Diet study calls for urine donations


Tuesday, 22 May, 2018


Diet study calls for urine donations

Do you want to contribute to scientific research? University of Queensland researchers are asking for urine donations to study the relationship between nitrate in the diet and disease.

Nick McMahon, PhD candidate in the UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, is calling for volunteers aged between 18 and 54 who exercise at least 2.5 hours each week to participate in the study.

According to McMahon, studying dietary nitrate levels could aid research into cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cognitive function.

“Foods that are naturally rich in nitrate, like spinach and beetroot, can provide a variety of health benefits, from widening and protecting blood vessels through to lowering blood pressure.

“Dietary nitrate has been shown to elevate blood flow to the brain, enhance cognitive function and improve response accuracy and reaction times.”

However, a lot of research focuses on enhancing sports performance. Nitrate has already been linked to improved endurance in athletes, but it is hoped the study may bring about developments in two other areas: understanding diet-disease relationships and identifying populations most likely to benefit, particularly improving the quality of life for the ageing population.

“Further understanding of how much nitrate we have in our diet may help us develop recommendations for dietary intake.

“This could significantly benefit the vascular health of those who need it most.”

Volunteers will have their blood pressure, weight and height measured, and receive urine collection equipment at the UQ St Lucia campus. For one week, they will keep an online food diary and collect a 24-hour urine sample to return to the exercise clinic.

In return for their cooperation, they will receive three free dietary assessments, advice on improving their nutrition and be entered into the draw to win one of three $50 gift vouchers.

Interested participants can find more information on the website.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/iMarzi

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