NUTRITION researchers at the University of Newcastle are investigating whether a dietary supplement can lessen, improve or even prevent some of the risk factors associated with ageing.
But they need a little help.
Lead investigator Dr Jessica Ferguson hopes to recruit at least 25 healthy adults aged 55 to 75 to test whether an antioxidant-rich pine bark extract supplement can reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and improve physical function.
She said the TGA-approved product was already known to be a rich source of potent antioxidants.
But they wanted to see whether it could also reduce the risk of developing chronic disease and improve quality of life via this 12-week clinical trial at the University of Newcastle.
"We just want individuals to take this elixir every day, once with their breakfast, and they'll come back to see us for a total of three times over 12 weeks," she said.
"We will take bloods to measure oxidative stress, inflammation markers, look at the immune system and blood pressure, and also look at their muscle strength and walking speed.
"We're also going to be measuring body composition and looking at bone mass, muscle mass and fat mass for secondary outcomes."
They hoped the health benefits might translate into improved physical function and promote overall well-being in older adults.
Dr Ferguson said it was no secret that ageing increases susceptibility to various chronic diseases via increased inflammation, oxidative stress, muscle wasting, loss of physical function and decline in immune function.
But adequate nutritional intake and regular physical activity were known preventative strategies for combating age-associated chronic disease risk.
Dietary supplements could complement lifestyle changes in promoting healthy ageing.
Dr Ferguson said if they could demonstrate this elixir was an antioxidant that could lower inflammation and support the immune system, they would then like to investigate its effects in other disease groups with known inflammatory or oxidative stress problems, such as osteoarthritis, or chronic inflammatory diseases like diabetes.
"And because muscle wastage is a really pivotal thing that happens as we age, if this can help people to be a bit more agile and move around if their pain is less, then that's a great thing to support muscle maintenance," she said.
To find out more about the study, email email@example.com, or call 4921 5636.
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