March is Nutrition Month: Highlight of Nutrition Researcher Chantal Bémeur

March is Nutrition Month and the CDTRP is pleased to highlight this initiative by dietitians and nutritionists to “make your future a healthier one“. We know for sure that healthy eating is important and especially for transplant recipients. Having a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diseases in addition to keeping organs in a good shape.

Our Communications Manager, Stéphanie, recently caught up with Chantal Bémeur, a nutritionist and Associate Professor at Université de Montréal who is very much involved with the transplantation community. Chantal is in the lead of a CDTRP nutrition-oriented project involving patient-partners: Nutrition interventions in the pre- and post-transplantation period: a scoping review. She is also the awardee of a Research Innovation Grant for her project Optimizing post-liver transplantation outcomes: targeting the muscle (read article).

As a nutritionist, what brought you to the field of transplantation?

Because nutrition is so important and complex in a transplant context, I wanted to use my desire to make a difference in the health and lives of people who receive a new organ. This is a constant source of motivation for me.

How is nutrition an important factor for transplant recipients?

Transplantation is an important procedure whose outcome can be greatly influenced by nutritional status both before and after transplantation. Good nutritional status is therefore essential before transplantation to promote successful surgery, while optimization of nutritional status is also critical after transplantation to allow for the best possible quality of life.

How can the CDTRP help with the development of these projects? And what are the next steps?

The accompaniment and support of the PRDTC is crucial in the development of such projects. The participation of patient-partners at different stages of research projects in general, but in transplantation and nutrition specifically, is, in my opinion, a cornerstone for translating research results into concrete applications for transplant patients. The next steps are to maintain the support and to continue to promote networking between patients, caregivers, scientists and healthcare professionals.

Why is this research important to you?

Malnutrition being the most frequent complication of people living with chronic liver disease, among others, strategies to accompany people before and after transplantation (liver or other organ) must be developed. This research is important to me because I feel that I can contribute to improving the lot of the people concerned and eventually provide them with concrete resources so that they can feel well equipped to face the various challenges imposed by transplantation.

Do you have any interesting resources or nutrition tips for transplant patients?

Our current research projects are aimed at developing, in the short and medium terms, advice adapted to the transplant context and resources to promote healthy lifestyle habits, in a pleasant and caring manner, taking into account the realities of each individual. Until these resources are available, I invite people not to hesitate to consult their nutritionist or their physician in order to accompany them in this process.

Ingredients for a Healthier Tomorrow

Your future is healthy! This March, dietitians across Canada are coming together to share how they can support you and make your future a healthier one. From food security to food literacy and food sovereignty, to sustainable food choices, and nutrition care and prevention, dietitians from across Canada are unlocking the potential of food and doing their part to create a healthier tomorrow. Get involved! Download the resources below to find recipes, activity ideas, suggested resources, and story ideas for newsletters, social media, presentations, articles, local media, and more!