Human Nutrition

Human Nutrition research explores the links between nutrition and human health. Research programs span a number of disciplines including nutrition and metabolism, physiology, immunology, epidemiology, nutritional assessment, community nutrition, and public health. Research activities are strategically focused on health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and cancer, infant and child health, and community nutrition with the ultimate goal of preventing diseases and enhancing the quality of human life.

Significant contributions are being made in the areas of:

Nutrient Requirements: Investigation of nutrient digestion and metabolism with the aim of understanding nutrient requirements for improved health and development. Significant advancements have been made in understanding amino acid and fatty acid requirements.

Nutrition and Disease: Understanding of the role of nutrition on immune function and disease. Determining the role of nutrition in the development of diabetes and related complications and understanding the effectiveness of physical activity interventions. Understanding the links between nutrition (including absorption/metabolism of dietary lipids), obesity and increased risk for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and pre-diabetes. Understanding energy metabolism in health and disease with particular interest in obesity, diabetes, eating disorders and weight cycling. Use of specific lipids in the prevention and treatment of cancer and the modulation of immune function and tumour metabolism. Defining nutritional requirements for people with cancer and determining ways to prevent or overcome malnutrition during chemotherapy and advanced disease.

Community Nutrition: Understanding the social and behavioural determinants of nutrition and health, childhood obesity and practitioner behaviour, with special emphasis on individual and organizational behavioural change.

Facilities include the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation (including the Human Nutrition Research Unit and Whole Body Calorimeter) and the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy.