Volunteers wanted for food study

A University of East Anglia study hopes to reveal how people metabolise beneficial foods that could reduce the risk of age related conditions.

Volunteers are being asked to come forward for the study into flavonoids – plant components found in berry and citrus fruits, teas, dark chocolate and red wine – which have been shown to offer clear benefits to some people, but not all.

It is becoming increasingly recognised that these components promote health and well-being and reduce the risk of age-related conditions such as heart disease and dementia, conditions which are becoming ever more pressing to prevent and treat as people live longer.

UEA scientists will conduct the most comprehensive study of its type worldwide to investigate whether gender, age, gut bacteria or genetics have an effect on how people absorb and metabolise flavonoids

The research will be run by researchers from the Nutrition Department at UEA in collaboration with NHS partners during 2013-2014.

Prof Anne-Marie Minihane, who is leading the study at UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “A balanced diet which includes fruits and vegetables is hugely important in maximising physical and mental well-being.”

“Studies conducted by us and others have already shown the value of flavonoids in plant foods and in our UK government funded study we hope to greatly advance our understanding of why some people benefit more than others from increased flavonoid consumption. Such information will be invaluable in setting of future dietary recommendations and to enable nutrition professionals to offer personalised dietary advice.”

The study is recruiting people who are relatively healthy and aged 18-30 and 65-77 years old, who are able to maintain a dietary restriction for five days and are Caucasian.

Volunteers will be asked to follow a controlled diet for three days, and then consume a flavonoid rich meal before providing urine and blood samples to scientists to investigate flavonoid metabolism. Every participant will receive compensation to cover their travel and time.

Those interested in taking part can find out more details and if they are eligible by contacting the COB team on 07818-851472, info@cobstudy.org or at www.cobstudy.org