Theses Doctoral

A 1H NMR Metabolomic Exploration of Lifestyle Changes in Healthy Older Adults and The Ethics of Employing Nonhuman Animals in Empirical Research with an Emphasis on Aquatic Animals

Moosavi, Darya

Lifestyle interventions such as improved physical activity and diet can help to prevent chronic diseases and enhance the quality of life in the aging population. This interdisciplinary dissertation aimed to employ NMR-based metabolomics to precisely detect and quantify the metabolic response to acute resistance exercise and n-3 PUFA dietary supplement at the molecular level in elderly individuals. Additionally, this dissertation explored the ethical ramifications of employing nonhuman animals for food and research.

Chapter II examined the effects of healthy aging on peripheral blood metabolomic response to a single bout of resistance exercise. The results showed that human metabolic profiles and responses to RE are age dependent. Overall, the exercise-induced response to RE was considerably lower among the older group in several metabolites. Several factors including blunted anabolic response to exercise (Cuthbertson et al., 2005; Kumar et al., 2009), mitochondrial dysfunction (Short et al., 2005), and chronic inflammation (Lang et al., 2002; Toth et al., 2005) are potential contributors to this metabolic alteration in the elderly. These findings are substantial, especially in developing countermeasures to prevent age-related conditions.

Chapter III investigate the effects of n3- PUFA supplementation on plasma lipoprotein subfractions in healthy older men and women without cardiovascular disease or dyslipidemia. This study showed that n-3 PUFA supplementation slightly lowered the triglycerides and VLDL cholesterol levels and significantly changed the distribution and composition of HDL and LDL particles. It is still to be determined whether these changes in lipoprotein subclasses result in any meaningful benefit to healthy aging population. These findings should be considered alongside the ethical and environmental issues of the global consumption of marine-derived ω-3 fatty acid supplements.

Chapter IV examined the scientific and ethical dilemmas in employing nonhuman animals in research, particularly marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids, the supplement used in this dissertation series. This ethical examination concluded that there is an urgent need for a paradigm shift in utilizing nonhuman animals in research. Consuming marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids entail ethical and environmental issues. It is necessary to eliminate the use of fishes in research and promote alternative omega-3 fatty acids to the public. Genetically modified plants, oleaginous microorganisms, and microalgae are promising alternatives for marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Garber, Carol Ewing
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 15, 2023