Jenna Helleur

Postgraduate Student

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Health benefits of dietary polyphenols

Current PhD student within Dr Paul Kroon’s laboratory researching into the cardiac health benefits from a microbiotic breakdown product of epicatechin, named γ-valerolactones. Epicatechin is part of the food bioactive group named ‘Polyphenols’ and is part of the Flavan-3-ol category. Polyphenols, consumed from green tea, cocoa, and various fruits, have been shown to provide cardiac health benefits in ways of reducing blood pressure, restricting low-density lipoproteins oxidization, preventing platelet aggregation and inhibiting leukocyte adherence to the arterial endothelium. I am investigating further into how γ-valerolactones could positively implicate cardiac health – as there is currently no research into this area.

I have completed a BSc in Biomedicine at University of East Anglia (UEA) with a 2:1 outcome in addition to achieving a Distinction in UEA’s MSc Molecular Medicine course. Within my master’s degree I was part of Maria Traka’s group investigating how sulforaphane, derived from broccoli, can regress prostate cancer growth. My particular area of research was to investigate sulforaphane’s effects on the tumour suppressor gene PTEN in prostate cell lines (in vitro).

I aim to further a career path in research and university academia with the hopes of taking my research worldwide by contributing to United States of America and Australian laboratories. I am interested into the investigation of signalling cascades from a cardiovascular disease and cancer disease

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