Southampton scientists are hoping to find out why some people benefit more than others from the effects of fruit and vegetables in battling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma and heart disease.
Professor Bob Grimble
University of Southampton
It is already known that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and tea provides plenty of antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, beta-carotene and polyphenols. These help tackle an excess of free radicals and oxidants produced to help our immune system kill harmful microbes which try to invade our systems every day. The production of too many free radicals can end up damaging our bodies and needs to be controlled. This is one of the reasons why the Government has recommended we eat five helpings of fruit and vegetables each day. However, more work needs to be done to discover if genetic factors are important too.
Professor Bob Grimble is leading a team of scientists and clinicians from the Institute of Human Nutrition at the University of Southampton, the citys University Hospitals Trust and Sciona Ltd investigating how our genes interact with antioxidants in our diet in changing inflammation. The group has won a £440,000 LINK award from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Sciona Ltd and hopes to start work early in 2003.
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