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The Nutrition InvestigatorThe health and nutrition blog by Dr. Roc Ordman.

May Advances in Nutrition longer notes

by Roc (click here for full post)

Happy May flowers! See https://academic.oup.com/advances/issue for abstracts to all articles.


The Dietary Reference Intakes set the protein RDA for persons >19 y of age at 0.8 g protein ⋅ kg body weight−1 ⋅ d−1. A growing body of evidence suggests, however, that the protein RDA may be inadequate for older individuals. We propose that it should be recommended that older individuals consume ≥1.2 g protein · kg−1 · d−1 and that there should be an emphasis on the intake of the amino acid leucine, which plays a central role in stimulating skeletal muscle anabolism. Critically, the often-cited potential negative effects of consuming higher protein intakes on renal and bone health are without a scientific foundation in humans.


Three types of claims are permitted in the United States. Nutrient content claims describe the level of the nutrient in the food relative to an established daily value, e.g., “Excellent source of choline,” and are subject to composition limits for other nutrients, such as total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Health claims describe the relation between a food substance and the risk of disease, e.g., “Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.” They must undergo a premarket evaluation by the FDA to ensure that there is significant scientific agreement about the relation in question. The third type of claim, structure-function (SF) claims, has recently come under scrutiny, particularly regarding their use on infant formula. Such claims represent a food’s effect on the structure or function of the body for maintenance of good health and nutrition. These claims must be truthful and not misleading, but are not subject to premarket approval before use.


The Mediterranean diet pattern is increasingly associated with improved metabolic health. Two mechanisms by which consuming a Mediterranean diet pattern may contribute to improved metabolic health are modulation of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota and reduction of metabolic endotoxemia. Metabolic endotoxemia, defined as a 2- to 3-fold increase in circulating levels of bacterial endotoxin, has been proposed as a cause of inflammation during metabolic dysfunction. As the largest source of endotoxins in the human body, the GI microbiota represents a crucial area for research on strategies for reducing endotoxemia. Diets high in saturated fat and low in fiber contribute to metabolic endotoxemia through several mechanisms.


Mitochondria are the energy-producing organelles within a cell. Furthermore, mitochondria have a role in maintaining cellular homeostasis and proper calcium concentrations, building critical components of hormones and other signaling molecules, and controlling apoptosis. Structurally, mitochondria are unique because they have 2 membranes that allow for compartmentalization. The composition and molecular organization of these membranes are crucial to the maintenance and function of mitochondria. We focus extensively on long-chain n–3 (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids and their underlying mechanisms of action.

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