The Western-Style Diet, Calcium Deficiency and Chronic Disease
Muhammad Nadeem Aslam and James Varani*
The Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- James Varani
Department of Pathology, University of Michigan
1301 Catherine Road/Box 5602 Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: March 21, 2016; Accepted date: April 14, 2016; Published date: April 21, 2016
Citation: Aslam MN, Varani J (2016) The Western-Style Diet, Calcium Deficiency and Chronic Disease. J Nutr Food Sci 6:496. doi: 10.4172/2155-9600.1000496
Copyright: © 2016 Muhammad Nadeem Aslam, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The term “Western-style diet” refers to an eating pattern that includes a high content of saturated fat, a large amount of processed carbohydrate and excess total calories. The Western-style diet contributes to the growing epidemic of obesityand several age-related, chronic illnesses seen in the United States and throughout the world. In addition to its high content of fat and sugar, the Western diet is also characterized by a deficiency in calcium (and, undoubtedly) other trace minerals that are nutritionally associated with calcium. While epidemiological evidence suggests that the lack of adequate dietary calcium contributes to several chronic ailments associated with the Western-style diet, studies in experimental animals provides direct evidence. Rodents on a high-fat, low-calcium diet suffer many of the same chronic illnesses that are seen in humans. When the calcium concentration is increased to the level found in rodent chow diets, the ill-effects are mitigated. While calcium alone is protective, a combination of calcium and additional trace elements has been shown, in some studies, to induce even better protection. The implication is that providing an adequate supply of essential minerals (including calcium, of course, but also other trace elements that support calcium’s beneficial activities), either through dietary modification or as a supplement if dietary modification fails should be considered as part of an overall strategy for counteracting the negative effects of the Western-style diet.