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Research strategies

img oxidative 4Medicinal Plant Research

The research strategy of Medicinal Plant Research will essentially focus on the following:

  • To evaluate South African herbal teas and other relevant plants using a multidisciplinary approach that includes basic research and clinical intervention trials to determine the potential health promoting properties of these herbal teas and indigenous medicinal plants
  • To scientifically substantiate anecdotal health claims about traditional herbal teas and plants.
  • To use established models to study the biological effect and mechanisms of action involved in the prevention of certain important disease conditions where oxidative stress plays an integral role such as certain cancers and heart disease.
  • To develop community-related health research to benefit South African and African communities.

Experimental Biology Research

The research strategy of Experimental Biology Research will essentially focus on the following:-

  • To determine the effect of antioxidant supplementation on physiological functioning in conditions of oxidative stress in suitable animal models;
  • To elucidate the signalling pathways involved in organ protection against oxidative stress;
  • To determine the effect of antioxidant supplementation on gene transcription;
  • To investigate the above in pathophysiological models such as metabolic syndrome, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.

Biomarker Development Research

  • Identifying and validating phytochemical compounds of medicinal plant extracts showing potential in disease prevention as biomarkers of efficacy
  • Investigating the bioavailability of these compounds and their putative metabolites
  • Elucidating potential drug interactions of phytochemical compounds in human clinical studies

Nutrition and Chronic Disease Research

The research strategy of Nutrition and Chronic Disease Research will essentially focus on the following:-

  • To evaluate dietary intake in human subjects with chronic diseases such as diabetes.
  • To determine the blood level of nutritional and biochemical parameters in population/subpopulations with chronic diseases and examine the relationship between dietary intake and blood nutritional status.
  • To measure the effects of supplementation on antioxidant micronutrients and enzymes in animal and human subjects.
  • To assess the modulatory effects of supplementation in animal and human subjects.
  • To measure possible effects (if any) of natural products in animal models.