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USDA ARS Human Nutrition Research RoundUp

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 Center

  1. CRIS database search for “human nutrition”
  2. CRIS database search for Obesity/Weight Control
  3. TEKTRAN - Searchable database of recent ARS research results. Includes abstracts and interpretive summaries for manuscripts.
  1. Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center (BHNRC)
    1. Absorption, Metabolism, and Health Impacts of Bioactive Food Components
    2. Dietary Regulation of Immunity and Inflammation
    3. Health Promoting Roles of Food Bio-Active Phenolic Compounds on Obesity-Altered Metabolic Functions and Physiology
    4. Metabolism and Molecular Targets of Macro and Micro Food Components in the Development and Management of Obesity and Chronic Diseases
    5. Metabolite Profiling and Chemical Fingerprinting Methods for Characterization of Foods, Botanical Supplements, and Biological Materials
    6. Regulatory Mechanisms Induced by Health-Promoting Bioactive Food Components on Sex Steroid Hormone-Dependent Pathways, Cancer Cell-Stromal Cell Interactions, and the Gut Microbiome
    7. USDA Dietary Supplement Ingredient Database
    8. USDA National Nutrient Databank for Food Composition
    9. What We Eat in America - Dietary Survey: Data Collection, Interpretation, Dissemination, and Methodology
  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. Thiamine Study: to determine whether taking certain drugs (metformin or trimethoprim) and a vitamin (thiamine) together affects your body’s ability to absorb, distribute and eliminate thiamine (aka vitamin B1), which is an essential vitamin necessary for the body to stay healthy.
    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. The Sweet Pea Study is a nutrition research study designed to look at how the health of a mother can influence her child’s brain development.
    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.
  1. Children's Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
    1. Nutritional Metabolism in Mothers, Infants, and Children: This area of research seeks to define the nutritional distresses and critical windows of development that alter physical activity.
    2. Pediatric Clinical Nutrition: Studies being investigated aim to enhance our understanding of the influences and role of various nutrients on fetal, postnatal, and childhood health, growth, and development as well as the etiology of obesity.
    3. Childhood Obesity Prevention; Studies in this area involve identifying factors that influence the development of children's eating habits and how to best help children and families adopt healthier habits and, hence, avoid or lessen long-term health problems linked to poor nutrition.
    4. Developmental Determinants of Obesity in Infants and Children: These CNRC research studies address the mechanism(s) by which an inadequate intake of dietary nutrients like folic acid, Vitamin A, protein, and cholesterol during critical periods of development exert permanent effects on development of specific organs (e.g., brain) as well as health risks (e.g., increased risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis in adulthood.
    5. Molecular, Cellular, and Regulatory Aspects of Nutrition during Development: The goal of this research is to identify strategies to optimize the nutrition and health of infants and their development as well as how dietary components help determine organ growth, development and function throughout gestation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.
  1. Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center (GFHNRC)
    1. Meals for Moms: A study to improve our understanding of how mothers make food purchasing decisions at the grocery store.
    2. Juice Study: to determine if drinking a tomato-based vegetable juice increases skin carotenoid concentrations.
    3. Sprint to Fitness: A study about motivations to engage in physical activity behavior.
    4. 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.
    5. Acute Effects of Fats on Satiety and Energy Needs: A study to determine the effect of consuming dietary sources of fat on responses of satiety and energy metabolism.
    6. Whole Egg Intake and the Mediterranean Diet: A research study to evaluate the daily intake of whole eggs in the Mediterranean Diet.
    7. 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.
    8. Fish For Health: A study to determine if eating fish of differing omega 3 content will decrease inflammation and cardiovascular disease risk markers.
  1. Western Human Nutrition Research Center (WHNRC)
    1. Assessing the Impact of Diet on Inflammation in Healthy and Obese Adults in a Cross-Sectional Phenotyping Study and a Longitudinal Intervention Trial
    2. Improving Public Health by Understanding Diversity in Diet, Body, and Brain Interactions
    3. Metabolism and Health Effects of Phospholipid and Triglyceride Forms of Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
    4. Novel Functions and Biomarkers for Vitamins and Minerals
    5. Health Effects of Chardonnay Grape Pomace Powder Study
    6. WHNRC Nutritional Phenotyping Study
    7. High Resistant Starch Wheat as a Source of Dietary Fiber Study