Public Health Seminar Series:

Is Eating Organic Food Healthier: A New Research Platform Could End This Endless Debate by Alex Lu, Ph.D.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM AIRB 2086 OCW Video Archive
Seminar Abstract

In this presentation, I intend to demonstrate results from an explorative study that is designed to elucidate the health benefits of consuming organic foods in children. Much research efforts have been devoted to better understand and characterize children’s dietary exposure to pesticides; however, these studies did not provide insight into how children’s health might benefit from the reduction in dietary pesticide intakes. This has prompted recent debates on the underlying health benefits of consuming foods containing no or reduced pesticide residues, antibiotics, and other synthetic chemicals. We utilized the global metabolomic platform to analyze specimen collected from children who participated in a dietary intervention study in which their daily produce consumption was replaced with organic fruits and vegetables. We aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of quantifying the perturbation of metabolic profiles for pathways that might be relevant to dietary pesticide intake and health effects in children.

Speaker Biography - Alex Lu, Ph.D.

Alex Lu, Ph.D.
Alex Lu, Ph.D. Department of Environmental Health, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
Dr. Chensheng (Alex) Lu is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He received his PhD degree from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington, Seattle in 1996. He was an Assistant Professor at Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University from 2004 to 2008. His research focuses on assessing pesticide exposure and its effects on ecological and human health. He is particularly interested in utilizing innovative research platforms to characterize pesticide exposures and to seek for mechanistic interpretations for the adverse health effects. He has served on several committees at the federal and state levels, including the Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to US Environmental Protection Agency under the authority of the Federal Insecticides, Fungicides, and Rodenticides Act (FIFRA) since 2004 and the National Academy of Science (NAS) since 2013.

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