Tag Archives: essential nutrient

Revealing the Ocean’s Hidden Fertilizer

Marine Plants Play Major Role in Phosphorus Cycling

Phosphorus is one of the most common substances on Earth. An essential nutrient for every living organism—humans require approximately 700 milligrams per day—we are rarely concerned about consuming enough of it because it is present in most of the foods we eat. Despite its ubiquity and living organisms’ utter dependence on it, we know surprisingly little about how it moves, or cycles, through the ocean environment. (more…)

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MU Researchers Find Boron Facilitates Stem Cell Growth and Development in Corn

Results could lead to advancements in corn crop yields and farming techniques

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Boron deficiency is one of the most widespread causes of reduced crop yield. Missouri and the eastern half of the United States are plagued by boron deficient soil and, often, corn and soybean farmers are required to supplement their soil with boron; however, little is known about the ways in which corn plants utilize the essential nutrient. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that boron plays an integral role in development and reproduction in corn plants. Scientists anticipate that understanding how corn uses the nutrient can help farmers make informed decisions in boron deficient areas and improve crop yields. (more…)

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Morphing manganese

UD researchers report new discovery in ‘Science’ about manganese in aquatic environments

An often-overlooked form of manganese, an element critical to many life processes, is far more prevalent in ocean environments than previously known, according to a study led by University of Delaware researchers that was published this week in Science.

The discovery alters understanding of the chemistry that moves manganese and other elements, like oxygen and carbon, through the natural world. Manganese is an essential nutrient for most organisms and helps plants produce oxygen during photosynthesis. (more…)

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Vegetable Oil Is Good for You, MU Researcher Says

Scientists find that essential fatty acid found in vegetable oils does not promote inflammation in humans

COLUMBIA, Mo. — A typical American consumes approximately 3 or more tablespoons of vegetable oil each day. Vegetable oils, like those from soy, corn and canola, are a significant source of calories and are rich in linoleic acid (LA), which is an essential nutrient. Since the 1970s, researchers have known that LA helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, and for decades, scientists have known that consuming LA can help lower the risk of heart disease. However, some experts have been claiming recently that Americans might be getting too much of a good thing. A new study from the University of Missouri contradicts that claim.

In the study, “Effect of Dietary Linoleic Acid on Markers of Inflammation in Healthy Persons: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials,” researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois found that no link exists between vegetable oil consumption and circulating indicators of inflammation that are often associated with diseases such as heart disease, cancer, asthma and arthritis. While earlier animal studies have shown that a diet rich in LA can promote inflammation, MU animal sciences researcher Kevin Fritsche says that humans respond to LA differently. (more…)

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Recipe for Starting a Family: Add Walnuts

UCLA School of Nursing study shows walnuts improve sperm quality

Eating about two handfuls of walnuts a day may provide men the added boost they need to improve their fertility, according to a breakthrough study by researchers at the UCLA School of Nursing.

Findings from the study, “Walnuts Improve Semen Quality in Men Consuming a Western-Style Diet: Randomized Control Dietary Intervention Trial,” are published Aug. 15 in the “papers in press” section of the peer-reviewed journal Biology of Reproduction.

This is the first study to look at the effects of a plant source of omega-3 on sperm, the researchers say. Statistics from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine show that one in six couples is infertile, with about 40 percent of these cases due to a male factor. (more…)

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‘Hot-Bunking’ Bacterium Recycles Iron to Boost Ocean Metabolism

In the vast ocean where an essential nutrient—iron—is scarce, a marine bacterium that launches the ocean food web survives by using a remarkable biochemical trick: It recycles iron.

By day, it uses iron in enzymes for photosynthesis to make carbohydrates; then by night, it appears to reuse the same iron in different enzymes to produce organic nitrogen for proteins. (more…)

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