Production of Plant Nutraceuticals
This patented research uses a metabolomics-guided, bioprocess engineering approach which has been applied to germinating sunflower seeds to produce enhanced levels of the nutraceuticals L-carnitine (LCAR; 1,000-fold enhancement)acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR; 1,000-fold), myo-inositol (50-fold), diphosphatidylglycerol also know as cardiolipin (2-fold), phosphatidylcholine also known as lecithin (0.4-fold), and phosphatidic acid (0.5-fold). These nutraceuticals have brain protective and regenerative properties and hold considerable promise for prevention and treatment of major mental illnesses. The patented plant-based technology utilizes green chemistry and is accomplished without genetic modification of the organism.
ALCAR and LCAR are nutraceuticals with indications in treating a variety of mental health disorders. A metabolomics-guided bioprocess method is presented to enhance ALCAR and LCAR formation in germinating plant seeds. Metabolic fluxes are manipulated by germination in bioreactors to increase oxygen availability as well as provide an aseptic environment to alter carbohydrate consumption and feedback repress gluconeogenesis. Large shifts in sunflower seed fatty acid, phospholipids and high-energy metabolism change the germination environment and these metabolic changes lead to an approximate 1000-fold increase in natural LCAR and ALCAR production by the seeds. The resulting LCAR and ALCAR products from the seeds are used for treating mental health disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, geriatric depression, non-geriatric depression and schizophrenia.