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Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian

Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian

Principal Investigator
Pathology Research Laboratory, Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine

Associate Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Research Focus

Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian’s laboratory is interested in examine the efficacy of functional foods on experimental models of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes. Our research interest focuses on various dietary agents, viz. phytosterols, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, fish oil, “designer” oil, saskatoon berry, sea buckthorn berry, and wild rice on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and graft function in animal models. Recently, our research team initiated developing cardiovascular healthy burgers, using the combination of dietary agents. At present we are concentrating the following research project, in order to develop a potential cardiovascular healthy functional food.

Specific oils low in n-6 to n-3 fatty acid ratio may reduce cardiovascular risks

This study aims to demonstrate the cardiovascular benefits from diets low in ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids. Humans need both n-6 and n-3 fatty acids for normal body function and development. Major sources of n-3 fatty acids are fish oil and flaxseed oil, while most of vegetable oils are rich in n-6 fatty acids. It is widely accepted that different types of fatty acids elicit specific physiological and biochemical responses in the body. Canadians are consuming a diet high in n-6 fatty acids and low in n-3 fatty acids, which could be contributing to the increased risks for some chronic diseases. Therefore, current recommendations suggest increasing intake of foods rich in n-3 fatty acids such as fish and flaxseed oil. With this regard, we are investigating overall cardiovascular benefits of diets supplemented with special oils low in n-6 and high in n-3 fatty acids in experimental animals.

Plant derived substances may benefit transplant patients

Dr. Moghadasian’s research team has extended their research activities to investigate whether dietary agents such as flaxseed oil or plant sterols may reduce side-effects and increase efficacy of commonly used drugs in heart transplant subjects. One of these drugs is cyclosporine which can increase blood lipid levels and adversely affect graft function over time. Research activities in Dr. Moghadasian’s laboratory investigate how plant sterols or flaxseed oil may interact with cyclosporine in rats after heart transplant procedures.

Developing cardiovascular-healthy beef burgers

There is an increase in the prevalence of chronic disease in Canada. Studies have shown a correlation between energy consumption, excessive fat intake and obesity. A reduction of intake saturated fat and cholesterol, which has been shown to cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, is now a worldwide recommendation. One of the main sources of saturated fats in the human diet is from red meats. Canadians consume more red meat than any other protein source, mostly in the form of fast food burgers. Consumption of pulses and flaxseed oil has been shown to have a positive impact on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, blood pressure, blood cholesterol and weight management. Many pulses have been used to create functional foods such as baked goods, bread, tortilla, pasta, crackers, beverages, as well as meat products. With this background, a study designed to develop cardiovascular healthy burgers, using various combination of dietary agents, viz. flaxseed oil, fish oil and “designer oil” and different percentage of binders such as bread crumbs, whole wheat flour, and black bean flour.

Wild rice and cardiovascular disease

Wild rice (Zizania Spp.) was a sacred food for native Canadians; its grain has been used as a staple food and the hay as a carbon source by native people for perhaps some 10,000 years. Nutritional analysis showed that wild rice is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, starch, dietary fiber and various antioxidant phytochemicals; while, it is low in fat. Wild rice has been recognized as a whole grain by the US Food and Drug Administration. The Manitoba government recognized wild rice as special crop and is one of cereal crops native to Canada. It is currently sold in the Canadian market place and considered as a health-promoting food. Recently we have reported the lipid-lowering properties of wild rice. We are in the process of establishing the mechanism of action of wild rice in exerting the cardiovascular benefits in experimental mice model.

Saskatoon Berry and diabetes

The rapid increase in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) becomes a major health and economic burden for most countries in the world. Prolonged treatment is often required for diabetic patients. Previous studies demonstrated that cyanidin glycans reduced oxidative stress and apoptosis in cultured vascular endothelial cells. Saskatoon berries contain abundant cyanidin glycans. Our team members in collaboration with Scientists from Health Science Centre (HSC), studying the anti-diabetic effects of Saskatoon berry on leptin receptor-deficient (db/db) mice model.

Sea buckthorn and cardiovascular disease, diabetes

Sea buckthorn (SBT) is widely used for its health promoting activity in traditional medicine of Asia and European countries. It is currently domesticated in most part of the world including Canada due to its nutritional and medicinal properties. The effects of SBT and its derived fractions on inflammation, platelet aggregation, oxidation injures, and protective effect on liver, skin, and mucosa has been reported. Recently we initiated a pilot study to investigate the hypoglycaemic and anti-antherogic activity of fruits, seeds and leaves of SBT. The results of the pilot study were encouraging. Currently our research team investigates the mechanism of activity of this potentially “superfruit” on glucose metabolism in diabetic mice as well on cholesterol lowering / metabolism in mouse models.

Why is this work important?

We have many years of experience in working with animal models of human heart disease to investigate the mechanisms of action of functional foods and other food products on exerting cardiovascular benefits in experimental animals. The studies in our laboratory will improve the scientific knowledge on functional foods and their benefits. Our lab research is very unique in that we are studying important functional foods; some of them are native to Manitoba, Canada. We are providing the vital pathological service to many researchers and our collaborators at St. Boniface Hospital research centre, Health Science Centre, Richardson Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

What techniques and equipments are used in this laboratory?

Our research team utilizes well known animal models which closely resemble human disease of hypercholesterolemia and heart attack. Our laboratory is equipped with advanced instruments to test our hypothesis. Our lab research mainly focus on studying lipids and their components in blood and other tissues of animals using standard laboratory producers. The routine lab techniques such as western blotting, RT-PCR, Immuno-histochemistry is utilized to investigate the key mechanisms of action of several functional foods that are under investigation in our laboratory.

About Dr. Mohammed H. Moghadasian

Dr.Mohammed H. Moghadasian is a Professor and Principal Investigator in Department of Human Nutritional Sciences and CCARM, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Before joining to the University of Manitoba and CCARM, he worked as Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, BC, Canada and Senior Research Scientist at Forbes Medi-Tech Inc, BC, Canada. He obtained his DVM degree in veterinary medicine from Shiraz University, Iran and M. Sc., in Pharmacology & Therapeutics from University of British Columbia, BC, Canada. Later, he completed his Ph.D. degree in Pathology & laboratory medicine in the same University. His major research area is Pathology. He has published more than 80 research papers, 5 book chapters and a book. He has presented more than 50 papers in the National and International conferences/Symposia/Seminars/Workshops and 28 invited lectures in International symposium. He has two patents in his credits. He has trained several post docs, graduate and under graduate students. He has been awarded several awards including Centrum Foundation New Scientist award from the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences for Outstanding Researcher, Margaret Becklake Award, awarded, CIHR young investigator forum and University of Manitoba 2006 – Students Teacher Recognition award are few is worthy to mention. He is one of the pioneer researchers in Canada to work on cardiovascular benefits of functional foods, especially phytosterol.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian

Email. mmoghadasian@sbrc.ca

Recent Publications

1. Ramezani F, Surendiran G, Goulet A, Moghadasian MH. The Role of Dietary Cholesterol in Lipoprotein Metabolism and Related Metabolic Abnormalities: A Mini-review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2014 (in press).

2. Surendiran G, Alsaif M, Ramezani F, Moghadasian MH. Nutritional constituents and health benefits of wild rice (Zizania spp.). Nut Rev 2014 (in press).

3. Cleverley K, Du X, Premecz S, Le K, Zeglinski M, Nicholson T, Goh CY, Lu Y, Anderson HD, Moghadasian MH, Jassal DS. The effects of fish oil consumption on cardiovascular remodelling in ApoE deficient mice. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2013; 91:960-5.

4. Surendiran G Goh CY, Askarian F, Le K, Zaho Z, Othman R, Nicholson T, Moghadasian P, Ramezani Kapourchali F, Wang YJ, Aliani M, Shen G, Beta T, Moghadasian MH. Wild rice prevents atherogenesis in LDL receptor knock-out mice. Atherosclerosis 2013; 230:284-92.

5. Norhaizan ME, Hosseini S, Gangadran S, Lee ST, Ramezani Kapourchali F, Moghadasian MH. Palm oil: Features and applications. Lipid Technology. 2013; 25:39-42.

6. Monteiro J, Askarian F, Nakamura MT, Moghadasian MH, Ma DW. Oils rich in α-linolenic acid independently protect against characteristics of fatty liver disease in the Δ6-desaturase null mouse. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 2013; 91:469-79.

7. Bonomini F, Rodella LF, Moghadasian M, Lonati C, Rezzani R. Apolipoprotein E deficiency and a mouse model of accelerated liver aging. Biogerontology. 2013; 14:209-20.

8. Zhao R, Le K, Moghadasian MH, Shen GX. Regulatory role of NADPH oxidase in glycated LDL-induced up regulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and heat shock factor-1 in mouse embryo fibroblasts and diabetic mice. Free Radic Biol Med. 2013 Mar 17; 61C:18-25.

9. Nicholson T, Khademi H, Moghadasian MH. Cardiovascular benefits of marine omega 3 fatty acids. Food Funct. 2013; 4:357-65.

10. Azordegan N, Fraser V, Le K, Hillyer LM, Ma DW, Fischer G, Moghadasian MH. Cancerogenesis alters fatty acid profiles in breast tissue. Mol Cell Biochem 2013; 374:223-32.

11. Monteiro J, Li FJ, Maclennan M, Rabalski A, Moghadasian MH, Nakamura MT, Ma DW. Menhaden oil, but not safflower or soybean oil, aids in restoring the polyunsaturated fatty acid profile in the novel [increment]-6-desaturase null mouse. Lipids Health Dis. 2012 29;11:60.

12. Tan Z, L Ke, Moghadasian M, Shahidi H. Enzymatic synthesis of phytosteryl docosahexaneates and evaluation of their anti-atherogenic effects in apo-E deficient mice. Food Chem 2012; 134:2097–2104.

13. Zhao R, Moghadasian MH, Shen GX. Involvement of NADPH oxidase in up-regulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and heat shock factor-1 in mouse embryo fibroblasts induced by oxidized LDL and in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Free Radic Res 2011; 45: 1013-23.

14. Othman R, Moghadasian MH. Beyond cholesterol-lowering effects of plant sterols: Clinical and experimental evidence on anti-inflammatory properties. Nutr Rev 2011; 69:371-82.

15. Othman R, Moghadasian MH, Jones P. Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan. Nutr Rev 2011; 69:299-309.

16. Bonomini F, Moghadasian MH, Rezzani R. The impact of hypercholesterolemia on kidney features in apo E-KO mice. Histochem Cell Biol 2011; 135:571-9.

17. Ahmadie R, Santiago JJ, Walker J, Fang T, Le K, Zhao Z, Azordegan N, Bage S, Lytwyn M, Rattan S, Dixon IM, Kardami E, Moghadasian MH, Jassal DS. A High-Lipid Diet Potentiates Left Ventricular Dysfunction in Nitric Oxide Synthase 3-Deficient Mice after Chronic Pressure Overload. J Nutr 2010; 140:1438-44.


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Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian (Principle Investigator)

1. The 2009 Manitoba Association of Home Economists-Provincial Excellence in Teaching Award.
2. The 2008 Centrum Foundation New Scientist Award of the Canadian Society for Nutritional Sciences for Outstanding Research.
3. The 2007 University of Manitoba Merit Award for outstanding research.
4. 2006 University of Manitoba Student’s Teacher Recognition Certificate .
5. The 2005 University of Manitoba Merit Award for outstanding research.
6. 2005 Margaret Becklake Award, CIHR Young Investigator Forum.

Awards Established/Recipients

Mohammed Moghadasian Award for Best Project in Cardiovascular Field, given to a graduate student selected by the Award Committee of the Canadian Nutrition Society (Established in 2010)

1. 2010 Recipient: Ms. JoAnne Arcand, Department of Nutrition, University of Toronto.
2. 2011 Recipient: Ms. L. Jane Paterson, RD, Department of Nutrition, University of Toronto.
3. 2012 Recipient: Ms. Melissa Glier, Department of Nutrition, University of British Columbia.
4. 2013 Recipient: Mr. Dylan Mackay, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba.

Trainee Awards:

Dr. Surendiran Gangadaran (Post Doctoral Fellow)

1. Awarded MHRC – Post Doctoral Fellowship (2012 – 2014), by Manitoba Health Research Council, Govt. of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada to work on project entitled “Mechanisms of cholesterol lowering and anti-atherogenic properties of Manitoba wild rice in experimental animals”, under the guidance of Dr. Mohammed Moghadasian.

2. Travel award 2013 – Manitoba Health Research Council – to participate and present research findings at the CNC-SCN Annual Meeting 2013 in Quebec City, Canada.

Ms. Maha Alsif (Graduate Student)

Recipient of Saudi Arabia studentship for the Master degree program

Ms. Tiffany Nicholeson (Graduate Student)

Recipient of Alexander Bell NSERC scholarship for 2 years (2010 – 2012)

Ms. Amy Goulet (Undergraduate Student)

Summer student scholarship, University of Manitoba

1. Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) – Establishing mechanisms of functional foods – (2010-2015).

2. Manitoba Rural Adaptation Council through International Nutrition
Research Inc., – (2013-2014)

3. Agri-food Research Development Initiative (ARDI) – Cardiovascular benefits of corn bran – (2010-2012).

4. Agri-food Research Development Initiative (ARDI) – Cardiovascular benefits of wild rice – (2011-2013).

5. Agri-food Research Development Initiative (ARDI) – “designer oils” for prevention of cardiovascular disease – (2011-2013).

Industry Partner

International Nutrition research Inc.

Services Provided

Pathology Research Laboratory at St. Boniface Hospital Research is pleased to provide the following services to both industry and academia per fee-for-service contract:

a) Histology/Pathology services on all types of tissues
b) Pre-clinical investigations
c) Nutrient and drug toxicology
d) Pharmacokinetic studies

Histology Service Ad – PDF Download

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