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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Dietary Factors During Development
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The Long-Term Health Consequences of Dietary Factors During Development

The Long-Term Health Consequences of Dietary Factors During Development

Phytochemicals are important dietary components of vegetables, fruits and grains. Consumption of these foods is increasing in the U.S. diet. Infants and children are among the group consuming diets rich in phytochemicals (especially phytoestrogens in soy infant formula), yet the effects of these compounds on the health of children, as well as the long-term health consequences of early ingestion, are not well documented.

Areas in which there are particularly significant deficiencies in our knowledge are: bioavailability of various dietary phytochemicals, metabolism of the phytochemicals, the effects of phytochemicals on development and function of endocrine, metabolic and immune systems, body composition, and the risks for developing diseases. The overall goals (objectives) of our investigations are to determine the effects of various phytochemicals and other dietary factors on specific metabolic and endocrine systems known to be important for development and maintenance of good health. We will focus especially on those dietary factors contained in vegetables, fruits, grains and milk products consumed during childhood and define the short-term and long-term health consequences of early consumption.


Last Modified: 8/29/2011