Tracers to determine metabolism of dietary supplements

Stable elements play a large role in our daily lives. A number of these metals are essential for the proper functioning of the human body, or even essential to our survival. However, there exists a delicate balance, with excesses or deficits often resulting in toxicity. For example, dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular, both prescribed by the hospital as well as self-medicated. In fact, it is estimated that about 75% of all US adults take supplements. Next to that, nanomaterials are currently used in thousands of consumer products, including personal care, cosmetics, food additives, agriculture and medicine and this number is steadily increasing. In many instances the underlying biochemical mechanisms and health effects are not well understood. Our research focusses on the safety and effectiveness of these supplements, as well as interactions of the supplements and nanomaterials with the metabolism and their retention into the body. We use analytical methods like instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) as well as mass spectrometry for the sample analysis. We are designing new irradiation facilities to enable larger measurement accuracy and sensitivity, and closely collaborate with hospitals.

For more information or collaboration on this project, please contact Dr. ir. Robin de Kruijff (