This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. A shift from a subsistence-based lifestyle to a more Western one has been implicated in increasing the burden of chronic disease among indigenous populations around the world;this phenomenon is hypothesized to be occurring among Alaska Natives as well. Although several benefits are known to be associated with consumption of traditional foods, an increased concern for environmental contaminants may threaten their intake. This study measures nutrients and contaminants in an integrated fashion, utilizing the actual food products consumed and evaluates changes in the composition of foods as a result of different preparation methods. This research is necessary to provide balanced information regarding contaminants and nutrients and to provide the information needed to develop an integrated, quantitative model that public health officials will be able to utilize for effective interventions. The overall aim of the proposed research is to evaluate the nutrient composition and contaminant load of several key subsistence foods.
Specific aims : 1. Examine differences in raw vs. """"""""as consumed"""""""" subsistence foods by documenting changes caused by food processing by measuring nutrient indicators [i.e., essential elements, various fatty acids (omega-3 and -6, and trans fatty acids)], and select contaminants (i.e., organohalogens, mercury); 2. Assess nutrient and contaminants intake based on concentrations of select components using regulatory guidelines for maximum exposure, and assessing minimum consumption rates to meet minimum or suggested nutrient intakes. The long term objective of the proposed research is to develop a conceptual model for assessing risks and benefits of contaminants and nutrients in Alaska subsistence foods.
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