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February 07, 2007— Ottawa, Ontario

Health and Wellness

Nutraceuticals: Beyond Healthy Ingredients

No one can dispute the fact that we are already experiencing significant challenges to public health systems worldwide. For example, the world is facing an onslaught of type II diabetes in younger people and an epidemic of obesity in western societies. Chronic disease has now become the most common and costly health problem worldwide. 

Canada is not by any means being sheltered from these major health issues. By 2026, one in five Canadians will be 65 years of age or older. With this aging population will come a proliferation of chronic diseases.   And, as a result, our society is increasingly burdened with rising health care costs. 

This situation will only perpetuate itself unless we truly focus our efforts on the eradication of these chronic diseases. Canada must therefore mobilize the nation to tackle this key societal issue.

And, we at the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), intend to do our part in helping Canadians cope with this new and emerging landscape. As we implement our Strategy, more particularly in the area of health and wellness, we will continue to invest our efforts in this strategic sector by working closely with other important stakeholders.

This month NRC will open the Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH) which has pledged to help us tackle these critical health issues. 

Within the life sciences research community, there is great interest in exploring the many applications of natural compounds. Researchers are examining how these natural compounds can be taken a step further to help us treat and prevent disease.

More specifically, NRC-INH will target three key areas: neurological disorders (such as Alzheimer's disease); obesity-related disorders (such as diabetes); and infection and immunity (such as viral infections).

Conversely, not only will NRC-INH be performing ground breaking research and pooling expertise across NRC to do so, it will, in addition, be ushering in a new era of partnership, where researchers from different levels of government and diverse organizations come together and share the benefits of collaboration.

Much like the recently announced national program in bio-products, NRC-INH's future success will rest on the strong linkages and support that it has already started to garner.  

The science behind nutraceuticals is still in its infancy but it is very exciting and very promising. NRC-INH, with its partners, stands to find solutions to enduring health issues while at the same time making significant contributions to health and wellness, a national priority area critical to Canada's future.

And, this undeniably can bring hope to the many Canadians suffering from these debilitating diseases.

This is yet another great example of how we, at NRC, are putting Science at work for Canada. 

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada

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