Western Human Nutrition Research Center
Improving the quality of life through nutrition research
Recent WHNRC research has revealed:
· Rapid cholesterol- and lipid-lowering health benefits of specific foods, including strawberries and citrus limonoids, and diets based on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
· Eating 3-4 servings of low fat dairy products in a weight loss diet does not affect the amount of weight loss, body composition or metabolism, but does improve vitamin D status and prevent bone loss.
· Dairy protein and carbohydrates strongly reduce inflammation and body fatness in mice fed a high fat, obesity-promoting diet.
· When obese women went on a weight-loss regimen, less weight was lost in those who displayed larger increases in the stress hormone cortisol.
· Acylcarnitines, molecules that accumulate when tissue fat is not burned efficiently, activate pro-inflammatory pathways associated with type 2 diabetes.
· One mechanism by which saturated fat increases risk of chronic inflammation and related diseases is through its activation of an immune cell receptor complex (the inflammasome).
· Trans fat increased blood markers of cardiovascular risk, based on assessment of multiple lipids using metabolomics.
· Omega-3 fatty acid supplements lowered pro-inflammatory metabolites.
· African Americans with a common genetic variant of the 5-lipoxygenase gene, which appears to increase risk of cardiovascular disease, also have altered activity of this gene, suggesting a causal relationship.
· B-cryptoxanthin, a pro-vitamin A carotenoid in tangerines and other citrus fruit, is absorbed 7 times better than B-carotene.
· Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in pregnant women, breastfed infants and young children in Northern California.
· Based on the novel method of labeling vitamin B12 with 14C, eggs are a good source of bioavailable vitamin B12, but the percent of the vitamin absorbed from a meal falls markedly with higher intakes.
· Zinc metabolism in tissues and pancreas of mice influences body weight regulation, blood sugar control and release of the sugar-regulating hormone insulin.
· A protein containing selenium, SEPW1, is a key regulator of the cell cycle.
Ongoing research is described under the Scientist’s home pages.