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Finally, Nutrition Research Recognizing Complexity

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while studying We describe modeling based on limited populations and food recalls with limited annual memory, but it is based on a perception of complexity that most nutritional studies avoid. For example, consider the following statement by a researcher on nutritional analysis and aging:

“…nutrients have both individual and interactive influences…similarly, the multitude of phenotypic changes that occur with age are increasingly recognized to be interrelated and multidimensional. …The effects of a single nutrient, diet, molecular mechanism, or biomarker may be context-dependent, resulting in spurious results from univariate studies, more difficult to replicate, and inter-study differences. It will lead to inconsistent conclusions.”

They “understand” the problem.

model was based on ‘community housing’ for Canadians aged 67–84 (as opposed to nursing home housing) in Quebec. Approximately 1,800 generally healthy individuals were recruited and screened every three years from 2003. Each year, in addition to “his three recalls in non-consecutive 24 hours” of diet, the database included normal demographics and health status. Researchers categorized two characteristics of the participant’s biological age and her diet.

“The biological aging process is not as tractable as nutrition. Although there is no clear consensus on what aging is, most researchers now believe it is a multifactorial and complex process. I agree with you.”

Our chronological age is often not a good measure of our biological age.To understand biological aging, researchers used 30 blood-based biomarkers that reflect five “systems” affected by aging: oxygen transport, liver and kidney function, and white blood cell production. (ability to generate white blood cells from stem cells), measures of immune function, micronutrient levels, and lipid levels. Researchers report these values ​​as dysregulation scores. This is a variation of what is commonly called the “vulnerability index,” which uses abnormal laboratory values ​​to quantify biological and chronological age (see here for more information).

modeling diet

They used eight models of increasing complexity and interaction of micronutrient and macronutrient intakes.Variety of models It is distinctly different from ‘univariate’ dietary studies, which focused not only on the amounts of these nutrients, but also on their interrelationships.Next, dietary models, what people ate, evidence of dysregulation, or Biological aging of study participants. Here are some of the key qualitative findings. [1]

Even the most complex models, when considering micro- and macronutrients and other ‘potential’ predictors of health status,Please explain less than 5%Dysregulated”.

  • Coupled with Above Average Protein Intake αβ-tocopherol (vitamin E) was associated with the lowest levels of dysregulation.
  • Above-average carbohydrate intake with average protein and fat intake was associated with the lowest levels of ‘biological aging’.

Their dysregulation score is just one measure of biological age. The composition of optimal nutrition depends greatly on what you are trying to optimize.

“Increased vitamin E intake may result in lower or higher micronutrient dysregulation scores, depending on vitamin C intake.”

There are two important points here. First, nutrients interact. A single study of nutrients does not tell the whole story. Second, the effect of a nutrient, in this case vitamin E, is not linear. Indicates a Goldilocks range that is too high or too low.

Isolating variables and changing them one at a time has proven to be a very effective means of understanding chemistry and physics. However, in dynamic systems such as biological systems, their value is much more limited.of The bottom line is that most dietary studies and advice looking at the health effects of micro- and macronutrients are oversimplified and erroneous.

“…Thus, our research further supports the importance of looking beyond ‘one nutrient at a time’…our results suggest that eating to maximize or minimize a particular nutrient I advocate against the common practice of Dose-response relationships are often U-shaped and highly context-dependent…our physiology is often robust enough to tolerate relatively wide variations without significant consequences. ”

[1] The model incorporates three dimensions and is best interpreted through visualization rather than quantification. Multiple regression p-values ​​are omitted. Let’s assume that the visualizations, which are mostly in the research supplement, are adequately explained.

Source: Multidimensional associations between human nutrient intake and healthy aging BMC Biology DOI: 10.1186/s12915-022-01395-z