Grapes have a long and abundant history. During the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, grapes were revered for their use in wine making. Nowadays, there are three main species of grapes: European grapes (Vitis vinifera), North American grapes (Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia) and French hybrids. Grapes are classified as table grapes, wine grapes (used in viniculture), raisin grapes, and so on, with edible seeds or seedless. People often enjoy the various grape products, such as fruit, raisins, juice and wine. Grape fruit contains various nutrient elements, such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, edible fibers and phytochemicals. Polyphenols are the most important phytochemicals in grape because they possess many biological activities and health-promoting benefits [1–3]. The phenolic compounds mainly include anthocyanins, flavanols, flavonols, stilbenes (resveratrol) and phenolic acids [4–6]. Anthocyanins are pigments, and mainly exist in grape skins. Flavonoids are widely distributed in grapes, especially in seeds and stems, and principally contain (+)-catechins, (−)-epicatechin and procyanidin polymers. Anthocyanins are the main polyphenolics in red grapes, while flavan-3-ols are more abundant in white varieties [7–9].
Continue Reading » Grape Polyphenols and Their Biological Activities
Sugars are a ubiquitous component of our food supply. They are consumed as a naturally occurring component of our diet and as additions to foods during processing, preparation, or at the table. A healthy diet contains at least some amount of naturally occurring sugars, because monosaccharides, such as glucose and fructose, and disaccharides, such as sucrose and lactose, are integral components of fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and many grains . Sugars also add desirable sensory effects and promote enjoyment of foods. Over the years, however, sugar intake has been claimed to be associated with several diet-related chronic diseases: diabetes, CVD, obesity, dental caries, and hyperactivity in children [2,3]. One of overwhelming concerns regarding sugars is the potential for excess energy intake from sugars resulting in weight gain and displacement of more nutrient-dense foods . However, little attention has been given to the contribution of sugar and carbohydrates to total energy intake.
Soyfoods have long been prized among vegetarians for both their high protein content and versatility. Soybeans differ markedly in macronutrient content from other legumes, being much higher in fat and protein, and lower in carbohydrate. In recent years however, soyfoods and specific soybean constituents, especially isoflavones, have been the subject of an impressive amount of research. Nearly 2,000 soy-related papers are published annually. This research has focused primarily on the benefits that soyfoods may provide independent of their nutrient content. There is particular interest in the role that soyfoods have in reducing risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain forms of cancer. However, the estrogen-like effects of isoflavones observed in animal studies have also raised concerns about potential harmful effects of soyfood consumption. This review addresses questions related to soy and chronic disease risk, provides recommendations for optimal intakes, and discusses potential contraindications. As reviewed, the evidence indicates that, with the exception of those individuals allergic to soy protein, soyfoods can play a beneficial role in the diets of vegetarians. Concerns about adverse effects are not supported by the clinical or epidemiologic literature. Based on the soy intake associated with health benefits in the epidemiologic studies and the benefits noted in clinical trials, optimal adult soy intake would appear to be between two and four servings per day.
Continue Reading » The Role Of Soy In Vegetarian Diets
Vitamin D insufficiency/deficiency has been observed worldwide at all stages of life. It has been characterized as a public health problem, since low concentrations of this vitamin have been linked to the pathogenesis of several chronic diseases. Several studies have suggested that vitamin D is involved in cardiovascular diseases and have provided evidence that it has a role in reducing cardiovascular disease risk. It may be involved in regulation of gene expression through the presence of vitamin D receptors in various cells, regulation of blood pressure (through renin-angiotensin system), and modulation of cell growth and proliferation including vascular smooth muscle cells and cardiomyocytes. Identifying correct mechanisms and relationships between vitamin D and such diseases could be important in relation to patient care and healthcare policies.
Continue Reading » Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease
Vitamin E, like tocotrienols and tocopherols, is constituted of compounds essential for animal cells. Vitamin E is exclusively synthesized by photosynthetic eukaryotes and other oxygenic photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria. In order to prevent lipid oxidation, the plants mainly accumulate tocochromanols in oily seeds and fruits or in young tissues undergoing active cell divisions. From a health point of view, at the moment there is a great interest in the natural forms of tocochromanols, because they are considered promising compounds able to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and satisfactory blood cholesterol levels. Some evidence suggests that the potency of the antioxidant effects may differ between natural or synthetic source of tocochromanols (vitamin E).
Continue Reading » Vitamin E Update: Tocopherol and Tocotrienol
I'm going to give you three vegetables. You pick the best one.
- Green (Bell) Peppers
Continue Reading » Nutrition is Not a Top Ten Proposition and the Lycopene Bust
Alcohol consumption within elite sport has been continually reported both anecdotally within the media and quantitatively in the literature. The detrimental effects of alcohol on human physiology have been well documented, adversely influencing neural function, metabolism, cardiovascular physiology, thermoregulation and skeletal muscle myopathy. Remarkably, the downstream effects of alcohol consumption on exercise performance and recovery, has received less attention and as such is not well understood. The focus of this review is to identify the acute effects of alcohol on exercise performance and give a brief insight into explanatory factors.
Continue Reading » The Effects of Alcohol on Athletic Performance and Recovery
Recent trends in weight loss diets have led to a substantial increase in protein intake by individuals. As a result, the safety of habitually consuming dietary protein in excess of recommended intakes has been questioned. In particular, there is concern that high protein intake may promote renal damage by chronically increasing glomerular pressure and hyperfiltration. There is, however, a serious question as to whether there is significant evidence to support this relationship in healthy individuals. In fact, some studies suggest that hyperfiltration, the purported mechanism for renal damage, is a normal adaptative mechanism that occurs in response to several physiological conditions. This paper reviews the available evidence that increased dietary protein intake is a health concern in terms of the potential to initiate or promote renal disease. While protein restriction may be appropriate for treatment of existing kidney disease, we find no significant evidence for a detrimental effect of high protein intakes on kidney function in healthy persons after centuries of a high protein Western diet.
Continue Reading » Dietary Protein and Kidney Function
My last post about strength training and nutrition dogma dealt with the downside of the popular and untested beliefs that we cling to in the face of little to no evidence. Even so I pointed out that not all beliefs which appear to be dogmatic are "bad". Well, it just so happens that I think there are worse things than dogma.
Continue Reading » The Other Side Of Dogma - Alternative a Euphemism for Untested?
I just came across a "nutrition quiz".
I got eight out of ten correct. Only eight? ME? You have got to be kidding me? I am a nutrition stud. Well, perhaps not exactly a nutrition stud but let's just say I do not get my nutrition information from steroid salesmen on bodybuilding forums.
One of the questions on the quiz involved brown rice. Go figure. I knew they wanted to hear that brown rice was healthier than white rice so that is what I answered but really I refuse to capitulate to the nonsense about brown rice being magical health pellets and white rice being evil little starch monsters.
Continue Reading » Nutrition is Not a True or False Proposition
Nuts (tree nuts and peanuts) are nutrient dense foods with complex matrices rich in unsaturated fatty and other bioactive compounds: high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. By virtue of their unique composition, nuts are likely to beneficially impact health outcomes. Epidemiologic studies have associated nut consumption with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and gallstones in both genders and diabetes in women. Limited evidence also suggests beneficial effects on hypertension, cancer, and inflammation. Interventional studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, even in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Blood pressure, visceral adiposity and the metabolic syndrome also appear to be positively influenced by nut consumption. Thus it is clear that nuts have a beneficial impact on many cardiovascular risk factors. Contrary to expectations, epidemiologic studies and clinical trials suggest that regular nut consumption is unlikely to contribute to obesity and may even help in weight loss. Safety concerns are limited to the infrequent occurrence of nut allergy in children. In conclusion, nuts are nutrient rich foods with wide-ranging cardiovascular and metabolic benefits, which can be readily incorporated into healthy diets.
Continue Reading » Health Benefits Of Nut Consumption
Long chain fatty acids influence inflammation through a variety of mechanisms; many of these are mediated by, or at least associated with, changes in fatty acid composition of cell membranes. Changes in these compositions can modify membrane fluidity, cell signaling leading to altered gene expression, and the pattern of lipid mediator production. Cell involved in the inflammatory response are typically rich in the n-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, but the contents of arachidonic acid and of the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can be altered through oral administration of EPA and DHA. Eicosanoids produced from arachidonic acid have roles in inflammation. EPA also gives rise to eicosanoids and these often have differing properties from those of arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids. EPA and DHA give rise to newly discovered resolvins which are anti-inflammatory and inflammation resolving. Increased membrane content of EPA and DHA (and decreased arachidonic acid content) results in a changed pattern of production of eicosanoids and resolvins. Changing the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response also affects production of peptide mediators of inflammation (adhesion molecules, cytokines etc.). Thus, the fatty acid composition of cells involved in the inflammatory response influences their function; the contents of arachidonic acid, EPA and DHA appear to be especially important. The anti-inflammatory effects of marine Omega 3 PUFAs suggest that they may be useful as therapeutic agents in disorders with an inflammatory component.
Continue Reading » Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Inflammation
Besides being important in the fermentation of foods and beverages, yeasts have shown numerous beneficial effects on human health. Among these, probiotic effects are the most well known health effects including prevention and treatment of intestinal diseases and immunomodulatory effects. Other beneficial functions of yeasts are improvement of bioavailability of minerals through the hydrolysis of phytate, folate biofortification and detoxification of mycotoxins due to surface binding to the yeast cell wall.
Continue Reading » Beneficial Effects of Probiotic and Food Borne Yeasts on Human Health
It is becoming increasingly clear that vitamin D has a broad range of actions in the human body. Besides its well-known effects on calcium/phosphate homeostasis, vitamin D influences muscle function, cardiovascular homeostasis, nervous function, and the immune response. Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency has been associated with muscle weakness and a high incidence of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 and 2 diabetes. Most importantly, low vitamin D status has been found to be an independent predictor of all-cause mortality. Several recent randomized controlled trials support the assumption that vitamin D can improve muscle strength, glucose homeostasis, and cardiovascular risk markers. In addition, vitamin D may reduce cancer incidence and elevated blood pressure. Since the prevalence of vitamin D
deficiency/insufficiency is high throughout the world, there is a need to improve vitamin D status in the general adult population. However, the currently recommended daily vitamin D intake of 5–15 µg is too low to achieve an adequate vitamin D status in individuals with only modest skin synthesis. Thus, there is a need to recommend a vitamin D intake that is effective for achieving adequate circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations (>75 nmol/L).
Continue Reading » Nonclassical Vitamin D Actions
Modern strength training has, in recent times, aligned itself with science more than ever in the past. Unfortunately the majority of the industry has no clear knowledge of the scientific process and in fact, doesn't really know what science is. Most strength trainers who use science tend to point to science as if it is a thing. However, although we use the word as if it means a concrete thing it is rather a practice or system of acquiring knowledge. When we ask "what's the science on this?" what we really should be asking is "what is the state of knowledge on this?".
Continue Reading » Strength Training and Nutrition Dogma
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- Calories from Lipids (Fats), Carbohydrate, and Protein
- Changes in Intakes of Total and Added Sugar and their Contribution to Energy Intake in the U.S.
- Dietary Fiber
- Fructose Consumption: What are the Real Health Implications?
- Sugar Glossary: A Quick Reference to Simple Sugars
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's)
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Are all Omega-3 Fatty Acids Created equal?
- Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids Like Fish Oil Effective for Treating Asthma?
- DHA: Docosahexaenoic Acid
- Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA): An Ancient Nutrient for the Modern Human Brain
- Epa Eicosapentaenoic Acid
- Fish Oil
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids And Inflammation
- Omega-3 Index and Sudden Cardiac Death
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Food Oil Fatty Acid Content List: Saturated, Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated
- Grass Fed Versus Grain Fed Beef: Fatty Acid Profiles, Antioxidant Content and Taste
- The Biological Activities of Phenolics in Virgin Olive Oil
- Trans Fatty Acids (Trans Fats)
- Fish, Mercury, Selenium and Cardiovascular Risk: Does the Danger of Mercury Outweigh the Benefits of Fish Intake?
- Food Allergies
- Food And Drug Administration (FDA)
- Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame Pottasium)
- Acetic Acid
- Aconitic Acid
- All-purpose Flour
- Dietetic (Foods)
- FD&C Blue No. 1: Brilliant Blue FCF Food Dye
- FD&C Yellow No. 6: Sunset Yellow Food Dye
- Guar Gum
- Gum Arabic (Arabic, Acacia Gum)
- Synthetic Versus Natural Food Colorings: Answers to Many Common Questions
- Food Labels
- Food Safety Articles and Information
- Health Benefits Of Nut Consumption
- Milk and Dairy
- Organic Food: The Real Story
- Ten Food Myths: The Truth Revealed!
- The Dangers of Raw Milk and the Claims of its Magical Healing Powers
- The Difference Between Sea Salt and Ordinary Table Salt: Is Sea Salt Really Healthier?
- The Origins of Lactase Persistence in Europe
- Wheat Versus Whole Wheat
- Mistaken Reasons that People Take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements
- Natural and Processed Food, Nutritionism and Pollanisms
- Nutrient Timing Articles
- Nutrition is Not a Top Ten Proposition and the Lycopene Bust
- Nutrition Junk Science: Red Flags That Help You Spot It!
- Nutrition Research: Industry Sponsorhip of Nutrition Research
- Amino Acids
- Casein or Whey?
- Dietary Guidelines should reflect new understandings about adult protein needs
- Dietary Protein and Kidney Function
- Greek Yogurt: Twice The Protein
- Protein And Exercise
- Whey Protein
- Raw Food Claim: Your Body Has a Limited Amount of Enzymes to Digest Foods
- Splenda Kills Healthy Intestinal Bacteria?
- Colloidal Silver And Other Silver Products
- Can Creatine Supplementation Help Older Adults?
- Creatine And Exercise
- Creatine Ethyl Ester Supplementation Effects with Heavy Resistance Training
- The Creatine Transporter: A Brief Review of Creatine Supplementation in Humans and Animals
- Fatal New Trend in Performance Enhancement? A Cautionary Note on Nitrite
- Metabolites, Constituents And Extracts
- Pharmacists and Dietary Supplements
- Phospholipids and Sports Performance
- Supplement Rationale, Behavour, and Expertise
- Tryptophan Supplements: Do They Work and Are They Dangerous?
- Warning: The Hidden Risks of Erectile Dysfunction and Sexual Stimulant Dietary Supplement 'Treatments' Sold Online
- Surprising New Nutrition Finding: Nutrition Articles on News Sites Suck
- The Aspartame Myth-information Campaign: You Can Live Without It
- The Role Of Soy In Vegetarian Diets
- Top Vitamin C Containing Fruits
- Folic Acid Fortification: History, Effect, Concerns, and Future Directions
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) When, How, and Why to Supplement
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1) How, Why and When to Supplement
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B6
- The Role of Phytonutrients Like Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene in Skin Health
- Vitamin A and Beta Carotene: What, How, When, Why to Supplement
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin E and C for Strength and Bodybuilding: Should You Take Them for Exercise Induced Oxidative Stress?
- Vitamins and Prostate Cancer Risk
- Vitamins and Sports Performance
- B Vitamins
- What are Coenzymes?
- What are the Major Elements and Molecules in the Human Body?
- Whey Protein Processing, Terms and Definitions: Countering the Misconceptions About Whey Protein Including 'Raw' Whey