Nutrition usually makes a small but potentially valuable contribution to successful performance in elite athletes, and dietary supplements can make a minor contribution to this nutrition programme. Nonetheless, supplement use is widespread at all levels of sport. Products described as supplements target different issues, including (1) the management of micronutrient deficiencies, (2) supply of convenient forms of energy and macronutrients, and (3) provision of direct benefits to performance or (4) indirect benefits such as supporting intense training regimens. The appropriate use of some supplements can benefit the athlete, but others may harm the athlete’s health, performance, and/or livelihood and reputation (if an antidoping rule violation results). A complete nutritional assessment should be undertaken before decisions regarding supplement use are made. Supplements claiming to directly or indirectly enhance performance are typically the largest group of products marketed to athletes, but only a few (including caffeine, creatine, specific buffering agents and nitrate) have good evidence of benefits. However, responses are affected by the scenario of use and may vary widely between individuals because of factors that include genetics, the microbiome and habitual diet. Supplements intended to enhance performance should be thoroughly trialled in training or simulated competition before being used in competition. Inadvertent ingestion of substances prohibited under the antidoping codes that govern elite sport is a known risk of taking some supplements. Protection of the athlete’s health and awareness of the potential for harm must be paramount; expert professional opinion and assistance is strongly advised before an athlete embarks on supplement use.
The prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies is higher in obese individuals compared to normal-weight people, probably because of inadequate eating habits but also due to increased demands among overweight persons, which are underestimated by dietary reference intakes (DRI) intended for the general population. We therefore evaluated the dietary micronutrient intake in obese individuals compared to a reference population and DRI recommendations. Furthermore, we determined the micronutrient status in obese subjects undergoing a standardized DRI-covering low-calorie formula diet to analyze if the DRI meet the micronutrient requirements of obese individuals.
Insufficient data exist for accurate estimation of global nutrient supplies. Commonly used global datasets contain key weaknesses: 1) data with global coverage, such as the FAO food balance sheets, lack specific information about many individual foods and no information on micronutrient supplies nor heterogeneity among subnational populations, while 2) household surveys provide a closer approximation of consumption, but are often not nationally representative, do not commonly capture many foods consumed outside of the home, and only provide adequate information for a few select populations. Here, we attempt to improve upon these datasets by constructing a new model-the Global Expanded Nutrient Supply (GENuS) model-to estimate nutrient availabilities for 23 individual nutrients across 225 food categories for thirty-four age-sex groups in nearly all countries. Furthermore, the model provides historical trends in dietary nutritional supplies at the national level using data from 1961-2011. We determine supplies of edible food by expanding the food balance sheet data using FAO production and trade data to increase food supply estimates from 98 to 221 food groups, and then estimate the proportion of major cereals being processed to flours to increase to 225. Next, we estimate intake among twenty-six demographic groups (ages 20+, both sexes) in each country by using data taken from the Global Dietary Database, which uses nationally representative surveys to relate national averages of food consumption to individual age and sex-groups; for children and adolescents where GDD data does not yet exist, average calorie-adjusted amounts are assumed. Finally, we match food supplies with nutrient densities from regional food composition tables to estimate nutrient supplies, running Monte Carlo simulations to find the range of potential nutrient supplies provided by the diet. To validate our new method, we compare the GENuS estimates of nutrient supplies against independent estimates by the USDA for historical US nutrition and find very good agreement for 21 of 23 nutrients, though sodium and dietary fiber will require further improvement.
Weight-loss diets restrict intakes of energy and macronutrients but overlook micronutrient profiles. Commercial diet plans may provide insufficient micronutrients. We analyzed nutrient profiles of three plans and compared their micronutrient sufficiency to Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for male U.S. adults. Hypocaloric vegan (Eat to Live-Vegan, Aggressive Weight Loss; ETL-VAWL), high-animal-protein low-carbohydrate (Fast Metabolism Diet; FMD) and weight maintenance (Eat, Drink and Be Healthy; EDH) diets were evaluated. Seven single-day menus were sampled per diet (n = 21 menus, 7 menus/diet) and analyzed for 20 micronutrients with the online nutrient tracker CRON-O-Meter. Without adjustment for energy intake, the ETL-VAWL diet failed to provide 90% of recommended amounts for B12, B₃, D, E, calcium, selenium and zinc. The FMD diet was low (<90% DRI) in B₁, D, E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. The EDH diet met >90% DRIs for all but vitamin D, calcium and potassium. Several micronutrients remained inadequate after adjustment to 2000 kcal/day: vitamin B12 in ETL-VAWL, calcium in FMD and EDH and vitamin D in all diets. Consistent with previous work, micronutrient deficits are prevalent in weight-loss diet plans. Special attention to micronutrient rich foods is required to reduce risk of micronutrient deficiency in design of commercial diets.
The low-carbohydrate, high-fat (LCHF) diet is becoming increasingly employed in clinical dietetic practice as a means to manage many health-related conditions. Yet, it continues to remain contentious in nutrition circles due to a belief that the diet is devoid of nutrients and concern around its saturated fat content. This work aimed to assess the micronutrient intake of the LCHF diet under two conditions of saturated fat thresholds.
Although breakfast consumption is widely considered to be an important component of a healthy lifestyle, few UK studies have examined differences in nutrient intakes between breakfast consumers and breakfast skippers among children and adolescents. We investigated associations between breakfast skipping in 4-18-year-olds and their nutrient intakes using data from the UK’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme. Dietary data were derived from 4-d estimated food diaries of 802 children aged 4-10 years and 884 children aged 11-18 years (1686 in total). Daily nutrient intakes of children with different breakfast habits were compared by one-way ANCOVA adjusting for relevant covariates (sex, age, ethnicity, equivalised household income and BMI). Within-person analysis was carried out on children with an irregular breakfast habit (n 879) comparing nutrient intakes on breakfast days with those on non-breakfast days using repeated measures ANCOVA. We observed that the overall nutritional profile of the children in terms of fibre and micronutrient intake was superior in frequent breakfast consumers (micronutrients: folate, Ca, Fe and I (P<0·01)) and, for the 4-10 years age group, on breakfast days (micronutrients: folate, vitamin C, Ca and I (P<0·01)). Also, significantly higher proportions of breakfast-consuming children met their reference nutrient intakes of folate, vitamin C, Ca, Fe and I compared with breakfast skippers (χ 2 analysis, P<0·001). Our study adds to the body of data linking breakfast consumption with higher quality dietary intake in school-age children, supporting the promotion of breakfast as an important element of a healthy dietary pattern in children.
Since information about macro- and micronutrient intake among vegans is limited we aimed to determine and evaluate their dietary and supplementary intake.
Nearly half of the world’s population obtains its daily calories from rice grains, which lack or have insufficient levels of essential micronutrients. The deficiency of micronutrients vital for normal growth is a global health problem, and iron, zinc and vitamin A deficiencies are the most prevalent ones. We developed rice lines expressing Arabidopsis NICOTIANAMINE SYNTHASE 1 (AtNAS1), bean FERRITIN (PvFERRITIN), bacterial CAROTENE DESATURASE (CRTI) and maize PHYTOENE SYNTHASE (ZmPSY) in a single genetic locus in order to increase iron, zinc and β-carotene content in the rice endosperm. NAS catalyzes the synthesis of nicotianamine (NA), which is a precursor of deoxymugeneic acid (DMA) iron and zinc chelators, and also chelate iron and zinc for long distance transport. FERRITIN provides efficient storage of up to 4500 iron ions. PSY catalyzes the conversion of GGDP to phytoene, and CRTI performs the function of desaturases required for the synthesis of β-carotene from phytoene. All transgenic rice lines have significantly increased β-carotene, iron, and zinc content in the polished rice grains. Our results establish a proof-of-concept for multi-nutrient enrichment of rice grains from a single genetic locus, thus offering a sustainable and effective approach to address different micronutrient deficiencies at once.
Presented here is an overview of the pathway from early nutrient deficiency to long-term brain function, cognition, and productivity, focusing on research from low- and middle-income countries. Animal models have demonstrated the importance of adequate nutrition for the neurodevelopmental processes that occur rapidly during pregnancy and infancy, such as neuron proliferation and myelination. However, several factors influence whether nutrient deficiencies during this period cause permanent cognitive deficits in human populations, including the child’s interaction with the environment, the timing and degree of nutrient deficiency, and the possibility of recovery. These factors should be taken into account in the design and interpretation of future research. Certain types of nutritional deficiency clearly impair brain development, including severe acute malnutrition, chronic undernutrition, iron deficiency, and iodine deficiency. While strategies such as salt iodization and micronutrient powders have been shown to improve these conditions, direct evidence of their impact on brain development is scarce. Other strategies also require further research, including supplementation with iron and other micronutrients, essential fatty acids, and fortified food supplements during pregnancy and infancy.
Proper nutrition, not simply adequate energetic intake, is needed to achieve optimal dance performance. However, little scientific research exists concerning nutrition in dance, and so, to propose nutritional guidelines for this field, recommendations need to be based mainly on studies done in other physically active groups. To diminish the risk of energy imbalance and associated disorders, dancers must consume at least 30 kcal/kg fat-free mass/day, plus the training energy expenditure. For macronutrients, a daily intake of 3 to 5 g carbohydrates/kg, 1.2 to 1.7 g protein/kg, and 20 to 35% of energy intake from fat can be recommended. Dancers may be at increased risk of poor micronutrient status due to their restricted energy intake; micronutrients that deserve concern are iron, calcium, and vitamin D. During training, dancers should give special attention to fluid and carbohydrate intake in order to maintain optimal cognition, motivation, and motor skill performance. For competition/stage performance preparation, it is also important to ensure that an adequate dietary intake is being achieved. Nutritional supplements that may help in achieving specific nutritional goals when dietary intake is inadequate include multivitamins and mineral, iron, calcium, and vitamin D supplements, sports drinks, sports bars, and liquid meal supplements. Caffeine can also be used as an ergogenic aid. It is important that dancers seek dietary advice from qualified specialists, since the pressure to maintain a low body weight and low body fat levels is high, especially in styles as ballet, and this can lead to an unbalanced diet and health problems if not correctly supervised.