UAF Intern Looks at Nucleotides as Health Supplement

A popular health supplement, fish oil.
Natesh Ramasamy / Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Interns this summer with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute are looking at food science in Kodiak, and one is investigating a new health food fad.

University of Alaska Fairbanks student Alina Fairbanks is doing market research focusing on nucleotides.

“A lot people when I explain this to them they’re like fish oil. Well, kinda. We want to extract nucleotides from pollock, right now because the Pollock Conservation Cooperative is funding me, but we want to utilize the entire product of a fish and so what else can we do other than for food and dog food, and a lot of people are exploring new ideas.”

Fairbanks says her research is on the powdered form, as opposed to pills or liquid like fish oil.

“There’s three markets right now that I’ve discovered, so they’ll put nucleotides in baby formula because nucleotides are commonly found in breast milk… so, in baby formula, animal food, and for human’s dietary supplements. A lot of body builders will actually take them.”

She says nucleotides are supposed to improve the immune system and help in cell regeneration.

There are two other interns with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute on the island.

Camron Christoffersen, who recently graduated Brigham Young University, is looking into the Food and Drug Administration’s methods for killing parasites before consumption.

The third intern, UAF student Phil Ganz, is helping to document the process. He uses video to make this and other scientific topics accessible to the general public.

All three interns wrap up their time on the island at the end of the month.

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