|Obese and Overweight Americans May be Deficient in Micronutrients
In the United States, 67% of the population is overweight or obese. And now a study has found that the diets of these populations are not necessarily providing the right nutrients. In fact, the study suggests that obese and overweight individuals in the US are deficient in many micronutrients.
For their study, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which took place between 2001 and 2008. They included participants with reliable dietary records and excluded pregnant and lactating women.
In regards to weight classification, people with a BMI of 25 or less were considered normal weight; between 25 and 30 were overweight; and over 30 were obese. The researchers looked at intake of vitamin A, C, D, choline, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Surprisingly, the normal weight group consumed the most calories, with an average 2,216 daily. The overweight group, in comparison, consumed an average 2,002 calories and the obese group consumed an average 2,154. The researchers also discovered that the normal weight group ate the most fruit and all three groups ate approximately the same amount of vegetables. The normal weight group ate a little bit less protein, more dairy, and more sugar than the other two groups. The obese group ate the most protein.
The researchers also found that the obese group had between 5% to 12% lower intakes of micronutrients and a higher likelihood of nutrient inadequacy. As an example, 48% of the normal weight group did not meet the recommended amount of calcium, compared with 50% of the overweight group and 51% of the obese group. Additionally, 45% of the normal weight group did not meet the recommended amount of vitamin A, compared with 50% of the overweight group and 52% of the obese group.
Researchers from Pharmavite conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 7, 2015, in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Regardless of weight, its important to eat a balanced diet in order to get enough of all essential nutrients. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get six servings of grain, three to four servings of vegetables, four servings of fruits, two to three servings of dairy, and three to six ounces of lean meats, poultry, or seafood daily.
|Harvard Study Finds Vitamin D May Boost Immune Response to Colorectal Cancer Tumors
Previous studies have suggested that vitamin D may provide protective effects against colorectal cancer. A recent study suggests that higher vitamin D levels may help lower the risk of developing colorectal cancer by boosting the immune systems response to tumor cells.
Participants in the study included 942 people who took part in the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study. They had blood samples drawn in the 1990s, at which time none of them showed signs of cancer. By the end of the study, 318 people had developed colorectal cancer.
The researchers compared the blood samples of the participants with colorectal cancer and those without. They found that the cancer-free participants had higher amounts of vitamin D in their blood at the beginning of the study compared with the group that had colorectal cancer.
The researchers believe that the vitamin D is converted from its 25(OH)D form to the bioactive D3 form, which helps prime an immune response to combat the tumors.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School conducted the study. It was published online ahead of parting on January 15, 2015, in the journal Gut.
Previous studies have associated vitamin D with reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, and improving age related macular degeneration.
Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high quality vitamin D supplement is always a good option if you feel that youre not getting enough through diet and sun.