Volume 11, Issue 1, 2006
Infertility affects 15% of couples and in 30% of these couples, the cause of infertility is associated with aberrations found in the male partner, termed male infertility. Many cases of male infertility were previously considered idiopathic but are now being attributed to oxidative damage resulting from increased levels of reactive oxygen species. A proposed treatment for this type of infertility is oral supplementation with the antioxidant, vitamin E. This review discusses the efficacy of this type of therapy. The current evidence for vitamin E supplementation as a treatment for male infertility seems to favor a beneficial role. However, the lack of large, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. While high levels of vitamin E supplementation cannot be recommended as a treatment for male infertility at this point, further research should be pursued and infertile males encouraged to maintain adequate dietary intakes of vitamin E through diet or supplements.
The increasing prevalence of overweight and obese children in the United States draws concern for future risks of various chronic health conditions. Emerging research has focused on identifying causes for obesity among schoolchildren and developing effective interventions for obesity prevention. A primary focus is the availability and accessibility of non-nutritive foods provided in schools that compete with foods offered by the school lunch programs. These “competitive foods” elude the degree of nutritional regulation placed on items offered through the school lunch program. Consequently, competitive foods are generally higher in sugar and fat, and account for a significant amount of total calorie consumption in school cafeterias. Although early measures have attempted to reduce sales of competitive foods in schools, competitive food sales persist due to various factors such as shortened school lunch periods, profitable contracts between schools and outside vendors, and students’ perceptions towards the foods available in the school cafeteria. By identifying these factors, newer interventions can focus on targeting these issues. Discussed are some current interventions that have found some success in reducing consumption of non-nutritive competitive foods, and suggestions on how to develop newer interventions to create lasting effect in reducing risks for childhood obesity.