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Research Programme:
Research Outline

Lipgene sets out to provide a truly integrated effort to examine the interaction of food supply and genes in the metabolic syndrome.

In the course of this 5-year project we will:

  • Understand the manner in which differences in the composition of dietary fat interacts with natural human genetic variation to influence the development of the metabolic syndrome.
  • Create alternative plant sources (linseed oil) of long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFA), taking genes from marine algae to produce a seed-oil containing the vital LC n-3 PUFA found in fish oil, known to protect against elements of the metabolic syndrome.
  • Establish the principles of animal nutrition, which change the composition of milk fat from dairy cows to one with less saturates, less trans fats and more monounsaturated fats. In addition, animal nutrition research will increase the supply of LC n-3 PUFA enriched poultry meats to provide additional sources of these fats.
  • Ascertain the concerns and views of the consumer as to the risks arising from the metabolic syndrome and the attitudes regarding the risk benefits of introducing new agro-food technologies to combat the metabolic syndrome.
  • Examine the economic barriers to introducing new agro-food technologies and the economics costs of the management of the metabolic syndrome through diet versus pharmaceutics.
  • Complete a wide-ranging and high-level dissemination programme to:
    • create awareness of the need to integrate diet and genetics in addressing the metabolic syndrome.
    • create awareness of the potential of new agro-food technologies to help combat the metabolic syndrome.
    • improve our understanding of the economics and consumer science perspectives linked to both the problem and the solution.

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Plate of Food
Research Programme