Nutraceuticals Research Group
Contact: Manohar Garg
The area of Nutraceuticals (formerly Nutrition & Metabolism Research Group) has long been the focus of the research group headed by Professor Manohar Garg. Nutraceuticals, dietary supplements and functional foods have been the research focus of the many successful research higher degree students and postdoctoral fellows. This group brings together a number of academic staff members and their research personnel from the Faculty of Health and Faculty of Science & IT under one umbrella.
Description of the area of research
Currently the focus of the groups' research is on edible fats & oils, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules and their effects on intermediary metabolism, which may shed light onto the possible role of these factors in chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, respiratory diseases and other inflammatory conditions. Concurrent to this is a developing interest in sports nutrition and the enhancement of performance through the control of inflammation (using adequate levels of omega-3 fatty acids, carotenoids and other dietary supplements etc). The NRG also focuses on sustainable weight loss strategies and metabolic consequences in overweight and obese people.
More recently, NRG has entered into the area of functional foods and health claims testing. With the recent changes in legislation from FSANZ there will be a move by the food industry to make health claims for their products. This will require clinical trials and metabolic studies on these functional foods. The bringing together of research expertise in order to take advantage of these areas will place the University of Newcastle into an enviable position at the forefront of nutraceuticals and functional foods research.
The area of nutrition research is important to the health of populations throughout the world. The impact of altered nutrition on the public health expenditure is well documented. Chronic, nutrition related illness impacts significantly on the developing as well as the developed world, whether it be under or over nutrition the impact on the individual, social groups and populations is immense.
The area of nutrition has long been recognised to be important, and more recently it has been made a focus of government, state and institution's areas of interest for research. It is an identified area of interest in HMRI, NH&MRC and many NGO's such as the Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia also focus a large proportion of their research dollars into Nutrition research. The group has tremendous potential to attract research funds from the industries involved in marketing and manufacturing of food, nutritional and complementary medicine products.
Strategic Directions and Outcomes
The objective of the group is to bring researchers working in the area of nutrition, dietary supplements and functional foods together under one umbrella. NRG will draw together the individuals conducting nutrition related research from various disciplines including Respiratory Medicine, Cardiology, CCEB, Nutrition and Dietetics, Human Physiology, Medical Biochemistry, Human Nutrition and Food Science.
To establish a centre of excellence in nutraceuticals and functional foods research within the University of Newcastle.
To improve the profile of nutrition research.
To engage interested parties in collaborative research in the area of nutraceuticals and functional foods.
3 year outcomes:
To have the research area of 'nutraceuticals" fully recognised by the University of Newcastle.
To attract research dollars from the competitive and non-competitive schemes, RHD students and research only personnel to the area of nutraceuticals research.
To create an umbrella organisation that can encourage the collaborative and interdisciplinary, multi-professional approach to research that is needed to attract the interest of the national and international science community.
Personnel in Nutraceuticals Research Group
Prof Manohar Garg - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
A/Prof Robin Callister - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Dr Paul Roach Human Nutrition
Dr Michelle Adams Food Science
Research Only Staff
Dr Lisa Wood Medicine & Public Health
Post Graduate Research Students: as at February, 2006
Mr Brendan Plunkett - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Mr Ahmad Saedi Some Olia - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Ms Irene Munro - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Mr Faizul Addnan - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Ms Michelle Micallef - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Ms Melinda Phang - School of Biomedical Sciences & Pharmacy
Mrs Jane Watson Health Sciences
Ms Lidija Kotula Applied Sciences
Mr Nenad Noumovsky, Human Nutrition
Ms Haylee Scott Medicine & Public Health
Current Research Projects
Innovative foods for vascular health
Wine components and respiratory diseases
Fish oil (long chain omega-3 fatty acids) in human health & disease
Pro-biotics and vitamin B12 status
Higher protein diets for people with diabetes type 2
Role of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in sustainable weight loss
Dietary supplements and inflammation in trained athletes
Fatty acid metabolism in asthma during pregnancy
Carotenoids in asthma
Nutrition and obesity in children & adolescents
Green tea antioxidants and human health
Phytosterols and cardiovascular health
Current Research Funding
Meat & Livestock of Australia
National Health & Medical Research Council (ID # 351158)
National Food Strategy Initiative - Food Innovation Grant (with Campbell-Arnotts)
Hunter Medical Research Institute
Hunter Heart & Lung Guild
Equipment commonly used in our labs
High Performance Liquid Chromatography
Whole Blood Aggregometer