From the Director
Can the Maternal Diet During Pregnancy Protect the Fetus from Cancer and Birth Defects?
Which Form of Vitamin E, Alpha- or Gamma-Tocopherol, is Better?
The Triple Helix
The Antimutagenic and Anticarcinogenic Effects of Wheat Grain
The Role of Lipoic Acid in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis
The Antioxidant Function of Dietary Zinc and Protection Against Neural Disorders
Fund-raising Potpourri

Diet and Optimum Health Conference

LInus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research MedalThe second LPI Diet and Optimum Health Conference, co-sponsored by the Oxygen Club of California, will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Portland, Oregon, from May 21-24. Sessions include presentations by experts on brain function and neurodegenerative disease, aging, cancer, eye diseases, and diabetes. A public session on Saturday will feature talks on dietary cancer prevention, cancer treatment by botanical and dietary supplements, dietary inhibition of heart disease, the treatment of obesity, and the role of antioxidants in fruit on brain aging, as well as a presentation by the recipient of the Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research.

The Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research will be presented at a banquet on Friday evening, May 23rd. This award, consisting of a medal and $50,000, recognizes innovative and influential research on the role of diet in the prevention of disease and the role of oxidative and nitrative stress in disease. The first award was presented in 2001 to Dr. Bruce Ames of the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, California, for his seminal work on mutation and the role of micronutrients in cancer and aging. The funding for this year’s award was generously provided by a donor to LPI who wishes anonymity.

New Book!

Book coverAn Evidence-Based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals: Health Benefits and Intake Recommendations by Jane Higdon, Ph.D., of LPI will be published by Thieme Medical Publishers in May 2003. The book is based on information presented on the LPI Micronutrient Information Center. An Evidence-Based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals emphasizes peer-reviewed human research, but also presents experimental results from cell culture or animal studies when relevant. Results from epidemiological research, especially large, prospective cohort studies, and reviews and meta-analyses are included. The book is available from Thieme Medical Publishers at a price of $59.95. Dr. Higdon has been a research associate at LPI since 2000. She has degrees in nursing and exercise physiology and earned a doctorate in nutrition from Oregon State University.

A Major Misquotation

A statement purportedly attributed to Linus Pauling has proliferated on the Internet, often in association with the sale of mineral supplements. The alleged quote is usually akin to “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” We are reasonably certain that Pauling never made such a statement for the obvious reason that it is untrue. Pauling was interested in the health effects of micronutrients, especially vitamin C, the vitamin that absorbed his interest for almost thirty years. Throughout his career, Pauling used x-ray diffraction to elucidate the molecular structure of many inorganic substances, such as minerals, and organic substances like proteins. If he had been particularly interested in the health benefits of minerals, he would have focused his research in this direction. There is no evidence in the published literature that he did so.

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