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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Research Project #436407

Research Project: Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion of Food Components and their Impact on Chronic Disease Risk

Location: Food Components and Health Laboratory

2019 Annual Report

Objective 1: Determine the genotype, phenotype and food matrix factors that influence absorption, distribution, metabolism or excretion of glucosinolates, phenolics, and other food components. Objective 2: Determine how consumption of foods and food components, including but not limited to glucosinolates, phenolics, and carotenoids, modulate inflammatory and metabolic pathways that affect risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic disease.

U.S. agriculture provides us with myriad dietary components that can have a significant impact on health. The human diet contains thousands of bioactive food components which have a multitude of physiologic actions, some of which can interrupt processes in the development of a host of chronic diseases. The goal of this project plan is to enhance the understanding of physiologic actions of diet-based bioactive compounds to improve their absorption and efficacy in promoting health and preventing disease. We have organized this project to address current and emerging nutrition issues while capitalizing on the experience and expertise of the research team assigned to this project. We will address the following factors for several different categories of food components and bioactives: how much of a dietary component we absorb from the food, how well we retain and utilize that dietary component, and how the bioactive compounds function in the body (mechanisms of action) to prevent the most significant modifiable health risks faced by American adults, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Bioactive compounds will include polyphenols, carotenoids, and sulfur compounds from Brassica vegetables, because all demonstrate promising health benefits, and work with these compounds capitalizes on previous progress in our laboratory.

Progress Report
This report is for a new National Program 107, Office of Scientific Quality Review certified, project #8040-51000-059-00D entitled “Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Excretion of Food Components and their Impact on Chronic Disease Risk” which began May 2019. The new project contributes to National Program 107 and focuses on Component 1 Linking Agricultural Practices and Beneficial Health Outcomes, Component 3 (Scientific Basis for Dietary Guidance), and Component 4 (Prevention of Obesity and Obesity-Related Diseases). This project continues the research from the terminated project #8040-51000-056-00D entitled “Absorption, Metabolism, and Health Impacts of Bioactive Food Components.” A study of kale was continued. The dietary intervention with humans was initiated to identify the effects of kale consumption on xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes, to identify novel metabolites of indole glucosinolates in human blood and urine after consumption of kale, and to determine if kale consumption results in upregulation of myrosinase (an enzyme important for the conversion of kale glucosinolates into bioactive compounds) producing bacteria in the colon resulting in greater appearance of glucosinolate metabolites in blood and urine. In addition, a study of broccoli snacks was continued. Vegetable snack foods are becoming increasingly popular but little research has been done to investigate the effect of processing of vegetables on their bioactive compounds. Methods were developed for in-house preparation of the broccoli (freeze drying and roasting). The research protocol was developed, and institutional review board approval was obtained. A research protocol was prepared for study of whole grain wheat and oats. This study will identify (using principal components analysis) if metabolites from whole wheat oats and wheat (5-n-alkylresorcinols, avenanthramides, saponins) in blood and urine can be used as dietary biomarkers of acute whole grain wheat and oat intake. The protocol was reviewed and approved by the institutional review board. Continuing on previous berry research, a new study was initiated to determine if insulin sensitivity (related to blood sugar metabolism) is improved by consuming whole mixed berries, mixed berry juice, or fiber. A study protocol was prepared and submitted for institutional review board approval. The protocol was approved and research subjects were recruited to participate in the study. The berry components study intervention is ongoing.