Healthy ageing and microbiome researchers
from UNSW Sydney are seeking more than 150 Sydney-based older adults, aged
60-70 years, for a trial testing whether taking dietary supplements can help
improve frailty and inflammation.
The Frailty, Ageing and Inflammation Trial for Health (FAITH) is being led by
the School of
Population Health at UNSW Sydney, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), and the Microbiome Research Centre (MRC), St George &
Sutherland Clinical School.
Like many countries, Australia has an ageing population and
the number and proportion of
older Australians is only expected to continue to grow. By
2057, it is projected there will be 8.8 million older people in Australia, representing
22% of the population.
The reports “Poor diet” (2019) and “Nutrition across the life
stages” (2018), published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
(AIHW), confirmed that older Australians are not meeting Australian Dietary
Data from various health surveys over the last 10 years have
demonstrated that on average Australian older adults over the age of 70 do not
meet the recommended daily serves of four out of five food groups and may be
missing key nutrients.
Meeting dietary guidelines can become more challenging with ageing
and in particular lower fruit, vegetable and fibre intakes are observed, which
leads to a reduction in the production of beneficial short chain fatty acids.
Short chain fatty acids are important in influencing the microbiome. In the
absence of these fatty acids, the body is unable to dampen down inflammation,
which may promote the onset of age-related illnesses.
“Diet plays a fundamental role in shaping the gut microbiome, and
diet and nutritional status are among the most important, modifiable
determinants of human health. It is exciting that we are starting to understand
the links between brain, body and gut health,” Chief Investigator Dr Adrienne
The FAITH study will provide valuable
information about whether key nutrients can improve low grade inflammation and
affect the microbiome in older Australian adults.
The hypothesis underlying this research has
come from over 18 years of clinical experience from dietitian Ms Milena Katz.
This research is the focus of Milena’s PhD
and she approached a major Australian supplement provider to see if they would
donate the products to enable her to test her theory.
“They liked our proposed trial and agreed to
donate their supplements. Now we need people to get involved,” Ms Katz said.
this information will help to inform medical dietary therapy to help older
people to age well.”
The call for participation comes at a time when good nutrition has become a focus for older Australians as the The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s final report is publicly released.
Participation in the FAITH trial involves a biological sample collection at the start and end of the trial, completing surveys and taking nutritional supplements for four months. All participants enrolled in the study receive a four months’ supply of dietary supplements, regular monitoring and dietary advice. The participants allocated into the control group will receive the intervention supplements after the trial is completed.
Source by www.ausfoodnews.com.au