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J Nutrition June, 2013 -- Links to the abstracts of articles are at the start of the summaries below.

Good things to eat: Further evidence supports drinking red grape juice daily reduce blood pressure and anxiety and improve memory - We suggest that by regulating brain ERK-1/2, GLO-1, GSR-1, CAMK-IV, CREB, and BDNF levels, grape powder prevents oxidative stress–induced anxiety, memory impairment, and hypertension in rats.

Whole grains maintain protein and microbiome - Epidemiological studies consistently find that diets rich in whole-grain (WG) cereals lead to decreased risk of disease compared with refined grain (RG)-based diets. Aside from a greater amount of fiber and micronutrients, possible mechanisms for why WGs may be beneficial for health remain speculative.

Eating nuts reduces heart disease risk - Walnut consumption improves cardiovascular disease risk...Walnut oil favorably affected endothelial function and whole walnuts increased cholesterol efflux. 

Getting plenty of soy reduces cardiovascular disease risk - Dietary isoflavones, compounds having moderate estrogenic effects found in soy products, have long been regarded as potential preventive agents for various chronic diseases. Our results suggest that dietary isoflavone intakes at levels characteristic of the U.S. population are associated with decreased serum CRP concentrations, a factor associated with beneficial effects on inflammation, and subsequently may have the potential to improve health status among young women.

Citrus intake reduces inflammatory bowel risk - Citrus fruits contain many beneficial components, such as vitamins, fiber, and polyphenols, for our health. Naringenin is a major polyphenol isolated from citrus fruits. Intestinal barrier defects are involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Feeding naringenin attenuated the increased disease activity index  and colon shortening and tended to suppress the increased cytokine expression. 

More vegetable intake correlates with less obesity and more exercise

Special groups: Pregnant women need at least 150 mcg of iodine - Even those taking supplements are often deficient.  The WHO has established a cutoff for insufficient iodine intake at <150 μg/L for pregnant women and <100 mg/L for those who are not pregnant. This suggests that as a [US] population, we may not be meeting adequate intakes of iodine for pregnant women.

High protein diet (20% vs 17% of total calories) aids overweight children - Dietary strategies to improve early cardiovascular markers in overweight children are needed. In conclusion, increased protein intake improved cardiovascular markers in high-risk children, particularly in those undergoing most intensive intervention. Waist size decreased 1 inch in 6 mos.

Any type of high fat diet (more than 40% of calories) causes plaque formation - BMI and fatty acid type affect postprandial metabolic TG responses, but whether these factors also affect vascular, inflammatory, and leukocyte adherence responses remains unclear. We therefore compared those postprandial responses between lean and obese men after 3 high-fat challenges differing in fatty acid composition [88% saturated fat, 54% MUFA, or 40% omega-3].  High-fat consumption initiates an activated state of cellular adherence and an atherogenic milieu. This response was independent of fatty acid type consumed or of being lean or obese.

Hazards: US National Nutrition study finds many dietary intakes have inadequacines - Approximately 90% of women (aged 12–49 y) were not at risk of iron deficiency, but only 68% were not at risk of deficiencies in iron and all 7 vitamins... Young women (20–39 y) had median urine iodine concentrations bordering on insufficiency.Blood vitamin concentrations were generally higher in older (≥60 y) than in younger (20–39 y) adults and lower in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic blacks than in non-Hispanic whites. Nearly 80% of Americans (aged ≥6 y) were not at risk of deficiencies in any of the 7 vitamins studied (vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C, D, and E and folate). Deficiency rates varied by age, sex, and race-ethnicity.

Over-interpreting nutrition correlations is hazardous - A correlation observed between chocolate consumption and the number of Nobel laureates has recently led to the suggestion that consuming more chocolate would increase the number of laureates due to the beneficial effects of cocoa-flavanols on cognitive functioning. Same correlation is found with IKEA stores, wine or tea consumption, and GDP.

Saturated fat intake shortens telomeres - Dietary factors, including dietary fat, may affect the biological aging process, as reflected by the shortening of telomere length (TL)[which is harmful], by affecting levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory responses.  Intakes of nonskim milk, butter, and whole-milk cheese (major sources of SMSFAs) were all inversely associated with TL.

Any type of high fat diet (more than 40% of calories) causes plaque formation

Smoking is associated with biomarkers of [carcinogenic] acrylamide exposure

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Professor, Biochemistry, Beloit College

New research found that having a pet around, or even just in mind, helps people generate more goals, feel more confident about achieving objectives, and handle stress better. They had lower blood pressure also. Simply picturing that slobbery face may be all you need to soothe your mind and boost productivity. – pg.19 Scientific Am. Mind Nov/Dec 2012

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