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Nutrients Conference Reports

Nutrients 2017, 9(6), 576; doi:10.3390/nu9060576
Scientific experts from nine countries gathered to share their views and experience around iron interventions in Africa. Inappropriate eating habits, infections and parasitism are responsible for significant prevalence of iron deficiency, but reliable and country-comparable prevalence estimates are lacking: improvements in biomarkers and cut-offs values adapted to context of use are needed. Benefits of iron interventions on growth and development are indisputable and outweigh risks, which exist in populations with a high infectious burden. Indeed, pathogen growth may increase with enhanced available iron, calling for caution and preventive measures where malaria or other infections are prevalent. Most African countries programmatically fortify flour and supplement pregnant women, while iron deficiency in young children is rather addressed at individual level. Coverage and efficacy could improve through increased access for target populations, raised awareness and lower cost. More bioavailable iron forms, helping to decrease iron dose, or prebiotics, which both may lower risk of infections are attractive opportunities for Africa. Fortifying specific food products could be a relevant route, adapted to local context and needs of population groups while providing education and training. More globally, partnerships involving various stakeholders are encouraged, that could tackle all aspects of the issue.
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Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 348; doi:10.3390/nu9040348
The annual conference and scientific meeting of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand took place in Christchurch, New Zealand from 8–9 December 2016.[...]
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Nutrients 2017, 9(3), 239; doi:10.3390/nu9030239
The annual conference and scientific meeting of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand took place in Wellington, New Zealand from 1–4 December 2015. Every two years, a joint scientific meeting with the Nutrition Society of Australia is held, alternating between Australia and New Zealand.[...]
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Nutrients 2017, 9(2), 156; doi:10.3390/nu9020156
The Research Institute on Nutrition and Food Security at the University of Barcelona (INSA‐UB) was founded in 2005 by twenty‐two research groups from the Faculties of Pharmacy and Food Science; Biology; Chemistry; and Geography and History, as well as other UB‐affiliated centers and hospitals [...]
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Nutrients 2015, 7(12), 10491-10500; doi:10.3390/nu7125547
A workshop organized by the University Medical Center Groningen addressed various current issues regarding nutrient status of individuals and populations, tools and strategies for its assessment, and opportunities to intervene. The importance of nutrient deficiencies and information on nutrient status for health has been illustrated, in particular for elderly and specific patient groups. The nutrient profile of individuals can be connected to phenotypes, like hypertension or obesity, as well as to socio-economic data. This approach provides information on the relationship between nutrition (nutrient intake and status) and health outcomes and, for instance, allows us to use the findings to communicate and advocate a healthy lifestyle. Nutrition is complex: a broader profile of nutrients should be considered rather than focusing solely on a single nutrient. Evaluating food patterns instead of intake of individual nutrients provides better insight into relationships between nutrition and health and disease. This approach would allow us to provide feedback to individuals about their status and ways to improve their nutritional habits. In addition, it would provide tools for scientists and health authorities to update and develop public health recommendations.
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Nutrients 2015, 7(12), 9999-10019; doi:10.3390/nu7125518
The Australasian section of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AAOCS) held their 9th biennial meeting in Geelong, Australia from 9 to 11 September 2015.[...]
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Nutrients 2015, 7(12), 9785-9803; doi:10.3390/nu7125502
Cocoa powder is a product derived from the beans of the Theobroma cacao tree, which is considered a good source of fiber (26%–40%), proteins (15%–20%), carbohydrates (about 15%) and lipids (10%–24%; generally, 10%–12%).[...]
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Nutrients 2014, 6(12), 6076-6094; doi:10.3390/nu6126076
Worldwide approximately two billion people have a diet insufficient in micronutrients. Even in the developed world, an increasing number of people consume nutrient-poor food on a regular basis. Recent surveys in Western countries consistently indicate inadequate intake of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, compared to recommendations. The International Osteoporosis Foundation’s (IOF) latest figures show that globally about 88% of the population does not have an optimal vitamin D status. The Lancet’s “Global Burden of Disease Study 2010” demonstrates a continued growth in life expectancy for populations around the world; however, the last decade of life is often disabled by the burden of partly preventable health issues. Compelling evidence suggests that improving nutrition protects health, prevents disability, boosts economic productivity and saves lives. Investments to improve nutrition make a positive contribution to long-term national and global health, economic productivity and stability, and societal resilience.
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Nutrients 2014, 6(11), 4731-4749; doi:10.3390/nu6114731
The annual conference and scientific meeting of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand took place in Queenstown, New Zealand from 28th–29th August, 2014. The meeting was part of Queenstown Research Week, established in 1991, which includes the Queenstown Molecular Biology Meeting, the New Zealand Medical Sciences Congress, and the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists New Zealand Scientific Meeting. Various societies take part in the different meetings; this was the first year that the Nutrition Society of New Zealand was included. The theme of the Nutrition Society of New Zealand in 2014 was "Balancing Views". The plenary session "Weighing up the Evidence: Nutrition Controversies" was provided to address ongoing debate in New Zealand about the role of saturated fat in chronic disease, particularly cardiovascular disease. [...]
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Nutrients 2014, 6(10), 4115-4164; doi:10.3390/nu6104115
The 5th International Conference on Natural Products for Health and Beauty (NATPRO 5) was held at the Moevenpick Resort and Spa Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand on 6–8 May 2014. NATPRO was established in 2005 by Professor Maitree Suttajit, Mahasarakham University with the aim of building research networking on natural products. NATPRO 2, 3 and 4 were subsequently organized by Naresuan University, Rangsit University and Chiang Mai University in 2008, 2011 and 2012, respectively. [...]
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Nutrients 2014, 6(9), 3451-3459; doi:10.3390/nu6093451
The potential for transforming nutritional and health research through the discovery and application of non-invasive markers of dietary intake and metabolic status is profound. The science of metabolomics for the fingerprinting of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from expired human breath holds great promise in this regard. Coupled with tools utilising sensor technology, breath volatile signatures allow a new horizon of research in which indicators of metabolic risk and indicators of dietary intake could be collected at a population level with unprecedented simplicity and low cost. Metabolomics (measuring metabolites from physiological process) provides a “window into the body”, which could transform how we measure health, how we identify and monitor people most at risk of disease and the way we monitor food intake. [...]
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Nutrients 2014, 6(7), 2759-2919; doi:10.3390/nu6072759
The inaugural Vitamin D and Human Health conference was held on the London Whitechapel campus of Queen Mary University’s Barts and The London Medical School, from the 23rd to 25th of April, 2014. This three-day meeting set out to achieve two main aims: to create a forum for researchers to meet and forge new collaborations, and to provide a state-of-the-art overview of the latest findings from clinical research in the field of vitamin D. Over 300 clinical researchers, students and commercial representatives attended. Thirty international experts in the field of clinical vitamin D research presented talks organised into a programme spanning the human life course. Commencing with a session of talks providing overviews of randomised trials of supplementation and global vitamin D status, the meeting proceeded with a session on pre-birth related vitamin D research—evolution, genetics & fertility—which led into several talks in the area of child health. Sessions on respiratory health, immune function, cancer biology, and neurodegenerative diseases preceded an overview of research in the area of ageing-related health outcomes, including musculoskeletal health and metabolic diseases. Finally sessions on the economy of vitamin D and public health, along with future directions for research were held. Several themes emerged during the course of the meeting. The anticipation of results from very large (n > 5000) randomised controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation (“mega-trials”) and Individual Patient Data (IPD) meta-analyses were hot topics of discussion. Mega-trials have the potential to detect small effect sizes of vitamin D supplementation on end-points such as incidence and mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. IPD meta-analyses have the potential to investigate the causes of heterogeneity often seen in the results of individual primary trials by allowing clinically important subgroup effects of vitamin D supplementation to be elucidated. The existence of a U-shaped relationship between vitamin D status and risk of certain health outcomes was another area of discussion. A third emerging theme, also relating to vitamin D dose–response relationships, was the potential differential effect of daily vs. intermittent bolus dosing on biological outcomes. Finally, the meeting also addressed strategies to tackle vitamin D deficiency at the population level, by alteration of sun-seeking behaviour, use of nutritional supplements and food fortification. The following 156 abstracts featured in the meeting as either a poster or an oral presentation. [...]
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Nutrients 2014, 6(7), 2540-2551; doi:10.3390/nu6072540
Fiber continues to be singled out as a nutrient of public health concern. Adequate intakes of fiber are associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, certain gastrointestinal disorders and obesity. Despite ongoing efforts to promote adequate fiber through increased vegetable, fruit and whole-grain intakes, average fiber consumption has remained flat at approximately half of the recommended daily amounts. Research indicates that consumers report increasingly attempting to add fiber-containing foods, but there is confusion around fiber in whole grains. The persistent and alarmingly low intakes of fiber prompted the “Food & Fiber Summit,” which assembled nutrition researchers, educators and communicators to explore fiber’s role in public health, current fiber consumption trends and consumer awareness data with the objective of generating opportunities and solutions to help close the fiber gap. The summit outcomes highlight the need to address consumer confusion and improve the understanding of sources of fiber, to recognize the benefits of various types of fibers and to influence future dietary guidance to provide prominence and clarity around meeting daily fiber recommendations through a variety of foods and fiber types. Potential opportunities to increase fiber intake were identified, with emphasis on meal occasions and food categories that offer practical solutions for closing the fiber gap.
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Nutrients 2013, 5(12), 5065-5096; doi:10.3390/nu5125065
The Australasian section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS) held their biennial meeting in Newcastle, Australia from 6 to 8 November, 2013. Over 150 scientists, researchers and industry representatives gathered for three days of talks and discussions on a variety of lipid related topics. The AAOCS awarded its inaugural AAOCS Award for Scientific Excellence in Lipid Research to Dr Allan Green from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Dr Green is deputy chief of the CSIRO Division of Plant Industry and has been active in lipid research for several decades. His main research focus is on plant breeding and genetic engineering techniques to develop improved oilseeds with enhanced human nutritional value and novel industrial uses. Refer to “AAOCS Award for Scientific Excellence in Lipid Research” for more detail of his contributions [1].
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Nutrients 2013, 5(2), 411-423; doi:10.3390/nu5020411
The Bellagio Report on Healthy Agriculture, Healthy Nutrition, Healthy People is the result of the meeting held at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy, 29 October–2 November 2012. The meeting was science-based but policy-oriented. The role and amount of healthy and unhealthy fats, with attention to the relative content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, sugar, and particularly fructose in foods that may underlie the epidemics of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) worldwide were extensively discussed. The report concludes that sugar consumption, especially in the form of high energy fructose in soft drinks, poses a major and insidious health threat, especially in children, and most diets, although with regional differences, are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and too high in omega-6 fatty acids. Gene-nutrient interactions in growth and development and in disease prevention are fundamental to health, therefore regional Centers on Genetics, Nutrition and Fitness for Health should be established worldwide. Heads of state and government must elevate, as a matter of urgency, Nutrition as a national priority, that access to a healthy diet should be considered a human right and that the lead responsibility for Nutrition should be placed in Ministries of Health rather than agriculture so that the health requirements drive agricultural priorities, not vice versa. Nutritional security should be given the same priority as food security.
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Nutrients 2012, 4(5), 372-398; doi:10.3390/nu4050372
The Australasian section of the American Oil Chemists Society (AAOCS) held their biennial meeting in Adelaide, Australia on 8–11 November 2011. Over 70 scientists, researchers and industry representatives gathered for three days of talks and discussions on lipid related topics. A highlight was the hot topic symposium on the new olive oil standard being introduced in Australia. Paul Miller, Australian Olives Association, gave a compelling address on why the standard was needed. He demonstrated that the increase in price and demand for high quality olive oils has led to products falsely or misleadingly labelled. Furthermore, the genetic and seasonal variation in minor components of olive oil has led to misclassifications. An extensive scientific and political process in Australia and overseas led to development of this new standard. Dr. Leandro Ravetti, Mordern Olives, demonstrated the development of two new methods, for analysis of pyropheophytins and diacylglycerols, are good indicators of modification by deodorisation of oils and show excellent correlation with organoleptic assessment with aging/degradation of extra virgin olive oils. Professor Rod Mailer finished this session with studies of actual adulteration cases in Australia and overseas, further highlighting the need for this new standard. [...]
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