Sun-Ok Lee

Sun-Ok Lee

Associate Professor, Nutrition

(DREX)-Director Experiment Station

(FDSC)-Food Science

Phone: 479-575-6921

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Dr. Lee's Nutrition and Dietary Phytochemicals research program is designed to understand how dietary phytochemicals and bioactive components in foods and natural extracts exert human health benefits. The program focuses on the identification and purification of bioactive components in functional foods and natural extracts; the effects of dietary phytochemicals in the prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity; the bioavailability and bioefficacy of dietary phytochemicals/bioactive components in humans; gut microbial metabolism of dietary phytochemicals; and food toxicology. 

Research Goals:

  1. Determine the role of dietary phytochemicals in health and disease
  2. Determine the bioavailability and bioefficacy of dietary phytochemicals
  3. Identify the gut microbial metabolism of bioactive compounds in functional foods and natural extracts
  4. Food toxicology of bioactive compounds
  5. Develop new value-added nutraceuticals


FDSC 2701: Food for Health 

HESC 4213: Advanced Nutrition

FDSC 602V: Metabolism of Xenobiotics

Ph.D.- Iowa State University (Nutrition, minor: Toxicology)

M.S.- Iowa State University (Nutrition, minor: Toxicology)

M.S.- Dongduk Women's University, Seoul, South Korea (Food Science)

B.S.- Dongduk Women's University, Seoul, South Korea (Food Science and Nutrition)

Min B, Koo O-K, Park S-H, Jarvis N, Ricke SC, Crandall PG, Lee S-O. 2015. Fermentation patterns of various pectin sources by human fecal microbiota. Food Nutr Sci. 6: 1103-1114.

Gomes TA, Gu X, Brownmiller CR, Howard L, Compadre CM, Lee S-O. 2015. Effects of tocols rich fraction isolated from rice bran oil deodorizer distillate on plasma and hepatic lipid concentrations in rats. J Biosci Med. 3: 1-8.

Poquette N, Gu X, Lee S-O. (2014) Grain sorghum muffin reduces glucose and insulin response in human. Food Funct. 5: 894-899.

Karimi A, Min B, Lee S-O. (2014) Effects of extraction method, solvent type and water to solvent ratio on total phenol content and antioxidant activities of two sources of dried oregano leaf. J Food Res. 4: 112-123

Smith J, Eswaranandam S, Salyer J, Lee S-O. (2014) Effects of group B soyasaponins and soyasapogenol B on plasma cholesterol levels in hamsters. Adv Nutr Food Tech. 1:1-8.

Cho S, Yoon SH, Min J, Lee S, Tokar T, Lee S-O, Seo H-S. (2014) Sensory characteristics of Seolgitteok (Korean rice cake) in relation to the addition levels of brown rice flour and sugar. J Sensory Studies 29: 371-383.

O’Bryan CA, Kushwaha K, Babu D, Crandall PG, Davis ML, Chen P, Lee S-O, Ricke SC. (2014) Soybean seed coats: a source of ingredients for potential human health benefits-A review of the literature. J Food Res. 3: 188-201.

Salyer J, Eswaranandam S, Lee S-O. (2013) Soyasaponin I, III, and soyasapogenol B inhibit proliferation and modulate PKC expression in Caco-2 human colon cancer cells. J Food Res. 2: 81-89.

O’Bryan CA, Pak D, Crandall PG, Lee S-O, Ricke SC. (2013) The role of prebiotics and probiotics in human health. J Prob Health 1: 108.

Pak D, Koo O-K, Story RS, O’Bryan CA, Crandall PG, Lee S-O, Ricke SC. (2013) Acridine orange as an alternative to optical density to study growth kinetics of Lactobacilli bulgaricus ATCC7517.  J Environ Sci Health Part B 48: 512-515.

Salyer J, Park SH, Ricke SC, Lee S-O. (2013) Analysis of microbial populations and anthocyanins metabolism by mice gut microflora fed with blackberry powder. J Nutr Food Sci. 3: 178.

Pak D, Muthaiyan A, Story RS, O’Bryan CA, Lee S-O, Crandall PG, Ricke SC. (2013) Fermentative capacity of three strains of Lactobacilli using different sources of carbohydrates: In vitro evaluation of symbiotic effects, resistance and tolerance to bile and gastric juices. J Food Res 2: 158-167.

Eswaranandam S, Salyer J, Chen P, Lee S-O. (2012) Effect of elicitor spray at different reproductive stages on saponin content of soybean. J Food Sci. 77: H81-86.

Poquette N, Wang Y-J, Lee S-O. (2012) Parboiled brown rice product reduces postprandial plasma glucose response in men. J Nutr Food Sci. 2: 166.

Qiang Z, Lee S-O, Ye Z, Wu X, Hendrich S. (2012) Artichoke extract lowered plasma cholesterol and increased fecal bile acids in golden Syrian hamsters. Phytother Res. 26: 1048-1052.

Hasjim J, Lee S-O, Hendrich S, Setiawan S, Ai Y, Jane J-L. (2010) Effects of a novel resistant- starch on postprandial plasma-glucose and insulin responses. Cereal Chem. 87: 257-262.

Lee S-O, Renouf M, Zhong Ye, Murphy PA, Hendrich S. (2007) Isoflavone glycitein diminished plasma cholesterol in female golden Syrian hamsters. J. Agric. Food Chem. 55: 11063-11067.

Zhong Y, Renouf M, Lee S-O, Hauck CC, Murphy PA, Hendrich S. (2006) High urinary isoflavone excretion phenotype decreases plasma cholesterol in Golden Syrian Hamsters. J. Nutr.136: 2773-2778.

Renouf M, Lee S-O, Hendrich S. (2006) Isoflavone excretion phenotypes influence plasma cholesterol in Golden Syrian Hamsters. Nutr. Res. 26: 77-83.

Lee S-O, Simons AL, Murphy PA, Hendrich S.  (2005) Soyasaponins lowered plasma cholesterol and increased fecal bile acids in female golden Syrian hamsters. Exp. Biol. Med. 230: 472-478.

Zheng Y, Lee S-O, Verbruggen MA, Murphy PA, Hendrich S. (2004) The apparent absorptions of isoflavone glucosides and aglucones are similar in women and are increased by rapid gut transit time and low fecal isoflavone degradation. J. Nutr. 134: 2534-2539.

Song T, Lee S-O, Murphy PA, Hendrich S. (2003) Soy protein, with or without isoflavones, and daidzein lower plasma cholesterol levels in golden Syrian hamsters. Exp. Biol. Med. 228:1063-1068.

Lee S-O, Liu H, Cunnick JE, Murphy PA, Hendrich S. (2002) Menhaden oil inhibited γ- glutamyltransferase-positive altered hepatic foci in female Sprage-Dawley rats. Nutr. Cancer 44: 71-79.

Hu J, Lee S-O, Hendrich S, Murphy PA. (2002) Quantification of the group B soyasaponins by high-performance liquid chromatography. J. Agri. Food Chem. 50: 2587-2594.

Lee S-O, Kim M-A. (1996) Effect of the additives on Choux quality of rice flour. Korean J. Soc. Food. Sci. 12: 92-98.

2008- present
Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas, Department of Food Science

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Iowa State University, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

2005 (Fall)
Instructor, Iowa State University, Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Graduate Research Assistant, Iowa State University, Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Instructor, Dongduk Women's University, Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Honors Program Mentor, Bumpers College, University of Arkansas

New Faculty Commendation for Teaching Commitment, University of Arkansas

Research Excellence Award, Iowa State University