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Human Nutrition

Program Contact: Janice Reed, Office Manager
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Questions and Answers:

(Tufts University Health & Nutrition Newsletter) Calcium

Q. I’ve read that calcium should be taken/ingested periodically during the day, as only a certain amount is absorbed at once. Please tell me if this is important and, if so, how much is advisable to take and at what intervals?

A. Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, professor of medicine at Tufts and chief of the Bone Metabolism Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, responds: ” Calcium is better absorbed if taken in doses of 500 milligrams or less. So 1,000 milligrams as a supplement should be taken in doses of 500 milligrams twice daily.”

SpinachQ. Is canned spinach just as good as fresh spinach to protect my vision?

A.  Scientists believe that eating lutein, a nutrient found in green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, may help prevent eyesight deterioration. It is believed that lutein protects against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), both of which cause loss of vision. According to Allen Taylor, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at Tuft’s Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, the lutein content of spinach is not damaged in the canning process. So, yes, canned spinach will be as beneficial for vision as fresh spinach.

Although leafy greens-spinach, kale, chard, turnip and mustard greens, collards, chicory, cress, radicchio, parsley and even dandelion greens – are by far the best sources of lutein. You can also add lutein to your diet by eating peas, summer squash, leeks and pasta made with spinach.