Iron Deficiency – are you at risk?

Iron Deficiency – are you at risk?

Health
Nutrient deficiencies are not often thought to be big issues in developed countries such as Australia, with access to fresh food and water it can be easy for us to get adequate nutrients from a balanced diet. However Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the world, affecting more than 25% people worldwide (1). Young women are at particular risk, with higher requirements for iron during child bearing age. Iron is a mineral required for a number of functions within the body including making red blood cells and transporting oxygen around the body. It is also important for producing energy, optimal immune function and storing oxygen in our muscles. Iron is an essential mineral meaning you must get it from food. The symptoms of iron deficiency include…
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The Price We Pay for Supplements

The Price We Pay for Supplements

Health
Vitamin and mineral supplements are marketed as an investment in your health, but, dig a little deeper and you might find they are actually a waste of your hard earned money. Companies such as Blackmore’s, Nature’s Way, Centrum and Swisse use celebrity endorsements to make millions each year selling vitamin and mineral supplements that claim to improve everything from hair, skin and nails to memory and focus. However, rarely do you see a dietitian’s tick of approval on these products. Turns out, there is a good reason for this. Research shows, that unless an individual is deficient in a particular nutrient, supplementation is unnecessary and, in some cases, can be harmful to health. Nutrient deficiency can come about in a variety of ways. For example, in the case of restrictive…
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Should You Take Vitamin D Supplements to Reduce Your Risk of Fractures?

Should You Take Vitamin D Supplements to Reduce Your Risk of Fractures?

Health
  To follow up on my previous post on calcium supplementation, this post will be on the effect that vitamin D supplementation has on fractures risk. The majority of our vitamin D comes from the sun and a small amount comes from our diet. Surprisingly, even though Australia is known for its sunny weather, approximately one third of Australians are deficient in vitamin D [1].   With the knowledge that vitamin D increases the effect of calcium, it is common sense to assume that it would reduce the risk of fractures. To make the assumption even stronger, vitamin D supplementation also leads to an increase in bone mineral density [2-3].   Although in theory vitamin D supplementation should reduce fractures risk, after going through every study in the past 20…
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Do Calcium Supplements Reduce the Risk of Fractures?

Do Calcium Supplements Reduce the Risk of Fractures?

Health
  While I was contemplating what I could write for my first blog post, I was trying to think what I could offer that nobody else in the nutrition world was already providing. The conclusion that I came to was the findings of my systematic review that I did in my final year at university, on the topic of whether calcium and vitamin D supplements reduce the risk of fractures in people 50+ years old. I never published the results and I chose this subject because there had been no clear answer in the research, so I figured that it’s something that I could share that nobody else could. To keep things short and sweet, I’ll do this post on calcium first and then do a separate post on vitamin…
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