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Nutrients 2018, 10(7), 807; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10070807

Critical Evaluation of Gene Expression Changes in Human Tissues in Response to Supplementation with Dietary Bioactive Compounds: Moving Towards Better-Quality Studies

1
Center of Research Excellence in Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Medical Research, University of Belgrade, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
2
Research Group on Quality, Safety and Bioactivity of Plant Foods, Campus de Espinardo, Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CEBAS-CSIC), P.O. Box 164, 30100 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 June 2018 / Revised: 14 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 22 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrigenomics)
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Abstract

Pre-clinical cell and animal nutrigenomic studies have long suggested the modulation of the transcription of multiple gene targets in cells and tissues as a potential molecular mechanism of action underlying the beneficial effects attributed to plant-derived bioactive compounds. To try to demonstrate these molecular effects in humans, a considerable number of clinical trials have now explored the changes in the expression levels of selected genes in various human cell and tissue samples following intervention with different dietary sources of bioactive compounds. In this review, we have compiled a total of 75 human studies exploring gene expression changes using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR). We have critically appraised the study design and methodology used as well as the gene expression results reported. We herein pinpoint some of the main drawbacks and gaps in the experimental strategies applied, as well as the high interindividual variability of the results and the limited evidence supporting some of the investigated genes as potential responsive targets. We reinforce the need to apply normalized procedures and follow well-established methodological guidelines in future studies in order to achieve improved and reliable results that would allow for more relevant and biologically meaningful results. View Full-Text
Keywords: health effects; plant food bioactives; mRNA levels; RT-qPCR; human tissues; interindividual variability health effects; plant food bioactives; mRNA levels; RT-qPCR; human tissues; interindividual variability
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pokimica, B.; García-Conesa, M.-T. Critical Evaluation of Gene Expression Changes in Human Tissues in Response to Supplementation with Dietary Bioactive Compounds: Moving Towards Better-Quality Studies. Nutrients 2018, 10, 807.

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