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Archive for the ‘Nutrition News’ Category

Massive Clinical Study of Vitamin D and Fish Oils

There is a lot of benefit to be had with omega-3 fish oils and Vitamin D. That’s why we added them to our Bloom’en Nutrition prenatal vitamin chews. However, these great nutrients aren’t just for pregnancy health. A 20 million dollar study has recently been commissioned to evaluate by the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the impact of Vitamin D and EPA/DHA fish oil supplementation on the risk of developing cancer, stroke and heart disease, as well as memory loss, depression, diabetes, and numerous other conditions.

The study, entitled VITAL, will follow 20,000 older men and women, over a period of years, and will use annual surveys to track patient results. This is a huge study in comparison to many of the other investigations in the dietary supplement industry and should provide exceptional data on how supplementation with EPA and DHA and vitamin D impacts the onset of chronic conditions. Here is the link to the VITAL website

Omega- 3 Good Heart Health! (

Welcome to Bloom’en Nutrition (

Can you get enough Vitamin D from the sun? (

Posted on June 23rd, 2009 by Bloomen Nutrition No Comments »

Prenatal Vitamins, Benefits of Folic Acid

Now most expecting mothers know that folic acid is good for you.  In fact, for most prenatal vitamins it is the one constant.  The research primarly looks at the vitamin’s impact on babies born with spina bifida.  However, a was just published that shows that folic acid may be helpful in healthy heart development as well.  I have posted the entire article from NutraIngredients on the new study below to give you the full overview.

Folic acid may boost baby’s heart health: Study

Increased intakes of folic acid by mandatory fortification of grain products to reduce neural tube defects may also reduce a baby’s risk of severe congenital heart defects, says a new study.

The incidence of the heart problems was reduced by 6 per cent following mandatory fortification of grain products, introduced in Canada in 1998, researchers from McGill University and the University of Alberta report in the British Medical Journal.

“Our population based study shows that fortification of grain products with folic acid in Canada was followed by a significant decrease in the birth prevalence of severe congenital heart defects, supporting the hypothesis that folic acid intake in the period around conception reduces the birth prevalence of severe congenital heart defects,” wrote the researchers, led by Louise Pilote.

Folate is found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, chick peas and lentils. Folic acid – the synthetic, bioavailable form of folate – is obtained from grain products in the US and Canada following introduction of mandatory fortification in 1998.

Currently, supplementation with folate and folic acid is recommended to all women of child-bearing age since most neural tube defects (NTDs), including spina bifida and anencephaly, occur within the first 22 to 28 days of pregnancy, when the mother-to-be is not aware she is even pregnant.

Folic acid supplements after this time are too late to prevent neural tube defects and therefore fail to benefit women with unplanned pregnancies – more than half of all pregnancies in the US.

Preliminary evidence indicates that the 1998 introduction of public health measures in the US and Canada has reduced the incidence of NTDs by 15 to 50 per cent. In Chile, the measure has been associated with a 40 per cent reduction in NTDs. Parallel measures in European countries, including the UK and Ireland, are still on the table.

In March, a Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) working group stated there would be no public health benefit from mandatory folic acid fortification, but a final determination would be made at the end of the year when more data would be available.

The new study looked at data from infants born between 1990 and 2005 in Quebec. Out of the 1,324,440 infants born, 2,083 had a congenital heart defects. This is equivalent to an average birth prevalence of 1.57 out of every 1,000 births, said the researchers.

Analysis of the data showed no change in the prevalence of severe birth defects in the nine years before fortification, but a 6 per cent reduction in the prevalence in the seven years after fortification, wrote the researchers.

“An average 6.2 per cent reduction per year in the birth prevalence of severe congenital heart defects observed in this study might seem modest,” wrote the researchers. “However, given that severe congenital heart defects require complex surgical interventions in infancy and are associated with high infant mortality rates, even a small reduction in the overall risk will significantly reduce the costs associated with the medical care of these patients and the psychological burden on patients and their families,” they added.

Commenting on the mechanism, Pilote and her co-workers stated that the B vitamin may have a beneficial role in the early development of an embryo’s circulatory system, ensuring correct formation of the heart.

In an accompanying article from Helena Gardiner and Jean-Claude Fouron from Imperial College at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea and the Royal Brompton Hospitals, and CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal, respectively, said that population-wide measures of fortification should be followed, but rather targeting of women of child bearing age.

Commenting independently on the research, Dr Sian Astley, a scientist for the Institute of Food Research, told the BBC: “Personally, I do not think mandatory fortification is the way forward. It is like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut.

“It would reduce ill health in children but there are cautionary issues.

“An alternative would be to fortify only certain foods and clearly label them so consumers can make the choice. Co-fortification with other B vitamins would be another sensible option,” she added.

2009, Volume 338:b1673, doi:10.1136/bmj.b1673“Prevalence of severe congenital heart disease after folic acid fortification of grain products: time trend analysis in Quebec, Canada”

Authors: Raluca Ionescu-Ittu, A.J. Marelli, A.S. Mackie, L. Pilote

2009, Volume 338: b1144, doi:10.1136/bmj.b1144“Folic acid fortification and congenital heart disease”

Authors: H.M Gardiner, J.C. Fouron

Folic acid ‘protects baby hearts’ (

Folic Acid Food Cuts Birth Defects (

Posted on June 22nd, 2009 by Bloomen Nutrition No Comments »

Probiotics May Help With Baby Weight

Obviously I spend a lot of time reading about the newest science on dietary supplemements, and occasionally I come across something that I think should be shared with everybody. A few years back a study was published that looked at the types of bacteria in the intestines of fat and thin people. We all have about a trillion little bugs in our GI tract, and most have a symbiotic relationship with you.

Anyway, the results of this study indicated that they type and population of bacteria in fat people is totally different than that of thin people, and those individuals who were obese but lost weight also shifted the types of bacteria in their gut from those found in the fat group to that of the thin group. Well, for the probiotic industry, this created a lot of buzz and speculation that probiotics may actually have an impact on your body weight.

As I said, that was a couple of months ago, but in looking at the nutritional news this morning, it looks like somebody has already attempted to make the jump. Now before reading the below excerpt, please realize that this data is just preliminary, and is probably very specific to the individual breed of bacteria that they studies. As such, you probably won’t get a similar effect running to the store to buy some yogurt, or buying a probiotic nutritional supplement. This article does however raise some questions on what impact different probiotics may have on post baby weight in the future.

Here is the article as it appeared in NutraIngredients

Probiotics may help women regain their figures after pregnancy

Probiotic supplements during the first trimester of pregnancy may help women lose weight after the infant’s birth, say new findings presented today at the European Congress on Obesity.

Finnish researchers report that supplements containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were associated with less central obesity, defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more or a waist circumference over 80 centimetres.

“The results of our study, the first to demonstrate the impact of probiotics-supplemented dietary counselling on adiposity, were encouraging,” said researcher Kirsi Laitinen from the University of Turku in Finland. “The women who got the probiotics fared best. One year after childbirth, they had the lowest levels of central obesity as well as the lowest body fat percentage.”

“Central obesity, where overall obesity is combined with a particularly fat belly, is considered especially unhealthy,” added Laitinen. “We found it in 25 per cent of the women who had received the probiotics along with dietary counseling, compared with 43 per cent in the women who received diet advice alone.”

According the FAO/WHO, probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”.

The researchers used Lactobacillus LGG (provided by Valio) and Bifidobacterium lactis (provided by Chr Hansen). Neither company provided funds for the study, with financial support coming from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Academy of Finland and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation, a Finnish medical research charity.

Laitinen told attendees that 256 women were randomly divided into three groups during the first trimester of pregnancy. Two of the groups received dietary counseling consistent with current recommendations. One of those groups also received the daily probiotic capsules, while the other group received dummy capsules. The third group received placebo capsules and no dietary counseling. Supplementation continued until the women stopped exclusive breastfeeding, up to 6 months.

At the end of the study, central obesity was recorded in 18 per cent fewer women in the probiotic group than in women who received placebo plus dietary counseling, and 15 per cent fewer women in the control group.

Average body fat percentage was 28 per cent in the probiotic group, compared to 29 and 30 per cent in the diet advice only group and the control group, respectively.

Laitinen told that future research will follow the women and their babies to see whether giving probiotics during pregnancy has any influence on health outcomes in the children.

A breakthrough paper published in Nature in December 2006 reported that microbial populations in the gut are different between obese and lean people, and that when the obese people lost weight their microflora reverted back to that observed in a lean person, suggesting that obesity may have a microbial component.

At a scientific symposium organised by the Beneo Group last year, Dr. Kieran Touhy from the University of Reading noted that obese animals have significantly lower bifidobacteria levels than their lean counterparts, which suggests potential for prebiotic fibres since the growth of these bacteria is selectively promoted by inulin and fructooligosaccharides.

Dr. Nathalie Delzenne from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and Dr. Robert Welch from the University of Ulster presented results from animal and human studies, respectively, which indicated the potential of prebiotic supplementation to regulated food intake.

A study involving scientists from Nestle, the Catholic University of Louvain, and the Institute of Molecular Medicine Rangueil in Toulouse, reported last year that direct modulation of the gut microflora using could directly affect metabolism, as well as influencing the maintenance of whole body glucose equilibrium, independent of food intake or obesity (FASEB Journal, doi:10.1096/fj.07-102723).

“The advantage of studying pregnant women to investigate the potential link between probiotics and obesity is that it allows us to see the effects not only in the women, but also in their children,” said Laitinen. “Particularly during pregnancy, the impacts of obesity can be immense, with the effects seen both in the mother and the child.

“Bacteria are passed from mother to child through the birth canal, as well as through breast milk and research indicates that early nutrition may influence the risk of obesity later in life. There is growing evidence that this approach might open a new angle on the fight against obesity, either through prevention or treatment.”

Probiotics May Help Women to Reduce Weight After Pregnancy (

Posted on June 22nd, 2009 by Bloomen Nutrition No Comments »

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