It is estimated that until 2030, 25 to 40% of the European population will be over 65 years old. This high percentage of elderly compels policy makers and scientists to develop strategies to cope with this shift in the demography of the European society and its consequences. NU-AGE aims to improve health and quality of life of the ageing population by counteracting inflammaging using a whole diet approach. Results of the project were presented during the Final Conference that took place on 5th April 2016 at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB), Brussels.
The NU-AGE Final Conference offered an opportunity to better understand the nutritional needs for an improved quality of life in the over 65 years-EU population. In particular, the conference gave information on the main cellular and molecular pathways that can modulate the body response to nutrition and presented new functional food prototypes and elderly-tailored foods, developed within NU-AGE, that will increase the competitiveness of the EU food industry.
In this page you can find the webinars of the talks held at the conference.
Introduction - by the project coordinator Claudio Franceschi (UNIBO, Italy)
NU AGE: MedDiet for the health of the elderly across Europe. An overview
of NU AGE study design, undertaken during the project and the data
obtained so far.
Franceschi is Professor Emeritus at University of Bologna, Italy and is
the Coordinator of NU AGE. He proposed the model of centenarians for the
study of healthy ageing and longevity identifying many genetic variants
involved in human longevity. He also coined the theory of
“Inflamm-ageing” to explain ageing and age-related pathologies. Claudio
applies high-throughput technologies in an integrated vision of Biology
and Systemic Medicine/ personalized of aging. He developed some among
the major databases and biobanks on aging and human longevity. Claudio
has been involved in several EU projects on ageing and published more
than 600 peer-reviewed articles.
Compliance and changes in dietary intake among elderly people in five EU countries - by Agnes Berendsen (WU, the Netherland)
The one-year NU-AGE nutritional trial: Presentation of the results
obtained from the NU AGE dietary intervention study, including the
change in dietary intake and the compliance to the NU AGE diet.
Dr. Agnes Berendsen started in 2011 her PhD within the European project NU-AGE at the Wageningen University to set up and conduct a one-year randomized controlled dietary intervention trial on the effect of a healthful diet on healthy ageing in 1,250 European older adults. Based on her study’s results, she published two papers; one on the design of the NU-AGE dietary intervention study and one review on dietary patterns, cognitive function and cognitive decline.
Next to this, Agnes has been involved in several other research initiatives for different institutions like the Harvard School of Public Health, Division of Medicine in Boston and EFSA.
Inflammatory and Immunology status of NU-AGE volunteers - by Monica Maijo (IFR, UK)
Presentation and analysis of the effects on the immune system of the volunteers after one year of dietary intervention.
Mònica Maijó Ferré
Dr Mònica Maijó Ferré is a research scientist at the Institute of Food Research (Norwich, UK) since 2012, where she has been working in the NU-AGE project until nowadays, developing the immunological part of this project.
Previously, she did her PhD (2007-2011) focusing in the effects of diets in the immunological response in mice after infection in the Research Group Physiology and Experimental Nutrition of the Department of Physiology in the Faculty of Pharmacy (Barcelona). Mònica holds a BA in Pharmacy and a Master in Molecular Biotechnology.
Transcriptomics analyses after the NU-AGE diet - by Caroline Smal (Straticell, Belgium)
Description of the study design investigating how transcriptocomics
analyses perform after the NU AGE diet. The presentation also presents
the data and conclusions obtained until now.
Dr. Caroline Smal has been a research scientist at the Biotech Company “Active Motif Europe” (Rixensart, Belgium) for the last three years. She is also project leader at StratiCELL SA, a research and development services provider company dedicated to the in vitro testing of active ingredients for the cosmetic industry. Previously, she worked for several years as a research associate in the Molecular Virology unit of the Institute for Molecular Biology and Medicine of the Free University of Brussels (IBMM, ULB) and in the Animal and Microbial Biology unit of the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech Faculty (University of Liège). She holds a Master Degree in Chemistry from the University of Namur (Belgium), obtained in 2002.
Metabolomics and frailty on NU-AGE sub-cohort before diet - by Ivan Montoliu (NIHS, Switzerland).
Presentation of the results obtained from the analysis of Metabolomics
and frailty on the sub-cohort during the first year, before the start of
the NU AGE diet.
Dr. Ivan Montoliu is a data science specialist at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences since 2015, interested in machine learning and multivariate modelling on data from multiple sources. He holds a Degree (1995) and Ph.D. in Chemistry (2001) from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, focusing on the development and application of chemometrical methods on IR spectroscopy.
His previous roles include working at the official distributor of Dionex products in Spain (2000); a Post Doc position at the Department of Electronics at the University of Barcelona (2004-2007), and a position as a research scientist in Metabolomics at the Nestle Research Center in Laussanne, Switzerland (2008-2014).
MS Metabolomics on NU-AGE sub-cohort before and after diet - by Blandine Comte (INRA, France)
Presentation of the analysis of Metabolomics and frailty on the
sub-cohort before and after the NU AGE diet in order to study the
effects of the Mediterranean diet in both groups.
Telomeres length - by Aurelia Santoro on behalf of Fawzi Kadi (Oru, Sweden)
Presentation of the first results obtained by the analysis of the
Telomeres length, which normally shortens with age, on NU-AGE volunteers
before and after diet.
Proteasome and immunoproteasome function and composition after the NU-AGE diet - by Aurelia Santoro on behalf of Stathis Gonos (NHFR, Greece).
Presentation of the first results of the effect of the NU AGE diet on
the decline of activity of the Proteasome with cellular aging and on the
content of immunoproteasome, an important regulator of oxidized
Dr Efstathios Gonos is the Director of Research of the Department of ''Molecular and Cellular Aging'' in NHRF/IBMCB since 2002. This group focuses on the genetic and environmental factors that are linked to human aging and longevity. Previously he (1989-1993) he worked as a Research Scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in London. Throughout his career, he has published more than 100 research articles in eminent journals, is author of 14 monographs and patents holder that have resulted in the development of novel anti-aging products. He has been a ''Senior expert'' of E.U. in ''Human development and the aging process'' and Deputy National Representative of Greece in E.U. in ''Genomics and Biotechnology for Health''. He is evaluator of several international organizations (e.g. European Union, UNESCO, Cancer Research U.K., Medical Research Council U.K., etc).
DOREMI project: Walking through NU-AGE diet, crossing smart devices with European research - Oberdan Parodi DOREMI project coordinator (CNR-IFC, Italy)
Presentation of the project DOREMI (Decrease of cOgnitive decline,
malnutRition and sedEntariness by elderly empowerment in lifestyle
Management and social Inclusion) and its actions to tackle malnutrition
and sedentariness in the elderly, which are common goals with the NU AGE
Dr. Oberdan Parodi, M.D., cardiologist, is Associate Researcher at CNR Clinical Physiology Institute (CNR IFC), past Director of CNR (IFC) on 2007-2008, and Director of Cardiovascular Department, Ospedale Niguarda, Milan from 1997 to 2007. He has a longstanding experience of EC projects. From November 2013 he is coordinator and scientific manager of DOREMI project that aims to fight the major impairments in elderly through technological solutions.
Principal investigator of targeted research projects for the Italian Health Ministry, Dr Parodi is also author of more than 320 original papers, reviews and book chapters. Main fields of interest: Bio and imaging markers, Cardiac multi-imaging modalities, Heart failure and heart transplantation, ICT solutions in frailty, Coronary artery disease, Clinical trials.
The main socio economics determinants on diet quality and health of the EU elderly - by Xavier Irz (LUKE, Finland)
Presentation of the results of the collaboration between LUKE institute
and some NU AGE partners: University of Bologna (IT), University of
Reading (UK) and Karolinska Istitute (S). The aims of the study were to
investigate the dietary behaviours among EU elderly and understand the
best practice in communication to aging population on food with
Dr Xavier Irz is professor of food markets within the policy and markets research group of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke). He is an applied economist (PhD, U. of Minnesota) whose current research focuses on the competitiveness of the Finnish food chain, as well as the analysis of food consumption patterns in relation to health and sustainability issues. With regard to the second theme, his work concentrates on the identification of the behavioural determinants of food choices; the analysis of the environmental, economic and health effects of those choices; and the investigation of policy measures aimed at steering consumers towards more sustainable diets.
Prior to joining Luke in 2008, he had professional experiences in the UK both as an academic (U. of Reading) and Government Economist (at the UK Food Standards Agency).
Attitudes and perceptions of elderly consumers towards nutritional benefits and health-related information - by Sophie Hieke (EUFIC, Belgium)
Presentation of a selection of findings collected at the end of the end
of the clinical intervention through an exit questionnaire given to all
the participants, which asked about their attitudes, perceptions and
understanding of nutrition and health claims.
Dr Sophie Hieke is Head of Consumer Insights at the European Food Information Council (EUFIC). She is also the Principal Coordinator of the EU funded project CLYMBOL – Role of health claims and symbols in consumer behaviour. Sophie has a BA in Business Administration, a Master of Business Research and a PhD at the Institute for Market-based Management in Munich. Her main areas of research include quantitative methods and experimental research on consumer behaviour. She is a visiting researcher at the University of Surrey as well as a research fellow at the Munich Centre of Health Sciences and the Center for Marketing and Public Policy Research at Villanova Business School, Philadelphia.
Sophie has published in several scientific journals. She was recently awarded “Best Paper of the Year” by the American Council of Consumer Interest, ACCI, in conjunction with the Journal of Consumer Affairs.