Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #406936

Research Project: Metabolic and Epigenetic Regulation of Nutritional Metabolism

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Use of nuclear techniques in human nutrition research: A call for papers

item HOFFMAN, DANIEL - Rutgers University
item LOECHL, CORNELIA - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
item DAVIS, TERESA - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/2/2022
Publication Date: 8/2/2022
Citation: Hoffman, D.J., Loechl, C.U., Davis, T.A. 2022. Use of nuclear techniques in human nutrition research: A call for papers. Journal of Nutrition. 152(2):371-372.

Interpretive Summary: Nuclear and stable isotope techniques can be used to study a number of important nutrition outcomes and to gain a better understanding of the underlying issues of emerging and complex nutritional problems. These include protein and energy metabolism, body composition, vitamin and mineral metabolism, and breastfeeding practices. An investigator at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center, in collaboration with other Editors of The Journal of Nutrition discussed nutrition research conducted using nuclear techniques and encouraged publication of research on this important topic. Doubly labeled water, for example, has been used to measure total daily energy expenditure in the free-living state, to provide indirect estimates of total energy intake, to measure breast milk intake, and to calculate body composition. A dual stable isotope tracer technique can be used to determine protein quality and amino acid digestion from foods. The data gathered can be used to better understand amino acid and protein requirements. Micronutrient bioavailability and total body nutrient stores can be assessed using stable isotopes as well. Nuclear techniques are useful in nutrition assessments to develop and evaluate interventions aimed at addressing malnutrition.

Technical Abstract: Hoffman et al discuss the use of nuclear techniques and human nutrition and call for papers on the matter. If the human nutrition community has learned anything from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is that many of the advances in preventing or understanding the double burden of malnutrition are far more tenuous than ever imagined. Seeing the prevalence of food insecurity continue to increase while witnessing "parallel pandemics" of diet-related chronic diseases and infectious diseases continue almost unabated is of serious concern. Although a great number of significant advances in human nutrition have occurred, the society remain humbled in the face of deadly diseases that are exacerbated by the ever increasing "inflammatory" diet. Thus, more field studies of diets, nutrient and energy metabolisms, body compositions, and maternal-infant health are urgently needed.