Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Nutrition and Ageing

Active Ageing and Healthy Living - A Human Centered Approach in Research and Innovation as Source of Quality of Life [2014]

Minuti A, Patrone V, Giuberti G, Spigno G, Pietri A, Battilani P, Ajmone Marsan P.  


The world elderly population is rapidly increasing.

This demographic change represents a new challenge for the society and demands for a multi-sectorial intervention to promote a long, healthy, and active life span.

Between the factors that contribute in fostering a long healthy life, the nutritional regime plays a central role and is recognized as a major factor in the onset of chronic diseases.

A better understanding of the interaction between nutrition and ageing is essential to unravel the mechanisms responsible for these positive/negative effects and to identify diet components promoting the quality of life in the old age and to contribute to the prevention of late-life disabilities.

At Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, the research activity in food science is focusing on four main objectives: food quality, food safety, functional foods and diet balancing.

These objectives are the target of multidisciplinary ongoing and future research activities for a better understanding of the link between diet and ageing.

Briefly, the different activities are addressed to the study of the following subjects:

  • the most relevant factors affecting food choices and habits of old aged persons;
  • the effects of long term low dose supplementation of conjugated linoleic acid in mouse;
  • the use of low glycemic index and high resistant starch foods to prevent diabetes and obesity;
  • the adjuvant effect of food bacteria for vaccination;
  • the role of food ingredients in disease;
  • the immunosuppression effect of mycotoxins, and its relevance in ageing people;
  • the production of sustainable and natural antioxidant ingredients to encourage a healthy diet.

Our research projects emphasize an holistic and integrated approach that, by bringing together complementary research groups, can combine the collective expertise and thus provide a comprehensive assessment of the role of nutrition in healthy ageing people.