New ARS Food and Nutrition Research Briefs Issued

DanIndustry News Release, Research

By Kim Kaplan, Agricultural Research Service

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Research showing a higher dose of vitamin D may benefit pregnant women by reducing inflammation is among the new nutrition and health findings in the latest issue of the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Food and Nutrition Research Briefs.

The latest issue can be found at

The popular online newsletter reports discoveries from researchers at ARS laboratories nationwide.

Among other findings, the current issue reports the following:

  • A new highly sensitive test that, for the first time, can identify all known subtypes of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria including new and emerging serotypes has been developed.
  • Adequate blood zinc levels are vital to higher T-cell counts and better immune response in older adults. But at least 30 percent of the recruited participants from Boston-area nursing facilities, 65 or older, were zinc deficient when tested.
  • The USDA Branded Food Products Database, a free online resource for families, the food industry and researchers containing nutrition details on more than 80,000 name brand prepared and packaged foods available at restaurants and grocery stores is now online. Eventually, it should include up to 500,000 products with an expanded level of detail.

ARS Food and Nutrition Research Briefs is offered with color photos and illustrations on the Web. And by clicking the “subscribe” link on the newsletter’s home page, readers can sign up for either of two e-mail options: They can receive the full text of the newsletter by e-mail or simply an advisory when a new issue has been posted online.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s chief intramural scientific research agency.