Wolf Point Herald

NEMHS, FPCC Working On Research Project

Have you ever stopped and wondered about what exactly is in the foods you are eating? Or, how it may relate to your current health condition?
Northeast Montana Health Services Riverside Clinic, Fort Peck Community College and the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute are working collaboratively through a semester long research grant geared toward understanding the connection between nutrition and the prevention of disease. Their focus will be on studying specifically diabetes and insulin resistance and its relation to a person’s intake of high-fructose corn syrup in one’s diet.
The study is set to begin Jan. 10 and will be led by Renee Dufault and Zara Berg, professors at FPCC; Abby Reum, family nurse practitioner; and Lauri Handy, clinical director for NEMHS Riverside Clinic.
The partnership will also seek to determine whether education on the topics of food ingredient safety and changes in diet leads to positive health benefits for the participants.
“It has been known for a long time that over-consumption of certain food ingredients may lead to adverse health effects. What is not widely known is the impact that gene-environment interactions have on our health. It is our hope that project participants will change their diets when they better understand how these gene-environment interactions occur,” said Berg.
This community-based research is exploratory in nature and conducted in collaboration and equal partnership between traditionally trained “experts” and members of the community.
“We are excited to have an opportunity to work collectively with the college to try to understand the true effects diet has on our health. Through education we are hoping to change people’s perspectives about their ability to take proactive control over their health,” said Handy.
Researchers are looking for 10 participants to take part in the study who meet the necessary requirements. Those selected for the research project must be at least 20 years of age, have a minimum of a G.E.D. and not be taking any prescription drugs other than birth control. Participants will also complete a pre-screening blood test and follow-up blood test after the research study is completed. Blood tests will evaluate the levels of mercury, insulin and glucose to better determine the role high fructose corn syrup plays in both mercury exposure and insulin resistance.
Participants will be randomly selected for either a “test” or “control” group. Those chosen for the test group will be required to give up high fructose corn syrup from their diets during the 12- week duration of the program.
Prior to being selected for the study, a pre-screening and assessment will take place at Riverside Clinic.
Qualified participants will receive three units of college credit for taking part in the macroepigenetics course and a minimal stipend to offset the added expense of food.
Participants will be required to sign an informed consent form before starting the program.
Participants must sign up for the research project between Dec. 7 and Jan. 4 to be eligible to participate. With only 10 people needed for the research, participation will be determined on a first come, first served basis.
Personal information will be kept private as guaranteed by law at all times, even when reported in journals, scientific meetings or through media.
To see if you are eligible to take part in the study or to schedule your pre-screening exam, contact 768-5171 and indicate the appointment is for the research project.
For information, contact Berg at 650-1217.