Nutritional Adequacy of Plant-Based Diets

Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide

Because of the ever-increasing body of evidence in support of the health advantages of plant-based nutrition, there is a need for guidance on implementing its practice. This article provides physicians and other health care practitioners an overview of the myriad benefits of a plant-based diet as well as details on how best to achieve a well-balanced, nutrient-dense meal plan.

Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are two essential nutrients long known for their role in bone health. But since 2000, the public has heard conflicting messages about other benefits of these nutrients—especially vitamin D—and also about how much calcium and vitamin D they need to be healthy. To help clarify this issue, the United States and Canadian governments asked the IOM to assess the current data on health outcomes associated with calcium and vitamin D, as well as updating the nutrient reference values, known as Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs).

Quantifying the non-food sources of basal vitamin D input.

Unsupplemented vitamin D status is determined by cutaneous synthesis and food inputs; however, their relative magnitudes are largely unknown. In a cohort of 780 non-supplement-taking adults with a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] of 33 (±14)ng/ml we assessed the relationship between serum 25(OH)D and non-food environmental variables. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was adjusted for seasonal influence (which removed 2% of the total variance) and these adjusted values were regressed against factors involved in cutaneous synthesis.

Quantifying the food sources of basal vitamin d input.

Cutaneous synthesis and traditional food sources do not fully account for unsupplemented vitamin D status. Non-traditional food sources may be an undiscovered input. In a cohort of 780 non-supplement-taking adults with a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] of 33 (±14)ng/ml we assessed the relationship between vitamin D status and selected food sources. Serum 25(OH)D concentration was adjusted for season, UVB exposures, and body size. These adjusted values were then regressed against multiple food items and combinations.

Vegan-vegetarian diets in pregnancy: danger or panacea? A systematic narrative review

BACKGROUND:
Although vegan-vegetarian diets are increasingly popular, no recent systematic reviews on vegan-vegetarian diets in pregnancy exist.

OBJECTIVES:
To review the literature on vegan-vegetarian diets and pregnancy outcomes.

SEARCH STRATEGY:
PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane library were searched from inception to September 2013 for pregnancy and vegan or vegetarian Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and free-text terms.

Vegetarian diets across the lifecycle: impact on zinc intake and status.

Optimal zinc status is an important consideration when evaluating the nutritional adequacy of vegetarian diets. In the absence of animal tissue sources of zinc and with increased intake of inhibitors of zinc absorption, phytic acid in particular, the bioavailability of zinc is thought to be lower from vegetarian as compared to omnivorous diets. The aim of this chapter is to review the research that examines the effects of vegetarian compared to omnivorous diets on zinc intake and zinc status in the elderly, adults, children, pregnancy, and lactation.

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