Research Roundup

February 2018 Issue

Research Roundup: February 2018

Fats Increase Vegetable Nutrition. Eating salad with added fat from soybean oil promotes the absorption of micronutrients, including vitamins E, A, and K, beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene. Study participants ate salads with varying amounts of soybean oil, a common ingredient in salad dressings, then had their blood tested to measure nutrient absorption. Optimal absorption was at 32 grams (just over two tablespoons) of oil. The amount of oil added was proportional to nutrient absorption, so, the more oil, the more absorption. However, researchers recommend adding no more than two tablespoons of oil per day.

(The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2017)


Pesticides May Impact Pregnancy. Higher intake of fruits and vegetables with high pesticide residue is associated with lower pregnancy and live birth probability in women undergoing infertility treatment. In the study, 325 women undergoing infertility treatments ate 1-2 servings/day of fruit and vegetables with either a high or low pesticide residue level (categorized using USDA data). Compared to those with the lowest intake, participants with the highest intake of high pesticide fruit and vegetables had an 18 percent lower probability of pregnancy and 26 percent lower probability of live birth.

(JAMA Internal Medicine, October 2017)


Healthy Diet Promotes Fitness in Aging. Nutritious eating throughout adulthood leads to better physical performance in later years. Nearly 1,000 participants’ diets were analyzed at age 36, 43, 53, and 60-64, where diet quality was defined by higher consumption of fruit, vegetables, and wholegrain bread, and less refined carbohydrates and processed meats. Those with higher quality diets performed better in chair rise, standing balance, and timed up and go tests. Adults who improved their diet later in the study period still improved their physical performance.

(The Journals of Gerontology, October 2017)