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Public sector and industry unite to attack obesity and heart disease

The battle against obesity, heart disease and other diet related health problems received a 4 Million boost today with the announcement of seven new research projects. The projects, taking place in universities and research institutes across the UK, are part of a partnership between two publicly-funded Research Councils and 15 companies. This means the research being funded is tackling big questions in diet and health in our society but in a way that the food industry will able to use quickly to help improve the nation's health through diet.

The partnership, the Diet and Health Research Industry Club (DRINC), has awarded the money to a range of projects. Research will look at such things as the role of probiotics and prebiotics in reducing obesity and improving immunity, why and how polyphenols found in fruit juice reduce the risk of heart disease and if this ability is reduced during food processing and the role of cognition in triggering physiological signals of fullness. A full list of the projects is below.

DRINC is led by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), in collaboration with the Medical Research Council. It has 15 member companies which contribute to the research funding pot. The Club supports world class UK scientists to look at the relationship between food and health and what can be done to improve health through diet, including reducing the risks of obesity, heart disease and cancer. The new projects announced today are the second round to be funded since the launch of DRINC in 2007. A final round of projects will be funded next year.

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Director for Innovation and Skills, said: "With obesity rising and an increasingly aging population, the need to understand the connection between diet and health has never been so important. We have a world class diet and health research community in the UK. By working with major food companies and by combining public and private sector money we can ensure that those scientists are tackling real world problems. The Club only funds the very best science, and we are working together to deliver advice and products to consumers that will have real health benefits for them - and as quickly as possible."


Contact: Tracey Jewitt
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

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