The Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition

IMAGINE really understanding how what we eat can affect our health

Around the world over 800 million people are suffering chronic hunger and 2 billion are affected by nutrient deficiency, yet over 500 million are affected by obesity. The health impacts of these issues are significant and wide ranging, and will only increase as our global population continues to grow.

At the University of Reading we are working to help address the complex factors behind these issues such as environmental change, resource degradation, food production, diet, health and wellbeing.

The Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition plays a pivotal part in our approach and with a focus on the relationship between the food we eat and the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline and cancer. This research is crucial to exploring and understanding the links between diet and disease, and developing strategies that will help ensure healthier and more nutritious food for all.

For over 20 years the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition has explored key links between diet and disease, such as the impact of diet on blood pressure and vascular health, insulin resistance, inflammation and risk of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and cognitive function and the interactions between genetic make-up and nutrients. Recently research has focussed on the effect that different types of dietary fats have on the blood vessel health, blood lipids and inflammation status of volunteers who are at an increased risk of developing heart disease, enabling researchers to understand which types of dietary fats are more beneficial in reducing the heart disease risk in the population.

Further research is seeking to understand the role of flavonoids (compounds found in fruits, vegetables, cocoa etc) on cognitive function, such as memory, and how flavonoids can reduce cognitive decline in our increasing aging population.

The success of such research depends on cutting edge techniques, scientific excellence and large numbers of volunteers taking part in dietary studies, which requires the support of qualified and trained research staff and nurses for the collection of samples or medical examination procedures that provide the essential data we need.

The University also holds the extensive archived data from dietary surveys conducted by Professor Hugh Sinclair, after whom the Unit is named. The physical notes from these surveys from UK, Germany and The Netherlands holds dietary data collected during World War 2 that has remained locked and provides a potentially unsurpassed resource to enhance our learning. We need to collate the records and develop a database that allows us to analyse the data.

The cutting-edge research performed within the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition has contributed to significant advances in nutritional science that has informed public health policy and contributed to effective ways to address some of our biggest health challenges.

To further increase the breadth and impact of our nutrition research the Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition needs to expand its physical facilities as well as grow its team of researchers and clinical staff. With your help, the Unit can deliver real insight into how diet and nutrition influences our risk of disease and plays a key role in ensuring a healthy and nutritious diet for everyone.

Your support could help provide:

Together we can make it happen.

Key project facts and stats

The Hugh Sinclair Human Unit of Nutrition plays a pivotal part in our approach and with a focus on the relationship between the food we eat

800 million

Around the world over 800 million people are suffering chronic hunger

500 million

Over 500 million are affected by obesity

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W M Childs

Universities are living things: they feel, think and do. They are centres of intelligence; they are concerned with ideas; they have outposts upon the frontiers of knowledge; they sometimes do beautiful and remarkable things; they dream and imagine.

W M Childs

First Vice-Chancellor, 1926-29

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