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J Nutrition Apr, 2010 -See this, longer synopses, and links to published articles at Nutrition investigator .

NUTRITION INVESTIGATOR INTERPRETATION - Half the US takes supplements. Even so, most need more vitamin D, antioxidants, and DHA, one of two essential fatty acids in fish oil. "Tens of millions of new Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementia cases are projected as elderly populations increase around the world." A DHA/antioxidant/vitamin D supplement could dramatically decrease how many will suffer (see articles 1-5 below).

SUMMARY - 1. Half of the US takes supplements. Teenage girls and men and women over 71 are the most deficient in vitamin D - A total of 53% of the U.S. population reported using any dietary supplement (2003–2006), 43% used calcium (2003–2006), and 37% used vitamin D (2005–2006). For total vitamin D intake, males and females over 71, and females ages 14–18 y had the lowest prevalence of meeting the AI. Dietary supplement use is associated with higher prevalence of groups meeting the AI for calcium and vitamin D.

DHA 2. A plausible mechanism by which DHA prevents recurrent affective disorders like depression3. DHA may prevent age-related dementia 4. DHA intake is associated with healthy brains - Five major dimensions of cognitive functioning were assessed with tests of nonverbal reasoning and mental flexibility, working memory, and vocabulary. 5. DHA protects against brain and eye degeneration

WEIGHT CONTROL 6. High fiber diet reduces hunger - Dietary fiber and protein are essential constituents of a healthy diet and are well known for their high satiety impact.

OTHER IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS 7. Magnesium may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer 8. High iron levels are associated with plaque in your arteries - For every 10-µg/L increase in serum ferritin, the risk for atherosclerosis increased by 3%.

POLICY 9. The government poverty food plan is not effective

SYNOPSES OF ARTICLES THIS MONTH

1. Half of the US takes supplements. Teenage girls and men and women over 71 are the most deficient in vitamin D - A total of 53% of the U.S. population reported using any dietary supplement (2003–2006), 43% used calcium (2003–2006), and 37% used vitamin D (2005–2006). For total vitamin D intake, males and females over 71, and females ages 14–18 y had the lowest prevalence of meeting the AI. Dietary supplement use is associated with higher prevalence of groups meeting the AI for calcium and vitamin D.

2. A plausible mechanism by which DHA prevents recurrent affective disorders like depression - Increasing evidence suggests that docosahexaenoic acid [DHA, 22:6(n-3)], the principal (n-3) fatty acid in brain gray matter, has neurotrophic and neuroprotective properties. Preliminary clinical evidence also suggests that the perinatal accrual, and the subsequent dietary maintenance of, cortical DHA is positively associated with cortical gray matter volumes. The pathophysiology of recurrent affective disorders, including unipolar and bipolar depression, is associated with (n-3) fatty acid deficiency, DHA deficits, impaired astrocyte mediated vascular coupling, neuronal shrinkage, and reductions in gray matter volume in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

3. DHA may prevent age-related dementia - The risk for dementia, a major contributor to incapacitation and institutionalization, rises rapidly as we age, doubling every 5 y after age 65. Tens of millions of new Alzheimer's disease (AD) and other dementia cases are projected as elderly populations increase around the world, creating a projected dementia epidemic for which most nations are not prepared. DHA may help suppress insulin/neurotrophic factor signaling deficits, neuroinflammation, and oxidative damage that contribute to synaptic loss and neuronal dysfunction in dementia.We advocate early intervention in a prodromal period with nutrigenomically defined subjects with an appropriately designed nutritional supplement, including DHA and antioxidants.

4. DHA intake is associated with healthy brains - Five major dimensions of cognitive functioning were assessed with a 75-min battery of neuropsychological tests. In covariate adjusted regression models, higher DHA (mol %) was related to better performance on tests of nonverbal reasoning and mental flexibility, working memory, and vocabulary (P 0.05). These associations were generally linear.hese findings suggest that DHA is related to brain health throughout the lifespan and may have implications for clinical trials of neuropsychiatric disorders.

5. DHA protects against brain and eye degeneration - Deficiency in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with impaired visual and neurological development, cognitive decline, macular degeneration, and other neurodegenerative diseases.Overall, NPD1 signaling regulates brain and retinal cell survival via the induction of antiapoptotic and neuroprotective gene-expression programs that suppress Aβ42-induced neurotoxicity and other forms of cell injury. These in turn support homeostasis during brain and retinal aging, counteract inflammatory signaling, and downregulate events that support the initiation and progression of neurodegenerative disease.

6. High fiber diet reduces hunger - Dietary fiber (DF) and protein are essential constituents of a healthy diet and are well known for their high satiety impact. In conclusion, solid meals enriched with psyllium fiber strongly modified postprandial signals arising from the GI tract.

7. Magnesium may decrease risk of colorectal cancer - Magnesium intake has been reported to be inversely associated with colorectal cancer (CRC) risk in Western populations. Higher dietary intake of magnesium may decrease the risk of CRC in Japanese men.

8. High iron levels associated with plaque in arteries - The relationship of serum ferritin [bound iron] with early cardiovascular disease, particularly atherosclerosis, has not been evaluated extensively, particularly with accounting for inflammation... for every 10-µg/L increase in serum ferritin, the risk for atherosclerosis increased by 3%.

9. Government poverty food plan is not effective - Recent research has shown that the typical Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP) family falls short in meeting the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) nutritional guidelines that underlie the SNAP even when they typically have sufficient monetary resources to eat a healthful diet ... Once labor is included, we find the TFP is not very thrifty and the mean household falls short of the TFP guidelines even with adequate monetary resources.

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[Depressed] Patients who are treated by psychotherapists do no better than patients who meet with sympathetic professors with no psychiatric training - pg 71, New Yorker, Mar 1, 2010, Luis Menand

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