All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

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Health - the level of functional and metabolic efficiency of a living organism, specifically of a human being.

  • Fruit and Diabetes Type 2

    Researchers in Denmark randomized 63 patients to high fruit or low fruit intake, and after 12 weeks, the 2 groups had similar drops in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, weight, and girth. They enrolled patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes who had been referred for nutritional counseling. The patients were an even mix of men and women, with a mean age of 58 years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 32.  

    Allan S. Christensen, the lead of the research group: 

    We conclude that advice to restrict fruit intake as part of standard [medical nutrition therapy] in overweight adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus does not improve glycemic control, body weight, or waist circumference.

    The 32 subjects in the low-fruit-intake group were advised eat no more than 2 pieces of fruit a day, whereas the 31 subjects in the high-fruit-intake group were told to indulge in 2 or more pieces of fruit a day.

    A piece of fruit was defined as the amount that contained about 10 g of carbohydrate - for example, an apple (100 g), half a banana (50 g), or an orange (125 g). The subjects were also instructed to eat whole fruit, skip dried fruit, and not drink fruit juice.

    Over the 12 weeks, on average, fruit consumption rose from 194 g/day to 319 g/day in the high-intake group and decreased from 186 g/day to 135 g/day in the low-intake group.

    Patients in the high-fruit-intake group had a significant drop in HbAIC levels, from 6.74% to 6.26%. They also lost about 2 kg (from 92 kg to 90 kg) and trimmed their waist by about 4 cm (from 103 to 99 cm). Similar results were obtained by patients in the low-fruit-intake group, and there were no significant between-group differences in these 3 outcomes.

  • Flaxseeds for Sensitive Skin

    Supplementation with flaxseed oil led to significant decreases in sensitivity, transepidermal water loss, skin roughness and scaling. Smoothness and hydration were increased. The ratio of n-6/n-3 dietary fatty acids in plasma decreased.

    Upon supplementation with safflower seed oil, only a significant improvement in skin roughness and hydration was observed; however, the effects were less pronounced and determined at a later point in time than with flaxseed oil. The plasma n-6/n-3 fatty acids ratio increased.

  • Carnitine and Microflora

    Intestinal microbiota may contribute to the well-established link between high levels of red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease risk. 

    The study tested the carnitine and trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) levels - a metabolite the researchers previously linked in a 2011 study to the promotion of atherosclerosis in humans - of omnivores, vegans and vegetarians, and examined the clinical data of 2,595 patients undergoing elective cardiac evaluations. The research finds that a diet high in carnitine promotes the growth of the bacteria that metabolize carnitine, compounding the problem by producing even more of the artery-clogging TMAO. 

    Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D.:

    Carnitine metabolism suggests a new way to help explain why a diet rich in red meat promotes atherosclerosis.

    The bacteria living in our digestive tracts are dictated by our long-term dietary patterns. A diet high in carnitine actually shifts our gut microbe composition to those that like carnitine, making meat eaters even more susceptible to forming TMAO and its artery-clogging effects. Meanwhile, vegans and vegetarians have a significantly reduced capacity to synthesize TMAO from carnitine, which may explain the cardiovascular health benefits of these diets.

    Carnitine is naturally occurring in red meats, including beef, venison, lamb, mutton, duck, and pork. It is also a dietary supplement available in pill form and a common ingredient in energy drinks

  • EAR and RDA for Amino Acids

    Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) and Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for amino acids (protein) for healthy adults 19 y and older, mg/kg/day:

    • Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): average, estimated to meet the requirements of 50%.
    • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average, sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all.
    Amino Acids EAR RDA
    phenylalanine + tyrosine 27 33
    valine 19 24
    threonine 16 20
    tryptophan 4 5
    methionine + cysteine 15 19
    leucine 34 42
    isoleucine 15 19
    lysine 31 38
    histidine 11 14
  • Dietary Reference Intake DRI

    Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are reference values that are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people. They include both recommended intakes and upper intake levels.

    Although the reference values are based on data, the data are often insufficient or drawn from studies that had limitations in addressing the question. Scientific judgment is required in setting the reference values. 

    • EAR - Estimated Average Requirement - a nutrient intake value that is estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a group.
    • RDA - Recommended Dietary Allowance - the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in a group.
    • AI - Adequate Intake: a value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations of nutrient intake by a group of healthy people.
      Used when an RDA cannot be determined.
    • UL - Tolerable Upper Intake Level - the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.
  • Estimated Average Requirement EAR

    Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) is the average daily nutrient intake level that is estimated to meet the requirements of half  - 50% - of the healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. 

    Because the needs of the other half of the population will not be met by this amount, the EAR is increased by about 20% to arrive at the RDA.

    Before setting the EAR, a specific criterion of adequacy is selected, based on a careful review of the literature. When selecting the criterion, reduction of disease risk is considered along with many other health parameters. 

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance RDA

    Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) - the average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all - ~97% - healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group. 

    The process for setting the RDA depends on being able to set an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). If an EAR cannot be set, no RDA will be set. The EAR is the daily intake value of a nutrient that is estimated to meet the nutrient requirement of half the healthy individuals in a life stage and gender group.

    The RDA is set at the EAR plus twice the standard deviation (SD) if known (RDA = EAR + 2 SD). If data about variability in requirements are insufficient to calculate a standard deviation, a coefficient of variation for the EAR of 10% is ordinarily assumed (RDA = 1.2 x EAR).

    The RDA for a nutrient is a value to be used as a goal for dietary intake by healthy individuals. The RDA is not intended to be used to assess the diets of either individuals or groups or to plan diets for groups.

  • Undernutrition

    Undernutrition is a form of malnutrition. (Malnutrition also includes overnutrition).

    Undernutrition can result from:

    • inadequate ingestion of nutrients,
    • malabsorption,
    • impaired metabolism,
    • loss of nutrients due to diarrhea,
    • increased nutritional requirements.

    Undernutrition progresses in stages: it may develop slowly when it is due to anorexia or very rapidly. First, nutrient levels in blood and tissues change, followed by intracellular changes in biochemical functions and structure. Ultimately, symptoms and signs appear. Diagnosis is by history, physical examination, body composition analysis, and sometimes laboratory tests. 

    Undernutrition from micronutrient deficiencies, or "hidden hunger", affects over 2 billion people globally and can lead to reduced growth and cognitive development, birth defects, blindness, and overall poor health. Vitamin A deficiencyiron deficiency anaemia and iodine deficiency disorders are among the most common forms of micronutrient malnutrition. 

  • Overnutrition

    Overnutrition, a type of malnutrition, is emerging with rates of obesity and related chronic diseases associated with urbanisation, aging populations, technological development and globalisation of food supplies and industry. Billions of dollars are spent annually by the food industry to promote the consumption of highly refined, high-calorie foods with little or no nutritional value. 

    At least 35 million overweight children are living in developing countries and 8 million in developed countries. Children are increasingly exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods which tend to be cheaper than healthy foods. General imbalance in energy intake compared to physical activity levels is driving the obesity epidemic. In industrialised countries, child obesity risk is associated with lower household income, women with less education, and single parent households.

    Obesity is increasingly prevalent among adolescent girls and women, as access to a greater quantity of inexpensive, tasty, and convenient foods increases. 

    Taxation on high-calorie, low-nutrition foods can play a significant role in reducing the consumption of such products. Population-wide weight-control campaigns that raise awareness among medical staff, policy-makers and the public at large can also help to reduce obesity. Particularly important is the promotion of health literacy. Additional measures include restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy foods and sugary drinks to children, and controls on the use of misleading health and nutrition claims; mandatory front-of-pack food labelling helps consumers to identify healthier options. 

  • Excessive Protein Intake

    Because the system for disposal of excess nitrogen is efficient, protein intakes moderately above requirement are believed to be safe.

    Brenner et al. (1982) postulated that excess protein intake accelerates the processes that lead to renal glomerular sclerosis, a common phenomenon of aging. There is supportive evidence from studies in animals, but not in humans on this point. Urinary calcium excretion increases with increased protein intake if phosphorus intake is constant. If phosphorus intake increases with protein intake, as it does in U.S. diets, the effect of protein is minimized.

    Habitual intakes of protein in the United States are substantially above the requirement, and although there is no firm evidence that these intake levels are harmful, it has been deemed prudent to maintain an upper bound of no more than twice the RDA for protein.

Plutarch

But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that proportion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.

Nitrogen Balance

Nitrogen balance is a measure of nitrogen input minus nitrogen output

Nitrogen Balance = Nitrogen intake - Nitrogen loss

Nitrogen is a fundamental component of amino acids, which are the molecular building blocks of protein. Measuring nitrogen inputs and losses can be used to study protein metabolism. 

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