Dr Alan Sneddon

Dr Alan Sneddon

Research Fellow

Overview
Dr Alan Sneddon
Dr Alan Sneddon

Contact Details

Telephone
work +44 (0)1224 438671
Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Metabolic Health Group
Rowett Institute
University of Aberdeen
Foresterhill
Aberdeen. AB25 2ZD
Tel: +44(0)1224 438671   
Fax: +44(0)1224 438629
 

External Memberships and Affiliations

  • Deputy Editor for British Journal of Nutrition
  • First Editor for Journal of Nutritional Science.
  • Member of Editorial Board for Preventive Nutrition and Food Science
  • Member of the Nutrition Society
Research

Research Overview

Micronutrients and heavy metals and health

My research interests lie primarily in identifying the role of micronutrients in health and disease. This work involves accurately quantifying micronutrient levels within different food products within the diet and also in developing tools to assess their bioavailability within the body.

I have also recently developed an interest in heavy metals and their effects on health. Heavy metals including mercury, cadmium and lead can be ingested from the diet and evidence suggests that certain micronutrients play a role in alleviating their toxicity within the body.

This research will help the food industry to make healthier products and provide information on how micronutrients act to promote health.

Current Research

We have been investigating the function of dietary fatty acids and micronutrients in human health and disease and in particular cardiovascular disease (CVD). Using a model of heart disease we have shown that consuming a high fat diet lacking one micronutrient (selenium) increases heart disease more compared to consumption of the same diet containing selenium. Furthermore, these effects correlated with the levels of ‘bad’ fatty acids within the bloodstream. Additionally, other studies have shown that selenium has an anti-inflammatory effect both within immune cells and endothelial cells (which line the inside of blood vessels) and that it can reduce the interaction between these cell types, which is an important early step in heart disease development. More recent work has involved investigating nutrient-nutrient interactions relevant to CVD.

Currently, we are investigating the effects of seasonality and location on shellfish micronutrient levels and the effect of regular shellfish consumption on modulating micronutrient status in humans. These studies have ranged from measuring conventional markers of nutrient intake, to developing tools to assess micronutrient bioavailability as well as developing improved markers to assess micronutrient status and have encompassed work at both cellular and tissue level and intervention studies within animal models and in humans.

The objective of this work has been to obtain evidence for the involvement of specific nutrients in promoting health and alleviating disease in order to provide more informed dietary advice on their optimum requirements within the population. Previous work has focused on how the changing composition of feedstuffs within the aquaculture and dairy industries driven by issues of sustainability, impact on ultimate product nutritional quality and the likely influence on health for the consumer. Funding from the Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation have also investigated the influence of genotype and chemical speciation on micronutrient function, bioavailability and health.

Research Funding and Grants

  • RESAS (Scottish Government): Improving primary produce; Food Safety; Improvement of livestock.
  • Industrial Funding: ‘Crab consumption, cadmium and health; do crabmeat consumers have a greater cadmium burden compared to non-crabmeat consumers?
  • IMMANA: Aquatic Food for Health and Nutrition (AQN): A metric for assessing the impacts on nutrition and health of agroecosystems producing farmed seafood.
  • Elphinstone PhD studentship:‘The effect of selected micronutrients on endothelial cell function with relevance to atherosclerosis’
  • Encompass Kick-start Award: Developing bioactive mapping in seaweeds as a quality assurance tool” (co-applicant)
  • Fraserburgh Moonlight Prowl PhD studentship: ‘Omega-3 endocannabinoids: novel anticancer lipid ethanolamides’.
  • RESAS (Scottish Government), Healthy and safe diets
  • British Heart Foundation: ‘Atherosclerosis: the effect of selenium speciation and dose’.
  • Wellcome Trust Project Grant: ‘Interaction of selenium, fatty acids and a polymorphism in GPX4 in modulating vascular function’.  
Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

Course Co-ordinator for RN5507 'Nutrition and Health' 

Course contributor to RN5003 'Foundations of Nutrition'; RN5001 'Fundamentals of Human Nutrition and Metabolism'; RR5502 'Molecular Nutrition'

Publications

Publications 

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  • The single-nucleotide polymorphism (GPX4c718t) in the glutathione peroxidase 4 gene influences endothelial cell function: Interaction with selenium and fatty acids

    Crosley, L. K., Bashir, S., Nicol, F., Arthur, J. R., Hesketh, J. E., Sneddon, A. A.

    Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, vol. 57, no. 12, pp. 2185-2194

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Regulation of fatty acid synthase (FAS) and apoptosis in estrogen-receptor positive and negative breast cancer cells by conjugated linoleic acids

    Song, H., Sneddon, A. A., Heys, S. D., Wahle, K. W. J.

    Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, vol. 87, no. 6, pp. 197-203

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Selenium nutrition and its impact on health

    Sneddon, A. A.

    Food and Health Innovation Service. 6 pages

    Books and Reports: Other Reports

  • Fish as a dietary source of healthy long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3 PUFA) and vitamin D: A Review of the current literature

    De Roos, B., Sneddon, A. A., Macdonald, H. M.

    Food and Health Innovation Service

    Books and Reports: Commissioned Reports

  • A T/C polymorphism in the GPX4 3'UTR affects the selenoprotein expression pattern and cell viability in transfected Caco-2 cells

    Gautrey, H., Nicol, F., Sneddon, A. A., Hall, J., Hesketh, J.

    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, vol. 1810, no. 6, pp. 584-591

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Intervention with fish oil, but not with docosahexaenoic acid, results in lower levels of hepatic soluble epoxide hydrolase with time in apoE knockout mice

    Mavrommatis, Y., Ross, K., Rucklidge, G., Reid, M., Duncan, G. J., Gordon, M. J., Thies, F., Sneddon, A. A., De Roos, B.

    British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 103, no. 1, pp. 16-24

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Modulation of Fasted and Postprandial Plasma Lipids in Healthy Volunteers by a Dietary Mixture of Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Conjugated Linoleic Acid

    Tsofliou, F., Fyfe, C., Matheson, I., Jackson, D., Horgan, G. W., Wahle, K. W. J., Ahren, B., Williams, L., Sneddon, A. A.

    Journal of Food Lipids, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 499-513

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Effects of conjugated linoleic acid plus n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on insulin secretion and estimated insulin sensitivity in men

    Ahren, B., Mari, A., Fyfe, C., Tsofliou, F., Sneddon, A. A., Wahle, K. W. J., Winzell, M. S., Pacini, G., Williams, L.

    European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 63, no. 6, pp. 778-786

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

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