Phytochemical Research Using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry


*Department of Nutrition, University of California, 3135 Meyer Hall, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616; Phone: 530–752–4630; Fax: 530–752–8966; e-mail:


Vegetables and fruits provide an array of microchemicals in the form of vitamins and secondary metabolites (phytochemicals) that may lower the risk of chronic disease. Tracing these phytochemicals at physiologic concentrations has been hindered by a lack of quantitative sensitivity for chemically equivalent tracers that could be used safely in healthy people. Accelerator mass spectrometry is a relatively new technique that provides the necessary sensitivity (in attomoles) and measurement precision (<3%) towards 14Clabeled phytochemicals for detailed kinetic studies in humans at dietary levels.