Can food be medicine? Functional foods contain physiologically active compounds that act in a variety of ways to offer disease protection and health benefits beyond meeting basic nutritional needs. For instance, as we learn more about the overall health implications of the human body’s microbes, now referred to as “the microbiome,” eating takes on a new significance. What humans eat determines the makeup of the microbiome, which is linked to health or disease. Omega-3 fatty acids, considered a “good” fat, may lead to disease when intake is insufficient. Plant sterols and stanols are natural cholesterol-lowering agents. Research shows how to use the functional components of food (omega-3 fatty acids, prebiotics, probiotics, symbiotics, plant sterols and plant stanols) in dietary regimes for the prevention and treatment of disease. There are many ways food can be used as medicine.
The goal of this functional foods continuing education course is to review the data behind the use of the functional components of food (omega-3 fatty acids, prebiotics, probiotics, symbiotics, plant sterols and plant stanols), and their use in dietary regimes for the prevention and treatment of disease. After studying the information presented here, you will be able to:
- List the functions and major food sources of saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, gamma-linolenic acid, linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acidand docosahexaenoic acid
- Outline the production of eicosanoids and describe their functions in the body
- Describe the role of essential fatty acids in the inflammatory process and in disease development and prevention
- Illustrate the uses of essential fatty acid dietary supplements, including flaxseed, evening primrose oil and fish oil capsules
- Define probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, lactobacillus, microbiota, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), and bifidobacteria
- Examine the role of probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics on the GI tract and the immune system
- Describe dysbiosis and its role in disease development
- Differentiate among diseases for which intake of probiotics and/or prebiotics may be of benefit and for those that they are not
- Identify major food sources of probiotics and prebiotics
- Compare and contrast plant stanol esters and plant sterol esters
- Examine how plant stanol esters affect blood cholesterol levels
- Explain the concept of whole foods and synergy
- Compare and contrast the 2010 USDA MyPlate, Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Pyramid, Mediterranean Diet Pyramid and the Healthy Eating Pyramid
- Design diets containing functional foods for the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors, including high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity; cancer; inflammatory GI diseases; autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, MS and lupus; and age-related conditions such as osteoporosis and menopause.
This course is intended for an interprofessional audience, including dietitians, health educators, athletic trainers, and fitness professionals.
Health educators: Take this version of the course to ensure you receive appropriate credit.
For the version accredited or approved for another profession, go to your specific profession at www.continuingeducation.com
. If you have a CE Direct login ID and password (generally provided by your employer), please log in as you normally would at cedirect.continuingeducation.com
and search for this topic title.
Sponsored by OnCourse Learning, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES) to receive up to 12.0 total Category I continuing education contact hours.
Provider ID: CA0084 (98709) for 01/01/2012 to 12/31/2015, 114941 for 01/01/2016 to 12/31/2019.
Course Originally Released on:
Date of Most Recent Review:
Course Termination/Update Date:
Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.
Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.