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AM J CLIN NUTR April, 2004

Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: a systematic review Max H Pittler and Edzard Ernst Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Apr 2004;  79529 - 536.

Conclusions: The evidence for most dietary supplements as aids in reducing body weight is not convincing. None of the reviewed dietary supplements can be recommended for over-the-counter use.

Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity George A Bray, Samara Joy Nielsen, and Barry M Popkin Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Apr 2004;  79537 - 543.

The consumption of HFCS increased > 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. HFCS now represents > 40% of caloric sweeteners added to foods and beverages and is the sole caloric sweetener in soft drinks in the United States. Our most conservative estimate of the consumption of HFCS indicates a daily average of 132 kcal for all Americans aged  2 y, and the top 20% of consumers of caloric sweeteners ingest 316 kcal from HFCS/d. The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in obesity. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose. Hepatic metabolism of fructose favors de novo lipogenesis. In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or enhance leptin production. Because insulin and leptin act as key afferent signals in the regulation of food intake and body weight, this suggests that dietary fructose may contribute to increased energy intake and weight gain.

AM J CLIN NUTR March, 2004

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Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater [obesity]George A Bray Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Mar 2004;  79347 - 349.

BMI was only the first step for the clinician who was making a risk assessment (2). An assessment of central adiposity [waist circumference] was also needed. [see www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/81/3/555 above]

Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis Michael F Holick Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Mar 2004;  79362 - 371.

Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in infants who are solely breastfed and who do not receive vitamin D supplementation and in adults of all ages who have increased skin pigmentation or who always wear sun protection or limit their outdoor activities. Vitamin D deficiency is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia… Studies in both human and animal models add strength to the hypothesis that the unrecognized epidemic of vitamin D deficiency worldwide is a contributing factor of many chronic debilitating diseases. ...The recommended adequate intakes for vitamin D are inadequate, and, in the absence of exposure to sunlight, a minimum of 1000 IU vitamin D/d is required to maintain a healthy concentration of 25(OH)D in the blood.

AM J CLIN NUTR February, 2004

Energy expenditure in obesitySusan B Roberts, Sai Krupa Das, and Edward Saltzman Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Feb 2004;  79181 - 182.

Physical activity level values (TEE [total energy expenditure] divided by resting metabolic rate) for the population averaged only 1.5, which is within the second-to-lowest activity category among the activity categories defined in the new dietary reference intakes (7)… mean physical activity level values of 1.89 may be needed to reliably prevent obesity (4)… questions should be raised about the appropriate role of schools in particular and society in general in facilitating suitable levels of physical activity for healthy physical development in childhood…

Phytoestrogens and breast cancerRegina G Ziegler Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Feb 2004;  79183 - 184.

Phytoestrogens, which are widely distributed in plants, are structurally similar to mammalian estrogens and can thus bind weakly to estrogen receptors (1). The 3 major classes of phytoestrogens are isoflavones… in soybeans; lignans…in seeds, whole grains, berries, fruit, vegetables, and nuts; and coumestans, … in broccoli and sprouts… No association between isoflavone intake and breast cancer incidence was observed. However, a modest 30% reduction in breast cancer risk, …was seen for women in the highest quartile of lignan intake (median: 0.8 mg/d).

Nutrition education of medical and dental students: innovation through curriculum integration Riva Touger-Decker Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Feb 2004;  79198 - 203.

Nutrition is a necessary component of education in the health professions. Although often underplayed, nutrition is an integral facet of dental education, particularly because the oral cavity is the entry point to the gastrointestinal tract. This article addresses the current status of nutrition education in medical and dental schools, including the common themes, strategies, and challenges of integrating nutrition education in this venue, particularly in dental schools. The survival and progression of nutrition as a component of medical and dental education depends to a large extent on the creativity and innovative strategies used by educators and administrators in medical and dental schools and in training programs. A forward-thinking attitude with a focus on the integration of nutrition topics throughout the 4 y of medical or dental school and subsequent training programs will increase the potential for a successful program.  [From 1995-98, 20% of US medical schools required20-25 hrs of nutrition education, while 40% offered nutrition education as an elective. See chart pg 199]

Antioxidants and physical performance in elderly persons: the Invecchiare in Chianti (InCHIANTI) study Matteo Cesari, et al Am. J. Clinical Nutrition,  Feb 2004;  79289 - 294.

Background: Muscle strength and physical performance in old age might be related to the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.

Design:…986 Italians aged 65 y

Conclusions: Plasma antioxidant concentrations correlate positively with physical performance and strength. Higher dietary intakes of most antioxidants, especially vitamin C, appear to be associated with higher skeletal muscular strength in elderly persons.

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