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Understanding diet and nutrition

Understanding diet and nutrition

Diet and nutrition impact on health from pre-birth to later life, playing major roles in the development of disease. In addition to the role of diet in the development of obesity, undernutrition is also a major global issue particularly in ageing, and is common in association with diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, stroke and cancer.

Lifestyle influences nutrition, with major socioeconomic factors also important at a global and local level. There is clear evidence of a north-south divide within the UK when it comes to health, diet and nutrition.

Researchers in Manchester focus on the normal physiology of digestion, in particular nutrient sensing in the enteroendocrine system and signalling in the gut-brain axis, which regulates food intake and gut function in health and disease.

We are also interested in how nutrition affects conception, placental physiology and in utero development, early life stages that exert life-long impacts on future health.

At the other end of the life course, ageing leads to increased problems with nutritional status, which has major implications for resilience to disease or injury.

We are also interested in disorders where food plays a major role in symptoms, for example irritable bowel syndrome and food allergy, and with the digestive and nutritional consequences of neurological disease, particularly disordered swallowing secondary to stroke.

Finally, our close association with the supraregional intestinal failure service underpin our strong interest in clinical nutritional assessment and support.