Follow your heart or your head? This week’s Nutrition News looks at how nutrition plays a role in keeping both your heart and your head in check.

Read all the latest nutritional studies here.

Study links high fat dairy to heart health

A global study of nearly 150,000 people has uncovered a link between the consumption of high and full fat dairy products, such as full fat cheese, yoghurt and milk, and a healthy heart and blood pressure. The study considered the consumption of at least two full fat dairy products per day to be the requirement for heart health support.

In looking at the data from the study participants, who were tracked for nine years, as reported by NutraIngredients, it was concluded that there was an association between eating at least two full fat dairy products a day and lower risk of metabolic syndrome; suggesting that the dairy products could have a supportive effective on cardiovascular health.

It is important to note that this was an observational study, which is not only reliant on individual recall of dietary habits, but also suggests a correlation between the two rather than causation. That being said, the study’s researchers are optimistic about what this means for future research into the relationship between full fat dairy and heart health and blood pressure.

Can chelated minerals improve nutrient absorption?

We all know that the consumption of minerals is important to keep our bodies healthy but the absorption of these minerals often goes overlooked. Many minerals are difficult for the body to absorb, which has led to many researchers evaluating ways in which to improve this absorption including chelated minerals, as explored by Healthline.

Chelated minerals are minerals that are bound to compounds such as organic acids and amino acids to aid absorption by the body. By binding to compounds such as an amino acid, it helps prevent the minerals from interacting with other compounds in the body before being absorbed. Chromium, for example, is thought to have poor absorption on its own as the intestine may only absorb as little as 0.4-2.5% of chromium from food. Chromium Picolinate, however, which is chromium attached to picolinic acid, is absorbed by a different pathway in the body and is therefore considered to be a more stable form of chromium in the body.

More research is needed to fully determine the absorption of chelated minerals versus dietary minerals obtained through food, however, the article’s authors suggest it is worth considering if you are of an age where you may produce less stomach acid, which has a negative effect on mineral absorption.

The vitamins and minerals linked to brain health

As we discussed in last week’s Nutrition News, vitamins and minerals are just as important for mental health as they are for our physical health; this article from WebMD has looked at the nutrients we need to keep our brains healthy.

While there’s no such thing as “smart pills”, there are certain nutrients that are vitally important for supporting brain health and, if you don’t get enough of them through food or supplements you can see your brain affected. B vitamins such as B6, B12 and B9 contribute to the support of brain health, so it is important to get enough of these vitamins as they are water soluble and need consuming every day.  Fish oils such as omega 3 are also considered to be important for brain health, with DHA contributing to normal brain development in the foetus and breastfed infants, though more research is needed to prove its impact in adults.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.