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Dr Lorraine Brennan

Dr Lorraine Brennan, Lecturer at UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and a Principal Investigator at UCD Institute of Food and Health

Making the link between diet, metabolism and health

We know that what we eat can influence our health, but how does that happen at a biochemical level? Dr Lorraine Brennan is looking at the links between diet and the metabolic pathways that make our bodies work.

Using an approach called metabolomics, Dr Brennan analyses how levels of small molecules called metabolites in the body change under different conditions.

She is a Principal Investigator on a number of different projects in the area, including the Metabolic Challenge Study in JINGO, which is profiling metabolic changes in 200 volunteers aged 18-60 years when they eat either a high-fat meal or a high-carbohydrate meal with the view to understanding how the body responds to such dietary challenges.

Separately through the EU-funded project NUTRITECH, Dr Brennan is working with partners in Imperial College London to discover potential biomarkers of dietary intake. The identification of new biomarkers of dietary intake can help researchers study the link between diet and health.

As a Principal Investigator with Food for Health Ireland, Dr Brennan is also looking at the potential of functional ingredients from dairy sources to have an impact on metabolic health.
In the longer term, Dr Brennan’s work will inform more reliable measurements of metabolic response, and generate a better understanding of how personalised dietary recommendations and functional ingredients can have an impact on an individual’s health.