Alzheimer's - Dementia, Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, Genetic Research, Nutrition / 11.12.2020 Interview with: Auriel Willette, PhD Assistant Professor Food Science and Human Nutrition Iowa State University What is the background for this study? Response: To date, pharmacology therapies done to slow down or halt Alzheimer's disease have been inconclusive. Lifestyle interventions like changes in diet and activity are also mixed but do show some promise. Dietary clinical trials or self-reported diet have tended to focus on groups of foods such as the Mediterranean or MIND diet. To build from this excellent work, we were curious if we could pinpoint specific foods that were correlated with changes in fluid intelligence over time. Fluid intelligence represents our ability to creatively use existing knowledge, working memory, and other components of "thinking flexibly." Further, we tested if these patterns of association differed based on genetic risk. In this case, genetic risk was defined as having a family history of Alzheimer's disease or having 1-2 "bad" copies of the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene, which is the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Bone Density, Geriatrics, Nutrition / 06.04.2018 Interview with: “bought a passive-aggressive amount of milk” by Paul Downey is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Shivani Sahni, PhD Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, Nutrition Program Associate Scientist, Musculoskeletal Research Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife, Boston MA 02131-1097 What is the background for this study? Response: Previous studies have shown that higher milk intake is associated with higher bone mineral density. In one of our previous studies, we reported that higher dairy food intake was protective against bone loss especially among older adults who used vitamin D supplements. Older adults are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency because recommended intakes are difficult to achieve without fortified foods (such as dairy) or supplements. Vitamin D stimulates calcium absorption, which is beneficial for building bones. However, it is unclear if the effect of vitamin D on calcium absorption is substantial enough to translate into beneficial effects on bone. Therefore, the current study determined the association of dairy food intake with bone health. We further examined whether these associations would be modified by vitamin D status. (more…)