Great ideas attract $7 million in NHMRC grants
Seven University of Newcastle researchers have been awarded more than $7 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)…
The area of Nutraceuticals 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 Medicine, Faculty of Science & IT and Faculty of Education & Arts under one umbrella.
The focus of the Nutraceuticals Research Group (NRG) is currently on edible fats and oils, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules and their effects on intermediary metabolism to delineate the role of these factors in chronic illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, mental health, 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.
The NRG is currently is heavily focused on conducting human clinical trials to validate the health claims regarding the safety and efficacy of nutraceuticals and 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 Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), National Health and Medical Research Council and many national government organisations such as the Heart Foundation and Diabetes Australia also focus a large proportion of their research dollars into nutrition research. The group has tremendous track record of attracting research funds from the industries involved in marketing and manufacturing of food, nutritional and bioactive natural products.
The objective of the group is to bring researchers working in the area of nutrition, dietary supplements and functional foods together under one umbrella. This NRG draws together the individuals conducting nutrition related research from various disciplines including respiratory medicine, cardiology, Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, nutrition and dietetics, human physiology, medical biochemistry, human nutrition and food science.