Nutrition


Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) When, How, and Why to Supplement

Poultry, fish, liver, and eggs are good sources of this vitamin; meat and milk contain lesser amounts. Pyridoxine in animal sources is 96% bioavailable. Vitamin B6 can be made by intestinal bacteria in healthy persons. Plant foods such as legumes, peanuts, potatoes, yeast, bananas, corn, cabbage, yams, prunes, watermelon, and avocados also contain this vitamin.

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Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Sources: Liver is an excellent source of riboflavin. Milk, cheese, egg whites, legumes, peanuts, fish, meats, broccoli, spinach, and fortified grains are good sources. The UV component of sunlight destroys Riboflavin. Hence, milk should be protected in opaque cartons from bright light during storage. Proteins, dextrins, and starch decrease the need for this vitamin.

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Niacin (Vitamin B3) When, How, and Why to Supplement

By Ken Adams, M.D. and Scott E. Conard, M.D.

Niacin (Vitamin B-3):

Sources and Physiologic Functions Sources: Niacin is found in unrefined and enriched grain and cereal, milk, and lean meats, especially liver. Yeast, poultry, salt water fish, nuts, legumes, coffee, tea, dairy products, and potatoes are good sources of Niacin.

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The Effects of Dietary Fasting on Physical Balance Among Healthy Young Women

Background:The study examined the effects of dietary fasting on physical balance among young healthy women.

Methods:This study undertaken involving 22 young healthy women (age = 22 ± 1.5) using a within subject counterbalanced 2-week crossover study design. Participants were asked to refrain from consuming any food or beverage for 12 hours prior to the fasting trial and to maintain their regular diet for the non-fasting trial. Measures included: a background questionnaire, 24-hour dietary recall, and functional reach and timed single-limb stances.

Results: Fasting resulted in significant declines in functional reach (p < 0.01), and ability to balance in a single limb stance with eyes open, on both the dominant and non-dominant legs (p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively), and with eyes closed on the dominant leg (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: The findings have implications for athletic performance in younger individuals as well as emphasizing the need for health education for young women to avoid skipping meals.

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Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health

Dietary fiber and whole grains contain a unique blend of bioactive components including resistant starches, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. As a result, research regarding their potential health benefits has received considerable attention in the last several decades. Epidemiological and clinical studies demonstrate that intake of dietary fiber and whole grain is inversely related to obesity, type two diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Defining dietary fiber is a divergent process and is dependent on both nutrition and analytical concepts. The most common and accepted definition is based on nutritional physiology. Generally speaking, dietary fiber is the edible parts of plants, or similar carbohydrates, that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Dietary fiber can be separated into many different fractions. Recent research has begun to isolate these components and determine if increasing their levels in a diet is beneficial to human health. These fractions include arabinoxylan, inulin, pectin, bran, cellulose, ß-glucan and resistant starch. The study of these components may give us a better understanding of how and why dietary fiber may decrease the risk for certain diseases. The mechanisms behind the reported effects of dietary fiber on metabolic health are not well established. It is speculated to be a result of changes in intestinal viscosity, nutrient absorption, rate of passage, production of short chain fatty acids and production of gut hormones. Given the inconsistencies reported between studies this review will examine the most up to date data concerning dietary fiber and its effects on metabolic health.

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Vitamin Enhanced Waters and Fruit Juice Beverages Analyzed for Polyphenol Antioxidant Capacity and Antioxidants per Calorie

Polyphenols have become a recent interest to health conscious individuals. As a result, beverages containing high concentrations of polyphenols are becoming increasingly popular. This is due to the health benefits that accompany polyphenol consumption, derived from their antioxidant properties [1]. Polyphenols have been found to inhibit reactive oxygen species formation and protect against coronary heart disease [2,3]. Polyphenols have also been reported to potentially inhibit the development of certain types of cancer, such as breast cancer, and slow tumor growth [4-8]. The fact that these polyphenols can help prevent chronic disease has prompted beverage manufacturers to produce drinks that boast antioxidant content and consumers may look to these beverages for consumption of antioxidants and nutrients. These include vitamin enhanced waters (VEWs) and a variety of fruit and berry juices.

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The Role of Phytonutrients Like Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene in Skin Health

Photodamage is known to occur in skin with exposure to sunlight, specifically ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Such damage includes inflammation, oxidative stress, breakdown of the extracellular matrix, and development of cancer in the skin. Sun exposure is considered to be one of the most important risk factors for both nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Many phytonutrients have shown promise as photoprotectants in clinical, animal and cell culture studies. In part, the actions of these phytonutrients are thought to be through their actions as antioxidants. In regard to skin health, phytonutrients of interest include vitamin E, certain flavonoids, and the carotenoids, ß-carotene, lycopene and lutein.

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Does Industry Sponsorship of Nutrition Research Influence Study Outcomes?

In 111 scientific articles on nonalcoholic beverages, articles with all industry funding were more than 7 times more likely to have favorable conclusions compared with articles with no industry funding.

Much of the money available for doing medical research comes from companies, as opposed to government agencies or charities. There is some evidence that when a research study is sponsored by an organization that has a financial interest in the outcome, the study is more likely to produce results that favor the funder (this is called “sponsorship bias”). This phenomenon is worrying, because if our knowledge about effectiveness and safety of medicines is based on biased findings, patients could suffer. However, it is not clear whether sponsorship bias extends beyond research into drugs, but also affects other types of research that is in the public interest. For example, research into the health benefits, or otherwise, of different types of food and drink may affect government guidelines, regulations, and the behavior patterns of members of the public. Were sponsorship bias also to exist in this area of research, the health of the wider public could be affected.

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Does Funding Source Bias Conclusions of Nutrition-Related Scientific Articles?

Industrial support of biomedical research may bias scientific conclusions, as demonstrated by recent analyses of pharmaceutical studies. However, this issue has not been systematically examined in the area of nutrition research. The purpose of this study is to characterize financial sponsorship of scientific articles addressing the health effects of three commonly consumed beverages, and to determine how sponsorship affects published conclusions.

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Sustained Self-Regulation of Energy Intake: Initial Hunger Improves Insulin Sensitivity

In industrialised countries, most people regulate their energy expenditure poorly. Individual energy expenditure may differ up to 20-fold between resting conditions and high physical activity, but such differences have until now been weakly correlated to energy intake at subsequent meals [1]. Frequent episodes of positive energy balance can lead to insulin resistance, overweight, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease [1, 2]. Dietary regimes that attempt to restrain eating have been only marginally successful [3, 4] and the feasibility of self-regulation of energy intake regimes has been questioned [5]. A key reason for this lack of success may be that most dietary methods rely on weekly or monthly measurements of weight. These measurements provide no immediate feedback to dieters, who usually ingest food at least three times daily.

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Fructose Consumption: What are the Real Health Implications?

Fructose intake has recently received considerable media attention, most of which has been negative. The assertion has been that dietary fructose is less satiating and more lipogenic than other sugars. However, no fully relevant data have been presented to account for a direct link between dietary fructose intake and health risk markers such as obesity, triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in humans. First: a re-evaluation of published epidemiological studies concerning the consumption of dietary fructose or mainly high fructose corn syrup shows that most of such studies have been cross-sectional or based on passive inaccurate surveillance, especially in children and adolescents, and thus have not established direct causal links. Second: research evidence of the short or acute term satiating power or increasing food intake after fructose consumption as compared to that resulting from normal patterns of sugar consumption, such as sucrose, remains inconclusive. Third: the results of longer-term intervention studies depend mainly on the type of sugar used for comparison. Typically aspartame, glucose, or sucrose is used and no negative effects are found when sucrose is used as a control group.

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Bone Health and Nutrition in Aging: Calcium and Vitamin D

Bone health is an important issue in aging. Calcium and vitamin D currently have the most focus in published research on nutrition and bone health in aging, although evidence from published research is not conclusive. A systematic review was conducted to determine the impact of dietary and supplemental interventions focused on calcium and vitamin D over the past 10 years. Using key words to search, and search limits (aging population, English), 62 papers were found related to diet, nutrition, and bone; and 157 were found related to calcium and bone. Our review found a positive effect on bone health for supplements; food-based interventions; and educational strategies. Although there may be a publishing bias related to non-significant findings not being published, our results suggest the effectiveness of food based and educational interventions with less economic impact to the individual, as well as less risk of physiological side effects occurring.

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The Effect of Ingested Macronutrients on Post-Meal (Postprandial) Ghrelin Response: A Critical Review

Ghrelin is a powerful orexigenic gut hormone with growth hormone releasing activity. It plays a pivotal role for long-term energy balance and short-term food intake. It is also recognized as a potent signal for meal initiation. Ghrelin levels rise sharply before feeding onset, and are strongly suppressed by food ingestion. Postprandial ghrelin response is totally macronutrient specific in normal weight subjects, but is rather independent of macronutrient composition in obese. In rodents and lean individuals, isoenergetic meals of different macronutrient content suppress ghrelin to a variable extent. Carbohydrate appears to be the most effective macronutrient for ghrelin suppression, because of its rapid absorption and insulin-secreting effect. Protein induces prolonged ghrelin suppression and is considered to be the most satiating macronutrient. Fat, on the other hand, exhibits rather weak and insufficient ghrelin-suppressing capacity. The principal mediators involved in meal-induced ghrelin regulation are glucose, insulin, gastrointestinal hormones released in the postabsorptive phase, vagal activity, gastric emptying rate, and postprandial alterations in intestinal osmolarity.

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Heavy Metals Found In Protein Shakes: Should You Stop Drinking Them?

A recent investigation on protein drinks has been causing waves of concern or even alarm to ripple through the fitness and bodybuilding world. Supplement companies are up in arms and people are wondering whether they should stop drinking protein shakes after the magazine said they tested 15 protein drinks for heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury) and 3 of them came up above the proposed safe limits…

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The Dangers of Raw Milk and the Claims of its Magical Healing Powers

Recently there has been a great deal of public interest in the health benefits of consuming raw (unpasteurized milk). This has come about because of certain raw milk advocates who have emerged to claim that raw milk is not only safe but has miraculous healing properties. Indeed, as described by these advocates, raw milk is an magical elixir of life. Pasteurization, it is claimed, destroys these wonderful properties in milk.

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