Diet and Nutrition Information Center Feature Archive

Interventions in childhood obesity

Interventions in childhood obesity

Effective use of research-based interventions and recommendations for overweight and obese children begin with initiating a conversation with the family.

Inulin as a nutritional supplement

Inulin as a nutritional supplement

Inulin is a collective term for a large group of complex, natural carbohydrates.

Slippery elm: an effective anti-inflammatory agent

Slippery elm: an effective anti-inflammatory agent

Slippery elm may be beneficial for patients with GI complaints.

Medical nutrition
 therapy in diabetes

Medical nutrition
 therapy in diabetes

Developing personalized nutrition goals with a registered dietitian
can be effective in managing non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Coconut oil may improve lipid profiles, reduce abdominal adiposity

Coconut oil may improve lipid profiles, reduce abdominal adiposity

Virgin coconut oil may be beneficial for lipid levels and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids: From fins and fish oil 
to flax

Omega-3 fatty acids: From fins and fish oil 
to flax

Omega-3 fatty acids have structural and anti-inflammatory roles in the human body.

Taurine: a supplement for cellular physiology

Taurine: a supplement for cellular physiology

A derivative of cysteine, taurine plays multiple roles in the body, including stabilizing membranes, signaling calcium, and regulating cardiac and skeletal muscle function.

Nonprescription approaches to metabolic syndrome

Nonprescription approaches to metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome can be managed using changes in diet and exercise.

Dietary fiber: The prebiotic connection

Dietary fiber: The prebiotic connection

Adequate fiber intake is critical for maintaining good health, but only 5% of Americans consume the recommended daily amount.

Gluten-free diet resolves symptoms in a non-celiac patient

Gluten-free diet resolves symptoms in a non-celiac patient


A gluten-free diet alleviated a patient's fatigue, brain fog, bloating, and constipation.

Debunking diabetes nutrition, carbohydrate myths

Debunking diabetes nutrition, carbohydrate myths

The Grain Foods Foundation explores popular carbohydrate-related myths and assumptions patients with diabetes have likely encountered.

Processed, fried foods up mortality in chronic kidney disease

Processed, fried foods up mortality in chronic kidney disease

Patients who ate a diet of processed and fried foods, organ meats, and sweetened beverages had a 50% heightened risk of death.

Nuts may lower heart, diabetes risks

Nuts may lower heart, diabetes risks

Patients who ate nuts regularly had reduced diabetes, fatal and nonfatal ischemic heart disease.

The case for vegetarianism in the fight against heart disease

The case for vegetarianism in the fight against heart disease

Multiple studies show that just about any low-meat or no-meat diet reduces almost all controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Meeting the nutritional needs of toddlers

Meeting the nutritional needs of toddlers

Optimal nutrition in early childhood supports growth and development and can encourage lifelong healthy eating habits.

Go gluten-free for psoriasis?

Go gluten-free for psoriasis?


Anyone who decides to eliminate gluten from his or her diet should first consult a dietitian for guidance.

Midlife activity may stave off dementia

Midlife activity may stave off dementia

Leisure-time physical activity has previously been shown to have a positive impact on health.

Chia seeds 'mostly good news'

Chia seeds 'mostly good news'

Chia seed compounds represent a healthy and tasty way to boost beneficial fatty acids and fiber.

Reliable sources of safety information on vitamins and supplements

Reliable sources of safety information on vitamins and supplements

Where is the best place to look up information on vitamins and supplements for children?

Identifying and addressing infant allergy to cow's milk protein

Identifying and addressing infant allergy to cow's milk protein

Cow's milk protein allergy is relatively common during the first year of life. Unfortunately, the condition is easily missed or mislabeled.

Lutein helps prevent AMD, cataracts

Lutein helps prevent AMD, cataracts

Numerous trials support the efficacy of lutein supplementation in the reduction or prevention of AMD, as well as other age-related conditions such as cataracts.

Does red wine ease menstrual cramps?

Does red wine ease menstrual cramps?

Does evidence support red wine for menstrual cramp prevention?

Restrict fruit juice in a diabetic diet?

Restrict fruit juice in a diabetic diet?

Does fruit juice carry the same diabetes risk as other sugar-sweetened beverages?

Prevent DVT in patients with folic-acid deficiency

Prevent DVT in patients with folic-acid deficiency

Detecting deep vein thrombosis early can aid prevention efforts.

Raspberry ketones may aid in weight loss

Raspberry ketones may aid in weight loss

Supplements such as raspberry ketones may enhance weight loss, but should be combined with a healthy diet and daily exercise.

Red palm oil: A nutrient rich in vitamins and antioxidants

Red palm oil: A nutrient rich in vitamins and antioxidants

When used as a part of one's daily fat intake, red palm oil, which is rich in carotenoids and vitamin E, may help prevent various illnesses.

No CV, mortality benefit with omega-3 fatty acids in diabetes patients

No CV, mortality benefit with omega-3 fatty acids in diabetes patients

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does not reduce mortality or cardiovascular events in patients with or at high risk for diabetes.

When mixing formula, prepare only as directed

When mixing formula, prepare only as directed

How precisely must one follow the manufacturer's directions with regard to the amount of powder and water used in preparing infant formula?

Ease constipation caused by calcium supplements

Ease constipation caused by calcium supplements

Omega-3 supplements can help constipation in postmenopausal women taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.

Gluten-free diet or vitamin D supplementation for psoriasis?

Gluten-free diet or vitamin D supplementation for psoriasis?

Would it be beneficial to give suprapharmacologic doses of vitamin D3 in cases of severe psoriasis?

How common is vitamin overdose?

How common is vitamin overdose?

Many patients take vitamins that are more than 100% the recommended daily allowance. When do they begin to pose risks to kidney function?

Vitamin D deficiency: Beyond bone health

Vitamin D deficiency: Beyond bone health

Vitamin D promotes absorption of calcium in the intestine and maintains adequate serum phosphate and calcium concentrations.

Show—don't tell—when it comes to weight loss

Show—don't tell—when it comes to weight loss

Conversations about weight loss can contribute tremendously to behavioral changes, but tangible examples may be even more effective.

Causes of thinning hair in a postmenopausal woman

Causes of thinning hair in a postmenopausal woman

Could a vegetarian diet be contributing to an older woman's alopecia?

Breastfeeding with a positive thyroid peroxidase

Breastfeeding with a positive thyroid peroxidase

Could positive thyroid peroxidase adversely affect a mother's milk supply?

Evaluating and managing 
pediatric food allergy

Evaluating and managing 
pediatric food allergy

An approach involving primary-care clinicians, and specialists — including 
allergists, gastroenterologists, nutritionists and counselors — is crucial.

Mixing herbal and 
prescription meds

Mixing herbal and 
prescription meds

Patients often consider supplements and herbs harmless, but combining them with other drugs can have devastating consequences.

Oral involvement of ­systemic diseases

Oral involvement of ­systemic diseases

Oral manifestations are often an early signal of systemic disease, so ­recognizing them can point the way to a prompt diagnosis.

Help for a young adult with anorexia and bulimia

Are there other treatment options for eating disorders after therapy, acupuncture, nutrition counseling and in-patient hospital stays have failed?

Niacin: An antioxidant and nutrition supplement

Niacin: An antioxidant and nutrition supplement

While niacin is well known for preventing pellagra, it is only in the past 15 to 20 years that other medicinal uses for this common vitamin have emerged.

Tart cherry: A superfruit with antiinflammatory and cardiac benefits

Tart cherry: A superfruit with antiinflammatory and cardiac benefits

A growing body of evidence has linked the tart cherry to substantial anti-inflammatory benefits, including reduced arthritic and gout pain, and several cardiac benefits.

The role of vitamin D in post-fracture symptoms

Can vitamin D deficiency play a role in post-fracture pain?

Antioxidants in saffron fight depression, dementia and PMS

Antioxidants in saffron fight depression, dementia and PMS

Saffron contains more than 50% of the USDA's recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, iron and magnesium, and more than 30 % of the recommended daily phosphorus and potassium.

A routine check-up 
reveals a significant 
genetic abnormality

A routine check-up 
reveals a significant 
genetic abnormality

A corrections officer came into the primary care office for a routine physical and left with an unexpected diagnosis.

Is vitamin D deficiency linked to pseudogout?

Is there any relationship between calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate disease (pseudogout) and vitamin D deficiency?

What causes a metallic taste and burning tongue?

What are the differential diagnoses for a woman aged 60 years with a metallic taste in her mouth and the sensation of a burning tongue?

How prevalent is vitamin D deficiency among Hispanics?

Should clinicians routinely check vitamin D levels in Hispanic patients as they do in others?

Rose hips prized for high vitamin C content, antiinflammatory properties

Rose hips prized for high vitamin C content, antiinflammatory properties

Rose hips are a mild, pleasant supplement that are safe for routine use. Providers may recommend this product as adjunctive therapy for a wide range of conditions or as a routine preventive regimen.

Understanding childhood obesity

Understanding childhood obesity

Pediatric primary care clinicians should set aside time each visit to discuss obesity prevention with parents and the importance of establishing healthy lifestyle habits at a young age.

Can too much fish oil lead to GERD?

Is there any indication that taking too much fish oil — particularly green-lipped mussel oil — can cause stomach problems in a person with a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease?

Sesame oil to lower BP?

Can substituting dietary corn oil with sesame oil reduce blood pressure?

Dietary-restriction tool is money in the bank

Advise patients with dietary restrictions to manage their daily allowance like a checkbook.

Cardioprotection in a complex patient

What is the best choice for cardioprotection in a woman aged 75 years with episodic symptomatic angina, MI one year earlier and a sensitivity to nitroglycerin patches and spray?

Cooking technique for dialysis patients

Patients on dialysis much watch their potassium intake from vegetables like potatoes. Offer this cooking tip.

Offer alternatives to the food diary

Offer alternatives to the food diary

Are you doing everything you can to help your patients lose weight? Read this physician assistants' creative tip for helping patients kick those stubborn pounds to the curb.

Coffee: Potent chemical properties may offer health benefits

Coffee: Potent chemical properties may offer health benefits

Drinking coffee has shown to be protective against Parkinson disease, Alzheimer disease and certain forms of cancer.

Screening for B12 deficiency in diabetic patients

What is the treatment goal for B12 in a patient with diabetic neuropathy, given the wide range of normal (200-950 pg/mL)?

Fish oil for gallstones?

Fish oil for gallstones?

Is there any reason an adult with gallstones should not take fish-oil supplements?

Tips for treating elevated homocysteine levels

What are the consequences of elevated homocysteine in young asymptomatic patients with and without comorbidities?

Brewer's yeast: Medical uses in cancer, therapy for premenstrual syndrome and antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Brewer's yeast: Medical uses in cancer, therapy for premenstrual syndrome and antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Brewer's yeast, or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is specifically grown as a nutritional substance rich in chromium, selenium, proteins and B-complex vitamins.

Is IBS more common in vitamin B12-deficient patients?

A clinician notices that many of her patients with low vitamin B12 levels also have irritable bowel syndrome.

Nutrition's effect on rheumatologic conditions

Are there any common nutritional deficiencies associated with osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and gout?

Metformin's impact on levels of vitamin B12

How much B12 supplement is adequate for patients on metformin?

Nutrition therapy for new diabetes patients

Nutrition therapy for new diabetes patients

The latest evidence-based dietary recommendations from the American Diabetes Association focus on disease prevention and treatment.

Interventions to reduce CVD risk in adults

Interventions to reduce CVD risk in adults

Evidence-based recommendations pay particular attention to ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

Can acetylcholinesterase inhibitors help students cram?

The acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have produced excellent results in patients with Alzheimer's disease or dementia, but are they also beneficial for students preparing for exams?

Postpartum depression risk

Postpartum depression occurs in 8%-20% of all new mothers. If a woman with no history of depression develops postpartum depression, is there a greater likelihood of developing recurrent mood disorders later?

Will puberty occur after anorexia?

A woman with primary amenorrhea attributable to prepubertal anorexia nervosa has restored her weight at age 23 years. What is the likelihood of her developing pubertal changes?

Mild fatigue follows progressively heavy monthly periods

Mild fatigue follows progressively heavy monthly periods

The patient's family practitioner advised a multivitamin with iron, but she did not comply.

Use fracture risk to predict osteoporosis

Use fracture risk to predict osteoporosis

Be sure to consult guidelines from the National Osteoporosis Foundation for advice on optimizing calcium and vitamin D intake and reducing fall risk.

Reversing vitamin D deficiency in infants

Reversing vitamin D deficiency in infants

With fortified formula being shunned in favor of breastfeeding, rickets is making a comeback. Supplementation is the surest means of prevention.

Educating vulnerable populations about diabetes

Educating vulnerable populations about diabetes

Health care practitioners may need to navigate language barriers, cultural differences and health-literacy challenges to effectively educate patients with diabetes.

Vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly

B12 levels rose sharply in a previously deficient elderly patient. Is this cause for concern?

Taking coenzyme Q10 with lipid-lowering meds

Does research support the addition of coenzyme Q10 for those on lipid-lowering medication?

Bringing up weight loss with children

What is the best way to tactfully discuss a child's excess weight with his or her parent?

L-carnitine

L-carnitine

The human body requires L-carnitine for fat metabolism. This amino acid is manufactured in the liver and kidneys and stored in the muscles, heart, brain, and sperm.

Controversy over fish oil's cardioprotective effects

Controversy over fish oil's cardioprotective effects

Trial results poured cold water on claims that omega-3s prevent heart attacks. What does the future hold for these popular supplements?

Selenium

Selenium

Selenium is a stable trace-metal element that is found in such cruciferous foods as broccoli, garlic, and onions, as well as in meats, seafood, and nuts. In the human body, selenium is essential for protein synthesis and multiple enzymatic functions.

Gout prevention tips

Would stopping the diuretic be the first choice before instituting preventive therapy?

Lead-free calcium supplements?

Is there a source of calcium that is lead-free?

Is DHEA the new fountain of youth?

Is DHEA the new fountain of youth?

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a precursor of testosterone and estrogen, is purported to enhance muscle building, increase vitality, and improve sexual function.

L-arginine used for heart failure and erectile dysfunction

L-arginine used for heart failure and erectile dysfunction

This amino acid is mainly taken for its vasodilatory effects, but serious safety issues limit its use.

Who should be screened for celiac disease?

How reliable are antigliadin serology tests?

The versatile soybean: Beyond tofu

The versatile soybean: Beyond tofu

Soy products have been the subject of a great deal of medical research, most notably in the areas of cardiovascular health, endocrinology, and oncology.

Links between obesity and mental health

Links between obesity and mental health

When treating obesity, psychological issues must not be overlooked. Learning why patients eat can help clinicians improve what patients eat.

What lies behind the vitamin D revolution?

What lies behind the vitamin D revolution?

Once known primarily for maintaining bone strength, vitamin D is now thought to contribute to prevention of colon, prostate, and breast cancers.

Pomegranate packs a powerful punch

Pomegranate packs a powerful punch

The juice of the pomegranate provides abundant antioxidants and has potential as an anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory.

Diet may displace drugs for controlling high BP

The American Heart Association guidelines are based on important dietary strategies that have emerged in the past decade.

Lowering CVD risk among pediatric patients

Lowering CVD risk among pediatric patients

In the future, more and more children with cardiac risk factors, such as obesity and diabetes, will be treated in the primary-care setting.

Vitamin D important for more than bone density

Vitamin D important for more than bone density

An estimated 50% of colon cancers and 30% of breast cancers could be prevented with adequate levels of vitamin D.

Is the aronia berry the newest superfruit?

Is the aronia berry the newest superfruit?

The aronia berry, high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, reduces gastric irritation and prevents swelling associated with allergic reactions.

Gender-related cravings

Are there any studies which show that men and women have different approaches to food?

Zinc

Zinc

Do we finally have a cure for the common cold? The manufacturers of zinc preparations think so, but the data remain inconsistent.

Olive oil

Olive oil

The benefits of olive oil go beyond its well-deserved reputation for lowering cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Treating ADHD through diet

Foods with with artificial coloring, flavoring, and preservatives stimulate hyperactivity

Vitamin D prophylaxis for osteoporosis?

Shouldn't vitamin D deficiency be considered the primary risk factor?

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