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Concept: Nutrient


Nutrient timing is a popular nutritional strategy involves the consumption of combinations of nutrients–primarily protein and carbohydrate–in and around an exercise session. Some have claimed that this approach can produce dramatic improvements in body composition. It has even been postulated that the timing of nutritional consumption may be more important than the absolute daily intake of nutrients. The post-exercise period is widely considered the most critical part of nutrient timing. Theoretically, consuming the proper ratio of nutrients during this time not only initiates the rebuilding of damaged muscle tissue and restoration of energy reserves, but it does so in a supercompensated fashion that enhances both body composition and exercise performance. Several researchers have made reference to an anabolic “window of opportunity” whereby a limited time exists after training to optimize training-related muscular adaptations. However, the importance - and even the existence - of a post-exercise ‘window’ can vary according to a number of factors. Not only is nutrient timing research open to question in terms of applicability, but recent evidence has directly challenged the classical view of the relevance of post-exercise nutritional intake with respect to anabolism. Therefore, the purpose of this paper will be twofold: 1) to review the existing literature on the effects of nutrient timing with respect to post-exercise muscular adaptations, and; 2) to draw relevant conclusions that allow practical, evidence-based nutritional recommendations to be made for maximizing the anabolic response to exercise.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Muscle, Nutrient, Vitamin, Ontology, Muscular system, Existence


Among trapping mechanisms in carnivorous plants, those termed ‘active’ have especially fascinated scientists since Charles Darwin’s early works because trap movements are involved. Fast snap-trapping and suction of prey are two of the most spectacular examples for how these plants actively catch animals, mainly arthropods, for a substantial nutrient supply. We show that Drosera glanduligera, a sundew from southern Australia, features a sophisticated catapult mechanism: Prey animals walking near the edge of the sundew trigger a touch-sensitive snap-tentacle, which swiftly catapults them onto adjacent sticky glue-tentacles; the insects are then slowly drawn within the concave trap leaf by sticky tentacles. This is the first detailed documentation and analysis of such catapult-flypaper traps in action and highlights a unique and surprisingly complex mechanical adaptation to carnivory.

Concepts: Plant, Animal, Nutrient, Carnivorous plant, Charles Darwin, Drosera, Tentacle, Droseraceae


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


In order to reduce soil erosion and desertification, the Sloping Land Conversion Program has been conducted in China for more than 15 years, and large areas of farmland have been converted to forest and grassland. However, this large-scale vegetation-restoration project has faced some key problems (e.g. soil drying) that have limited the successful development of the current ecological-recovery policy. Therefore, it is necessary to know about the land use, vegetation, and soil, and their inter-relationships in order to identify the suitability of vegetation restoration. This study was conducted at the watershed level in the ecologically vulnerable region of the Loess Plateau, to evaluate the land suitability using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The results showed that (1) the area unsuitable for crops accounted for 73.3% of the watershed, and the main factors restricting cropland development were soil physical properties and soil nutrients; (2) the area suitable for grassland was about 86.7% of the watershed, with the remaining 13.3% being unsuitable; (3) an area of 3.95 km(2), accounting for 66.7% of the watershed, was unsuitable for forest. Overall, the grassland was found to be the most suitable land-use to support the aims of the Sloping Land Conversion Program in the Liudaogou watershed. Under the constraints of soil water shortage and nutrient deficits, crops and forests were considered to be inappropriate land uses in the study area, especially on sloping land. When selecting species for re-vegetation, non-native grass species with high water requirements should be avoided so as to guarantee the sustainable development of grassland and effective ecological functioning. Our study provides local land managers and farmers with valuable information about the inappropriateness of growing trees in the study area along with some information on species selection for planting in the semi-arid area of the Loess Plateau.

Concepts: Nutrient, Soil, Erosion, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Analytical hierarchy, Land use, Geomorphology, Deforestation


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


Insufficient data exist for accurate estimation of global nutrient supplies. Commonly used global datasets contain key weaknesses: 1) data with global coverage, such as the FAO food balance sheets, lack specific information about many individual foods and no information on micronutrient supplies nor heterogeneity among subnational populations, while 2) household surveys provide a closer approximation of consumption, but are often not nationally representative, do not commonly capture many foods consumed outside of the home, and only provide adequate information for a few select populations. Here, we attempt to improve upon these datasets by constructing a new model-the Global Expanded Nutrient Supply (GENuS) model-to estimate nutrient availabilities for 23 individual nutrients across 225 food categories for thirty-four age-sex groups in nearly all countries. Furthermore, the model provides historical trends in dietary nutritional supplies at the national level using data from 1961-2011. We determine supplies of edible food by expanding the food balance sheet data using FAO production and trade data to increase food supply estimates from 98 to 221 food groups, and then estimate the proportion of major cereals being processed to flours to increase to 225. Next, we estimate intake among twenty-six demographic groups (ages 20+, both sexes) in each country by using data taken from the Global Dietary Database, which uses nationally representative surveys to relate national averages of food consumption to individual age and sex-groups; for children and adolescents where GDD data does not yet exist, average calorie-adjusted amounts are assumed. Finally, we match food supplies with nutrient densities from regional food composition tables to estimate nutrient supplies, running Monte Carlo simulations to find the range of potential nutrient supplies provided by the diet. To validate our new method, we compare the GENuS estimates of nutrient supplies against independent estimates by the USDA for historical US nutrition and find very good agreement for 21 of 23 nutrients, though sodium and dietary fiber will require further improvement.

Concepts: Nutrition, Eating, Nutrient, Food, Approximation, Estimation, Food security, Micronutrient


Grain foods may play an important role in delivering nutrients to the diet of children and adolescents. The present study determined grain food sources of energy/nutrients in U.S. children and adolescents using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012. Analyses of grain food sources were conducted using a 24-h recall in participants 2-18 years old (N = 6109). Sources of nutrients contained in grain foods were determined using U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrient composition databases and excluded mixed dishes. Mean energy and nutrient intakes from the total diet and from various grain foods were adjusted for the sample design using appropriate weights. All grains provided 14% ± 0.2% kcal/day (263 ± 5 kcal/day), 22.5% ± 0.3% (3 ± 0.1 g/day) dietary fiber, 39.3% ± 0.5% (238 ± 7 dietary folate equivalents (DFE)/day) folate and 34.9% ± 0.5% (5.6 ± 0.1 mg/day) iron in the total diet in children and adolescents. The current analyses showed that certain grain foods, in particular breads, rolls and tortillas, ready-to-eat cereals and quick breads and bread products, are meaningful contributors of folate, iron, thiamin, niacin and dietary fiber, a nutrient of public health concern as outlined by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Thus, specific grain foods contribute to nutrient density and have the potential to increase the consumption of several under-consumed nutrients in children and adolescents.

Concepts: Health, Nutrition, Nutrient, Vitamin, Food, Cereal, Maize, Bread


Lifestyle choices influence 20-40 % of adult peak bone mass. Therefore, optimization of lifestyle factors known to influence peak bone mass and strength is an important strategy aimed at reducing risk of osteoporosis or low bone mass later in life. The National Osteoporosis Foundation has issued this scientific statement to provide evidence-based guidance and a national implementation strategy for the purpose of helping individuals achieve maximal peak bone mass early in life. In this scientific statement, we (1) report the results of an evidence-based review of the literature since 2000 on factors that influence achieving the full genetic potential for skeletal mass; (2) recommend lifestyle choices that promote maximal bone health throughout the lifespan; (3) outline a research agenda to address current gaps; and (4) identify implementation strategies. We conducted a systematic review of the role of individual nutrients, food patterns, special issues, contraceptives, and physical activity on bone mass and strength development in youth. An evidence grading system was applied to describe the strength of available evidence on these individual modifiable lifestyle factors that may (or may not) influence the development of peak bone mass (Table 1). A summary of the grades for each of these factors is given below. We describe the underpinning biology of these relationships as well as other factors for which a systematic review approach was not possible. Articles published since 2000, all of which followed the report by Heaney et al. [1] published in that year, were considered for this scientific statement. This current review is a systematic update of the previous review conducted by the National Osteoporosis Foundation [1]. Lifestyle Factor Grade Macronutrients  Fat D  Protein C Micronutrients  Calcium A  Vitamin D B  Micronutrients other than calcium and vitamin D D Food Patterns  Dairy B  Fiber C  Fruits and vegetables C  Detriment of cola and caffeinated beverages C Infant Nutrition  Duration of breastfeeding D  Breastfeeding versus formula feeding D  Enriched formula feeding D Adolescent Special Issues  Detriment of oral contraceptives D  Detriment of DMPA injections B  Detriment of alcohol D  Detriment of smoking C Physical Activity and Exercise  Effect on bone mass and density A  Effect on bone structural outcomes B Considering the evidence-based literature review, we recommend lifestyle choices that promote maximal bone health from childhood through young to late adolescence and outline a research agenda to address current gaps in knowledge. The best evidence (grade A) is available for positive effects of calcium intake and physical activity, especially during the late childhood and peripubertal years-a critical period for bone accretion. Good evidence is also available for a role of vitamin D and dairy consumption and a detriment of DMPA injections. However, more rigorous trial data on many other lifestyle choices are needed and this need is outlined in our research agenda. Implementation strategies for lifestyle modifications to promote development of peak bone mass and strength within one’s genetic potential require a multisectored (i.e., family, schools, healthcare systems) approach.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Bone, Vitamin D, Nutrition, Systematic review, Calcium, Nutrient, Adolescence


Dietary supplements, such as herbal or complementary nutritional products and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), are commonly used in the United States, yet national data on adverse effects are limited.

Concepts: Nutrition, United States, Fat, Nutrient, Vitamin, Dietary mineral, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state