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June 2019

Full Issue (PDF)

Download The Full Issue PDF —Subscribers Only

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Magnesium and Migraine

The International Headache Society (IHS) defines migraine as a headache disorder with recurrent attacks (at least five) that last from 4 to 72 hours, are associated with nausea and/or sensitivity to light and sound, and also have at least two of four other characteristics including: pain that is of moderate or severe intensity; throbbing or pulsing; affects only one side of the head; or is worsened by routine activity such as walking. According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study, migraine is a major cause of disability worldwide.

Early Introduction of Peanuts May Prevent Peanut Allergy

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published updated guidelines on the topic of maternal and early infant diets for the prevention of asthma, allergic rhinitis, dermatitis, and food allergy (atopic disease). The review of research studies concluded that the early introduction of appropriate forms of peanuts (such as ground peanuts or peanut protein) may prevent peanut allergy.

Homocysteine: The Facts —Subscribers Only

Doctors routinely measure blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar, because high levels are strongly associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and bringing these levels down through diet, exercise, and appropriate medication may lower risk. Some researchers suggest that another measure, homocysteine (ho-mo-SIS-teen) levels, should be added to that list. “Multiple studies have found an association between high blood levels of homocysteine and higher cardiovascular disease risk (especially heart attack) as well as higher risk of certain causes of cognitive decline,” says Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, a professor at Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and senior scientist at the Neuroscience and Aging Laboratory.

Lutein for the Eyes (and the Brain) —Subscribers Only

Lutein is just one of the more than 600 phytochemicals in the carotenoid family. These compounds are pigments that give plants their orange, yellow, and red hues, but they are more than just good looking: carotenoids, including lutein, have antioxidant and other health-promoting properties. “What makes lutein unique among the carotenoids is that it is selectively taken up into the eye and the brain,” says Elizabeth Johnson, a former scientist with the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Ask Tufts Experts

Q. Is there anything I can do to address my frequent heartburn besides medications?

Q. Is there anything I can do to address my frequent heartburn besides medications?

Q. I see the term ‘B vitamins’ a lot. Why is this plural, when other vitamins, like vitamin C, are not?

I see the term ‘B vitamins’ a lot. Why is this plural, when other vitamins, like vitamin C, are not?


DRI Update for Sodium and Potassium

An expert committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which included Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, Gershoff Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Executive Editor of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, recently reviewed the scientific evidence in order to update the official U.S. and Canadian Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for sodium and potassium.

Choose Your Post-Exercise Snack Before Your Workout

A recent research study, published in the journal Nutrients, found that visitors to a university recreational center were more likely to select a healthier post-exercise snack when the choice was made pre-exercise. Researchers asked 256 study participants to choose between a chocolate brownie and an apple to eat upon completion of their workout. All participants also had the choice to decline both snack options. Roughly half of the participants were randomly selected to make this…

Special Reports

Demystifying Type 2 Diabetes

The prevalence of diabetes is rapidly rising in every country around the world. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population—more than 30 million Americans—has diabetes. Another 84 million adults have prediabetes. And, at least a quarter of people with diabetes and the vast majority with prediabetes don’t even know they have it. If things don’t change, about two in five Americans will develop diabetes in their lifetime.