The nutritional biology of human skin color

The amount of melanin found within our skin has long been a source of division for humans culturally, but anthropologist Nina Jablonski of Penn State tells the story of how human skin color unites us all biologically. It’s become one of my favorite stories to share as it relates to nutritional biology: More pigment was naturallyContinue reading “The nutritional biology of human skin color”

What journalists should know before writing about fructophobia

In his new book, Fat Chance, Dr. Robert Lustig argues that “sugar is more toxin than it ever was nutrient.” He writes that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, that it should be regulated like tobacco, and that children should be carded before having a soda. He compares the fructose component of sugar to ethanol. “Pick your poison,” he writes, arguingContinue reading “What journalists should know before writing about fructophobia”

Why aren’t we talking about organic GMOs? And, why can’t we all get along?

What I want to ask is this: Why aren’t there more people, beyond scientists and academics, talking about organically grown GMOs? These last few weeks have had me thinking a lot about how the terms used to describe our food — “organic,” “conventional,” and genetically modified” — which only serve to confuse and distract from greaterContinue reading “Why aren’t we talking about organic GMOs? And, why can’t we all get along?”

Making lazy, stupid plants work harder

Plants with larger root systems take up minerals more easily. Plants these days. They’re coddled, entitled, fed with a silver spoon. Use of man-made fertilizer and traditional breeding, over the years, has selected for traits that led to today’s modern-variety plants that grow fat with yields. But the downside of easy access to nutrients isContinue reading “Making lazy, stupid plants work harder”

Calcium: U.S. adults still not getting enough

A new study suggests most U.S. adults continue to fail to get enough of the mineral through diet and supplementation to meet recommended levels. University of Connecticut and Yale University researchers examined data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey collected from 9,475 adults between 2003 and 2006. They found that, although dietary calcium intakeContinue reading “Calcium: U.S. adults still not getting enough”

Fusing aging theories: Telomere shortening causes mitochondrial dysfunction

New research is adding insight and linking three theories of aging—one that suggests telomere shortening governs lifespan, and two others that suggest dysfunctional mitochondria or oxidative stress leads to aging. At Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, scientists have gathered data suggesting telomere shortening is the cause of mitochondrial dysfunction and diminished antioxidant defenses. Together, they decreaseContinue reading “Fusing aging theories: Telomere shortening causes mitochondrial dysfunction”

The Nature of Human Skin Pigmentation

Nina Jablonsky On Sunday morning at #AAASmtg in Washington DC, Nina Jablonski talked to use about human skin pigmentation as an example of natural selection. “Human skin is colorful, it’s mostly naked, it’s sweaty, and it’s tough yet sensitive,” Jablonski said. The gradient of human skin pigmentation is very clear in the old world, as it’s lighterContinue reading “The Nature of Human Skin Pigmentation”

How much vitamin C do you really need?

Note: Vitamin C is fascinating topic and there’s no better way to understand it than through the eyes of my boss, Dr. Rockway. I’m glad I had the pleasure of editing her article and posting it here. David By Susie Rockway, Ph.D. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid (ascorbate), is the most frequently taken dietary supplement in North America.Continue reading “How much vitamin C do you really need?”