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USDA ARS Human Nutrition Research Round Up

The FNIC Research Round Up is a collection of nutrition related research from across the 6 USDA ARS human nutrition research centers. This representative listing is only a selection of evidence based food and nutrition projects intended to inform members of the public in addition to researchers, policy makers, industry, and academia.

USDA, Agricultural Research Service

The Goal of National Program (NP) 107, Human Nutrition, is to improve the nutrition and health of the American people by enhancing the quality of the American diet through research.

Program Components:

a. Linking Agricultural Practices and Beneficial Health Outcomes

b. Monitoring Food Composition and Nutrient Intake of the Nation

c. Scientific Basis for Dietary Guidance

d. Prevention of Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases

e. Life Stage Nutrition and Metabolism

Current ARS Nutrition Research Projects:

USDA, Agricultural Research Service

CRIS database search for Obesity/Weight Control

TEKTRAN - Searchable database of recent ARS research results. Includes abstracts and interpretive summaries for manuscripts.

  1. Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC)
    1. Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, and Excretion of Food Components and their Impact on Chronic Disease Risk
    2. Advanced Technology for Rapid Comprehensive Analysis of the Chemical Components 
    3. Effect of Resistant Starch and Cruciferious Vegetables on Mucosal Immunity and Disease Resisitance
    4. Eludicating Phytonutrient Bioavailability, Health Promoting Effects and Mechanisms of Existing/Emerging Foods and Beverages 
    5. Polyphenol-Rich Foods and Promotion of Intestinal Health 
    6. Strategies to Alter Dietary Food Components and Their Effects on Food Choice and Health-Related Outcomes
    7. The Role of Dietary and Lifestyle Factors on Nutrition and Related Health Status Using Large-Scale Survey Data
    8. USDA National Nutrient Databank for Food Composition 
    9. Development of Analytical and Chemometric Methods for Identification and Authentication of Foods and Botanical Supplements
  1. Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging
    1. Safe Iron Study: The purpose of this study is to compare different types of iron supplements on intestinal health, inflammation, and the response of immune cells to bacteria and viruses.
    2. Gene and diet study: The purpose of this study is to determine how the variations in a particular gene (APOA2), which either may put individuals at risk for, or protect them from developing obesity in the presence of certain fats in foods, affect gut bacteria and biomarkers relevant to heart disease.
    3. Effect of Dietary Strawberry Supplementation on Older Adults: This research study will compare participants consuming a powdered strawberry supplement to a strawberry-flavored placebo powder over a 3-month period to determine the health effects of consuming a strawberry supplement on mobility and memory in older adults.
    4. Nutrition and Genetics Study: The purpose of this study is to determine how the variations in a particular gene (TCF7L2), which either may put individuals at risk for, or protect them from developing Type 2 Diabetes in the presence of certain foods, affect biomarkers relevant to Diabetes.
    5. Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial: To determine the effect of consuming one avocado per day on decreasing body fat as compared to consuming your usual diet.
    6. ADAPT Study:  This study will collect a breadth of evidence on the psychobiological, cultural, social, and environmental predictors of long-term dietary adherence to healthy dietary patterns in adults.
    7. Engage for Brain Health Study (ENGAGE-B) To better understand how to preserve brain health, mobility, and ultimately the independence of older adults.
    8. Effect of acute raspberry intake on metabolic control and cognitive function: compare participants consuming a high-fat meal supplemented with raspberry to a high-fat control meal to determine the effects of dietary raspberry intake on cognitive and psychomotor function in older/overweight adults.
  1. Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center
    1. The Expecting study is a long-term nutrition research study designed to determine how the health and physical activity of a mother during pregnancy could affect the growth and development of her child.
    2. Moon – The Moon Study is a nutrition research study designed to look at how the health of a mother can influence her child’s brain development. This study is for moms who are currently less than 12-weeks pregnant and have a BMI of either 18.5-25 or greater than 30.
    3. The Happy Tummies Study is a nutrition research study for 3-month old infants exclusively fed breastmilk, Similac Advance, or Similac Soy Isomil formula.
    4. The Nourish Study is a nutrition research study that provides healthy meals to breastfeeding moms less than 4.5 months postpartum with a BMI over 30.
    5. Brain Fuel – Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center is studying how nutrition and body composition affects learning and retention. The Brain Fuel study is for right handed 9-10 year olds. Monetary compensation provided.
    6. Beginnings Follow-Up – Previous Beginnings study participants are invited back to the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center for a follow-up study. These study participants, who were previously monitored until age 6, will be asked to return to the Center and ACH at age 14 for one visit, which may be broken down into several days depending on their schedule.
    7. Glowing and Expecting Follow-Up – Former Glowing and Expecting participants are invited back to the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center to participate in a follow-up study for ages 5, 8, 11, and 14. Monetary compensation proved to thank you for your time.
  2. Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
    1. A Pediatric Gastroparesis Registrya research study to learn how slow stomach emptying affects children and how we might treat it.
    2.  Infant Feeding Study: To determine if a quick skin reading can tell us about what your infant eats.
    3. Creating a Healthy Home Environment for Hispanic FamiliesParents of 8-12 year old Hispanic girls are needed to help develop text messages promoting a healthy home environment.
    4. Early Genetic and Environmental Influences on Eating: The Baylor Infant Twin Study (BITS)To better understand how babies and children learn to control their behavior and feeding as they get older. The long-term goal is to see if there is a link between children’s behavior, feeding and obesity. 
    5. Children’s School Summer Sleep StudyChildren gain substantial weight during the summer. Help us learn why.
    6. Cardiovascular Studya research study investigating risk for heart disease in youth
    7. Adult Volunteers NeededTo investigate whether healthy volunteers, type two diabetics and ketosis-prone diabetics make an important compound called arginine in different amounts.
    8. Fatty Liver: A research study investigating risk for early heart disease in youth. Study involves body composition, liver scan and blood tests.
    9. Peppermint Oil Pharmacokinetics/Dynamics and Novel Biological Signatures in Children with Functional Abdominal PainTo find out how much peppermint oil we should give to treat children who have frequent belly pain and to learn how peppermint oil works to relieve pain.
  3. Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC)
    1. Shake It Up: This study examines how the lipoproteins in your blood change after eating different fats.
    2. Shop for Success: A study to see how changes in food prices affect what foods mothers choose for their families. 
    3. Protein Eating Patterns and Weight Loss: A 16 week weight loss study to determine the extent to which protein eating patterns contribute to your ability to stay ‘on track’ with your weight loss goals.
    4. Whole Egg Intake and the Mediterranean Diet: A research study to evaluate the daily intake of whole eggs in the Mediterranean Diet.
    5. Daily protein intake patterns on energy metabolism and the motivation to snack: A research study to determine if when you eat your protein can change how your body uses food for energy.
    6. Fish For Health: A study to determine if eating fish of differing omega 3 content will decrease inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk markers.
  4. Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC)
    1. Study of Metabolic Rate in Whole Room CalorimeterTo develop “best practice methods” for using our whole room calorimeter to measure resting metabolic rate and the increase in metabolic rate that occurs after a meal.
    2. Snacks and Satiety Study We hope to learn more about how eating snacks affects your appetite and food intake.
    3. Cardiometabolic Effects of Sweet Cherry Juice: This study is testing the effects of consuming sweet cherry juice on cardiovascular and metabolic health.
    4. Induction of Gut Permeability by an Oral VaccineWe hope to determine how the gut responds to a commonly used travel vaccine and whether this response is correlated with the vaccine immune response.