Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Dietary factors may significantly impact long-term human health during adult life as a result of the influences on early developmental events. Certain common dietary factors appear to be capable of affecting growth and development; transiently and permanently altering metabolism; influencing body composition; and preventing some diseases. For example, fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk contain natural compounds (phytochemicals, peptides, and proteins) that can alter development, physiology, and metabolism, which can ultimately lead to disease prevention and phenotypic changes. Additionally isoflavones are particularly concentrated in soybeans and can have many of the same actions as the major female hormones in women, the estrogens. Countries with regular consumption of large amounts of soy foods report lower incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity; and factors in soy (isoflavones and peptides) are postulated as being partially responsible. The objectives of our research include: 1) determine the effects of diet and physical activity in humans and animal models on development and organ function; 2) determine how early exposure to soy proteins and fruits confers resistance to chronic diseases such as mammary cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in later adult life; 3) evaluate multiple molecular mechanisms and identify bioactive components for chronic disease prevention by diets using appropriate models as measured by tumor suppressors and oncogenes; oxidative modification; inflammation; immunomodulation; and insulin sensitivity; 4) examine consequences of early intake of combinations of foods (soy, fruits) on chronic disease prevention, organ development and signaling pathways, relative to dietary intake of a single food; 5) investigate the mechanisms of maternal obesity-induced fetal programming; 6) examine the impact of type and amount of dietary macronutrient components on development of obesity and associated metabolic sequence in an animal model of pediatric total enteral nutrition and in clinical studies; 7) identify the potential of dietary factors for mitigating risk of obesity via nutritional programming; and 8) determine the effects of genetic and epigenetic interactions with diet, nutritional status, weight gain, and behavior during gestation on placental and offspring development, health and susceptibility to chronic diseases, including obesity. It is essential to ascertain the long-term health consequences, both positive and negative, of early consumption of these phytochemicals since it may impact a major segment of our American population.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Studies will focus on the various dietary factors found in foods commonly consumed by children, such as infant formula, fruits, rice, milk, and soy, to determine their long-term health effects in infants and children. We will analyze how the early exposure to protein sources and fruits normally consumed by infants and children prevents the initiation of and protects against chronic diseases by altering tissue differentiation, inflammation, and/or oxidative status. We will use animal models to mechanistically address the molecular and cellular pathways regulated by intake of various dietary factors (such as in soy foods, berries, grains and milk) in mammary tissue, aorta, liver, adipose tissue, pancreas, and skeletal muscle; identify tissue and serum biomarkers of healthy status associated with these diets; and provide new molecular targets and processes underlying chronic diseases that may be influenced by proper nutrition. Additional work will be undertaken in an observational study of infants from birth to age 6 years, The Beginnings Study. Breast-fed, milk formula-fed, and soy formula-fed children are studied for growth, development, body composition, and metabolism. In addition, bone development, and immune system development and function will be studied in children, and animal models will be utilized to explore molecular mechanisms underlying the effects of early dietary exposures. The rat model will be used to understand the parental genetic transmission of the susceptibility to high fat feeding to future generations and underlying molecular, biochemical, and endocrine mechanisms, in the offspring. Work will be accomplished by evaluating critical periods of development and vulnerable stages of life (i.e. the nutritional status of women at the moment of conception; nutritional and developmental issues during pregnancy and lactation) and the development of eating behaviors during childhood, adolescence, and later stages of life.

3. Progress Report:
Significant progress was made on all objectives of this project through the established Specific Cooperative Agreement. Please see 6251-51000-007-04S for the detailed FY13 Progress Report.

4. Accomplishments

Review Publications
Mercer, K.E., Wynne, R., Lazarenko, O., Lumpkin, C.K., Hogue, W.R., Suva, L.J., Chen, J., Badger, T.M., Ronis, M.J. 2012. Vitamin D supplementation protects against bone loss associated with chronic alcohol administration in female mice. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 343(2):401-412.

Crook, T., Armbya, N., Cleves, M., Badger, T.M., Andres, A. 2012. Air displacement plethysmography, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and total body water to evaluate body composition in preschool-age children. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 112(12):1993-1998.

Xie, C., Kang, J., Li, Z., Schauss, A.G., Badger, T.M., Nagarajan, S., Wu, T., Wu, X. 2012. The acai flavonoid velutin is a potent anti-inflammatory agent: Blockade of LPS-mediated TNF-alpha and IL-6 production through inhibiting NF-kappa B activation and MAPK pathway. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 23(9):1184-1191.

Neville, M.C., Anderson, S.M., McManaman, J.L., Badger, T.M., Bunik, M., Contractor, N., Crume, T., Dabelea, D., Donovan, S.M., Forman, N., Frank, D.N., Friedman, J.E., German, J.B., Goldman, A., Hadsell, D., Hambidge, M., Hinde, K., Horseman, N.D., Hovey, R.C., Janoff, E., Drebs, N.F., Lebrilla, C.B., Leman, D.G., Maclean, P.S., Meier, P., Morrow, A.L., Neu, J., Nommsen-Rivers, L.A., Raiten, D.J., Rijnkels, M., Seewaldt, V., Shur, B.D., Vanhouten, J., Williamson, P. 2012. Lactation and neonatal nutrition: Defining and refining the critical questions. Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia. 17(2):167-188.

Ronis, M.J.J. 2013. Molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of dietary factors on the skeleton. In: Watson, R.R., Preedy, V.R., editors. Bioactive Foods as Dietary Interventions of the Aging Population. Elsevier Ltd., U.K. p. 421-432.

Alekel, D.L., Weaver, C.M., Ronis, M.J., Ward, W.E. 2013. Nutritional influences on bone health and overview of methods. In: Watson, R.R., Preedy, V.R., editors. Bioactive Foods as Dietary Interventions for the Aging Population. Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, U.K. p. 357-370.

Pabona, J.M., Dave, B., Su, Y., Montales, T.M., Delumen, B.O., Mejia, E., Rahal, O., Simmen, R.C. 2012. The soybean peptide lunasin promotes apoptosis of mammary epithelial cells via induction of tumor suppressor PTEN: similarities and distinct actions from soy isoflavone genistein. Genes and Nutrition. 8(1):79-80.

Ronis, M.J., Baumgardner, J.N., Sharma, N., Badeaux, J., Ferguson, M.E., Tong, Y., Wu, X., Cleves, M.A., Badger, T.M. 2013. Medium chain triglycerides dose-dependently prevent liver pathology in a rat model of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Experimental Biology and Medicine. 238(2):151-162.

Andres, A., Bellando, J., Casey, P., Cleves, M., Badger, T.M. 2013. Effects of fat mass on motor development during the first two years of life. Infant, Child and Adolecscent Nutrition. 5(4):248-254.

Andres, A., Casey, P., Cleves, M., Badger, T.M. 2013. Body fat and bone mineral content of infants fed breast-milk, cow's-milk formula, or soy formula during the first year of life. Journal of Pediatrics. 163(1):49-54.

Saben, J., Zhong, Y., Gomez-Acevedo, H., Thakali, K.M., Borengasser, S.J., Andres, A., Shankar, K. 2013. Early growth response protein-1 mediates lipotoxicity-associated placental inflammation: Role in maternal obesity. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 305(1):E1-E14.

Montales, M.E., Rahal, O.M., Nakatani, H., Matsuda, T., Simmen, R.C. 2013. Repression of mammary adipogenesis by genistein limits mammosphere formation of human MCF-7 cells. Journal of Endocrinology. 218(1):135-149.

Ronis, M.J., Shankar, K., Badger, T.M. 2013. The toxic effects of calories. In: Klaaseen, C., editor. Casarett & Doull's Toxicology, Chapter 27, 8th Edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. p. 1169-1186.

Ronis, M.J., Ward, W.E., Weaver, C.M. 2013. Skeletal effects of plant products other than soy. In: Watson, R.R., Preedy, V.R., editors. Bioactive Foods in Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for the Agiing Population. Elsevier Ltd., Oxford, U.K. p. 409-419.

Ronis, M.J., Shankar, K., Gomez-Acevedo, H., Hennings, L., Singhal, R., Blackburn, M., Badger, T.M. 2012. Mammary gland morphology and gene expression differ in female rats treated with 17 beta-estradiol or fed soy protein isolate. Endocrinology. 153(12):6021-6032.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page