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Nutritional Epidemiology Current Research Projects

Risk Factors for Age Related Bone Loss

This is the fourth, five-year continuation of this project examining both genetic and lifestyle factors influencing age-related bone loss and fractures. The project involves the performance of a genome-wide association study of genes responsible for bone density and quantitative ultrasound. It also examines diet by gene interactions and the role of lean leg mass on the risk of hip fracture.

Dairy food intake, vitamin D status and bone measures
National Dairy Council

The goal of this project is to determine the association of dairy food intake (milk, yogurt, cheese, cream and a combination of milk+yogurt+cheese) with novel bone measures derived from quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and high resolution peripheral QCT (HR-pQCT). We will also process existing DXA scans to derive trabecular bone scores in Framingham study participants. We further plan to determine whether vitamin D status may represent an important effect modifier of this association.

Novel risk factors for muscle mass and muscle strength in adults
NIA/NIH 1R01AG051728-01A1

The goal of this proposal is to determine the roles of antioxidant intake, endothelial function, aortic stiffness and mitochondrial dysfunction in loss of muscle mass and strength, gait speed, and muscle quality in adults from the Framingham Offspring Study. We will further determine the combined effect of novel (antioxidants, vascular function and mitochondrial DNA copy number) and established (protein intake, inflammation and physical activity) risk factors on baseline measures of lean mass and upper extremity muscle quality, and with change in grip strength and gait speed over time using a theoretically based model.