campus images
January 2011

Vitamin D : What You Need to Know

Vitamin D is a nutrient required for optimal bone health and essential for overall health.  New Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) from the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board based on current scientific evidence suggest that people need more vitamin D than was previously thought. A vitamin D fact sheet that references the new DRIs, written by James Fleet, Professor in the Department of Foods and Nutrition, is available for consumers to access online at In addition to the fact sheet, six You Tube video clips have been created that correspond to the content of the fact sheet.  The fact sheet and video clips include the following information:


  • What is vitamin D?
  • Why is vitamin D important to your health?
  • Are you getting enough vitamin D?
  • What factors affect the amount of vitamin D you need?
  • How much vitamin D do you need?
  • Aside from sunlight, what are other sources of vitamin D?
  • Are there any safety concerns with taking a vitamin D supplement?
  • Where can I get more information about vitamin D?

 For more information about vitamin D research at Purdue, visit


Foods and Nutrition Presentations at American Dietetic Association National FNCE meeting

Several members of the Foods and Nutrition Department were speakers at the recent American Dietetic Association National FNCE meeting.  It was held in Boston in November 2010.  Topics and speakers included:

Growing Healthy Children:  Nutrition for the Child Care Setting, presented by Barbara Mayfield, and Lisa Graves,   This session highlighted the USDA Team Nutrition Training Grant which implemented a statewide plan to train child care food service staff on planning and preparing meals and snacks based on the Dietary Guidelines and MyPyramid. The needs assessment was key to creating a workshop that would motivate and inspire child care staff to implement best practices. This session showcases a program model, assessment instruments, and online resources adaptable to nutrition professionals working in child care settings. New Reasons to Season:  Translating the Science of Spices and Herbs to the Table, presented by   Richard Mattes, and David Herber, MD, PhD.  The focus of the session was that spices and herbs not only please the palate, they may actually help improve health. A growing number of studies are exploring the potential protective benefits of spices and herbs, which are rich in polyphenols and antioxidants, with levels comparable to many fruits and vegetables. The session will provide an overview of the science on spices and herbs, and offer practical applications for registered dietitians in various practice settings.

Vitamin D:  Connecting Science to Health presented by Carol Boushey, and Michael Holick, PhD, MD.  It included information related to the alarming increase in Vitamin D insufficiency in the U.S. has ironically coincided with an increasing recognition that vitamin D likely has a broader contribution to the protection of health and prevention of disease than previously appreciated. This session will put into perspective the rapid decline in vitamin D status; the implications of vitamin D insufficiency on skeletal, inflammatory and metabolic health; and the practical guidelines for how to get vitamin D from diet, sun exposure and supplements.

Using Technology in Dietary Assessment: From Research to Practice.  Dr. Carol Boushey also presented at this session along with Amy Subar, PhD, MPH, RD.  This presentation focused on accurate methods and tools to assess food and nutrient intake are essential for monitoring nutritional status, establishing associations between diet and health in epidemiological and clinical research and measuring outcomes in intervention studies. More innovative research is needed to improve the accuracy and ease of collecting dietary data for use with various age groups in a variety of settings.


3rd Annual Purdue CTSI Retreat

The 3rd annual Purdue CTSI (Clinical Translational Sciences Institute) retreat was held on December 17, 2010 on the Purdue campus.   Several members of the department of Foods and Nutrition were highlighted during this retreat.  Dr.  Connie Weaver, department head, serves as the Deputy Director of the CTSI and was one of the initial speakers giving perspective on next steps.  Wayne Campbell provided an overview of CTSI activities and capabilities.  Additional topics included advances in biomedical engineering and bionanotechnology; success stories of the PDTs (program development teams); spotlight on bionutrition.  The day ended with a focus on commercializing research discoveries and a town hall meeting to discuss how to maximize the CTSI for Purdue researchers and community.  For more information, see


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

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

Copyright © 2010, Purdue University, all rights reserved.
An equal access/equal opportunity university.
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4600