Latest Research News on human nutrition : Mar 2022

Human Nutrition and Dietetics

The first edition of this book [this Bulletin, 1960, v. 57, 861] quickly became established as perhaps the most generally useful and informative textbook of its kind. This second edition has been extensively revised, much of it has been completely rewritten, and two new chapters-Inborn Errors of Metabolism and Nutrition and Care of the Aged-have been added. While presenting a comprehensive review of the physiology and chemistry of nutrition, the authors are concerned throughout with the application of this knowledge to the prevention and treatment of disease and in the practical problems of dietetics. The resulting balance between theory, application and practice contributes greatly to its interest and value. The book has been improved by some rearrangement. All the references, which in the last edition were scattered throughout the text, have been brought together in one comprehensive bibliography; similarly the numerous specimen diet sheets, illustrating the dietetic treatment of various diseases have been grouped in an appendix. The chapters on food poisons contain a new section on radioactive material in food, and include a short note on poisonous sea fish and shellfish. The chapters on starvation and kwashiorkor have been rewritten and considerably enlarged. The pathology of kwashiorkor is treated much more comprehensively than in the previous edition, which concentrated upon pathological changes in the liver, , and much more attention is given to the aetiology and to the social, domestic, and dietary background of the disease. At the opposite end of the nutritional scale the treatment of obesity is described with greater clarity and precision and there is a new section on the prevention of this ” the most common nutritional disorder in present-day Great Britain.[1]

Goat milk in human nutrition

Goat milk and its products of yoghurt, cheese and powder have three-fold significance in human nutrition: (1) feeding more starving and malnourished people in the developing world than from cow milk; (2) treating people afflicted with cow milk allergies and gastro-intestinal disorders, which is a significant segment in many populations of developed countries; and (3) filling the gastronomic needs of connoisseur consumers, which is a growing market share in many developed countries. Concerning (1), very much improvement in milk yield and lactation length of dairy goats, especially in developing countries must be accomplished through better education/extension, feeding and genetics. Concerning (2), little unbiased medical research to provide evidence and promotional facts has been conducted, but is very much needed to reduce discrimination against goats and substantiate the many anecdotal experiences about the medical benefits from goat milk consumption, which abound in trade publications and the popular press. Goats have many unique differences in anatomy, physiology and product biochemistry from sheep and cattle, which supports the contention of many unique qualities of dairy goat products for human nutrition. Concerning (3), a few countries like France have pioneered a very well-organized industry of goat milk production, processing, marketing, promotion and research, which has created a strong consumer clientele like in no other country, but deserves very much to be copied for the general benefit to human nutrition and goat milk producers. The physiological and biochemical facts of the unique qualities of goat milk are just barely known and little exploited, especially not the high levels in goat milk of short and medium chain fatty acids, which have recognized medical values for many disorders and diseases of people. The new concept of tailor making foods to better fit human needs has not been applied to goat milk and its products so far, otherwise the enrichment of short and medium chain fatty acids in goat butter, and their greater concentration compared to cow butter, could have become a valued consumer item. Also revisions to human dietary recommendations towards admitting the health benefits of some essential fats supports the idea of promoting goat butter. While goat yoghurt, goat cheeses and goat milk powder are widely appreciated around the world, goat butter is not produced anywhere commercially in significant volume.[2]

Stress control and human nutrition

Stress is a pervasive factor in everyday life that critically affects development and functioning. Severe and prolonged stress exposure impairs homeostatic mechanisms, particularly associated with the onset of depressive illness. Brain food is aimed at preventing as well as treating a growing number of stress-related mental disorders. Some topics on the association of stress and nutrition is reviewed. (1) An increased activity of serotonergic neurons in the brain is an established consequence of stress. An increase in brain tryptophan levels on the order of that produced by eating a carbohydrate-rich/protein-poor meal causes parallel increases in the amounts of serotonin released into synapses. (2) Eating is thought to be suppressed during stress, due to anorectic effects of corticotrophin releasing hormone, and increased during recovery from stress, due to appetite stimulating effects of residual cortisol. (3) A strong inverse association between coffee intake and risk of suicide. (4) Night eating syndrome has been found to occur during periods of stress and is associated with poor results at attempts to lose weight and disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. (5) Dietary antioxidants present in fruits and vegetables may improve cognitive function. Therefore, it is concluded that the establishment of functional foods that correctly regulate stress response must be firmly based upon scientific knowledge and legal regulation.[3]

Human nutrition and dietetics

In the 7th edition of this book, each section has been revised and 3 new chapters and several sections have been added. It is divided into 6 parts: Physiology [of nutrition] (pp. 1-157). Food (pp. 161-233), in which chemical and nutritive properties of foods (including milk and milk products) and the effects of processing are outlined. Primary nutrition diseases (pp. 237-306). Diet and other diseases (pp. 309-452), which mentions lactose intolerance and milk allergy. Public health (pp. 455-513). Diet and physiological requirements (pp. 517-542) which includes dietary requirements during lactation. There are 4 appendices, giving a glossary of food terms and information on different types of diets, 34pp. of references and an index.[4]

Chromium in Human Nutrition: A Review

This review summarizes the results of 15 controlled studies supplementing defined Cr(III) compounds to subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. Three of these (3–4 µmol Cr/d for >2 mo) produced no beneficial effects: serum glucose, insulin and lipid concentrations remained unchanged. The remaining 12 interventions improved the efficiency of insulin or the blood lipid profile of subjects (ranging from malnourished children and healthy middle-aged individuals to insulin-requiring diabetics). In addition, three cases of impaired glucose tolerance after long-term total parenteral alimentation responding to Cr supplementation have been reported. Chromium potentiates the action of insulin in vitro and in vivo; maximal in vitro activity requires a special chemical form, termed Glucose Tolerance Factor and tentatively identified as a Cr-nicotinic acid complex. Its complete structural identification is a major challenge to chromium research. The development and validation of a procedure to diagnose chromium status is the second challenge. Such a test would allow the assessment of incidence and severity of deficiency in the population and the selection of chromium-responsive individuals. The third challenge is the definition of chromium’s mode of action on parameters of lipid metabolism that have been reported from some studies but not others. Future research along these lines might establish whether chromium deficiency is a factor in the much discussed “Syndrome X” of insulin resistance.[5]


[1] Davidson, S. and Passmore, R., 1963. Human nutrition and dietetics. Human Nutrition and Dietetics., (2nd Edition).

[2] Haenlein, G.F.W., 2004. Goat milk in human nutrition. Small ruminant research, 51(2), pp.155-163.

[3] Takeda, E., Terao, J., Nakaya, Y., Miyamoto, K.I., Baba, Y., Chuman, H., Kaji, R., Ohmori, T. and Rokutan, K., 2004. Stress control and human nutrition. The Journal of Medical Investigation, 51(3, 4), pp.139-145.

[4] Davidson, S.S., Passmore, R., Brock, J.F. and Truswell, A.S., 1979. Human nutrition and dietetics. Human nutrition and dietetics., (Ed. 7).

[5] Mertz, W., 1993. Chromium in human nutrition: a review. The Journal of nutrition, 123(4), pp.626-633.

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