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FRUVEDOMICS

Fruvedomics is a WVCTSI-funded pilot study focused on the identification of biomarkers for poor metabolic, cardiovascular, and microbiome health, as well as their sensitivity to nutritional intervention in young adults.

PROJECT PARTNERS

Fruvedomics is a multidisciplinary pilot project involving West Virginia University researchers from various disciplines, including nutrition, metabolomics, microbiome, cardiovascular, microcirculation, and physiology, along with researchers from the HCRC group. Learn more about HCRC.

BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE

Fatty acids are new recognized as playing a key role in both the increase and the reduction in the risk of chronic diseases including, but not limited to, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes. Chronic diseases are currently a major public health concern nationwide, particularly in the health disparate regions often seen in rural states such as West Virginia. It is now crucial that we begin to understand exactly how diets influence the metabolome and identify the distinct role of nutrition in the etiology of chronic diseases. Furthermore, isolating specific biomarkers will be paramount to designing individualized therapeutic diet plans in order to effectively prevent chronic diseases both at the individual level and on a much larger community scale.

These findings will be key to helping young adults through valuable intervention and/or to better understand the role of diet in the etiology of chronic disease. This information is necessary in order to understand how to help West Virginia students that have greater risks of metabolic dysfunction compared to similar young adult students outside the Appalachia region.

AIMS

Fruvedomics focuses on the identification of novel metabolic phenotypes in college-aged students at-risk of metabolic syndrome in response to a free-living, nutrition intervention based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The project uses nutrition education, culinary toolkit distribution and one-on-one counseling.

DESIGN

A total of 36 subjects, most of whom screened as “at risk” for metabolic syndrome, will participate in an 8-week nutritional intervention study. Subjects will be randomized into one of three groups:
1) “Fruved” diet with 50% fiber, fruit, and vegetable
2) “Fruved” and low simple-carbohydrate diet (Fruved+LowCHO)
3) “Fruved” and low-fat diet (Fruved+LowFat).

As part of our metabolomics approach, venous blood samples will be collected for amino acid, carbohydrate, fatty acid, and sphingolipid metabolism. Collections will occur pre- and post-nutritional intervention, and at weeks three and five of the program, for a total of four repeated blood samples for metabolomic assessment. Additionally, anthropometrics, body composition, stool samples, and arterial stiffness measurements will be recorded pre- and post-intervention. Finally, participants will answer a ~300-question lifestyle behaviors survey pre- and post-intervention.

Adherence Assessment

Diet will be measured both subjectively (food pictures/diet logs) and objectively (nutritionist professional/food receipts) on a weekly basis throughout the eight week intervention period. Each week the subject will be incentivized to have their logs, receipts, and pictures reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in order to facilitate counseling and ensure compliance with the diet. 
Check out some post intervention results.

PROJECT IMPACT

Identifying metabolic markers of poor health in individuals at risk for metabolic syndrome and related co-morbidities is an innovative and essential component to successful chronic disease prevention. Indeed, the isolation and analysis of a marker will enable us to assess the extent of an individual’s risk for a given disease and subsequently design a personalized nutrition prescription to effectively “change the course of things.”

This study’s targeting of college-aged students is not an accident because college years often offer a prime window of time for sustainable behavioral and lifestyle changes. The central aim of this project along with the participant population are expected to make a significant impact on our society’s future.