ANTI-NUTRIENTS – WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ALL THE FACTS

When you don’t have all the Facts

ANTINUTRIENTS – WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ALL THE FACTS

by Risë Rafferty

Recently, my husband shared an article with me discussing the nutritional advantages that white rice has over brown rice. It presented the case that minerals are better absorbed from fortified white rice than brown rice. The culprit for binding mineral bioavailability in the brown rice was identified as phytate.

Articles sourced from those who promote “ancestral” forms of eating have expressed their concern that phytic acid found in grains, nuts, seeds and beans represents a serious problem in our diets. Calcium, iron and zinc deficiencies are attributed to this anti-nutrient. Some have even labeled it a toxin.

There are those who have witnessed the deficits in calcium, iron and zinc along with key vitamins in developing countries where the major staples of the diet are plant foods, namely grains. Associated with diets based on unrefined cereals and legumes, the nutrient deficiencies are considered to be partially due to poor bioavailability as a result of phytate content. Bioavailability is referring to the actual absorption and utilization of the nutrient. It is influenced by dietary and physiological factors. The emphasis in this arena is what can be done to increase bioavailability.

Interestingly enough, phytic acid is not the only ingredient in plant foods that is classified as an anti-nutrient. Oxalic acid, found in spinach, inhibits calcium absorption. Enzyme inhibitors, found in soybeans, prevent protein absorption. Why would anti-nutrients be found in foods that we have thought to be nutrient rich; which we believe were designed to provide optimal nutrition?

Phytate is found in the bran and germ of grains, in legumes, nuts and seeds. It prevents premature germination and stores the phosphorous that plants need to grow. We wouldn’t be able to store these food items through the winter if it weren’t for phytates. When seed germination begins, for example, after a good soaking in the ground, “phytate is hydrolysed, and phosphorous along with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and iron are liberated, becoming available for germination and development of the seedlings.”1

PHYTIC ACID IS A PHYTOCHEMICAL WITH SIGNIFICANT ANTI-CANCER AND OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS

Phytate’s molecular structure is attracted to minerals and binds with them, plain and simple. Phytate sounds fine and dandy for the seed’s sake, but what about its impact on us?

Lab analysis and experiments have demonstrated that when phytic acid is added to refined flour magnesium absorption is decreased. “Consuming 5-10 mg of phytic acid can reduce iron absorption by 50%.”2 While in the intestines, phytic acid can bind the minerals iron, zinc, and manganese. Once bound, they are then excreted. All that good nutrition is whisked away.

Interestingly enough, however, there are others who have found a bright side to the apparently bleak phytate saga. They call phytate a phytochemical, an antioxidant, a blood sugar lowering agent, and an anti-cancer compound. Another term for phytate is inositol hexaphosphate (IP6). I will cite some conclusions of researchers who approached phytate from the other side of the mountain.

Continue reading

Calcium in a Vegan Diet

Calcium-in-a-Vegan-Diet-960x960

Most people equate calcium with milk. While milk does contain calcium, there are many people who wish to avoid milk products for other health reasons. Are there any sources of calcium for those of us who do not drink milk?

Clarifying questions such as

  • Why is Calcium Important for the Body?
  • What Inhibits Calcium Absorption?
  • Medical Issues Related to Calcium Deficiency

 

… will help you to better understand and implement the intake of calcium in a vegan diet.

Read the whole article.

Source: Life&Health.org

New Cancer Therapy “Dissolves” Woman’s Tumor In 3 Weeks

In medicine, there is often the concern that a patient will not respond to a particular treatment, but in a turn for the books, physicians are now worried that a new cancer treatment might be so effective at eliminating tumors that it does more harm than good.After receiving a single treatment of a novel combination therapy, a woman’s tumor seemingly “dissolved” from her chest in just three weeks, leaving her with a gaping hole in its place. The patient received the same cocktail of skin cancer drugs as almost 150 individuals enrolled in a clinical trial designed to test whether one of the therapies worked better on its own or when combined with another. While most patients did significantly better on the combination therapy, researchers were left gobsmacked by this woman’s rapid and dramatic response and have consequently described her case in the New England Journal of Medicine, alongside the trial results.The therapies the scientists were investigating were the FDA-approved melanoma drugs Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab), which are both antibodies …

More: New Cancer Therapy “Dissolves” Woman’s Tumor In 3 Weeks | IFLScience

Successful long-term learning happens after sleeping

Credit: xiaphias/WikipediaResearchers

Successful long-term learning happens after sleeping on the new material from the University of London. 

Academics from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway taught a group of people new words from a fictional language, which unknown to them, was characterised by a rule relating the new words to one another. They found that although learners became aware of the rule within the new language shortly after being taught it, they were unable to apply it to understanding new, untrained words until after a period of rest.Kathy Rastle, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at Royal Holloway, said: “Teachers have long suspected that proper rest is critical for successful learning. Our research provides some experimental support for this notion. Participants in our experiments were able to identify the hidden rule shortly after learning. However, it was not until they were tested a week after training that participants were able to use that rule to understand a totally new word from the fictional language when it was presented in a sentence.”She added: “This result shows that the key processes that underpin long-term learning of general knowledge arise outside of the classroom, sometime after learning, and may be associated with brain processes that arise during sleep.”

More: Successful long-term learning happens after sleeping on the new material

Bad Fat May Hurt Brain Function Over Time…

... But researchers report that ‘good’ fat may help preserve thinking and memoryobesity

This study supports others that have found an association between saturated fats, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and an increased decline in brain function, Samantha Heller, a dietitian, nutritionist, exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, said.

“… it appears that the effects of eating a lot of saturated fat and the foods associated with it, such as red and processed meats, cheese and butter, over time creates a cascade effect of ill health.” Read the whole article

Source: HealthDay.com / Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons