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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Hold That Line!

December signals the start of a month of celebratory eating and drinking that leaves many holiday revelers carrying up to 10 additional pounds in early January. As we know, and research supports, those unwanted pounds remain until early summer, if we are fortunate! (more...)

My All-Knowing Cousin Was Wrong--Thank Goodness

The year was 1963. I was an earnest sixth grader who looked up to my cousin because he was in ninth grade and, therefore, knew everything. I was especially awed by his right to be served honey and other exotic foods at a special school lunchroom table on the days that he and his fellow athletes competed against other basketball teams. (more...)

Should I use Single Nutrient Supplements?

Advertisements, popular articles, books and other means of trumpeting the benefits of various nutrients for preventing feared diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes are certainly catching people’s attention. This is shown by the latest statistics indicating that over 50 percent of the U.S. population consume nutritional supplements. Some of them supply only a single nutrient or two. (more...)

Soy...the newest way to "bone-up" on good nutrition?

"Attention shoppers! You can now find soy in the dairy case, the meat case, the cereal aisle, the snack aisle, the produce section, ..."
The soy bean, once grown merely for its oil and as animal feed, has taken center stage in nutrition science circles as well as the supermarket. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a health claim stating that eating about 25 grams of soy protein daily as part of a low-fat diet will decrease the risk of heart disease. (more...)

Nutritionally speaking, infants are not small adults.

As the mother of young children, I’m tempted to try and feed them low-fat foods because that is what is recommended for adults. However, eating patterns of infants and toddlers are different from those of adults. Did you know that, pound for pound, infants and toddlers require more calories than adults? (more...)

What makes nutrients essential?

Labels on a cereal box, a can of soup, a package of prepared dinner all contain the percentage of nutrient requirements provided by the products. This information implies that the nutrient does something important, that it provides an essential function. What are some of these functions? (more...)

Homocysteine - the new "bad guy"

During the last decade, the amino acid homocysteine--which is produced naturally in the body--has drawn much attention as a potential contributor to heart disease when blood levels are elevated. More recently, scientists have suggested that elevated homocysteine may contribute to other age-related diseases, including vascular disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and other types of cognitive loss. (more...)

Nutrition and the Human Genome

When I opened the February 16 issue of the journal Science, I was awestruck. There, in front of me, chromosome by chromosome, was the human genome--nature’s instructions for making a human being. Although the genome is only a rough draft--about 90 percent complete-- its publication in Science and also in the journal Nature is an event of enormous magnitude. It marks the beginning of a revolution that will precisely define the foundation underlying human health and disease. (more...)

Copper Gets New Status

In an article I published a few years ago, I suggested that nutrients without Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) tend to be ignored by people who plan diets and do research. Copper was among those ignored nutrients . . . until recently. (more...)

New Dietary Reference Intakes for Micronutrients Released
GF Human Nutrition Research Center Makes Major Contributions

After two years of reviewing the results of thousands of scientific studies and testimony from dozens of nutrition experts, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine released new intake recommendations for 2 vitamins and 12 minerals on January 9. The new Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Micronutrients covers the minerals arsenic, boron, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, silicon, vanadium and zinc, and vitamins A and K. (more...)

A Colorful Plate of Foods Has More Appeal Than You Think!

Remember when your mother said "eat your vegetables and you will be healthy"? Well, she was right! Research continues to demonstrate that vegetables and fruits contain disease-fighting nutrients and other components, many of which provide color to our dinner plates. (more...)


Last Modified: 7/30/2009