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Nutrition Notes, Mar, 2017 from Roc Nutrition Investigator

AARP Bulletin Mar 2017 cover story is “Live Longer: 50 Proven Ways to Add Years to Your Life”.  Highlights: Get vitamin D (2,000 IU daily); avoid pain pills (positive thinking, meditation and yoga are better); get at least 6 hrs sleep/nite; men be married; drink coffee and green tea; avoid sugar and soda; use spices (cayenne and turmeric); drink more water; eat less; experience a sense of awe; eat nuts; find your purpose; get social; read 30+ min/day; EXERCISE-fidget; stairs; walk faster; 10 WAYS TO EXTRA EXERCISE-squeeze triceps while standing in line, squeeze a tennis ball while watching TV, balance on one foot while brushing teeth; tighten pelvic floor at stoplights; do arm circles while awaiting the microwave. 20% of health status is genetic; 20% is medical care; 60% is your personal choices each day-from AARP Book “Your Body”.

A sleep expert on NPR reports that using melatonin to help infants go to sleep at night is fine, that it can be done every night if necessary to help a child develop a good sleeping routine, and that there have been no reports of any harm from this.

Science 24 Feb pg 809 How red berries reduce inflammation - Too much IL-17, a proinflammatory cytokine, is associated with autoimmune diseases like asthma, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Cyanidin, a flavonoid in red berries, binds the IL-17 receptor, alleviating inflammation.

OMEGA 3 fatty acid supplementation can improve both symptoms and signs of dry eye disease
Authors: Kwon J, Han SB

READER COMMENT: I believe it is not the calcium itself, but rather the inhibitory effect the calcium divalent ion has on the uptake of magnesium by cells…..they compete.  So when taking calcium supplements it is important to take magnesium too, in supplement form.  Magnesium is clearly important for cardiovascular health. 
ROC REPLY: Thanks. Interesting comment.  I have been struck by evidence that overconsumption of calcium leads to buildup many places, like the throat.  Also, at the Linus Pauling meetings a few years back, it was reported that taking much higher levels of vitamin K led to activation of many decalcification enzymes.  Doing this was supposed to lead to a 50% decrease in the rate of heart attacks.  I have long maintained that what is important is getting enough vitamin D, which maintains bones, and weight bearing exercise, rather than Calcium, which most people get enough of in an average diet.

READER QUESTION: Last week I started taking Biotin 5000 mcg in hopes of helping my skin & hair be healthier.  Age sometimes isn't too kind to hair & skin.  Is biotin 5000 mcg  good for this?  I just started last week.
From what I read, it is unnecessary, and the literature I read suggests many other supplements listed here.  “The general daily recommended dosage of biotin is 2.5 mg (or 2,500 mcg), according to Dr. Scher. However, it’s not clear what the correct dosage is for the full effect, but it’s important to consult your doctor to avoid overdosing. Dr. Stuart suggests looking out for these possible signs of biotin overdose: slower release of insulin, skin rashes, lower vitamin C and B6 levels and high blood sugar levels.“ Biotin is widely distributed in foods. Foods relatively rich in biotin include egg yolk, liver, whole cereals, and some vegetables (nuts and legumes).

Roc Ordman, Professor Emeritus, Beloit College
Interests: Biochemistry, nutrition, human aging, consciousness
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First Universal Bodhisattva Vow: Infinite beings, without boundary, I vow to awaken.

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