March 20, 2003, Gazette
|Dr. H. W. (Bud) Hulan
Dr. H. W. (Bud) Hulan was recently appointed
University Research Professor at the University of Veterinary Medicine
in Vienna. Dr. Hulan is a nutritional biochemist in Memorial’s Department
of Biochemistry and former provincial minister of Fisheries, Food and
Agriculture under Premier Clyde Wells. His work in Vienna involves incorporating
the Omega-3 fatty acids from marine sources such as seal oil into land-based
animal food sources such as chickens and eggs as well as the effects of
these fatty acids in seal oil on such chronic diseases as asthma, and
atopic dermatitis. While the appointment in Vienna doesn’t include
remuneration, it does give Dr. Hulan full rights as a professor at the
university and access to labs and facilities.
The Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good” oils found in fish
and have many important health benefits, including reduction and prevention
of cardiovascular disease, low cholesterol and triglyceride levels and
reduce the risk of blood clots. These fatty acids are why fish are considered
brain food and are needed for the normal development and functioning of
the brain. Fatty fish such as mackerel and sardines contain high levels
of these healthy oils. “But not everyone has can afford or wants
to eat these foods and often high quality fresh fatty fish is difficult
to get in many parts of the world,” said Dr. Hulan.
To make these beneficial nutrients in fish available to more people, Dr.
Hulan and his colleagues at the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now
Dal-Tech), in the mid-1970s began a project to incorporate fatty acids
into more readily available foods like chickens and eggs. They were successful
in developing high omega-3 chickens and eggs, which now are patented and
sells across Canada and the United States.
“We chose chickens as they are the one food source that has no religious
taboo, pretty much every culture eats them,” he said. Dr. Hulan
and his students and colleagues in Vienna have continued with different
aspects of this research.
Last year, Dr. Hulan was also awarded the BioEast’s Annual Innovation
and Leadership Award, in recognition of his ground-breaking research.
Dr. Hulan is also conducting research at the University of Ancona in Italy
and the University of Zagreb in Croatia on the effects of seal oil omega-3
fatty acids on such chronic diseases as cardiovascular disease, asthma,
atopic dermatitis and cystic fibrosis.