Environment and Nutrition

Beginning at conception, environmental factors in health can accumulate over a lifetime and be from sources as broad as geographic location and economic status to specific external sources including physical activity, occupation, risky behaviors and diet. But some of these factors, especially in terms of diet are highly modifiable.

Important research is now being conducted on this concept of the “exposome,” as an environmental complement to the human genome. NRI researchers are learning how diet and other environmental exposures interact with disease and affect responses to treatment.



Related News

Early-Life Predictors of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

January 22, 2020 – The clinical teams at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute and in South Africa led by principal investigator Philip A. May, PhD have published findings of a decade-long effort to drive down the age at which the diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) can be made in affected children. The paper, “Early-Life Predictors of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders” is published in Pediatrics.

Chinese herb may be a natural method of treating diabetes

May 31, 2019 – The traditional Chinese herb Lycii Cortex (LyC), with its powerful compound kukoamine B, could be an effective nutraceutical choice for lowering blood glucose when used alone or in combination with low doses of first-line diabetes medications.

December Faculty Focus: Susan Sumner, PhD

December 15, 2018 – Through the ages, science has often been in the company of poetry. They came together recently when Susan Sumner, PhD, described how she got her start in Biomarker Discovery using spectroscopic methods as an undergraduate at North Carolina State University (NCSU): “I found it exciting to envision molecules dancing in multidimensional space in response to applied physical factors such as magnets, radio frequency pulses, or electric fields.”

October Faculty Focus: Saroja Voruganti, PhD

October 17, 2018 – Saroja Voruganti, PhD, has covered a lot of ground in her journey to becoming a faculty researcher in nutrition, genetics, and epidemiology at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute. Born into a traditional south Indian family, she grew up in Delhi in northern India where she graduated with an undergraduate degree in nutrition. Then she married and moved to western India. Even as she focused on marriage, home, and raising a family in the traditional Indian way of life, she kept alive her dream of pursuing advanced studies and contributing outside of family life.

Genetic Factors in Determining Bone Mass

June 29, 2018 – Osteoporosis is a serious public health concern and causes significant economic burden. Currently, about 54 million people in the United States have osteoporosis or low bone mass. It is projected that by 2025, the incidences of bone fracture will be 3 million, resulting in about $25 billion in medical costs each year. Among different ethnicities, Hispanics are estimated to have the most rapid increase in osteoporosis burden by 2025.

New Grant to Study Nutrition and Chemotherapeutic Response

May 30, 2018 – Delisha Stewart, PhD, Assistant Professor of Nutrition at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute, has been awarded a two year grant to study the impact of diet on chemotherapeutic treatment resistance in obesity-driven, aggressive breast cancer.  This award builds from the research Dr. Stewart has conducted over the last ten years.