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Today's Dietitian
E-Newsletter    March 2023
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Editor's E-Note

Building Strong Immunity

The subject of optimal nutrition to boost immunity against COVID-19 took center stage in the media over the last three years. And while research on the role nutrition plays in increasing immunity against COVID-19 infection continues, evidence suggests there’s a positive association between stronger immunity and certain nutrients in foods—information RDs are sharing with clients who want to live more healthfully during these tumultuous times.

In this month’s E-News Exclusive, Today’s Dietitian (TD) discusses what the latest research says about a variety of nutrients in foods, including probiotics, that are associated with a more healthy immune system.

After reading the article, visit TD’s website at www.TodaysDietitian.com to read the digital edition of our March issue, which includes articles on zero-proof beverages, functional foods on restaurant menus, and social media pseudoscience, plus our annual TD10 feature on 10 amazing RDs making a difference in dietetics.

Please enjoy the E-Newsletter and give us your feedback at TDeditor@gvpub.com, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

— Judith Riddle, editor
In This E-Newsletter
E-News Exclusive

Boosting Immunity to Prevent COVID-19

By Densie Webb, PhD, RD

Research has well established that the nutrients and bioactive compounds that foods and beverages provide contribute to the functioning of the immune system in ways that are relevant to antiviral immunity.1 In the wake of COVID-19, the role of nutrition in immunity became a hot topic and has proven more critical than ever. An optimal immune response depends on optimal nutrition to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and keep infections such as COVID-19 at bay.

Nutrients for Immunity
Frequently, poor nutrient status is associated with inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn can impact the immune system. Dietary constituents that have high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capacity include vitamin C, vitamin E, and phytochemicals such as carotenoids and polyphenols. Dietary fiber, fermented by the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, also has been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent infection.

“There are several studies and reviews on potential effects of nutrition on COVID-19, and I would say the most discussed are vitamin D and bovine lactoferrin, as well as maybe zinc and selenium,” says Joost van Neerven, PhD, a professor of mucosal immunity at Wageningen University & Research in Wageningen, The Netherlands. “There are no official (ie, broadly supported) recommendations on nutrition and COVID-19, but I think when recommending something from a viewpoint of ‘it doesn’t hurt, so why not use it,’ then extra multivitamins/minerals and/or vitamin D would be on my personal list.”

Field Notes
The ICU and Blood Sugar Control Risks

Efforts by hospital ICU teams to reduce glucose readings of patients with diabetes might do more harm than good, according to an analysis published in Diabetes Care.

Michael Schwartz, MD, lead author and a UW Medicine endocrinologist, says he decided to study the phenomenon after talking with Irl Hirsch, MD, a colleague who had witnessed problems emerge among his ICU patients.

Schwartz and coauthors found that, among patients with diabetes, efforts to reduce blood glucose levels to what’s considered normal in a person without diabetes actually may harm the patients by triggering a dangerous reaction.

The article notes that relative hypoglycemia—or a decrease in glucose greater than or equal to 30% below prehospital admission levels—“has emerged as a major clinical concern because the standard glycemic target recommended for patients in the intensive care unit is associated with an increased mortality risk among some of the critically ill patients with diabetes.”

Other Nutrition News
Ultraprocessed Foods and Cancer Linked in New Study
A new study carried out in the United Kingdom found that ultraprocessed foods can be a significant link to cancer development, stating even a 10% increase in processed food intake could increase cancer risk by as much as 2%, reports U.S. News & World Report.

Potential Link Between Sugar Substitute and Heart Issues
A recent study published in Nature Medicine found a potential link between the zero-calorie sweetener erythritol and an increase in the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The study looked at 4,000 individuals from the United States and Europe and found people with the highest concentration of the sweetener in their blood were most likely to suffer a cardiovascular event, reports The New York Times.
Continuing Education
CPE Monthly

Learn about the relationship between ADHD and nutrition status and the efficacy of various nutrition strategies for managing symptoms in this month’s issue of Today’s Dietitian. Read the CPE Monthly article, take the 10-question online test at CE.TodaysDietitian.com, and earn two CPEUs!

Now you can save on CPE Monthly articles! Access 12 courses and their corresponding quizzes for about $8/credit when you sign up for our CPE Monthly Pass!

Upcoming Live Webinar

Working with ARFID in Real Life: The Clinician's Experience for Individuals Struggling with ARFID
Thursday, April 20, 2023, 2–3:30 pm ET
Presented by Lisa Carroll, MS, RD, LDN, and Emily Presbrey, MS, RD, LDN
1.5 CEUs | Register Now »

Recorded Webinars

Understanding the Role of Individualized and Integrated Care in IBS for Best Outcomes
Presented by William D. Chey, MD, AGAF, FACG, FACP, RFF, and Kate Scarlata, MPH, RDN, LDN
1 CEU | Access Recording »

Broaden Your Wellness Impact: Create Interprofessional Partnerships Across the Health Care Spectrum
Presented by Janelle Eligon-Ketchum, RDN, CDCES, LDN, and Ayanna S. Kersey-McMullen, DO, MSPH, FAAPMR, FAOPMR, DipABLM
1.5 CEUs | Access Recording »

Standards of Care in Diabetes - 2023
Presented by Kathy Warwick, RDN, CDCES
1.5 CEUs | Becky Dorner & Associates is approved by the CDR to offer 1.5 CEUs for this webinar. Access Recording »

Not All Plant-Based Diets Are Created Equal: Practical Ways to Help Clients and Patients Replace Processed Plant Foods With Whole Plant Foods
Presented by Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, CSSD
1.0 CEU FREE | Sponsored by American Pistachio Growers. American Pistachio Growers #23256 is approved by the CDR to offer 1.0 CEU for this webinar. Access Recording »

Recently Added Self-Study Courses 2023 Spring Symposium

There’s still time to register to join us from May 14–17 for the 10th Annual Spring Symposium. Each day offers a full array of learning opportunities (at least 20 CEUs), fitness, great food, networking, and exploration of new products. Throughout this 4-day event, we will cover wide-ranging topics including food as medicine, nutrition for athletes, social media video production, cultural influences, nutrigenomics, and so much more.

Check out the 2023 schedule here.


2022 Spring Symposium Recorded Sessions

Weren't able to attend the Today's Dietitian Spring Symposium? Good News! The recorded sessions are now available for purchase.

The 2022 Today’s Dietitian Spring Symposium Recorded Session Package features 19.5 credit hours of high-quality continuing education content in a variety of topics in nutrition and dietetics. Get the 2022 Spring Symposium Recorded Sessions »
Tech & Tools
Understanding Food Impact With a Simple Scan
Yuka is a phone app available on Android and iOS that enables users to scan the barcodes of food and other personal care products to get a sense of their health impact. Once a product is scanned, Yuka will return a rating with information related to the food. If Yuka returns a negative rating for a food, it will provide healthier alternatives for the user to consider.

Food Journaling Made Easy
The food tracker Ate helps make tracking meals and snacks throughout the day as easy as it always should be. The app enables users to utilize built-in images or use their own to help identify the foods they ate during the day, write out dietary information, and watch as their data populate a graph to help visualize their dietary track.
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In the April Issue

 • Injury Prevention and Recovery
 • Discharge Planning for Parenteral Nutrition Patients
 • Integrative Nutrition and Fertility
 • Ultraprocessed Foods
 • Diminished Appetite at End of Life
Current Issue
Current Issue
Zero-Proof Beverages
Decreased alcohol consumption has spurred a generation of the ‘sober curious’ and an ever-increasing variety of low- and no-alcohol beverages mimicking the taste and smell of the real thing.

In Today’s Dietitian’s 14th annual showcase of dedicated and deserving dietitians, this year’s winners display incredible achievements that are making a huge difference in dietetics.

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