Nutrition and healthy ageing

We're living longer than ever before. Our research aims to improve understanding of the links between nutrition and health, finding ways to promote health and independence in later life. 


Key investigator: Prof Sian Robinson

Sian Robinson leads the  Centre’s research programme on the role of nutrition in healthy ageing, with a personal focus on how variations in nutrition across the lifecourse contribute to inequalities in adult health.

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Preventing malnutrition and frailty

Working with the Behavioural Science theme, we are looking into supporting healthier diet/physical activity in older adults in the community through new nutritional and lifestyle approaches.

Predicting treatment responses and frailty

We’re working to identify nutritional and immune markers predicting how individuals will respond to specific anti-inflammatory therapies for inflammatory musculoskeletal/autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, linking with the national NIHR Joint and Related Inflammatory Disease TRC.

Applying Data Science insights, we’re identifying markers of osteoporosis, sarcopenia (muscle weakening) and frailty by studying the makeup of muscle cells from older participants in our Hertfordshire Cohort.

Together with BRC Nutrition theme, we are analysing the nutritional status COPD patients to understand how nutrition affects infection risk and vaccine response. This work opens the door to optimising immune responses to infection and immunisation in frail older people.

Personalising nutritional care

Working with our partners at University of Reading, through the testing of new fortified foods, we’re working to improve nutrient intake among older people living with dementia. This builds on our established work in elderly care and a pioneering mealtime assistance programme to reduce malnutrition in hospitalised older people.

Participatory nutrition research

Through our BRC Centre for Participatory Medicine we are performing participatory research to achieve lifestyle/nutrition change in early older age, supporting Southampton’s wider work in musculoskeletal health. 

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