• Tasha Vazquez

Medical Nutrition Initiative at University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Conscientiousness of nutrition is spreading within the medical field like wildfire. More and more physicians are implementing nutritional methods of treatment for chronic and inflammatory diseases, and are sharing their successes and experiences of it.

Medical research has been a powerful advocate, providing incredible results for hot topics such as the gut microbiome, and using plant phytonutrients as powerful antimicrobials and in treating chronic disease. Many of the results have been comparable to leading pharmaceuticals. Research is showing time and time again that the world of phytochemicals plays a much larger role in health than previously let on, and these results are expanding the horizons of many.

People are connecting the dots and gaining back their health by starting with what they put into their bellies every day. Many are taking health back to it's roots --quite literally-- and using nature's best to alleviate disease: fruits and vegetables. The University of Nevada, Reno's School of Medicine is making moves by becoming one of few schools to implement nutrition into it's entire four-year medical curriculum. And they are not taking this movement lightly.

The Medical Nutrition Initiative is breaking barriers. By teaching culinary methods to medical students to give hands-on knowledge, UNR Med is providing a realistic and sustainable method for future doctors to recommend dietary changes to their patients. That's not all, UNR Med also plans to incorporate nutritional curriculum directly into key curricular concepts. The nutrition subjects will be applicable to the metabolic pathways learned, comparable to the pharmaceutical knowledge provided, and be backed by medical research. These methods will empower students with a leg-up in the medical field, with yet another tool to implement into their practice.

With two successful workshops down (presented to 1st and 2nd year students by yours truly), their medical nutrition committee is dedicated to provide the best of the nutritional field, with the best of the medical field.

2018 Medical Nutrition Initiative MS1 Workshop: January 18th 2018

University of Nevada, Reno first-year med students' workshop on the effects of dietary fiber on the gut microbiome. Students worked in groups to prepare a completely plant-based meal of jackfruit, tofu, and tempeh tacos. Session ended with recent research showing the effects of fiber in preventing and reducing the effects of many chronic diseases.

2018 Medical Nutrition Initiative MS2 Workshop: March 9th 2018

University of Nevada, Reno second- year students in a similar workshop, with emphasis on obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. Second years learned about how the hormones affecting hunger, satiety, and weight gain were related to the gut microbiome, and nutritional methods to prevent and treat obesity-related disease.

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