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Impact of increasing pulse intake on diet quality, micronutrient bioavailability and cardiometabolic health in UK adults.


   Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences

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  Prof J Lovegrove, Dr K Jackson, Dr M Clegg  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Globally, non-communicable diseases cause the greatest mortality, but can be prevented by dietary change. Legumes have health benefits and their underconsumption has been associated with loss of almost a million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are an important contributor to lost DALYs, with diets higher in pulses shown to lower circulating risk markers including blood lipids. Pulses are a vital component of balanced, particularly plant-based diets due to their high protein, soluble fibre, folate, iron and zinc content. In terms of health benefits pulses are reported to lower blood cholesterol, improve satiety, glycaemia and blood pressure, the latter proposed to be mediated via inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme. Pulses such as faba beans contain high levels of iron, which may help to reduce the risk of iron-deficient anaemia, the most common nutrient deficiency in the UK. This PhD studentship will examine nutritional benefits of pulse-rich foods, including bioavailability of key nutrients, satiety and the impact on metabolic and CVD risk markers.

The PhD student will join a multi-disciplinary research team working over a range of projects including: analysis of large UK datasets (e.g Oxford biobank) to model the impact of pulses on health outcomes; to assist in a human study to investigate the bioavailability of iron from pulse-enriched foods in addition to measures of post-meal satiety and cardiometabolic risk markers; to work with the University central catering to investigate the impact of pulse-rich foods and fresh pulses on self-reported satiety, diet quality and nutritional knowledge in students within catered halls of residence and those using catering outlets on campus.

This PhD project could help to inform UK dietary guidance on pulse consumption and health outcomes. Furthermore, it will contribute to changes in the foods in catered outlets on campus and overall diet quality of University’s students and staff.


Funding Notes

Funds for UK PhD fees and stipend for 3 years
Stipend at UKRI rate (£15,609 for 2022/23)
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