Park, Yeonhwa

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Associate Professor, Department of Food Science
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Food Science
Biologically beneficial effects of conjugated linoleic acid
Controlling acrylamide formation in food
Functional foods (bioactive food components)
My current research interests can be divided into two categories; first, continuation of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) research and secondly, searches for biologically active compounds from natural or dietary sources.
A. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Research
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) was originally identified unexpectedly as an anti-cancer principal from ground beef in 1987. Since then, CLA has shown other biologically beneficial activities, including reducing severity of atherosclerosis, reducing the adverse effects of immune stimulation, enhancing feed efficiency, and most interestingly reducing body fat accumulation while enhancing lean body mass. As a relatively simple compound, it was quite unexpected for it to have such a variety of activities. The natural question is how CLA can achieve all of these activities.
While studying CLA’s mechanism, I found that a 19-carbon CLA cognate, conjugated nonadecadienoic acid (CNA), may have better potential to be used as an anti-obesity drug. Thus we are currently studying the efficacy of CNA on body fat regulation in both normal and obese mouse models.
Conjugated fatty acids have potential use as pharmaceuticals, for example, as anti-cancer drugs, as supplements to cancer patients to combat cachexia caused by chemotherapy, or as supplements in diabetes to increase insulin sensitivity. Moreover, with their recent availability to the public as nutritional supplements, it is important to investigate the exact mechanism of conjugated fatty acids, especially in humans. Based on my knowledge and experience with CLA, I would like to explore unanswered questions of conjugated fatty acid research.
B. Biologically Active Compounds from Natural or Dietary Sources
It is generally recommended to consume more fruit, vegetables, and nuts to reduce the incidence and severity of cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants in vegetables are believed to play an important role, but the exact mechanism as well as the active components are still unknown. My research will use tissue cell cultures as well as animal models to test vegetables, fruits, and nuts. This can be followed by identification of mechanisms and may lead to useful information in other areas.
My ultimate research goal is to explore biologically active compounds that could impact human health and improve the quality of life. Also, I am willing to explore new areas of research and expand my knowledge. I will try to combine new information with my existing knowledge to make connections between subjects in the hope that this will eventually benefit human health.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Life Cycle of C. elegans
    (2016-01-01) Park, Yeonhwa
    (A) Images of four larval stages and adult C. elegans by microscopy. (B) Life cycle of C. elegans at 22°C. 0 min is fertilization. Magnification 50x. Copyright Yeonhwa Park,
  • Publication
    Microscopy Images of Hermaphrodite Anatomy
    (2016-01-01) Park, Yeonhwa
    Microscopy images of hermaphrodite anatomy Copyright Yeonhwa Park,
  • Publication
    Kahweol, a coffee diterpene, increases lifespan via insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 and AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans
    (2023-01-01) Cho, Junhyo; Park, Yeonhwa
    Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages and is known to have many health benefits. Our previous study reported that kahweol, a diterpene found in coffee, reduced fat accumulation by reducing food intake in Caenorhabditis elegans. Based on the widely known observation of caloric restriction and lifespan, we determined if kahweol extends lifespan in C. elegans. Kahweol significantly extended the lifespan of wild-type C. elegans. However, kahweol increased the lifespan of the eat-2 null mutant that has a reduced food intake phenotype, suggesting that kahweol extends lifespan independent of reduced food intake. Therefore, we further determine the target of kahweol on lifespan extension. Kahweol had no effects on the lifespan of both daf-2 (the homolog of insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor) and daf-16 (the homolog of Forkhead box O transcription factor and a major downstream target of daf-2) null mutants, suggesting kahweol extended lifespan via insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway. In addition, kahweol failed to extend lifespan in tub-1 (the homolog of TUB bipartite transcription factor) and aak-2 (the homolog of AMP-activated protein kinase) null mutants, suggesting these roles on kahweol’s effect on lifespan. However, the treatment of kahweol increased the lifespan in sir-2.1 (the homolog of NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1) and skn-1 (the homolog of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) null mutants over the control, suggesting independent functions of these genes on kahweol’s lifespan extension. These results indicate that the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling and AMPK pathways may play critical roles in extending lifespan by kahweol in C. elegans.
  • Publication
    Confocal Image of a Nile Red-stained C. elegans
    (2016-01-01) Park, Yeonhwa
    Copyright Yeonhwa Park,
  • Publication
    Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling Pathways
    (2016-01-01) Park, Yeonhwa
    DAF-2, homolog of mammalian insulin receptor; IRS, insulin receptor substrate; PI3K, phospho-inositide 3-kinase; PIP2, phosphatidylinositol 3,4 phosphate; PIP3, phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5 phosphate; AKT, protein kinase B; DAF-16, homolog of mammalian Forkhead box O transcription factor (FOXO). Copyright Yeonhwa Park,
  • Publication
    An Optical Image of Worms Grown on Agar Containing Flax Seed Oil Nanoparticles with Oil Red O as a Dye
    (2016-01-01) Park, Yeonhwa
    Copyright Yeonhwa Park,
  • Publication
    Proposed Mechanism of CLA on Muscle Metabolism
    (2015-01-01) Park, Yeonhwa
    Diagram AMPK, AMP-activated protein kinase; SIRT1, Silent information regulator two protein 1; PGC-1α, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α; PPAR-d, peroxisome proliferator activated receptor delta; CLA, conjugated linoleic acid Copyright Yeonhwa Park,