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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Research Project #436095

Research Project: Nutrient Metabolism and Musculoskeletal Health in Older Adults

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Project Number: 8050-51000-099-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: May 16, 2019
End Date: May 15, 2024

Objective:
Objective 1: Characterize dietary factors, such as variation in nutrient composition and nutrient-nutrient interactions, and non-dietary factors, such as age, genetics and hormone status, that contribute to the inter-individual variation in vitamin K and vitamin D metabolism. Sub-objective 1.A: Impact of processing on the vitamin K content of foods. Sub-objective 1.B: Relative absorption of menaquinone forms compared to phylloquinone. Objective 2: Determine role of nutrients including vitamin K and vitamin D on bone, muscle, and joint metabolism and function in older adults. Sub-objective 2.A: Effect of dried fruit intake on musculoskeletal health, weight, and body composition in community dwelling older adults – a feasibility study. Sub-objective 2.B: Effect of the disruption of the microbiome and associated vitamin K forms on bone tissue in rodents. Sub-objective 2.C: Association between circulating vitamin K, with or without vitamin D, and incident mobility limitation and disability in older adults. Objective 3: Determine the role(s) and underlying mechanisms of vitamin K and vitamin D, alone and in combination, and the acid-base balance of the diet in age-related diseases, such as cardiometabolic and neurological diseases. Sub-objective 3.A: Association between vitamin D and K metabolites in the brain and cognitive impairment and neuropathology in older persons. Sub-objective 3.B: Associations of biomarkers of vitamin K status with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and coronary artery calcification in adults with chronic renal disease.

Approach:
Our focus is to develop further understanding of the mechanisms by which fruits, vegetables, and vitamins K and D affect bone, muscle, and joint health and identify the benefits of increased dietary intake. We will utilize mouse models to study the metabolism of multiple vitamin K forms present in the diet and/or formed by gut bacteria and their impact on bone quantity and quality. Concurrently, we will use a variety of study designs, including clinical trials and observational studies, to examine the impact of dried fruit and leafy vegetables, and vitamins K and D, on bone, muscle and body composition in older adults. Cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease often co-exist with musculoskeletal disease, so we will conduct observational studies to characterize the contribution of low vitamin K and D levels to these conditions in older adults. Evidence gained from this project will provide scientific justification for more accurate dietary guidance for maintenance of musculoskeletal health and related health outcomes.