Positieve gezondheidseffecten van GABA in aardappel en tomaat
Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is a derivative of the amino acid glutamate and a neurotransmitter involved in a multitude of biological processes in the human body. Oral intake according to the literature appears to lead to lowered blood pressure and improved glucose metabolism. This is relevant for people with symptoms of “metabolic syndrome” but also for people that are (still) healthy. Tomato and potato are in the western diet by far the most important sources of oral GABA but the contents differ by more than a factor 20 between different varieties. The effects of existing food sources with high GABA has not yet been investigated in a human intervention study but are promising based on animal models.
In 2030 the KIA and this project aim to stimulate the production and consumption of healthier tomato and potato varieties with higher levels of GABA. The Dutch population is aging and the incidence of food related diseases is increasing. Obesity associated with diabetes and hypertension are the focal point of the National Prevention Agreement and the compound GABA studied in this project is promising to have a major positive role in countering this development.
Aim: The aim is to examine whether the high GABA content of some potato and tomato cultivars and potato extracts will have positive effects on human glucose metabolism and blood pressure with high risk groups for prediabetes and/or mild hypertension that are not yet using drug prescriptions.
Innovation: In this research project intervention studies are planned that can demonstrate the expected positive impact on health of natural GABA in potato and tomato. Specific tomato and potato varieties with high content and proven health effects may pass the EFSA evaluation and obtain a health claim.
Expected impact: For the food sector this project sets an example of what is potentially possible and needed to establish health claims for food products derived from vegetables and staple crops. Currently there is a lot of scepticism whether such claims can be obtained and deliver a profitable market share despite the fact that diet and health are known to be intimately connected. Scientifically the topic is also in a hotspot because it concerns a compound that is known to have a central role in regulating many physiological and neurological processes, so that the interaction between oral and endogenous GABA deserves profound attention.
MMIP D2 “Healthy food an easy choice”: this project investigates the effects of the (potential) GABA content of potato and tomato varieties on pre-diabetic indices and hypertension. Production of varieties with high levels of GABA could be an easy healthy choice for consumers running these health risks. Both acute and chronic (3 months) effects of a 1.5g/day dose will be tested in tablet form and incorporated in tomato juice or potato puree
- A human intervention to test the GABA bioavailability
- A method paper to analyze GABA and glutamate in blood plasma
- An METC protocol for testing GABA bioavailability from potato and tomato
- A human intervention study of 3 months to test acute and chronic effects of 1.5 g GABA per day
- The PhD student Tessa de Bie in this project started April 1st 2018. There is furthermore delay in the project due to the Corona lockdown limiting the progress of the intervention study. An extension needs to be arranged.