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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Vitamin D: What is enough?

It seems that news about the health benefits of vitamin D is reported daily. Studies are reporting that vitamin D reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis, to name just a few. (more ...)

Milk can do wonders for an exercised body

Milk as an exercise recovery drink?

That’s what I was questioning when my youngest daughter said she started drinking milk after strenuous exercise. She read about this on the Internet, and having run track in college, she never tried milk as a recovery drink, only sports drinks. (more ...)

Connecting the dots: Obestiy to osteoporosis

Obesity and osteoporosis are public health problems.

Obesity is a condition where excessive fat accumulates to a state that poses risks to health - it is largely due to an imbalance of calorie consumption and expenditure. The problem is growing in prevalence among all age groups, especially people in rural areas where income is below average.

Osteoporosis is a disease condition in which bones become spongy and are easily broken. With aging, and changes in lifestyle, more bone structure is broken down than is rebuilt. Many factors can contribute to osteoporosis development, such as reduced physical activity, decreased ability to absorb nutrients, increased use of medications such as glucocorticoids and a sudden decline in the female hormone, estrogen, in menopausal women. (more ...)

Low-Fat Chocolate Milk - The New Sports Drink?

Every four years, sports enthusiasts watch the Olympic Games and seek to learn the secrets of the champion performances. During the Summer Games in 2004, a sports reporter noted that Michael Phelps, winner of six gold medals in swimming, was seen drinking a milk-based beverage between races. This apparent link between Phelps' world-class performances and milk has launched exciting research to determine the benefits of milk, most recently low-fat chocolate milk, as a recovery beverage for serious athletes as well as for people who regularly exercise to promote health. (more ...)

Mitochondria: Mediators between diet and disease

Why do we eat? This seems like a simple question. But when I asked several people, I received a variety of answers: “To nourish my body” or “because I’m hungry” and some far-out answers loosely related to the cosmos and our place in the universe. (more ...)

Nutrition tames a killer

Inflammation is the redness, heat, swelling and pain that occurs when the body is killing invading organisms or removing damaged tissue while healing wounds.

The inflammatory response is a blessing when needed for a short time to overcome a mild infection or injury. The inflammatory response can be a curse if it is not properly controlled or switched on when not needed because it can damage healthy parts of the body. A long-term or chronic, low-grade inflammatory response can lead to heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes and mental problems. An unneeded inflammatory response can be caused by a number of things including key nutrient deficiencies, obesity and even lack of sleep. (more ...)

Evidence continues to mount for omega-3s

It’s hard to miss all the buzz about omega-3 fatty acids. In the grocery store the other day, I noticed that omega-3 fatty acids have been added to some brands of orange juice. Consumers now also have the choice of buying eggs and peanut butter fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. (more ...)

Healthy weight helps reduce risk of cancer

Overweight and obesity are talked about often in the U.S. Most Americans (83 percent ) recognize the link between being overweight and heart diseases and many (57 percent) know about the link between being overweight and diabetes, according to a survey commissioned by the American Cancer Society. But far fewer (8 percent) know there is a connection between being overweight and cancer. (more ...)

Volunteers: An essential requirement for research

Driving down Second Avenue North on weekday mornings this winter, you may have noticed women at their cars packing picnic coolers that seem more appropriate for a July outing at Larimore (N.D.) Dam.

But noting that they are in front of the USDA-ARS Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, you may realize that they probably are volunteers participating in human nutrition experiments. Odds are that you know someone who has volunteered for such studies, or you may have even been a volunteer yourself.(more ...)

Obesity: An issue for rural America, North Dakota

Obesity in the U.S. is now termed an epidemic, meaning that it affects many people and is spreading. Sixty-five percent of Americans are overweight or obese, and the highest rates occur in small towns and rural communities of the Midwest and the South. Compared to their urban counterparts, rural adults tend to be older, less physically active, have lower incomes and have declining access to local grocery stores. These factors set up a predisposition to being overweight and obese. (more ...)

Selenium-enriched food fights cancer

Selenium, which is an essential micronutrient for humans, first was discovered in 1817. Because of selenium's silvery color, it was named for Selene, the ancient goddess of the moon.

In the U.S. population, the recommended daily allowance for selenium is 55 micrograms per day. Consuming amounts above this level is considered “supranutritional.” For example, doses of 100 to 200 micrograms per day inhibit genetic damage and cancer development in humans, and a dose of 400 micrograms per day is considered a safe upper limit. (more ...)

Just how much calcium do we need?

Folks who want healthy bones long have been told to get plenty of calcium. After all, the body compensates for an inadequate calcium intake by drawing calcium out of bones and putting it into the blood stream.

But how much calcium do we need? (more ...)

Last Modified: 7/30/2009
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