Category Archives: Macronutrients

Salivary amylase gene variation and glycemic response to starch

In the May issue of The Journal of Nutrition there is an interesting new study on salivary amylase variability and postprandial glycemic response to starch consumption by Abigail Mandel and Paul Breslin. It has a very small sample size so we should be reserved about drawing conclusions until further research is done but the results sure hint at a pretty extreme example of individual genetic variability to starch consumption. Salivary amylase of course is the first step in starch digestion, but Read more [...]

Varying dietary protein with overfeeding in a metabolic ward

A new paper by George Bray and colleagues in JAMA examines the effect of altering dietary protein content on weight gain, energy expenditure, and body composition in response to overeating in metabolic units. The rationale being to test the hypothesis of metabolic inefficiency on a low or high protein diet that existing research has suggested. Scroll down for a video summary from Bray. 25 healthy people with BMIs between 19 and 30 completed the study who spent 10-12 weeks in a metabolic unit Read more [...]

Latest Cochrane review on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease

Right on the heels of the updated Cochrane review on "Reduced dietary salt for the prevention of cardiovascular disease," (and the terrible reporting on it), another one is updated: "Reduced or modified dietary fat for preventing cardiovascular disease." One of the authors (Lee Hooper) worked on the salt review as well. Given that this is a Cochrane review, it uses only RCTs (and only studies that tracked morbidity and mortality, not just intermediate risk factors). Of course as always, the caveats Read more [...]

The Great Fat Debate

At the FNCE last November in Boston, there was a debate titled "The Great Fat Debate - Is There Validity in the Age Old Dietary Guidance?" The scientist participants were Walter Willett (Harvard), Dariush Mozaffarian (Harvard), Alice Lichtenstein (Tufts), and Lewis Kuller (Pittsburgh). If you weren't in attendance (like myself), thankfully the ADA put a video of the debate online here (~1h:15m). This month's issue of the JADA featured edited transcripts of each of the participants as well as a Read more [...]

A consensus paper on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease

The AJCN has a nice short "consensus" paper from many of the top researchers examining the supposed link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease, which is open access here. Arne Astrup and Walter Willett organized an invitation-only symposium last year with big names in nutrition research; among the other participants were Frank B Hu, Ronald M Krauss, Jørn Dyerberg, Peter Elwood, Kjeld Hermansen, Marianne Uhre Jakobsen, Frans J Kok, Jean Michel Lecerf, Philippe LeGrand, Paul Nestel, Ulf Read more [...]

Choose foods, not nutrients

Last week, Yoni Freedhoff highlighted a great JAMA editorial by Dariush Mozaffarian and David Ludwig entitled "Dietary Guidelines in the 21st Century-a Time for Food." (1).  It is a short but smart commentary by 2 researchers who clearly see the big picture (and have contributed research to support it): that we should be promoting whole foods, not specific nutrients which push consumers toward processed products.  Yoni has reprinted most of it on his blog, so I will make a very short summary here: Nutritional Read more [...]