The analytical laboratory is one of the core facilities within ACNC. It plays a major role in helping us define food composition, bioavailability of food nutrients and other bioactive components, as well as to search biomarkers and to identify unknown bioactive components.
|Martin Ronis, PhD||Keshari Thakali, PhD|
Measurement of Antioxidant Capacity
Oxidative stress has been associated with the development of many chronic and degenerative diseases. Dietary factors, especially fruits and vegetables, have been considered as excellent sources of dietary antioxidants. Our lab is the world’s leading lab in the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, which is the most widely used in vitro assay in the world and backed up by the USDA.
Analysis of Dietary Bioactive Phytochemicals
Dietary phytochemicals, though traditionally considered as non-nutrients, have driven intensive attention in recent years due to their significant health effects. Polyphenols are among the most important dietary bioactive phytochemicals. We’ve established analytical methods to analyze major subgroups of polyphenols, including anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, isoflavones, simple phenolic compounds and other flavonoids.
Analysis of Dietary Lipids and Lipid Oxidation Products
Lipids are essential fats that play a very important role in the human body. The main biological functions of lipids include energy storage, as structural components of cell membranes, and as important signaling molecules. Disorders of lipid metabolism were involved in many diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Our lab has improved analytical procedures to analyze fatty acid profile of lipids, oxidized lipids and lipid peroxidation products such as F2-isoprostanes, HETEs and HODEs as biomarkers of oxidative stress.
Bioavailability of Dietary Bioactive Phytochemicals
Bioavailability is the key issue that links a given dietary factor and its health effects. We’ve been working on the absorption and metabolism of several key groups of dietary phytochemicals such as anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, isoflavones, phenolic acids and other flavonoids. Our major focus is to identify novel metabolites, quantify major metabolites and study pharmacokinetics of the major metabolites.
Bioassay-guided Fractionation of Bioactive Components
Although many publications have reported putative health effects of foods or purified dietary factors, studies that identify the bioactive components of foods and their molecular mechanisms are still rare. Our assembled team is conducting bioassay-guided fractionation to search bioactive components from dietary factors including those in soy protein isolate and berries. This will further help us to better understand the underlying mechanisms of these dietary factors and provide information for developing effective dietary supplements.