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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 3P50AT000151-05S2
PI Name: David Heber
Project Title: UCLA Center for Dietary Supplements Research -- Botanicals

Abstract: This application proposes to establish the UCLA Center for Dietary Supplements Research: Botanicals (CDSRB) in order to foster interdisciplinary research to develop systematic evaluation of the safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements. We have assembled the multi-disciplinary scientific expertise required for the proposed CDSRB at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. to accomplish the following specific aims: 1) Identify, characterize and authenticate botanicals intended for use as dietary supplements or already being sold as dietary supplements; 2) Assess the bioavailability and bioactivity of botanical ingredients including phytochemical marker compounds and/or suspected or known active ingredients; 3) Identify active constituents in botanicals and explore their mechanisms of action in well-defined biological systems; 4) Conduct pre-clinical studies in cell culture and in animals; and 5) Conduct phase I and/or II clinical evaluations of botanicals. The UCLA CHN CDSRB will fulfill the critical need for additional basic and clinical research on the bioavailability and bioactivity of botanical ingredients, including phytochemical marker compounds and/or biologically active constituents in well-defined biological systems and will then conduct pre-clinical studies in animals and clinical phase I and/or II evaluations of botanicals. In this application we outline three well developed R01 Research Projects (Chinese Red Yeast Rice, Green Tea, and St. John's Wort), four Pilot Studies (Echinacea, Flavonoids, Soy Isoflavones, and Plant Phytoestrogens, and three Scientific Cores in Agriculture and Botany, Analytic Phytochemistry, and Biostatistics/Clinical Pharmacology. An Administrative and Planning Core will administer the overall CDSRB, a New Investigator Award and Pilot Study Program support training and educational initiatives which will begin to address many of the issues outlined above. The UCLA School of Medicine is one of the top ten biomedical research institutions in the United States and will provide a rich interdisciplinary environment where the primary mission of the proposed Dietary Supplements Research Center in Botanicals can be achieved.

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