38TC – FEED ME: Feeding study to Evaluate the Effects of the DASH diet of the Microbial Environment

Status: Available
Faculty Name: tiffany-carson
UAB Department: Medicine
UAB School: Medicine
Campus Address: Medical Towers 639
Telephone Number: (205) 934-1443
Email: tiffanycarson@Uabmc.edu or Click to Send E-Mail
For how many summers have you served as a preceptor: 3 or more
CCC Research Area: Cancer Control and Population Science
Number of hours per week that the preceptor will personally supervise or work with the intern: 2
Other faculty, staff, or graduate students who may help to supervise the intern:
1. Janice Philips
2. Rebecca Little
Title of Project: 38TC – FEED ME: Feeding study to Evaluate the Effects of the DASH diet of the Microbial Environment
Project Description:

FEED ME is a study of a generally healthy sample of 14 black and 14 white females with obesity to participate in a 28-day pilot, feasibility randomized controlled feeding study. Participants will be randomized to receive either a calorie-restricted DASH diet or a calorie-restricted standard American diet. All meals will be provided by the study. We are using 2 different calorie-restricted diets to allow for further investigation of the association between a specific dietary pattern and metabolic products of the gut microbiota across diverse racial groups. The DASH diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy, is commonly recommended for heart health and has been shown to lower blood pressure and produce weight loss. However, to our knowledge, the effect of the DASH diet on the gut microbiota has not been studied. Because the DASH diet provides substantial fiber, we hypothesize that consumption of the DASH diet will lead to improvements in the gut microbiota of black and white females. Fecal samples will be collected at multiple time points before, during, and after the dietary intervention and will be analyzed using PCR to amplify the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene and to sequence bases using the MiSeq platform. Sequenced data will then be analyzed using QIIME. We hypothesize that characteristics of the gut microbiota will mediate the response to calorie restriction. We will also evaluate functional-level markers including bile acid and short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and inflammatory markers. If our hypothesis is supported, we expect to see reduced production of secondary bile acids (e.g., deoxycholic acid), greater SCFA production (e.g, butyrate), and reduction in gut and systemic inflammation (e.g, calprotectin, IL-6) among participants receiving the calorie-restricted DASH diet compared to the standard American diet. Our findings will provide preliminary evidence for the gut microbiota as a potential point of intervention to improve weight loss outcomes as well as evidence for DASH diet as an approach for cultivating a healthier gut microbiota across racially diverse populations. These findings can impact clinical, translational, and population-level approaches for modification of the gut microbiota to reduce the prevalence of obesity and related disparities.

Project Status: Already up and running
Location of Project: Birmingham, AL (UAB)
Proposed Start Date: May 4, 2020
Proposed End Date: August 28, 2020
Expected work schedule for intern: Not very flexible, intern MUST be at work on certain days of the week and at certain times of the day (as may be necessary to interview patients, attend lab meetings, process samples, etc.) and should contribute full-time effort.
Category of Project: Community-Based or Field Research
Cancer topic: Colon and rectum, Diet and Nutrition, Obesity
Does this project involve human subjects: Yes
Does this project involve animal subjects: No

data collection


data entry


facilitate participant feeding visits

Preceptor will provide intern with access to the following:
Office or desk space, Computer and printer, Supplies needed to complete project, Equipment needed to complete project
Likelihood that intern will be included as an author on one or more publications
related to this summer research project:
Areas in which the ideal candidates will have experience:
Literature Review Skills, Manuscript Preparation for Submission to a Journal, Obesity and Diet