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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PHYTOCHEMICALS AND AGING: BIOAVAILABILITY, METABOLOMICS, AND BIOACTIVITY

Location: Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging

Project Number: 1950-51000-073-01
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 01, 2009
End Date: Apr 30, 2014

Objective:
1. Identify and quantify the phytochemical content of: blueberries, cranberries, and grapes; almonds, pistachios, and walnuts; whole grains; and cocoa-based foods and contribute to future updates of the USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods. 2.Determine the bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and bioactivity of flavonoids and other phytochemicals from antioxidant-rich foods using in vitro experiments, animal models, and human studies. 3. Investigate the effect of age on quercetin bioavailability and metabolism due to changes in phase II enzyme activity. 4. Test whether exposure of rat dams to a “Western” diet during pregnancy and lactation will increase obese phenotypes in their pups and whether dietary flavonoids, particularly isoflavones, will decrease the obese phenotype.

Approach:
Using advanced chromatographic methods, we will measure the flavonoid content and evaluate the total antioxidant capacity of selected plant foods and the influence of geographical regions, agricultural practices, and processing and storage. A rat model as well as microsomes from various rat tissues will be utilized to determine the effect of age on quercetin bioavailability and metabolism due to changes in phase II enzyme activity. We will explore the possible fetal origins of chronic disease by feeding obesigenic diets to rat dams during pregnancy and lactation and examine the change in obese phenotypes in their pups and test whether dietary flavonoids, particularly isoflavones, will decrease this phenotype. Using healthy older adults, we will determine the bioavailability and distribution of cranberry anthocyanins to blood, urine, and feces. Employing volunteers with coronary heart disease, we will test the effect of almond consumption on biomarkers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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