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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Lindsay McCauley and Barbara Demmig‐Adams

The purpose of this literature review is to examine the relationship between soy consumption and breast cancer risk since soy isoflavones, such as genistein, are currently…

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911

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this literature review is to examine the relationship between soy consumption and breast cancer risk since soy isoflavones, such as genistein, are currently discussed as possible breast cancer‐fighting agents in the Asian diet.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is to summarize and evaluate the available literature on the effect of soy, and the Asian diet, on breast cancer risk.

Findings

A key finding of the current analysis is that the effect of genistein depends strongly on dosage and developmental stage during which exposure occurs. The overall conclusion and value of this comprehensive analysis is that the available evidence does not support a recommendation for increased soy consumption as a breast cancer‐preventing agent against the background of a Western diet. Instead, additional general components of the Asian diet, such as fish and plant‐based food, may be involved in lowering breast cancer risk.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation to drawing final conclusions at this time is that further research is clearly needed to better understand the overall effect of soy and other dietary factors.

Practical implications

The practical implication for health care providers, nutritionists, and consumers is therefore a recommendation to avoid isoflavone supplements and enhanced soy consumption alone at this time without an increased intake of the other Asian diet components.

Originality/value

This review arrives at new conclusions about the connection between soy and breast cancer that are summarized under findings and should be valuable for health care providers, nutritionists, and consumers

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Robert Benjamin Adams, Karen Nkechiyere Egbo and Barbara Demmig-Adams

The purpose of this review is to summarize new research indicating that high-dose supplements of the antioxidant vitamin C can interfere with the benefits of physical…

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1068

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to summarize new research indicating that high-dose supplements of the antioxidant vitamin C can interfere with the benefits of physical exercise for athletic performance and the risk for chronic disease.

Design/methodology/approach

This article reviews current original literature on the regulation of human metabolism by oxidants and antioxidants and evaluates the role of exercise and high-dose vitamin C in this context. The presentation in this article aims to be informative and accessible to both experts and non-experts.

Findings

The evidence reviewed here indicates that single, high-dose supplements of the antioxidant vitamin C abolish the beneficial effects of athletic training on muscle recovery and strength as well as abolishing the benefits of exercise in lowering the risk for chronic disease. In contrast, an antioxidant-rich diet based on regular foods apparently enhances the benefits of exercise. These findings are consistent with an updated understanding of the critical importance of both oxidants and antioxidants in the regulation of human metabolism. While more research is needed to address the role of timing and level of antioxidant consumption, it is clear that a balance between oxidants and antioxidants is essential.

Practical implications

The information presented in this review is important for both athletes and the public at large in their efforts to choose nutrition and exercise regimes appropriate to maximize the outcome of their training efforts and lower their risk for chronic disease.

Originality/value

This article provides accessible and comprehensive information to researchers, nutritionists, and consumers interested in optimal nutrition during athletic training and for obtaining the full benefit of physical exercise in lowering the risk for chronic disease.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Barbara Demmig‐Adams and Lindsay McCauley

The purpose of this literature review is to examine underlying mechanisms through which soy may affect breast cancer risk.

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8962

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this literature review is to examine underlying mechanisms through which soy may affect breast cancer risk.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is to summarize the emerging mechanisms of how isoflavones, such as genistein, interact with processes leading to breast cancer.

Findings

The key finding of this analysis is that these mechanisms include a multitude of contrasting effects of genistein on estrogenic and non‐estrogenic signaling pathways controlling cell growth. Furthermore, several of these mechanisms are also regulated by additional dietary factors, such as omega‐3 fatty acids (found e.g. in fish) and various other phytochemicals (factors found generally in plant‐based foods). The available mechanistic information supports (i) a potent effect of dietary factors on cell growth and (ii) a synergistic effect of different dietary components, such as soy, fish, and plant‐based foods.

Practical implications

In conclusion, the practical implication of this analysis is the conclusion that the mechanistic information available at this time does not support a recommendation for an isolated increase in soy to decrease breast cancer risk.

Originality/value

This article should be of value for health care providers, nutritionists, and consumers.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2007

Emily A. Wilson and Barbara Demmig‐Adams

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of multiple functions and their underlying mechanisms for two common spices, garlic and onion, containing…

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12669

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of multiple functions and their underlying mechanisms for two common spices, garlic and onion, containing organosulphur compounds.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review of chemistry, physiology, molecular biology, clinical studies.

Findings

Both garlic and onions exert their effects on human health via multiple different functions, including antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. The organosulphur compounds in these spices scavenge oxidizing agents, inhibit the oxidation of fatty acids, thereby preventing the formation of pro‐inflammatory messengers, and inhibit bacterial growth, via interaction with sulphur‐containing enzymes.

Research limitations/implications

Currently available information on the optimal amount for consumption for each spice is insufficient.

Originality/value

This review is unique in its comprehensive nature, considering multiple different effects of the spices examined as well as multiple studies from molecular to clinical approaches.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Barbara Demmig‐Adams and Jared Carter

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary, for both experts and non‐experts, of new findings on interactions among diet, genes, and exercise in…

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1075

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary, for both experts and non‐experts, of new findings on interactions among diet, genes, and exercise in determining the risk for chronic disease.

Design/methodology/approach

The present review focuses on the key role of exercise in modulating the ratio of muscle fiber types and the resulting effects on overall health.

Findings

Exercise and a diet rich in omega‐3 (n‐3) fatty acids modulate human gene expression and lower the risk for chronic disease. Emerging evidence, synthesized here, shows that a family of gene regulatory proteins, the PPAR (peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor) transcription factor family, regulates the synthesis of human muscle fibers and thereby affects glucose metabolism and the risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Dietary fatty acids, in particular n‐3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, act on PPAR family members, and thereby enhance the synthesis of specific muscle fiber types. Human muscle fibers contain a heterogeneous mix of slow‐oxidative, fast‐oxidative, and fast‐glycolytic muscle fibers. At the extremes of the spectrum, low‐oxidative fibers, important for endurance activities, rely on a complete oxidation of sugars as well as fats for energy, and are associated with high insulin sensitivity. In contrast, fast‐glycolytic fibers, important for short, intense exercise, predominantly use a quick, but only partial breakdown of sugars (glycolysis) for energy. Not surprisingly, sprinters have more fast‐glycolytic fibers, while endurance athletes have more slow‐oxidative fibers. The relative ratio of these different fiber types, in part genetically fixed and in part respondent to diet and exercise, determines not only what type of activities an individual performs best, but also affects the risk for chronic disease. Recent research has identified correlations between muscle fiber type and PPAR type as well as between even modest levels of endurance training and a lowering of the risk for insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Practical implications

This review synthesizes recently discovered mechanisms into a framework supporting the conclusion that even moderate levels of endurance exercise, combined with a sufficient intake of n‐3 fatty acids, lower the risk for chronic disease.

Originality/value

This article provides accessible and comprehensive information to researchers, nutritionists, and consumers who are interested in using lifestyle management (such as exercise and diet) to lower the risk for chronic disease.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2013

Robert B. Adams and Barbara Demmig‐Adams

The purpose of this review is to compare the impact of modern food production on human health with their impact on the sustainability of food production.

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567

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to compare the impact of modern food production on human health with their impact on the sustainability of food production.

Design/methodology/approach

This review includes up‐to‐date information from the original literature on human nutrition as well as ecosystem ecology and presents findings in a manner accessible to both experts and non‐experts.

Findings

The evidence reviewed here indicates that modern livestock rearing and modern plant crop production both lead to adverse effects on not only human health but also on the sustainability of food production. It is concluded that different approaches are needed that increase the potential to produce healthful meat products as well as healthful plant crops – while simultaneously promoting sustainable food production and eliminating the need for pesticide use.

Practical implications

The studies reviewed suggest that the prevalence of chronic human diseases and disorders could be drastically lowered by adopting different approaches to food production, which would simultaneously protect continuing food production for human society.

Originality/value

This article provides accessible and comprehensive information to researchers, nutritionists, and consumers interested in human nutrition in its own right and in relationship to sustainable food production.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2005

Jennifer Dani, Courtney Burrill and Barbara Demmig‐Adams

The purpose of this review is to examine the effect of nutrition on mental functions of children and adolescents.

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4543

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to examine the effect of nutrition on mental functions of children and adolescents.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is to evaluate published research on key dietary factors, including recent, rigorously designed supplementation studies.

Findings

The result of this analysis is that nutrition has potent effects on brain function. It is concluded that protein, iron, iodine, and the consumption of breakfast all impact on a child’s learning capability and behaviour. Moreover, recent research has identified additional, potent roles of micronutrients, such as essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, in the prevention of learning and behavioural disorders. Among the latter, this review focuses particularly on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Research limitations/implications

While several controlled supplementation trials with supplementation are now available, the limitation of the present analysis is that more large‐scale trials are needed before final conclusions can be reached.

Practical implications

The practical implication of this review for health‐care providers, nutritionists, teachers, and parents at this time is that enough promising evidence has be accumulated to warrant a recommendation to include adequate levels of minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients in children’s diets to improve learning and behaviour.

Originality/value

This review is unique in its comprehensive nature and provides a synopsis of the power of diet in influencing learning and behavior for professionals and parents.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2007

Sarah R. Taylor and Barbara Demmig‐Adams

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of current research on the health risks and benefits associated with coffee drinking.

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4933

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive summary of current research on the health risks and benefits associated with coffee drinking.

Design/methodology/approach

This review includes up‐to‐date information from the original literature on coffee drinking and health and presents findings in a manner accessible to both experts and non‐experts.

Findings

Coffee contains caffeine, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals, all of which affect disease risks. There is evidence that coffee drinking may not be suitable for certain individuals. Overall, however, coffee drinking seems to be a non‐harmful habit for those who drink it regularly and in moderation, and recent studies indeed suggest that it may even be beneficial for most people. The most currently available evidence suggests that coffee drinking can help reduce the risk of several diseases, most notably type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease, although the underlying mechanisms for this effect are still being investigated.

Practical implications

Current studies suggest that coffee drinkers can help protect themselves from neurodegenerative and other diseases by drinking an average of two cups of regular, filtered coffee per day.

Originality/value

This article provides accessible and comprehensive information to researchers, nutritionists, and consumers who are interested in the potential health risks and benefits of regular and moderate coffee drinking.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2007

Elizabeth Tran and Barbara Demmig‐Adams

The purpose of this review is to summarize the available literature on the effect of vitamin and mineral supplements, especially in doses exceeding recommended daily allowances.

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1303

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this review is to summarize the available literature on the effect of vitamin and mineral supplements, especially in doses exceeding recommended daily allowances.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive search and analysis of original, peer‐reviewed literature on supplementation studies was conducted.

Findings

High doses of vitamins and minerals can be harmful instead of beneficial. Supplementation of vitamins and minerals, in general, may be most beneficial, and perhaps only beneficial, to individuals with a nutrient‐deficient diet. Consumers thus need to be weary of the safety and efficacy of their supplements. While vitamins and minerals are vital to life, the optimal doses of each required nutrient are currently not known.

Research limitations/implications

Lack of standardization between studies makes it difficult to compare the results from different studies.Practical implications – Based on this review, a recommendation can be made to avoid high dose supplements and obtain vitamins from foods to the greatest extent possible.Originality/value – This review is unique in its comprehensive nature that allows the identification of common underlying problems with the supplementation of different groups of vitamins.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Melanie S. Adams

The goal of this study is to identify important current topics in nutrition that may be poorly understood by the public.

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2092

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this study is to identify important current topics in nutrition that may be poorly understood by the public.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was designed to assess public awareness of a range of important findings uncovered by recent scientific research on nutrition. Responses were collected in December 2005 from 171 well‐educated male and female respondents ranging from 18–70 years of age.

Findings

The highly educated group of respondents surveyed with respect to their awareness of nutrition was well informed on the importance of a balanced diet, the recommendations concerning saturated fat and olive oil, the calcium content of dairy products, and the effect of diet on diabetes and cancer. Important gaps in their knowledge included a low level of awareness of the health effects of canola and corn oil, the high calcium content of several vegetables, the effect of diet on mental processes and the power of the Mediterranean diet in preventing heart attacks. In several of these latter cases, it was the group of younger participants who had the lowest level of awareness. Only about one‐third of the 18–30 years old participants were well informed about canola/corn oil and the calcium content of green vegetables, respectively, vs about two‐thirds in the 31–70 years old age group. Likewise, the participants of ages 18–30 were significantly less well informed about the effect of diet on cancer, intelligence and disruptive behavior than the older participants. In addition, women were found to be better informed than men on the issue of vegetables with high calcium content.

Research limitations/implications

The number of male respondents was lower than that of female respondents and this may have limited the identification of additional cases where gender‐related differences in awareness exist.

Originality/value

This study provides new information about current, important issues in nutrition that are poorly understood even by an educated sample audience, particularly by younger participants. This information should be used as the basis for an education program to improve public health and that should target younger people.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

Keywords

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