David St-Jules: Assessment of refined grain products on humans with kidney disease

David St-Jules

Title

Assessment of refined grain products on human with kidney disease

Mentor

David St-Jules

Department

Nutrition

Bio sketch

St-Jules’ research broadly investigates the distribution and determinants of dietary intakes of individuals with adiposity-based chronic diseases, and the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis and progression of these conditions. He currently studies dietary recommendations for managing potassium and phosphorus homeostasis and preventing protein-energy wasting in patients with chronic kidney disease, particularly those on hemodialysis.

Project overview

Dr. St-Jules’ lab is focused on the study of human nutrition in disease, particularly kidney disease. Kidney disease has become a serious health concern in the United States, now affecting one in seven adults. The current project explores an area of controversy in the field of kidney nutrition, dietary recommendations for grain products. Since the 1980s, people with kidney disease have been encouraged to choose refined grain products such as white bread and white rice because the bran component of whole grains (removed in the refining process) is rich in phosphorus, which accumulates to harmful levels in people with kidney failure causing bone and heart diseases. However, the bran component of grain products also contains beneficial compounds such as dietary fiber, which may offset the harm caused by additional phosphorus.

Students in Dr. St-Jules’ lab meet weekly to review and analyze original research studies on dietary management of nutrient-related problems in people with kidney failure. In addition to participating in lab meetings, students will learn about human nutrition research by helping to conduct a research project! Students will receive training in human research, and work alongside graduate students in Dr. St-Jules’ lab to collect and analyze data for a study exploring dietary intakes of whole grains in people with advanced kidney disease, and their relation to health outcomes.