- Honorary Senior Research Fellow (School of Medicine)
Room A2.26, Human Nutrition
Wing A, Level 2
Joseph Black Building
Alan Crozier, formerly Professor of Plant Biochemistry, is currently an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Medicine. He has previously carried out research on plant hormones and as well as continuing research on purine alkaloids in coffees and teas, the focus of his research is now dietary flavonoids and phenolic compounds and their potential to protect against non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. He has published extensively in this area, has edited four recent books on the topic and currently has an h-index of 48.
His research group has identified a number of common food products, especially berries, teas, coffee, wines and fruit juices, that are usually rich sources of phenolic components, and have identified the specific compounds involved, such as ellagitannins and anthocyanins in pomegranates and raspberries, dihydrochalcones in apples, flavanones in oranges and other citrus fruits, caffeoylquinic acids in coffee and several fruits and a diversity of flavan-3-ol-derived structures in teas and cocoa-based products. Linking laboratory and clinical research his group has developed novel HPLC-MS methodology to enable us to monitor the metabolic fate of these compounds in the human body following the ingestion of fruit juices, vegetables, cocoa, coffee and teas by healthy human subjects and by volunteers with an ileostomy. Detailed information has been obtained on their digestion and complex metabolism within the gastrointestinal tract prior to absorption of metabolites into the blood stream from the small intestine which may have in vivo biological effects. Current research concerns (poly)phenolic compounds which pass intact from the small to the large intestine where they can i) impact on colonic health, ii) modify the colonic microflora as well as iii) being broken down to potential protective compounds, such as valerolactones, urolithins and phenolic acids, which enter the circulatory system.