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Highlights from the Nutrition Society Annual Summer Meeting

Highlights from the Nutrition Society Summer MeetingThe Randox Research Division had the pleasure of exhibiting at the 2014 Nutrition Society Annual Summer Meeting titled: “Carbohydrates in Health: Friends or Foes” which was held at the prestigious University of Glasgow in the UK.

Over the 4-day event, which was attended by Allen Huxley (Sales Manager for UK and Ireland Research) and Liam Thomas (Regional Sales Consultant for Scotland, Ireland and North East of England), we had the pleasure of not only exhibiting and but also attending various presentations from event delegates.  Some highlights are included below:

Presentation 1: The rise and fall of gluten

Professor David Sanders, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, UK

Professor Sanders began the presentation by taking a trip back in time to discuss the increased use of gluten in our diet over the years, explaining that the introduction of wheat to our diet is still relatively novel despite having been exposed to it for around 10,000 years.

The avoidance of gluten in the diet seems to be on trend with society but what does it mean in the ‘real world?’ Professor Sanders went on to explain that Coeliac disease (CD) or gluten sensitivity is a state of heightened immunological responsiveness to ingested gluten in genetically susceptible individuals and now affects 1% or more of all adults.

While innate and adaptive markers of CD such as IL-12, IL-6, TR-21 and IFN-g have been identified , a clear biomarker for other populations such as non-coeliac gluten sensitive individuals has yet to be identified. The autoimmune disease CD is well defined in symptoms and diagnosis however the role of the immune system in non-coeliac gluten sensitivity remains unclear.

At present, the only known treatment for CD is a lifelong gluten-free diet. The treatment for CD however raises uncertainties regarding the nutritional effects of such a diet, for example on cholesterol levels. Professor Sanders also pointed out that it is not clearly understood whether adult patients with undetected coeliac disease and co-existent Type 1 diabetes benefit from a gluten-free diet.

Professor Sanders concluded that while gluten had its place in history, it is now “ A friend that has outstayed his welcome”.

Presentation 2: Relevance of liver fat to the impact of extrinsic sugars on lipid metabolism

Professor Bruce Griffin, University of Surrey, UK

Professor Griffin began the talk by presenting recent research on the accumulation of ectopic fat in the liver and viscera due to a high intake of dietary sucrose or fructose (≥ 25% total energy) This total energy intake is generally in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages and liquids by Western Europe.  What is not clear however, is the effect of high sugar intake in relation to the real world. This was demonstrated by Professor Griffin when he suggested a high fructose intake to be potential substrates for Liver glycogen synthesis and fatty acid production in the liver.  Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has been described as the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. Research recognises NAFLD as a potential cause and effect of adverse changes in Lipid metabolism which is identified as the silent relative of the visceral adiposity that characterises ‘metabolic obesity’.

With the recent SACN report published on June 26 2014, the recommendation to halve dietary sugar intake (5% total energy) is further yet a clear indicator to the potential adverse effects on cardio-metabolic risk factors including dyslipidaemia as presented.

Professor Griffin concluded that NAFLD provides mechanistic links between dietary extrinsic sugars and dyslipidaemia. These mechanistic links also identify large subpopulations of individuals who may be more susceptible to intake of dietary sugars and should render them more responsive to current dietary guidelines.

Details for the upcoming Winter Nutrition Society Meeting 2014:

Title: Nutrition and age-related muscle loss, sarcopenia and cachexia

Date: 9–10 December 2014

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK

Website: www.nutritionsociety.org/events

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The Randox Research division would like to thank the Nutrition Society for organising the conference and providing the opportunity to exhibit our range of products which have numerous academic applications in the field of nutrition.

If you would like to learn more about how the Randox Research division can aid your research studies, download our research brochures: Metabolic and Nutrition or visit www.randox.com.

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