Richard Bruno

Professor, Department of Human Sciences
Program Chair of Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology

Program Area: Human Nutrition

(614) 292-5522


Richard Bruno is a professor of human nutrition, director of the master's of human nutrition graduate program and director of the Bionutrition Core Laboratory. He is a nutritional biochemist and registered dietitian with expertise in the areas of phytochemical metabolism and function in relation to oxidative distress responses that provoke cardiometabolic risk in humans. He is a Professor of Human Nutrition and serves as the Director of the Bionutrition Core Laboratory.

His research interest are in the bioavailability of antioxidants and phytochemicals; anti-inflammatory mechanisms of green tea, vitamin E, and functional foods acting along the gut-liver axis to improve cardiometabolic health including obesity, metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis fatty liver disease and vascular endothelial function.


  • PhD, Human Nutrition, The Ohio State University - Columbus, Ohio
  • MS, Human Nutrition, University of Delaware - Newark, Delaware
  • BS,  Applied Nutrition (minor in Biology), University of Delaware - Newark, Delaware
  • RD, Commission on Dietetic Registration

Research Interests

  • Nutritional Science
    • Antioxidants
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
    • Phytochemicals

Research Summary

The Bruno Lab investigates the mechanisms involving the gut-liver axis by which green tea catechins alleviate NFκB-dependent inflammation in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, both in preclinical models and at-risk human cohorts. Complementary research areas include the study of vitamin E and polyphenol bioavailability and pharmacokinetics along a trajectory of establishing accurate dietary requirements and recommendations; and validating phytochemical- and functional food-based dietary strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease risk by limiting diet-induced oxidative distress responses that cause vascular endothelial dysfunction. 

The penultimate goal of the Bruno Lab is to translate research findings into evidence-based dietary recommendations that improve healthspan among humans. 

Selected Grants

  • Achieving Nutritional Adequacy of Vitamins E and K With An Egg/Plant-Based Food Pairing (supported by the Egg Nutrition Center; 2020-2022) The goal of this project is to generate deuterium-labeled spinach to accurately study the bioavailability and pharmacokinetic responses of plant-derived vitamin E and vitamin K in humans in relation to the consumption of egg lipids.
  • Anti-inflammatory bioactivities of green tea catechins at the gut in obese models of metabolic endotoxemia (supported by US Department of Agriculture; 2019-2022) The goal of this double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over trial in metabolic syndrome persons is to define green tea catechins on improved gut barrier function by alleviating dysbiosis and enhancing gut integrity.
  • Alleviation of Metabolic Endotoxemia In Adults With Metabolic Syndrome With Milk Fat Globule Membrane (supported by the National Dairy Council; 2019-2021) The goal of this randomized controlled trial, using an innovative MFGM-enriched milk beverage, is to alleviate gut dysbiosis/barrier dysfunction in association with decreasing glucose intolerance and TLR4 inflammation.
  • Cardiometabolic Benefits of Potatoes Mediated Along The Gut-Vessel Axis in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome (supported by the Alliance for Potato Research & Education; 2018-2020) The goal of this randomized controlled trial is to test potato-derived resistant starch to resolve gut dysbiosis and barrier dysfunction relative to improvements in vascular function in persons with metabolic syndrome

Selected Publications

Dr. Bruno’s research has resulted in >100 peer-reviewed publications, which can be found here. Select publications from the past 3 years include:

  1. J Li, TN Sapper, E Mah, MV Moller, JB Kim,CChitchumroonchokchai, JD McDonald, RS Bruno. (2017).Green tea extract treatment reduces NFκB activation in mice with diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis by lowering TNFR1 and TLR4 expression and ligand availability. J Nutr Biochem, 41:34-41.
  2. G Bobe, TJ Cobb, SW Leonard, S Aponso, CB Bahro, D Koley, E Mah, RS Bruno, MG Traber (2017). Increased static and decreased capacity oxidation-reduction potentials in plasma are predictive of metabolic syndrome. Redox Biol, 12:121-128.
  3. MG Traber, E Mah, SW Leonard, G Bobe, RS Bruno. (2017). Metabolic syndrome increases dietary α-tocopherol requirements as assessed using urinary and plasma vitamin E catabolites: a double-blind, crossover clinical trial. Amer J Clin Nutr, 105(3):571-579.
  4. F Zhong, M Xu, RS Bruno, KD Ballard, J Zhu. (2017). Targeted high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolomics differentiates metabolic syndrome from obesity. Exp Biol Med, 242(7):773-780.
  5. BM Cotten, SA Diamond, T Banh, Y-H Hsiao, RM Cole, J Li, CT Simons, RS Bruno, MA Belury,Y Vodovotz. (2017). Raspberry ketone fails to reduce adiposity beyond decreasing food intake in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet. Food Funct, 8(4):1512-1518.
  6. RM Duguid, CW Berry, P Dey, RS Bruno, RM Ward, KL Timmerman, KD Ballard. (2017). Effects of prior aerobic exercise on sitting-induced vascular dysfunction in healthy men.  Eur J App Physiol, 117:2509-2518.
  7. R Pei, DM DiMarco, KK Putt, DA Martin, Q Gu, C Chitchumroonchokchai, HW White, CO Scarlett, RS Bruno, BW Bolling. (2017). Low-fat yogurt consumption reduces biomarkers of chronic inflammation and inhibits markers of endotoxin exposure in healthy premenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Nutr, Nov 28:1-9. doi: 10.1017/S0007114517003038. [Epub ahead of print].
  8. J Li, GY Sasaki, C Chitchumroonchokchai, AN Labyk, JD McDonald, JB Kim, RS Bruno (2017). Green tea extract protects against hepatic NFκB activation along the gut-liver axis in diet-induced obese mice with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis by reducing endotoxin and TLR4/MyD88 signaling. J Nutr Biochem, 53:58-65 doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.10.016.
  9. JD McDonald, C Chitchumroonchokchai, J Li, E Mah, AN Labyk, EJ Reverri, KD Ballard, JS Volek, RS Bruno. (2017). Replacing carbohydrate during a glucose challenge with the egg white portion or whole eggs protects against postprandial impairments in vascular endothelial function in prediabetic men by limiting increases in glycemia and lipid peroxidation. Br J Nutr, Accepted 23 Nov.
  10. J Li, TN Sapper, E Mah, S Rudraiah, KE Schill, C Chitchumroonchokchai, MV Moller, JD McDonald, PR Rohrer, JE Manautou, RS Bruno (2016). Green tea extract provides extensive Nrf2-independent protection against lipid accumulation and NFκB pro-inflammatory responses during nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in mice fed a high-fat diet. Mol Nutr Food Res, 60(4):858-70.
  11. KD Ballard, E Mah, Y Guo, RS Bruno, BA Taylor, JE Beam, DM Polk, PD Thompson (2016). Single low-density lipoprotein apheresis does not improve vascular endothelial function in chronically treated hypercholesterolemic patients. Int J Vasc Med, 2016: 4613202, 1-7.
  12. M Jacome-Sosa, EJ Parks, RS Bruno, E Tasali, GF Lewis, BO Scheenman, TM Rains. (2016). Postprandial metabolism of macronutrients and cardiometabolic risk: recent developments, emerging concepts, and future directions. Adv Nutr, 7(2):364-74.
  13. Y Li, LP Bharath, Y Qian, T Ruan, PVA Babu, RS Bruno, JD Symons, T Jalili (2016). γ-Carboxyethyl hydroxychroman, a metabolite of γ-tocopherol, preserves nitric oxide bioavailability in endothelial cells challenged with high glucose.  Exp Biol Med, 241(18):2056-2062.
  14. TN Sapper, E Mah, J Ahn-Jarvis, JD McDonald, C Chitchumroonchokchai, EJ Reverri, Y Vodovotz, RS Bruno. (2016). A green tea-containing starch confection increases plasma catechins without protecting against postprandial impairments in vascular function in normoglycemic adults. Food Funct, 7:3843-3853.
  15. E Mah, R Pei, Y Guo, C Masterjohn, KD Ballard, BA Parker, AW Taylor, MG Traber, JS Volek, RS Bruno. (2015). Greater γ-tocopherol status during acute smoking abstinence with nicotine replacement therapy improved vascular endothelial function by decreasing 8-iso-15(S)-prostaglandin F2α.  Exp Biol Med, 240(4):527-33.
  16. *M-Y Chung, *E Mah, C Masterjohn, SK Noh, HJ Park, RM Clark, Y-K Park, J-Y Lee, RS Bruno. (2015). Green tea lowers hepatic COX-2 and prostaglandin E2 in rats with dietary fat-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.  J Med Food, 18(6):648-55.
  17. Y Guo, RS Bruno. (2015). Endogenous and exogenous mediators of quercetin bioavailability. J Nutr Biochem, 26(3):201-210.
  18. KD Ballard, RS Bruno. (2015). Protective role of dairy and its constituents on vascular endothelial function independent of blood pressure-lowering activities. Nutr Rev. 73(1):36-50.
  19. R Pei, E Mah, SW Leonard, MG Traber, RS Bruno. (2015). α-Tocopherol supplementation reduces 5-nitro-γ-tocopherol accumulation by decreasing γ-tocopherol in young adult smokers.  Free Radic Res, 49(9): 1114-21.
  20. R Pei, M Yu, RS Bruno, B Bolling. (2015). Phenolic and tocopherol content of autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellate) berries. J Func Foods, 16:305-314.
  21. E Mah, TN Sapper, C Chitchumroonchokchai, ML Failla, KE Schill, SK Clinton, G Bobe, MG Traber, RS Bruno (2015). α-Tocopherol bioavailability is lower in adults with metabolic syndrome regardless of dairy fat co-ingestion: a randomized, double-blind, crossover trial. Amer J Clin Nutr, 102(5):1070-80.