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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Food Components and Health Laboratory » Research » Research Project #442299

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

Location: Food Components and Health Laboratory

Project Number: 8040-10700-007-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Aug 30, 2025

United States (US) agriculture delivers myriad dietary components that improve health and reduce risk for chronic disease through foods such as brassica, whole grains, tomato, etc. Understanding how to best reap those health benefits is an important part of nutrition science. In the human body many factors affect the effectiveness of dietary components to improve health, including their absorption (how well are they absorbed across the gastrointestinal tract), metabolism (to what compounds are they converted), distribution (where are they stored and for how long), and excretion (how fast are they excreted and need to be replaced). This project plan targets understanding of the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of dietary bioactive compounds and their role in improving health and reducing risk for chronic disease, with primary focus on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. In addition, determination of the food components in ingredients used in the preparation of diets is key. Compound classes under study will include carotenoids, polyphenols, and sulfur compounds, and others, capitalizing on the expertise of the research team. All of these compounds show promise for reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and/or cancer, with many of them having multiple effects. Outcome variables to be assessed will include compound bioavailability and absorption across the gastrointestinal tract (which is important to allow nutrients to get into the body and have functionality), conversion to metabolites which may actually have more functionality than parent compounds, and rates of utilization and elimination, providing important information about how quickly nutrients need to be replaced. Additional outcome variables will include effects on disease risk (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer), as well as mechanisms of action. 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.

Objective 1: A series of experiments will expand upon previous research in the Food Components and Health Lab. Agricultural commodities in these experiments include brassica vegetables, whole grain oats, whole grain wheat, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blueberries. All the proposed studies will contribute to our understanding of absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of phytonutrients. Objective 2: Foods used in human feeding studies will be studied for food components and their effects on biological parameters as previously described in work by the PI.