Fibrous Feedstuff 28 April 2021

Fibrous Feedstuff

HNFAS researcher touts the functional benefits for livestock

Compared to the fattening up power of soybeans and corn, high-fiber animal feeds are often considered to be inefficient for optimal growth and production. But livestock producers may want to reconsider that stance, says Rajesh Jha of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. “Our lab has studied many alternative feed components for developing cost-effective and sustainable animal production systems and, in the process, found many functional benefits of dietary fiber not previously appreciated,” he notes. Although fibrous feedstuffs typically have fewer calories and relatively lower nutritional values, the higher level of dietary fiber works to improve the animal’s gut health by modulating beneficial microorganisms in the large intestine, the same way as in humans. This, in turn, benefits the immune function, as well as overall health and performance.

“Alternative feedstuffs are a reasonably cheaper animal feed, and can be sourced locally,” Rajesh adds. “Interestingly, dietary fibers and their components have a prebiotic function and are considered alternatives to antibiotics in animal feeding programs. This is of particular importance when the animal industry is under pressure to produce food animals without antibiotics in their diets.”

The review paper, Dietary fiber in poultry nutrition and their effects on nutrient utilization, performance, gut health, and on the environment, appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology. Related review and research papers are also available on Rajesh’s lab website.

LIVE with Kainoa and Laʻakea 30 March 2021

LIVE with Kainoa and Laʻakea

HNFAS professor visits KITV and NPR to recruit study participants

“What Are Native Hawaiian Babies Eating? UH Researchers Want to Know” was the title for a segment on Hawaiʻi Public Radio this past Monday, featuring an on-air interview with Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. Kainoa says there isn’t enough information about what guides feeding decisions for Native Hawaiian mothers during their baby’s first year. So she’s leading a study, “Exploring Diet Diversity of Native Hawaiian Infants,” with the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, the UH Cancer Center, and Purdue University.

The researchers hope to recruit pregnant Native Hawaiian women, who will be asked to download the study’s app and upload photos of their meals and their baby’s meals at certain intervals over the course of a year.

“It’s all about improving the health of the next generation – and they’re going to be planting those seeds,” says Kainoa. “And it’s super easy; it’s on your smartphone. We’re always taking pictures of our food anyways and as moms, we’re always wanting to take pictures of what our babies are eating.”

The Sunday evening before, Kainoa was the guest on KITV Island News to discuss the study and recruit participants. She says the data collected can make a difference in the daily health and wellness choices among the Native Hawaiian community.

“Ultimately, I want the work that I do to promote a healthy lahui – a thriving Native Hawaiian community,” says Kainoa, “I believe a way I can do that is through promoting healthy thriving families, healthy thriving babies, and healthy thriving mommies who are giving birth to babies.”

Study participants must be 18 years of age or older, Native Hawaiian, and must feel comfortable using a mobile phone application to take photos of meals throughout the first year of babies life. To sign-up, call (808) 375-3785 or email whrc@ucera.org. The study is funded by the National Institutes of Health through JABSOM and Ola HAWAIʻI.

Photo: Kainoa and Laʻakea Mekaleoalohamaikalewalani Revilla having fun with their food.

Green Light? Red Light! 3 March 2021

Green Light? Red Light!

HNFAS authors a new column in the Star Advertiser

In their latest newspaper column on nutrition and health, Alan Titchenal and Joannie Dobbs of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences weigh in on green drinks, those superfoods-in-a-smoothie concoctions we drink for a variety of health goals. With more than 800 million green drink recipes available – each with health claims ranging from sensible to … not sensible – some of us might be tempted to over-consume such green drinks. “However, consuming too much of a good thing can be harmful,” the authors point out. “Many of the nutrients and phytochemicals in these drinks are good for you in moderation, but excessive amounts can result in potential health problems over time.”

Read the full article, Nutrient Overload From Green Drinks Can Be Harmful.

Mom’s Holiday Pancit 2 December 2020

Mom’s Holiday Pancit

Nutrition professor shares her family recipe

Growing up in Northern Virginia, Monica Esquivel didn't have many opportunities to enjoy Filipino food. So her mom made it a point to have Filipino food at their holiday celebrations every year. "Since we didn't have Filipino food very often, it became something of a tradition to look forward to – and a way to feel connected to our family in the Philippines.”

Get Stuffed 23 November 2020

Get Stuffed

HNFAS professor’s family loves this Thanksgiving recipe

“The stuffing tends to be a favorite part of the meal and is usually the first bowl to be emptied,” says professor Rachel Novotny of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. For your reading and cooking enjoyment, Rachel is sharing her family recipe for stuffing, adapted from the Joy of Cooking cookbook, for their annual Thanksgiving meal.


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