Blackcurrant compounds target Alzheimer’s progression

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Scotland

Armed with a ₤60 million war chest from the Scottish government, researchers in Aberdeen are aiming to slow the progress of Alzheimer’ with bioactive compounds from blackcurrants.

The blackcurrant study, along with research into breads to help control diabetes and a tomato extract that may reduce heart disease, highlight how Scottish scientists are working to develop healthy food and drink choices to improve the Scots diet.

The research is being carried out by scientists from the University of Aberdeen's Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Macaulay Institute, Moredun Research Institute, Scottish Agricultural College and the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI).

The list of research topics include the best ways to manage weight, identifying bio-active compounds in blackcurrants that may slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, reducing the risk of food-borne illnesses such a E. coli​ O157, and the improvement of Scottish soil to improve crop yields.

Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, said: "Scottish science is making a significant input to our developing national food and drink policy, which aims to boost the industry and support healthier and more environmentally sustainable choices.

"This high-calibre research is helping our primary producers to maintain and enhance the quality of our food and drink, whilst creating new opportunities for processors. This will help support our vital food and drink industry during this difficult time, to help achieve sustainable economic growth of the sector to reach £10 billion by 2017.

"Our cross-cutting food and drink policy aims to join up government working on every part of the food chain from farm gate to plate. The fascinating work outlined today highlights the valuable contribution made by our world-class scientific researchers."

Updating the policy makers

The research projects were disclosed during a recent special briefing for ministers of the Scottish parliament on some of the work being carried out at Scotland's environmental, agricultural and biological research institutes.

The Scottish Government is providing funding to the tune of approximately £60 million (€70.8 million) per year.

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