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September/October 2020 - Volume 55 - Issue 5

  • Johanna Dwyer, DSc, RD
  • 0029-666X
  • 1538-9839
  • 6 issues / year

Greetings and Happy Fall!

This certainly has been a strange year, and now it’s time to get back to our virtual business after our mostly locked down staycations. Let’s hope that next year at this time we’ll all be non-distancing and enjoying the Fall with friends and family together.

But for now, we have a plump issue for the Fall and plan another plump one to get you through the long days until we finally break the back of the Coronavirus and get on with our lives.

Our feature for the sports and performance-minded readers is two articles on the controversial topic of dietary nitrite and nitrates and sports. Dr. Marissa Baranauskas leads a team at the University of Indiana in an excellent article on dietary nitrate supplementation and exercise-related performance. There are a lot of caveats and other factors involved, but looks like there may be a little something there. We then weigh in with Dr. Norm Hord’s team at Oregon. They do a very nice job of discussing dietary nitrate and nitrite in food patterns and dietary supplements. Again, perhaps some hints of small health effects. 

Feeding a person with advanced Alzheimer’s disease is anguishing for all of those involved and the issue is how best to do it. Dr. Margaret Clifton and her colleagues, including contributing author Dr. Kathy Kolasa, have put together a thoughtful discussion complete with an excellent update on the literature and a case study highlighting the issues. All who face this daunting issue will find much good advice that they can pass on to others. For those who want to pick up some CE credits, this is the continuing education article for the issue and there is a test to take to get the certificate. 

We return to our focus on food, nutrition, and sustainability with another thoughtful piece. For city slickers like yours truly, I learned a lot by reading Dr. Sara Place and Amy Myrdal Miller’s piece on the human and environmental impacts of beef production. This is particularly useful since it focuses on domestic production and what is being done to lower environmental impacts. At the same time, Amy, who is an excellent registered dietitian and cook, provides some tips about healthy eating patterns that include beef.

Everyone talks about polyphenols but not everyone knows what they are. To fill those gaps, we have a splendid review by Drs. Dennis Cladis, Connie Weaver and Mario Feruzzi (the latter two are editorial board members of Nutrition Today) of these fascinating components in foods, including resveratrol and many of the other usual suspects. They manage to combine some rather complicated chemistry with practical information which is highly useful for reading this ever-expanding literature.

We wind up the issue with two practice-oriented pieces. Drs. Kate Gardner Burt and Amana Sisselman-Borgia discuss how a greater use of community health workers can help in dietetics and lead to better outcomes for clients. And Dr. Mary Weiler and her colleagues report on a survey of dietitians who practice with older adults and their views and practices on screening for malnutrition and frailty. The bottom line is there is a need for more attention to frailty screening and some recommendations can help to make that happen. For example, both malnutrition and frailty are certainly problems in Alzheimer’s disease, and screening early is important. 

Good reading and stay safe!

Johanna Dwyer DSc, RD
Editor, Nutrition Today 

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