Campus News

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

News Release

November 09, 1999

Workshop examines role of nutraceuticals in fighting disease

How did Omega-3 fatty acids go from being an obscure Inuit dietary component to being recommended for prevention of chronic heart disease?

Does adding fiber to your diet really reduce the risk of heart disease? Can eating margarine with added ingredients help lower blood cholesterol?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed at a workshop being held in Toronto Wednesday, Nov. 24 by the University of Guelph's Human Nutraceutical Research Unit.

The Nutraceutical Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors workshop will provide current scientific and clinical knowledge about nutraceuticals, which are natural food ingredients that are known to fight or prevent disease. 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. Most of the sessions will focus on therapeutics used to reduce heart disease risk factors.

The event will be held at the Regal Constellation Hotel, 900 Dixon Road from 1 to 5 p.m. and is open to the media. It is expected to attract doctors, pharmacists, dietitians and others working in health-related fields.

Conference topics include:

"From Inuit to Intervention: the Omega-3 Story," 1:15 p.m. Prof. William Harris, Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas, addresses the evolution of Omega-3 fatty acids and discusses animal trials and human experiments.

"Plant Sterols: Sow's Ear to Silk Purse," 2 p.m. Prof. Peter Jones, School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, examines whether adding plant sterols to margarine helps reduce heart disease risk.

"Dietary Fiber and Cardiovascular Disease" 3:45 p.m., Prof. David Jenkins, Nutritional Science, University of Toronto, examines the role of fiber.

"Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods in Medical Practice," 4:30 p.m. Prof. Bruce Holub, Human Biology and Nutritional Science, University of Guelph, examines new foods and nutritional supplements.

In addition, Prof. Julie Conquer, director of U of G' Human Nutraceutical Research Unit, will provide opening remarks. Conquer was one of the first to examine the effects of Omega-3 fatty acid on cardiovascular disease risk factors in humans. U of G opened its Human Nutraceutical Research Unit in February. It is performing human research trials on food products containing nutraceuticals, advising government agencies and industry on their efficacy, and developing new food and nutraceutical products through collaborations with other University departments.

The conference is sponsored by U of G's Human Nutraceutical Research Unit and the Office of Open Learning. For additional information on the conference, call (519) 767-5000.

Contact: Prof. Julie Conquer, Director Human Nutraceutical Research Unit (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3749

For media questions, contact Lori Hunt, Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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