Topic of the Month
Key Nutrients Needed for Maternal and Infant Health
Food fortification and enrichment are two population-level strategies that can improve micronutrient status. Today’s trend of nutritional defortification is, unfortunately, paving the way for nutritional deficiencies.
Awareness of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is high . Consumers rate omega-3 fatty acids as being particularly healthy for the heart, eyes and brain, supported by a strong scientific basis. Yet many myths about omega-3 fatty acids abound. We help you sort fact from fiction in omega-3 science.
Vitamin D deficiency is often found in patients with cardiovascular disease.
Marine omega-3 fatty acids are important for the developing brain, adult brain health and protection against cognitive decline in the elderly. DHA is an important structural part of the nervous tissue whilst circulating EPA levels appear to be important in prevention of the onset of depression. This review will examine the current evidence with regard to efficacy.
Professor Cashman is the joint coordinator of the EU-funded ODIN project. He is lead author of a new paper that the authors say provides “firm evidence” of the significant risk that vitamin D deficiency poses to public health in the EU. They found that 13% of the cohort of 55,844 individuals drawn from across Europe had serum vitamin D levels below 30 nmol/L.
Professor Oleg Shadyro of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Belarus has shown that coenzyme Q10 and vitamins are able to down-regulate the cellular production of phosphatidic acid (PA) in low cellular oxygen conditions which would otherwise inhibit normal cell apoptosis. Hence supplementation with these substances could improve the efficacy of radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Air pollution is a global problem with far-reaching consequences. Fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 increases the risk of illness and mortality from non-communicable diseases, especially cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The supplementation of micronutrients with antioxidant capabilities such as vitamins B, C, E and marine omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to offset some of the worst effects of PM2.5 inhalation.
Professor David Kennedy, Director of the Brain, Performance and Nutrition Research Centre at Northumbria University, makes a convincing argument in his new review paper that in the absence of an optimal diet, all eight B vitamins should be supplemented at doses in excess of current UK government recommendations if optimal brain health is to be achieved.
Professor Celeste de Jager of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, specializes in the effect of nutrition on cognitive decline in the elderly. In recent years, she has been closely involved in the VITACOG randomized controlled trial which found that a vitamin B intervention reduced circulating homocysteine levels, leading to a reduced rate of cognitive decline. Her most recent paper demonstrates that this effect is dependent on the patient having omega-3 fatty acid levels in the upper-normal range.