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AJCN Dec, 2007

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition offers many gifts of nutrition discoveries reported this December. So much news again that I start with the summary from the email you received.

Here's my summary. If you read the details and links to the journal articles below, these are conclusions you might reach with your doctor. 1. Avoid calcium supplements as they do not prevent osteoporosis and may raise your risk of hip fracture. Do not drink very much milk, as it increases obesity in children and contributes to colon cancer in adults. But do take a vitamin D supplement - 2,000 IU daily if you are over 60. 2. Take fish oil tablets, minimum of 1 tablet a day for adults, 3 a day if you are concerned about weight, and 7 a day if dealing with depression. 3. Get plenty of monounsaturated fats - olive oil and nuts - and fiber - apples and oatmeal - in your diet to stay healthy and control weight. 4. People over 70 ought to take carnitine supplements for energy. 5. Babies ought to be breastfed at least 4 months.

1. Avoid calcium supplements! AND TAKE A VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT "...The authors' analysis concluded that calcium, either in food or as a supplement, has no effect on hip fracture risk...[CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS MAY EVEN INCREASE THE RISKOF HIP FRACTURE]...where does that leave clinicians?..Recently, there has been a move to increase the recommendations for vitamin D intake...several experts ... recommend that vitamin D intake be increased to 1000 IU/d (from the current Dietary Reference Intake of 400 to 600 IU/d) ...then a large segment of the population—from 30% to 60%, depending on the population being studied—would be vitamin D insufficient..." BUT EVERYONE NEEDS A VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT EVERY DAY! "The participants received 20 µg/d (800 IU) oral vitamin D3 for the initial 2 y and 50 µg/d (2000 IU) for the third year...Conclusions: Supplementation with 50 µg/d (2000 IU/d) oral vitamin D3 is sufficient to raise serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations to >50 nmol/L in almost all postmenopausal African American women. However, higher doses were needed to achieve concentrations >75 nmol/L in many women in this population. " Lack of 2,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D daily in post-menopausal women has been suggested to have an harmful effect on the skeleton. Many studies and the Federal expert on vitamin D has stated everyone will benefit from a daily supplement of AT LEAST 1,000 IU of vitamin D. BUT MILK MAY BE HAZARDOUS FOR GETTING YOUR VITAMIN D. Here are results of a study of dairy consumption by 5,000 children who are now 70 years old. "Conclusions: A family diet rich in dairy products during childhood is associated with a greater risk of colorectal cancer in adulthood." The risk was nearly 3 times as great. AND MILK FOR KIDS IS ASSOCIATED WITH OBESITY. "Conclusion: A higher animal, especially dairy, protein intake at 12 mo may be associated with an unfavorable body composition at 7 y. The age of 5-6 y might represent another critical period of protein intake for later obesity risk."

2. FISH OIL TABLETS ARE AS EFFECTIVE AS FISH to provide essential omega-3 fats. "Background: n–3 Fatty acids (FAs) have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Whether n–3 FAs from oily fish consumed weekly or from fish-oil capsules taken daily are equally bioavailable is not clear...Conclusion: These findings suggest that the consumption of equal amounts of EPA and DHA from oily fish on a weekly basis or from fish-oil capsules on a daily basis is equally effective at enriching blood lipids with n–3 FAs." AND FISH OIL HELPS WITH LOSING WEIGHT AND PREVENTING HEART DISEASE. Dosage taken was 2 mo of 3 g/d of fish oil. "Conclusions: A moderate dose of n–3 PUFAs [2 months of 3,000 mg per day of fish oil- three standard tablets per day] reduced adiposity and atherogenic markers without deterioration of insulin sensitivity in subjects with type 2 diabetes. Some adipose tissue inflammation-related genes were also reduced. These beneficial effects could be linked to morphologic and inflammatory changes in adipose tissue." Note this result is consistent with the results of my weight loss study.

3. MONOUNSATURATED FATS [MUFA] BEST - "Background: In subjects with a high prevalence of metabolic risk abnormalities, the preferred replacement for saturated fat is unresolved...Conclusions: In the study population, who were at increased risk of coronary artery disease, MUFA provided a greater reduction in risk as a replacement for saturated fat than did carbohydrate." Best sources of MUFA include olive oil, nuts, avocadoes and olives. DIETARY FIBER IS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR HEART. Some good sources for dietary fiber include apples, broccoli, and bran. "Conclusions: Dietary fiber was related to wider retinal arteriolar caliber and narrower venular caliber, which are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. These data add to the growing evidence of the benefits of fiber intake on various aspects of cardiovascular pathogenesis." The highest group of people consumed 26 g per day. The lowest group had only 10 g per day. DIETARY FIBER PREVENTS OBESITY AND BREAST CANCER TOO. "dietary fiber has been shown to beneficially reduce estrogen concentrations and prevent obesity"

4. PEOPLE OVER 70 BENEFIT A LOT FROM CARNITINE. "Objective: This study evaluated the efficacy of L-carnitine on physical and mental fatigue and on cognitive functions of centenarians...." Dose was 2 g L-carnitine once daily. "Conclusions: Our study indicates that oral administration of levocarnitine produces a reduction of total fat mass, increases total muscular mass, and facilitates an increased capacity for physical and cognitive activity by reducing fatigue and improving cognitive functions." However, people do not appear to require this until reaching age 70.

5. BREASTFEED FOR 4 MONTHS TO PREVENT BABY'S OBESITY. "Conclusions: Among rapid growers, full breastfeeding for 4 mo is protective against a high BF% at 2 y of age, whereas a consistently high fat intake in the second year of life "inhibits" the physiologic decrease in BF% between 2 and 5 y."

Just for interest: High fructose corn syrup may not be cause of obesity epidemic. " Over the past 35 y the prevalence of obesity has risen concurrently with an increased availability of added sugars in the food supply. ..From 1970–74 to 2000 the increase in per capita availability of total energy, sugars, carbohydrates, and fats was 25%, 22%, 26%, and 48%, respectively... Implicit in the argument that HFCS in soft drinks is different from sucrose is the notion that sucrose, as the disaccharide, may in some way stimulate metabolic satiety signals or increase fatty acid synthesis more than the monosaccharide mixtures. However, these possibilities were recently explored also (7). HFCS and sucrose, compared with solutions containing equal proportions of glucose and fructose, resulted in no differences in food intake 80 min after consumption..." Conclusion:Energy balance consequences of HFCS-sweetened soft drinks are not different from those of other isoenergetic drinks, e.g. a sucrose-drink or milk."

HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY! AND A HEALTHY NEW YEAR! TRY TO CUT DOWN ON STRESS AND ENJOY EATING, BECAUSE YOU ARE ONE OF THE WISE PEOPLE WHO KEEPS UP WITH GREAT NUTRITION THROUGH THESE COLUMNS, and is surely conscious of what you put in your body.

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