WHAT: Polyphenols, particularly procyanidins (abundant in foods such as tea, cocoa, grapes, nuts and berries), may be beneficial in maintaining better cognitive function in ageing, but investigating their role in relation to health is hampered by the lack of robust biomarkers of dietary intake. We will validate novel plasma biomarkers of procyanidin-rich foods and link them with inflammation, metabolic health and cognition in an ageing European population.
WHO: VALID brings together partners from the UK, Ireland and Italy with interdisciplinary expertise in nutrition, food bioactives, immunology, geography and clinical gerontology, with the aim of conducting impactful research linking dietary polyphenols with cognitive health in older adults. VALID builds on the Joint Irish Nutrigenomics Organisation (JINGO) project and specifically its component Trinity, Ulster, Department of Agriculture (TUDA) cohort study. The partners are Helene McNulty, Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health, UK (Coordinator); Daniele Del Rio, University of Parma, Italy and Anne Molloy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
HOW: VALID draws on the TUDA cohort, a unique resource on 5200 adults aged 60-102 years recruited from the UK and Ireland, providing a range of biomarkers and health measures. Apart from performing new analysis on bio-banked TUDA samples, we will access ‘TUDA 5+’, a follow-up study of 1000 participants from the original cohort 5 years after initial investigation, to determine the role of procyanidin-rich foods in preventing cognitive decline over a 5-year follow-up period.