vitaminD26 April 2010

Let's take a look at some recent research nutrition research and what it means for you.

Vitamin D Absorption and Food
The Study (published in The Journal of Bone and Mineral Research): The researchers looked at 17 patients who were taking vitamin D supplements. They asked them to take their supplements with their largest meal of the day. They measured their blood levels of vitamin D before and after they began taking their D at with their largest meal.

      The Results: When the subjects took their vitamin D with their largest meal, their blood levels of vitamin D increased by 50%. Levels increased from an average of 30 ng/ml to 47 ng/ml after the participants made the switch. The participants were on a variety of vitamin D doses.

      What Should You Do: This was a very small study so it's hard to say the results are certain. But, this is one of those "can't hurt" situations. So my advice is to take your vitamin D with a meal to get better absorption.

      For More Information:

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Weight Gain
  The Study (published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior):
The researchers fed rats both high fructose corn syrup and sugar and then looked at how much weight they gained.

      The Results: The researchers concluded that the rats who got high fructose corn syrup gained more weight than the ones who got sugar. But other scientists are criticizing the study pointing out many flaws in the design and in the researcher's conclusions.

      What You Should Do: The results of rat studies don't necessarily apply to humans. Other studies show no difference between high fructose corn syrup and sugar. In some ways, this is a false debate. We need to eat less added sugar - regardless of the type. If all Americans lowered their sugar intake closer to advised levels, than even getting some of it as high fructose corn syrup wouldn't really matter.

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Some High Carb Foods Linked to Increased Risk of Heart Disease Risk in Women.
  The Study (published in The Archives of Internal Medicine):
The researchers studied men and women in Italy. They asked them about the foods they ate and then followed them for almost 8 years. The researchers looked at who got heart disease.

  The Results: Women (but not men) who ate carbohydrates that increase blood sugar more quickly (called "high glycemic foods") were more likely to develop heart disease. So, high glycemic foods were related to a higher risk of heart disease in women, but not in men. This is not the kind of study that shows cause and effect. We cannot say that the high glycemic foods caused the increased risk of heart disease. The women in this study ate a lot of carbs - way more than most American women. Also, the differences in heart disease risk were not huge.

What You Should Do: This study does not show a direct cause and effect between high glycemic carbs and heart disease. But other studies do show that diet high in carbohydrates can increase your risk of heart disease. Try to eat three servings of whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole grain cereals a day. Whole grains don't raise your blood sugar as much as refined grains like white bread and white rice. You can also cut back on added sugars. You don't need to eliminate sugar and refined carbs - just cut back if most of your carbs are coming from sugars and refined carbs.

For More Information:

Beth Kitchin MS RD
Assistant Professor
UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences