This note comes from our collaborator at the University of Oregon, Dr. Gwynne Mhuireach. Dr. Mhuireach previously worked with our lab and local gardeners to document soil microbial communities, and the extent to which the act of gardening transfers soil microbes to gardeners’ skin ~ thus affecting the skin microbiome!
At the conclusion of the skin microbiome study, many gardeners asked for more information on how gardening affects the gut microbiome. Dr. Mhuireach received USDA funding to conduct a pilot study, to address this question. Gardeners in Linn and Lane Counties are specifically invited to apply.
The deadline to apply to participate in this NEW study is August 15th.
We are seeking healthy adult gardeners to engage in a research study exploring microbiota of fresh fruits and vegetables from gardens and supermarkets, and their potential to influence the gut microbiome. To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 18–45, be fluent in English, live in Lane or Linn County, and have access to a garden that can provide enough fruits and vegetables for the diet intervention. Participants will receive $50 at the beginning of the study, $50 upon completion, and a $75 allowance to purchase supermarket fruits and vegetables.
Study activities: If you participate, you will be asked to undergo two week-long diet intervention periods during which you will eat the USDA-recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. In one period all of the produce should be sourced from your garden and in the other the same produce should be sourced from a supermarket. You will be also asked to pre-plan your meals for the intervention periods, complete a Lifestyle, Health, & Diet Questionnaire, maintain a Daily Fruit & Vegetable Log, collect samples of all the fruits and vegetables you eat, collect stool (fecal) samples, and collect a tapwater sample. The total duration of participation is 24 days, with an expected average time commitment of 20–30 minutes per day.
Potential risks: Participants will be exposed to microorganisms from garden and supermarket produce, however, this exposure occurs during normal daily life. There is also a risk that privacy or confidentiality could be breached, though precautions will be taken to avoid such breaches.
Benefits: There are no direct benefits to participating in this study.
To see if you are eligible, please use this Qualtrics link (https://oregon.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Gn0UOtZEbzWEh8) to take a brief screening survey. More information is available at www.gffstudy.com.