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Loma Linda University School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition

The Department of Nutrition is one of six departments at the School of Public Health. While nutrition was always part of the curriculum at the university, the department was initiated when the School of Public Health was begun in 1963.

The Department of Nutrition is notable for its landmark research on the health and nutrition properties of nuts. Department Chair Dr. Joan Sabaté discovered the link between nut consumption and protection from the risk of cardiovascular disease. The outcomes of his research were published in 1993 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2010, findings from a pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials with nuts, compiled by Dr. Sabaté, was published by the Archives of Internal Medicine. This confirmed the original research and established that the consumption of nuts improves blood lipid levels and provides heart health protection. The department has conducted research on almonds, peanuts, pecans, walnuts and nuts in general and includes both clinical intervention studies and epidemiological studies. Results from 19 separate inquiries are available at the department website on their nut studies.

The Department of Nutrition at Loma Linda University has dedicated extensive research to examining the nutrition and health effects of plant foods and plant based diet patterns. Research also includes assessing the safety, adequacy and optimacy of vegetarian eating patterns as well as assessing the potential impact of animal vs plant foods on nutrition, microbial contamination and sanitary concerns, and on the environment. Every five years, beginning in 1992, Loma Linda University sponsors the International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition. The 5th congress, held March 4–6, 2008 was attended by over 700 research and health professionals from over 40 countries. Dr. Joan Sabaté has chaired the last two congresses and Nutrition Department faculty have served as chair of the scientific program. Proceedings from these congresses have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and are available through the congress website.



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