Nutrition research has limitations.
Eating is a lifetime activity and an eight-week study captures only a snapshot. Drawing hard conclusions from a short-term study is risky. Large retrospective studies provide associations, not cause and effect.
That said, I read the current research to see what I can share that might be beneficial. By this time, most people know a plant-based intake is best for health.
I share studies that might motivate someone to add an extra serving of vegetables to dinner, have fruit for dessert or sprinkle nuts in salads or vegetables. Both of the below studies came out last month.
The Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology published results from a clinical trial, conducted in China, on cranberry juice intake and H. pylori. About 30-40 percent of people in the U.S. have an H.pylori (a type of bacteria) infection. H. pylori attacks the lining of the stomach and can lead to ulcers.
In this eight-week study, H. pylori positive subjects were given either cranberry juice, a juice-based powder or placebo. Researchers found that consuming 8 ounces of cranberry juice twice a day for eight weeks resulted in a 20% reduction in H.pylori infection.
For anyone who has received this diagnosis, cranberry juice might be a dietary addition to consider.
The second study was published in The Journal of Nutrition.
As we age, we lose muscle mass.
The most obvious consequence of this is loss of strength and function, but there are also metabolic disturbances such as altered amino acids, glucose and fatty acids as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
This large study analyzed dietary and lab data from about 13,000 Europeans. The results suggest that dietary vitamin C intake may be useful for reducing age-related muscle loss.
Resistance exercise and adequate protein intake are also necessary for maintaining muscle mass. High vitamin C foods include citrus foods, bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, papaya, tomatoes and kale.
So, adding these to your diet could be very helpful.
Sheah Rarback MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice in Miami.