The “Human Micronutrition” Team at C2VN (INRAE – AMU) is one of the world leading team on lipid micronutrient bioavailability and health effects. Our group is internationally acknowledged for its work on the factors affecting fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemical bioaccessibility (i.e. micronutrient transfer from the food matrix to the mixed micelles during digestion, which is a key step governing bioavailability) and absorption by the intestine. The team also study the fate of lipid micronutrients from their site of digestion/absorption to their sites of action (such as adipose tissue), where micronutrients display their health effects.
We have developed a validated in vitro digestion model mimicking oral, gastric and duodenal phases, which allows us to study bioaccessibility of micronutrients from complex test meals. Our group is widely recognized for its work on fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemical transport by the intestine. Studying this process is very relevant as this step likely explains for a large part the huge interindividual variability in absorption efficiency (via either protein genetic variants or dietary/hormonal regulations, which affect expression/activity). We identified combinations of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the bioavailability of vitamin E and carotenoids, which shows that the interindividual variability of absorption of these micronutrients is partly due to genetic variability. Finally, we study the impact of micronutrients (mainly carotenoids, vitamin A and vitamin D) on adipose tissue / adipocyte biology and we explore both molecular mechanisms and phenotypical consequences of micronutrient inadequate status in terms of obesity and associated physiological disorders such as inflammation and insulin resistance.
Recently, we started to work on new sources of lipid micronutrients such as marine bacterias, and we compared the bioaccessibility of bacterial carotenoids with common vegetable carotenoids. We also started to identify and to characterize the bioavailability of new sustainable food sources of lipid micronutrients, such as insects or agronomy/food industry wastes including olive oil by-products.
For this purpose, we use complementary models including in silico models, cell culture, ex vivo fragments of mouse intestine, postprandial or in situ perfusion experiments in transgenic mice or in rats and clinical trials.
E. Reboul leads SYSTEMIC WP3, and C2VN is involved in Task 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, as well as 2.3.