Thursday, December 29, 2016

Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Boston!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) was in Boston this year! This is a national meeting that offers over 100 research and educational lectures, presentations, and culinary demos.

Sessions I attended included "Food Allergies: School Guidelines and Education," "Using Science to Further Define FODMAPs and Simplify Patient Education," and "The Gut-Brain Highway: Can Traffic Be Regulated by Diet?" In The Gut-Brain Highway session, I learned that the microbiota was impacted differently by the amount of almond processing in Taylor et al.'s research. Chopped almonds were found to have the most impact compared to the control, rather than whole almonds, roasted almonds, or almond butter.

FNCE Educational Session
In addition to lectures, over 300 exhibitors participated at FNCE Boston. I discovered many new food and nutrition related products and had samples galore! One tasty find was Biena Chickpea Snacks, roasted chickpeas that are light, delicious, and crunchy.

FNCE Boston Exhibitors
I enjoyed going to FNCE and learning about the latest nutrition research, learning about new food products, and talking with other nutrition students and professionals!

FNCE 2016 Boston

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Probiotics and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This past April, I presented my research with Dr. Suzanne Neubauer on Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Probiotics at the Massachusetts Dietetic Association's Annual Nutrition Convention and Exposition. This research was a part of the Seminar in Clinical Nutrition course that I took in Framingham State University's Coordinated Program in Dietetics. Below is a summary of my findings.

Presenting Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Probiotics at MDA's ANCE
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort and abnormal bowel habits, with an estimated global prevalence of 11%. It has unclear causes and is diagnosed based on symptoms rather than structural abnormalities. Probiotic supplementation has been proposed to treat IBS, because the fecal microbiota composition of patients with IBS has been found to be significantly different compared to healthy patients. 

A review of 21 primary studies was performed to examine the efficacy of probiotic treatment on IBS symptoms in subjects over 16 years old. Most of the studies reviewed were double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized controlled trials. While some trials examined multi-strain probiotics, others assessed the influence of individual probiotic strains.

The results suggest abdominal pain, bloating, stool frequency, stool consistency, adequate relief, and quality of life are not adequately addressed with multi-strain probiotics in patients with all types of IBS. Different dosages, compositions of probiotic mixtures, treatment lengths, and subtypes of IBS studied make trials on probiotics hard to compare. The results were also impacted by the placebo effect, which may be a common occurrence in IBS trials, because IBS has unclear etiologies and is diagnosed based on subjective report of symptoms. 

Meanwhile, impacts of single strains of Escherichia, Bifidobacterium, Saccharomyces, and Lactobacillus were limited and varied according to specific strains. Drawing general conclusions from the studies on single-strain probiotics is not straightforward, as outcomes were strain specific, and some results were only observed in one bacterial strain in one trial.

Due to the inadequate number of studies that demonstrate substantial benefits of probiotics, single- and multi-strain probiotic supplements are not recommended for IBS treatment. However, if patients with IBS are interested, taking up to 8 strains of probiotics and up to 9x10^11 CFU per day has been shown to be safe.

I was surprised to discover there was not enough evidence to support supplementing with probiotics to treat IBS. However, following a low-FODMAP diet may help to manage IBS symptoms. In addition, find out what else probiotics may be good for at the Boston Fermentation Festival this Sunday!

Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Probiotics Research Sources
1. Begtrup et al. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013;48(10)1127-1135. 
2. Cha et al. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012;46(3):220-227. 
3. Ford et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2014;109(10):1547-1561. 
4. Jafari et al. Arch Iran Med. 2014;17(7):466-470. 
5. Ludidi et al. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2014;26(5):705-714. 
6. Roberts et al. BMC Gastroenterol. 2013;13:45. 
7. Shavakhi et al. Adv Biomed Res. 2014;3:140. 
8. Simrén M et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010;31(2):218-227. 
9. Sisson et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2014;40(1)51-62. 
10. Søndergaard et al. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2011;46(6):663-672. 
11. Wong et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2015;60(1):186-194.
12. Yoon et al. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014;29(1):52-59. 
13. Kruis et al. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2012;27(4):467-474. 
14. Choi et al. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2011;45(8):679-683. 
15. Dapoigny et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(17):2067-2075. 
16. Ducrotté et al. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(30):4012-4018. 
17. Ligaarden et al. BMC Gastroenterol. 2010;10:16. 
18. Stevenson et al. Nutrition. 2014;30(10):1151-1157. 
19. Guglielmetti et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011;33(10): 1123-1132. 
20. Charbonneau et al. Gut Microbes. 2013;4(3):201-211. 
21. Pineton de Chambrun et al. Dig Liver Dis. 2015;47(2):119-124.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dietetic Internship Rotations at Needham Public Schools

As a part of the M.S. Coordinated Program in Dietetics at Framingham State University, I completed my food service and school nutrition rotations at Needham Public Schools (NPS) this spring. At NPS, the school cafeteria is considered the nutrition classroom, where students can learn about healthy eating through the nutritious and delicious food options offered.

For my food service rotation, I visited and learned about how each of the school cafeterias in the district operates. At NPS, each school is lucky to have its own kitchen! Projects that I was involved with included updating and training the cafeteria managers on the department's standard operating procedures and designing and running a plate waste study at the three secondary schools. I attended meetings and events, such as monthly manager meetings, the USDA Foods Conference, and The Education Collaborative (TEC) food service director meetings. During staff relief, I helped to manage the cafeteria at High Rock Middle School, which is a HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC), Gold Award of Distinction winner. The HUSSC is a voluntary certification, highlighting schools with healthier environments by encouraging nutrition and physical activity.

Buffalo chicken "wings of fire" with a warm biscuit, melon, vegetables, and salad for lunch at Needham High School
In addition to food service, I had the opportunity to teach nutrition lessons in the classroom for students in elementary, middle, and high school. This included an activity on the five food groups with third grade students at Mitchell Elementary School, and a lesson on food marketing with middle school students at Pollard Middle School. I enjoyed teaching to students of various age levels at the different schools.

Teaching the five food groups with MyPlate
Throughout the experience, I worked with a variety of staff in the Nutrition Services department, including the Nutrition Services director, Nutrition Outreach Coordinator, secretaries, cafeteria managers, and food service workers. I also worked with other staff and members of the school community, including teachers, custodial staff, and students.

I learned a lot about school nutrition at Needham Public Schools. I'm looking forward to continuing to learn more about school nutrition by assisting the food services department at Dedham Public Schools!