UEA to Lead £5 Million Program to Study Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet


The University of East Anglia will lead a pioneering nutrition research programme to see how a plant-based diet can be beneficial for people’s health.

The ‘Edesia: Plants, Food and Health’ project will see PhD researchers from across the Norwich Research Park work to unravel the complex relationship between plant-based foods, metabolism, gut microbiota and health.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the initiative is one of 23 to receive a share of £127 million and brings together world-class expertise from UEA, the John Innes Centre, the Quadram Institute and the Earlham Institute.

The Edesia project is named after the Roman goddess of food who emphasised the good things we get from our diets. And it reflects a growing recognition that plant-based foods are critical in tackling chronic illness such as cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It aims to advance our understanding of plant-based nutrition and address diet-related chronic illness globally.

Prof Ian Clark from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences is the director of the project, taking over from founding director Prof Aedin Cassidy, who has taken up a new post at Queen’s University Belfast but will remain an integral contributor to the programme.

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