You must read and accept the disclaimer to use this site. Updated for Nov. 7, 2010

AJCN Feb, 2011 -DETAILS-

FEATURED: Wow. The new Daily Values from the Institute of Medicine are coming out today, Jan. 31, as they do each decade. In addition, I wish you could see the gene-screen color photos these days in the nutrition journals I review here. For instance, in the article on the effect of magnesium, there is a checkerboard of blue and red squares, representing expression of 58 genes that are turned on after feeding a person magnesium, and turned off when they are fed a placebo. Food is now understood not just as nutrition, but as a key to regulating your DNA on a daily basis to maintain health, weight, and brain function.

DOUBLE WOW! Just sent by a reader: How deficiency in omega-3 in western diets causes neuropsychiatric disease like depression. Please take your fish oil!

1. Saturating vitamin C levels in the serum are necessary to avoid serious deficiencies in many tissues – This study validates the research by Nutrition Investigator that 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day are useful to reduce free radical damage. Subsaturation concentrations of plasma ascorbate resulted in severe deficiency in many tissues, and saturating amounts were required to achieve tissue concentrations similar to those found in wild-type animals. It is possible that the bioavailability of ascorbate is superior from some foods, such as kiwifruit. These results have important implications for human nutrition.

2. Consumption of alcohol, caffeine, fiber, and fish-derived PUFAs was not significantly associated with atrial fibrillation risk.

3. Olive oil and fish oil both prevent cognitive decline

4. Mediterranean diet preserves and restores your blood vessels – Consumption of the MedDiet induces a reduction in endothelial damage and dysfunction, which is associated with an improvement in the regenerative capacity of the endothelium, in comparison with a saturated fatty acid diet (like Atkins) or a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.

5. Fish oil promotes muscle growth in elderly people – Dose was 1.86 g EPA and 1.5 g DHA for 1 to 3 weeks. [This is the equivalent of 10 g of fish oil per day.] Omega-3 fatty acids stimulate muscle protein synthesis in older adults and may be useful for the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.

LOTS MORE THIS ISSUE: 6. Fish oil lowers harmful triglyercide levels in your blood – Dose was 3.4g EPA and DHA per day for 8 weeks.

7. Magnesium lowers the risk of sudden cardiac death – In this prospective cohort of women, higher plasma concentrations and dietary magnesium intakes were associated with lower risks of SCD. Magnesium has many benefits for metabolism including regulating DNA.

8. Average man needs just 750 mg of calcium per day – We conclude that the mean calcium requirement of adult men <60 y of age is 750 mg Ca/d, and the Recommended Dietary Allowance should be 900 mg Ca.

9. Omega-3 and soy isoflavones reduce arterial stiffness

10. Hazard of high salt diet still unresolved – In this issue of the Journal, 6 articles focus on interventions that may be associated with potentially either serious (1–3) or beneficial (4–6) cardiovascular outcomes. .. the authors acknowledged the unresolved “theoretical basis for restricting sodium intake in heart failure management … in the current era of highly effective medical therapy.” It seems if you have high blood pressure, it is wiser to reduce salt intake. But this study shows heart failure patients who consume more sodium are at greater risk.

11. Leafy vegetables and olive oil reduce heart disease – Analyses were adjusted for hypertension, smoking, education, menopause, physical activity, anthropometric measures, nonalcohol energy, alcohol, total meat, vegetables in analyses for fruit, and fruit in analyses for vegetables.

12. Exercise promotes muscle growth similarly in young and elderly men – Dietary protein digestion and absorption kinetics are not impaired after exercise or at an older age. Exercising before protein intake allows for a greater use of dietary protein–derived amino acids for de novo muscle protein synthesis in both young and elderly men.

13. Eating flavonoids like soy reduces hypertension – Anthocyanins and some flavone and flavan-3-ol compounds may contribute to the prevention of hypertension.

14. Men need 550 mg of choline per day – These data show for the first time in humans that choline itself is a source of methyl groups (which is why folate is also so important).

15. Soy supplements pose minimal risk – Background: Soy isoflavones are naturally occurring phytochemicals with weak estrogenic cellular effects. Despite numerous clinical trials of short-term isoflavone supplementation, there is a paucity of data regarding longer-term outcomes and safety.Conclusion: Daily supplementation for 2 y with 80–120 mg soy hypocotyl isoflavones has minimal risk in healthy menopausal women.

WEIGHT RELATED FINDINGS: 16. Weight loss reduces risk of colorectal inflammation and cancer

17. Galactose consumption promotes fat mobilization that may aid weight loss – Galactose consumption is associated with higher endogenous fat mobilization and oxidation during meal absorption. Long-term studies are required to determine whether galactose as an exclusive carbohydrate source would promote body fat loss in obese subjects.

18. Steeper increase in waist circumference in young white girls increases risk of heart disease – Steeper age-related increases in waist circumference over time were associated with a greater increase in LDL-cholesterol concentrations, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, after adjustment for BMI z score, in white but not in black females. Monitoring waist circumference in addition to BMI z score has the potential to identify adolescents at risk of the emergence of cardiovascular disease risk factors, at least in white females.

19. Watching TV while eating increases how much you eat during a meal – These findings provide further evidence that distraction during one meal has the capacity to influence subsequent eating. They may also help to explain the well-documented association between sedentary screen-time activities and overweight.

GLOBAL AWARENESS 20. Obesity (like smoking) is the major risk factor for cancer everywhere on earth – The ratio of undernutrition to obesity has reversed remarkably so that the prevalence of obesity is double that of undernutrition. Over the past 2 decades a major shift has occurred in the prevalence and speed of change in the way people in low- and middle-income countries eat, drink, and move (1). Today, many low- and middle-income countries have obesity and overweight patterns among adults or children that match those found in the United States. Many descriptive studies document the increasingly high prevalence of overweight and obesity and the growing cardiometabolic burden linked with this higher prevalence (4–7). ..obesity and abdominal obesity represent the major preventable cause of most cancers along with smoking (8). Higher BMI and overweight remain concentrated in higher socioeconomic groups

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator

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