Chapter 23

Preventing Diseases by Proper Nutrition

Robert E. Smith


The five major food groups include cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat (and meat substitutes), and fats, oils and sweets. A lack of folic acid causes birth defects, such as spina bifida, which leaves the victim severely disabled. Folic acid is also found in multi-vitamin supplements, which are recommended for pregnant women. It is better to eat many types of fish, than to eat red meat. If at all possible, mother’s should be encouraged to breast feed their babies. The best-selling, most interesting and controversial dietary supplements are multi-vitamins. The American Medical Association (AMA) does not recommend them. Instead, the AMA recommends getting your vitamins and minerals from a healthy, balanced diet. The National Institutes of Health maintains several pages on their website that have fact sheets on many dietary supplements. The NIH has an office of dietary supplements. It provides information on the use and safety, nutrient requirements, database resources, news and research. However, it is the FDA that has regulatory responsibility for dietary supplements, as dictated by the dietary supplement health and education act, or DSHEA, passed in 1994. The DSHEA indicated that the dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the safety of a dietary supplement before its marketing, but the FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market. The popular dietary supplement, açaí, will make you gain weight – not lose weight. Another supplement, myo-inositol, may prevent lung cancer in smokers.

Total Pages: 538-581 (44)

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