Archive for October, 2018

Excess Vitamin A May Harm Bones

Nutrition is all about eating healthy so that you can get all the vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function optimally. Getting the required daily allowance of these nutrients can become very important. Eating a balanced meal every time is essential to maintaining good health throughout your life.

At times however, we can go overboard with supplements. Just because we are unable to eat the proper foods, we feel that it’s okay to take multivitamin tablets and capsules to make up the nutritional needs of the body. Having excess vitamins and minerals should not make a difference as they get flushed out of the body without absorption is what we tell ourselves. This is not really true.

A scientific study published in the Journal of Endocrinology has found that sustained intake of high levels of Vitamin A can be dangerous. The study conducted by the University of Goethenburg in Sweden, followed people who had 4 to 13 times the recommended daily allowance of the vitamin. It also focused on mice that were given a concentrated high dose of Vitamin A daily.

The findings were that having too much Vitamin A in form of supplements could lead to an increased risk of bone damage. A decrease in bone thickness was also observed in the mice in the study, which led them to fracture easily and cause health issues.

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“Eat Me” says the Plant

Plants are dependent in nature on the animals that spread their seeds far and wide. The survival of the species demands that the plant make it’s fruit as appealing to the animal that will allow the seeds to be dispersed  over a large area. A fact that has been observed and studied by  evolutionary ecologist Kim Valenta from Duke University.

Red berries, and orange figs are found commonly in the rain forest canopy over Kibale National Park in Uganda. While in the rain forests of Madagascar’s Ranomafana National Park you are likely to find yellow berries, green figs and fragrant ripe fruit. Each plant makes it a point to have fruit that stand out clearly in the environment so that the animals such as monkeys, apes, birds and lemurs are able to access them quickly and easily.

A scientific analysis of the fruit and foliage colors with a spectrometer revealed to the researchers that each fruit was optimized against their natural backdrops. They also met the demands of the visual systems of their primary seed dispensers. That is to say that the fruits were always in colors of the visual spectrum of the animals that would eat them. It’s quite like the plant tagging on a giant “Eat Me” sign to ensure that the seeds are scattered.

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