Nutrition Close-Up, Winter 2015

Nutrition Close-Up, Winter 2015 (pdf, 1.9 MB)

Articles in this Issue…

Can culinary medicine succeed where diet drugs don’t?

By John La Puma, MD

Recent approvals of obesity drugs Qsymia (Vivus) and Belviq (Arena) may help clinicians seeking solutions for heir overweight patients. But many physicians still remember Phen-Fen with a shudder: heart valve abnormalities in young women put a stop to that off label combo in 1997.

Nutrition research: a messy science

By Tia M. Rains, PhD

Imagine that you’ve just identified a substance with preliminary evidence that suggests it is effective in preventing a particular disease. In this case, let’s pretend that the condition is type 2 diabetes (T2D) and that the substance is an extract. To test whether the extract prevents the onset of T2D, you would conduct a randomized, controlled intervention trial (RCT). Those individuals at risk for the development of T2D (e.g., those with prediabetes) would be recruited and upon meeting the prespecified entry criteria, they would be randomized to receive a capsule that contained either the extract or an identical-looking capsule that acted as a placebo.

Omega-3 fatty acids: are we getting enough?

By James D. House, PhD

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine published in 2002 official estimates of the human requirements for fatty acids.1 At that time, only two fatty acids, the major constituents of fats and oils, were deemed to be essential for the healthy, adult human population: linoleic acid (18:2n-6), an omega-6 fatty acid; and ?-linolenic acid (18:3n-3), an omega-3 fatty acid. These fatty acids are considered essential because
they cannot be synthesized by the body, and must therefore be supplied through the diet. Linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, is found in most dietary fats and oils, and is particularly high in corn and soybean oils. ?-linolenic acid (ALA) is less prevalent in the diet, with potential sources including flaxseed and flax oil, hemp oil and canola oil, as well as certain animal products, including eggs.

Easy habit-changing tips for a healthier you in 2015

By David C. Madsen, PhD

It’s that time of year. Men and women everywhere are feverishly trying to pinpoint their “bad” eating and exercise habits and pledging to adopt a healthier lifestyle. It’s 2015, a new year and a new you! Unfortunately, this habit-changing alarm bell probably went off at the same time last year. And quite likely the year before that, too.

Translating research into public policy can be tricky

By Nicole Hartnett

This is a short account of science…not about how it is done but more about what is done with its results. It is also about learning from our mistakes. Will we? Nina Teicholz wrote in the Fall 2014 issue of ENC’s Nutrition Close-Up about the seminal work of Dr. Ancel Keys and colleagues. She recounted their thoughtful and innovative studies on the relationships between diet and health in the 1950s, in this case heart disease (HD).

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