Leading Swedish scientist examines role of food in aging and disease development

2 Min Read
Leading Swedish scientist examines role of food in aging and disease development

The fifth annual Healthy Foods European Summit will be held in central London, UK, at the Royal Horseguards Hotel on Oct. 6-7.

On the second day of the conference, as part of a major debate around future strategies for healthy foods, Dr Stig Bengmark, Professor Emeritus, Lunds Universitet Sweden & Honorary Visiting Professor, University College London, will provide a critical insight into how food processing contributes to the development of chronic diseases and premature aging.

The incidence of acute and chronic diseases is increasing worldwide, especially in Asian and African countries. Dr Bengmark suggests that this development is strongly associated with Western lifestyle. He asserts that this is not just lack of physical exercise, mental stress, use of tobacco and alcohol, but also with consumption of refined and calorie-condensed foods, of which most create systemic inflammation that "paralyzes" the innate immune system and reduces resistance to disease. He coins the phrase "smoking with the stomach."

Bengmark will present results of recent research that demonstrates how food ingredients not only influence the development of disease but how the new science of nutragenomics provides valuable tools to assess the effects of food on human biology.

Dr Bengmark states: "It is increasingly evident that modern industrial processes both in agriculture and food industry, much associated with efforts to increase productivity, are to be held responsible for the unwanted development of highly pro-inflammatory and carcinogenic molecules and hormones. Heating and storage in room temperature, irradiation drying, and microwaving are strong contributors in these processes. It is clear that implementing present knowledge will not only prevent the majority of human chronic diseases, but also dramatically improve longevity."

Also taking part in the debate following Dr Bengmark's presentation will be Dr Gert W Meijer, PhD, VP Nutrition & Health, Vice Chairman, Unilever Food & Health Institute, Dr Paul Clayton, visiting Fellow Oxford Brookes University & Technical Director, Szent Gyorgyi Insitute, Budapest, Hungary and Peter Wennstrom, President, Heath Focus Europe.

With ever-increasing awareness and concerns about food consumption and health-related issues, the Healthy Foods European Summit has created a leading platform for debate and networking and encourages a united approach to tackling major nutritional and food industry issues. The 2008 programme will embrace trends, regulation, government policies, scientific development, hot new innovations, management, marketing and a look into the future.

The conference draws senior executives from the international food & beverage, government, regulatory affairs, scientific development, corporate management and marketing communities. There will be an evening reception on the 6th October to which all delegates are invited. Delegate registration is via the web site. There are discounts available via trade associations. For more information, visit the website. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

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