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Inadequate dietary intakes of vitamins and minerals are widespread, most likely due to excessive consumption of energy-rich, micronutrient-poor, refined food. Inadequate intakes may result in chronic metabolic disruption, including mitochondrial decay. Deficiencies in many micronutrients cause DNA damage, such as chromosome breaks, in cultured human cells or in vivo. Some of these deficiencies also cause mitochondrial decay with oxidant leakage and cellular aging and are associated with late onset diseases such as cancer. I propose DNA damage and late onset disease are consequences of a triage allocation response to micronutrient scarcity.

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Vitamin D insufficiency is common in the United States; the elderly and African-Americans are at particularly high risk of deficiency. This review, written for a broad scientific readership, presents a critical overview of scientific evidence relevant to a possible causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and adverse cognitive or behavioural effects. Topics discussed are 1)

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Folic acid, or vitamin B9, essential for red blood cell health and long known to reduce the risk of spinal birth defects, may also suppress allergic reactions and lessen the severity of allergy and asthma symptoms, according to new research from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre. In what is believed to be the first study in humans examining the link between blood levels of folate – the naturally occurring form of folic acid – and allergies, the Hopkins scientists say results add to mounting evidence that folate can help regulate inflammation. Recent studies, including research from Hopkins, have found a link between folate levels and inflammation-mediated diseases, including heart disease. Cautioning that it’s far too soon to recommend folic acid supplements to prevent or treat people with asthma and allergies, the researchers emphasise that more research needs to be done to confirm their results, and to establish safe doses and risks.

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