Final Poster Session Abstracts

From the 2020/2021 NANP Conference & Expo

Title: Impact of Maternal Stress on the Infant Microbiome

Author: Brandy Cummings MS, NC, CN Owner, Thriving Vitality LLC

Abstract: The current literature review explored the hypothesis that maternal stress has a negative impact on the colonization of the infant microbiome. The literature review used the MEDLINE, PubMed, and CINAHL resources. The research indicates that maternal stress experienced during pregnancy and delivery can change the microbiome diversity in the infant. In addition, postpartum stress can alter the microbial and hormonal make-up of breastmilk and have an effect on the infant microbiome as well.  The results of these studies indicate that maternal stress has a direct impact on the microbiome of the infant during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum periods. It is important to bring awareness of these findings to both women and practitioners since the colonization of the infant microbiome can have health implications that last into adulthood and can impact future generations through epigenetic inheritance.

Title: Improving Type 2 Diabetes with Nutritional Interventions Targeting Gut Microbiome

Author:  Jayna DeRoeck, CDE, Denver Health

Abstract: Type 2 diabetes affects 12.2% of US adults, leading to tremendous public health and economic burden. Diabetes complications are costly and greatly reduce an individual’s health-related quality of life; however, complications are preventable through good management. Pharmacotherapy remains the primary tool for achieving glucose control in type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the 2019 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes clinical practice recommendations advise intensive lifestyle interventions as first line therapy. Specifically, the Standards identify increased physical activity, stress management, and individualized carbohydrate recommendations as key methods of blood glucose control. While research has begun to explore the role of gut health in diabetes, current guidelines fail to adequately address the role of gut dysfunction in diabetes pathology. Recent research suggests that high blood glucose levels contribute to harmful microbiome composition and weakening of tight junctions in the intestinal epithelium. In turn, increased intestinal permeability and microbiome dysbiosis each exert negative effects on glucose metabolism and insulin resistance. Together they create an additive negative effect. Current nutrition guidelines for diabetes lightly touch on the importance of quality of food selection but fail to acknowledge the power of food and nutrients as a tool for glucose control via modulation of intestinal hyper-permeability and microbiome dysbiosis. Recommendations aimed at improving glucose control using targeted food and nutrient strategies should encourage clients to: 1) remove foods that may negatively impact intestinal barrier function and microbiome composition, 2) replace foods high in refined carbohydrates, simple sugars, and inflammatory fats with a nutrient-rich whole foods based diet, and 3) emphasize intake of specific foods and nutrients that have been found beneficial for microbiome composition and epithelial tight junction health. Such recommendations are needed to inform providers at all levels in providing comprehensive care to their patients with diabetes and should provide additional strategies for achieving glucose control.

Title: Paradigm of Practice: Transform the How of Healthcare

Author: Victoria LaFont Jackson

Abstract: There often exists a mismatch between the current culture of healthcare and the regenerative goals of practitioners and patients. Unfortunately, this culture may promote unacceptable qualities in healthcare that may negatively affect practitioner/practitioner interactions, the quality of care provided to patients, the way information is learned, presented, and incorporated into academia and clinical decision-making, and even the ability of practitioners to care for themselves.   The current study presents the Paradigm of Practice (PoP), which is a new culture of healthcare. Paradigm is a model, a pattern, a template. Practice is the practice of healthcare, and this encompasses medicine, nutrition, chiropractic manipulation, nursing, acupuncture, i.e., the practice of all healthcare modalities. PoP represents a cultural shift into the following three actionable categories—the work and study of practitioners, the experience and role of patients, and the information that is used to inform.

Paradigm of Practice is an actionable plan to accelerate this shift. The incredible advances being made in medicine can be housed in a fitting context, one that respects the same foundational and bio-individual ideals through which patients are addressed in practice. By working together, a wellness-promoting, as opposed to a wellness-degrading, context can be created in which to practice, receive, and learn healthcare.

Title: Detecting Oral Contraceptives’ Effect on Chronic Fatigue Through Determination of Vitamin B6 Blood Levels.

Author: MaryAnn Marks, CEO of LabSmarts

Abstract: It is well documented that oral contraceptives (OCs) deplete blood levels of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed to synthesize heme for hemoglobin. Decreased blood levels of vitamin B6 caused by OCs often results in decreased hemoglobin. Consequently, decreased hemoglobin results in decreased oxygen delivery to cells of the body. Less oxygen means less energy available for cells to perform their functions. Decreased energy in the client can translate into chronic fatigue. In this case study, the new blood chemistry analysis software, LabSmarts, facilitated the practitioner to uncover the connection between B6 insufficiency and chronic fatigue and identified the client’s oral contraceptives as a possible root cause. The rapid determination of these blood patterns allowed the practitioner to quickly and confidently recommend B6 supplementation that noticeably improved the client’s energy levels. This innovative technique by LabSmarts accurately identified suboptimal blood oxygen delivery as a result of heme synthesis dysfunction, diagnostically known as sideroblastic anemia, caused by vitamin B6 insufficiency based on the following blood chemistry analysis:


  • Low level of hemoglobin with the average size of red blood cells being small (microcytic) and pale (hypochromic) and overall varying in size more than normal
  • Low levels of the vitamin B6-dependent enzymes AST and ALT
  • Increased iron, ferritin, and % transferrin saturation, and decreased total iron binding capacity (TIBC)


Thus, this new technique has the potential to improve chronic fatigue in women taking oral contraceptives quickly and effectively.

Title: Dental Procedures and their Effects on the Reproductive System and Colon

Author:  Oni Sadiki, Student Hawthorn University

Abstract: This literature review explored how bacteria grow in the oral cavity and can spread to other systems in the body causing chronic disorders. The impact of dental procedures on the reproductive system and colon are the focus of this study based upon the profound effect that dental procedures have on the cardiac and nervous system. A focus on the importance of understanding how bacteria grows and travels through the body due to dental procedures such as root canals and implants is essential to health. Demonstrating the mechanisms of how these procedures can create infection that can travel throughout the body was of interest. This study has provided a protocol to minimize contaminating bacteria during these procedures, along with a nutritional protocol for detoxification and the rebuilding of a healthy reproductive system and microbiome of the colon to assist in restoring health.

Title:  Well Fed Warrior: Equip Your Mind and Fuel Your Body Since COVID-19

Author:  Mia Sarno, MSHN Student Hawthorn University

Abstract: Worldwide the COVID-19 pandemic has established and created the next frontier for personal health responsibility and the management of psychological stress created from precautionary measures such as social distancing and “lock down.” As a result of the pandemic, there is a global need to support the body’s Sympathoadrenal system (SAS) and it’s associated metabolic pathways before greater disease patterns are created. Using the “Well Fed Warrior Protocol” diverse populations of participants from around the world can equip their mind and fuel their body to create vitality and overcome health diminishing habits with strategies given over a 3 day period. The purpose of this protocol is to, not only reduce stress and improve performance but also reduce the use of pharmaceuticals that may be used by the participants. Indeed, there is a great deal of research showing that the herb, Eleutherococcus senticosus, commonly known as Siberian ginseng, has been successfully used in traditional medicine to reduce fatigue as well as having anti-stress and immunity-boosting effects. The participants will use a therapeutic dose of Eleutherococcus senticosus daily. Participants self-record their anthropometric parameters and stress symptoms in order to gauge optimism, self-efficacy and performance before, during and after the 3 day workshop. Upon completing the 3 day workshop, “Well Fed Warriors” can commit to a virtual program for holistic nutrition and physical activity recommendations, monthly support group sessions with the researcher and other participants and other stress relief techniques. Using the standard Likert scale and statistical analysis, stress reduction and anthropometric measurements should show significant improvement in mood, concentration and performance as participants equip their mind and fuel their body to combating chronic stress and fatigue.

Title: Supporting Postpartum Mental Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle Interventions During the Prenatal Period

Author: Amy Spindel, MSHN, MSSW, AFMC

Abstract: Depression symptoms impact 9.2% of prenatal and 9.5% of postpartum women, while 22.9% of pregnant and 15% of postpartum women suffer from anxiety. The development of postpartum mood and anxiety symptoms has negative implications on the physical and emotional health of mother and offspring while disrupting social networks and supports. The development or severity of postpartum mood or anxiety may be decreased by assessing for and then modulating known risk factors during pregnancy. Research shows that factors such as nutrition and nutrient deficiencies, poor gut health, genetics, prior trauma history, prior mental health history, inadequate exercise, poor sleep, and low social support all negatively impact mood and anxiety during pregnancy, and subsequently, during the postpartum period. Meanwhile, the most well studied interventions for postpartum mood and anxiety symptoms include behavioral therapies and psychopharmacology, despite these treatments’ inability to modulate aforementioned risk factors. Therefore, a protocol incorporating regular interventions and assessment for known risk factors that can be personalized to pregnant women’s unique circumstances may be helpful in reducing or eliminating depression or anxiety symptoms postpartum. Mindful Matters in Pregnancy, a program spanning prenatal and postpartum periods for women predisposed to developing postpartum mood and anxiety symptoms, uses a psychoeducational group approach to teach ways to mitigate risk factors. Using tools like dietary modulation and nutrient adequacy, optimized sleep environment, stress management and coping skills, and increased social supports provided through the group format, symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety are expected to be lower than in the general postpartum population. By decreasing postpartum mood and anxiety symptoms, downstream improvements are also anticipated in mother’s overall health and ease of delivery, offspring’s overall health, improved quality of life within the family, and increased benefit to society overall.

Title:  Impact of an 8-month Diet and Lifestyle Education Program for Adolescent Girls in Competitive Dance

Author:  Dawn M. Zerneke, D.Sc., Hawthorn University

Abstract: Female adolescent dancers are often not matching their dietary energy intake to exercise expenditure putting them at risk for low energy levels, bone and soft tissue injuries, the female athlete triad, disordered eating and other health issues. The goal of the study was to show a statistical difference in self-reported confidence, beliefs, knowledge and behaviors around healthy eating through an educational intervention program designed for competitive dancers. The study period was 8-months and included 15 participants, ranging from 11-15 years old, and included online lectures, pre- and post-quizzes assessing retention of information and pre- and post-surveys completed by the participants. Results of the study showed statistically significant results in improved knowledge on identifying the best type of foods (P<0.00239) and frequency (P<0.00038) to support dance performance, increased beliefs around key sports nutrition principles on carbohydrates, fats, protein, minerals and vitamins, increased confidence to make independent decisions when external factors are present such as friends and family (P<0.00118), increased energy levels and lastly moved their stage of change toward action and eating healthier food options (P<0.03178). Limitations of the study include small sample size, no control group, use of self-reported data and age of the participants. Due to the importance of this topic and limited literature available, there is a high need for more studies in this area.

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