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Interview with Professor Jeffrey Blumberg, a leader in antioxidants research, from Tufts University

By Perrin Braun, September 4, 2014

 

Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg has spent most of his career trying to figure out which nutrients contribute to the promotion of health and prevention of common chronic diseases. He is a renowned scientist best recognized for his research on the role of dietary antioxidants in the aging process, and his expertise on the disease-fighting properties of these and other nutrients make him an important member of the InsideTracker team. 

jeff blumberg

Dr. Blumberg is the Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, where he and his scientific team are working to discover the links between diet, chronic disease, and aging. His ultimate goal is to help people live healthier lives and reduce the time they are burdened by disease, which he calls “compressing morbidity”, by giving them the information they need to make informed food choices - an objective right in line with our work at InsideTracker!

After receiving bachelor’s degrees in pharmacy and psychology from Washington State University, Dr. Blumberg went on to complete his PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine. He then conducted his postdoctoral training in cyclic nucleotide metabolism at the Tennessee Neuropsychiatric Institute and the University of Calgary in Canada. Following the completion of his training, Dr. Blumberg began his academic career in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions at Northeastern University in Boston. After an encouraging discussion with its leaders, he moved to Tufts University to help build the HNRCA from the ground up and establish what is now the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy where he serves as a Professor. Despite having no previous experience in the field of nutrition, Dr. Blumberg exceled by melding the research approaches common to drug development with the questions being asked about the efficacy and safety of nutrients and foods.

Click here to learn how InsideTracker can improve your nutritional status and optimize your health!

In addition to his positions at Tufts, Dr. Blumberg participates in activities relevant to the incorporation of sound nutrition science into public health policy. He has served as a member of the Surgeon General’s Workshop on Health Promotion and Aging, Sports Medicine Committee of the U.S. Olympic Committee, WHO/FAO Consultation on Preparation and Use of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines, Food Advisory Committee of the FDA, and other committees.

Back in the lab, Dr. Blumberg’s work is focused on the health-promoting role of phytochemicals, especially flavonoids, and their potential uses as ingredients in food and supplements. His research group is discovering the ways in which dietary constituents interact in synergy to contribute to the health benefits associated with consuming plant foods, as well as how these compounds are absorbed and metabolized by the body.

Dr. Gil Blander, InsideTracker founder, reached out to Dr. Blumberg because he had heard of his expertise in the field of nutrition and aging. He later proposed that Dr. Blumberg become a member of Segterra’s InsideTracker scientific advisory board, where he currently works with the company to develop ways to assess the dietary intake of individuals and make recommendations about food and supplements that are evidence-based and helpful. 

Dr. Blumberg appreciates that the best way for an individual to promote optimal health is to know what’s going on inside of his or her body. Determining the status of nutrients and other biomarkers in the blood reflects the integrated efficacy of food intake and physical activity. Because of his interest in “personalized nutrition,” Dr. Blumberg saw the opportunity of working with InsideTracker to help move this concept into practice.

“InsideTracker can tell you your blood levels of critical nutrients and biomarkers, so you know exactly where you are,” Dr. Blumberg said.

When InsideTracker customers receive the results of their blood analysis, they are able to “use that information to improve their biomarkers to get towards their goal. People don’t know how effectively they’re exercising or eating until they see those results,” he continued.  Not only does InsideTracker provide customers with valuable knowledge about what exactly is going on inside of their body, but it also provides tangible recommendations on how to modify personal behavior to help achieve optimal health. 

Dr. Blumberg particularly appreciates how InsideTracker “takes what we know from research models and applies it directly at an individual level by providing each person with the advice they need to improve their biomarkers. Using a test then re-test approach, each person can work to maximize their health and performance from their dietary pattern and exercise regimen.”

We look forward to further collaboration and more exciting news from Dr. Blumberg!

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