The vitamins and minerals are in the news again, with all this being related to their addition to sports drinks, water and juices. Scientists suggests that consumers might be ingesting higher than necessary (and sometimes potentially harmful) amounts. When consumed in excess, water-soluble vitamins like B and C are in the urine, but fat soluble-vitamins including A, D, E and K, accumulate in tissues, posing potential risks. Some people (for example, pregnant or lactating women) will require additional vitamins and minerals, but for the majority of the population, these nutrients should be primarily acquired through daily diet. This discussion extends to antioxidants and the lack of information on the long-term supplementation effects. Scientists state that it is impossible to consume too much from foods but the exposure through supplementation may be too great. How do you counsel your patients about healthy diet and vitamin/mineral/antioxidant rich foods? For those who require supplementation, what are your typical recommendations?
Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, has once again succeeded in introducing new public health policies. In an effort to reduce the country’s increasing obesity rate, the New York City Board of Health approved a ban on sale of sodas and sugary drinks in container larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters on Thursday September 13th. This policy is a first of its kind in the country, but the spokesman for New Yorkers Beverage Choice opposes the decision and adds that this restricts the consumers freedom of choice. What are your thoughts about this policy? What measures can be taken to reduce obesity in this country?
For more information, visit New York Times.
A new study published in the journal Circulation Research looked at 67 men drinking two glasses of non-alcoholic red wine daily and discovered potential benefits to their heart health. Researchers noticed that polyphenols in the red wine dilate the blood vessels, while the alcohol narrows them. Together, they may cancel out each other’s effects. The findings suggest that non-alcoholic red wine lowers blood pressure enough to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 14% and the risk for stroke by 20%. What other ways of controlling blood pressure without medications do you recommend to your patients?
For more information, visit Circulation Research.
A new study coming from Stanford University was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers looked at over 200 studies and saw no significant difference in nutritional content between organic and non-organic foods. However, organic food contained 30% less pesticides than non-organic food. There are critics suggesting that the study would have seen significant results if the correct statistical analysis was utilized. Are you familiar with the new dirty dozen (12 foods to eat organic)? Do you recommend them to your patients?
For more information, visit BBC News.
A new Swedish study published in the Journal of Neurology, suggests that eating chocolate may lower the risk of stroke by 17% in men. Chocolate contains antioxidant properties which could reduce blood pressure, increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and improve blood vessel function. The participants who ate more chocolate in this study were better educated and led a healthier lifestyle than their peers. Therefore, researchers could not conclude that risk of stroke reduction was solely due to chocolate consumption. What are the warning signs of stroke that patients should be aware of?
Coconut water is an excellent sports drink ― for light exercise
A new analysis of coconut water was reported during the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Many people are aware that coconut water is a good source of electrolytes. The American diet consists of high amount of sodium and not enough potassium. Drinking coconut water can restore the balance, by replenishing much needed potassium lost from exercise and necessary for recovery and muscle cramp reduction. What other foods/drinks do you consume that provide body with electrolytes and help to recover after exercising?
For additional information please visit American Chemical Society.
There has been a recent salmonella outbreak traced to cantaloupes in 20-states leaving half of the infected consumers hospitalized, including two deaths. While there are reports of salmonella from farms in south-western Indiana, there are also reports of listeria from Burch Farms, and Cottle Strawberry Inc. from North Carolina. Therefore, it is advised to avoid eating all cantaloupes and honeydew melons until further notice. Considering the recent reports of bacterial contamination in food, how do you educate your patients and loved ones to avoid the risk?
For additional information please visit Web MD.
Many of us eat cereal bars as snacks. A consumer report study by “Which?” analyzed 30 cereal bars and found that large number of contain at least 30% of sugar (20% of daily recommended allowance) and fat (included saturated fat). It is important to read and understand the nutritional information of products we consume. What are your favorite snacks? How often do you change your choice of snack based on the nutritional label?
For additional information please visit BBC News Health.
Roughly 17% of couples are infertile. A recent publication in the Journal Biology of Reproduction suggests an improvement in sperm health in men who incorporate walnuts in their daily diet. The researchers followed 117 men divided into two groups. One group added walnuts to their daily diet, and the other group avoided eating tree nuts over 12 weeks. Those who ate two handfuls of walnuts daily had a statistically significant increase in sperm quality. For what reasons do you suggest incorporating nuts into diet?
For additional information, please click here.
Laws in Brazil have recently become more stringent in preventing transnational corporations like “Big Food” and “Big Snack” from replacing long established local food systems with ultra-processed products. Officials argue that such processed foods deteriorate public health while leading to obesity, major chronic illnesses as well as undermining the community and culture at large. Children at Brazil state schools will now be entitled to one meal that is 70% fresh or minimally processed and the other 30% from local farmers. What are your thoughts – should America follow Brazil’s lead in protecting America’s farmers while improving national health at large?