Current activities

Dietary patterns to promote health in people at increased risk of heart disease

Prof Jennifer Keogh and Prof Peter Clifton’s research focuses on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in adults with diabetes or at increased risk of develop diabetes. Our research activity aims to understand the best dietary pattern to prevent insulin resistance and progression to diabetes. We have shown that a dietary pattern high in red and processed meat and refined grains decreased insulin sensitivity compared to a dietary pattern high in whole grains, nuts, dairy products and legumes in insulin-resistant adults. We also aim to understand the best dietary strategy for weight loss and weight loss maintenance in people with and without diabetes. Our recent published research shows that intermittent energy restriction can be used safely in people with type 2 diabetes and achieves similar improvements in blood sugar control and weight loss. We are investigating the use of pre-meal drinks to lower the glucose response, enhance fullness and reduce food intake to help manage diabetes. We are involved in developing on-line education resources and testing whether this influences diabetes control. Our internal collaborators include Dr Permal Deo investigating advanced glycation end products (AGES) in obesity and diabetes, Professor Howard Morris and A/Prof Paul Anderson in nutrition and bone health and Professor Jon Buckley on nutrition and exercise.

For more information on this research, please contact Prof Jennifer Keogh or Prof Peter Clifton.

Diet and cardiovascular, respiratory and cognitive health

Dr Alison Hill’s research focuses on the relationship between diet and cardiovascular, respiratory and cognitive health. A number of human clinical intervention trials are currently underway evaluating the effects of nutrients/bioactives and foods on cardiovascular (including body weight and composition, lipids and lipoproteins, blood pressure, vascular health), respiratory (lung function, physical performance) and cognitive (memory, processing, mood) outcomes. This research area also includes the collection and analysis of cross-sectional data from a broad range of populations, to evaluate relationships between diet quality and different chronic health conditions. In addition, Dr Hill is interested in established and emerging strategies for weight management, particularly in individuals with a history of unsuccessful weight loss. This research involves internal collaborators including Dr Alison Coates, Prof Jon Buckley, Assoc Prof Marie Williams, and Dr Kade Davison.

For more information on this research, please contact Dr Alison Hill.

Dietary strategies to improve omega-3 status

Dr Evangeline Mantzioris research focuses on dietary strategies to improve people’s omega-3 status. Health agencies across the world recommend lowering the intake of saturated fat intake by replacing animal fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and increasing the intake of fish and fish-oils (which contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids) for a range of health benefits, including prevention of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Many Australian’s find it hard to eat enough fish, and additionally sustainability of the fish food supply is limited. This body of research is examining and identifying biological and social factors that affect omega-3 status. This research is undertaken in collaboration with Dr Beverly Muhlhausler, University of Adelaide, and Prof Bob Gibson, University of Adelaide.

For more information on this research, please contact Dr Evangeline Mantzioris or Assoc/Prof Michael Wiese.

Optimising nutrient and food intake in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Dr Giordana Cross’s research focuses on Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in Australia. Progressive deterioration in lung function can influence a person’s ability to consume sufficient food to meet their nutritional needs, which may be increased due to their disease. This in turn can lead to the development of malnutrition and potentially an increased risk of the development of infection and hospitalisation. Optimising nutrient and food intake is therefore important. Gaining a better understanding of the factors that influence food and fluid consumption in people with COPD who are developing difficulties with their eating is therefore important. This understanding will contribute to the development of strategies that could improve nutrient intake and nutritional status in this group of people.

For more information on this research, please contact Dr Giordana Cross.

Areas of study and research

+ Click to minimise