Precision (Personalized) Nutrition: Understanding Metabolic Heterogeneity

February 28, 2020 –People differ in their requirements for and responses to nutrients and bioactive molecules in the diet. Many inputs contribute to metabolic heterogeneity (including variations in genetics, epigenetics, microbiome, lifestyle, diet intake, and environmental exposure). Precision nutrition is not about developing unique prescriptions for individual people but rather about stratifying people into different subgroups of the population on the basis of biomarkers of the above-listed sources of metabolic variation and then using this stratification to better estimate the different subgroups’ dietary requirements, thereby enabling better dietary recommendations and interventions. The hope is that we will be able to subcategorize people into ever-smaller groups that can be targeted in terms of recommendations, but we will never achieve this at the individual level, thus, the choice of precision nutrition rather than personalized nutrition to designate this new field. Read more.


February AFL Program Recap: “The Food and Nutrition Myths That Never Fade Away: Time to Debunk Them”

February 28, 2020 – If you missed February’s Appetite for Life Presentation by Cecilia Kwan, PhD, RD, you can catch up. Watch the entire presentation on video now. The live presentation took place at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Biotechnology Training Center on the North Carolina Research Campus on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.

In her talk, Dr. Kwan, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of NRI Deputy Director for Science Susan Smith, PhD, debunked some common food and nutrition myths that seem to never fade away! One is the myth that ALL fats are bad. Dr. Kwan explained that there are many different kinds of fats (saturated, unsaturated, and trans) that all impact the body differently. While saturated fats and trans fats can increase the so-called “bad” (LDL) cholesterol in your blood, unsaturated fats can actually decrease LDL cholesterol and keep the “good” (HDL) cholesterol level high in the blood. Fat serves your body in many important ways, by protecting your body organs, serving as a source of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), and affecting the production and regulation of hormones that are important for appetite control, body metabolism, and reproduction. It’s a FACT: not all fats are bad. Some are good for you and you need them! Intrigued? Learn more about dietary myths and facts by viewing the video here.


Join Us for Appetite For Life on Friday, March 20 at the NRI!

February 28, 2020 – Jaspreet Sharma, PhD, postdoctoral researcher in the Sergey Krupenko Lab at the Nutrition Research Institute will present “Folate in Human Health and Diseases.” Folate (vitamin B9) is a commonly known vitamin often associated with pregnancy and fetal development. Scientists are now realizing that the role of folate is so diverse, impacting everything from cancer to mental health.

The S. Krupenko lab at NRI believes that there are molecular strings in humans that can be impacted by the right combinations of nutrients. We need to identify these links and make them work with the correct balance. Though folate is necessary, over supplementation of folate has its own health concerns. This presentation will highlight the best ways to utilize the health protective properties of folate and prevent the possibility of its adverse effects. Click here to learn more and register.