Archive Year 2012 month 11

The connection between vitamin D deficiency and cancer was first made in 1980 when two doctors learned the incidence of colon cancer was nearly three times higher in New York than in New Mexico.  The doctors determined that lack of sun exposure played a critical role (1).  When the ultraviolet portion of sunlight hits your skin, this stimulates the body to produce vitamin D.  This lack of sun exposure results in a lack of vitamin D in our body.

Consider the relationship between vitamin D and breast cancer.  According to the Vitamin D Council, there is strong evidence vitamin D plays a beneficial role in lowering breast cancer risk.  Whether vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure, food, or supplements, vitamin D must undergo chemical reactions to become calcitriol, which may provide the numerous benefits against cancer (2).  Calcitriol encourages cells to either adapt to their organ or go through normal, programmed cell death (3). 

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

Keep Your Immune System Strong

11/24/2012 2:35 PM

Are you doing everything you can do to keep your immune system up to par? Check out these top nutrition tips to stay healthy this cold and flu season:

Vitamin C

Vitamin C tops the list of immune boosters. There has been more research about the immune boosting effects of Vitamin C than perhaps any other nutrient. Vitamin C is available naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike most animals that produce their own Vitamin C, the human body does not synthesize any. Vitamin C has substantial antiviral and antibacterial benefits though it's known for its protective aspects in creating host resistance. The most abundant vitamin C foods are guava, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, orange, and grapefruit (1).

Probiotics

The'

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

We know there’s a correlation between what you eat and how it helps your body, but what about eats for your eyes? Eye health and loss of vision as we age are of great concern, leading many to seek preventive measures by obtaining essential nutrients through diet and/or supplementation.

Other than Bugs Bunny telling us to eat carrots, we don't always associate nutrition with eye health, but there are two little nutrients our eyes can't do without...lutein and zeaxanthin.

Here’s the skinny:

What?

Lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful antioxidants from the carotenoid family. Lutein is a pigment found in dark, green, leafy vegetables, including

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

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New findings from the University of California, Davis suggests women who consume the recommended daily dosage of folic acid during the first month of pregnancy may have a reduced risk of having a child with autism.

The study’s researchers previously found that women who took prenatal vitamins around the time of conception had a reduced risk of having a child with autism.  These findings are consistent with findings of other studies suggesting that improved neurodevelopmental outcomes are associated with folic acid intake in early pregnancy.  The current study sought to determine whether the folic acid consumed in those supplements was the actual source of the protective effect.

The study found women who consumed 600 micrograms of folic acid every day during the first month of pregnancy experienced a reduced risk of having a child with autism

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

What have you heard about probiotics?  Have you heard of healthy bacteria or good bacteria?  Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) and, when consumed in adequate amounts, they offer a health benefit within your digestive tract.  This is especially important because nearly three-quarters of your immune system is located in your digestive tract, so without enough healthy bacteria, your health may suffer as a result.  Probiotics provide an additional tool to help your body protect itself and enhance immune function.

Ideally, there should be a balance of approximately 80% healthy bacteria and 20% harmful bacteria in your intestines.

Even children can benefit from probiotics’ immune boosting effects.  In a very interesting study of children 3 to 5 years old, children who took a probiotic 2x/day from November to May with combined Lactobacillus

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

Nothing Fishy About This!

11/6/2012 11:02 AM

Plenty of research exists as to why essential fatty acids are important, so why doesn’t everyone eat fish or find another method for consuming essential fatty acids?  Is it because of cost, availability, convenience, lack of awareness, vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, or some other reason?

Let’s look at the two most beneficial omega 3’s backed by extensive research---EPA and DHA. 

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are omega-3 essential fatty acids very difficult to pronounce, so good thing they have simple acronyms we can refer to instead!  They are found in fish and fish oil and although they work together in the body, each fatty acid has very unique benefits.  Let’s take a look at each of them. 

Research shows

EPA

is an anti-inflammatory and also improves heart health, immune function, and

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

You’ve heard about essential fats in the media and you know they’re important, but do you know why and how to balance your essential fatty acid intake? Let’s explore this. First off, essential fatty acids are considered “essential” because they’re required for optimal health, but our body can’t produce them so we must consume them through our food or supplementation.

There are two families of essential fatty acids: omega-3 and omega-6, and each have different effects on our body. Both fatty acids are important, but the real key is to consume omega-3 and omega-6 in a balanced ratio to maintain health.  When out of balance, excess intake of omega-6 promotes inflammation, increases blood clotting, and depresses the immune system. On the other hand, omega-3 is anti-inflammatory, increases circulation, and enhances the immune system. Here’s what you may not realize…the modern Western diet has negatively shifted this

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0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD

Have you heard the news? Turmeric is a noteworthy spice you’ll want to include regularly in your diet. Turmeric is the bright, golden-colored spice prominently used in Indian curry dishes. While brilliantly colored, it has a very mild flavor.

For centuries, turmeric has been used as an herbal remedy. More recent studies show its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer properties. Turmeric’s primary active ingredient responsible for its amazing medicinal properties is curcumin (not to be confused with spicy capsaician).

Ten reasons why you should include this Spice For Life in your diet.  They speak for themselves!

1.  Inflammation fighter:

Curcumin contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds.

2.  Curbs chronic Read More

0 Comments | Posted By Kelly Harrington, MS, RD
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