Nutritional Epidemiology Research at the Institute for Aging Research

Nutritional Epidemiology Research

Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies are associated with major causes of morbidity and mortality including, but not limited to osteoporosis, sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Osteoporosis and sarcopenia are major public health problems in the United States with direct medical costs of approximately $17 billion and $18.5 billion per year respectively. These diseases of the musculoskeletal system lead to falls, related fractures, disability, loss of independence and even death. Adequate nutrition is important in achieving and maintaining optimal bone mass as well as muscle health. Evaluating the relation between nutrition and musculoskeletal health is of keen importance as it may lead to dietary recommendations that will help prevent these debilitating diseases.

Protein Food Clusters and Measures of Bone Mineral Density and Muscle Strength
Harvard Translational Research in Aging training Program, NIA T-32 grant

The goal of this study is to investigate the relation of protein food groups (as defined by cluster analysis) with bone mineral density and muscle strength using the data from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study.

Associations of Dairy Foods and Dairy Nutrient with Bone Health: The Framingham Study 
Unrestricted grant funding from the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition 
The aim of this project is to determine the associations of dairy food group variables, including total dairy foods and individual foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese and cream, and will consider dairy related nutrients including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D and protein with bone mineral density, bone loss and hip fracture risk in older adults from the Framingham Osteoporosis Study

Association of Protein Intake with Lean Mass and Muscle Strength in the Framingham Offspring Study
Unrestricted grant funding from the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition 

The overall goal of this proposal is to examine the cross-sectional and longitudinal association of measures of protein intake (total, animal and plant protein) with muscle strength and to determine whether lean mass represents an important part of the potential biologic pathway involving protein and muscle strength in the Framingham Offspring Study.

Risk Factors for Age Related Bone Loss

This is the fourth, 5-year continuation of this project examining both genetic and lifestyle factors influencing age-related bone loss and fractures. The project involves the performance of a genome-wide association study of genes responsible for bone density and quantitative ultrasound.  It also examines diet by gene interactions and the role of lean leg mass on the risk of hip fracture

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