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ARS Home » Plains Area » Houston, Texas » Children's Nutrition Research Center » Research » Research Project #445962

Research Project: Health Benefits of Specific Dietary Components

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Project Number: 3092-10700-066-002-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2024
End Date: Mar 31, 2029

Objective 1: Define carotenoid absorption, biodistribution, metabolism, and excretion in lactating mothers. Objective 2: Define carotenoid bioactivity related to cell growth and metabolism. Objective 3: Determine mechanisms for the glucose lowering effects of hypoglycin-A and sulforaphane in healthy and T2D mouse models.

This project will focus on carotenoids found in human milk and the phytochemicals hypoglycin-A and sulforaphane. First, carotenoids are phytochemicals, which confer the golden color of early milk, known as colostrum, and are present in milk of all lactation stages. We will investigate the degree to which carotenoid intake and physiologic factors predict colostrum, transitional milk, and mature milk carotenoid composition in healthy lactating mothers. Second, we will test the effect of carotenoids on oxidative stress, inflammation, growth, and differentiation of in vitro muscle and adipose cells as a model of infant physiology. Last, increased gluconeogenesis (GNG) is a major contributor to fasting hyperglycemia, an early pathological feature of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We will investigate the nutritional significance of hypoglycin and sulforaphane, two compounds found naturally in certain fruits and vegetables, in the regulation of glucose metabolism. We will test the hypothesis that these compounds will improve glucose metabolism by increasing whole-body and hepatic insulin sensitivity, which in turn elicits increased glucose utilization plus reduced glucose production via suppression of gluconeogenesis in a mouse model of T2D. The data from this study would support the health benefits from the increased consumptions of certain fruits and vegetables. Filling these gaps in knowledge will present future opportunities to develop rational, mechanism-backed dietary recommendations to support optimal health and nutrition.