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Impact of Dietary Sweetness Exposure on Future Dietary Intake: Reanalysis of Existing Intervention Trial Data

Several global health authorities recommend avoidance of sweetness in the diet from both sugar and low-calorie or non-nutritive sweeteners, due to concerns that intake of sweet taste drives a preference for more sweetness, with ultimate negative consequences for energy intake and weight. However, the scientific data available to understand the role of sweetness in the […]

Updating the Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool

The IAFNS Food and Chemical Safety Committee invests in the training and education of future scientists and leaders in the fields of food and chemical safety and food toxicology by supporting a Summer Fellowship Program for doctoral students. This project focuses on updating the Metal Dietary Exposure Screening Tool. Detection of heavy metals at trace […]

Effect of the Use of Potassium-Based Sodium Replacers on Sodium and Potassium Intakes of the US Population

Sodium intake in the US population exceeds recommendations, and efforts have long been underway to reduce the amount of sodium in foods. Salt in the form of NaCl is the largest source of sodium in processed foods. Given the particular roles NaCl plays in foods (functional, taste, food preservation), it is difficult to remove it either entirely or in large part. Potassium chloride (KCl) is one of the most effective tools for NaCl replacement, due to its ability to perform many of the functional roles of NaCl, and thus, sodium reduction in foods. Replacement of NaCl with KCl would also have the greatest impact on potassium intake, compared to other NaCl or sodium containing ingredient (e.g. potassium bicarbonate vs. sodium bicarbonate) replacement options.

This switch has the potential to alter intakes of both sodium and potassium. There is evidence that the Na-K ratio of the diet is relevant in blood pressure physiology, but to what extent reformulation efforts have or could affect intake of these nutrients, and as a secondary question, health, is unknown. In addition, there is concern that expanding the use of KCl will lead to unsafe potassium intake levels for certain high-risk groups (e.g., those with chronic kidney disease instructed to limit potassium intake). Several of these questions could be clarified through a population-based intake assessment.

The project will be conducted in three steps: 1) Identify the primary contributors to sodium intake using the FDA voluntary sodium reduction guidance, and 2) develop practical and feasible replacement scenarios for the identified categories, and 3) assess US population intakes of sodium and potassium for these categories under two scenarios: a) 100% replacement of NaCl with KCl, and b) “practical and feasible” replacement for each food category.

Institution: Exponent
Principal Investigator: Mary Murphy, MS, RD; Carolyn Scrafford, PhD, MPH
Amount Awarded: $211,000
Year Awarded: 2019

Read more: Potassium Chloride-Based Replacers: Modeling Effects on Sodium and Potassium Intakes of the US Population with Cross-Sectional Data from NHANES 2015–2016 and 2009–2010


View this project on the Center for Open Science's Open Science Framework.

Learn more about the IAFNS Sodium Committee.

Scientific Integrity Principles and Best Practices: Recommendations from a Scientific Integrity Consortium

The Scientific Integrity Consortium published a set of principles and best practices in Science and Engineering Ethics in February 2019. The principles and best practices are intended to be applied broadly across scientific disciplines, and provide a standardized approach for scientists to achieve accountability and integrity in scientific research. They focus on multiple aspects of […]

Protein Intake and Human Health: Implications of Units of Protein Intake

Current dietary recommendations for protein intake are expressed as grams per kilogram of body weight in recognition of its role as the structural building blocks for lean body mass. Although FAO/WHO acknowledges that this recommendation is appropriate for those in the ideal weight-for-height ranges, it may not be appropriate for those who are overweight. This […]

Sampling of Post-Hurricane Florence Floodwater for Human Foodborne Pathogens

Heavy rainfall and flooding following a hurricane can massively impact water quality, especially via runoff from agricultural and industrial operations. The IAFNS Food Microbiology Committee is supporting researchers at North Carolina State University to examine the emergence, potential routes of contamination and proliferation, as well as virulence and susceptibility of three major foodborne pathogens in […]

Application of Acceptable Daily Intake Values in Nutrition Research Studies that Consider the Safety of Low-Calorie Sweeteners

Several recent publications on the intake of low-calorie sweeteners (LCSs) have compared intake data to the corresponding Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) values. This indicates a use of ADI that may not be appropriate, since ADI is not meant to be considered a threshold for a safety concern at one moment in time. This may lead to misunderstanding of the safety of LCSs, and affect the potential of LCSs as effective tools for lowering added sugar intake.

The proposed project aims to evaluate the trends in application of ADI to LCS intake data, health-related research, and international government documents/evaluations. The study is designed to test the hypothesis that there is an increasing misapplication of ADI as a type of “safety intake threshold” for particular age groups, and to discuss the ramifications of such a trend. This project should help researchers and clinicians better understand both what is meant by an ADI and what limitations exist for safety determinations when comparing LCS intake data to an ADI. It should also help clinicians to better understand the safety of LCSs and the level of expected risk with use in various life stages.

Institution: ToxStrategies, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Daniele Wikoff, PhD
Amount Awarded: $78,000
Year Awarded: 2019

Read more: Use of Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) as a Health-Based Benchmark in Nutrition Research Studies that Consider the Safety of Low-Calorie Sweeteners (LCS): a Systematic Map

View this project on the Center for Open Science's Open Science Framework.

Learn more about the IAFNS Low-Calorie Sweeteners Committee.

Opportunities for Improvement in Nutrition-Related Research: Implications of Overall Quality and Risk of Bias Domain Ratings

Nutrition research informs consumer eating habits, public policy, healthcare practice decisions and research agenda development. Yet, virtually every individual scientific study has limitations in design and methodology. The purpose of this study is to examine these limitations and identify ways to improve scientific methods and in turn, research quality, in the future. Institution: EF Myers […]