Single foods or nutrients

Please Remember: The articles included in this category deal with indivudal mechanisms, specific foods or nutrients, or other more reductionist questions that are important but should not be taken out of the context of a total dietary pattern. These studies are pieces that help contribute to the body of evidence in favor of a plant-based diet, but please be careful not to make too much of any one individual study.

This information is provided here to build a larger argument, not to make anyone too excited about one specific food or nutrient. The effects of any one particular food or nutrient are superceded by the overall dietary pattern.

Untold nutrition.

Nutrition is generally investigated, and findings interpreted, in reference to the activities of individual nutrients. Nutrient composition of foods, food labeling, food fortification, and nutrient recommendations are mostly founded on this assumption, a practice commonly known as reductionism. While such information on specifics is important and occasionally useful in practice, it ignores the coordinated, integrated and virtually symphonic nutrient activity (wholism) that occurs in vivo.

Antioxidant activity of fresh apples.

Vitamin C is used as a dietary supplement because of its antioxidant activity, although a high dose (500 mg) may act as a pro-oxidant in the body1, 2. Here we show that 100 g of fresh apples has an antioxidant activity equivalent to 1,500 mg of vitamin C, and that whole-apple extracts inhibit the growth of colon- and liver- cancer cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.

Calcium and fructose intake in relation to risk of prostate cancer.

Laboratory and clinical data indicate an antitumor effect of 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) on prostate cancer. High calcium intake suppresses formation of 1,25(OH)2D from 25(OH)D, thereby decreasing the 1,25(OH)2D level. Ingestion of fructose reduces plasma phosphate transiently, and hypophosphatemia stimulates 1,25(OH)2D production. We thus conducted a prospective study among 47,781 men of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study free of cancer in 1986 to examine whether calcium and fructose intake influenced risk of prostate cancer.

Antiproliferative action of vitamin D-related compounds and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 5 accumulation.

Vitamin D-related compounds can inhibit cancer cell growth, but the biologic mechanism of this inhibition remains to be determined. We investigated the possibility that these compounds interfere with the activity of insulin-like growth factors. Such activity can be suppressed or otherwise modulated by specific insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 reversibly blocks the progression of relapsing encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis.

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an autoimmune disease believed to be a model for the human disease multiple sclerosis (MS). Induced by immunizing B10.PL mice with myelin basic protein (MBP), EAE was completely prevented by the administration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitaminD3 [1,25-(OH)2D3]. 1,25-(OH)2D3 could also prevent the progression of EAE when administered at the appearance of the first disability symptoms. Withdrawal of 1,25-(OH)2D3 resulted in a resumption of the progression of EAE. Thus, the block by 1,25-(OH)2D3 is reversible.

High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and reduced bone mass in multiple sclerosis.

Female patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at risk for osteoporosis because of gender, immobility, and corticosteroid use.

Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured by dual x-ray absorptiometry in 80 female MS patients admitted to a tertiary care hospital. All patients completed a questionnaire that included measurements of dietary intake and sunlight exposure. Biochemical indices of bone metabolism and turnover were measured in a random sample of 52 patients.

Vitamin D and its major metabolites: serum levels after graded oral dosing in healthy men.

We determined the quantitative relationships between graded oral dosing with vitamin D3, 25(OH)D3, and 1,25(OH)2D3 for short treatment periods and changes in circulating levels of these substances. The subjects were 116 healthy men (mean age, 28 +/- 4 years, with usual milk consumption of < or = 0.47 l/day and mean serum 25(OH)D of 67 +/- 25 nmol/l). They were distributed among nine open-label treatment groups: vitamin D3 (25, 250 or 1250 micrograms/day for 8 weeks), 25(OH)D3 (10, 20 or 50 micrograms/day for 4 weeks) and 1,25(OH)2D3 (0.5, 1.0 or 1.0 microgram/day for 2 weeks).


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