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Why a healthy diet is crucial for reducing risk of colorectal cancer and improving results after diagnosis

Although rates overall have been declining thanks to increases in awareness and screening, colorectal cancer remains the fourth-most-common cause of cancer among U.S. adults. Paying attention to lifestyle and diet can help reduce risk and is critical for those who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Carl Nordstrom, MD, health sciences assistant clinical professor of medicine, and Nancee Jaffe, MS, RDN, lead GI dietitian, stress the importance of vitamin D, fiber and other dietary needs in this UCLA Health News & Insights story (2024)

Gut check: Five reasons why taking care of your gut can help you this flu season

A healthy digestive system plays a key role in your overall health and immune system response. Your immune system is an elaborate network in your body that is influenced by many different factors. One major determinant of how your immune system functions is the health of your gut. “In someone who is healthy, this gut microbiome is protective against pathogens that can enter the body through the food we eat or water we drink,” notes Nancee Jaffe, RDN, GI dietitian. This role can even extend outside the digestive system, potentially warding off respiratory infections like the flu. Read the EveryDay Health article on five reasons to take your gut health seriously (2024)

Can you drink alcohol if you have GERD?

One question that many people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) have is how often they can or should drink alcohol. Alcohol is an established GERD trigger, but that doesn’t mean everyone with GERD will experience symptoms after they enjoy a glass of wine. “It really comes down to what the individual can tolerate best,” says Kate Evans, MS, RDN, GI dietitian. “There are no hard-and-fast rules for GERD.” Read the EveryDay Health article on triggers and tips for drinking alcohol if you have GERD (2024)

Why does my poop smell bad?

Poop, feces, stool — whatever you call it, there's no denying the unpleasant smell. While it's perfectly normal for poo to be pungent, you may wonder what it is about our excrement that makes it stink. So why does poop smell bad? "Stools are generally not a pleasant smell because they are releasing byproducts of your digestion," Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, advanced practice registered dietitian, told Live Science. Read the article (2024)

Good choices: Antioxidant-rich foods for holiday health

It’s easy during the holiday season to get caught up in the excitement and indulgence of delicious meals. But it’s still important to prioritize health and make nutritious choices. One way to accomplish this is by incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your holiday feasts. Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, advanced practice registered dietitian, shares what antioxidant-rich foods might fit in nicely with your traditional holiday fare. (2023)

Nancee Jaffe, MS, RDN, selected subject matter expert by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Nancee, lead GI dietitian, was selected by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as one of 10 subject matter expert GI dietitians to help create a GI credential. This credential will help set criteria for those dietitians wanting to be considered experts in digestive health nutrition. Future GI dietitians will have to complete a set amount of GI-specific clinical hours and pass a national exam, which will designate these dietitians as credentialed experts. (2023)

Patients benefit when GI treatment team includes dietitians

Although many common digestive diseases and their corresponding outcomes are linked to dietary quality and are complicated by poor nutrition and/or obesity, nutrition often gets pushed to the wayside in GI education. In 1985, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine made recommendations to upgrade nutrition education programs in U.S. medical schools. Nancee Jaffe, MS, RDN, lead GI dietitian, discusses the benefits of a multidisciplinary team that includes dietitians when treating GI conditions. Read the Medscape article (2023)

You are what you eat: Diet may affect your mood and brain function

If you struggle with mood changes and other behavioral health issues, there’s a chance that your diet has something to do with it. Arpana Gupta, PhD, co-director of the Goodman-Luskin Microbiome Center, and Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, advanced practice dietitian, discuss what the gut-brain system is, and how diet can affect it. Read story in UCLA Health News & Insights (2023)

People diagnosed with pancreatic cancer face added challenge of what they can and can't eat

In an article featured in the UCLA Health Newsroom, Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, advanced practice registered dietitian, explains that the diet for a patient with pancreatic cancer likely will be adjusted according to their symptoms rather than the type of cancer they have. “From the start, we monitor for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, blood-glucose levels and malnutrition at all visits with patients,” Yaceczko said. “We check to see if our patients are experiencing certain symptoms related to food because then we’ll probably need to modify their diet as well as start pancreatic-enzyme-replacement therapy to replace the digestive enzymes the pancreas may not be producing enough of now. This helps ensure patients are able to break down and absorb the food they eat.” (2023)

Lin Chang, MD, provides expert commentary in The New York Times

The Low-FODMAP diet can relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but it isn’t right for everyone. “Candidates include IBS patients who regularly consume high-FODMAP foods and who notice that their symptoms worsen after meals,” says Dr. Chang, professor of medicine. Read more in The Low-FODMAP Diet, Explained (2023)

UCLA GI dietitians prompt multidisciplinary task force to offer comprehensive treatment for dysautomia

UCLA Health’s newly assembled dysautonomia task force makes UCLA one of just a few places on the West Coast that offers comprehensive treatment for the illness. Nancee Jaffe, MS, RDN, lead GI dietitian, and her colleagues noticed they were getting many referrals for patients diagnosed with dysautonomia. “We kept ending up with patients who were either coming straight to us or they were going to a gastroenterologist, getting diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, and ended up with us,” Jaffe says. “However, we knew there were other things going on when they would talk about their blood pressure dropping or having trouble breathing. We reached out to cardiology and neurology and that’s how we ended up building this task force,” Jaffe explains. “Now, we have a team of over 20 doctors, dietitians and nurses at UCLA. Before, these patients didn’t have a referral network. Now we are that referral network.” Read UCLA Health addresses post-pandemic emergence of illnesses affecting the autonomic nervous system (2023)

Janelle Smith, MS, RDN, CEDRD, seeks to help patients with overlapping eating disorders and GI illnesses

Eating disorders are behavioral issues that can have serious physical consequences, including harm to one’s gastrointestinal health. To help patients with both disordered eating behaviors and GI illnesses, Janelle, a registered GI dietitian, is working to establish a multidisciplinary team for a specialized program to address these issues. UCLA Health is one of just a few centers in the nation providing specialized care for both issues simultaneously. Read UCLA Health seeks to help patients with overlapping eating disorders and GI illnesses (2023)

Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, develops Nutrition for Safer Surgeries initiative

The days leading up to a surgery can be unnerving, and many patients don’t know how to properly prepare, either mentally or physically. A new initiative at UCLA Health called Nutrition for Safer Surgeries aims to change that. “The goal is to allow patients to be optimized prior to their surgeries and enable them to have a safer surgery,” said Yaceczko, an advanced-practice dietitian at the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases. Learn more on the UCLA Health blog (2023)

Eating right can dramatically reduce the risk of colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is among the most common forms of cancer, accounting for nearly two million new cases each year in the United States. That number could be significantly reduced, however, if people adopted better lifestyle habits, said Yaceczko, an advanced-practice dietitian at the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases. Learn more on the UCLA Health blog (2023)

11 best meal prep containers, according to experts and Select editors

Nutrition experts, including Shelby Yaceczko, MS, RDN-AP, CNSC, CSSD, advanced practice dietitian, break down what you should consider while shopping for meal prep containers, from the materials they’re made from to their size. Read NBC Select article (2022)

UCLA GI physicians and dietitian join Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk to discuss gut health and the importance of colorectal cancer screening

Watch the December 22, 2021 episode of Red Table Talk on gut health with our team – Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the GI Quality Program, Guy Weiss, MD, director of the Celiac Program, and Nancee Jaffe, MS, RDN, lead GI dietitian. Run time ~23 minutes. Jada, Gammy and Jaden sit down with medical and dietary experts to solve the gut problems that have plagued them for years. Plus, Jada and Gammy allow cameras to follow them to the hospital as they get a colonoscopy - a colorectal cancer screening that everyone will need at some point in their life. (2021)

Nancee Jaffe, MS, RDN, published in Frontiers in Nutrition
Nancee, lead GI dietitian for the division, was an author on “Gluten-free foods cooked in shared fryers with wheat: A pilot study assessing gluten cross contact.” This is the first study assessing gluten cross-contamination in shared fryers. (2021)

Janelle Smith, MS, RD, CEDRD, publishes in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Janelle Smith co-authored an article, “From a Dietitian’s Perspective, Diets for Irritable Bowel Syndrome Are Not One Size Fits All,” on the importance of screening for disordered eating when considering a low FODMAP diet for patients. Dietitians Kate Scarlata, Patsy Catsos, and Janelle Smith discuss the need for individualized nutrition counseling in patients with IBS and other functional gut disorders to prevent unintended negative outcomes. They advise how to screen patients for maladaptive eating patterns and which patients are at higher risk of harm from a prescribed elimination diet intervention. (2020)

The Medical Nutrition Practice Group expands to include dietitians specializing in GI disorders
Nancee Jaffee, MS, RDN and Janelle Smith, MS, RDN will be active in leading a newly expanded subgroup of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that deals specifically with the dietary component of gastrointestinal disorders. The Dietitians in Gluten and Gastrointestinal Disorders (DIGID) group will work to establish and advance and standards of care in gastrointestinal disorders, work with federal and health agencies in establishing policies beneficial to gastrointestinal disorders patients and develop education materials for patients and professionals. Janelle is chair of the group that initiated expansion of the group and a member of the executive committee of its parent organization. Nancee is leader of the functional bowel disorders workgroup. (2019)

Has gluten-free failed you? Here's what to do next
If this is true for you it's worth asking, "What do I do now?" The great news is the there is plenty. Nancee Jaffe, MS, registered dietitian for the UCLA Digestive Health and Nutrition Clinic is quoted in this Medium article. (2017)

Reduce your risk of atherosclerosis
Nancee Jaffe, RD, RD, registered dietitian, discusses making at-home, heart healthy meals can be deliciously easy, fast and affordable. Read the Healthy Years May 2017 article

Leaky gut implicated in autoimmune disorders
Dr. Guy Weiss, program leader for the UCLA Celiac Disease Program, and Nancee Jaffe, registered dietitian, discuss reducing gut inflammation may relieve some disorders and improve overall health. Read Healthy Years February 2017 article

The truth about the gluten-free diet
Nancee Jaffe, RD, MS, UCLA Digestive Health and Nutrition Clinic, was quoted in the December 1, 2016 Men’s Health article on whether the gluten-free diet can benefit those without celiac disease. (2016)

Savor the holidays
Nancee Jaffe, RD, MS, discusses how to eat, drink and be merry without over-indulging. Read Healthy Years November 2016 article

Nancee Jaffe, registered dietitian at the Digestive Health and Nutrition Clinic, was quoted Aug. 23 in a Women's Health story about the low FODMAP diet and its use in preventing bloating. (2016)

What is FODMAP?
Dr. Eric Esrailian, co-chief of the UCLA Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was quoted May 27 in a explaining that "FODMAP" is actually an acronym for "fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols." (2016)

Downward spiral of weight gain and chronic pain
Nancee Jaffe, RD, RD, registered dietitian, discussed how anti-inflammatory foods can fight the destructive cycle of weight gain and chronic pain. Healthy Years, a community newsletter by the UCLA Division of Geriatrics, magazine is a community publication distributed by UCLA Department of Geriatrics. Read Healthy Years May 2016 article

Healthy snacks for ulcerative colitis patients
Nancee Jaffe, registered dietitian, was credited in an EveryDayHealth article titled Find Your Match: Healthy Snacks for Ulcerative Colitis (2016)

Medications, diet and lifestyle changes can help control acid reflux
More than 15 million Americans experience heartburn every day. Kevin Ghassmi, MD, associate director of clinical programs for the UCLA Center for Esophageal Disorders, and Nancee Jaffe, MS, RD, registered dietitian, discuss options that may help control acid reflux. Read Vital Signs Winter 2016 article

Nancee Jaffe, registered dietitian, discusses journaling to create healthy choices
Healthy Years, a community newsletter by the UCLA Division of Geriatrics, recently ran a nutrition story that discussed "Journaling to Create Health Choices." Key points were 1) make sure you eat protein daily as most seniors don't get enough, 2) log foods to learn about your habits, 3) be patient as change takes time and 4) track progress with easy online apps. Read Healthy Years March 2016