Tag Archives: vitamins

Nutrition, muscle mass and strength as we age

FoodFacts.com wanted to share this important information with our community regarding how nutrition can help us combat a natural aging process.

A new review from the International osteoporosis Foundation Nutrition Working group has identified nutritional factors that contribute to sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass that occurs naturally as people age. Sarcopenia leads to a higher risk of fractures and other industries as muscle strength plays a role in the aging population’s tendency to fall.

The review focused on protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin B and an acid-based diet.
Evidence was reviewed from worldwide studies on how protein, acid-base balance, Vitamin D and Vitamin B affect sarcopenia.

“The most obvious intervention against sarcopenia is exercise in the form of resistance training. However, adequate nutritional intake and an optimal dietary acid-base balance are also very important elements of any strategy to preserve muscle mass and strength during ageing,” said Professor Jean-Philippe Bonjour, co-author and Professor of Medicine at the Service of Bone Diseases, University of Geneva.

The review found that protein plays an important role in muscle health. It recommends an intake of between 1 and 1.2 g/kg of body weight per day for muscle and bone health in the elderly. In addition, it found that Vitamin D also plays an important role in the development and maintenance of muscle mass and function. The review recommends Vitamin D supplements for seniors as the optimal way to ensure proper levels are maintained.

It also found that excessive consumption of acid-producing foods like meat and whole grains with a low consumption of fruits and vegetables may have negative effects on musculoskeletal health. Higher consumption of fruits and vegetables which help to balance acid levels will be advantageous for both bones and muscles. In addition, the review suggests that Vitamin B12 can help to improve muscle strength and function.

Dr. Ambrish Mithal, co-author and Chair and Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes division at Medanta, New Delhi underlined the need for further research in the field.
“Strategies to reduce the numbers of falls and fractures within our aging populations must include measures to prevent sarcopenia. At present, the available evidence suggests that combining resistance training with optimal nutritional status has a synergistic effect in preventing and treating sarcopenia,” said Mithal.

“We hope that further studies will shed light on other effective ways of preventing and treating this condition,” he added.

FoodFacts.com hopes that our community takes this information to heart for themselves and their family members. Nutrition affects our health in so many ways. The small dietary adjustments that can be made to improve our lives are simple. If you consider vitamin supplementation for yourself or your family, you may want to consider these products from FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals: https://www.foodfactstri.com/shop-by-health-concern/shop-by-health-concern/bones-and-joints/vitamin-d-3-1000-iu and https://www.foodfactstri.com/shop-by-health-concern/energy/vitamin-b-12-500-mcg-100-count. Whatever your choices are, FoodFacts.com encourages everyone in our community to do your best to incorporate this important advice into your lifestyle.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/255169.php

Vitamin A deficiency may be linked to the treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C

FoodFacts.com and FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals came across some important information today regarding a link between Vitamin A deficiency and how it affects the treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C.

Researchers from a variety of different centers have conducted a study that suggests that those patients with Chronic Hepatitis C who also do not have high enough levels of Vitamin A are non-responsive to the treatments available for the disease.

Researchers focused on 199 patients with Chronic Hepatitis C. Prior to their treatment with antiviral therapy, the researchers compared the levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin D in these patients.

The Vitamin A levels were significantly lower for these HCV (Chronic Hepatitis C) patients than what is considered the norm. 42.2% of the patients exhibited extremely low levels of the vitamin. And 19.6% were considered to be severely deficient. 9% of the patients had severe deficiencies of both Vitamin A and Vitamin D.

The accepted treatment for HCV is antiviral therapy. The patients with severe Vitamin A deficiency were more likely to be non-responsive to treatment. 36% of patients with the deficiency did not respond as compared to 18.2% of those without the same level of deficiency.

In addition to these findings, a second set of findings illustrated that those patients with severely low levels of both Vitamin A and Vitamin D were at a higher risk of being non-responsive to the traditional therapy for their disease.

These vitamin deficiencies are considered to be strongly related to the ineffectiveness of antiviral therapy and suggest that Vitamin A levels can influence a patient’s outcome for Chronic Hepatitis C. Further research is planned to verify how supplementation of Vitamin A can restore the effectiveness of treatment in these patients.

FoodFacts.com understands the benefits of vitamin supplementation for its benefits to our general health, but we’re especially happy to see science stepping in and taking those benefits one step further. Certainly, if our vitamin intake can be directly associated to how we may respond to treatment for serious disease, we’re all one step closer to more effective treatments for our population. We’d like to make sure everyone in our community remains conscious of the benefits of vitamins and supplements and want to encourage everyone to be aware of their own consumption of both the foods and supplements that will assure them of their own good health. You might want to check out this product from FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals that can help you maintain the proper levels of both Vitamins A and D. http://www.foodfactstri.com/vitamin-a-10000-iu-vitamin-d-400-iu-100-count  — they are well formulated from high quality ingredients and contain no sugar, salt, dairy, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, preservatives, artificial colors or flavors.

Whatever vitamin supplements you choose, FoodFacts.com wants to encourage our community to incorporate this important information into your dietary choices.

http://www.healio.com/hepatology/chronic-hepatitis/news/online/%7B96429919-42C5-489C-9BB5-C5A2E4774093%7D/Chronic-HCV-linked-to-vitamin-A-deficiency-nonresponse-to-antiviral-therapy

Can consuming processed meats increase your chances of developing thyroid cancer?

FoodFacts.com has always maintained the position that the consumption of processed meats is not the best choice to make while trying to maintain a healthy diet. We know that most in our community feel the same way and try to avoid processed meats as much as possible.

We recently read about some new research published in the International Journal of Cancer that links nitrites used in processed meats to a increased risk of cancer. The study comes out of the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago and focused on participants with higher and lower intakes of nitrites.

Over 73,000 females up to the age of 70 were followed through a food frequency questionnaire. They were followed for an 11 year period. During that follow-up period, 164 cases of thyroid cancer developed within this population. While there was no general association made between nitrate intake and risk for thyroid cancer in most of the studied population, that in the highest range of nitrite intake had a 100% increased risk of developing thyroid cancer when compared with those who had the lowest range of nitrite consumption. You read that right – a 100% increased risk!

While the study is suggesting a link, that link may be quite factual because nitrites can be converted into cancer causing N-nitroso compounds. These compounds have already been discovered to cause other types of cancers.

Nitrites are common ingredients in products such as hot dogs, processed deli meats, ham, bacon, sausage, and many boxed or canned products where preservatives are found. FoodFacts.com cannot stress the importance of reading ingredient labels strongly enough. There are times when a consumer picks up a product in which they would never expect to find nitrites and the ingredient is listed clearly on the product.

In addition to the possibility of picked up a processed food product where you wouldn’t expect to find nitrites as an ingredient, FoodFacts.com is also aware that there are many folks who do have a difficult time completely giving up foods like bacon and sausage. For these folks, the research suggests that taking a high dose of a Vitamin C supplement, or drinking a high Vitamin C fruit juice can help prevent the conversion of nitrites into N-nitroso compounds. The study also points out that while a juice product may be labeled as high in Vitamin C, it is a more reliable option to take Vitamin C supplements regularly because you can be sure of the content of the supplement more readily than that of the juice.

When looking for a healthy Vitamin C supplement, keep in mind that FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals offer you pure, natural, real ingredients that are free from most items you may be actively avoiding in your supplements, like sugar, salt, gluten and corn. FoodFacts.com would, of course as always, be an advocate of eliminating nitrites from your diet completely. It’s one of the best, healthiest decisions you can make for your body.

We invite you to read more about this fascinating study:  http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Food/processed_meat_linked_to_thyroid_cancer_1222120314.html

Even a small deficiency of Vitamin B-12 may put your at risk for accelerated cognitive disease

Since launching FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals earlier this month, FoodFacts.com has been actively researching vitamins and supplements and their effects on our health and well being.

Today we found a recent study that suggests that older adults may be at greater risk for accelerated cognitive decline if they aren’t getting enough Vitamin B-12. The study comes out of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

Researchers at the HNRCA at Tufts examined data from almost 550 men and women who were enrolled in a heart study. They focused on their scores of the Mini-Mental State Examination. This exam consists of a list of questions and tasks that are routinely used to diagnose dementia. The participants were split into five groups all based on the levels of Vitamin B-12 in their blood.

The two groups of participants who had the lowest levels of Vitamin B-12 had experienced significantly Being in the two lowest groups was associated with a significantly faster rate of cognitive decline. This was determined by following their test scores on the Mini-Mental State Examination over the course of eight years.

While a severely low level of Vitamin B-12 deficiency is related to cognitive impairment, this study suggests that there are adverse effects related to levels of deficiency that are not considered severe. Over time, those participants in the second lowest group of Vitamin B-12 levels had the same outcome as those in the very lowest group. This leads researchers to believe that even small deficiencies of this important vitamin are effecting a larger population.

The analysis discovered that the Mini-Mental State Examination scores dropped an average of .24 points per year for the first three groups of participants, while falling an average of .35 points yearly in the lowest two groups. This is a meaningful difference in cognitive decline.

The study raises a definite concern regarding the population’s intake of Vitamin B-12 and notes that it becomes more difficult to maintain normal blood levels of the vitamin as we age. Older adults seem to have a more difficult time absorbing Vitamin B-12 from food into the blood stream. It’s because of that that the USDA’s 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that people over 50 incorporate B-12 fortified foods or supplements into their diets.

FoodFacts.com is again happy to see that science is exploring the effects of natural solutions to health problems. If you’re over 50, you might want to consider this product from FoodFacts TRI Nutritionals for its quality ingredients and purity. However you decide to supplement, make sure you do. It’s a natural answer to a difficulty that would be best to avoid!

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205102613.htm

A new – and natural weapon against antibiotic resistant infections?

FoodFacts.com read some information today that may prove to be very valuable to the entire population when it comes to fighting antibiotic resistant staph infections. In the recent past, these infections have been becoming increasingly more common and have posed a real threat to survival.

A study published this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation was conducted by several institutions including The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, UCLA and the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. It was focused on the increasing number of “super infections” that have been springing up worldwide.

For generations, antibiotics have proven to be a powerful defense against any number of infections … and in many cases still are. But in an increasing number of instances there have been difficulties with the resistance of certain forms of bacteria to antibiotics. Specifically pointed out was the staphylococcus aureus bacteria or staph infection.
In the study, clinical doses of nicotinamide or Vitamin B3 successfully increased the number and efficiency of a special kind of white blood cell that can kill off harmful bacteria. The study noted that this may well give doctors a new way to treat deadly staph infection that could possibly be combined with existing antibiotics. It could possibly stimulate and enhance the power of the human immune system and help it respond to infection with more intense action against infection.

Animals in the study were given Vitamin B3 at therapeutic levels that were far greater than our normal diets could provide. The affects of the vitamin were also studied in human blood. The amounts of the vitamin used were considered safe in the human population. It is important to note that the study did not focus on whether or not regular doses of the vitamin (whether through diet or supplementation) would have the same effects for treating bacterial infection and they don’t want to encourage people to begin taking larger doses of Vitamin B3 because of the findings.

Doctors who had studied bacterial infections for the last decade found that Vitamin B3 has the ability to enable antimicrobial genes that increase the body’s immune cells to kill bacteria.

One of the most exciting discoveries found through the study was the effectiveness of Vitamin B3 on one of the most common and most serious staff infections affecting the public today – MRSA. Unfortunately it is accepted that the widespread usage of antibiotics has contributed to the increase of instances of MRSA infection. Dr. George Liu, an infectious disease expert at Cedars-Sinai and co-senior author on the study, said that “this vitamin is surprisingly effective in fighting off and protecting against one of today’s most concerning public health threats.” When Vitamin B 3 was used in human blood in clinical doses it appeared to destroy the staph infection in only a few hours.

This is an exciting finding and one which FoodFacts.com hopes will undergo further study in order to offer greater protection of the public health in the coming years. Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827122258.htm

Food Facts Summer Fruit Series … Life is just a bowl of cherries

Summer cherries are just one of a myriad of fruits abounding at the farmer’s market this time of year. Your Food Facts crew really loves cherries, but your blog writer REALLY loves them. That’s because I’m allergic to berries and have an affinity for this small, tasty fruit that doesn’t help me break out in hives! They are tasty to snack on by themselves or to substitute (for me) in recipes requiring berries …. actually they work like a charm. So, if I’m going to be eating that dessert that called for berries they are a great substitute, providing taste and texture without having to completely redo a recipe because the fruit I’m using might have a different water content. So tonight, I wanted to look at the health benefits of cherries.

So here’s what you need to know about cherries and your health:

- Although cherries are very low in calories, they are very rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

- The pigment in cherries that causes their beautiful color are due to polyphenolic flavonoid compounds … or anthocyanin glycosides. That means that fruits with red, purple or blue skins carry these compounds and that their skins have powerful anti-oxidant properties.

- Those anthosyanins act like anti-inflammatory agents in your body. They can have helpful effects against chronic pain associated with gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia and sports injuries. In addition, some (tart) cherries can help to prevent cancers and neurological diseases.

- Cherries contain melatonin. Melatonin can produce soothing effects for the brain and calm nervous system irritability. So if you suffer from headaches, eat cherries. In addition, if you have a hard time falling asleep at night, cherries might help.

- Like many other summer fruits, cherries also provide potassium and manganese. When we sweat in the summer, our body needs to replace these minerals and cherries can help us do that.

- Other great properties of cherries include anti-oxidants. Lutein, beta carotene and others can protect your body from free radicals that might prevent some forms of cancer.
Oh, and if you’re like me, cherries won’t cause hives. Of course I’m sure there are some folks who can eat berries, but cherries can cause hives. We all have our individual food issues (and berries are certainly coming in our Summer Fruits Series).

My favorite cherry dessert is a parfait. After pitting some sweet cherries, I layer a glass with them, alternating between freshly made whipped cream and topping it off with a whole cherry. That’s not a recipe substitution for me. I just love the flavor!

That’s the latest from our Food Facts Summer Fruits Series. Stay tuned for blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew and maybe a few that aren’t quite that familiar! Let us know about your favorites!

Are Raw Foods Really Healthier than Cooked foods?

raw-vs-cooked
Foodfacts.com teams up with our friends over at Dietsinreview.com to to look into whether raw foods are healthier than Cooked foods. Raw food diets are getting a lot of attention lately, both on this blog and in the wider health community. The raw diet tied for the second best diet for weight loss in U.S. News‘ assessment, and raw cleanses are a hot trend this summer.

Supporters of the raw diet believe that raw fruits, vegetables and in some cases meat and dairy are the richest sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients. While a plant-based raw diet is certainly very healthy, cooking some plants actually increases some nutrients and can also make nutrients more bio-available.
Once you start to look at the question of raw vs. cooked foods, it immediately becomes a complex matter. Nutrition science has become quite sophisticated, yet there’s still only a limited amount of research available on the subject. Some nutrients may be lost during the cooking process yet others are enriched by cooking and exposure to heat. Yet, there are still many gray areas when it comes to the importance of many vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals. Below are some of the facts that we do have about raw vs. cooked foods, organized by nutrient.

Lycopene

Lycopene is an essential nutrient found in tomatoes, and is associated with lower rates of cancer. One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that one kind of lycopene is made more bioavailable by cooking. “Lycopene is a carotenoid, and all carotenoids, along with phenolic acids and flavonoids, are enhanced by cooking,” says Mary Hartley, RD, MPH Nutritionist for Calorie Count. She adds that studies have shown that carotenoid-rich foods are best eaten in the presence of fat or oil.

Vitamin C

“Heat readily destroys thiamine (B-1) and vitamin C,” says Hartley. Vitamin C is a highly unstable compound that is quickly degraded through oxidization and cooking. Scientific American reports that cooking tomatoes for just two minutes decreases their vitamin C content by ten percent.
“Foods high in thiamin include whole grain and enriched grain foods, fortified cereals, lean pork, wheat germ, legumes, and organ meats,” explains Hartley. “Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, especially red and green peppers, oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, baked potato, and cabbage.” She suggests eating a raw source of vitamin C every day.

B Vitamins

Like vitamin C, B vitamins are water soluble and can be lost through boiling. To decrease the loss of water soluble vitamins, choose cooking methods that minimize the use of water, such as grilling, roasting and microwaving. Making soups and stews will also preserve these vitamins in the broth. Raw sources of vitamin B include bananas, oysters, tuna and caviar. Liver is also a rich source of B vitamins, but we don’t recommend eating it raw.

Vitamins A, D, E and K

These vitamins appear to be unaffected by cooking. “Most nutrients, including fiber, carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals, trace minerals, and all of vitamins A, D, E and K, remain when vegetables are cooked,” says Hartley.

Enzymes

“It is important to differentiate between enzymes that are needed for digestion and enzymes that naturally occur in foods,” points out Hartley. She explains that the enzymes found in food have no bearing on digestion. However, enzymes can have other effects on the body. “For instance, the myrosinase enzyme family and indoles found in cruciferous vegetables contain anti-cancer compounds that are destroyed by heat,” says Hartley. Cauliflower, cabbage, cress, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rutabaga and turnips are all cruciferous vegetables. However, cooking these vegetables also destroys goitrogenic enzymes that interfere with the formation of thyroid hormone. “It’s always a tradeoff, with some nutrients becoming more available and others becoming less available, when food is cooked.” dietsinreview1

Conclusion

Hartley and I agree that while some may swear by the raw food diet, it takes a lot of work and careful planning, not to mention the difficulty of giving up foods like cheese and bread. The bottom line is that it’s good to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, no matter how they are prepared. Garlic and nuts are also best when eaten raw, along with fruits that are high in vitamin C. Adding more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet can also help with weight loss, because the fiber can help you feel full while consuming fewer calories.
Cooking makes many foods more appealing and enhances some nutrients, and also kills off bacteria, which is particularly important when it comes to meat and animal products. “Cooking (and careful chewing!) generally makes food more digestible by softening the fibers,” says Hartley. “People should eat a variety of cooked and raw foods, with a raw source of vitamin C eaten every day.”

Article written by Margaret Badore at DietsInReview.com