Billions of dollars are spent every year to treat highly prevalent chronic diseases, which are largely preventable with the implementation of the best healthy lifestyle practices. Our research program at the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) provides a powerful new medical approach for the prevention and treatment of multiple age-related diseases that share a common metabolic substrate. This new approach is based on growing evidence from the “biology of ageing” field showing that targeting well-characterized metabolic and molecular pathways can inhibit the accumulation of cellular and tissue damage, and dramatically extend healthspan and influence the clinical progression of multiple chronic conditions.
We concentrate on elucidating how specific nutrition and exercise interventions, by acting on different but complementary pathways, can modulate the pathogenesis and prognosis of 4 disease groups: abdominal obesity/metabolic syndrome, cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and dementia. Our primary objectives are:
The overall aim of this research program is to develop a new mechanism-based way of preventing and treating age-related diseases, while compressing the period of intense morbidity in later years through biomedical discovery and health service innovation. New scientific knowledge of the shared metabolic substrate amongst multiple common chronic diseases will be generated through the comprehensive investigation of how a combination of specific nutritional and lifestyle interventions influence their progression. This will provide a new framework for allowing clinicians and individuals to optimize nutrition and exercise for specific health outcomes and for the prevention and management of lifestyle-related diseases that are epidemic in modern society.