Sherry A. Tanumihardjo

SherryImageProfessor of Nutritional Sciences
Director of Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health
B.S. 1983, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
M.S. 1987, Iowa State University
Ph.D. 1993, Iowa State University


Emphasis Group(s):
Human Nutrition; Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition

Research Interests:
Vitamin A status assessment and provitamin A carotenoids as sources of vitamin A. Vegetables and fruit intake to enhance health; Global Health

Research Summary:

The Vitamin A Assessment Laboratory is a progressive research and outreach team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.  The laboratories have two main research foci.  These include vitamin A assessment methodology and carotenoid bioavailability.  Often the two overlap when investigating provitamin A carotenoids.  The research group works with a number of animal models (i.e., gerbils, rats, pigs and monkeys) to answer various questions on issues related to vitamin A toxicity and deficiency.  Moreover, the team does not stop there, but they take the research outcomes and apply them to the human model.  In that regard, the team has conducted studies in humans in the United States, Indonesia, South Africa, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.  The lab strongly advocates the promotion of vegetables and fruits to enhance overall health and general well-being.  Current research efforts in this regard are the interaction of anthocyanins in cranberries and purple carrots with carotenoid uptake and clearance.  The team has developed educational materials to enhance the intake of locally grown produce in the state of Wisconsin with special emphasis on cranberries.  Some of these materials have been disseminated to other states.

Representative Publications:

Tanumihardjo SA, Gannon BM, Kaliwile C, Chileshe J. Hypercarotenodermia in Zambia: which children turned orange during mango season?  Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.143. [Epub ahead of print]

Mondloch S, Gannon BM, Davis CR, Chileshe J, Kaliwile C, Masi C, Rios-Avila L, Gregory III JF, Tanumihardjo SA.  High provitamin A carotenoid serum concentrations, elevated retinyl esters, and saturated retinol-binding protein in Zambian preschool children are consistent with the presence of high liver vitamin A stores.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102:497-504.

Suri DJ, Tanumihardjo JP, Gannon BM, Pinkaew S, Kaliwile C, Chileshe J, Tanumihardjo SA. Serum retinol concentrations demonstrate high specificity after correcting for inflammation but questionable sensitivity compared with liver stores calculated from isotope dilution in determining vitamin A deficiency in Thai and Zambian children. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015; (In press).

Gannon BM, Tanumihardjo SA. Comparisons among equations used for retinol isotope dilution in the assessment of total body stores and total liver reserves. J Nutr. 2015;145(5):847-854.

Tanumihardjo SA.  Vitamin A fortification efforts require accurate monitoring of population vitamin A status to prevent excessive intakes.  Procedia Chem. 2015;14:398–407:

Gannon B, Kaliwile C, Arscott SA, Schmaelzle S, Chileshe J, Kalungwana N, Mosonda M, Pixley K, Masi C, Tanumihardjo SA.  Biofortified orange maize is as efficacious as a vitamin A supplement in Zambian children even in the presence of high liver reserves of vitamin A: a community-based, randomized placebo-controlled trial.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2014;100(6):1541-50.

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