Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

March 12, 2002

What are functional foods? Find out at U of G symposium

Are there scientific bases behind the claims that such compounds as omega-3 fatty acids, calcium and soy can improve health? Can eating margarine with added ingredients help lower blood cholesterol? Does adding fibre to your diet really reduce the risk of heart disease?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals Symposium being held March 22 from 7 to 10 p.m., OVC Lifetime Learning Centre. The event is open to the media and public, with free parking and admission by donation. Organized by graduate student Allison Tannis, the symposium is intended to answer questions about claims made by food producers and to explain the possible treatment and preventive effects of nutrition on disease. Nutrition experts from the scientific, medical and government sectors will be on hand to answer questions about functional foods and nutraceuticals. Product samples and educational information will also be available.

Functional foods are known to fight or prevent disease, and a nutraceutical is a pill form of a compound naturally found in foods that is thought to be useful. Examples include omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils that reduce triglycerides, a known risk for heart disease, and margarine containing plant sterols, which lower blood cholesterol.

Topics to be discussed include regulations, legislation and labelling of functional foods and nutraceuticals, Alzheimer's disease and nutraceuticals, antioxidants and depression and functional foods. Speakers include Prof. Bruce Holub, of Guelph's Department of Human Biology and Nutritional Sciences, and Kyra Gloster of Health Canada's Natural Health Product Directorate.

For media questions or a complete schedule of speakers, contact
Communications and Public Affairs,
519-824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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