Archive | December, 2014

CURRENT RESEARCH: New Study Reveals Possible Link Between Vitamin E Deficiency & Miscarriage

9 Dec

vitamin e

Low levels of vitamin E in pregnant women may increase the risk of a miscarriage, according to a new study of 1600+ women in rural Bangladesh, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Among pregnant Bengali women with low vitamin E levels in their blood, about 10 percent lost their babies. In contrast, only 5 percent of the females possessing higher levels of vitamin E miscarried, according to researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Vitamin E supplements may not help, says co-author Kerry Schulze, since supplements are often given well into the pregnancy—after the window of opportunity for preventing miscarriages has closed.

CURRENT RESEARCH: New Study Finds That The Potential To Tan May Influence Prostate Cancer Risk

9 Dec

prostate cancerResearch published in the journal In Vivo showed that tanning potential, but not sunlight and vitamin D, is a significant risk factor for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men in the United States. African American men have the highest risk of developing prostate cancer out of all the ethnic groups and are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease at an advanced stage.

Researchers have hypothesized that the high incidence of prostate cancer in African Americans may be due to a deficiency of vitamin D caused by a reduction in the synthesis of vitamin D from the skin.

It is important to note that prostate cancer research has only looked at sunlight or vitamin D, and not both at the same time. Therefore, researchers conducted a study to determine the relationship between vitamin D, UV exposure and prostate cancer in African American men by looking at tanning potential and vitamin D status.

They recruited 91 African American men with prostate cancer and 92 African American men without prostate cancer.

They then looked at the difference between the two groups in terms of UV exposure, tanning potential, and vitamin D status.

UV exposure was assessed using a UV questionnaire designed to calculate the total amount of UV light exposure from birth until the age of diagnosis of prostate cancer, or age of data collection for controls.

Tanning potential was assessed by measuring the difference in the melanin concentration and color of unexposed areas of the skin and the melanin concentration and color that develops in skin that is exposed to sunlight. Tanning potential is a quantitative index of sun exposure that is related to cumulative lifetime sun exposure. An increased tanning potential indicates increased cumulative sun exposure.

A single vitamin D measurement was taken during the study to assess vitamin D status.

The researchers were interested in learning if vitamin D, UV exposure, and tanning potential all similarly affected risk of prostate cancer. This would indicate that sun exposure plays a role in prostate cancer, and this role is likely mediated in part by vitamin D production.

Here’s what they found:

  • The average vitamin D level for the control group was 29.06 ng/ml and the average vitamin D level for the prostate cancer group was 26.75 ng/ml.
  • Age and tanning potential were significantly negatively associated with prostate cancer risk (p=0.05, for both)
  • UV exposure and vitamin D status were negatively associated with prostate cancer risk, however this association was not significant (p>0.05)
  • After adjusting for both age and vitamin D status, tanning potential remained a significant predictor of prostate cancer risk (p=0.04).

The researchers stated,

“In the present study, we examined the association of serum vitamin D, skin tanning potential, and UV exposure with prostate cancer risk in African Americans. We found a significant association between skin tanning potential and prostate cancer. However, our results showed no significant association between prostate cancer and UV exposure or serum vitamin D.”

One large limitation of the study is selection bias. All of the participants were residents of the Washington, DC metropolitan area who all received similar levels of sunlight. Another limitation was the use of a single vitamin D measurement, which may not reflect long-term circulating vitamin D levels.

These results are puzzling, but the researchers offered a possible explanation: all of the participants were dark-skinned, meaning they likely had similar absorption due to melanin.

The researchers posited that the inverse association between tanning potential and prostate cancer is most likely due to a loss of melanin with age. The less melanin there is, the higher the potential for tanning. This explanation is supported by the fact that age also was strongly and significantly associated with prostate cancer risk.

The low vitamin D levels in both groups may have been the reason as to why a significant relationship was not found between vitamin D status and prostate cancer. There may be threshold beyond which vitamin D status becomes increasingly protective against prostate cancer.

Future research needs to utilize multiple vitamin D measurements in large populations over long periods of time and prospectively assess the risk of developing prostate cancer.


Beyene, D. Use of Tanning Potential as a Predictor for Prostate Cancer Risk in African-American Men. In Vivo, 2014.

RWJF Releases Call For Proposals on Healthy Eating Research

5 Dec
Healthy Eating Research Releases Call for Proposals

healthy eatingHealthy Eating Research is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The program supports research on environmental and policy strategies with strong potential to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities. Findings are expected to advance RWJF’s efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic and help all children achieve a healthy weight. 

The Healthy Eating Research Special Solicitation call for proposals (CFP) is now open. This CFP focuses on childhood obesity prevention efforts in two settings: Healthy Food Retail and Early Care and Education.

Total Awards

Approximately $425,000 will be awarded under this CFP. Awards of up to 12 months and up to $75,000 each will be funded through this special solicitation. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for projects that require between $25,000 and $75,000 to complete. Approximately two-thirds of the funds available will be allocated to studies focused on healthy food retail and one-third will be allocated to studies focused on early care and education.

How To Apply


There are two stages in the application process, including an initial concept paper and a subsequent full proposal (if invited). Applicants must follow the instructions and use the templates provided in the RWJF online system.

The deadline for receipt of concept papers is January 7, 2015 (3 p.m. ET).

 More details and how to apply

Call for Abstracts! 2015 Future of Food and Nutrition Conference

5 Dec

We are pleased to announce the call for abstracts for the 9th annual “Future of Food and Nutrition” Graduate Student Research Conference on Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University in Boston, MA.  

You are receiving this email because of your connection with graduate students in the diverse fields of food and nutrition. We’d be deeply grateful if you could forward this information along to students or colleagues who may be interested in submitting an abstract or attending the conference. We look forward to hearing about all the innovative research being done by the future leaders of food and nutrition. Please see below for details.

The Conference provides a unique venue for graduate students to present original research related to food and nutrition. Historically, more than 200 attendees from over 30 different institutions have come together each year to hear students present research from fields as diverse as nutritional epidemiology and anthropology.

As a presenter or attendee, students gain valuable professional experience presenting and discussing novel, multidisciplinary research, and have the opportunity to network with fellow students and future colleagues. Relevant research includes projects conducted as part of course work, thesis work, internships, capstone papers, or directed studies.

Applicants can apply here to give either oral or poster presentations.

Conference Details
Date: Saturday, April 11th 2015


Location: The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
in Boston, Massachusetts

: Abstract submissions must be received by 5pm EST on February 2nd, 2015. To submit an abstract, please use this online form.


Registration: Early registration will be open on

Monday, January 12th, 2015.

Highlighted Stories: Mental Health Treatment in the US

5 Dec

Los Angeles Times – 7.6% of Americans are depressed, but few seek mental health treatment
About 1 in 13 Americans was suffering from depression at some point between 2009 and 2012, yet only 35% of people with severe depression and 20% of those with moderate depression said they had sought help from a mental health professional, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That’s troubling, the report authors write, because therapy combined with medication is “the most effective treatment for depression, especially for severe depression.” Drugs might be prescribed by a primary care doctor, but only a mental health specialist would conduct the type of therapy needed to get well.mental health


4 Dec
We are inviting academic editorial contributors to The SAGE Encyclopedia of Nutrition & Health, a new 4-volume reference to be published in 2016. This reference provides a broad multidisciplinary perspective on nutrition and behavioral health, answering questions such as: What are the cognitive effects of malnourishment of children? Which studies show which foods lower cholesterol? How is behavior modification used in obesity counseling? What are the FDA rules governing vitamins and supplements marketed on multiple media platforms? What is a “food desert”? How do nutrient needs change across the life span? What are the economic and psychosocial impacts on communities and countries affected by poor nutrition? This encyclopedia, informed by experts across nutrition science, psychology, sociology, economics, health care, public policy, social work, and education, is a valuable resource for students, professors, and librarians looking to explore the complex relationship between the science of human nutrition and health as it intersects with lifestyle choices, social/cultural environments, and the psychology of human behavior.

This project includes approximately 700 articles organized A-Z in the following categories: Adult Nutrition & Health Country Profiles Culture and Nutrition Exercise and Nutrition Infant and Children’s Nutrition & Health Large-Scale Nutrition Research Nutrition in Disease Prevention Nutrition in Disease States Professional Education and Practice Public Education and Public Health Science of Nutrition Types of Foods and Nutrients Each 1,000 to 5,000-word article will include the name and affiliation of the contributor in the byline of the entry. This comprehensive project will be published by SAGE Publications and the General Editor, who will be reviewing each submission to the project, is Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition.

We are currently making assignments with a deadline of JANUARY 15, 2015. If you are interested in contributing to this cutting-edge reference, it is a unique opportunity to contribute to the contemporary literature, redefining sociological issues in today’s terms. Moreover, it can be a notable publication addition to your CV/resume and broaden your publishing credits. SAGE Publications, offers an honorarium ranging from SAGE book credits for smaller articles up to a free set of the printed product for contributions totaling 10,000 words or more.

The list of available articles is already prepared, and as a next step we will e-mail you the Article List (Excel file) from which you can select topics that best fit your expertise and interests. Additionally, Style and Submission Guidelines will be provided that detail article specifications.

If you would like to contribute to building a truly outstanding reference with The SAGE Encyclopedia of Nutrition & Health, please contact me by the e-mail information below. Please provide your CV or a brief summary of your academic/publishing credentials in related disciplines.


Melodie Hagspiel

Melodie Hagspiel
Golson Media/Sage Publications