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Healthy Aging & Bioactive Research

On July 28th, 2015, as a part of the Healthy Aging Summit, the Alliance for Aging Research and Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science hosted a discussion panel titled “Impacting the Healthy of Aging Populations: The Role of Bioactive Research Innovation and Policy.” The panel consisted of three scientists from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Centers, Drs. Tomas Wang, Janet Novotny and Paul Jacques, and was moderated by the President and CEO of the Alliance for Healthy Aging, Sue Peschin.

While opening the session, Sue Peschin put bioactives into the context of healthy aging:

She also noted that, beyond the research and healthy-aging community, both the US and Canadian governments have been pursuing the issue of better measuring the effectiveness of bioactive compounds and the use of chronic disease endpoints to inform dietary reference intakes.

5 Key Messages from Bioactives Panel

1. The Institute of Medicine, US and Canadian governments, and top members of academia and private industry are all interested in scientific evaluation of bioactive compounds and the issues and opportunities that exist in bioactive research
2. While bioactive compounds are natural, and people may think that they are safe to consume in large quantities, the truth is that we do not understand how they affect regular metabolism and physiology or how they interact with other compounds in food
3. All four components of research (epidemiology, cell, animal and human studies) will be necessary to understand bioactive compounds
4. Consuming foods high in various flavonoids as part of an otherwise healthy diet is associated with lower risk of many age-related disease, such as cardiovascular disease
5. Nutrition should be consistent with the 4 Ps of medicine: it should be Predictive, Preventative, Personalized, and Participatory