Ameer Taha



Taha, an assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, specializes in food chemistry and biochemistry. Taha completed his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Toronto, Canada. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2014 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at National Institutes of Health.

Research interests:

Dietary fatty acids, food processing, impact of fatty acid metabolites on brain neurophysiology, biomarkers of oxidized fatty acid intake, functional foods.

Brief overview:

Linoleic acid is a type of fat found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and animal products. Small amounts of linoleic acid are required for proper nutrition, but too much may be detrimental. Americans whose diet includes a lot of processed foods typically consume too much linoleic acid, which can contribute to chronic inflammation, heart disease, and other health problems.

The adverse effects of linoleic acid are thought to be caused by chemical transformations that occur during cooking or food processing, which create oxidized metabolites. The goal of my research program is to determine the extent of oxidized linoleic acid metabolite formation during various food processing or handling conditions, and to understand the impact of these metabolites on brain function. Other collaborative projects will address the impact of oxidized linoleic acid metabolites on peripheral organs and whole-body physiology.

Understanding the mechanisms of oxidized linoleic acid metabolite formation and impact on health will aid in devising strategies to minimize human exposure and will help establish dietary safety limits.

Current projects:

  • Habitual intake of oxidized fatty acid metabolites in humans
  • In vivo metabolism of oxidized linoleic acid metabolites

Updated February 2015

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