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SUBJECT: AJCN June 2013

FOR EVERYONE: 1. Cocoa/dark chocolate raises HDL [good cholesterol].

2. People in the lowest quintile of magnesium levels have 60% increased risk of fatal ischemic heart disease. Foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, legumes, nuts, and green leafy vegetables.

3. Sun exposure is insufficient. You must take at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D as a supplement to achieve an optimal level.

4. Cow's milk produces hundreds of bioactive peptides when you digest it. Clear evidence is shown of the presence of bioactive peptides in the jejunum of healthy humans who ingested casein. Our findings raise the question about the physiologic conditions under which these peptides can express their bioactivity in humans. This is further evidence that cow's milk is designed for calves, not humans.

5. One alcoholic drink daily reduces sudden cardiac death (SCD) about 36%. Intake of 5–15 g alcohol/d (about one drink) was associated with a nonsignificantly reduced risk of SCD compared with 0.1–5 g/d of baseline intake (HR: 0.64), of cumulative average intake (HR: 0.69), and of most recent intake (HR: 0.58), with adjustment for age, race, income, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, hormone use, and total energy. No association was found between SCD and total caffeine intake (mg/d) or cups of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeinated tea.

6. You must take at least 2,000 IU of vitamin D as a supplement to achieve an optimal level. Asian people getting 15-90 min of peak England summer sunshine over 35% of skin surface for 6 weeks achieved vitamin D levels that were only 62% of optimal levels of 80nM.

FOR PARENTS: 7. You are what your [grand]mother ate! Evidence that early nutrition, stress, and other similar environmental exposures can have lingering impacts on later health outcomes has now been widely documented in human populations. Early proposals focused on growth alterations or changes in the function of organs such as the kidneys or liver, which it was speculated would be short-changed under conditions of fetal nutritional stress. More recent work has consolidated around identifying epigenetic changes induced by prenatal or maternal experiences. Epigenetic modifications typically involve chemical changes to the chromatin that influence which genes can be expressed, silencing or amplifying gene production in a targeted fashion. 

8. 37% of US children under age 18 take supplements, 31% took multivitamin/mineral. Users were more likely than nonusers to be Asian, white, or non-Hispanic; belong to families with higher parental education and income levels; reside in areas other than the South; be in good, very good, or excellent health; have private health insurance; and have a usual place at which they received conventional medical care.

9. Factors predicting overweight in US kindergarteners. Little is known about predictors of early childhood overweight. The prevalence of kindergarten overweight was 32%. We identified 6 groups with a particularly high prevalence of kindergarten overweight (56–100%) and 2 groups with a particularly low prevalence (11–15%). An especially high prevalence was noted for children with a ≥85th BMI percentile at preschool age (77%) and in children with a ≥85th BMI percentile at 2 y old, for white children whose mother had gestational diabetes (100%), and for minority children with a birth weight <2695.5 g and who pulled themselves to a stand at <7.5 mo old (89%). Conclusion: Clusters of parental, prenatal/pregnancy, infant, and toddler factors can be used to predict which children are at particularly high and low risk of becoming overweight kindergartners.

10. Allergic diseases reduced about 25% when children eat fish from ages 1-12. At 1 y of age, 80% of the children consumed fish regularly (ie, ≥2 times/mo). From 1 to 12 y of age, regular fish consumption in infancy reduced overall risks of prevalent and incident allergic disease.

FOR WEIGHT CONTROL: 11 . Eating nuts prevents weight gain! Compared with control diets, diets enriched with nuts did not increase body weight, body mass index, or waist circumference in controlled clinical trials.

12. Emotional eating increases risk of obesity 500%. When upset, get exercise instead to improve resilience, ability to think, and brain size. [Sci Am Mind Jul/Aug 2013 pg 32]

13. Quality of transition diet from breast feeding affects child's blood pressure at age 7.5. A less-healthy transition diet by age 2 y was associated with higher BP at 7.5 y. The diet that was associated positively with BP after adjustment for potential confounders was characterized by higher intakes at 6 mo of age of blackcurrant or rosehip juice, cookies, and chocolate, at 15 mo of age of canned soup, cookies, and added salt, at both 15 and 24 mo of fruit drinks, fizzy drinks, tea, baked beans, snack foods (savory snacks, sweets, chips, cola, and chocolate), and added gravy or sugar, and at 24 mo of age of potato and coffee consumption and added tomato ketchup. Breastfeeding at 6 mo of age was inversely associated with this less-healthy transition diet but positively associated with the healthy transition diet, which indicated that breastfeeding at 6 mo of age may be a marker for overall diet quality during infancy and toddlerhood in this population. Best transition diet has plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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"Students who exercise regularly perform better on tests than their less athletic peers"-Sci Am. Mind Jul/Aug '13

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