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Category Archives: Food Supplements
Posted: August 10, 2017 at 6:08 am
Dietary supplements are big business with close on 400 million per year spent in the UK. Vitamins, minerals, botanicals and amino acids are just some of the pills and potions that can be found in supermarkets and health food shops. Over one third of adults regularly take a supplement despite most people not really needing anything other than a healthy balanced diet.
One of the main supplement types are those marketed to aid weight loss. A recent study on supplements seized by the police in Brazil has suggested that some of the supplements contained significantly more caffeine than the amount stated on the labels and even some drugs were detected including laxatives. The researchers aim was to validate a chromatography method, but the work highlights some of the risks that people face when they take unregulated supplements.
The research, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology Determination of caffeine and identification of undeclared substances in dietary supplements and caffeine dietary exposure assessment analysed supplements seized by the Brazilian police between 2010 and 2016 as being products not allowed to be sold in Brazil and focused on weight loss supplements.
One of the aims of the work was to validate a GC-MS method for the quantitation of caffeine and identification of other substances in supplements, mainly weight loss products, and to estimate the caffeine intake by consumers. The team used a simple sample preparation method that included extraction with chloroform and water, centrifugation and then analysis of the organic layer.
Of course, chromatography can be used for many different aspects of food analysis including contamination as discussed in the article, How Safe is Safe? Analytical Tools for Tracing Contaminants in Food, or making better chocolate as discussed in the article, Rapid Screening of Volatile and Semi-Volatile Organic Components in Cocoa Beans and Chocolate Products Using a Portable GC/MS System.
The researchers aim was to validate a chromatography method, but the work highlights some of the risks that people face when they take unregulated supplements. Out of 213 samples tested from 52 different products almost 27% of the samples contained more than 120% of the caffeine levels stated on the labels.
The researchers argue that by considering the maximum recommended dose on the product labels, several of the samples could lead to people taking a dose of caffeine above the recommended daily allowance of 400mg.
Equally worrying, in 28 of the samples the researchers identified undeclared drugs including drugs banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency particularly troubling for any athletes taking one of these supplements.
The work highlights that you must be careful what you take. Can you trust the manufacturer of the supplement? Regulations on labelling vary around the world and the internet means you can shop anywhere. Be careful.
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Posted: at 6:08 am
By Steve Mister and Jim Griffiths, PhD, the Council for Responsible NutritionSteve Mister and Jim Griffiths, PhD, the Council for Responsible Nutrition , 09-Aug-20172017-08-09T00:00:00Z Last updated on 09-Aug-2017 at 18:11 GMT2017-08-09T18:11:21Z
If the world is our oyster, why does the government make it so hard to sell vitamins?
Its time the U.S. began promoting our scientificly-vetted nutrition standards to the rest of the world. International trade and exports of dietary supplements can help bolster a range of U.S. nutrition industries. We know consumers in other nations love supplements made in the USA. When we can export more products to other countriesparticularly those with even greater nutritional deficiencies than here in the U.S.we provide health benefits around the world and produce a healthy profit for U.S.-based companies.
So when the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) met last month in Geneva, the U.S. government had an opportunity to uphold the U.S. National Academy of Medicines Food and Nutrition Boards (NAM-FNB) potency recommendations and to promote exports of supplements. Under consideration for adoption were proposals to set new Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) requirements (analogous to U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes) for vitamins D and E. While much of the work of the Commission (a governing body formed by WHO and FAO) leads mere mortals eyes to glaze over, whats critical here is that once Codex adopts a NRV, participating countriesand there are over 180 of themare required to accept imports of dietary supplements containing nutrient levels up to those NRV levels, and cannot refuse them or reclassify them as drugs by invoking more protective, less scientific approaches.
But in this case, the U.S. delegation let the opportunity slip through its fingers.
Just last summer, the U.S. FDA issued new requirements for the Daily Values (DVs) that will be used onNutrition FactsandSupplement Factslabels in the U.S. FDA put the DVs for vitamin D at 20 micrograms/day and for vitamin E at 15 milligrams/day. The DVs represent those nutrient intake levels the U.S. government believes are necessary to assure the vast majority of Americans do not suffer from deficiency-related diseases like rickets, scurvy, pellagra and muscle weakness and are supposedly the result of the most recently available research on nutrient requirements. (The implementation of these rules have now been delayed for unrelated reasons, but no one is suggesting that the new DVs for vitamins D and E are too high; in fact, some U.S. scientists insist they are still way too low.)
During the Geneva meeting, Codex adopted new NRVs for vitamins D and E, at 515 micrograms/day and 9 milligrams/day, respectively. The U.S. delegation had an opportunity to make a case for higher potencies in line with NAM-FNB recommendations. At the very least, the U.S. delegation could have pushed for the Codex Commission to send the lower recommendation levels back to the Codex nutrition committee for reevaluation, urging that committee to use current scientific data that strongly supports higher levels. Instead, the U.S. delegation sat silent.
It appeared that the U.S delegation did not want to offend its international counterparts, so in the spirit of compromise, it allowed these ridiculously low NRVs to sail through unchallenged. What this means is that other countries looking for an easy excuse to favor their own products over U.S.-made supplements can invoke supposed safety concerns to exclude higher potency U.S.-made supplements or treat them like pharmaceuticals.
The U.S. delegation also offered that the NAM-FNB ought to have the final word in setting the DRVs, and until NAM-FNB has an opportunity to examine the most recent data on these nutrients, the U.S. could not endorse higher levels internationally. That argument collapses, however, because the state of current research was apparently strong enough for FDA to set new levels for vitamins D and E for the U.S.but not for the rest of the world? Maybe, instead, its time for the U.S. delegation to take a stronger role in defending our science-based nutrition decisions to the rest of the world, and perhaps aid the export markets as well.
The U.S. may have another chance very soon. Later this year the WHOs Nutrition Guideline Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG) is expected to release a new report on the health effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which will include an evaluation of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Many observers expect the report will be excessively conservative and restrained in evaluating the role PUFAs play in disease prevention and reduction, and will especially downplay the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids; that it will cautiously conclude that there is insufficient evidence to encourage more consumption of omega-3s (whether in fish or in supplements).
The U.S. delegation to Codex will have a chance to do the right thing if this plays out as some expect. The delegation can call the conclusions out as too fainthearted and watered-down. It can take a critical view of the manner in which NUGAG interprets the evidence to belittle health results. The delegation can demand NUGAG incorporate all the science around omega-3s in its analysis rather than cherry-picking only that data that supports a wishy-washy result. This is an opportunity for the U.S. government to take a stand. Theres still a pearl to be found in international trade of supplements.
About the authors:Steve Mister is president & CEO and Jim Griffiths, Ph.D., is vice president, scientific & international affairs, both at the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry.
Posted: August 8, 2017 at 4:09 am
Packaged like fish food, packed with healthy stuff.
The term superfood gets thrown around a lot, but what does it really mean? Beyond the arbitrary nature of the buzzword, it could really apply to any whole food containing potent nutrients that provide a broad range of health benefits. Some examples include matcha, broccoli sprouts and salmon. The only trouble with superfoods is that theyre often expensive because of their high quality and are sometimes hard to find. So while real food almost always tops supplements, if youre trying to include more than a couple and dont want to bust your budget, it can be hard going. Enter a growing range of powders, goos and such made from whole ingredients yet condensed down into a portable package. Despite the fact many are packaged too look like something youd drop in a gold fish bowl, we tested a few and here are the top three of the superfood supplement crop:
After being hurt in a bike accident in his second Ironman, Joel Einhorn needed a way to speed his recovery process. After a lot of self-experimentation he found the ancient healing practice of Ayurveda and then journeyed to India to work with expert Dr. V.A. Venugopal, who introduced him to a broad range of curative plants found in the Himalayas, particularly by those used by mountain guides. They settled on 30 of these to put into HANAH One, alongside ghee and sesame oil which helps your body process the phytochemicals. The result is a dark, smoky-tasting goo that looks like (this is for you Brits and Aussies) Marmite or Veggiemite. Ingredients like Indian gooseberry increase blood-flow, while Terminalia Bellirica increases rejuvenation. While the jar will last you longer, we found that the single-serve sachets of HANAH One are very convenient on the go, such as when on a camping trip above tree line. And if youre somewhere off the grid and forget to bring your coffee pot, HANAH One gives you an even, consistent energy boost despite being caffeine-free.
UB Super-founder Scott Kanyok scoured the planet for some of the most potent plant foods around and then spent a couple of years tinkering with them, settling on hormone-balancing maca root, cell regenerating camu camu and blood sugar-stabilizing acerola cherry. Then he added high quality grass fed whey to the final blend or a vegan protein blend if you cant or dont do dairy. A bonus is fulvic minerals that help other micronutrients cross cell walls to aid their absorption and reduce free radical damage. We like the chocolate flavor best, not least because the flavor comes from organic cacao instead of some artificial flavor. UB Super packets are handy if you want to mix up a post-workout shake at your gym and all the better if theres a fridge available so you can fill your shaker bottle with milk if youre going the whey route or an alternative like hemp milk if youre vegan (you can use water if theres no refrigeration available). If youre at home, we like adding in blueberries, raspberries or blackberries and a scoop of peanut or almond butter.
Amazing Grass Green Superfood
This one has been around for a while but of all the green blends weve tested, its still king of the hill. In addition to packing a potent veggie punch with the usual suspects broccoli, spinach and alfalfa, the folks at Amazing Grass have crammed in magnesium-loaded (anxiety reduction) chlorella, iron-rich spirulina and, as the company name suggests, B vitamin (energy metabolism) powerhouse barley grass and chlorophyll-stacked (blood-boosting) wheat grass. There are also gut health-promoting prebioitics and probiotics included, plus some extra fiber from flax seeds and apple pectin. Green Superfood comes in a range of flavors, including pineapple lemongrass, sweet berry and tangerine, but we still like the originals clean, earthy taste. One of the best uses we found for it is to boost the immune system while traveling, when its hard to find good quality veggies on-the-go (not least at the airport food court or on the plane). Just put a scoop in your water bottle, shake for a few seconds and youve got a good nutritional start to your journey. Plus, the container easily fits in a carry-on bag with no concerns about leaking.
Posted: at 4:09 am
The thyroid glands convert iodine - usually from food, but sometimes supplements - into thyroid hormones.
These hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine, help keep cells and the metabolic rate healthy.
According to the US Office of Dietary Supplements its important for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy.
You can get iodine from food sources, such as sea fish and shellfish.
The NHS suggest that its possible to get enough iodine from dietary sources. However, some people may need to take supplements.
It can also be found in plant foods - such as cereals and grains - but the level depends on amount of iodine in the soil.
Its recommended adults get 0.14mg a day.
The NHS suggest that its possible to get enough iodine from dietary sources.
However, some people may need to take supplements.
1 of 18
A-Z of vitamins and minerals
Indeed, its thought 40 per cent of the worldwide population is at risk of iodine deficiency.
Symptoms of this include lethargy, feeling cold, difficulty concentrating and unusual weight gain.
Reasons for deficiency might include bromine exposure, not having enough iodine-rich foods, soil depletion and drinking fluorinated water.
The Department of Health recommend that sticking to 0.5mg or less a day of iodine supplements is unlikely to be dangerous.
However, taking high doses of the mineral for long periods could harm the thyroid glands.
It can also cause a condition called hypothyroidism - when the thyroid produces too little thyroid hormone - and which is usually associated with deficiency.
A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who consumed 400mg in iodine supplements a day developed the condition.
According to the US Office of Dietary Supplements it can cause thyroid gland inflammation and thyroid cancer.
They state: Getting a very large dose of iodine (several grams, for example) can cause burning of the mouth, throat, and stomach; fever; stomach pain; nausea; vomiting; diarrhoea; weak pulse; and coma.
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Posted: August 5, 2017 at 6:18 am
Dr. Omar P. Haqqani
Dr. Omar P. Haqqani
Cardiovascular disease continues to be responsible for more deaths in the United States than any other disease. As physicians, we use medications to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, to control the workload of the heart and to increase blood and oxygen flow.
In some cases, we also use surgical procedures to address life-threatening cardiovascular conditions. But we are often asked by our patients if vitamin and mineral supplements could help in managing their condition or in generally improving their cardiovascular health.
This is a viable question, particularly since supplement labels make some very dramatic claims. While some research shows that supplements may help lower cholesterol or blood pressure, it remains unclear if they can prevent or improve cardiovascular disease. It's important for patients to understand the science of supplements and to have realistic expectations about how they might impact cardiovascular health.
There is a wide variety of supplements that claim cardiovascular benefits. Some of the most popular and the ones we are asked about most include:
Fish oil, garlic -- attributed to preventing plaque build-up in arteries, lowering blood pressure and increasing "good" cholesterol.
Antioxidants -- credited for repairing cell damage caused by free radicals, including the cells in our hearts and lungs.
Vitamin D, B vitamins -- said to be helpful in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease.
Fiber -- found to reduce the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from food.
Probiotics -- thought to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
It is true that all of these can positively impact cardiovascular health, but the ingredients that do the work are all found in food, and recommended daily levels can usually be maintained by simply eating properly.
Eating fish each week and cooking with garlic or garlic oil can help with plaque build-up and high cholesterol. Antioxidants can be found in berries, dark chocolate and dark green vegetables. Dairy products, egg yolks and whole grain cereals contain vitamins D and B which can lower risk of heart disease. And fiber and probiotics that help lower blood pressure are found in vegetables, fruits, beans and grains. Isolating these important nutrients in pill form rather than ingesting them through food is not advisable.
Food contains hundreds of ingredients that, together, promote good cardiovascular health. Because there is no supplement that can adequately replace all the benefits of food, it is best to use food as your primary source of nutrition, then supplement any gaps if necessary.
Assess your overall eating habits to determine if you can make small dietary changes that would allow you to avoid supplements. If there are one or two food groups you dislike, learn about the key nutrients in them and then choose a supplement to meet only those needs. If you eat a large amount of fast food and frequently drink low-nutrition drinks such as colas or tea, you should consider making significant overall changes in your diet before adding supplements.
Patients who have been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease should talk to their physicians prior to using any supplement, even a simple multivitamin. Certain supplements may actually be harmful to these patients since they can reduce the effectiveness of medications prescribed for heart failure, coronary artery disease or high cholesterol. In some instances, supplements such as L-carnitine and lecithin can even contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries of certain people.
If you are under the care of a physician for any cardiovascular condition, you must follow your doctor's advice and be certain to discuss the effect of any supplement you consider. If you do not suffer from a cardiovascular condition, seek advice from your family physician or a nutritionist who can help you make an informed choice.
The key to outstanding cardiovascular health is not consuming isolated nutrients in the form of a pill but, rather, eating more foods that contain all the nutrients our bodies need.
Dr. Omar P. Haqqani is the chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Vascular Health Clinics in Midland.
Posted: at 6:18 am
Its 2017and while kombucha, bone broth , and medicinal mushroom tonics are currently as common as a morning latte, theres one throwback wellness staple thats making a cool comeback. A new wave of nutritional beauty supplements is taking the market by storm, targeting skin health, hair sheen, and even eye strength. And although they may rely on science-backed ingredients and high-quality extracts, they look nothing like their clinical predecessors. Instead, they arrive in sleek glossy packs that are more likely to be stocked at a discerning beauty boutiquewhere you can shop them alongside your favorite lipsticks or lash-volumizing mascarasthan the local health food store.
Everyone wants to look better faster, says New York City nutritionist Robin Barrie Kaiden, M.S., R.D. of the desire to pop a single pill that can fast-track results. And while she cautions that there is no quick fixsupplements should be part of a 360 degree approach to a healthy diet and lifestyle, and taken under the supervision of a doctorthere are research-tested ingredients that may contribute to the big picture. Here, five of our favorite supplement blends for the months ahead.
THE AGE-DEFYING SKIN FIX German molecular scientist and celebrity dermatologist Barbara Sturms Skin Food is designed specifically to combat the visible signs of skin aging, thanks to one hero ingredient. Purslane, a superfood compound developed in collaboration with doctors at the University of Miami, helps fight inflammation while activating the bodys own youth enzymes. Additional ingredients like glucosamine (which boosts hyaluronic acid production), Japanese Knotweed Root Extract (which is packed with anti-aging Resveratrol), and high-quality antioxidants round out the complex, which promotes the skins ability to maintain its best elasticity, texture and tone.
THE STRESS-BUSTING BLEND Gwyneth Paltrows buzzy line of Goop vitamins, formulated in conjunction with Clean Program founder Dr. Alejandro Junger, have cheeky names. But the ingredients in the wellness brands Why Am I So Effing Tired? formula are no joke. The mix aims to combat adrenal fatigue, increase energy levels, and diminish stress with a combination of Vitamin B, Omega 3s (derived from anchovy, sardine, and mackerel) a Viviscal nd ancient Ayurvedic herbs like bacopa, amla, and holy basil.
THE SCREEN-VISION SAVER Surfing Net-A-Porter, scheduling catch-up time with friends, and ordering dinner in a matter of minutes from your Smartphone makes for efficient multi-tasking, but it may also contribute to screen-strained vision. With the average person spending up to ten hours a day in front of a screen, opthamologists have seen a surge of complaints ranging from blurred vision to light sensitivity. In an effort to combat the damaging free radicals that lead to macular degeneration, Occugards Blutein Protection supplement combines antioxidants like lutein, which helps to filter high-energy blue light, and vitamin A to boost allover eye health. Kaiden also suggests clients turn off electronics an hour before bedtime to let the eyes rest from a day of technological stress.
THE GOOD HAIR DAY GUARANTEE The hair growth supplement Viviscal is as common backstage as lash-plumping mascara these days, thanks to legions of supermodel testimonials. Now, celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin , whose clients include Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian West, is launching a Hollywood-bound supplement for dry, brittle, or thinning hair. Ouais Dry Hair pack promotes shine, hydration, and prevents breakage with a mix of vitamin E, amino acids, and biotin. Arriving in a compact silver foil sheet, they're sure to fit into even the tiniest of It-Girl clutches.
THE NEW SLEEPING PILL While there are a few dietary modifications that may help you get a good nights rest , Perricone MDs Sleep Booster aims to distill sleep maximizing vitamins into a single pill. Magnesium and melatonin can promote relaxation, explains Kaiden of the supplement's key ingredients. Also in each little ampoule: Extracts of ashwagandha, an adaptogen that has shown promise in helping the body cope with anxiety.
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CORRECTING and REPLACING Top 4 Emerging Trends Impacting the Global Dietary Supplements Market from 2017 … – Business Wire (press release)
Posted: at 6:18 am
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A multimedia asset accompanying this release dated Aug. 1, 2017, has been removed.
The release reads:
TOP 4 EMERGING TRENDS IMPACTING THE GLOBAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS MARKET FROM 2017-2021: TECHNAVIO
Technavios latest report on the global dietary supplements market provides an analysis of the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2017-2021. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
The global dietary supplements market is primarily driven by the aging population base and the growing health consciousness among consumers. Other driving forces include the need for preventive measures against sedentary lifestyle-related diseases, lack of nutrition-rich food intake, expensive healthcare costs, adherence to government dietary guidelines, and expansion in the retail space.
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The top three emerging trends driving the global dietary supplements market according to Technavio food and beverage research analysts are:
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Demand for the customized dietary supplements
Personalized wellness at its heart revolves around the consumer empowerment. Consumers now not only have access to more data about themselves than ever but with this data, they are empowered to take an active role in the management of their health and wellness, says Manjunath Reddy, a lead analyst at Technavio for research on food.
Providing consumers with personalized nutritional supplement recommendations based on their own goals and dietary needs will further aid in market growth. For instance, in place of buying the same multivitamin off the shelf that is sold to people with radically diverse needs, there will now be the ability to provide a highly customized vitamin, one that has been formulated to address the specific needs of the individual.
Growing focus on age-related dietary supplements
A new trend has developed wherein the dietary supplements required at each stage of the life are formulated and marketed. The categories designed according to the age are infants, toddlers and teenagers, adults, middle, and old age people. Most of the offerings are in the category of adults and old aged consumers. The adults section is now further categorized based on the gender and other purposes such as fitness training, pregnant women, and other types, adds Manjunath.
Most of the dietary supplement manufacturers for the adult consumers of the age group 20-40 years offers mainly probiotics and multi-vitamin supplements. While the supplements for 40 years and above often offers dietary supplements that are good for heart health and bone health.
New product type formulations
Innovative products such as gummy bears for adults, launched by various dietary supplements manufacturers, contribute to the consumption of the dietary supplements with attractive features of taste and the ease of consumption.
The conventional product forms such as tablets and capsules are available with new formulations in terms of chewable, which negate the need for water for intake of supplements. The chewable tablets are offered majorly as combination supplements and in flavors for maximum assimilation and absorption.
Increase in strategic alliances and partnerships
Strategic alliances and partnerships characterize the global dietary supplements market. Manufacturers, on one hand, collaborate with raw material suppliers to facilitate uninterrupted supply, while on the other hand, they partner with distributors of the food and beverage companies to ensure a steady market for dietary supplements. New product launches and expansions have also increased prominently.
There has been an emergence of events which has caused the strong competitor base in the dietary supplements industry in the last few years. The companies looking for the worldwide presence to increase their market share and acquire a large and strong consumer base have taken measures and initiatives in this regard. The major strategic alliances were acquisitions, investments, and collaborations.
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Posted: August 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm
GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D.Thirty-seven percent of Air Force personnel are currently using dietary supplements as part of a daily routine or workout plan, according to the Air Force Medical Operations Agency. Supplements often fall into a gray area, as they are neither vitamins nor drugs, and Airmen can easily be tricked into buying what they think will help them with weight gain or loss.
The problem is without proper research, products promising to increase workout endurance, decrease fat percentage or maintain muscle mass can be used improperly. With lack of research and improper use, consumers may face negative results, such as high blood pressure, dehydration and increased heart rate.
According to the Food and Drug Administration website, fda.gov, manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and ingredients are solely responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure they meet all the requirements of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, meaning there is no regulation of the supplement industry.
Denae Grove, 319th Medical Operational Squadron health promotion coordinator, said research is the most important thing any consumer can do before investing in supplements.
Grove recommended Airmen ask themselves if a supplement can do what it says it will.
If my goal is to get a certain vitamin or mineral, but none of the ingredients will truly help me, Im just throwing my money away, Grove said.
More importantly than wasting money, consumers who neglect to research products before using them may unintentionally cause harm to themselves.
Senior Airman Paul Dell, 319th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle operator, and supplement-consumer of five years said he witnessed first-hand the danger of misusing and abusing supplements.
There was one individual in our shop at one time that was taking something like Hydroxycut and wasnt eating, Dell said. He was just taking the pills and starving himself. He was on the verge of needing to go to the hospital.
Dell said he noticed, especially in Airmen, the waist measurement requirement in mandatory fitness assessments pressure men and women to try and lose weight in an unhealthy manner.
A lot of people think of supplements as magic powder, Dell said.
Both Dell and Grove encourage individuals looking to get in shape or lose weight to do so with a goal in mind.
Map out a plan to reach your goal, Grove said. Sometimes that includes supplements.
Dell and Grove encourage those who are interested in making a plan, to use websites like http://www.hprc-online.org/dietary-supplements/opss in order to thoroughly research effects and benefits of different dietary supplement products.
Dell and Grove acknowledge supplements can help on a fitness journey but agree that they are not always necessary.
There are healthy proteins available in turkey, eggs, sweet potatoes, brown rice and similar foods. Taking supplements doesnt automatically get someone in shape, Dell said. Anyone can take the best supplements, but if they eat fast food all the time theyll go nowhere.
Bottom line is to be an informed consumer, Grove explained. Know what youre paying for, and do the research before you spend your hard-earned money.
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Posted: August 3, 2017 at 10:14 am
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish. Fish oils contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), precursors of certain eicosanoids that are known to reduce inflammation in the body,and have other health benefits. (Creative Commons photo by Natesh Ramasamy/Flickr)
Interns this summer with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute are looking at food science in Kodiak, and one is investigating a new health food fad.
University of Alaska Fairbanks student Alina Fairbanks is doing market research focusing on nucleotides.
A lot people when I explain this to them theyre like fish oil. Well, kinda. We want to extract nucleotides from pollock, right now because the Pollock Conservation Cooperative is funding me, but we want to utilize the entire product of a fish. A lot of people are exploring new ideas.
Fairbanks said her research is on the powdered form, as opposed to pills or liquid, such as fish oil.
Theres three markets right now that Ive discovered, so theyll put nucleotides in baby formula because nucleotides are commonly found in breast milk so, in baby formula, animal food, and for humans dietary supplements. A lot of body builders will actually take them.
She said nucleotides are supposed to improve the immune system and help in cell regeneration.
There are two other interns with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute on the island.
Camron Christoffersen, who recently graduated Brigham Young University, is looking into the Food and Drug Administrations methods for killing parasites before consumption.
The third intern, UAF student Phil Ganz, is helping to document the process. He uses video to make this and other scientific topics accessible to the general public.
All three interns wrap up their time on the island at the end of the month.
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Posted: at 10:14 am
There is no period more critical in a childs development than its first few months of life, which is why so much attention is paid to what the mother, and the child, eats during that time. Nutritionists like to call it the golden window the slim period of time where a child, if he gets the right nutrients, can set out on a healthy path, or, if he doesnt, risks irreversible stunting and developmental delays . Eighty percent of the brain development happens in the first 1,000 days of a childs life, starting from conception, says nutritionist Sanjay Kumar Das.
And while getting the right nutrition whole grains, plenty of fruit and vegetables for both the mother and child, once he starts eating solids is relatively simple in most situations, conflict can make eating right all but impossible. This is the situation in northeastern Nigeria, where for the past seven years the Boko Haram militant group has waged a violent insurgency that has kept farmers from their fields, food away from markets, and families living off paltry food donations in camps for the internally displaced. While few here in the Dalori camp just outside the northeastern town of Maiduguri display the emaciated limbs and swollen bellies common among victims of outright famine, the little food they do get a once-daily gruel made of pulses and grains provides little more than the minimum calorie requirement, and almost no additional nutrition.
An estimated 5.1 million are malnourished in northeastern Nigeria. According to the United Nations Childrens Fund [UNICEF], more than half of them are children. Das, who is the nutrition manager for UNICEF's program in Maiduguri, says this is likely to have severe long-term consequences. The impact of acute malnutrition, which happens when a child is suddenly deprived of food, can be reversed relatively easily with emergency food rations and supplements. Chronic malnutrition occurs when a child eats enough to stop from starving, but doesnt get sufficient nutrients to develop properly, especially in the vital first two years of life. That golden window is when all a childs cognitive and physical development happens, says Das. If children dont get good nutrition from an early age, they are vulnerable. The child can suffer from disease and stunting, launching the cycle of poverty.
Indeed, chronic malnutrition can hinder a nations economy. Stunting early in a childs life has educational, income, and productivity consequences that reach far into adulthood, the World Bank writes in its most recent Nutrition Overview.
Children who are deficient in essential micronutrients have on average 13 fewer IQ points. Similarly, stunted children are more likely to start school later, perform more poorly on cognitive functioning tests, and are more likely to drop out of school. Adults who were stunted as children earn 20% less than non-stunted adults and are 33% more likely to live in poverty, the report says. It concludes that malnutrition can reduce GDP in some countries in Asia and Africa by as much as 2% to 11% each year.
Which is why organizations like UNICEF and other humanitarian aid agencies place such a high priority on the first 1,000 days, from the point of conception to the child's second birthday. Childhood stunting, once it has set in, cannot be reversed. But it can be prevented.
Thats where good pre-natal health and education comes in, says Marylyne Malomba, a nutrition consultant for the International Medical Corps, a humanitarian organization that runs several food and nutrition programs in Maiduguri, which was once at the center of the insurgency, and is now home to some 700,000 people displaced by the war. The IMC provides food, supplements and education for mothers and children in weekly clinics around the city and in several of the camps, with a special emphasis on pregnant women.
Malnutrition starts from the womb, says Malomba. If the mother has not stocked up enough nutrients, then the child will not get enough. Limbs, organs; even brain development is affected with lack of nutrients when the child is still a fetus. So its important to understand that the health of the mother at the point of pregnancy is one of the most important places to start taking care of the child. And if a mother is well fed during her pregnancy, she will most likely have enough breast milk to feed her child for the first six months another key element of early childhood nutrition.
The problem is that in a crisis situation like the one in northeastern Nigeria, or in Somalia, Yemen or South Sudan, other countries on the brink of famine , it is all but impossible for new and pregnant mothers to obtain the vital nutrients that round out the right diet for those first 1,000 days. Emergency food distributions usually include grains, pulses and oil, but fresh vegetables and fruit are too difficult to transport and store. And even if the families could afford to buy fresh produce in the markets, they arent always available, especially if conflict is keeping farmers from their fields. We need these mothers to eat vegetables. We need them to eat fruits," Malomba says. "And these are the items that we are not able to supply in an emergency context.
Nutritionists and scientists are working to develop supplements that can provide those essential micronutrients for use in future emergencies, but for the moment, nothing beats the fresh fruits and vegetables that are so hard to find in places like Dalori, or the scores of other IDP camps across northern Nigeria.
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