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Special issue: Diet and Health

November 15, 2018

Diet has major effects on human health. In this special issue of Science, "Diet and Health," four Reviews explore the connections between what we eat and our well-being, as well as the continuing controversies in this space. Among topics explored: How much fat we should eat? Recommendations have swung from one extreme to the other. In a Review by nutrition scientists with widely varying perspectives, David S. Ludwig and colleagues highlight broad consensus emerging regarding what the proportion of fat should be in a healthy diet, and, importantly, which particular fats seem to be the most healthful. A second Review by Christopher Gentile and Tiffany Weir touches on a promising and emerging area of investigation - how diet influences our give-and-take interaction with the symbionts in our gut. In a third Review, Andrea Di Francesco and colleagues overview the power of adjusting meal size and meal frequency; it's not just what you eat, but when you eat it, and periods of fasting have some remarkable health benefits, they say. In a final Review, Louise M. Burke and John A. Hawley dissect nutritional approaches to optimal performance in elite athletes. There is not a single, superior "athletic diet," they say. Rather, different sports - with different training regimens and metabolic demands - have led to a diversity in sports nutrition practices between athletes. A theme throughout this special issue is that much of the disagreement on what we should eat reflects a lack of solid scientific studies on humans; additional well-designed studies are needed to resolve what's the best diet for people, and how that varies with activity at different life stages and for different individuals.
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American Association for the Advancement of Science

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The keto diet can lead to flu-like symptoms during the first few weeks on the diet
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Reconstructing the diet of fossil vertebrates
Paleodietary studies of the fossil record are impeded by a lack of reliable and unequivocal tracers.
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Sweet soft drinks and lots of sugar increase the risk of both dental cavities and inflammation of the gums -- known as periodontal diseases -- and if this is the case, then healthy eating habits should be prioritized even more.
Poor diet can lead to blindness
An extreme case of 'fussy' or 'picky' eating caused a young patient's blindness, according to a new case report published today [2 Sep 2019] in Annals of Internal Medicine.
New research on diet and supplements during pregnancy and beyond
The foods and nutrients a woman consumes while pregnant have important health implications for her and her baby.
Special issue: Diet and Health
Diet has major effects on human health. In this special issue of Science, 'Diet and Health,' four Reviews explore the connections between what we eat and our well-being, as well as the continuing controversies in this space.
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When healthy people eat a low-gluten and fiber-rich diet compared with a high-gluten diet they experience less intestinal discomfort including less bloating which researchers at University of Copenhagen show are due to changes of the composition and function of gut bacteria.
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