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Improving Chinese Mothers’ Health Literacy: A Wechat Intervention, Qiong Chen Oct 2019

Improving Chinese Mothers’ Health Literacy: A Wechat Intervention, Qiong Chen

Doctoral Dissertations

The health literacy and eHealth literacy of women during the reproductive age is crucial, as it can affect their health and the health of their children. Promoting health literacy is essential to achieve mothers’ empowerment by improving access to and capacity of using health information effectively. However, functional, interactive, and critical health literacy and eHealth literacy have never been assessed among Chinese women.

The first study during this dissertation assessed functional, interactive, and critical health literacy and eHealth literacy among 421 of Chinese mothers with children under 3 years old. The results revealed overall less than optimal level of health ...


Multi-Level Barriers To Art Adherence Among Hiv-Infected Women In Rural Eswatini: A Mixed Methods Approach, Nozipho Becker Oct 2019

Multi-Level Barriers To Art Adherence Among Hiv-Infected Women In Rural Eswatini: A Mixed Methods Approach, Nozipho Becker

Doctoral Dissertations

Eswatini has the highest global prevalence of HIV despite universal access to free treatment. Lack of compliance continues to be a significant challenge for HIV care and management programs throughout the country. Studies investigating barriers to antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, particularly in women, who are the most vulnerable to HIV infections, are limited. The disproportionate impact of HIV on women can be attributed to multiple risk factors at the individual, household, and community/structural levels. Women living in rural settings are particularly at risk as a result of socio-cultural and environmental vulnerabilities such as oppressive traditional practices, intimate partner violence ...


The Efficacy Of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery Systems To Improve Vitamin D3 Bioaccessibility And Bioavailability, Alagu Selvi Kadappan Jul 2019

The Efficacy Of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery Systems To Improve Vitamin D3 Bioaccessibility And Bioavailability, Alagu Selvi Kadappan

Masters Theses

Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic issue in all age groups in Western countries and that affects both skeletal and non-skeletal functions. Even with the wide application of food fortification, vitamin D deficiency tends to increase continuously. Being hydrophobic in nature, vitamin D has poor solubility; thereby it negatively affects its absorption and bioavailability when compared to other hydrophilic dietary compounds. The need to develop a novel strategy is of greater importance to enhance its bioavailability and thereby improving vitamin D level in the body.

In this study, lipid-based delivery of oil-in-water nanoemulsion (diameter < 200nm) was utilized to improve the bioaccessibility and oral bioavailability of vitamin D3. First, we examined the in ...


Micronutrient Status And Telomere Length In Adult Men And Women., Christy S. Maxwell Nov 2018

Micronutrient Status And Telomere Length In Adult Men And Women., Christy S. Maxwell

Doctoral Dissertations

Background: Telomeres are the noncoding nucleotide sequences at the end of eukaryotic chromosomes, serving to protect DNA during mitotic division. Given their guanine-rich structure, telomeres are highly susceptible to oxidative damage often mediated by inflammation. Recently, telomere attrition and dysfunction have been associated with age-related diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. Several modifiable risk factors have also been associated with shortened telomere length, including physical inactivity, obesity, stress, smoking, and poor diet.

Objective: We examined the relations between vitamin B12 status, folate status, and iron status, relative to telomere length in eligible ...


Combination Regimens Using Dietary Components For The Chemoprevention Of Colorectal Cancer And Inflammation, Christina Dimarco-Crook Nov 2018

Combination Regimens Using Dietary Components For The Chemoprevention Of Colorectal Cancer And Inflammation, Christina Dimarco-Crook

Doctoral Dissertations

ABSTRACT

COMBINATION REGIMENS USING DIETARY COMPONENTS FOR THE

CHEMOPREVENTION OF COLORECTAL CANCER

AND INFLAMMATION

September 2018

CHRISTINA DIMARCO-CROOK, B.S., IMMACULATA UNIVERSITY

M.S., DREXEL UNIVERSITY

Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Professor Hang Xiao

Dietary components have been found to effectively modulate multiple deregulated signaling pathways associated with the initiation and progression of carcinogenesis and inflammation in cellular and animal models. However, clinical studies have shown mixed results when examining the efficacy of individual dietary components, perhaps suggestive of the synergism that exists between multiple components within a particular food and the diet as a whole. Additional ...


Influences Of Antroquinonol And 4-Acetylantroquinonol B On Inflammatory Tumorigenesis In The Mcf-7 Breast Cancer Cell Line With Or Without Tnf-Α Stimulation, Ting-Chun Lin Oct 2018

Influences Of Antroquinonol And 4-Acetylantroquinonol B On Inflammatory Tumorigenesis In The Mcf-7 Breast Cancer Cell Line With Or Without Tnf-Α Stimulation, Ting-Chun Lin

Masters Theses

Breast cancer (BC) is one of the most common cancers among women worldwide that ~25% of new cancer cases diagnosed every year would be BC; moreover, ~15% of cancer deaths per year caused by BC makes it the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. To date, though the cause of a large proportion of BC are still unclear, recent studies have revealed that a supportive breast tissue microenvironment is critical for the development and progression of BC, especially the communication with immune cells within breast tissue. Therefore, breast inflammatory microenvironment is currently received a substantial attention in the ...


Adding Increased Value To Strawberry Puree By Adding Xylo-Oligosaccharides To Improve Health, Haochen Dai Oct 2018

Adding Increased Value To Strawberry Puree By Adding Xylo-Oligosaccharides To Improve Health, Haochen Dai

Masters Theses

Cancer is a global risk for human wellness and health. Dietary habits could profoundly affect the risk of certain cancer, such as colorectal cancer (CRC) (Platz, 2000). CRC has listed the third leading cancer among male and female in the United States (Stewart, 2014). Surprisingly, the consumption of dietary fiber has an inverse correlation with the mortality of CRC (Song, 2018). However, most Americans do not consume enough dietary fiber to meet the recommended level of dietary fiber intake (Clemens, 2012; Lee-Kwan, 2017). Hence, it is reasonable to increase the nutrient density, i.e., dietary fiber, of current food model ...


Epigenetic Modification Of Vitamin D-Induced Gene Expression In Human Colorectal And Breast Cancer Cell Lines, Sharmin Hossain Jul 2018

Epigenetic Modification Of Vitamin D-Induced Gene Expression In Human Colorectal And Breast Cancer Cell Lines, Sharmin Hossain

Doctoral Dissertations

Epigenetics is the study of the regulation of genes that is not dependent on nucleotide sequence. This may include heritable changes in gene activity and expression but also those that are not heritable. In recent years, epigenetic researchers have made great strides in understanding the molecular mechanisms behind cellular functions in response to diet, exercise, and other lifestyle modifications, like methylation, histone modification etc. It is now known that the epigenome is critical to healthy human development in addition to genetics, and dietary factors can modulate epigenetic alterations in cells. The classic view of cancer etiology is that genetic alterations ...


Impact Of Bodyweight On Tissue-Specific Folate Status, Genome Wide And Gene-Specific Dna Methylation In Normal Breast Tissues From Premenopausal Women, Armina-Lyn Frederick Jul 2018

Impact Of Bodyweight On Tissue-Specific Folate Status, Genome Wide And Gene-Specific Dna Methylation In Normal Breast Tissues From Premenopausal Women, Armina-Lyn Frederick

Masters Theses

Obesity has reached an epidemic level in the United States. A number of epidemiological studies have established obesity as a critical risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer (post-BC), whereas a reverse association holds prior to menopause. A significant scientific gap exists in understanding the mechanism(s) underpinning this epidemiological phenomenon, particularly the reverse association between obesity and premenopausal breast cancer (pre-BC). This study aimed to understand how folate metabolism and DNA methylation informs the association between obesity and pre-BC. Fifty normal breast tissue samples were collected from premenopausal women who underwent reduction mammoplasty. We developed and measured the breast tissue ...


Knowledge, Attitudes And Behaviors Of Traditional Health Practices Among Cambodian Women (15-35 Years) Living In Massachusetts, Nan Dou Jul 2018

Knowledge, Attitudes And Behaviors Of Traditional Health Practices Among Cambodian Women (15-35 Years) Living In Massachusetts, Nan Dou

Masters Theses

Cambodian immigrants have become a large population group in the United States since late 1970s. Traditional heath practices and alcohol consumption during pregnancy and lactation have both been associated with risks of maternal and child health in previous research. However, these associations have never been investigated in the Cambodian immigrant population. The mechanism for the potential interaction is that the traditional health practice, the use of sraa t’nam, which is an alcohol concoction usually consumed during postpartum period, may increase risks for both mothers and children. Sraa t’nam is the traditional alcohol and drinking alcohol during pregnancy and ...


Understanding Food Literacy And Its Use In A Technology-Driven Nutrition Education Program For Adolescents., Catherine A. Wickham Nov 2017

Understanding Food Literacy And Its Use In A Technology-Driven Nutrition Education Program For Adolescents., Catherine A. Wickham

Doctoral Dissertations

One in three adolescents in the U.S. is overweight or obese. The dietary habits of this population are concerning as few meet current dietary recommendations for consuming fruits and vegetables. Equally troubling among this group is the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and the lack of physical activity. Studies that investigate the link between nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors have shown mixed results and new methods to investigate this relationship are needed. Food literacy is a new term that has risen out of the health and nutrition literacy fields. Food literacy seeks to examine the complex relationship between knowledge, attitudes ...


Extractable And Non-Extractable Polyphenols From Apples: Potential Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Makenzi Gennette Oct 2017

Extractable And Non-Extractable Polyphenols From Apples: Potential Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Makenzi Gennette

Masters Theses

With diet being such a huge factor in the development of diseases, emerging research has supported that apple consumption is a promising candidate for disease prevention due to the high phenolic content it possesses. These polyphenols can be found in two forms: extractable polyphenols (EP) and non-extractable polyphenols (NEP). Polyphenols have been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, but up until this point, most researchers focus on EP fractions, while NEP are neglected. After the EP extraction using acetone and acetic acid (99:1) from the Apple Boost powder, three additional extraction methods were conducted on the remaining ...


The Role Of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake And Vitamin D In Elevated Systolic Blood Pressure, Amanda Abrams Oct 2017

The Role Of Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake And Vitamin D In Elevated Systolic Blood Pressure, Amanda Abrams

Masters Theses

THE ROLE OF SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES AND VITAMIN D

IN ELEVATED SYSTOLIC BLOOD PRESSURE

SEPTEMBER 2017

AMANDA HAUTANIEMI ABRAMS, B.A., MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE

M.S., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Dr. Alayne G. Ronnenberg

High sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake and poor vitamin D status have both been associated with increased risk of elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP) in previous research. However, these associations have never been investigated in the same study population, leaving the question of a possible interaction uninvestigated. One potential mechanism for an interaction is that SSB intake may increase serum uric acid (UA) and UA may ...


Evaluation Of Berry Extracts On Intestinal Digestive Enzymes And Sugar Transporters, Jungbae Oh Jul 2017

Evaluation Of Berry Extracts On Intestinal Digestive Enzymes And Sugar Transporters, Jungbae Oh

Masters Theses

T2DM is a chronic disease characterized by postprandial hyperglycemia. One of the therapeutic approaches to attenuate hyperglycemia is to inhibit intestinal ɑ-glucosidase enzyme and/or suppress glucose transporters that regulate intestinal glucose transporters such as SGLT1 & GLUT2. Berries rich in polyphenol antioxidants have various health benefits. Although the antidiabetic effects of various berry extracts or berry mixture in pre-clinical and clinical studies, the underlying pathways at the molecular level is still unclear. In this study, we investigated antioxidant and antidiabetic effects of selected berry extracts by determining free radical scavenging activates, Caco-2 intestinal ɑ-glucosidase activity, glucose uptake and the gene ...


Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Reduces Fat Accumulation In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Jinning Liu Jul 2017

Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Reduces Fat Accumulation In Caenorhabditis Elegans, Jinning Liu

Masters Theses

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), also known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is a polyphenol that is most abundant in tea. It has been shown from many studies that consumption of EGCG can contribute to weight loss, however, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. To determine how EGCG acts to reduce fat, an organism model Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is introduced, which is a useful animal system in exploring crucial biological mechanisms that are readily applicable to humans. In this study, different strains were raised for two days on a diet with or without 100µM and 200µM EGCG treatment: N2 (i.e., wild type ...


Utilizing Nutritive Sweeteners To Control Lipid Oxidation In Low Moisture Baked Goods, Samantha Vieira Nov 2016

Utilizing Nutritive Sweeteners To Control Lipid Oxidation In Low Moisture Baked Goods, Samantha Vieira

Masters Theses

In this study, we determined the effect of nutritive sweeteners at 0 to 0.50 moles/kg on lipid oxidation in a model cookie system. Confocal microscopy using Bodipy 493 as a fat soluble dye showed that the fat formed a continuous phase surrounding the starch granules regardless of sugar type. The impact of glucose concentration on lipid oxidation was monitored by lipid hydroperoxides and headspace hexanal during storage at 55°C. Low concentrations of glucose (0.09) were strong inhibitors. At equal molar concentrations, reducing sugars (glucose and fructose) inhibited lipid oxidation, greater than a two months increase in ...


Macronutrients And The Risk Of Premenstrual Syndrome, Serena C. Houghton Jul 2016

Macronutrients And The Risk Of Premenstrual Syndrome, Serena C. Houghton

Doctoral Dissertations

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects 8-20% of reproductive-aged women, impacting work, family, and social interactions. Limitations in available PMS treatments, including side effects and limited medication efficacy, indicate the need for improved prevention. Modifiable risk factors for prevention of PMS include dietary factors. Several micronutrients have been identified as risk factors, but there has been little evaluation of macronutrients. Thus, the research aim was to examine prospectively whether macronutrient consumption was associated with PMS development among a subset of women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II cohort.

Chapter 1 evaluates the association of fat intake and PMS risk. Among 3 ...


Fruit And Vegetable Intake, Attitudes, And Beliefs Of Multicultural Middle School Students In Central Massachusetts, Emily M. Harrington Jul 2016

Fruit And Vegetable Intake, Attitudes, And Beliefs Of Multicultural Middle School Students In Central Massachusetts, Emily M. Harrington

Masters Theses

High fruit and vegetable (FV) intake is associated with healthy weights and decreased risk of chronic disease. Yet, adolescent FV intakes fall below national recommendations. Few studies involve racial/ethnic minority adolescents in formative research, despite their increased risk of poor FV intake. Consequently, the purpose of this study was to describe the type and frequency of FV intake of urban multicultural young adolescents, and to examine their attitudes and beliefs towards increased consumption of FV. A convenience sample (n=79) of racially diverse (e.g., 31% Hispanic/Latino, 27.4% Black/African American) grade seven students, participated in our ...


Evaluation Of The Springfield Menu Program, Hannah Stenger Nov 2015

Evaluation Of The Springfield Menu Program, Hannah Stenger

Masters Theses

Studies have shown that many low-income and disadvantaged Americans have a poor diet quality, which increases obesity and chronic disease risk. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, education and income levels of Springfield residents are well below state averages, and racial diversity in Springfield has increased significantly over the past few decades. Springfield’s demographics increase the risk of health disparities in the community, and higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are seen in Springfield. To promote healthy eating behaviors among Springfield residents, Mason Square Health Task Force (MSHTF), a Live Well Springfield (LWS) partner, created ...


Association Of Dietary Factors With Menstrual Cycle Characteristics, Radhika Natarajan Nov 2015

Association Of Dietary Factors With Menstrual Cycle Characteristics, Radhika Natarajan

Doctoral Dissertations

Abnormal menstrual cycle length, pattern and bleed duration are associated with reduced fecundity and increased risk of miscarriage. The menstrual cycle is governed by the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis, and nutritional factors may affect menstrual characteristics by influencing the HPO axis. Identifying these factors may lead to cost effective ways to improve reproductive outcomes.

In a cross-sectional analysis of 164 18- to 30-year-old women, we examined the association of adiposity, dietary fat intake and vitamin D status with menstrual cycle characteristics. Adiposity was measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA); dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire, and fasting venous ...


Gestational Diabetes, Infant Feeding Practices, And Early Indicators Of Obesity Risk In A Sample Of Mother-Infant Dyads In The U.S., Kimberly N. Doughty Nov 2015

Gestational Diabetes, Infant Feeding Practices, And Early Indicators Of Obesity Risk In A Sample Of Mother-Infant Dyads In The U.S., Kimberly N. Doughty

Doctoral Dissertations

Research suggests that the trajectory to obesity and its associated metabolic disorders begins early in life. Prenatal exposure to maternal gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with increased risk, while breastfeeding is associated with reduced risk. Breastfeeding may influence obesity risk by preventing rapid postnatal weight gain. Mothers with gestational diabetes may not breastfeed as intensely as healthy mothers, potentially exacerbating the risk to their infants. We conducted three distinct investigations related to gestational diabetes, breastfeeding, and infant weight gain. All used data from the U.S. Infant Feeding Practices Study II. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate associations ...


Physicochemical And Toxicological Assessment Of Antimicrobial Ε-Polylysine-Pectin Complexes, Cynthia L. Lopez Pena Aug 2015

Physicochemical And Toxicological Assessment Of Antimicrobial Ε-Polylysine-Pectin Complexes, Cynthia L. Lopez Pena

Doctoral Dissertations

ε-Polylysine is an appealing FDA-approved, all natural antimicrobial biopolymer effective against a wide range of microorganisms. Its implementation is greatly limited by its strong cationic charge, which has been linked to instability in food systems, perceived astringency and bitterness, and the ability to inhibit lipid digestion. Previous studies have shown that controlled complexation of ε-polylysine with anionic pectin is able to prevent instability and astringency in simplified model food systems, while maintaining the antimicrobial character of polylysine. Isothermal titration calorimetry, micro-electrophoresis, microscopy, and turbidity analyses of the stability of electrostatic pectin-polylysine complexes in the presence of strongly anionic κ-carrageenan, and ...


Understanding Lipid Oxidation In Low-Moisture Food, Leann M. Barden Nov 2014

Understanding Lipid Oxidation In Low-Moisture Food, Leann M. Barden

Doctoral Dissertations

Low-moisture snacks account for much of the saturated fat in the diet, making them a key target for improving consumers’ health. However, it is not currently feasible to maintain the same shelf life when replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in these products.

The first study characterized the microstructure of a low-moisture cracker model system and determined the impact of iron, chelators, and free fatty acids (FFA) on lipid oxidation kinetics. Confocal microscopy showed that lipids form a continuous layer surrounding the small and/or minimally gelatinized starch granules. Lipid-starch, lipid-air, and starch-lipid-protein interfaces all existed. Oxidation studies showed a ...


Intuitive Eating, Attitudes To Food, And Body Size: A Comparison Between Nutrition Majors And Non-Majors, Katelyn Russell Nov 2014

Intuitive Eating, Attitudes To Food, And Body Size: A Comparison Between Nutrition Majors And Non-Majors, Katelyn Russell

Masters Theses

Dietitians are expected to deliver sound and scientifically objective advice to the general public, yet their personal beliefs and behaviors could influence delivery of nutrition care. Increased understanding of the personal attitudes and behaviors of dietitians concerning eating behavior and body image could help improve dietetic practice. Traditional nutrition education emphasizes cognitive eating, i.e., monitoring energy intake and comparing macronutrient intakes to the current acceptable ranges. Intuitive eating, however, promotes the release of cognitive eating in favor of greater attention to physiologic cues, or “body wisdom”. We hypothesized that nutrition students in a traditional curriculum would report eating less ...


The Role Of Sleep Timing On Diet Quality And Physical Activity Among College-Aged Women Participating In The University Of Massachusetts Vitamin D Status Study, Deniz Azarmanesh Nov 2014

The Role Of Sleep Timing On Diet Quality And Physical Activity Among College-Aged Women Participating In The University Of Massachusetts Vitamin D Status Study, Deniz Azarmanesh

Masters Theses

Overweight and obesity are risk factors for various chronic diseases. Sleep has been associated with overweight and obesity. One potential mechanism by which sleep may lead to overweight and obesity is through positive energy balance (i.e. energy intake exceeding expenditure). There are few studies examining the impact of sleep timing (onset and wake time) on diet and exercise. In a cross sectional study, we examined associations between sleep timing and diet quality, and in separate models, between sleep timing and meeting the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans among the participants of the UMass Vitamin D Status Study. A ...


The Combined Effects Of Genistein And Daidzein On Adipocyte Differentiation, Oumou Habybat Kone Aug 2014

The Combined Effects Of Genistein And Daidzein On Adipocyte Differentiation, Oumou Habybat Kone

Masters Theses

Dietary soy isoflavones have been shown to ameliorate insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. However, many in vitro studies used supra-physiological concentrations of individual isoflavones that make it difficult to interpret the results as potential mechanisms in vivo. Since the insulin-sensitizing effects of thiazolidinediones, anti-diabetic drugs, have been shown to be mediated through activation of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), the key transcription factor for adipocyte differentiation, we examined the effects of the two main soy isoflavones genistein and daidzein either as individual compound or combined on adipocyte differentiation and PPARγ expression, as well as whether the Wnt/β-catenin signaling ...


Honesty And Carotenoids In A Pigmented Female Fish, Alexandria Christine Brown Apr 2014

Honesty And Carotenoids In A Pigmented Female Fish, Alexandria Christine Brown

Doctoral Dissertations

The carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis states that diet-derived carotenoids are tradedoff among competing physiological demands, but this statement is rarely tested in ornamented females. The following dissertation tests the carotenoid tradeoff hypothesis in reverse sexually dimorphic convict cichlids (Amantitlania siquia) using carotenoidsupplemented diet treatments and a field-based study of carotenoid intake. Spectral, microscopic, and chemical analysis determined how females allocated the pigments to tissues and how those decisions affected their ventral patch coloration. The results presented in the current study show that carotenoids enhance offspring growth and survival, lower oxidative stress, and reduce the time to clear a parasite. The two ...


Zinc Metabolism In The Streptozotocin (Stz)-Diabetes, Aizhong Fu Feb 1995

Zinc Metabolism In The Streptozotocin (Stz)-Diabetes, Aizhong Fu

Doctoral Dissertations 1896 - February 2014

Hyperzincuria in diabetics has been regarded as the culprit depleting body zinc stores. Studies were designed to assess rates of 65Zn absorption and retention as a possible compensation mechanism; to assess zinc concentrations and distribution among body compartments, and to assess the kinetics of 65Zn metabolism in STZ-diabetic rats. The rates of 65Zn absorption and retention were not significantly different between STZ-diabetic and control rats. However, STZ-diabetic rats had significantly higher rates of 65Zn absorption (16.88%) and retention (34.36%) when they were "Post-fasted" than when they were "Prior-fasted" (9.04% and 18.68% respectively). These differences were also ...