The symposium’s keynote speaker is Dr Alex Richardson, a senior research fellow from the University of Oxford, and a Founder Director of FAB Research, a charitable trust dedicated to advancing scientific research into the links between nutrition and human behaviour.
Dr Richardson’s research into how nutrition (and particularly fatty acids) can affect behaviour, learning, and mood is aimed at developing new methods of identification and management that will have practical benefits.
She points to increasing evidence indicating that relative deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids are unusually common in children with ADHD and related behavioural and learning difficulties including dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism.
Controlled trials have shown omega-3 supplements can be of benefit to children with these conditions, and Dr Richardson will discuss this and the role of omega-3 fatty acids in the behaviour and cognitive performance of children from the general population.
“The omega-3 fatty acids, particularly those from seafood sources, are incorporated into cell membranes of almost every cell in the human body affecting various health processes throughout the life cycle, from our brains and our heart to our bones,” says Dr Richardson. “It is important that health professionals are kept up to date with this rapidly-expanding science in order to make the best evidence-based recommendations for their clients and patients.”
The importance of omega-3 fatty acids for brain, bone and heart health, along with the use of supplements versus food sources, will be also examined and discussed at the one-day event.
Registrations to attend the event are still open, and anyone working in the health industry is encouraged to attend. For more information, go to the symposium website.
Next year Massey will establish a College of Health bringing together disciplines – including the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health – and focus on illness and injury prevention, rather than cure. The college will have approximately 2000 equivalent full-time students and 250 staff.