Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

ARRA - USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging , Boston, Massachusetts

Contractor Information

Related Links

Link to ARS Recovery Act Info.

Link to USDA Recovery Act Info.

Link to White House's site.

Photo: Participants in an immune system study.
Elderly participants who received 200 international units of vitamin E daily for 1 year were 20 percent less likely to suffer from upper respiratory infections, such as colds.

USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging , Boston, Massachusetts

  • Scope of work under Recovery Act

Amount: $3 million

Repair of critical deferred maintenance including replacement of various critical failing building systems including underground oil storage tank, back-up power supply, HVAC chillers and related components, roofing system, and domestic heated water generators and distribution elements.


January 2010 - Construction contract awarded for $2,485 million for the repair and replacement of an underground oil storage tank, backup power supply, and HVAC chiller and related components.

September 2010 - Construction contract awarded for $572,067 for the roof replacement.

September 2010 - awarded for about $41,000 to replace the chiller, generator, and underground storage tank.

Construction Photos

Research at the USDA Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

At the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA), scientists explore the inter-relationship between nutrition, aging and health. They are hard at work determining the specific nutrient requirements that promote health and well-being for older adults and could mitigate the degenerative conditions associated with aging.

HNRCA research has enormously influenced public health in this country by providing the foundation for establishing nutrition policy and guidance such as the Recommended Dietary Allowances and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Currently, HNRCA investigators are also providing key findings contributing to the understanding of obesity and the role of nutrients in gene expression as well as the role of genetic inheritance in defining nutrient requirements and the variability of dietary responses. With this knowledge, scientists will be able in the future to create diets that will optimize the health of individuals. Such dietary recommendations will ultimately have significant impact in reducing medical care costs and improving quality of life.

Scientists at HNRCA are increasingly focusing on obesity research, a growing epidemic in the United States. The Center recently studied four popular diets that varied in protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels, finding that the source of calories has little effect on metabolism and that the diet most effect in improving weight and risk for heart disease is the one you can follow.

HNRCA scientists are also studying how genetic factors impact predisposition to weight gain and various health indicators, including cholesterol levels. For instance, they found that people with a certain gene can raise their HDL (good) cholesterol levels by increasing their polyunsaturated fat intake, while those without the gene lower their levels of this heart protecting cholesterol using this strategy. This finding provides evidence against one-size-fits-all dietary prescriptions.

The factors involved in gradual muscle loss with aging are also under scrutiny. Researchers found that while older adults need strength training to maintain their muscle mass, exercise can also help reduce the risk and symptoms of many chronic diseases, such as arthritis, coronary artery disease, diabetes, frailty, obesity and osteoporosis. In one group of volunteers with osteoarthritis, muscle strength increased by 14 percent and balance improved by 55 percent after a 12-week strength-training program.

Researchers have also found that consuming a diet rich in the antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables can help stave off the breakdown of an important mechanism through which eye lenses are cleared of damaged proteins. Efficient removal or repair of the damaged proteins, which can lead to cataracts within eyelenses, is crucial to continued lens transparency.

Project Photographs Before Construction

Repairs in Boston Repairs in Boston
Repairs to be done in Boston Repairs needed in Boston

Last Modified: 7/26/2016
Footer Content Back to Top of Page