The raison d'etre of this website is to provide you with hard scientific information which may help you make informed decisions in your quest for health (so far I have blogged concise summaries of over 1,500 scientific studies and have had three books published).

My research is mainly focused on the effects of cholesterol, saturated fat and statin drugs on health. If you know anyone who is worried about their cholesterol levels and heart disease, or has been told to take statin drugs you could send them a link to this website, and to my statin or cholesterol or heart disease books.

David Evans

Independent Health Researcher

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Animal source foods can improve iron bioavailability and are beneficial for growth

This post features a summary of a paper written by Monika Grillenberger of Thesis Wageningen University, The Netherlands and a recipe for hot seared beef salad.

Study title and author:
Impact of animal source foods on growth, morbidity and iron bioavailability in Kenyan school children
Monika Grillenberger
Thesis Wageningen University, The Netherlands

This study can be accessed at:
Grillenberger observed the habitual diet of the Kenyan children mainly consists of maize and beans with little or no animal source foods and children suffer from stunting and micronutrient deficiencies. 

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration
Children were put on 4 diets 1) Control: no food supplement provided; 2) Energy supplement: a food supplement based on a local dish of maize, beans and vegetables (githeri); 3) Milk supplement: githeri plus a glass of milk (200 mL); and 4) Meat supplement: githeri with 60 g minced beef.

Analyses of the total diet of the children, i.e., their home diet and the food supplements, revealed that energy from animal source foods, was positively predictive of gain in height and weight. Further, haem iron, preformed vitamin A, calcium and vitamin B12 positively predicted height and weight gain. In contrast, nutrients predominantly found in plant foods and dietary components that inhibit micronutrient absorption, such as fibre and phytate, negatively predicted the children’s growth.

Grillenberger concluded: "The findings of the study indicate that animal source foods can improve iron bioavailability and are beneficial for growth. An increase in the consumption of animal source foods should therefore be part of any program aiming at alleviating micronutrient malnutrition in children".

More information on this subject: Books : Scientific Studies : Other Websites : Videos : Food Mall 

Hot Seared Beef Salad

Beef Chuck Steak - 1.25 lbs.
Food Mall: Chuck Steak
450g/1lb beef chuck steak
1 medium cucumber, sliced
45ml/3tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
40g/1½oz flaked almonds, toasted
60ml/4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
30ml/2tbsp sherry vinegar
85-100g bag mixed salad leaves
8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1.Add the cucumber to a large bowl with the parsley and almonds.
2.To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together half the olive oil, sherry vinegar and season.

3.Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and the steaks according to preference. Season and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.

4.Cut the beef into 5cm/2in strips and add to the rest of the salad ingredients. Pour any of the beef juices from the pan into the salad dressing.

5.Arrange the salad leaves onto a large plate, scatter the tomatoes, over the salad leaves and spoon over half the dressing.

6.Pile the beef and salad onto the plate, drizzle with the remaining dressing and garnish with sprigs of extra flat-leaf parsley.