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Horse & Hound

23 May 2023


"What are the liquids we should use and avoid to maximize the antioxidant content in spinach smoothies?"

How can food be used to make us healthier? Due to its relationship with non-communicable disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer, food and nutrition are studied in many areas of medical research to find out how it can optimize our health or minimize unhealth. Inflammation has in recent decades grown to be a major player for developing cardiovascular disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often accompanied by adverse side-effects due to over-suppression of the immune system. Therefore, milder agents that can suppress inflammation are sought for. Epidemiological research suggests that a high intake of the antioxidant lutein, a carotenoid found in green leafy vegetables, is inversely correlated with markers of inflammation and in animal models, lutein has been found to reduce development of atherosclerosis. Unfortunately, lutein is easily oxidized and can break-down fast upon heating. The optimal way to prepare lutein from spinach leaves is by mixing it into smoothies. I will discuss the findings of our latest study in which we have investigated how different liquids in smoothies can affect the levels of lutein released from the spinach into the smoothies.

Jan Neelissen

Linköpings Universitet

PhD Student

About me: Parents from the Netherlands, I was born in Sweden. My favourite hobby is x-country skiing and practicing sports in general.

Academic degree: B.Sc. in nutrition from Karolinska Institute and M.Sc. in medical biosciences here in LiU

Current position: PhD student (first year) in Lena Jonasson’s Vascular immunology group

Working Group: Main supervisor Lena Jonasson and Co-supervisor Rosanna Chung

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