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SUBJ: Oct Nutrition notes from Roc, Nutrition investigator

Food insecurity in the US costs us all. Both children and adults were food insecure in 9.4 percent of households with children (3.7 million households).; SNAP food assistance in US is vital to health;  Hospital stay was 1.4 d longer among undernourished patients than among those who were well nourished; Food stamps are not enough to prevent food insecurity in the US

Osteoporosis is a condition causing significant morbidity and mortality in the elderly population worldwide. Age-related testosterone deficiency is the most important factor of bone loss in elderly men. Maintaining optimal level of estrogen and testosterone is essential in preventing osteoporosis and its complications in elderly men.

Vitamin E has influenced the immune system in laboratory studies. Intervention was 50 mg/d of vitamin E for 5–8 years. There were 2,216 participants who smoked 5–19 cigarettes per day at baseline and exercised at leisure time.  Among male smokers aged 50–69 years, vitamin E supplementation reduced the incidence of pneumonia by 69%.

The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern associated with increased longevity, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  Based on the findings that natural polyamines are strong anti-inflammatory substances, we have found that continuous and increased polyamine intake prolongs murine lifespan. Legumes per calorie (r = 0.379), wine per calorie (r = 0.285), and the amount of seafood and poultry meat relative to red meat (r = 0.313) had a trend of positive association with the amount of polyamine per calorie (P < 0.05), while several foods in the non-Mediterranean diet group had a trend of no or negative association. 

Further answer to READER QUESTION: A daily dosage of 20g of medium chain length triglycerides caused significant cognitive improvement in Alzheimer's patients in a small trial. (Details are in Role of Medium Chain Triglycerides (Axona®) in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementias® 2014, Vol. 29(5) 409-414)

READER QUESTION: Resveratrol and niacin supplements may have antagonistic effects. Is it wise to take both? Roc’s answer: This is a complicated question, for which I studied the literature and asked experts’ advice. The conclusion is that most research currently supports taking both reservatrol and niacin supplements on a daily basis.

READER QUESTION: Increased greenhouse gas emissions: Higher levels of carbon dioxide makes carbon more available, but plants also need other nutrients (like nitrogen, phosphorus, etc.) to grow and survive. Without increases in those nutrients as well, the nutritional quality of many plants will decrease.  Roc’s answer: Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have now revealed that the concentration of nitrogen in plants' tissue is lower in air with high levels of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, we can see that this negative effect exists regardless of whether or not the plants' growth increases, and even if fertiliser is added.

READER QUESTION: I met you at LPI a few times — does this mean that calcium supplementation might be bad?  I remember seeing a woman from Purdue extol the benefits of calcium supplementation.
Roc’s answer: Thanks for inquiring.  Indeed, it is further evidence that calcium supplements are hazardous, esp. for men.  In India where they have little calcium, there is little osteoporosis - because they walk.

At my website, I present evidence that calcium supplements have far too much calcium, and can calcify the throat and other places, contributing to heart disease too. At LPI one year, a presenter told that higher levels of a vitamin K turn on decalcification enzymes that reduce heart disease. Here's a link to research I did back in the 1990s:
Indeed, calcium beyond a tums is likely to be hazardous.

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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