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SUBJECT: AJCN June 2012

GOOD NEWS 1. Drink plain water rather than sugar-sweetened beverages and fruit juice to reduce diabetes risk.

2. Cocoa reduces your blood pressure - Dose of ingested epicatechin is the critical ingredient. The darker the chocolate (solid or liquid), the more you get.

3. Red wine polyphenols and alcohol improve your gut biota - After 20 days of daily red wine, systolic and diastolic blood pressures and triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and C-reactive protein concentrations decreased significantly. This study showed that red wine consumption can significantly modulate the growth of select gut microbiota in humans.

4. Fish oil improves serum cholesterols - The intake of n−3 fatty acids was significantly associated with fewer large VLDLs, a smaller VLDL size , more large HDLs, and a larger HDL size.

5. Exercise required for muscle maintenance in older adults - Our data indicate that a prior bout of aerobic exercise increases the anabolic effect of nutrient intake on muscles in older adults.

6. Adequate maternal folate during early pregnancy reduces emotional problems in the offspring by 60% - Low maternal folate status during early pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of emotional problems in the offspring.

BAD NEWS - 7. One third of US deficient in vitamin D - There remains controversy whether vitamin D confers nonskeletal health benefits. The use of a serum concentration <50 nmol/L (some advocate even higher levels of 75nmol) to define vitamin D deficiency places approximately one-third of the US population at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

8. COPD affects 10% of people over 40, probably due to eating a Western (cured meat) rather than a prudent (no fours) diet. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasingly recognized as a major public health issue (1). Population studies that used spirometry showed an overall COPD prevalence of ∼1%, increasing steeply to 8–10% (or higher) among those aged ≥40 y (2). Already, COPD is the fourth most common cause of death worldwide and is likely to become the third most common by 2030 (3). The predominant risk factor for COPD in the developed world is cigarette smoking, but up to one-third of COPD patients have never smoked. We previously reported that a high intake of the Prudent dietary pattern decreased the risk of newly diagnosed COPD, whereas a high intake of the Western pattern increased risk.

9. Childhood dietary fat intake influences adult blood pressure - Childhood saturated fat (4 legged meat and butter) increases adult BP, unsaturated fats (vegetable and olive oil) reduces it.

10. Genetics getting more attention -
a. Vitamin E gene controls benefit vs. no effect - Vitamin E, especially α-tocopherol, exhibits antioxidant and antiinflammatory activities and inhibits several events involved in the initiation and progression of atherogenesis (1–5). Despite promising findings from cell culture and animal models, the results of cohort and supplementation studies with α-tocopherol in humans have been equivocal and controversial. In healthy control subjects, the effect of α-tocopherol supplementation on the production of inflammatory cytokines appears to be dependent on an individual's genotype.
b. Specific genes tied to frequency of eating - Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified consistent associations with obesity. Obesity risk alleles at FTO rs1421085 significantly predicted more eating episodes per day. The risk allele at SH2B1 rs4788099 was significantly associated with more servings of dairy products.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is not a brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
--- George Bernard Shaw address at the Municipal Technical College and School of Art, Brighton, 1907

 

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