NOURISH-OK stands for Nutrition to Optimize, Understand, and Restore Insulin Sensitivity in HIV for Oklahoma. Surveys conducted by Tulsa CARES and others found that more than half of Oklahomans living with HIV have problems getting enough healthy food to eat for themselves and their families. The NOURISH-OK Study will help Tulsa CARES understand what causes food insecurity, how it may lead to health problems in HIV, and how we can help improve food security for our clients.
Insulin is the hormone in the body that allows the body’s cells to turn sugar into energy. When the body’s cells are sensitive to insulin, blood sugar levels can stay healthy. The opposite of insulin sensitivity is insulin resistance. When the body’s cells stop responding as well to insulin, blood sugars go up and weight gain can occur. Insulin resistance happens with many chronic diseases, including lipodystrophy, pre-diabetes, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (in women). Much less is known about why people living with HIV develop insulin resistance at higher rates and what may be causing insulin resistance. Emerging research suggests that food insecurity may be linked to insulin resistance, but we don’t know why this happens. Most scientists believe that insulin resistance can be reversed in the general population through certain eating and lifestyle changes, but we don’t know if these same things will work in people with HIV. The NOURISH-OK Study will help us to answer these questions so that food programs and nutrition services can better support the holistic health needs of clients.
Research participants are needed for all three parts of the NOURISH-OK study.To take part in the first part of the study, you will need to be HIV-positive, taking antiretroviral therapy for at least 6 months, and earn no more than 400% of the poverty level (equals $51,040 per year if you are single). To take part, you will complete a 90-minute visit with one of our research team members to discuss your eating, sleep, stress, physical activity, and other health habits. We will measure your body composition with a painless test and measure your body’s beta carotene (vitamin A) levels using a painless finger scan. You will also provide a small blood sample so we can see how these things may be affecting your risk for chronic disease. You will receive a copy of your nutrition results, a $50 gift card, and a small gift as a thank you for your time.
To sign up as a participant, you must first contact the study coordinator, Lacey Caywood, by calling 918-834-4194 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community advisors are volunteers from Oklahoma’s HIV community that meet with the NOURISH-OK research team on a regular basis (usually monthly). Advisors help the study better meet community needs by providing the team with community feedback and input. They also help to raise community awareness about the study. Advisors do not need to have any experience with research to volunteer. Are you interested in being a community advisor? Email Casey Bakhsh at CaseyB@tulsacares.org to learn more.