variety of wholesome foods, the child is more likely to follow suit.
Am J Clin Nutr December 2011 vol. 94 no. 6 Suppl 2006S-2011S
July 26, 2016
Pregnancy, Iron Deficiency, and Thyroid Function: A study of 1900 pregnant women in Brussels found that 35 percent of them were iron deficient during their first trimester. Iron deficient women were more likely to have impaired thyroid function. This is physiologically logical because thyroid hormone production depends on the normal function of an enzyme that requires iron as an essential co-factor.
Eur J Endocrinol July 22, 2016 EJE-16-0288.
July 28, 2016
Influence of Family Food Habits: A study of almost 3000 twins, 18 to 19 years of age, found that dietary food preferences can change substantially during the early adult years. The researchers suggest that this stage of life may represent an important window of opportunity to influence food choices throughout the rest of one's life.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Jul 6. [Epub ahead of print]
August 14, 2016
Cancer and Alternative “cures”: Alternative “cures” for cancer can be very tempting to cancer patients. However, opting for questionable therapies can be very risky and can delay evidence-based treatments to the point that they may no longer be effective.
Ir Med J. 2008 Mar;101(3):82-4.
August 15, 2016
Gestational Diabetes & Child Obesity: A study of 4740 children, 9-11 years of age, indicated that children were more likely to be obese if their mother had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). How exposure to diabetes via mother's womb may increase the risk of offspring obesity is not fully understood.
Diabetologia. 2016 Aug 11. [Epub ahead of print]
August 27, 2016
Picky Eater or Supertaster?: Why do some people really like flavors that you don’t like? It may be in your genes. Some people are “supertasters” of specific flavors in foods, especially bitter flavors.
Chem Senses. 2000 Aug;25(4):447-60.
September 1, 2016
Good Nutrition and Social Development: Researchers found that children without obvious signs of iron, riboflavin, niacin, and protein deficiency had much better development of social skills than children with even one sign of a deficiency.
Maternal & Child Nutr. 2016 May. [Epub ahead of print]
September 5, 2016
Food Allergy and Asthma Risk: Analysis of the medical records of over one million children indicated that infants with food allergies were much more likely to develop asthma. The most common food allergens were peanuts, milk, eggs, shellfish and soy.
BMC Pediatrics. 2016;16:133.
September 9, 2016
Floor Plan and Eating: A study using college students as participants found that floor plans may influence how much we eat. When the kitchen/food service area was separate from the dining area, study participants consumed significantly less food. Out of sight, out of mind?
Environment and Behavior, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
September 15, 2016
Fatty Acids and Children: A double-blind placebo-controlled study found that supplementation of nine to ten year-old children for three months with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) plus a small amount of gamma-linolenic acid, improved performance on a variety of reading tests. Those identified by their parents as having attention problems were most likely to have a positive response to the supplement.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2016 Aug 22. Epub ahead of print]
September 16, 2016
Activity Deficiency: Many chronic diseases of aging can be delayed or even prevented by maintaining regular physical activity throughout life - especially during the last few decades of life. Unfortunately, an evaluation of national data found that almost 30 percent of adults are not engaging in any physical activity outside of typical daily living. This percentage increases in older people.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016;65:954-958.
September 24, 2016
Vitamin A is needed for normal growth, reproduction, bone health, blood cell production, skin health and immune function, but too much vitamin A (just 2 to 3 times the current recommended vitamin A intake) has been linked to increased bone loss and birth defects.
Nutr Rev. 2007 Oct;65(10):425-38.
September 26, 2016
Nutrition During Pregnancy: Atopic eczema is an inflammation of the skin that tends to flare up from time to time. New research indicates that a deficiency of niacin in a mother during pregnancy predisposes the baby to developing eczema that usually starts in early childhood. Naturally occurring niacin is highest in meats, poultry, seafood, fortified cereals, and peanuts.
Clin Exp Allergy. 2016 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print]
October 1, 2016
Muscle Loss and Protein: Sarcopenia is the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength resulting in frailty in the elderly. Exercise and adequate protein helps to slow this aging process.
J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Jan;21(1):1-13. Epub 2009 Oct 1.
October 2, 2016
Sunshine Not Enough for Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for a healthy immune system and may be especially important as we enter into flu season. Research indicates that even those with seemingly adequate sun exposure may be low in vitamin D. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified milk, and dietary supplements.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Jun;92(6):2130-5.
October 3, 2016
Protein Intake of Older People: Many older people do not consume adequate amounts of protein for optimal health. A study conducted in the United Kingdom found that the major factors that can help older people consume adequate protein are making sure the protein foods are tasty, convenient, easy to prepare, affordable, don't spoil readily, and are perceived to be healthy foods.
October 4, 2016
Homeopathic Teething Product Warning: FDA has received many adverse event reports from parents of children using homeopathic teething products available in major drug stores. In response, FDA is recommending that consumers stop using these products and dispose of any in their possession. FDA's concerns include seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation.
FDA News Release. Sept 30, 2016.
October 7, 2016
Children's picture books are still popular and often read to children. Researchers evaluated over 450 fictional picture books with dietary behavior as the central theme. The most popular theme for the 4- to 8-year-old audience was picky eating. To prevent nutrient deficiencies now and in the future, children should be encouraged to explore their food world.
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 2016; 48 (9): 602 DOI: 10.1016/j.jneb.2016.06.005
October 8, 2016
Iodine and Nerve Development: Normal nerve development in infants requires adequate iodine from mother's milk or infant formula. Dietary iodine comes primarily from iodized salt. Therefore, if you are limiting salt intake, make sure your dietary supplement contains iodine.
Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Feb 15;42(4):1315-23.
October 14, 2016
Sleep and Calorie Intake in Children: Studies on adults have indicated that a lack of adequate sleep is associated with increased weight gain. Now, a study with three to four year old children reports that sleep deprivation triggered a 20 percent increase in calorie intake and 25 percent intake in sugar.
Journal of Sleep Research, 19 September 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
October 20, 2016
DHA Supplements During Pregnancy: A summary of two separate studies reports that supplementation with DHA (a long chain omega-3 fatty acid) during the last two trimesters of pregnancy reduced the number of preterm births. DHA is one of the omega-3 fatty acids in marine fish oils and also is available in dietary supplements made from a specific type of algae oil. The doses used in these studies were 600 and 800 milligrams of DHA per day.
Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2016 Sep;112:44-9.
November 2, 2016
Nutrition and Early-life Stress: Studies on stress during infancy have shown that it can impair learning and memory in later life, indicating that this period of brain development is important. An interesting study using mice found that providing the mother mice with a few supplemental nutrients increased the level of these nutrients in their milk and resulted in preventing later life problems with learning and memory in their offspring.
FASEB J. October 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
November 8, 2016
Celiac Disease in Children: A study of over 100 children diagnosed with celiac disease by intestinal biopsy found that about 20 percent of them still had the intestinal damage characteristic of the disease when checked again after over two years of consuming a gluten-free diet (according to self report from patients). These findings suggest the need for further studies to carefully monitor objective measures of dietary adherence.
J Ped Gastro Nutr. November 3, 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
November 9, 2016
Hospital Nutrition: Being hospitalized commonly reduces appetite. Not consuming complete meals when hospitalized and the resulting malnutrition are associated with longer hospital stays and increased mortality risk.
Am J Clin Nutr November 2016 vol. 104 no. 5 1393-1402.
November 15, 2016
Breakfast, Bedtime, and Obesity: A study measured the heights and weights of almost 17,000 children at 3, 5, 7, and 11 years of age. They found that the development of higher BMI values was associated with skipping breakfast and having irregular bedtime routines. Also, If mothers smoked during pregnancy, their children were more likely to develop higher BMI values. Although this type of study design cannot establish a cause and effect relationship, it poses important questions.
PEDIATRICS. November 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
November 21, 2016
Oral Health: Maintaining healthy gums is an important part of good nutrition, especially as people age. Now it has been shown that the vapors of e-cigarettes have damaging effects on oral health, similar to smoking conventional cigarettes.
Oncotarget. 2016 Oct 24. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.12857. [Epub ahead of print]
December 13, 2016
Prenatal Malnutrition: Animal studies have shown that starvation during pregnancy affects the health of subsequent generations even though they had adequate nutrition. Now, a large, population-based cohort study of families with over 3000 participants across consecutive generations in Northern China found that prenatal exposure to famine significantly increased the risk of high blood glucose and type 2 diabetes in adulthood in two consecutive generations.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Dec 7. [Epub ahead of print]
December 14, 2016
Sleep and Calories: In both mice and people, inadequate quality sleep (REM sleep) triggers increased desire to consume highly palatable foods - especially foods high in sugar and fat. Using mice, researchers found when they inhibited the activity of neurons in a specific part of the mouse brain, the mice did not have the usual increased drive to consume highly palatable foods.
Elife. 2016 Dec 6. [Epub ahead of print]
December 17, 2016
Safer Alcohol Consumption: To better handle those holiday drinks, avoid drinking on an empty stomach. Eating some food before drinking alcoholic beverages helps to moderate the rise in blood alcohol.
J Clin Pharmacol. 2001 Dec;41(12):1345-50.
December 20, 2016
Donor Breast Milk for Preemies: Pasteurized donor milk can be safe for premature infants when donors are properly screened for drug use and the milk is collected, stored, and pasteurized correctly. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises not to use nonpasteurized donor milk and it is important to distribute through established human milk banks to decrease risks of bacterial or viral contamination.
Pediatrics Dec 2016. [Epub ahead of print]
January 2, 2017
Pregnancy, Fish Oil, and Childhood Asthma: Pregnant women who took a supplement with the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils (EPA and DHA) had a significantly reduced risk of having children with asthma. Taking the supplement during the third trimester of pregnancy appeared to be especially beneficial.
N Engl J Med. 2016 Dec 29;375(26):2530-2539.
January 4, 2017
Military Energy Drink Warning: Military personnel on deployment frequently consume "energy drinks." A study found that those consuming three or more energy drinks a day generally got less sleep, did not sleep as soundly, and were more likely to fall asleep during briefings or on guard duty.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Nov 9;61(44):895-8.
January 18, 2017
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: On a global level, close to 10 percent of women drink alcohol during pregnancy. In some countries, more than 45 percent of women consume alcohol during pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome is more common there. Among women who drink alcohol during pregnancy, it is estimated that one in 67 will deliver a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.
The Lancet Global Health, 2017. [Epub ahead of print]
January 23, 2017
Food Assistance Programs: In the U.S., the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves as a nutritional safety net for people when they have hard financial times. Such assistance is especially important in families with growing children and teens.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. JUNE 14, 2016.
February 6, 2017
Calorie Restriction During Pregnancy: There has been evidence in human observational studies and rodent research that an inadequate calorie intake during pregnancy and lactation not only compromises fetal and infant growth and development, but has lifelong detrimental effects on health. Now, a well controlled study with baboons, a non-human primate, has shown that low calorie intake by the mother during pregnancy and lactation not only impairs early growth and development, but ultimately impairs things like cardiac function when the offspring become adults.
J Physiol. 2016 J Physiol. [Epub ahead of print]
February 9, 2017
Food Insecurity and Childhood Mental Development: A review of 23 studies on household food insecurity in developed countries concluded that, even at marginal levels, food insecurity is associated with behavioral, academic, and emotional problems in children from infancy to adolescence - even after controlling for identifiable confounders. Adequate nutrition that meets essential nutrient needs is required for normal mental development.
J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2017 Feb/Mar;38(2):135-150.
February 21, 2017
Fructose and Fatty Liver in Children: A study of 271 obese children (age 10 to 13 years) with a diagnosis of fatty liver disease found that high fructose intake was directly associated with the level of fat in the liver. These results do not prove, but they suggest, that lowering total sugar intake, especially from sugars high in fructose, may help to improve liver health in obese children.
J Hepatology. Feb 14 2017. [Epub ahead of print]
February 26, 2017
Planning for Health: When attempting to make healthful changes in eating habits, it is important to have a clear action plan. Also, as sports psychologists point out, adding mental imagery to clearly visualize carrying out the details of the action plan can increase the likelihood of success.
Psychol Health. 2011 Feb 18:1-17.
March 12, 2017
Eating Disorders and Malnutrition: Eating disorders in teens are often linked to depression, anxiety or other mental disorders. Even suicide thoughts or attempts are commonly reported. Since disordered eating causes nutrient deficiencies, it should not be surprising that serious mental problems can coexist with eating disorders.
Mt Sinai J Med. 2004 May;71(3):155-61.
March 13, 2017
Folic Acid and Blood Pressure: It is common practice to recommend folic acid supplementation for women during pregnancy to reduce the risk of their offspring having a neural tube defect. New research also shows that the children of women with risk factors for cardiovascular disease are significantly less likely to develop high blood pressure during their first nine years of life when their mothers had good folic acid status during pregnancy.
Am J Hypertension. 2017 06 March. [Epub ahead of print]
March 19, 2017
Fibromyalgia and Exercise: The long-term balance between physical activity and calorie intake determines body weight and body fat levels. People who have the painful condition called fibromyalgia are frequently overweight. Some researchers suggest that weight loss may improve the condition. However, the person with fibromyalgia is in a bit of a bind because the condition causes physical activity to be more painful and, thus, weight loss more difficult.
J Pain. 2010 Dec;11(12):1329-37. Epub 2010 Jun 9
March 24, 2017
Food Insecurity in Early Childhood: A new study found that food insecurity in a child's family during their first two years of life predicted lower cognitive and social-emotional skills at five years of age. Brain development is most rapid during the first two years of life and is dependent on an adequate supply of all essential nutrients. Consequently, it makes sense that food insecurity during this period of rapid brain development can have serious lifelong effects.
Child Dev. 2017 Mar 21. [Epub ahead of print]
April 3, 2017
Vitamin B12 and Child Development: Vitamin B12 is well known to be essential for development and maintenance of nervous tissues, including the brain. A study conducted in a part of Nepal with low availability of animal foods (B12 sources) found that many infants had vitamin B12 status lower than optimal, but not seriously low. When these children were tested five years later, those who had lower B12 status in infancy scored more poorly on various measures of cognitive function and socialization.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print]
April 8, 2017
Birth Weight and Later Obesity: Low birth weight is linked to obesity later in life. The cause appears to be compromised brain development in regions of the brain that regulate food intake. The mother's nutrition during pregnancy sets the stage for a baby's life in many ways.
Brain Res. 2011 Mar 10;1378:29-42.
April 10, 2017
Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Children: An adequate intake of the omega-3 fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA) is known to be important for many things during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. This is especially true for brain and eye development, A study of seven to fourteen year-old children with mood disorders found that supplements of these fatty acids increased blood levels less in heavier children. Their study suggests that recommended intake of EPA and DHA should be based on body weight.
PLOS ONE, 2017; 12 (4): e0173087
April 14, 2017
Questionable Autism Treatments: There is a long history of failed therapies and fads for treating autism in children. Some of these highly promoted treatments are not only expensive, but risky to the child. The Food and Drug Administration provides parents with guidelines to avoid becoming the victim of a risky treatment.
Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care. 2016 Jun;46(6):195-201.