Project 4 - Nutrition and Superfund Chemical Toxicity

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UK-SRC) provides a focused transdisciplinary research and research training environment which facilitates critically important study of novel approaches to reduce the human health risks associated with chlorinated organic contaminants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This goal is pursued through two primary objectives: 1) development of technologically effective and economically efficient methods for sensing/detecting/and remediating PCB contamination, and 2) development of advanced strategies for understanding and modulating the health impacts associated with PCB exposures. Use of PCBs as a model contaminant also provides a way to better understand some of the inflammatory diseases that are usually associated with PCB exposure (e.g. obesity, insulin resistance/diabetes, and atherosclerosis). Given the abundance of Superfund chemicals and their widespread distribution in the ecosystem, it is unlikely that detection and remediation alone will be sufficient to address their health risks. Our preliminary findings suggest that lifestyle changes (i.e. nutrition and dietary habits along with exercise) can markedly influence mechanisms of toxicity of chlorinated organics such as PCBs. Thus, a major goal of our Center is to explore the paradigm that healthy nutrition and exercise can reduce Superfund chemical toxicity. This paradigm also has the potential for a broader application in modulating the onset or progression of inflammatory diseases. As a consequence, all biomedical projects will explore the role that nutrition plays in reducing the toxicological risks associated with pro-inflammatory diseases. Biomedical and environmental science projects will work closely to understand risk/benefit issues related to sensing/detecting, capture and remediation of environmental risks. Nutrition is integrated as a novel theme not only in all biomedical projects (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients protect against environmental insults) but also within the environmental science projects (bioactive nutrients, e.g., polyphenols, will be used in detection and remediation technologies). Results from our interdisciplinary research will be utilized for bi-directional information/education, technology transfer, training, policy and translational purposes as part of the Research Translation, Community Engagement, and Training Cores. Nutrition may provide a sensible means to develop primary prevention strategies of diseases associated with many environmental toxic insults. Our research may lead to novel dietary recommendations at the national level for populations at risk, thus improving the health of people residing near Superfund sites.
Effective start/end date4/7/973/31/15


  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


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