UA Divsion of Agriculture

IFSE Center for Human Nutrition
and Functional Foods

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     Changes in the demographic composition, family structure and lifestyle of the American population have dramatically altered food selection and preferences. These changes have increased the importance of timely, reliable knowledge about the relationship between consumer food choices and their effects on nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle.

     Americans are increasingly aware that food affects their health in a variety of ways. Strong links have been identified between diet and six of the leading causes of morbidity and death in the United States: cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease and osteoporosis.

     It is becoming abundantly clear that consumption of foods high in antioxidants has the potential to retard oxidative damage associated with many degenerative disorders, but there is still much to be learned about the relative importance of different antioxidants in preventing disease. Fruits, vegetables and legumes (soybeans in particular) are an excellent source of phytochemicals, which are defined as "components in a plant-based diet other than traditional nutrients that can reduce the risk of degenerative conditions."

    The Center for Human Nutrition's mission is to conduct research on existing and novel foods that provide individuals with appropriate levels of required nutrients as well as other biologically important phytochemicals and to evaluate how these factors relate to the health and well-being of the individual.


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