Ameer Taha

Ameer Taha

Ameer Taha, Ph.D.

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Food Science and Technology

3162 Robert Mondavi Institute - North


Ph.D., Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
M.S., Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


Linoleic acid is a type of fat found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and animal products. Small amounts of linoleic acid are required for proper nutrition, but too much may be detrimental. Americans whose diet includes a lot of processed foods typically consume too much linoleic acid, which can contribute to chronic inflammation, heart disease, and other health problems.

The adverse effects of linoleic acid are thought to be caused by chemical transformations that occur during cooking or food processing, which create oxidized metabolites. The goal of my research program is to determine the extent of oxidized linoleic acid metabolite formation during various food processing or handling conditions, and to understand the impact of these metabolites on brain function. Other collaborative projects will address the impact of oxidized linoleic acid metabolites on peripheral organs and whole-body physiology.

Understanding the mechanisms of oxidized linoleic acid metabolite formation and impact on health will aid in devising strategies to minimize human exposure and will help establish dietary safety limits.

Selected publications

  1. Ramsden, C.E., Faurot, K.R.,  Zamora, D., Palsson, O.S., Macintosh, B.A., Gaylord, S., Taha, A.Y., Rapoport, S.I., Hibbeln, J.R., Davis, J.M., Mann, J.D. (2015). Targeted alterations in dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids improve life functioning and reduce psychological distress among chronic headache patients: secondary analysis of a randomized trial. Pain, Epub ahead of print.
  2. Blanchard, H.C., Taha, A.Y., Chang L, Chen M, Rapoport SI. Low-dose aspirin (acetylsalicylate) prevents increases in brain PGE2, 15-epi-lipoxin A4 and 8-isoprostane concentrations in 9 month-old HIV-1 transgenic rats, a model for HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders. (2015) Prostaglandins, Leukotreines and Essential Fatty Acids, Epub ahead of print.
  3. Taha, A.Y., Cheon, Y., Faurot, K.F., MacIntosh, B., Majchrazak-Hong, S., Mann, J.D., Hibbeln, J.R., Ringel, A., Ramsden, C.E. (2014). Dietary omega-6 fatty acid lowering increases bioavailability of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in human plasma lipid pools. Prostaglandins, Leukotreines and Essential Fatty Acids, 90(5):151-7.
  4. Taha, A.Y., Chang L, Chen M, Rapoport SI, Ramadan E. D2 like receptor activation does not initiate a brain docosahexaenoic signal in unanaesthetized rats. (2014) BMC Neuroscience, Oct 30;15:113. doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-15-113.
  5. Blanchard, H.C., Taha, A.Y., Cheon, Y., Kim, H.W., Turk, J., Rapoport, S.I. (2014). iPLA2β knockout mouse, a genetic model for progressive human motor disorders, develops age-related neuropathology model of Parkinson disease. Neurochem Res. 39(8):1522-32.
  6. Bondi C.O., Taha, A.Y., Tock, J.L., Totah, N.K., Cheon, Y., Torres, G.E., Rapoport, S.I., Moghaddam, B. (2014). Adolescent Behavior and Dopamine Availability Are Uniquely Sensitive to Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency. Biological Psychiatry, 75(1):38-46.
  7. Keleshian, V.L., Kellom, M., Kim, H.W., Taha, A.Y., Cheon, Y., Igarashi, M., Rapoport, S.I., Rao, J.S. (2014). Fish oil supplementation of rats fed an adequate, alpha-linolenic acid containing, n-3 PUFA diet does not reduce pathological brain responses to NMDA, whereas n-3 PUFA deprivation worsens these responses. PLOS ONE. 9(5):e95318, 2014.
  8. Trepanier, M.O., Lim, J., Lai, T.K.Y., Cho, H.J., Domenichiello, A.F., Chen, C.T., Taha, A.Y., Bazinet, R.P., Burnham, W.M. (2014). Intraperitoneal administration of docosahexaenoic acid for 14 days increases serum unesterified DHA and seizure latency in the maximal pentylenetetrazole model. Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 33, issue (April, 2014), p. 138-143.
  9. Taha, A.Y., Cheon Y., Ma, K., Rapoport, S.I., Rao, J.S. (2013). Altered fatty acid concentrations in prefrontal cortex of schizophorenic patients. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45(5): 636-43.
  10. Taha, A.Y., Zahid, T., Epps, T., Burnham, W.M., Bazinet, R.P., Zhang, L. (2013). Selective reduction of excitatory hippocampal sharp waves by docosahexaenoic acid and its methyl ester analogue ex vivo. Brain Res, 1537: 9-17.
  11. Taha, A.Y., Trepanier, M.O., Ciobanu, F.A., Taha, N.M., Ahmed, M., Zeng, Q., Cheuk, W.I., Ip, B., Filo, E., Scott, B.W., Burnham, W.M., Bazinet, R.P. (2013). A minimum of 3 months of dietary fish oil supplementation is required to raise amygdaloid afterdischarge seizure thresholds in rats - implications for treating complex partial seizures. Epilepsy and Behavior, 27(1):49-58.