Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Forget milk for strong bones: NUTS could be just as important for child bone health (?)
The fact that calcium was found to have no effect but magnesium did is very odd and suggests some error
Parents have long been advised to feed their children enough milk and other calcium-rich foods for good bone health, but new research has shown that pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, salmon and almonds may be just as important.
The study, presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington DC, found that foods rich in magnesium play an important role in building bones.
'Lots of nutrients are key for children to have healthy bones and one of these appears to be magnesium,' said lead author Steven Abrams, professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
'Calcium is important, but, except for those children and adolescents with very low intakes, may not be more important than magnesium.'
While it is known that magnesium is important for bone health in adults, few studies have looked at whether magnesium intake is related to bone mineral content in young children.
Researchers recruited 63 healthy children aged between four and eight years old who were not taking any multivitamins or minerals to participate in the study. All children kept food diaries throughout the research.
Children were hospitalized overnight twice so their calcium and magnesium levels could be measured.
All foods and drinks served during their hospital stay contained the same amount of calcium and magnesium they consumed in a typical day based on the children's diaries.
The meals and drinks were weighed before and after each meal to determine how much calcium and magnesium the children actually consumed.
In addition to this, parents were given weighing scales to measure their child's food intake for three days at home after the first hospital stay, and for three days at home prior to the second inpatient stay.
This was to ensure that dietary intake of calcium and magnesium could be calculated accurately.
While hospitalised, children's levels of calcium and magnesium were measured using a technique that involved giving them non-radioactive forms of magnesium and calcium, called stable isotopes, intravenously and orally. Their urine was collected for 72 hours.
By measuring the stable isotopes in the urine, the researchers could work out how much calcium and magnesium was absorbed into the body.
Bone mineral content and density were measured using a special technique called total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
Results showed that the amounts of magnesium consumed and absorbed were key predictors of how much bone children had.
Dietary calcium intake, however, was not significantly associated with total bone mineral content or density.
'We believe it is important for children to have a balanced, healthy diet with good sources of minerals, including both calcium and magnesium,' Dr. Abrams concluded.
Idiotic British ministers want to slash size of cookies and cakes to tackle UK's obesity epidemic
What's to stop people having one extra of the smaller ones?
Leaked plans to reduce the size of cakes and biscuits to tackle Britain's growing waistlines have been branded 'ludicrous' by common sense campaigners.
Ministers wants the portion sizes of fatty and sugar-laden foods to be cut in a bid to halt the growing obesity problem.
The changes, which could be implemented as early as July, are part of the Government's 'Responsibility Deal', where food manufacturers are encouraged to take a pledge to reduce unhealthy ingredients, educate consumers on healthy eating and reduce portion sizes, reports the Daily Express.
But UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall has blasted the plans as 'ludicrous'.
He said: 'A jammy dodger is a jammy dodger. We all know smoking, eating too much fatty food and drinking too much is bad for us.
'It should be up to us to decide what we should or shouldn’t cut back on, not the Government. This is underhand, it is the Government interfering. Packet sizes will shrink but prices won’t and consumers will pay more.'
Howard Thomas, leader of the Common Sense Party, said: 'This is another one from the ministry of silly ideas.
'If someone wants to eat a certain amount of something they will do so, and shrinking it will just mean they eat more of it. Making biscuits smaller isn’t going to make any difference. These plans are just daft.'
A Government source told the paper that the details would be agreed soon and manufacturers would have a choice in how they would implement the change - either by reducing the size of the biscuits or the packet.
Dr Susan Jebb, who chairs the Government steering group drawing up the Responsibility Deal pledge, said the aim is to encourage companies to reduce saturated fat in foods and promote lower fat options.
Ministers have suggested that if companies fail to sign up to the Responsibility Deal voluntarily the government could legislate to force them to act.
Department of Health statistics state biscuits make up six per cent of the daily saturated fat intake of children aged between four and 10 while baked sweet treats contribute a further six per cent.
No one from the Department of Health was available for comment at the time of writing.
Posted by jonjayray at 12:05 AM