Something New Under the Sun:
Adapting to Change in the 21st Century


AnthroHealth News

October 2003

Volume 2, Issue 10


Greetings!! It is October already. Three-quarters of the year is gone. Perhaps you feel that there is no point in trying to get into shape since the holiday season looms. But it is never too late to make healthy lifestyle changes. If this week you begin eating and exercising appropriately, then when holiday goodies beckon, you will have the willpower to resist over-indulgence.


News Updates:

Type 1 Diabetes and Bone Mineral Density: There is an association in older women between increased incidence of hip fractures and type 1 diabetes. Researchers in Buffalo, New York were interested to learn whether reductions in bone mineral density (BMD) and resulting osteoporosis could be found in younger women with type 1 diabetes. Women with type 1 diabetes were divided into two groups based on age (13 – 19; 20 – 37) and compared on several measures of BMD to age-matched women who did not have type 1 diabetes. While there were no significant differences in BMD among the younger cases compared to controls, this was not true for the older age group. For the older diabetic women, the BMD of the hip joint was significantly lower than that of the control group women. A factor in low BMD is an inadequate level of serum vitamin D. Other researchers have found that infants born with deficient levels of vitamin D who do not receive adequate supplementation are more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than are infants with optimal levels of serum vitamin D. Infants and children with rickets (a bone disorder caused by vitamin D deprivation) are three times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes than are vitamin D-sufficient infants and children. Liu EY, Wactawski-Wende J, Donahue RP, Dmochowski J, Hovey KM, Quattrin T. 2003 Does low bone mineral density start in post-teenage years in women with type 1 diabetes? Diabetes Care. Aug;26(8):2365-9. Hypponen E, Laara E, Reunanen A, Jarvelin MR, Virtanen SM. 2001. Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study. Lancet. 358(9292):1500-3.

Minimizing the Possibility of Type 1 Diabetes the AnthroHealth Way: Pregnant women need to optimize their serum vitamin D levels so that their infants will also be born with optimal levels. Infants, especially if they are breastfed, need to be given vitamin D supplements. Children need to maintain optimal levels of vitamin D.


Fruit, Vegetables, and Bone Health: Yet more news on bone health. Research indicates that those who maximize their daily intake of fruits and vegetables have a better calcium balance and less bone resorption than do those who minimize their intake. In order for there to be an optimal balance between bone resportion and bone creation, the extracellular fluid needs to maintain a proper Ph balance between acidity and alkalinity. A diet with too low an intake of fruits and vegetables is acidic. The result is that more calcium is excreted and more bone resorption occurs. When fruit and vegetable intake is increased from about 4 servings/day to about 10 servings/day, calcium excretion is significantly reduced. A diet with a high intake of calcium (perhaps via dairy products), but a low intake of fruits and vegetables [along with inadequate levels of serum vitamin D] would fail to achieve the desired effect of increased bone mineral density. New SA. 2003. Response to: What is the link between fruit and vegetable intake and bone health? Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health 8(2). © 2003 Medscape.

Maximizing Bone Mineral Density the AnthroHealth Way: Individuals with type 1 diabetes need to optimize and maintain optimal levels of serum vitamin D (25 OHD). Optimal levels are 40 – 65 ng/mL. Given current work and lifestyle patterns, it is difficult to optimize serum 25 OHD without supplementation. The minimal daily dosage for most individuals, including children, is probably 1000 IU/day of vitamin D3. Other individuals may need higher doses. The Premier Nutrition way to bone health: Eat a can of sardines several times/week. Sardines are a good source of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, low fat protein, and a can has about 1000 IU of vitamin D3. Eat 10 servings/day of richly-colored fruits and vegetables. White and pale green don’t count as appropriate colors for optimal nutrition.


Partner Violence:

Parental Violence Affects How Adult Offspring Treat Their Partners: Results from a longitudinal, prospective study of 543 children who were initially contacted in 1975 found that observation of parental violence during childhood had a strongly negative effect on their own behavior as adults when dealing with their own partners. Particularly powerful was the child’s observation of violence between his/her parents. Abusive punishment by the mother also exerted a strongly negative effect on future behavior. Analysis was based on questionnaires given to the child and his/her mother at the beginning of the study and at three intervals during the study period with a final questionnaire given in 1999. It appears that the only way to break the cycle of violence is to work with parents of young children to change their behaviors towards each other and towards their children. Once a child reaches adolescence, it is probably too late: the punitive and abusive model of behavior provided by the parents has become part of their own behavioral repertoire. The researchers pointed out that interventions for both boys and girls must be done since both display inappropriate behaviors as adults. Observing her mother being abused may cause a girl to accept such abuse in her later romantic relationships. Ehrensaft MK, Cohen P, Brown J, Smailes E, Chen H, Johnson JG. 2003. Intergenerational transmission of partner violence: a 20-year prospective study. J Consult Clin Psychol. 71(4):741-53.

Physician Screening for Domestic Violence: A bill has been introduced into Congress entitled Domestic Violence Screening, Treatment, and Prevention Act Of 2003. The proposed legislation can be read at this URL: Princeton Survey Research Associates surveyed 3300 hundred American women and found that a whopping 92% cited as their top priority the reduction in violence directed towards women. It is estimated that 73,000 women are hospitalized each year due to domestic violence and that 1500 women die each year from this violence. Despite these figures, it is rare for physicians to ask their female patients during their periodic physicals about domestic violence. The proposed legislation would provide funds for research and education that would encourage physicians to take a more active role in screening for and preventing domestic violence. Gwen Mayes. 2003. "Are You Safe in Your Home?" -- Medical Screening for Domestic Violence Should Be Routine. Medscape Ob/Gyn & Women's Health 8(2). © 2003 Medscape


Mosquitoes, Malaria, Morbidity, and Mortality: The rapid spread of West Nile Virus throughout the United States has served as wakeup call and reminder of the connection between mosquitoes and disease. Since the eradication in the United States of malaria and yellow fever as serious diseases, those diseases have faded from our consciousness and our concern. But they continue to be extremely serious, deadly diseases in many other regions of the world. That this has a bearing on those living in the United States should be clear now that we have seen how rapidly West Nile Virus can spread from a very limited initial contact. We are not immune to or protected from the devastating impact of malaria, a disease that infects about 900 million and kills about 2.7 million individuals each year. Just this summer, Palm Beach County experienced an outbreak of malaria caused by bites from local mosquitoes. Mosquitoes serve as a vector for the infectious pathogens which are rapidly developing resistance to treatments. Research on a vaccine has so far been unsuccessful, though progress is being made. New drugs for treating symptoms are available, but quite costly for the impoverished countries where malaria is endemic. Seven times as much money is spent on research for a vaccine for AIDS as is invested in research for a malarial vaccine. In endemic regions, the vast majority of deaths are among children. One hopes that it will not take a resurgence of endemic malaria in the United States, with the rise in deaths among children, to encourage our government to support more research on malaria and to provide more funds for prevention and eradication in the impoverished regions where malaria is a deadly fact of life. As US military personnel serving in Liberia have discovered recently, malaria is a serious illness. With the speed of air travel, we are truly one world, perhaps most especially when it comes to pathogens. Maitland K, Bejon P, Newton CR. 2003. Malaria. Curr Opin Infect Dis. Oct;16(5):389-395.


AnthroHealth Tip of the Month: In line with one of this month’s news updates, it is a good idea to remind ourselves of how small and interconnected our world has become. Incidents such as war, terror, disease, etc. that occur in disparate and seemingly distant regions of the world may, sooner rather than later, have a direct impact on our lives and our health. A method to remind us of our interconnectedness is to obtain a globe or world map and keep it in a handy location such as near the TV or radio. When a news event occurs, find its location and mark it in some way on the globe or map. Note this location in relationship to that of your own. If you’ve never heard of that place, take this opportunity to learn more. A quick “Google” search on the internet will probably yield a wealth of information. The more we know about our world, the better the decisions we are able to make; decisions that will have an impact on our health and well being.


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