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HIGHLIGHTS: Unclear whether fish oil helps during pregnancy - The 3 articles(links 1, 2, 3) on FO supplementation published in this edition of the Journal contribute to the controversy by providing evidence that the developing fetal and preterm brain does not benefit from DHA supplementation of healthy pregnant and breastfeeding women in Western countries. However, the data published in this edition suggest that further research on the effects of FO/DHA supplementation during pregnancy on the fetal immune system and the incidence of childhood allergies is warranted.

Editorial: The effect of diet on cancer risk is not certain [LINK to Table of Contents for AJCNwhere you can read all abstracts]- In this issue of the Journal, no fewer than 5 articles provide new results on the association between diet and cancer. The understanding of the molecular heterogeneity of human cancers has grown enormously in the past decade, leading to major advances in patient stratification and more effective therapeutic interventions. It is clearly the time to invest a much larger number of resources in the assessment of outcomes, including access to tumor samples and to results of molecular analyses. The protective effect of vegetarianism on cancer risk does not always sustain replication. Only a small number of dietary factors exert such a strong effect on human cancer, leading to consistent results across multiple populations: the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma from aflatoxin intake, and that of head and neck cancer from alcohol drinking, are among these strong, replicable associations.

For high cholesterol, nitrate ingestion (beets, lettuce, etc.) improves vascular function - Sustained dietary nitrate ingestion (a 6-wk once-daily intake of dietary nitrate (nitrate-rich beetroot juice)) improves vascular function  (an ∼24% improvement from baseline) in hypercholesterolemic patients. These changes are associated with alterations in the oral microbiome and, in particular, nitrate-reducing genera. Our findings provide additional support for the assessment of the potential of dietary nitrate as a preventative strategy against atherogenesis in larger cohorts. 

Exclusively breastfed infants received <20% of the daily dose of vitamin D recommended by the Institute of Medicine for infants during the first year of life -Parents are advised to avoid the direct sun exposure of their newborns. Therefore, the vitamin D status of exclusively breastfed newborns is entirely dependent on the supply of vitamin D from breast milk.The supply of vitamin D from breast milk is limited.

Many kids 2 to 8 yrs old need a supplement with 600 IU vitamin D - Vitamin D is fundamental for bone health. A high proportion of Canadian 2- to 8-y-olds do not meet the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of 400 IU/d. Increasing the vitamin D intakes of young children through fortification of alternative dairy products results in significantly higher serum concentrations of 25(OH)D and a significantly greater proportion of children with serum 25(OH)D ≥50 nmol/L during periods of minimal ultraviolet B radiation exposure. 

Coffee does not increase hypertension - These findings suggest that caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and caffeine are not risk factors for hypertension in postmenopausal women.

Vegetarians and others have similar all-cause mortality - United Kingdom–based vegetarians and comparable nonvegetarians have similar all-cause mortality. Odds ratios in low meat eaters, fish eaters, and vegetarians compared with regular meat eaters were 0.93. There were significant differences in risk compared with regular meat eaters for deaths from circulatory disease [higher in fish eaters (HR: 1.22; 95% CI: 1.02, 1.46)]; malignant cancer [lower in fish eaters (HR: 0.82; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.97)], including pancreatic cancer [lower in low meat eaters and vegetarians (HR: 0.55; 95% CI: 0.36, 0.86 and HR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.28, 0.82, respectively)] and cancers of the lymphatic/hematopoietic tissue [lower in vegetarians (HR: 0.50; 95% CI: 0.32, 0.79)]; respiratory disease [lower in low meat eaters (HR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.92)]; and all other causes [lower in low meat eaters (HR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.56, 0.99)].


LINK to Table of Contents for AJCNwhere you can read all abstracts

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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