May 24, 2010

Link Found Between Calcium and Boys’ Metabolism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Administrator @ 11:13 pm

From Reuters Health Information
Link Found Between Calcium and Boys’ Metabolism

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) May 12 – Boys who get plenty of calcium in their diets may use more calories at rest compared with boys who consume less calcium, a new study suggests.

The findings, reported online April 19th in the Journal of Pediatrics, may help explain why some studies have linked higher calcium intake to lower body-fat levels in children and adults.

For the study, Dr. Jose Fernandez at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues looked at the relationship between children’s reported calcium intake and their resting energy expenditure.

Calcium is known to help regulate metabolism, so if it has effects on body fat accumulation, it may do so by influencing calorie use at rest, the researchers reasoned.

The researchers collected detailed dietary information from a multiethnic cohort of 315 children ages 7 to 12. They recorded the children’s body fat levels and, after an overnight stay in the research lab, their resting calorie expenditure.

Overall, the researchers found, there was no strong direct relationship between the children’s calcium intake and their levels of body fat. There was, however, a correlation between higher calcium intake and higher resting metabolism. And a higher resting metabolism, in turn, was related to lower body-fat levels.

When the researchers looked at boys and girls separately, they found that the link between calcium and resting metabolism was apparent only in boys.

The findings, according to Dr. Fernandez, suggest that calcium may affect body-fat accumulation via its influence on resting energy expenditure.

It’s not clear why the association was seen only in boys. “We think it may have to do with reproductive hormones,” Dr. Fernandez said, “but we don’t know yet.”

Estrogen, he and his colleagues note, is known to encourage fat accumulation, while testosterone drives the buildup of lean body tissue.

The ultimate impact of calcium on body weight, however, remains uncertain. Many factors — from genetics to overall diet and exercise levels to socioeconomics — influence a person’s risk of becoming overweight or obese, and the relative importance of calcium is unknown.

Much more research is needed, Dr. Fernandez said, including studies into how calcium might affect body fat differently according to age, sex and race or ethnicity.

Journal of Pediatrics 2010.

Reuters Health Information © 2010 

May 8, 2010

10 Nutrition Myths Debunked

Filed under: By Tamra Rosenfeld — Administrator @ 4:52 pm

Tamra Rosenfeld Tamra Rosenfeld

Myth: All foods should be low fat.
Fact: Fat is an important part of the diet and should account for 25-30% calories. Some fat can actually lower your bad cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Choose foods low in saturated fat and Trans fat such as high fat meat, dairy products, and baked goods. Foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat such as nuts, oils, and seeds should be included in the diet to lower cholesterol.

Myth: I should eliminate carbohydrates from my diet to lose weight.
Fact: 50-65% of your diet should consist of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate rich foods include fruit, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. By eliminating carbohydrates you are eliminating essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and cancer fighting chemicals from the diet. Carbohydrates are also the preferred source of fuel for your body and brain.

Myth: Artificially sweetened food and beverages will help me lose weight.
Fact: Several studies have recently linked artificial sweeteners to weight gain. Consuming artificial sweeteners may work to increase appetite and contribute to overeating.

Myth: If I am regular I do not need to add fiber to my diet.
Fact: Fiber intake should be between 25-35 grams daily and the average American consumes 10 grams daily. Fiber can help with weight loss by slowing digestion and increasing satiety, reduce cholesterol, improve the health of the colon, and help regulate blood glucose.

Myth: I need to eat more protein when I exercise.
Fact: Most Americans consume 2-3 times more protein than is actually needed. Protein intake for moderate exercise should be between 0.8-1.0 grams per kilogram of body weight.

Myth: Protein shakes and bars are a great snack in between meals.
Fact: Protein shakes and bars are made to replace meals and are often high in calories, fat, and sugar. Consuming these products regularly can lead to weight gain. Instead snack on fruit, vegetables, or low fat dairy products such as yogurt or cheese.

Myth: If I don’t have high blood pressure I don’t need to limit salt.
Fact: Even those with normal blood pressure should limit sodium to 2400 mg per day. Increased amounts of sodium can make your kidneys work harder to eliminate it. If your kidneys can’t eliminate enough sodium, it can accumulate in your blood. Because sodium attracts water, blood volume can increase which raises blood pressure. Too much sodium can add to calcium excretion which can lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Myth: I should eat as few calories as possible to help me lose weight.
Fact: Eating too few calories can actually slow down your metabolism and cause weight gain in the long term. In addition under eating can lead to nutrient deficiencies and loss of lean body mass.

Myth: If I have diabetes I should avoid eating fruit.
Fact: Counting carbohydrates is an important part of diabetes management. How much carbohydrate consumed is more important than the type. One small fruit counts as one carbohydrate choice. Fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and cancer fighting chemicals and should be a component in all diets.

Myth: Taking vitamin and mineral supplements is the same as getting them from food.
Fact: Vitamins and mineral supplements are important if there is an issue with getting proper nutrition from food or if there you have any absorption issues. For the average person consuming a wide variety of foods from all food groups will provide the proper vitamin and mineral amount. Supplements may not be absorbed as well as nutrients in food. Supplements also do not contain some compounds that are important for prevention of heart disease and cancer.

May 6, 2010

Proper Nutrition Essential in Comprehensive Cancer Care

Filed under: Uncategorized — Administrator @ 10:59 pm

By Jack P. Bleeker

Proper nutrition is important for all individuals, but can be critically important for those who are battling cancer. For this reason, proper nutritional regimens are now being included in comprehensive cancer treatment plans and are a staple of integrative oncology. While proper nutrition cannot, in and of itself, cure cancers, it can provide strength and health to a patient who will need it as they battle their disease. It is not only symptoms of aggressive cancers like mesothelioma, but also their treatment with methods like chemotherapy that will demand proper nutrition.

Malnutrition can be extremely harmful to a cancer treatment regimen, and must be kept in mind when considering each individual patient’s treatment roadmap. Cachexia and anorexia are common causes of malnutrition in cancer patients. Nearly all patients who develop extensive disease will battle anorexia, with common symptoms being weight loss and loss of appetite. Cachexia is a debilitating wasting syndrome causing weakness and loss of weight and is particularly common in those battling cancers of the lung (such as pleural mesothelioma), pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract. Cachexia is similar to starvation in healthy individuals, but cancer patient’s bodies are unable to make the adjustments to slow down the use of nutrients.

Proper eating habits for those battling cancer and undergoing cancer treatment can help fight the breakdown of muscle strength, enhance tissue reconstruction, and stave off infection in those with compromised immune health. Those who are able to maintain their health through nutrition and exercise will typically be eligible to receive more aggressive dosages of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Each individual patient’s treatment plan will require the advice of cancer specialists and physicians who are able to make an assessment of the patient’s overall health. Dr. David Sugarbaker of the Brigham and Womens Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA will work closely with each of his patients battling thoracic cancers, including malignant mesothelioma, and develop an individual mesothelioma treatment guide, including recommendations on proper cancer nutrition.

While malignant mesothelioma is far from the only cancer that demands proper nutrition in patients, it is particularly important given the current lack of a mesothelioma cure in those patients battling aggressive later-stage disease. That being said, all cancer patients will benefit from the strength and overall health that proper and sound recommendations doctors and nutritional specialists can provide them with. Cancer patients as well as family members and caregivers seeking further information about proper nutrition in cancer care should seek the advice of these individuals and apply them to a patient’s particular circumstances and needs.
National Cancer Institute. Overview: Nutrition in Cancer Care 2005
Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University. Nutritional Resources Overview . Boston, MA 2009

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