The Livewell project was carried out at the Rowett Institute, funded by the WWF-UK and the Scottish Government. The aim of the project was to use modelling techniques to test whether it was possible to construct realistic and acceptable diets for the UK population that would meet dietary requirements for health and achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The project demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to create such a diet and achieve a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) by limiting the quantities of food high in GHGE, such as meat and dairy products. Future work will consider other factors such as the impact of food choices on land and water use, social, ethical and economic issues.
Research at the Rowett Institute showed the efficacy of high protein and mixed carbohydrate diets in sustained weight loss, and high level scientific support was provided to Marks and Spencer plc to help them develop the new product range.
Since its launch in January 2010 the Simply Fuller Longer range of calorie-counted meals and snacks quickly became an established brand available throughout the UK. The efficacy of the protein enriched Simply Fuller Longer™ (SFL) range of calorie counted weight loss meals was tested in overweight and obese men and women in trials at the Rowett. Data from these studies suggested that the SFL range of calorie counted meals is effective in promoting weight loss and reducing hunger, at least in the short term.
Folates are critical for human health and wellbeing. It has been suggested that folate deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world, with 40% of adolescents in the UK exhibiting marginal folate status and folate deficiency common in people over 65 years of age.
Working with the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA UK), scientists at the Rowett Institute assessed the methodology for best measuring folate status in the UK population in consultation with national and international experts. The Institute provided the UK government with a series of recommendations on the best method and sampling regime to use in future human population monitoring and decisions by the Department of Health on how best to assess the folate status of the UK population have been informed by this research.
Research undertaken at the Rowett Institute has contributed to significant advances in understanding of how human gut microbes influence gut health and inflammatory bowel disease.
This resulted in a successful patent applications and a new spin-out company, GT Biologics Ltd, was formed. The company is now developing next generation probiotics and therapeutics for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
In 1999 the first company to be spun out of the Rowett, Provexsis, was launched. It followed a discovery by Professor Asim Dutta Roy at the Institute of a tomato extract which inhibits platelet aggregation, a known cause of heart attack, stroke and venous thrombosis.
Known as Fruitflow™ the product became the first product in Europe to obtain an approved positive health claim under Article 13.5 of the European Food Safety Authority regulations.
The Rowett Institute worked in partnership with the spin-out company to undertake the research underpinning the health claims.