Fermented soybeans (Natto), a traditional Japanese food, contain more than 100 times as much vitamin K2 as various cheeses and are considered to promote gamma-carboxylation. Thus it is conceivable that Natto may play a preventive role in the development of osteoporosis. In this study, the relationships between the bone stiffness index measured by ultrasound, bone turnover markers, and lifestyle factors, including Natto intake, were examined in relation to vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphism. Among 117 premenopausal volunteers, approximately 75% were bb homozygotes, 20% were Bb heterozygotes, and only 5% were BB homozygotes. The B allele group and the bb group were subdivided according to Natto intake. In a monovariate analysis, no significant differences in indices for dietary intake, including Ca and vitamin D intake, were observed. The stiffness index in the B allele group, however, was slightly lower than in the bb groups when there was no Natto intake. There were no significant differences in serum ALP and Gla-osteocalcin, bone formation markers, or NTx and Ca in urine, bone resorption markers. A logistic regression test, including the interactional effect of Natto intake and VDR RFLP, indicated that the B allele group was a risk factor of bone mineral loss and that Natto was effective in maintaining bone stiffness in this group. Although the present study was cross sectional and requires longitudinal investigation, Natto may improve the bone health of people who have a low affinity receptor for vitamin D.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: viii, 163 leaves This thesis reviews the literature on the anthropology and biology of aging, Japanese health cosmology, and self-medication and analyzes the findings from a study investigating the perceptions on diet, health, and longevity of rural Japanese elderly living in southwestern Japan. A biocultural theoretical perspective is used to understand the relationship between culture, identity, tradition, and longevity. To rural elderly Japanese, health is a matter of maintaining balance through diet and lifestyle, while disease is diagnosed and treated by physicians and biomedical pharmaceuticals. Traditional Japanese foods have been shown to be longevity-enhancing, although Okinawans, who have the greatest life expectancy of Japanese, do not eat a traditional Japanese diet. This disparity is reconciled by the adopted of a number of foods from Okinawa, such as nigagori. The bioscientific literature on some foods listed by informants as good for longevity is analyzed and linked to the literature on cultural identity and nationalism. Consuming traditional Japanese foods for longevity allows Japanese to participate in their cultural identity while at the same time, eating the biologically best foods for health and longevity. MA
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The breastfed infant has limited sources of vitamin K, as it is transmitted poorly across the placenta and is present in very low concentrations in human milk. The author of this paper reports a concentration of vitamin K in human milk (0.517 +/- 1.521 microg/dl) that is about twice the average of earlier reports (0.25 microg/dl). About half of the increased concentration (0.235 +/- 0.144 microg/dl) is accounted for by vitamin K2 (menaquinone) rather than vitamin K1 (phylloquinone); the latter generally thought to be more important in human nutrition. The significance of these findings is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chong et al. examined risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) before and after the start of the Swedish campaign to reduce the risk of SIDS. They found that maternal smoking was the strongest risk factor for SIDS in the post-campaign compared to the pre-campaign period. CONCLUSION: After successful results of the SIDS campaigns to prevent prone sleeping, strong efforts need to be undertaken to eliminate maternal smoking during pregnancy altogether without replacing cigarette smoking with other nicotine delivery devices such as snuff, gum or patches.
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