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Use of Bioactive Food Components to Modulate Vitamin D Receptor Function

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Principal Investigator/Project Leader: 
Department of Project: 
Department of Nutrition
Project Description: 

It is especially important to pursue research on bioactive food components at this time because it has the potential of identifying a novel avenue for targeting dietary prevention strategies to help alleviate the growing medical costs and societal burden related to diet-based problems in the area of obesity and chronic disease. The current project will investigate the effects of a bioactive food component called sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, on basic cellular functions using cell culture and animal (mice) models.

The aim of this work is to develop new knowledge that could help improve the dietary prevention of the bone disease osteoporosis and obesity, two important public health problems. Advancement in this area of nutrition research will help address the need to further the national goal of agriculture research to improve the health of the population. Moreover, supplying foods with enriched amounts of bioactive food components represent a potential area of future commercial argriculture opportunity for local Massachusetts farmers, as well as other stakeholders in the food distribution chain, including grocers, restaurateurs, and food manufacturers.

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