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

Friday, 1 July 2011

Dietary fat enhances the uptake of beta-carotene and raises vitamin A levels

This post includes a summary of a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Vol 68, 623-629 and a recipe for bacon and sweet potato salad.

Study title and authors:
Serum retinol concentrations in children are affected by food sources of beta-carotene, fat intake, and anthelmintic drug treatment
F Jalal, MC Nesheim, Z Agus, D Sanjur and JP Habicht
Cornell University, Division of Nutritional Sciences, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

This paper can be accessed at:

Saturated Fat May Save Your Life
The study examined the effect of food sources of beta-carotene, extra dietary fat, and parasitic intestinal roundworms infection on blood vitamin A levels in children. Meals and snacks with various amounts of beta-carotene and fat were fed at midday to children 3-6 years of age for 3 weeks. Some groups of children were dewormed before the feeding period, whereas others remained infected.

The study found:
(a) The greatest rise in blood vitamin A levels occurred when meals contained added beta-carotene sources and added fat and the children were dewormed.
(b) Adding more fat to the meal and deworming the children caused a rise in blood vitamin A levels similar to that seen when feeding additional beta-carotene sources.

To conclude: Dietary fat enhances the uptake of beta-carotene and raises blood vitamin A levels.

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

Recipe of the day

Bacon and Sweet Potato Salad

Serves 6

Applewood Smoked Bacon - Thin Sliced
Food Mall: Bacon
•4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in cubes;
•4 slices bacon;
•1 medium onion, finely chopped;
•2 cloves garlic, minced;
•1 1/2 tbsp homemade or Dijon mustard;
•2 tbsp lemon juice;
•4 loosely packed cups baby spinach;
•2 tbsp lard or other cooking fat;
•Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;

1.Place the sweet potato cubes in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until tender.

2.In the mean time, cook the bacon slices over a medium heat in a large pan until crisp, about.4 minutes per side. Set aside

3.Add the onion and garlic to the pan as well as the additional cooking fat and cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Season liberally with black pepper.

4.Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and mustard.

5.Drain the cooked sweet potato cubes and place in a bowl.

6.Add the baby spinach with the sweet potatoes and combine well and pour the cooked onions with all the drippings on top.

7.Crumble the cooked bacon over, combine and serve.

Bacon and Sweet Potato Salad