Mass Spectrometry, Diet and Cardiovascular Disease: What will They Mean for Food?
Mass spectrometry has emerged as the central analytical platform in life science research at the same time that cardiovascular disease has been the greatest challenge to the applications of life science. This is no coincidence. The analytical power of mass spectrometry has provided much of the insights into the mechanisms underlying this disease, the diagnostics being developed to identify those suffering from, even predicting those at risk of, the disease and the therapeutics being discovered to resolve it. Cardiovascular disease is in turn such a complex and pervasive problem to human health that its incidence has propelled the scientific community to continuously innovate with instrumentation platforms of unprecedented analytical power, efficiency, sensitivity and accuracy. This chapter will address those aspects of mass spectrometry that have been instrumental in developing the knowledge of how diet relates to the risk for and protection from heart disease. In particular examples will focus on those aspects of the science in which specific diagnostics of risk have been associated with dietary interventions now considered to be valuable to the declining incidence of the disease throughout the world. It is also important to recognize that science is far from solving this disease. Cardiovascular disease remains the number one cause of death and future developments in mass spectrometry will be necessary to finally solving it. Mass spectrometry will continue to be at the heart of health research and will be a central analytical platform as personal measurements become a core element of routine health care.