Meeting of researchers investigating ‘good’ and ‘bad’ fats

Leading experts in lipids - fats found in food and in our bodies - are meeting today June 15) in Aberdeen.

The University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health is hosting the 43rd meeting of the Scottish Lipid Discussion Group.

Lipids are fats stored in the blood which are key for heart health and are used for energy by our bodies.

Some fats such as certain omega-3 and omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids are essential to human health while others such as saturated fatty acids can be harmful if taken in excess.

The role of lipids in human disease such as taking omega-3 fish oils to protect against cancer will be discussed at today’s meeting.

Researchers will also hear how lipids in human health are also helping in the aquaculture sector – for example, fatty acids are given to salmon to prevent viral diseases. 

Professor Klaus Wahle is one of the organisers of today’s meeting which will also honour the memory of Professor Alan Garton – a former deputy Director of the Rowett and a founding father of the Scottish Lipid Discussion Group who conducted pioneering work into lipids.

Professor Wahle, of the University’s Cancer Medicine Research Group, said: “Professor Garton was a major force in lipid research in the UK and Scotland for which he was elected to both the Fellowship of the Royal Society, and the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and today’s meeting is dedicated to him.”

Fellow organiser Dr Iain Brown, also of the University’s Cancer Medicine Research programme, added:  “This is a great opportunity for all those researchers in Scotland working on lipid research to come together and discuss their current work.”

Attending today’s event as special guests are Professor Garton’s daugher Dr Fiona Garton and her son Iain.

Today’s meeting is also a prelude to the University of Aberdeen hosting the 56th International Conference on the Bioscience of Lipids in 2015 – a huge international meeting which travels round the world.