During the master ‘Nutrition and Health’, Arnoud Carol did his thesis in the field of nutrition and sports. He examined whether a specific type of mother’s milk had an effect on the immune system after intense physical exercise. Now, he has already graduated since two years, worked in a commercial company that develops nutrition supplements and is now clinical research associate.
Arnoud started his student days in Amsterdam, where he studied Kinesiology. Since he was also interested in the role of nutrition in physical exercise, he chose for the master ‘Nutrition and Health’, with the specialisation ‘Nutritional Physiology’ at Wageningen University.
During this master, Arnoud did research on the effects of the use of bovine colustrum (the first milk that is produced after the birth of a calf) on the functioning of the immune system after intense physical exercise. “I designed and executed the entire research myself. I started writing a research proposal for the Medical Ethical Committee (METC). The METC thorougly reads through scientific research proposals and looks if there are any ethical claims to the sample population. When my proposal was approved, I contacted laboratories, searched for a sample group, executed the experiments and wrote a report. My research showed that the use of colustrum had no effect on the functioning of the immune system. It was however deduced that the exercise protocol that was used, accurately described how the physical effort of the sample group becomes more intense, was able to measure stress on the immune system. This protocol can also be used for instance to look at the effects of diverse supplements on the immune system.”
Arnoud really enjoyed setting up his own research. “Especially the preparatory work and executing the experiments was very nice. In the preparatory work I had a lot of contact with different people who would participate. While performing the experiments it was especially nice to work with the sample group. Especially if they are biking like crazy for you. Unfortunately most people were not very happy about consuming colostrum. They had to dissolve it in milk and that resulted in a rather disgusting liquid.”
Meanwhile Arnoud is already graduated since two years. After various jobs at the university he has been working full time for half a year as ‘Assistant Scientific Services’ at MCO Health. MCO Health is a commercial company that focuses on the development of nutrition supplements. During this job, Arnoud kept himself busy with scientifically supporting (new) supplements, answering consumer questions and writing articles for diverse academic journals, from which he learned a lot about the functioning of different nutrients on the body.
Arnoud is glad that he decided to do an extra master at Wageningen University. “Because of doing the master ‘Nutrition and Health’ my knowledge in this area has increased, which makes it easier to find a job. Also, I have built up a lot of good contacts at university which have been very good for my network.
In the future, Arnoud would love to go back to research. “It would be ideal if I could work on the exercise protocol that we have created during my master study. Funding has been and remains a problem. That’s why I chose to look for a job in clinical research, where many interesting and fun things are going on in the field of nutrition and sports.”