Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Essential nutrient


Vegetables are important sources of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals in the diets of children. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National School Lunch Program has new requirements for weekly servings of vegetable subgroups as well as beans and peas. This study estimated the cost impact of meeting the USDA requirements using 2008 national prices for 98 vegetables, fresh, frozen, and canned. Food costs were calculated per 100 grams, per 100 calories, and per edible cup. Rank 6 score, a nutrient density measure was based on six nutrients: dietary fiber; potassium; magnesium; and vitamins A, C, and K. Individual nutrient costs were measured as the monetary cost of 10% daily value of each nutrient per cup equivalent. ANOVAs with post hoc tests showed that beans and starchy vegetables, including white potatoes, were cheaper per 100 calories than were dark-green and deep-yellow vegetables. Fresh, frozen, and canned vegetables had similar nutrient profiles and provided comparable nutritional value. However, less than half (n = 46) of the 98 vegetables listed by the USDA were were consumed >5 times by children and adolescents in the 2003-4 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey database. For the more frequently consumed vegetables, potatoes and beans were the lowest-cost sources of potassium and fiber. These new metrics of affordable nutrition can help food service and health professionals identify those vegetable subgroups in the school lunch that provide the best nutritional value per penny.

Concepts: Nutrition, Nutrient, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Vegetable, Dietary fiber, Potato, National School Lunch Act


BACKGROUND: Vitamin K2 contributes to bone and cardiovascular health. Therefore, two vitamin K2 homologues, menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7), have been used as nutrients by the food industry and as nutritional supplements to support bone and cardiovascular health. However, little is known about the bioavailability of nutritional MK-4. To investigate MK-4 and MK-7 bioavailability, nutritional doses were administered to healthy Japanese women. FINDINGS: Single dose administration of MK-4 (420 mug; 945 nmol) or MK-7 (420 mug; 647 nmol) was given in the morning together with standardized breakfast. MK-7 was well absorbed and reached maximal serum level at 6 h after intake and was detected up to 48 h after intake. MK-4 was not detectable in the serum of all subjects at any time point. Consecutive administration of MK-4 (60 mug; 135 nmol) or MK-7 (60 mug; 92 nmol) for 7 days demonstrated that MK-4 supplementation did not increase serum MK-4 levels. However, consecutive administration of MK-7 increased serum MK-7 levels significantly in all subjects. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that MK-4 present in food does not contribute to the vitamin K status as measured by serum vitamin K levels. MK-7, however significantly increases serum MK-7 levels and therefore may be of particular importance for extrahepatic tissues.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Nutrient, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Dietary supplement, Food, Dietary mineral


BACKGROUND: Strenuous physical activity can alter the status of folic acid, a vitamin directly associated with homocysteine (Hcy); alterations in this nutrient are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Handball players are a population at risk for nutrient deficiency because of poor dietary habits. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to evaluate nutritional status for macronutrients and folic acid in members of a high-performance handball team, and determine the effect of a nutritional intervention with folic acid supplementation and education. DESIGN: A total of 14 high-performance handball players were monitored by recording training time, training intensity (according to three levels of residual heart rate (RHR): <60%, 60%--80% and >80%), and subjective perceived exertion (RPE) during a 4-month training period. Nutritional, laboratory and physical activity variables were recorded at baseline (Week 0), after 2 months of dietary supplementation with 200 mug folic acid (50% of the recommended daily allowance) (Week 8) and after 2 months without supplementation (Week 16). We compared training load and analyzed changes in plasma concentrations of Hcy before and after the intervention. RESULTS: Bivariate analysis showed a significant negative correlation (P < 0.01) between Hcy and folic acid concentrations (r = -0.84) at Week 8, reflecting a significant change in Hcy concentration (P < 0.05) as a result of hyperhomocysteinemia following the accumulation of high training loads. At Week 16 we observed a significant negative correlation (P < 0.01) between Hcy concentration and training time with an RHR <60%, indicating that aerobic exercise avoided abrupt changes in Hcy and may thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular accidents in high-performance athletes. CONCLUSION: Integral monitoring and education are needed for practitioners of handball sports to record their folic acid status, a factor that directly affects Hcy metabolism. Folic acid supplementation may protect athletes against alterations that can lead to cardiovascular events related to exertion during competition.

Concepts: Protein, Nutrition, Cardiovascular disease, Physical exercise, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Folic acid, Homocysteine


BACKGROUND: Consumption of 100% orange juice (OJ) has been positively associated with nutrient adequacy and diet quality, with no increased risk of overweight/obesity in children; however, no one has examined these factors in adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the association of 100% OJ consumption with nutrient adequacy, diet quality, and risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MetS) in a nationally representative sample of adults. METHODS: Data from adults 19+ years of age (n = 8,861) participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006 were used. The National Cancer Institute method was used to estimate the usual intake (UI) of 100% OJ consumption, selected nutrients, and food groups. Percentages of the population below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or above the Adequate Intake (AI) were determined. Diet quality was measured by the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005). Covariate adjusted logistic regression was used to determine if consumers had a lower odds ratio of being overweight or obese or having risk factors of MetS or MetS. RESULTS: Usual per capita intake of 100% OJ was 50.3 ml/d. Among consumers (n = 2,310; 23.8%), UI was 210.0 ml/d. Compared to non-consumers, consumers had a higher (p < 0.05) percentage (% +/- SE) of the population meeting the EAR for vitamin A (39.7 +/- 2.5 vs 54.0 +/- 1.2), vitamin C (0.0 +/- 0.0 vs 59.0 +/- 1.4), folate (5.8 +/- 0.7 vs 15.1 +/- 0.9), and magnesium (51.6 +/- 1.6 vs 63.7 +/- 1.2). Consumers were also more likely to be above the AI for potassium (4.1 +/- 0.8 vs 1.8 +/- 0.2). HEI-2005 was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in consumers (55.0 +/- 0.4 vs 49.7 +/- 0.3). Consumers also had higher intakes of total fruit, fruit juice, whole fruit, and whole grain. Consumers had a lower (p < 0.05) mean body mass index (27.6 +/- 0.2 vs 28.5 +/- 0.1), total cholesterol levels (197.6 +/- 1.2 vs 200.8 +/- 0.75 mg/dL), and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels (112.5 +/- 1.4 vs 116.7 +/- 0.93 mg/dL). Finally, compared to non-consumers of 100% OJ, consumers were 21% less likely to be obese and male consumers were 36% less likely to have MetS. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that moderate consumption of 100% OJ should be encouraged to help individuals meet the USDA daily recommendation for fruit intake and as a component of a healthy diet.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Health, Nutrition, Obesity, Nutrient, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Healthy diet


Evidence that atopic eczema partly originates in utero is increasing, with some studies linking the risk of developing the condition with aspects of maternal diet during pregnancy. Nicotinamide, a naturally occurring nutrient that is maintained through the dietary intakes of vitamin B3 and tryptophan has been used in the treatment of some skin conditions including atopic eczema.

Concepts: Nutrition, Death, Niacin, Fat, Essential nutrient, Eczema, Psoriasis, Atopic dermatitis


Previous research has estimated that wasted food in the United States contains between 1,249 and 1,400 kcal per capita per day, but little is known about amounts of other nutrients embedded in the 31% to 40% of food that is wasted.

Concepts: Nutrition, United States, Nutrient, Essential nutrient, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Per Capita, Nutrients



National nutrition guidelines emphasize consumption of powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV), foods most strongly associated with reduced chronic disease risk; yet efforts to define PFV are lacking. This study developed and validated a classification scheme defining PFV as foods providing, on average, 10% or more daily value per 100 kcal of 17 qualifying nutrients. Of 47 foods studied, 41 satisfied the powerhouse criterion and were more nutrient-dense than were non-PFV, providing preliminary evidence of the validity of the classification scheme. The proposed classification scheme is offered as a tool for nutrition education and dietary guidance.

Concepts: Nutrition, Plant, Nutrient, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Nitrogen, Vegetable, Nutrient density


Although breakfast consumption is widely considered to be an important component of a healthy lifestyle, few UK studies have examined differences in nutrient intakes between breakfast consumers and breakfast skippers among children and adolescents. We investigated associations between breakfast skipping in 4-18-year-olds and their nutrient intakes using data from the UK’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme. Dietary data were derived from 4-d estimated food diaries of 802 children aged 4-10 years and 884 children aged 11-18 years (1686 in total). Daily nutrient intakes of children with different breakfast habits were compared by one-way ANCOVA adjusting for relevant covariates (sex, age, ethnicity, equivalised household income and BMI). Within-person analysis was carried out on children with an irregular breakfast habit (n 879) comparing nutrient intakes on breakfast days with those on non-breakfast days using repeated measures ANCOVA. We observed that the overall nutritional profile of the children in terms of fibre and micronutrient intake was superior in frequent breakfast consumers (micronutrients: folate, Ca, Fe and I (P<0·01)) and, for the 4-10 years age group, on breakfast days (micronutrients: folate, vitamin C, Ca and I (P<0·01)). Also, significantly higher proportions of breakfast-consuming children met their reference nutrient intakes of folate, vitamin C, Ca, Fe and I compared with breakfast skippers (χ 2 analysis, P<0·001). Our study adds to the body of data linking breakfast consumption with higher quality dietary intake in school-age children, supporting the promotion of breakfast as an important element of a healthy dietary pattern in children.

Concepts: Nutrition, Nutrient, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Dietary mineral, United Kingdom, Diet, Micronutrient


Ensuring that a woman is well-nourished, both before and during pregnancy, is crucial for the health of the woman and that of the unborn child.(1) Maternal deficiency in key nutrients has been linked to pre-eclampsia, restricted fetal growth, neural tube defects, skeletal deformity and low birth weight.(1,2) Many nutritional supplements containing vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients are heavily marketed to women for all stages of pregnancy. However, much of the evidence for vitamin supplementation in pregnancy comes from studies carried out in low-income countries,(3) where women are more likely to be undernourished or malnourished than within the UK population. The challenges lie in knowing which supplements are beneficial and in improving uptake among those at most need. Here we summarise current UK guidance for vitamin supplementation in pregnancy and review the evidence behind it.

Concepts: Nutrition, Nutrient, Vitamin, Essential nutrient, Dietary supplement, Dietary mineral, Folic acid, Malnutrition