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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs)
New Dietary Guidelines Really Are New!

You're probably familiar with the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. These numerical values provide nutrition guidance to health professionals and to the general public. You may have heard, for example, that the RDA for vitamin C is 60 milligrams per day for adults. RDAs are defined as the levels of intake of essential nutrients that are judged to be adequate to meet the known needs of practically all healthy persons. (more...)

Grand Forks Study Confirms You Can't Fool Mother Nature!

Many people, when they think of nutrients like vitamins and minerals, think only in terms of getting enough. And since such nutrients are essential for normal well-being and function, and a little is good, then more must be better, right? Wrong! Nutrition is not just about getting as much of the good stuff (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) and as little of the bad stuff (Calories, fat, cholesterol) as possible. Rather it is about balance eating a variety of foods, containing a variety of components (some that have not even been specifically identified) that the body needs in moderate amounts and proportions for good health. (more...)

Unexpected Sources of Mineral Nutrition

I have a suggestion that is bound to take the monotony out of grocery shopping and put more nutrition into family meals. We know that eating the right amounts of vitamins and minerals is vital to the growth of children and maintaining the health of adults. We also know that foods are not equal in terms of nutrient content. There is a lot more calcium in an ounce of whole milk than there is in an ounce of spring water. Peanut butter contains about 22 times more magnesium than does the same amount of beer. And beef chuck roast contains 22 times more zinc per ounce than does whole milk. (more...)

Migraines, Sleeplessness, Heart Attacks - Magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral element in the human body, following calcium, sodium and potassium. Magnesium enables many biochemical reactions necessary for life. However, much attention has been directed recently towards another role of this element: The movement of electrically charged ions of calcium and potassium as well as organic molecules across nerve cell membranes to transmit a signal. (more...)

Win the Losing Game!

Every day, one in every three Americans is on a diet, fighting the "battle of the bulge." And although many may temporarily win the battle, most lose the war. (more...)

A little Zinc is good for you, but a lot is not!

Many times we may think that if a little is good for you, more would be better. When it comes to nutrition, more is not necessarily better. Many different nutrients interact with each other in our diet and in our bodies where one might interfere with the utilization of the other. Dietary trace elements are good examples of possible harmful interactions. (more...)

"Designer tomatoes," A quick fix for your body and farm?

"Functional food" has increasingly become a buzzword for the nineties. Because you may encounter "functional foods" in the grocery store, and because we are in an area that makes its living from agriculture, it is important to know what this term means, and how it applies to us. (more...)

How You Cook Your Meat May Affect Your Health

We all worry about making sure our meat is adequately cooked in order to avoid bacterial infection but did you know that cooking meat -beef, poultry and fish- at high temperatures for long periods of time can also be dangerous to your health? A growing number of epidemiologic studies suggest a relationship between methods of cooking meat and various cancers. (more...)

Creatine - Controversy or Consensus?

Many nutritional supplements, and the accompanying health or performance claims, come and go without much excitement. But none has created the amount of interest and debate as creatine. Proponents advocate creatine as a safe and effective supplement to enhance physical performance. Opponents contend that it is harmful. Rumor and conjecture fuel the controversy. The enthusiasm surrounding creatine is bolstered by professional athletes who provide testimonials that their success is supported by this small protein. (more...)

Just Say NO To Copper Deficiency!

What do air pollution, the Nobel prize, Viagra and copper nutrition have in common? The answer: Nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a deceptively simple molecule (chemical formula -- NO) that has complex and far reaching effects on the body. It is not to be confused with nitrous oxide (N2O), the anesthetic, which is otherwise known as ‘laughing gas'.

Twenty-five years ago, the only known effect of nitric oxide on human health was as an air pollutant emitted by automobile exhausts. About that time nitric oxide was also found to be the active component of nitroglycerin and other medications that were used to alleviate pain in patients with coronary heart disease. Over the next ten years, extensive study of blood vessel function showed that nitric oxide is naturally produced in the body and is responsible for regulating blood flow and blood pressure. In the last decade research on nitric oxide has mushroomed and shown that the compound plays a role not only in blood vessel function but also in transmission of signals in the nervous system, in heart contraction and in immune function. (more...)

Too Much Soda Pop May Take Some Fizz Out of Your Bones

Osteoporosis, or the loss of bone, affects more than 25 million people in the United States, including one out of every three people over the age of 65. It is eight times more prevalent in women as in men. It is the major underlying cause of bone fractures in postmenopausal women and the elderly. (more...)

Last Modified: 7/17/2012
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