In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

On Nutrition: Confusion about Vitamin A and Calcium

By Barbara Quinn

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Christine P. writes:

"Dear Barbara Quinn,

My question concerns A-vitamin. I am taking a multivitamin for women over 50 that contains a large amount of vitamin A beta carotene. I am concerned that this might be too much. I am 70 years old and in excellent health.

I also take a calcium supplement plus vitamin D and other medications to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure. I am considering to drop the calcium supplement, I heard a new study does question the absorption of calcium into the bones. I would like to have your opinion on the vitamin A and calcium."

Dear Christine, my opinion is this: As much as we try to simplify nutrition recommendations, they are really quite complex. Hence the following:

Vitamin A is actually a group of related compounds that are essential for good vision, immune function and reproduction. In food, vitamin A is in two major forms: "Pre-formed" (retinol or retinal ester) is found in fish oils, liver, and dairy foods. "Pro-vitamin A" (alpha- and beta-carotene) is found in orange, yellow and leafy green vegetables, tomatoes and fruit) and is converted to active vitamin A in the body.

Dietary supplements may contain both forms of vitamin A and the label should tell you that. This is important because excess "preformed" vitamin A (retinol) can be toxic and has also been associated with an increase in bone fractures. On the other hand, beta carotene is rarely toxic except in the case of smokers or asbestos workers who take it in high doses.

What is confusing is that nutrition labels often list vitamin A in IU's (international units) while nutrition experts consider RAE's (retinol activity equivalents). And RAE's are different based on the source of the nutrient. (Confusing, yes?)

In general, if your dietary supplement contains more than 10,000 IU's of "preformed" vitamin A (often listed as retinol or palmitate), that's too much. Many supplement labels will also list what portion of the vitamin A content is in the safer form of beta carotene.

Regarding calcium, you may be referring to the recent draft (not set in stone) document by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that specifically addresses the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent bone fractures from osteoporosis in woman past the age of menopause.

This task force concludes "with moderate certainty" that a daily supplement less than 400 IU of vitamin D-3 and 1000 mg of calcium carbonate does not appear to prevent a first-time fracture from osteoporosis in older women. And there is not enough evidence to support taking more than these amounts either.

However this draft report says there is good evidence that vitamin D supplements can help prevent falls (that can lead to fractures) in people over the age of 65.

Adequately confused? It's a good reminder to look closely at who and what is being studied. Better yet, get the advice of a nutrition professional who can personalize your dietary needs according to your unique health and medical concerns.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.


Learning moderation

Energy from B-vitamins?
The optimal diet for a new baby
Hay is for horses
Questions about nitrites and nitrates
Confusing concepts
Nutrition nursery rhymes
Understanding sweeteners
Ups and downs of birthdays
Genetically modified foods
Fun with potatoes
Sugar questions
Yeast infection diet
Questions from readers
Beware of the hCG diet
Diets that work
Pregnancy advice from mom
Terminology review
Thoughts for the New Year
Reasons to have a cup of tea
What's new for 2012
Applications for healthy living
Clarifying organic terminology
Facts about type 1 diabetes
Myths and facts about diabetes
Food Still Better Than Supplements
Celiac questions

© 2011, The Monterey County Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services