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January 2009

Purdue Researchers Collaborate to Identify Polyphenols Related to Alzheimer’s Disease


Drs. Connie Weaver, Foods and Nutrition and Mario Ferruzzi, Food Science have teamed up with researchers across the country to form the Center for Research in Alternative and Complementary Medicine in Alzheimer's disease research located at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine (MSSM).

Currently, it is estimated that five million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer's disease, with the number projected to reach 11 to 16 million by the year 2050. However, delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease by five years is estimated to potentially reduce the number of projected cases by 50 percent.

The center will be focusing on studying grape-derived polyphenols and their potential for prevention and/or treatment of Alzheimer's disease. A characteristic hallmark of Alzheimer's disease-type neuropathology is the accumulation of beta-amyloid peptides and their formation into plaques in the brain. Researchers have found that polyphenol extracts from Cabernet Sauvignon and Concord grape juice reduced the generation and accumulation of beta-amyloid peptides in experimental models of Alzheimer's disease.

Purdue’s role in the center will be to facilitate characterizations of grape/wine extracts and determine the bioavailability, metabolism and distribution of polyphenols to target tissues.

 For more information, contact Dr. Mario Ferruzzi, mferruzz@purdue.edu; or Dr. Elsa Janle, janle@purdue.edu.

Purdue Reception Honors Olivia Bennett Wood at FNCE


The annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association, FNCE, was held in Chicago in October.  Purdue’s Foods and Nutrition Department, College of Consumer and Family Sciences and Alumni Association teamed up with the Indiana Dietetic Association and Sara Lee to host a reception for alums and friends of Purdue attending the meeting. The approximately 200 attendees were able to get reacquainted and reminisce about their undergraduate days. A highlight of the reception was honoring Olivia Bennett Wood for her contributions to the practice of dietetics through mentoring hundreds of dietetic students over the years.  Dr. Connie Weaver, Foods and Nutrition Department Head and Bonnie Gunckel, Indiana Dietetic Association President shared comments.  Attendees had the opportunity to contribute to the Olivia Bennett Wood scholarship for undergraduate students in Purdue Foods and Nutrition as well as Indiana Dietetic Association scholarships.  Information about contributing to Olivia Wood’s scholarship can be found at: www.cfs.purdue.edu/pages/giving/Wood_scholarship.html

In addition to the variety of yummy chocolate desserts, attendees were able to visit with Purdue Pete who traveled all the way to Chicago to honor Olivia! 


Project M.O.M Unveiled


MyPyramid for MomsProject M.O.M.—Mothers & Others & MyPyramid—is a multi-pronged initiative by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) aimed at transforming the way the American family eats. It involves government, industry, educators, consumers, and the media.

The focus of Project M.O.M is to connect with the person or persons who are the nutritional gatekeepers for their family.  These are the people in the family who make the food decisions – whether that is moms, dads, grandparents, siblings or others.  By connecting with those persons where they make the decisions the hope is that the family would eat more nutritiously and be more physically active.

There are several parts to the Project M.O.M initiative.  The MyPyramid Menu Planner was launched in March 2008, followed by the MyPyramid for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding in early summer of 2008.   The most recent release was for the MyPyramid for Preschoolers in late October.  The final piece will be the cost of raising a child calculator slated for release in 2009.  For more information about these various resources, check out www.mypyramid.gov.

Purdue Extension serves as the provider and distributor for many of the MyPyramid print materials.  They are available at: http://www.extension.purdue.edu/mypyramid 







Foods & Nutrition Department
Stone Hall, Room 213
700 West State Street
West Lafayette, IN

Phone: (765) 494-8228
Fax: (765) 494-0674

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