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Mom’s Diet Can Affect Development of Next Two Generations

October 12, 2016

Nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy can have lasting effects across generations that impact development not only of children, but also of grandchildren. These heritable effects are linked to epigenetic changes that influence gene expression but not DNA sequence. At the NRI, we seek to understand how nutrition affects health and why different people respond differently to the same nutrients. The Ideraabdullah laboratory is particularly interested in identifying epigenetic changes that are caused by nutrient deficiencies and understanding how an individual’s genetic makeup influences those particular epigenetic modifications. What they did: While maternal vitamin D deficiency is linked to negative health outcomes in … Read More »

Categories: News Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Eating for Wellness: Can a Change in Diet Improve Your Health?

August 15, 2016

The key to eating for wellness is not necessarily what foods to eat, but rather how and when we eat them, says Suzanne Judd, PhD associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Biostatistics. There is no definite right or wrong. It’s often a matter of personal taste and unique body chemistry. Food influences the way a person feels, how he or she sleeps and interacts with others. Too much food can lead to extra weight, and extra weight is associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease and decreased physical function. Diet can affect how people with chronic illness feel. It’s … Read More »

Categories: Featured News, News Tags: University of Alabama at Birmingham

‘Sit Less, Move More’ – Research Shows Sedentary Behavior is Associated with Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality in Adults

August 15, 2016

Evidence indicates that living a sedentary lifestyle may be associated with cardiovascular morbidity and overall mortality in adults, over and above the beneficial effects of time spent in physical activity. In response to this evolving evidence, some countries have implemented broad guidelines that recommend minimizing sedentary behaviors. However, there is not yet enough evidence to develop specific public health recommendations, according to a new science advisory from the American Heart Association. Cora E. Lewis, MD, professor of preventive medicine in the UAB School of Medicine, is part of the team that developed the science advisory. Lewis and other researchers found … Read More »

Categories: News Tags: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Modeling the Effect of Cigarette Smoke on Hexose Utilization in Spermatocytes

July 31, 2016

Abstract We set out to determine whether the addition of an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) antagonist has an effect on glucose/fructose utilization in the spermatocyte when exposed to cigarette smoke condensate (CSC). We exposed male germ cells to 5 and 40 μg/mL of CSC ± 10 μmol/L of AHR antagonist at various time points. Immunoblot expression of specific glucose/fructose transporters was compared to control. Radiolabeled uptake of 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) and fructose was also performed. Spermatocytes utilized fructose nearly 50-fold more than 2-DG. Uptake of 2-DG decreased after CSC + AHR antagonist exposure. Glucose transporters (GLUTs) 9a and 12 declined after … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: Washington University St. Louis

Functional Identification of a Neurocircuit Regulating Blood Glucose

July 1, 2016

Abstract Previous studies implicate the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus (VMN) in glycemic control. Here, we report that selective inhibition of the subset of VMN neurons that express the transcription factor steroidogenic-factor 1 (VMNSF1neurons) blocks recovery from insulin-induced hypoglycemia whereas, conversely, activation of VMNSF1neurons causes diabetes-range hyperglycemia. Moreover, this hyperglycemic response is reproduced by selective activation of VMNSF1fibers projecting to the anterior bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (aBNST), but not to other brain areas innervated by VMNSF1neurons. We also report that neurons in the lateral parabrachial nucleus (LPBN), a brain area that is also implicated in the response to hypoglycemia, make … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of Washington

Inaugural Short Course in Nutrigenetics, Nutrigenomics and Precision Nutrition

July 1, 2016

The inaugural course in Nutrigenetics, Nutrigenomics and Precision Nutrition was held at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis, May 23-26. This workshop-style educational course featured 16 expert-led presentations on a variety of topics including “Nutrition and Epigenetics” and “MicroRNA and Metabolic Profiling.” Attendees also participated in hands-on sessions where they learned to analyze and interpret genetic data using PLINK, Harvard’s open-source, whole-genome association analysis software toolset. This non-credit short course was attended by 96 participants from 6 countries and 29 states, including graduate students, health professionals and nutrition scientists from academia and industry. Presenters included professors from the Nutrition, … Read More »

Categories: News Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Combination of Obesity and a Common Human Infection May Increase Anxiety Levels

June 22, 2016

Anxiety and anxiety-related disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States, with obese people having higher rates of anxiety than non-obese people. Data from a recent study reveal that this increased anxiety may be caused by an interaction between obesity and a very common human infection, which results in immunological changes in the brain. Patricia Sheridan, PhD, research assistant professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has worked for years to determine how diet alters inflammatory processes in the brain. As the senior author of the study “Diet-induced obesity prolongs neuroinflammation … Read More »

Categories: News, Publications Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alterations in Human Milk Leptin and Insulin are Associated with Early Changes in the Infant Intestinal Microbiome

May 15, 2016

Abstract Increased maternal body mass index (BMI) is a robust risk factor for later pediatric obesity. Accumulating evidence suggests that human milk (HM) may attenuate the transfer of obesity from mother to offspring, potentially through its effects on early development of the infant microbiome. The objective of this study was to identify early differences in intestinal microbiota in a cohort of breastfeeding infants born to obese compared with normal-weight (NW) mothers. We also investigated relationships between HM hormones (leptin and insulin) and both the taxonomic and functional potential of the infant microbiome. Study Design Clinical data, infant stool and fasting … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Validity and Reliability of a 4-Compartment Body Composition Model

May 15, 2016

Abstract Body volume (BV), one component of a four-compartment (4C) body composition model, is commonly assessed using air displacement plethysmography (BodPod). However, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) has been proposed as an alternative method for calculating BV. This investigation evaluated the validity and reliability of DEXA-derived BV measurement and a DEXA-derived 4C model (DEXA-4C) for percent body fat (%BF), fat mass (FM), and lean mass (LM). Using a total sample of 127 men and women, a traditional 4C body composition reference assessment was completed. A DEXA-4C model was created by linearly regressing BodPod BV with DEXA FM, LM, and bone mineral … Read More »

Categories: Publications Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Metabolic Reprogramming of White Blood Cells Controls Inflammation in Fat

May 11, 2016

Researchers in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health have found that it is possible to control inflammation in fat tissue by manipulating the presence of a specific metabolic protein in a type of white blood cell called a macrophage. This metabolic reprogramming may provide a crucial strategy for weakening the link between obesity and illnesses such as diabetes. This research is the topic of a study by the lab of Liza Makowski, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition at the Gillings School and lead author of a new paper about the findings. Makowski also is a member of the … Read More »

Categories: News, Publications Tags: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill