Lost in the Supermarket

Emerging Science for the First 1,000 Days: Knowledge Gaps and RD Opportunities

January 22, 2020
Lost in the Supermarket
Emerging Science for the First 1,000 Days: Knowledge Gaps and RD Opportunities
Chapters
Lost in the Supermarket
Emerging Science for the First 1,000 Days: Knowledge Gaps and RD Opportunities
Jan 22, 2020
SupermarketGuru

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most active period of neurologic development occurs in the first 1,000 days of life. For the first time, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will consider neurocognitive health and development through all life stages as well as comprehensive dietary guidance for women during pregnancy and infants and toddlers under 2 years of age. As the body of science grows, the critical nature of key nutrients during the first 1,000 days will become an area of increasing importance for health professionals to address. However, despite this exciting momentum, research reveals a concerning knowledge gap amongst key practitioners, obstetricians, and pediatricians as well as mothers when it comes to key nutrients such as choline and lutein. The objective of this podcast is to explore the cutting-edge science on diet and neurocognition for the first 1,000 and address opportunities for education amongst health professionals and relevant patient populations. 

Dr. Mickey Rubin is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. Dr. Rubin began his career in the food industry at Kraft Foods where he served as a Senior Nutrition Scientist. Dr. Rubin then served as Principal Scientist at Provident Clinical Research. Most recently, Dr. Rubin spent 8 years as Vice President of Nutrition Research at National Dairy Council.

A member of the American Society of Nutrition, Dr. Rubin graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Memphis, and later earning a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Connecticut where his research interests included exercise endocrinology, sports nutrition, and the effects of dietary interventions on cardiometabolic health outcomes. Dr. Rubin is also the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers and text book chapters covering the topics of nutrition and exercise science.

Show Notes Transcript

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most active period of neurologic development occurs in the first 1,000 days of life. For the first time, the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will consider neurocognitive health and development through all life stages as well as comprehensive dietary guidance for women during pregnancy and infants and toddlers under 2 years of age. As the body of science grows, the critical nature of key nutrients during the first 1,000 days will become an area of increasing importance for health professionals to address. However, despite this exciting momentum, research reveals a concerning knowledge gap amongst key practitioners, obstetricians, and pediatricians as well as mothers when it comes to key nutrients such as choline and lutein. The objective of this podcast is to explore the cutting-edge science on diet and neurocognition for the first 1,000 and address opportunities for education amongst health professionals and relevant patient populations. 

Dr. Mickey Rubin is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. Dr. Rubin began his career in the food industry at Kraft Foods where he served as a Senior Nutrition Scientist. Dr. Rubin then served as Principal Scientist at Provident Clinical Research. Most recently, Dr. Rubin spent 8 years as Vice President of Nutrition Research at National Dairy Council.

A member of the American Society of Nutrition, Dr. Rubin graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of Memphis, and later earning a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Connecticut where his research interests included exercise endocrinology, sports nutrition, and the effects of dietary interventions on cardiometabolic health outcomes. Dr. Rubin is also the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers and text book chapters covering the topics of nutrition and exercise science.

Phil:
0:00
Welcome to Lost in the Supermarket, the podcast that goes behind the shelves. We take a look at the latest grocery trends, latest health information, and how to make every shopping trip the best it can be for your shoppers. I'm your host, Phil Lempert, and today it's all about the first thousand days of life. According to the American Academy of pediatrics, the most active period of neurologic development occurs in the first thousand days of life. For the first time, the 2020 dietary guidelines for Americans will consider neurocognitive health and development throughout all life stages, as well as comprehensive dietary guidance for women during pregnancy and infants and toddlers under two years of age. As the body of science grows, the critical nature of key nutrients during the first thousand days will become an area of increasing importance for health professionals to address. However, despite this exciting momentum, research reveals a concerning knowledge gap among key practitioners, obstetricians, and pediatricians as well as mothers.
Phil:
1:10
When it comes to key nutrients such as Coleen and lutein. The objective of this podcast is to explore the cutting edge science on diet and neurocognition. For the first thousand days and address opportunities for education amongst health professionals and relevant patient populations. Our guest today, Dr Mickey Rubin, the executive director of the egg nutrition center. Dr Rubin began his career in the food industry at Kraft foods. Were you served as a senior nutrition scientist? Mickey then served as principal scientist at Provident clinical research. Most recently, Dr. Rubin spent eight years as vice person of nutrition research at the national dairy council. He is also the author or coauthor of numerous peer reviewed scientific papers and textbook chapters covering the topics of nutrition and exercise science. Dr Ruben, welcome back to Lost in the Supermarket.
Mickey:
2:01
Thank you Phil and glad to be here.
Phil:
2:03
So tell us a bit more about your background and career and what brought you to work with ENC and a little bit about your role there.
Mickey:
2:12
Sure. Well, as you mentioned, I've started my career after finishing my doctorate at Kraft foods where I was a nutrition scientist and then eventually found my way to the national dairy council, which is a farmer funded commodity board that does research and communicates on the nutritional benefits of foods. In that case it was dairy foods. And that was really where I really found my niche in working for these farmer funded associations and working for on behalf of farmers because farmers are so, so passionate about the food they produce and really supportive of good, strong nutrition science. And so that was basically a really rewarding experience. Uh, working on behalf of farmers. Uh, previously it, my position at the dairy council and now very similar by a position here at egg nutrition center, which is a farmer funded organization.
Phil:
3:01
So Mickey, what's interesting to me is, and I know and I've spoken and met a lot of farmers myself as well, they've got this body of knowledge, consumers want this body of knowledge and very rarely do the two connect. So you're really in the middle of that, taking that farmer knowledge, adding some science to it and being able to communicate that properly both to retail dieticians, other dieticians as well as consumers.
Mickey:
3:30
Exactly. You hit the nail on the head. You know, my role here at egg nutrition center is to sort of be the center of all of those folks. So we've got, we would work with a university scientists, we sponsored nutrition research that's published and peer reviewed and scientific journals. We also work with dieticians and other health professionals who are really on the front lines of communicating that knowledge and that science to consumers. And so it's a really, it's a, it's a, it's a really great place to be in a really rewarding experience.
Phil:
4:01
So I'm going to put you on the spot here. On a scale of one to 10, one being, nothing and 10 being really smart in today's environment, where would you put consumers as it relates to food and health?
Mickey:
4:16
You know, I think consumers are pretty high. I don't, I, I'm not sure where I can put the number, but definitely on the higher end they definitely get a passing grade because I think that consumers these days are very smart and they're, they're, they, they come with a little bit of a skeptical eye now. I mean, my experience, uh, you can't just say, Oh, do this, it's good for you. And there'll be like, well, how do we know how we all, where's the science behind that? I think consumers these days, and I, you know, it seems like every day, every year consumers just game smarter. They're asking better questions, they're asking more informed questions. That really helps us in terms of, you know, how we communicate and making sure that what we communicate is the best possible information, science based information.
Phil:
4:56
And are they smarter because they finally get that mind body connection that they understand that what they eat is going to affect their lives? Or is it just being driven by so much information with the internet and with the media and with in-store dietitians? What's causing this high level of education and empowerment and desire?
Mickey:
5:18
Yeah, I think it's a little bit of both. I definitely think they want to take control of their own situation, so they're going to educate themselves as best they can. That's why it's important to get the best possible information and science-based information out there. And I also think that, you know, that there's just better appreciation that maybe there's not one magic bullet and that they understand as you said, that mind body connection, they need to understand the total package, whether it's from a diet or lifestyle or the connection between the two. I think that's part of it as well.
Phil:
5:48
Gotcha. Okay. Let's switch gears a little bit and talk about this neurocognitive health throughout, you know, from birth to death. I mean, that sounds a little, but why is neurocognitive health of such interest right now?
Mickey:
6:02
So I think that, you know, we spent a lot decades now and rightfully so. We've been really narrowly focused on sort of the metabolic health and metabolic diseases, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and absolutely we haven't, we haven't fixed that, you know, for sure. You know, that's still something we need to be aware of something we're conscious of something that way. There's even still more research going on in that area. We haven't cracked the code completely. But I think what we're realizing now is that, uh, while being so narrowly focused on the metabolic health, uh, you know, we can't lose focus of that neurocognitive health because it is, you know, we have to the, the mind is, is just as important as the heart, right? So I think right now we're developing a greater appreciation for the nutrition connection to cognitive health. And as you said in your introduction, you know, it's a really exciting time right now because for the very first time as the dietary guidelines advisory committee is convening as we speak for the 2020 recommendations for the first time, they're really focusing on this area right up there with heart disease and diabetes. Obesity is, is looking at the connection between nutrition and neurocognition or cognitive health throughout the lifespan.
Phil:
7:19
So, you know, we've talked about the first thousand days, but when we look at brain health and what I think is so important as we're starting to see the aging baby boomer, we're starting to see whether it's more Parkinson's or more dementia. We really need to think about, you know, brain health as, as I said before, from brain to death and what consumers can do. They shouldn't just being able to throw up their hands, you know, for a new parent, you know, all, all the new parents want their kids to go to Harvard and to be brilliant and so on. So, so they have a lot of attention about brain health, but we can't forget when we get into our teams and our 20s and our 50s and our seventies that are, and our nineties and hundreds brain health is equally as important.
Mickey:
8:03
Right, right. Yeah, absolutely. I kinda, you know, coming from a little bit of a nutrition and exercise science background, I think of the brain as, you know, the muscle that we got to have to use. And you know, the analogy holds true for, you know, exercise and, and nutrition for your muscles. The same thing for brain health. You know, you need the nutrition for your brain as well. I need to exercise your brain as well. So I think it's a, it's, you know, for me that when you, when I think about it that way, it makes perfect sense.
Phil:
8:31
So, you know, a lot of people know that eggs are good for us. Um, they think in terms of protein, they think in terms of great tastes, but also what about the nutrients for brain health and cognition? You know, Coleen and Lucina as I mentioned before, what, what role do eggs play with these nutrients and why are they so important?
Mickey:
8:51
Well, first of all, with choline you look at choline and we get a w with one large egg, about 150 milligrams of choline for one large egg, and that's 25% of the daily value of choline right there. So you're really just with one egg, you know, you're really, really making a significant dent in your daily value there. And the think about two eggs a day, you're halfway there. I think what we tend to forget about sometimes with eggs, everybody thinks about eggs and protein, right? That's absolutely true. Eggs are good source of a high quality protein, but the other nutrients that come along with eggs are good or excellent source of eight essential nutrients. And a lot of those nutrients are found in the yolk. When you look at choline, if there are no really in terms of commonly consumed foods, eggs are really the best source. I think the only other food that really beats eggs in terms of choline is chicken liver. So not really a commonly consumed food.
Phil:
9:42
Oh, I'd rather have eggs.
Mickey:
9:44
Well, so when you're looking at the best way to get your choline intake, it's definitely eggs are your best bet. Yeah. When we look at what Coleen is showing in the research in terms of neurocognition, that's where it gets really exciting because right now there's research going on that shows that consuming choline maternal cooling consumption. So pregnant women consuming choline those who consume higher amount of calling, that's actually translating to better cognitive outcomes for their infants. So you're real, we're really seeing the connection from the maternal diet to an outcome with the infants. And that's really striking. So not only do we see an observational studies, women who consume a higher amounts of choline during pregnancy and showing greater cognitive outcomes with those infants. There's actually some randomized controlled trials, intervention trials that are supplementing women with choline during pregnancy and seeing those outcomes in those infants later in life. And so there's been some research has shown up to a year of age with those infants. So showing improved cognitive outcomes and now we're seeing that actually being persisting well into toddlerhood up until around age seven.
Phil:
10:50
And what about lutein? Is there any research being conducted there?
Mickey:
10:54
Yeah, absolutely. Uh, lutein is one of those nutrients that a lot of folks might think of for iHealth, a reduced risk for macular degeneration. And that's absolutely true. And eggs are a source of lutein as well. It's really the pigment of the egg yolk is really due to the lutein and disease Anthon content and the egg yolk lutein is also found in high quantities and green leafy vegetables. Again, w you know, where you see some really strong pigments and lutein in your diets actually accumulates in your macula. That's the connection with iHealth. And now what we're seeing is the connection between that and the eye health and brain health. So the greater macular pigment is now being associated with better cognitive performance. And we've seen that in studies of both school age children who have shown better academic performance with higher macular pigments as well as aging populations and showing improved cognitive outcomes with elderly individuals that have higher macular pigment. And eggs are a very bioavailable source of lutein. Lutein is fat-soluble and it's coming along in the yolk where all of those fatty acids are. So it's really helpful in getting that nutrient absorbed when you eat it.
Phil:
12:10
So I think it's important to note two things. Number one, and, and you know, I'm probably going over the line that I should be going, but a lot of people who might have been focused on just egg whites, you know, going into a restaurant or making egg white omelets themselves at home and so on are really missing out on a lot of nutrients, aren't they?
Mickey:
12:33
I, I think so. I, yeah, we don't want to discount the egg whites. You know, it's a, it's a
Phil:
12:37
no, no, of course
Mickey:
12:38
the food. Yeah. All good, good, good protein source. But really the yolk is where everything else is. It's where all the vitamins and the minerals and the bioactives like lutein and zeaxanthin. So yeah, don't, don't toss the yolk because you're, you're tossing a lot of nutrition along with it.
Phil:
12:54
Yeah. And the second part for me is something that a lot of people don't realize. I think that eggs are one of the most inexpensive sources of nutrients, whether it's protein, whether it's lutein, whether it's choline, when we really think about what a dozen eggs cost versus some of the other, as, as you mentioned, dark leafy greens or other animal proteins that are out there. I mean, eggs are a fraction of the cost.
Mickey:
13:24
Oh, tremendous bang for your buck. You know, I think, you know, the last I saw one egg averaged about 15 cents, you know, for one large day. And when you think about it for that 15 cents, you're getting your eight grams of high quality protein. You're getting your other vitamins and minerals, good or excellent source of of eight essential nutrients, your colon, your lutein and others all in one package that, you know, tastes great and it's convenient and goes with a lot of different things. You know, what are the really interesting things about, you know, you see a lot of people pairing eggs with vegetables and Fatah's for example. Not only is that a great way to cut down on food waste, you know, if you have some, whatever spare vegetables that you have in your refrigerator, throw it together with some eggs and a frittata. We actually have some research that has shown that that might be a way to better absorb the nutrients in those vegetables when you pair them with eggs. A research done at Purdue university has shown that when you pair your vegetables with eggs, whole eggs, so making sure you get the fatty acids and the yolk, a lot of those nutrients, those bioactives in those vegetables are fat soluble. And so when you pair them with those fatty acids from the egg, they get absorbed better into the bloodstream. So you're really benefiting from the nutrition even, even more so, uh, when you combine your eggs with your vegetables.
Phil:
14:38
And I've seen probably over the past couple of years, a lot of restaurants and a lot of food service operations, adding a fried egg on the top of everything that they could imagine, whether it's been a pizza or burger and so on. But just all I want to say about a week, week and half ago, I was in a restaurant in New York city and had never seen this before. They actually served grilled asparagus with a fried egg on top. And I thought, wow, what a smart idea of not only adding a lot of tastes, but adding so much nutrition to it. I think that, you know, the versatility, the taste certainly, you know, putting a fried egg on anything also makes it look a lot better.
Mickey:
15:17
Certainly it does. Yeah. When, uh, for me, when, uh, you know, putting that, putting that Friday egg on top of those vegetables and, you know, give me a little bit of the yolk mixed up. I mean, it just, that's, that's the way to go for me.
Phil:
15:27
So Mickey, if people want more information about eggs, about the nutrients, about Coleen lutein, the research that's taking place, how can they get that?
Mickey:
15:36
Well, I would suggest going to our website eggnutritioncenter.org we have a lot of great information on nutrition articles, toolkits, all on topics that we've discussed today. I'm relating to eggs neurocognition, and the nutrients in egg.
Phil:
15:52
Yeah, I agree. Well, Mickey, as always, thanks so much for joining us, telling us about Coleen lutein and that first thousand days of birth of what our babies need, but also, let's not forget that brain health is a lifelong journey that, that we all need to have. So thanks so much for joining us today on Lost in the Supermarket.
Mickey:
16:14
Absolutely. Thank you Phil.
×

Listen to this podcast on