Whole Foods and Nutrient Synergy

January 29, 2018 – Have you ever wondered why we eat certain foods together? What is it about pork that demands applesauce? Wouldn’t a lovely piece of hard cheese go well with that glass of red wine? Is beef and broccoli just a dish or might there be a benefit to eating those together? It is difficult to trace how these traditional pairings got started. Apples with pork dates back to the time of Christ when an ancient Roman named Apicius wrote down a recipe, but where did he get the idea? We find a clue in the story of why we eat mint with lamb. In an attempt to decrease the consumption of lamb and thereby increase wool exports, Queen Elizabeth I declared it unlawful to eat lamb without mint sauce, presumably because people disliked the taste of mint sauce (basically mint and vinegar). As it turned out, mint sauce was a great compliment to lamb. So, yes. Your first instinct was correct – we eat certain foods together because they taste good together!
Thus, a better question might be why do certain foods taste so good together?
Read more.

Why A Fly?

January 29, 2018 –The genome of a fruit fly is strikingly similar to that of a human — so much so that scientists have been studying these tiny insects for over 100 years, in search of treatments for diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and neurological disorders. UNC geneticist and Director of the Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences Bob Duronio is one of those scientists. Biologists refer to species that are studied to better understand human biology as “model organisms.” Fruit flies fall into this category, as hundreds of labs across the country dedicate their research to these tiny beings. In the Genome Science Building, alone, six labs focus on fruit fly research. “Even though they’ve been studied for over a hundred years, there are still people in the biomedical community who say, Why do you work with fruit flies?” Duronio says. “Part of my job is to explain that.”  Read more.

Appetite For Life – February 12, 2018 

John E. French, PhD, Visiting Professor of Nutrition, UNC Nutrition Research Institute

The Effects of Genes and Environment on Our Health
Our individual genetic differences and the environments we live and work in can interact in a number of ways to affect our susceptibility or resistance to some diseases, but not to others. Over- or under-nutrition, as well as to exposures to toxic agents at work or at home, can also affect our health and quality of life. In addition, there are particular times in our aging and development when we are more susceptible than others. We will review and consider the latest information on new genetic tools that help inform us of our history, our ancestors’ history, and our individual differences in why some of us, but not others, may be more resistant or susceptible to gene-by-environment interactions that affect our health. A major effort at the NRI focuses on Precision Nutrition, which requires identifying individual genetic differences and how our diet or specific nutrients can modify our health. The new research tools we are developing and testing may aid human research and development of new treatment.

Program begins at 6:00 PM at Restaurant Forty-Six101 West Avenue, Kannapolis, NC 28081. Seating is limited. Doors open at 5:30 PM. Come a few minutes early to get a seat, and enjoy light bites, compliments of Restaurant Forty-Six.

  • March 14 – Susan Sumner, PhD
  • April 18 – AFL @ Johnson & Wales University
  • May 16 – Emma Allott, PhD

Registration for each program opens 4 weeks in advance on uncnri.org.

NGx Short Course June 4-7, 2018 in Kannapolis, NC 

Designed for graduate students, health professionals and nutrition scientists from academia and industry
Presented by UNC Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) and the UNC Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC)
This workshop-style course (16 CEUs) will provide the fundamental concepts of nutrigenetics, nutrigenomics and personalized nutrition through cutting edge presentations and hands-on experiences. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a personal DNA test and examine their own nutrigenetic data.