Creating reliable nutritional guidelines is a major challenge for nutritional epidemiologists because they have to rely on the study participants to faithfully record their own consumption.
The results based on it are prone to human error and selective reporting.
This always leads to contradictory recommendations in the area of nutrition, especially when it comes to high-fat diets.
Researchers at MCMaster University in Canada are introducing a novel test that can use tiny amounts of blood to check the fats a person has ingested through food.
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This would allow better conclusions to be drawn about health, since current knowledge in the diet area is mainly based on statements by participants.
The test was recently featured in the Journal of Lipid Research.
A new test can track individual fat intake reliably and accurately, reports a Canadian research team.
The test could become an important tool in public health to develop better nutrition guides.
This is urgently necessary, because especially in recommendations on fats there are currently widely divergent views.
Test detects fats ingested through food
New test to better prove nutritional interventions
McMaster University chemists have now developed a test that can detect free-circulating fatty acids in the blood.
Small amounts of blood are sufficient.
More specifically, the test can detect specific non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs).
This enables a more precise picture of the fats consumed through food.
“Epidemiologists need better ways to reliably assess food intake if they develop nutritional recommendations,” emphasizes Professor Philip Britz-McKibbin, the study’s lead author.
“The foods we consume are highly complex and difficult to measure,” says the chemical biologist.
There are thousands of chemicals that we consume through food.
With such complex processes, one should not rely on self-reports or reminders.
Unreliability in nutritional research
“Fat intake is one of the most controversial aspects of public health nutrition policy,” explains the professor.
Only when it is possible to reliably measure what is actually ingested through food can credible and reliable nutritional recommendations be developed, according to Britz-McKibbin.
In this way, the researchers want to clarify nutritional questions, such as whether fish oil supplements make sense for pregnant women, whether certain foods lead to better baby health, what influence NEFAs and other metabolites have on children’s health, and whether certain amounts of fats linked to the development of obesity, the development of the metabolic syndrome or the risk of chronic diseases.
This article contains general information only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.
He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.