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March 28, 2017 | Nutrition | By admin | 0 Comments

By Childress

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An obvious advantage of dietary replacement studies is that chronic dietary effects can be examined. However, it is often difficult to make two diets equivalent except for the food component that is being studied, making double-blind techniques relatively hard to employ. Furthermore, it is usually not feasible to test more than one dose of the dietary variable, and replacement studies are usually expensive and time consuming. Finally, quasi- or naturalistic-experiments are sometimes conducted when a characteristic or trait that cannot be manipulated is the variable of interest.

Reaction time, or the speed of mental processing, may not only underlie cognitive ability but can also serve as a convenient index of human intelligence (Eysenck, 1987). Relative to this topic, the data from a British study of diet and reaction time are quite provocative. As part of the Health and Lifestyle Survey (1987), health researchers obtained information from a representative, random sample of over 7000 adults from various social classes. The respondents completed a Food Direct Effects of Nutrition on Behavior Frequency Questionnaire on which they indicated how often they ate 31 types of food, on a scale of ‘(a) Never or on very rare occasions’ through ‘(f) More than once a day’.

Vegetable oils are a rich source of both linoleic and alphalinolenic acids. The long-chain DHA and AA fatty acids are believed to be critical components of membrane phospholipids and major constituents of the nervous system (Innis, 1991; Lucas, 1997). DHA is present in high concentrations in the retina – in some ways an extension of the brain – and comprises 30–40% of fatty acids in certain phopholipids of the rod outer segment membranes (Pleisler and Anderson, 1983). This suggests that visual acuity would be quite dependent on adequate DHA.

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