Anti-Inflammatory Diet May Fight Breast Cancer

Promising work is underway in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen Hursting at the NRI to identify dietary interventions that can reduce the risk of cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known anti-inflammatory dietary supplements. Because inflammation is associated with cancer, Hursting is investigating whether these supplements can reduce risk of developing cancer. In a recently published report (Ford et al., 2015), Hursting and colleagues asked whether omega-3-fatty acids inhibit tumor growth in a mouse model of breast cancer.
[read more about Dr. Hursting’s work in reducing the risk of breast cancer.]


Childhood Obesity: A Major Health Concern

Obesity is a disease that impacts all levels of society. It is the most prevalent nutritional disorder among children and adolescents and is continuing to rise. In 2012 more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years.
[read more about why childhood obesity is such a concern and how to combat it.]

Free Public Lecture
Cooking Demo + Talk

Join us April 19 at 6 PM for our next Appetite for Life presentation. In collaboration with Johnson & Wales University, we are pleased to present a free community event at the JWU campus in Center City Charlotte. JWU Chef James O’Hara will demonstrate delicious cooking in honor of spring, while NRI registered dietitian Steph Saullo shares nutrition news and tips for consuming a balanced healthy diet. Attendees will be able to sample the fare.
The location of this event is the Hance Auditorium, Johnson & Wales University, 801 West Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202. Seating is limited. Register now!
Click here for instructions on how to attend virtually. 

US Government Encourages Research in Precision Nutrition

The Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR) released the first Nutrition Research Roadmap designed to guide federal nutrition research. The 2016-2021 National Nutrition Research Roadmap encourages an increased focus on research that can lead to more individualized advice for promoting health and preventing disease.
“Nutritional needs differ according to a number of factors, including an individual’s age, their health status and their level of physical activity,” said co-chair Dr. Catherine Woteki. “Those needs can be tailored according to personal preferences, enabling each person to choose the foods that are right for them. The priorities outlined in the Roadmap will help us identify knowledge gaps and research opportunities that can help consumers make healthy choices.” [read more] 

NRI Doctoral Student Earns Prestigious Award for Publications

Daniel Lupu, MD, doctoral student in nutrition at the NRI, has received the 2015 David Kritchevsky Graduate Student Award from the journal Nutrition Research for two articles published in the November 2015 issue of the journal.
The winning papers were part one and part two of the study, “Genetic and epigenetic transgenerational implications related to omega-3 fatty acids.”
“Dr. Lupu is a gifted physician who is completing his doctoral work in nutrition,” said Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, W.R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor, director of the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and the UNC Nutrition Obesity Research Center, and Lupu’s mentor.
Zeisel noted that Lupu was being honored for his work with UNC Nutrition Research Institute faculty members Drs. Mihai Niculescu and Carol Cheatham.
“Their two papers report,” Zeisel said, “that variation in the ‘spelling’ of a gene important for making the omega-3 fatty acids needed to build baby brain can explain why some babies (about 15 percent) need formula that contains DHA for optimal brain function, while other babies do not need such an infant formula. This is an important contribution to the new field of precision, or ‘personalized,’ nutrition.” [read more]

NRI Researcher Focuses on Family-Based Diseases

Geetha Chittoor, Ph.D. has recently been promoted to research scientist in the Voruganti lab at the NRI. Dr. Chittoor’s role as an analytical geneticist is to examine next-generation sequencing data to unravel genetic variance in large family-based disease studies. Her highest priority is to understand gene-by-environment interaction influences (e.g. diet, physical activity, socio-demographic factors, and ethnicity) on chronic kidney and cardiovascular disease risk in multi-ethnic populations. These populations including Mexican Americans and American Indians shoulder much of the metabolic syndrome burden, and yet are underrepresented in epidemiological investigations and genetic databases.
All these activities showcase Dr. Chittoor’s significant research contributions to the health landscape of the U.S. populations with high potential for the development of intervention strategies to reduce the burden of chronic kidney, cardiovascular disease, and other co-morbid conditions. As a research scientist, she assumes additional responsibility in this work, leading more projects, publishing more papers and pursuing her own grants.