Volume 148 (7) | July 2018
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The Journal of Nutrition Media Alerts
The following articles have been published in the July 2018 issue of  The Journal of Nutrition, a publication of the American Society for Nutrition. Summaries of the selected articles appear below; the full text of each article is available by clicking on the links listed. Manuscripts published in  The Journal of Nutrition are embargoed until the article appears online either as in press ( Articles in Press) or as a final version. The embargoes for the following articles have expired ( Editor's Choice Article in bold):
  • Iowa teens who drink more milk are taller than those who drink less milk
  • Rapid preschool weight gain linked to adiposity and blood pressure in Mexican children
  • Breastmilk composition – is there an effect of maternal weight-loss surgery?
  • Long term high dose supplementation of folic acid leads to high blood folate and detectable levels of folic acid in serum
Iowa teens who drink more milk are taller than those who drink less milk
Short stature is considered a hallmark of chronic undernutrition during infancy and childhood around the world. For this reason, infant length and child height are typically measured and compared to healthy norms at each health checkup. This is particularly true in regions of the world where malnutrition is common and short stature (stunting) is endemic. However, in higher-income countries like the United States where obesity is more common than undernutrition, less attention is paid to a child’s height, and little is known about whether nutrient intake and food patterns are associated with height. This article includes findings from a study conducted by Marshall and colleagues at The University of Iowa suggesting that drinking more milk during childhood and adolescence might actually make you taller.

Reference: Marshall TA, Curtis AM, Cavanaugh JE, Warren JJ, Levy SM. Higher longitudinal milk intakes are associated with increased height in a birth cohort followed for 17 years . J Nutr 2018; 148(7):1144-49
For More Information:  To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Teresa Marshall, please send an e-mail to teresa-marshall@uiowa.edu .

Rapid preschool weight gain linked to adiposity and blood pressure in Mexican children
Mounting evidence suggests that rapid weight gain during the first year of life might predispose children to becoming obese and increase risk for other poor health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, most of this evidence comes from studies conducted in high-income countries. In contrast, most studies in lower-income countries have not found these associations during the first year of life, probably because the data were collected prior to 1990 when food was less available and children more active. This gap in knowledge is important because as the economies of developing countries improve, obesity rates tend to rapidly increase – a phenomenon referred to as the “nutrition transition.” Mexico is a perfect example of this reality; whereas just decades ago most Mexicans were underweight or healthy weight, today 70-74% of Mexican men and women are overweight or obese. As such, finding ways to curb these alarming trends has tremendous public health importance. This study by Ramirez-Silva and colleagues reports that keeping an eye on weight gain during the preschool years might be important in this regard.

Reference: Ramirez-Silva I, Rivera JA, Trejo-Valdivia B, Stein AD, Martorell R, Romieu I, Barraza-Villarreal A, Alvila-Jiménez L, Ramakrishnan U. Relative weight gain through age 4 years is associated with increased adiposity, and higher blood pressure and insulinemia at 4-5 years of age in Mexican children . J Nutr 2018; 148(7):1135-43.
For More Information:  To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Juan Rivera, please send an e-mail to jrivera@insp.mx

Breastmilk composition – is there an effect of maternal weight-loss surgery?
With no end in sight to today’s alarming obesity trends, many overweight individuals are opting to undergo bariatric (weight-loss) surgery – which not only helps with weight loss but also improves health and overall quality of life. One of the concerns, however, with these types of surgeries is that they can lead to nutritional deficiencies because of reduced digestion and absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. This is particularly true for fat-soluble micronutrients, like vitamin A. Recent studies have suggested that bariatric surgery-induced nutrient deficiencies might be particularly concerning during pregnancy, when a mother’s nutritional status can impact her developing fetus. In a paper published in the August 2018 issue of The Journal of Nutrition, however, researchers in Belgium report their findings that having undergone bariatric surgery does not appear to negatively influence the concentration of nutrients in breastmilk.

Reference: Jans G, Devlieger R, De Preter V, Ameye L, Roelens K, Lannoo M, Van der Schueren B, Verhaeghe J, Matthys C. Bariatric surgery does not appear to affect women’s breast-milk composition . J Nutr 2018; 148(7):1096-1102.
For More Information:  To contact the corresponding author, Dr. Goele Jans, please send an e-mail to goele.jans@ucll.be

Read full summaries here .
JN  Editor's Choice Article

Long term high dose supplementation of folic acid leads to high blood folate and detectable levels of folic acid in serum
Neural tube defects in fetuses can result if folic acid levels are low, and as a result women of child bearing age and planning for pregnancy start consuming supplements containing high doses of folic acid. These supplements are often continued throughout pregnancy and some women even continue taking them during lactation. Folic acid is metabolized into 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate, which is the primary vitamer found in serum and red blood cells. No data exists to characterize folate vitamer concentrations in serum and red blood cells in women consuming high dose supplements for an extended period of time.  Stamm and colleagues report on a study that determined folate vitamer concentrations in subjects enrolled in a study at 13-22 weeks of gestation. The women consumed supplements containing 1000 µg folic acid and 12 µg vitamin B-12, in addition to other vitamins and minerals from the time of enrollment till 8 weeks postpartum. Serum and whole blood samples collected at the end of the study were used to determine the distribution of folate vitamers. High concentrations of serum total folate and red blood cell folate were detected. Many women also had detectable levels of folic acid in serum, which the authors suggest indicate that the supplement levels used were in excess of the enzyme capacity for conversion to 5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate. The authors recommend that consideration should be given to reducing the levels of folic acid supplemented during pregnancy and lactation.

Reference: Stamm RA, March KM, Karakochuk CD, Gray AR, Brown RC, Green TJ, Houghton LA.  Lactating Canadian women consuming 1000 µg folic acid daily have high circulating serum folic acid above a threshold concentration of serum total folate.   J Nutr 2018; 148(7):1103-8 .
For More Information: To contact the corresponding author, Rosemary A. Stamm, please send an email to stamm.rosemary@itsligo.ie.
To arrange an interview with an ASN spokesperson, email media@nutrition.org

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