Tracing metabolic carbon routing in a mice feeding experiment using 14C at natural abundances

Dr Ricardo Fernandes1,2,3, Dr Axel Steinhof4

1Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany, 2University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, 3Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, 44. Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany

Metabolic routing knowledge is essential to understand how food nutrients are incorporated into consumer tissues. Pertinent information can be obtained using controlled feeding experiments and appropriate tracers. In this respect, stable isotope studies have been a valuable source of information although isotopic fractionation may, in some cases, impose limitations when interpreting obtained results. It thus becomes advantageous to explore the use of radiocarbon as tracer since its concentration values can be corrected for fractionation effects. Although enriched 14C has been used previously in controlled feedings experiments here we explore its use by using two protein sources (terrestrial vs. aquatic protein) at natural 14C abundances that differ significantly. These protein sources were fed in varying fixed ratios to mice individuals from five separate dietary groups. Hair keratin samples were taken after c. 3 months into the experiment and radiocarbon measurements performed on these and on food sources. The measurements allowed us to quantify the amounts of carbon from different macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids) that are incorporated into hair keratin. We will present these results and discuss not only the implications that these have for the study of nutrition physiology but also for the use of stable isotope methods for dietary reconstruction and for aquatic dietary radiocarbon reservoir effect corrections in chronological projects.


Biography to come

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Nov 18 2021


8:45 am - 9:25 am