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Eat well to age well

A new £6.4 million research centre at Newcastle University is beginning a programme of study into the impact of diet on ageing.

Past research has shown that good nutrition has an impact on the way the body ages. Foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables boost the body’s natural repair and renewal systems. Whereas, foods that are high in fats and sugars add to the damage that underpins the build-up of bodily faults. Newcastle University scientists have been asked to find out why this is the case.

Known as the Centre for Integrated Systems Biology of Ageing and Nutrition (CISBAN), the institute will try to broaden people's knowledge about food.

CISBAN director Professor Tom Kirkwood said life expectancy was continuing to grow by five hours a day. 'If we want to make the most of the extra time we're being given, we need to understand exactly what can be done to help us reach our later years with our bodies in good shape and our faculties intact,’ Professor Kirkwood said.

‘Although the damage that will determine what shape you'll be in during middle and old age starts building up even before you are born, it’s never too late to begin to make a real difference,’ he said.

The 40-strong CISBAN team includes researchers in computing science, mathematics and statistics. They will be using the latest computer modelling programmes to accelerate the pace of the discoveries that can be made using more traditional scientific techniques.

CISBAN was formed as part of an initiative to establish centres for integrated systems biology in UK universities in an attempt to maintain the country’s capacity to compete with world-class cutting-edge science.
Source: University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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