February 24, 2016
By Megan Pulse
Joe Webb, senior in nutritional science, is driven to serve others and passionate about expanding human potential through conducting research that improves human health. These qualities make Webb deserving of the 2016 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award.
The award, given by the Iowa State University Alumni Association, is granted upon two to five seniors who have dedicated their time to making Iowa State a better place to live, learn, and grow.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to be named a recipient of the Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award. This award is the most prestigious honor that I have received and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this opportunity because there are so many other deserving students at Iowa State University,” said Webb.
Joe’s decision to major in nutritional science was rooted by a family health diagnosis. When his family was given the news that his step father was diagnosed with high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol, Joe helped his family to lead a healthier lifestyle. This resulted in a change of diet for Joe and his family as they began to eat healthy. Around the same time, Joe assisted in founding a weight lifting program at his high school in Murray, Iowa. Joe and his family lost a combined total of 175 pounds within a short few years, Joe losing 90 pounds himself. After witnessing the profound influence nutrition can have on peoples’ lives, Joe knew that he wanted to spend his life helping others experience the same joy he discovered from leading a healthier lifestyle, and turning his life around.
Joe’s leadership is evident with his involvement in numerous organizations and committees on and off campus, such as: President of Acacia Fraternity, advising in the President’s Leadership Class (alongside President Leath), S.H.O.P., ISU Honors Program, American Alzheimer’s Association, American Society for Nutrition, College of Human Science Dean’s Advisory Board, and many more organizations. He has been named a Coca-Cola National Scholar, College of Human Sciences Student Sensation, Department of Defense National SMART Fellowship Finalist; and has received the Iowa State Interfraternity Council Most Valuable Member and International Acacia Fraternity Most Outstanding Undergraduate awards, to name a few.
Joe attributes his success to the guidance provided by several mentors during his time at Iowa State. From involvement in student organizations to working in research labs on campus, Webb’s mentors had a large impact in helping him identify opportunities to continue his personal growth and mark his college career by his servant leadership.
“Dr. Auriel Willette, Mr. Stewart Burger and Dr. Matthew Ellinwood have been the most influential mentors in my life thus far, helping clarify that I want to spend the rest of my life conducting research that will positively impact human health. Their guidance, knowledge and dedication to serving others extends far beyond anyone else I have met. I deeply venerate these gentlemen and their wisdom has left a resounding impact on my life,” said Webb.
Immediately after graduation, Joe will begin conducting research through a scientific fellowship through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the American Physiological Society (APS). He will spend his summer studying Alzheimer’s disease before entering into a Ph.D. program in the fall of 2016. Joe plans to complete his Ph.D. in four years before traveling to begin a post-doctoral fellowship through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in Bethesda, MD.
In Joe’s short four years at Iowa State, he has had a multitude of experiences that will impact the rest of his life. Most importantly, he believes that attending college should pick a student up and place them back down with new opportunities, and a newly gained perspective on life.
“The best advice I have to give those that would like to receive this honor is to discover your passion,” said Webb. “If you let passion drive you, let reason hold the reigns. As long as at the end of the day you know you are making a difference in others’ lives, you are doing the right thing. Immerse yourself in everything you are interested in and make the most out of your adventure here at Iowa State because this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you will never forget.”
Joe Webb, Senior in Nutritional Science, email@example.com
Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know an FSHN alum that deserves recognition, you may nominate them for the FSHN Alumni Impact Award.
The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN) has opened nominations for the sixth annual FSHN Alumni Impact Award.
“There are so many FSHN alums out there making an impact,” says Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair. “We are excited to have this opportunity to honor their good work and connect them with our students, who are the future.”
A maximum of three awards are given each year to recognize those FSHN alumni who have made significant impacts in their profession and/or in their community and keep Cyclone Pride alive. Candidates must be 5 years post-degree from ISU.
Selected award winners are invited back to campus during Homecoming (October 28 -29, 2016) for activities with current students and faculty. Winners are then recognized at a banquet and are honored guests at a department tailgate and Iowa State football game.
Applications will be accepted through Monday, April 11, 2016. All details can be found on the nomination form (2016-FSHN-Alumni-Award-Nomination-Form).
Please direct inquiries and completed nomination packets to Megan Pulse.
Previous winners include:
While Iowa may be known for its corn, soybeans and pork, an associate professor at Iowa State University is part of a growing group eager to put Iowa on the map for cheese production.
“What I’m hoping to do is help consumers to recognize that Iowa also has dairy products and they don’t have to search for European or exotic products,” said Stephanie Clark, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition at ISU. “We have a good selection right here to be proud of.”
Since she began working in Iowa six years ago, Clark said she has seen the cheese industry continue to expand. Iowa now has more than 20 cheesemakers, most of them categorized as small or medium-scale producers, and several large opportunities offered in the state this year are showing industry professionals could be starting to look at Iowa cheeses.
Clark is also the co-chair of the American Cheese Society’s “Cheese in the Heartland,” an annual international conference that will be July 27 to 30 in Des Moines. The conference is expected to bring in more than 1,200 cheese industry professionals, and showcase more than 1,700 entries.
In August, Clark will lead a project she co-founded, the Iowa Quality Dairy Products Showcase, which features cultured dairy products and cheeses from across Iowa.
Events like the showcase and the “Cheese in the Heartland” conference are showing there is a growing interest in the Iowa market, and local producers are seeing the change.
One of those producers is Picket Fence Creamery, based out of Woodward. Jill Burkhart, the co-owner and ice cream maker at the creamery, said her family opened 13 years ago and started introducing cheese curds into their business 12 years ago.
The idea began when the family had 300 to 400 gallons of milk left after bottling each week, and Burkhart said they wanted to put it to use. The farm does not have an aging facility for cheese, but the family began making white cheddar cheese curds from the Jersey milk they made. Now, Burkhart said the family can sometimes make 250 pounds of curds in a week. The increase in production is similar to the growth she’s seen in cheese production around the state, Burkhart said.
“Local is the buzz word in marketing today, as far as food goes,” she said. “The Midwest is just catching up here with the organic and local thing that started in the 70s and 80s in California … so I think we jumped in at the right time, but I see nothing but growth potential.”
As the industry continues to grow, Clark and other producers from around the state are creating even more efforts to strengthen local businesses.
Along with the conference and showcase, Clark has also helped to create the new Iowa Cheese and Cultured Dairy Products Guild, a networking opportunity for cheese producers, sellers and buyers across the state to meet monthly. Clark said up to 18 people have attended the meetings, and she hopes there will be more growth in the future. But the overall message of the meetings, she said, is to encourage producers to support each other.
“I want it to stress being colleagues, not competition, to build the Iowa cheese industry,” she said. “If they make a good product, it’s helping Iowa’s cheese reputation overall … It’s really important that everybody puts their best foot forward.”
Junior Musser, of Milton, serves as president of the guild.
Musser, who owns Milton Creamery, has been producing cheese for almost 10 years, and said he has seen a 30 percent growth of his in-state cheese production for the last two years.
“We’re seeing a very steady growth on the amount of products we sell both in the state and out of state,” he said.
While Musser said part of the reason for growth could be the growing “shop local” emphasis, he credited the majority of the growth to a “Renaissance movement” toward higher cheese quality across the country. While coastal cheese producers have been influenced by European production for years, Musser said the Midwest is “a little later catching up, but it’s just as strong.”
As Iowa’s industry continues to grow, Clark said dairy farmers looking into cheese production must consider several factors. First and foremost, Clark said they should “do their homework,” and talk to their regulators and the Iowa Department of Agriculture. For instance, if producers are looking for equipment that might be on sale, they should first contact their regulator and ensure the equipment would be acceptable to them. Clark said they should also get involved in workshops or meet with other cheesemakers for recommendations about getting started.
As more farmers could be expressing interest in cheese production, Musser said stores across Iowa are also improving the way they sell cheese. Stores such as Hy-Vee, he said, are adding larger cheese selections in-store and are hiring staff with a larger passion in selling high-quality local cheese. He hopes to see the guild continue to grow, and raise awareness about Iowa’s cheese potential.
“I think the guild will be here to raise the awareness of the dairy industry, especially the cheese industry,” he said. “Iowa’s known for corn and pigs and eggs, but there’s also a lot of dairy here. We’re more diverse than a lot of states.”
- See more at: http://amestrib.com/news/iowa-cheese-industry-rise#sthash.3vg3Mj07.dpuf
Iowa State’s Master of Family and Consumer Sciences in dietetics ranks sixth among affordable online degrees in nutrition: OnlineU.org has ranked Iowa State University’s online master’s program in dietetics sixth highest among the 20 most affordable online degrees in the field of nutrition. Iowa State’s 36-credit Master of Family and Consumer Sciences degree program with a specialization in dietetics prepares Registered Dietitians to practice at an advanced level. The coursework develops research skills, stimulates independent thought, and provides the latest information on foods, nutrition, food service, and business management. The program is offered through the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance.
For more information, contact Sarah Francis in food science and human nutrition at 515-294-1456 or email@example.com.
Human Sciences Communications
Joe Webb in nutritional science and pre-health has been named among the five Iowa State University students to receive the 2016 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award. The honor recognizes outstanding seniors who display high character, outstanding achievement in academics and university and community activities, and promise for continuing these exemplary qualities as alumni. The awards will be presented on Friday, April 22, at the ISU Alumni Association Young Alumni Council luncheon.
Human Sciences Communications
Photo by Wyeth Lynch
Donna Winham publishes article on low-income women’s lack of knowledge about health benefits of beans: The Public Library of Science (PLOS) on Jan. 28 published a manuscript by Winham, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, entitled “Low-Income US Women Under-informed of the Specific Health Benefits of Consuming Beans.” Winham is an expert in community and global nutrition. She said low-income women are at higher risk of poor dietary quality and chronic diseases. She said low-income women are at higher risk of poor dietary quality and chronic diseases. For Hispanics, bean consumption may drop as part of the acculturation experience while disease risk increases. Current beliefs about beans can help tailor education and outreach for vulnerable women. Emphasizing knowledge of the health benefits of beans and their role in cultural traditions may be a better approach to retain or increase bean consumption rather than focusing on beans as low-cost for nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). These findings support current research in ISU Extension and Outreach and the College of Human Sciences on cultural diversity and reducing health disparities, and nutrition-specific agriculture programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
For more information, contact Donna Winham in food science and human nutrition at 515-294-5040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers), a student-run food pantry at Iowa State, celebrates its fifth anniversary next week with a campuswide food drive, an open house, and giveaways.
Photo by Ryan Riley.
The SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers), a student-run food pantry in the Food Sciences Building on the Iowa State University campus, is celebrating five years of helping students in need.
The campus food pantry, created by food science and human nutrition students to ensure food security on campus, first opened its doors on Feb. 1, 2011. This month marks its 5th anniversary.
“We are a resource on campus that is easily accessible for students in need, striving to achieve food security, while incorporating opportunities for volunteer experience and leadership,” said SHOP president Heather Van Wyk, a junior in dietetics. “But most of all, we are about helping the fellow student.”
The SHOP will next week host a series of events for the campus community to celebrate its 5-year anniversary:
- Campuswide food drive: Festivities will kick off with a campuswide food drive hosted Feb. 15 to 18 by The SHOP. Boxes will be located in 220 MacKay Hall, 2312 Food Sciences Building, E262 Lagomarcino Hall (the dean’s office of the College of Human Sciences), and Harl Commons and the first-floor rotunda of Curtiss Hall for anyone to drop off non-perishable food and personal care items.
- Free treats, buttons: On Monday, volunteers will be on campus near Curtiss Hall handing out free treats and SHOP buttons, and talking about services provided by The SHOP.
- Signature reusable bag: From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, the SHOP will have a table in the south atrium outside the Iowa State University Book Store in Memorial Union and will be giving away more freebies, including the new signature SHOP reusable bags.
- Open house, free T-shirts: Everyone is invited to an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 at 2616 Food Sciences Building. Those who donate two non-perishable food or personal care items will receive a free SHOP T-shirt, while supplies last.
The SHOP serves 60 to 90 students each week during 13 open hours of operation, with help from more than 230 student volunteers. Anyone in the campus community is welcome to take as much food as they need.
To help protect the anonymity of recipients, the SHOP does not require people to show identification. Students running the SHOP simply keep a tally of how many people use the campus food pantry each day.
Recently, the SHOP helped some Iowa State students who are also parents by providing them with pre-packaged meals, said Keesha Wormely, a 2014 alumna in child, adult, and family services who works as a program assistant for Iowa State’s child care and family resources.
The campus food pantry also has a small selection of toiletries including diapers and feminine hygiene products.
“With the success of the SHOP over the last five years, I expect great things to continue in the next five,” said Kirsten Mancosky, a graduate student in diet and exercise who’s been a SHOP volunteer and past board member. “By carrying out the SHOP’s vision, students are not only helping their peers combat hunger, they are also fostering a better quality of life.”
The SHOP receives donations from local churches, food pantries, and other student clubs on campus. Its ultimate mission is to help students in times of need.
Support The SHOP by following on Facebook and Twitter (@ISU_SHOP). The SHOP, located in 2616 Food Sciences Building, is open 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, and 3 to 6 p.m. Thursdays when class is in session.
Heather Van Wyk, senior in dietetics, president of SHOP, 641-780-9456, email@example.com
Daniel Rincon-Perez, senior in biology, publicity chair for SHOP, 785-406-1373, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsten Mancosky, graduate student in diet and exercise, SHOP volunteer and past board member, email@example.com
Keesha Wormely, 2014 alumna in child, adult, and family services; program assistant, Child Care and Family Resources, University Human Resources, Iowa State University, 515-294-3149, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lynn Campbell, communications specialist, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-3689, email@example.com
Sumreet Singh Johar, Graduate Assistant-Research, Food Science Club, Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Club
Why did you choose to attend Iowa State?
I chose Iowa State as I was confident that being a graduate student in Food Science and Human Nutrition department at ISU would provide me an ideal platform to gain strong foothold in food science coursework, conduct research under the supervision of the distinguished faculty with expertise in diverse areas of food science and to participate in valuable internships, short courses and workshops in order to perfect my future academic and experimental acquisitions in food science. Additionally, this would offer me an environment competitive enough to bring my caliber to zenith while ensuring that I receive scientific training in food research that is both broad in scope and rigorous in depth.
What factors influenced your choice of major?
I am interested in pursuing a career in food science to contribute my scientific skills to the applied and interdisciplinary aspect of food technology. Food, as we all know, is a basic and essential component for the survival of living organisms. Several food products such as candies, chocolates, chips and wafers have always captivated me. As I ventured my abilities into cooking and baking, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process – beginning from purchasing the right ingredients with extensive research and ending with analyzing the cooked food ensuring that a suitable flavor is achieved. This further made me quite inquisitive about the process underlying food product development. Also, I am enthusiastic to learn from people around me about various ways of processing and preserving food to improve its flavor and prevent spoilage such as pickling and using additives like salt, sugar, spices and several others. The combination of my scientific bent of mind, ardent fervor for cooking and baking and inherent curiosity to search for detailed ingredients and nutrition facts stated in food packages made me realize that there is an essential component of science involved in the food product development.
What do you enjoy most about your student club or organization experience?
I am part of both Food Science club and Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Club. I enjoy several activities conducted by these clubs such as inviting different food companies for potential job opportunities, seminars on public speaking, drafting poster presentations, handling graduate student life, career opportunities and several others.
Please describe your most rewarding experience for you being a part and working with the FSHN department.
My most rewarding experience has been to work under the direct supervision of Dr. Joey N. Talbert and make a productive contribution towards his research that is helping me foster my knowledge and skills in Enzyme technology and Bio-catalysis, Molecular Biology, Food Science, Chemistry, Material Science, and Engineering. Being his first graduate student, I also got an invaluable opportunity to gain leadership and management skills through setting up his new lab in an organized and independent way. It is also an enriching experience to serve as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate laboratory course in Food Analysis with Dr. Tong Wang. This is helping me learn various fundamental concepts in Food Analysis and hone my teaching skills by contributing towards student learning. In addition, working with FSHN department has given me a platform to participate in diverse activities such as yogurt training, conferences, seminars, IFT meetings and others that will certainly prove an asset in boosting my future career prospects.
What do you see yourself doing in three to five years?
I see myself working as an industrial food scientist participating in innovative and improved food discoveries, bringing them to the market and eventually on the consumer’s food plate, thereby leading to my substantial scientific contribution in the real world.
What is something that faculty/staff members wouldn’t know about you?
I have been practicing Vipassana meditation technique since March 2013 on a daily basis. Vipassana courses are offered free of cost worldwide in a ten day retreat format. To handle external duties more efficiently, I firmly believe that a truly accomplished leader is one who goes through the entire spectrum of leading oneself and effectuating the change process within. For me, embarking on the scientific path of self-introspection under the tutelage of my venerable Vipassana meditation teachers is assisting me to eradicate the deepest bottlenecks from within rather than outside. Being in touch with my inner leader has enabled me to develop morality, concentration and equanimity. Consequently, this is helping me gain calm, peaceful, clear and balanced mind, self-awareness, patience and compassion for others. Getting ingrained in these wholesome traits is assisting me in unlocking my caliber as a leader through selfless and strong decision making, cordial interaction with others and setting good examples for others to emulate.
Would you like to recognize a faculty member for their hard work and/or inspiration?
There are several faculty members in the Food Science and Human Nutrition department that have highly inspired me to inculcate wholesome values. I consider myself quite fortunate and blessed to work with my major professor, Dr. Joey N. Talbert. I am very grateful towards him for his individual attention and concern towards me both at the professional and personal front. Though he is a new professor, he has nurtured me with a lot of care and compassion. He has given me complete independence in setting up the lab and designing new experiments for my research work. He has been a great inspiration for me to cultivate these virtuous qualities in me.
Another faculty member that inspires me is Dr. Stephanie Clark. I first interacted with her mainly through participating in yogurt tasting training conducted under her supervision. She puts in a lot of hard work and efforts in explaining the concepts thoroughly. Her enthusiasm is greatly reflected in her teaching through the dynamic energy and liveliness she brings in the class. Her extraordinary teaching skills have made a deep impact on me. In addition, I am quite impressed with her brilliant communication skills as she delivered a commendable presentation about her research work in FSHN seminar series despite the fact that she was struggling with bad voice. This taught me how persistence and patience helps one overcome any difficulty. I am confident that taking FSHN 581 class with her will be an asset in strengthening my oral and written communication skills and thus enhancing my confidence in public speaking.
Dr. Zhiyou Wen is another faculty member that inspires me with his outstanding teaching skills. It has been my privilege to take courses in Food Engineering and Food Processing with him as part of my Master’s degree. His class presentations are always very well organized and he covers all the information he shows on his slides. He very clearly explains the guidelines for completing assignments. He makes the complex topics student friendly and easy to comprehend and understand. I greatly admire him for his dedication and sincerity in his pedagogical skills.
Stephanie Clark, an associate professor in food science and human nutrition, is leading several initiatives to promote Iowa cheeses, including co-chairing an international cheese conference. Photo by Ryan Riley.
February 8, 2016
By Shannon Stump
Stephanie Clark is determined to make Iowa the next great cheesemaking state.
“We do have a number of really good cheesemakers around here, and I think it’s time we make people more aware of it,” she said.
Clark — an associate professor in food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University who goes by the email “milkmade” — is one of the state’s premier leaders in promoting Iowa cheese. Her efforts were key in bringing an international cheese conference to Iowa, forming a new guild that connects the state’s dairy professionals, and co-founding a statewide dairy products showcase.
She is a co-chair of the American Cheese Society’s annual international conference, Cheese in the Heartland, which will be held July 27 to 30 in Des Moines.
The conference is a chance to showcase Iowa’s cheeses to the world. It’s expected to attract more than 1,200 cheese industry professionals and experts from around the world. The conference’s annual competition, for which Clark has served as the technical adviser since 2011, will showcase more than 1,700 entries.
“That’s a big deal, for us to win that bid,” Clark said. “Cheese lovers will be descending on Des Moines!”
The Festival of Cheese at the end of the conference will open an international cheese selection to the general public for sampling and purchase. The festival begins 7 p.m. July 30 at the Iowa Events Center.
Improving Iowa dairy products
Clark’s passion for dairy products traces back to growing up on a Massachusetts farm with her first pet, a Nubian dairy goat named Hillary.
“I was involved in 4-H through my youth, but did not know food science was a career option until my sophomore year in college when I asked my adviser if I could do undergraduate research with goat milk,” she said. “I was sent over to food science, and started taking classes there.”
Clark has helped many Iowa dairy farmers, companies, and consumers make smart choices. While teaching at Iowa State, she also consults dairy farms and companies on production, quality, and safety.
“That’s what I think a land-grant institution should do,” she said. “I think we should answer those calls and help troubleshoot. A half-hour phone call helps a lot. If I can help solve their problem, it saves them a lot of money. It feels good to be able to do that.”
Connecting cheesemaker to cheesemaker
By connecting with dairy professionals all over the state, Clark saw a need to form a new professional association: the Iowa Cheese and Cultured Dairy Products Guild.
The guild provides a networking and education outlet to in-state sellers, buyers, makers, and enthusiasts of cheese and dairy products. More than 20 members representing independent artisans, farms, and major companies meet monthly.
“We’re trying to create a network so they can share experiences and thoughts,” said Kevin Stiles, the senior vice president of business development for Midwest Dairy Association. “It’s amazing how the best learning can take place cheesemaker to cheesemaker.”
The guild will play a large role in ensuring the success of Cheese in the Heartland. Members will volunteer, lead tours, and present Iowa’s cheeses at the competition and festival.
“It creates overall enthusiasm for the cheese industry in the state,” Stiles said. “We see the guild as a way to showcase Iowa-made cheeses.”
Dairy products showcase
In August, Clark will spearhead another passion project she co-founded: the Iowa Quality Dairy Products Showcase.
Now in its second year, the showcase features cultured dairy products, goat and sheep cheeses, and cow cheeses from Iowa companies. Winning cheeses are displayed at the Iowa State Fair. Nine companies entered last year’s competition.
“We’re judging their products and providing them with valuable feedback to improve the quality of their products,” Clark said.
Stiles, who co-founded the guild and dairy products showcase with Clark, said both ventures aim to increase education, food safety, and marketing for Iowa’s 17 cheesemakers and its artisanal cheeses.
“We have a number of large cheesemakers, but also a growing farmstead and artisanal cheese industry too,” he said. “We see an opportunity for the growth potential of artisanal cheeses. It’s been a really good partnership with Stephanie to further build upon the enthusiasm and camaraderie amongst the Iowa cheesemakers.”
Steps in the right direction
Iowa hosting one of the foremost dairy conferences in the world will help encourage development of dairy farming in the state, said C.J. Bienert, the owner of The Cheese Shop of Des Moines who’s also a co-chair of the international cheese conference.
“The conference might just give traditional Iowa farmers that encouragement that they need to take the next step, put in the infrastructure and investment, and start making cheese,” he said.
He explained that other well-known dairy producing regions began as traditional farming areas as well.
“How did Wisconsin become such a great dairy state?” Bienert said. “They used to farm wheat and they had to reinvent themselves. Dairy farming is a way of cash-flowing grass.”
Some corn and soybean farmers are changing their operations and raising cattle for beef production. While not a direct line to cheesemaking, Bienert said animal husbandry is a step in the right direction.
“My dream is that these businesses will start here,” he said. “Iowa is affordable and centrally located, so it makes a lot of sense. I think that we’re posed to see a growth in artisanal products.”
Stephanie Clark, associate professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, 515-294-7346, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Stiles, senior vice president of business development, Midwest Dairy Association, email@example.com
C.J. Bienert, owner, The Cheese Shop of Des Moines, 515-528-8181, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shannon Stump, graduate assistant writer, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University, 515-294-9424, email@example.com
Iowa State researchers Kevin Schalinske, Matthew Rowling and Samantha Jones are working to improve the health of Type 2 diabetics by boosting vitamin D levels. Photo by Christopher Gannon - See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2016/02/09/diabetesvitd#sthash.ZI94IHuj.dpuf
February 9, 2016
By Angie Hunt
AMES, Iowa – A simple change in diet could boost vitamin D levels for millions of Americans suffering from Type 2 diabetes, according to new research from Iowa State University published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Vitamin D is important for bone health and protecting against cancer and other diseases, but diabetics have trouble retaining it and other nutrients because of poor kidney function. A team of Iowa State researchers found diabetic rats fed an egg-based diet had higher concentrations of vitamin D, improved blood glucose levels and gained less weight.
Iowa State researchers are most interested in 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3 (25D) – the form of vitamin D in the blood that reflects vitamin D status. For that reason, it made sense to test eggs in the diet rather than other foods containing vitamin D or a supplement.
“Eggs are the richest source of 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3 in the diet, and there isn’t any conversion required to make it into the blood. If you take it in a supplement or food fortified with vitamin D, it has to be converted to that form,” said Matthew Rowling, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition.
The variation in results was significant. Blood glucose levels dropped nearly 50 percent for diabetic rats on an egg-based diet compared to diabetic rats fed a standard diet. Concentrations of 25D were 148 percent higher for the egg-fed group and plasma triglyceride concentrations – a risk factor for cardiovascular disease – dropped 52 percent.
Rowling and colleagues Kevin Schalinske, professor of food science and human nutrition, and Samantha Jones, a graduate research assistant, are still working to understand why more vitamin D is retained from eggs than supplements. They say it may be related to other components found in eggs.
Don’t skip the yolk
Eggs are not only a good source of vitamin D and other nutrients; they are also inexpensive and readily available. However, researchers say you need to eat the whole egg.
“If you just ate egg whites you wouldn’t get any of the vitamin D, because the 25D is only in the yolk. The whites are fine if you’re focused just on protein, but the nutrients are all in the yolk. From a vitamin D standpoint, you want to consume the whole thing,” said Jones, lead author of the paper.
The next step is to determine the minimal amount of eggs needed in the diet to yield a benefit. The study was designed to replace protein in the diet, so the rats were fed the equivalent of 17 to 18 eggs daily. However, based on the results and the severity of the rats’ diabetes, researchers expect a much lower dosage will be effective in humans. They also want to know if health benefits are enhanced when additional dietary constituents that promote the maintenance of vitamin D status and reduction of diabetic symptoms, such as fiber, are added to the diet.
“You may need even less egg if you combine it with something else that does not provide vitamin D per se, but rather protects the kidney and prevents loss of vitamin D,” Schalinske said. “We want to make sure we understand what’s going on with egg consumption and promoting vitamin D balance and make sure there’s a linkage to outcomes whether it’s bone health or kidney health.”
Gar Yee Koh, a postdoctoral research associate at Tufts University, also contributed to this paper. The research was funded by the Egg Nutrition Center.
- See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2016/02/09/diabetesvitd#sthash.XrSOXpRi.dpuf