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Sigma Nutrition Radio

Oct 25, 2022

Stable isotopes have been used as tracers in human nutritional studies for many years. But what are they? Why do we use ‘tracers’ in nutrition studies? And what are some practical examples?

A chemical element can have different forms or ‘isotopes.’ These different isotopes have the same atomic number and position in the periodic table but have different atomic masses and physical properties. An isotope that is not radioactive is said to be ‘stable’.

In physiology and metabolism research, stable isotopes are used as ‘tracers.’ As the name implies, it allows us to ‘trace’ the fate of compounds, thus giving a very detailed insight into the metabolism of nutrients and the regulation of many disease processes.

In this episode, Dr. Alan Flanagan explains what stable isotope tracers are, how they are used to answer nutrition science questions and some examples that you may come across.

This is a ‘Nutrition Science Explained’ episode. These episodes are exclusive to Sigma Nutrition Premium. To listen to the full episode and access the transcript, you must subscribe to Sigma Nutrition Premium.