Final Poster Session Abstracts

From the 2023 NANP Conference & Expo

Title: Abnormal Proteins in Our Diet: The Next Human Health Crisis?

Author: Sarah DeVido, MSc, FNTP,
IG: empoweredhealthva
(202) 810-1887

Abstract: Abnormal proteins have been linked to not only neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s but also diseases such as several types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. These truncated or misfolded proteins can form extracellular deposits or intracellular inclusions associated with disease. Researchers are unsure of the exact mechanism but theorize it is most likely the disruption of protein homeostasis. As cells get overwhelmed by abnormal proteins, the mechanisms to package or break down these proteins become overwhelmed, and abnormal proteins start circulating through the body. In research studies, the disruption of protein homeostasis occurs quicker when there is a “seeding” mechanism- e.g., amyloids or amyloid fragments (abnormal proteins). Several animal studies report that when given an amyloid stimulus, inflamed animals develop amyloidosis, a disease of abnormal proteins in the blood. Commercial animals found to have amyloids include beef, chicken, and foie gras. Amyloid fibrils were found in various organs, glands, skeletal muscle, and cartilage, depending on disease severity. Researchers from the University of Tennessee stated, “Given our experimental findings, it would seem prudent for children and adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis or other diseases who are at risk for this disorder (amyloidosis) to avoid foods that may be contaminated with amyloid fibrils.”

Title: Food as Medicine in America: Measuring Produce Prescription Programs’ Scope and Efficacy Across States

Author: Sarah Diamond, FNTP, RWP
(781) 572-8424

Abstract: The United States faces a national nutrition crisis. Our food system is a major cause of poor health, ever-growing healthcare costs, food insecurity, and health disparities. In the face of the global pandemic of diet-related chronic illness, “food is medicine” interventions are used to prevent, manage, and treat chronic diseases. In the 2014 Farm Bill, the USDA provided preliminary funding for the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), which provides competitive grants for Nutrition Incentive Programs to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers suffering from chronic health conditions. One such incentive program, Produce Prescription Programs (PPRs), is more than a general recommendation to eat healthier; rather, they are a formal, sustained intervention where the cost of healthy food is partially or fully covered through a prescription. In 2018, GusNIP was further formalized to become a permanent addition to the Farm Bill, and with it, raised an important question: As the scope and efficacy of this Food as Medicine intervention grows, are PPRs reaching the people and places in America that need them most, i.e., those with the highest rates of chronic disease and food insecurity? This report examines the national distribution of PPRs in the U.S., analyzing current trends in relation to state diabetes rates and food insecurity rates. Analytical frameworks using economics show the change in consumer purchasing power and market demand as a result of PPR programs, and data from the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (GusNIP NTAE) Year 2 Impact Findings Report, Wholesome Wave’s U.S. Field Scan Report 2010-2020, and state-level diabetes and food insecurity data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are used to illustrate the current PPR Program landscape and attempt to answer this question.

Title: A Standardized Clinical Nutritional Protocol for PCOS-Related Depression

Author: Tinsley Erickson
(307) 880-8467

Abstract: About 40% of women with PCOS experience depression. This protocol aims to use each woman’s biology and nutrition to balance hormones, improve mental health, and maintain a healthy weight even with PCOS. This protocol improves PCOS symptoms by addressing depression first and the main symptom in preventing progress. Specifically, using foods with a high antidepressant food score (AFS) to address excessive estrogen-related hormone imbalances and improve depression. The first step in this protocol is to address proper microbiome function and insulin sensitivity using brain-friendly foods. Fibrous foods have been shown to improve PCOS symptoms by reducing insulin sensitivity and improving microbiome function. In this protocol, the fibrous foods recommended have a high antidepressant food score. Instead of recommending foods such as Brussels sprouts or kale, foods with a high AFS (watercress, spinach, and beet greens) will be incorporated more frequently to reduce depression symptoms. The second step of this protocol is to sync energy requirements and nutrition requirements to each menstrual phase to ensure proper hormone balance using antidepressant foods. Women suffering from PCOS often see a gynecologist for hormone balance, a therapist for depression, and a practitioner for weight loss. This protocol will help bridge all 3 of these areas with nutrition and start improving the lives of women who struggle with PCOS-related depression.


Title: Nutrient Deficiencies and the Mental Health / Behavioral Disorders Connection

Author: Mary M. Ernsberger, CHN
Mountain Family Holistic Nutrition, LLC.
(828) 215-6840

Abstract: Each year, the number of children diagnosed with mental or behavioral disorders rises. The most recent numbers have 1 in 5, or 22%, children in the United States diagnosed with one or more of these disorders. Modern medicine reports the root cause of these disorders may be a genetic disposition, alcohol or tobacco use during pregnancy, exposure to environmental pollutants during pregnancy, exposure at an early age, premature delivery, low birth weight, brain injury or dysfunction, or a dopamine/serotonin imbalance. But what if the cause is much simpler? It’s in the foods – and what’s missing too. From a holistic perspective, studies have shown that nutrient deficiencies can lead to the expression of specific behaviors often used to diagnose these disorders. Nutrient deficiencies can come from the soil depletion caused by conventional farming practices, food choices – especially ultra-processed foods, pesticide, and pharmaceutical residue in and/or on the foods as well as in local water supplies, delayed food allergies, exposure to artificial flavors, colors, and genetically modified ingredients, environmental pollutants, lifestyle choices, and overall dietary imbalances. This presentation aims to aid practitioners, parents, and educators on the behaviors that can be tied to specific nutrient deficiencies and the solutions that can be applied daily to restore balance to these children, lower these numbers, and return health to our future generations.


Title: Metabolic Syndrome: What is It and How to Reduce the Risk

Author: Shelah Fred
(970) 420-7972

Abstract: Metabolic syndrome is a collection of physical characteristics, test results, and measurements that together increase a person’s risk factor for developing non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and/or cardiovascular issues, including heart disease and stroke, and may lead to liver failure and kidney disease. The syndrome shows significance as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver issues, and kidney issues all show up in the top 10 causes of death for adults in the United States. Rising percentages in qualifying adults from around 23% in 1990 to possibly 33% only 20 years later raise concerns. Having at least 3 of the following measurements or test results qualifies a person for metabolic syndrome: waistline measurement at or above 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women; a consistent blood pressure reading of 130/85 mmHg or higher; triglyceride levels above 150 mg/dL; high-density lipoprotein levels less than 40 mg/dL in men and under 50 mg/dL in women; and/or serum fasting glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or greater. Inspiration for preventing and/or reversing metabolic syndrome comes from studying commonalities between people living long, healthy, and vibrant lives. These include daily movement, nutrient-rich diets, and socially active, low-stress lives. Daily exercise has long been known to help reduce weight, cardiovascular disease risk, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar. Education through label reading and replacing a high sugar, processed food diet with one full of high quality, nutrient-dense real foods lends a hand. Reducing stress, developing good eating habits, following a restricted eating window, getting plenty of filtered water and restful sleep, resolving bile acid and intestinal flora imbalances, removing victim mentality, and meal planning are also ways to reduce markers for the syndrome.


Title: Adjunct Protocol for Effective Asthma Management

Author: Larissa Gourevitch, R.H.N. (Canada), CDSP (USA), Ph.D. (AI)  &
(877) 549-1525 (toll-free) & (416) 419-7136

Abstract: The prevalence of asthma has nearly doubled over the last decade, especially in Westernized countries. WHO estimates that 262 million people had asthma in 2019, and that caused 455,000 deaths. Mainstream and non-conventional treatments can help control the symptoms so you can live a normal, active life, but there’s currently no cure for asthma. The majority of asthma management plans focus only on the optimization of asthma pharmacotherapy. But we also know that genetic and environmental factors have been linked to the success of disease management. Unfortunately, 5–10 % of the asthmatic population respond poorly to high-dose inhaled and/or systemic glucocorticoids. That results in severe asthma, poor life quality, increased mortality, and a major health care burden. As a holistic nutritionist, I found help from nutrition and recent studies that confirmed: About 1/5 of the world population has adverse reactions to their foods. In a study of severe asthma, 50% of sufferers showed adverse reactions to one or more foods. There is a correlation of one’s nutritional status with asthma management success. Epigenetic factors, and especially factors affecting methylation, have a pronounced effect on the success of an asthma management regimen. I give hope to my clients with the “KNOW YOURSELF” protocol. I recommend you to 1) Know YOUR foods. Find foods you are intolerant to, along with corresponding levels of intolerance, and avoid these foods for as long as needed. 2) Know YOUR nutrients. Change your diet and use supplements if there is a nutritional deficiency. 3) Know YOUR genes. Use diet (and/or dietary supplements) to compensate for genetic factors or mutations that worsen your asthma. The success of the protocol application depends on the level of compliance and testing tools a client agrees to utilize. The best result I obtained up to date is a 4% of monthly FEV1 improvement.


Title: A Novel Approach to Longevity

Author: Kristy Hall, MS, ABD, Board Certified Holistic Nutrition
Office: (970) 685-8531

Abstract: Telomeres have been a focus of research for many decades. They were first identified in the 1930s by Barbara McClintock and Hermann Muller. Recent research has discovered that telomeres’ length and shape affect chromatin stability, genes, epigenetics, and genes’ function. Telomere length is expressed and maintained at high levels in germline cells. However, telomere length is highly variable in somatic cells and declines with age. Other factors contributing to telomere shortening have been identified, including poor diet, stress, environmental toxicants, and a sedentary lifestyle. As telomeres shorten, chromosomes become unstable. This instability leads to DNA damage. The accumulation of critically short telomeres results in apoptosis. When this process occurs in stem cells, an environment for the proliferation of abnormal and malignant cells is created, contributing to cancer. This research has led to growing interest in ways to lengthen telomeres to support longevity. Leaders in the health community, such as Joseph Mercola, MD, Dean Ornish, MD, and Josh Axe, DNM, DC, and major universities, such as Yale Medical School and Harvard University, teach others to increase telomere length through diet, exercise, and stress reduction. In this observational study, researchers explore the effect of a naturally occurring novel compound in lengthening telomeres in endothelial cells. Blood samples were taken before supplementation began and at the end of twelve weeks. Study participants were asked to take the novel compound daily. Blood test results indicate the novel natural compound taken daily lengthens telomeres.

Title: Diet, Vitamins, and Minerals to Treat Major Depressive Disorder

Author: Saundra Kamman
(503) 347-4747

Abstract: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Global incidence rates of depression increased by nearly fifty percent from 1990 – 2017, which tripled as people navigated through COVID. By 2022 estimates, 480 million people are experiencing depression worldwide. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental health disorders keeps approximately sixty percent of people from seeking help for their depression. As a nutritionist, many of our clients may suffer from major depressive disorder or depression as comorbidity. Depression is a complex disease making it hard to treat with a single approach. It may be affected by early life trauma, mild repetitive uncontrollable stress, feelings of isolation, sex, familial history, systemic inflammation, a low-quality processed food diet, or nutrient deficiencies. While a licensed psychologist should diagnose clinical depression, a nutritionist plays an important supportive role. Depression is closely related to poor overall health from a lack of quality foods in the diet, particularly from the inflammatory Standard American Diet and processed foods. For many, major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common occurrence and/or lifelong challenge. The treatment plan involves a combination of higher quality whole foods, an anti-inflammatory diet, improvement of the gut microbiome, and addressing specific vitamin and mineral deficiencies to dramatically change the frequency and severity of MDD episodes, and even remission may occur.

Title: Oxalates: Dietary Oxalates and Kidney Inflammation: A literature review

Author: Tammera Karr, Ph.D., BCHN®, CGP, CNW®, CDSP™, Leena S. Guptha, ND, DO, MS, MBA, PhD

Abstract: This literature review explores dietary oxalates’ role in developing chronic inflammatory kidney disease in middle age and older individuals.  The authors pose the following questions: Is oxalate produced endogenously?  If food sources contribute to chronic kidney disease and inflammation, what are those foods?  What role do cultural food preparation and cooking play in denaturing food oxalates? Oxalates are not limited to edible plants; normal human metabolic processes of breaking down ascorbic acid may create up to 30 mg of oxalate daily.  Research supports urolithiasis as a common urologic disease in industrialized societies.  Approximately 80% of kidney stones are calcium oxalate resulting in hyperoxaluria.  Endogenous oxalate sources include ascorbic acid, amino acids, and glyoxal metabolism.  Additional research estimates the daily endogenous production of oxalate to be 10–25 mg, and suboptimal colonization of oxalate-degrading bacteria and malabsorptive disease are also contributing factors to the development of kidney disease.  Oxalate transcellular processes rely on multifunctional anion exchangers and are being investigated though poorly understood. A review of research revealed dietary inclusion of foods high in oxalate: spinach, strawberries, raspberries, beets, rhubarb, tea, nuts, wheat bran, chocolate, sorrel, sesame, carambola, amaranth, almonds, soya bean, and coffee could contribute approximately 50–80% of the urinary oxalate in compromised individuals with liver glycation, bacterial insufficiencies, malabsorption, and anion exchange challenges.  Traditional cooking processes were found to reduce food oxalate levels by 30-40%.  Juicing of raw foods increased oxalate levels.  Food combined with red and white wine provides protective compounds reducing epithelial damage to renal function. If there is a family history of kidney stones, foods high in oxalates may be eaten in moderation, providing calcium intake is adequate, as it helps decrease the absorption of oxalates from the meal ingested.


Title: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis as Case Study

Author: Christl Reinig-Everett, PhD, CTN, APRN, FNP-C
Traditional Naturopath & Family Nurse Practitioner
Trinity Natural Health LLC, The Art of Medicine
Phone: 303.418.8028 Fax: 303.418.5288

Abstract: Current research states Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the primary cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. Approximately 5% of the population is diagnosed with hypothyroidism and another 5% are undiagnosed. While there is medication for hypothyroidism, there is currently no conventional treatment to lower thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb) in individuals with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. There are promising studies showing vitamin D can lower TPOAb. Objective: To search the literature for evidence on vitamin D’s effect on lowering TPOAb. using the PICO question: In patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis can using Vitamin D compared to a placebo be effective in lowering thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAb)? Methods: PubMed was searched using Mesh terms “Hashimoto’s disease”, “hypothyroidism,” “thyroid peroxidase antibody,” “TPOAb,” “thyroid stimulating hormone,” “TSH,” “autoimmunity,” “Synthroid,” “thyroxine,” “vitamin D,” “cholecalciferol.” Outcomes/Results: Two meta-analysis/systematic reviews found Vitamin D in conjunction with other treatments significantly reduced TPOAb: Zhang, et al. (2021) (SMD: -1.11; 95% CI: -1.92, -0.29; p =0.008) and Jiang, et al. (2022) (WMD = −158.18, 95% CI: −301.92, −14.45, p =0.031). Discussion: Although three of the RCTs used in the two meta-analysis/systematic reviews showed no significant change in TPOAb with Vitamin D alone vs a placebo other studies demonstrated vitamin D with other treatments can lower TPOAb after three months of treatment. Implications for practice: By using a systems approach such as nutrients, diet, and lifestyle factors in addressing subclinical Hashimoto’s thyroiditis practitioners in primary care have the potential of lowering TPOAb and preventing hypothyroidism. This lowers the risk of developing complications of disease such as cardiovascular disease, secondary autoimmune diseases, and decreases mortality.

Title: A New Eating Culture–Missing Link for Greater Dietary Compliance?

Author: Mary Rogers
Executive Director, The New Kitchen
(303) 443-0353

Abstract: The purpose of this historical and cultural exploration is to question and increase awareness around the pivotal role of eating culture on healthy eating. Over the past few decades, there has been an explosion of resources to encourage healthy eating, yet health conditions have deteriorated. A key question is why we have such trouble feeding ourselves well with so many healthy cookbooks, cooking shows, diet and nutrition books, and time-saving kitchen gadgets and appliances to help us? Three decades of work in client kitchens and the cooking classroom, along with input from historical and cultural research, reveal an often-overlooked root cause, i.e., the limited thinking we bring to the kitchen and meal making. Our current “Convenience Eating Culture” has made us think it is perfectly fine and even necessary in our busy world to eat a diet of processed foods. It has also encouraged a convenience approach to how we prepare meals, i.e., the belief that someone else will take care of our food needs, so we needn’t bother with the old-fashioned, outmoded chore of making health-giving food. This approach is detrimental, even deadly, for clients who must make dietary changes. The denigration of making and eating real, whole-food meals essentially bars clients from the kitchen, the pathway to a lifelong healthy diet. The resulting eating deficiencies demand attention to new avenues of inquiry: Are healthy eating shortfalls as much a cultural as an individual-level problem? Can clients meet with better-eating success by understanding the cultural forces influencing them? Their food choices and re-instilling a sense of worthiness around meal making? Can a New Eating Culture offering broad-based value and support for healthy eating be a new tool in the practitioner’s toolbox to help improve dietary compliance? What does a supportive New Eating Culture look like?


Title: Holistically Tackling Weight Management Around the World

Author: Mia Sarno
(619) 762-1410

Abstract: Weight Management continues to plague the world, and unverified influences online increasingly impact people with misinformation. Around the world, governments must address how they will provide resources to keep their citizens at a healthy weight. Developed countries, regardless of technology and public programs, struggle to persuade people of all backgrounds to take care of the foundation of health – their weight. All countries rely on three markers for healthy weight; biological needs, cultural needs, and perceptual needs. This presentation aims to teach how to implement the Well Fed Warrior System’s three mechanisms and create benchmarks for individuals and/or populations in a specified 1-year time frame. The Well Fed Warrior System is an innovative membership program to educate the person with 1) functional performance of body and mind, 2) leadership strengths and company culture 3) stress management. The protocol is adaptable to the company that hosts participants. With this system, decision-makers can rely on annually updated evidence-based practices to promote the well-being of the people they employ. Implication for the individual “Well Fed Warrior” focuses on holistic measurable outcomes for their body and productivity. Employers add the Well Fed Warrior System into their corporate wellness initiatives in order to promote health and, as a result, more productivity. In addition to helping each member, companies can have the opportunity to team up with political officials and stimulate business for local farmers and food store providers, offering members a discount if they commit a portion of their proceeds to charity). The implementation of the Well Fed Warrior System at the public and private levels could improve health and stimulate local economic growth.

Title: The Quality of the Soil is Fundamental to the Quality of Our Food

Author: Amy J. Wing
Holistic Health Educator, Nutrition In A Nutshell, LLC
Prescott, Arizona
(503) 309-5071

Abstract: Improving the quality of the soil cultivated to produce America’s food is vital to addressing the rise in chronic diseases among people of all ages in the United States. This study shows how depleted soil produces nutrient-deficient food, leading to malnutrition and disease, while healthy soil furnishes nutrient-rich food that restores and maintains health. The material for this study was drawn from published books, journal articles, and other sources from the fields of microbiology, soil science, agriculture, agroecology, and nutrition. The practices of industrial agriculture and regenerative farming were compared with regard to their effects on the quality of the soil and food produced. The results demonstrate that the practices of industrial agriculture degrade the quality of the soil and reduce the nutrient content of food. Plowing (tilling) causes soil erosion and compaction. Monocropping damages the soil microbiome and diminishes pollinators and natural pest predators. Synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and plastics contaminate the soil, water, and food. Unsanitary animal feedlots present serious public health risks. In contrast, regenerative farming develops fertile soil with shallow or no-till, organic fertilizer, natural pest control, and organic mulch. Pastured animals are integral to farm practices. Without causing toxicity, regenerative farming produces healthy soil and high-quality food beneficial for human health.

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