Professor Peter Howe

The importance of evidence-based foods and nutraceuticals for preventative health, Emeritus Professor Peter Howe


Peter Howe, a professor of clinical nutrition with long-standing expertise in translational research for preventive health, leads multi-institutional research collaboration focusing on nutrient interventions to promote physical and mental fitness and counteract chronic diseases associated with aging. Peter has conducted numerous randomised controlled trials to evaluate cardiovascular, metabolic and mental health benefits of omega-3 and a wide variety of bioactive polyphenols. He is also chair of the Complementary Medicines Advisory Committee of the TGA in Australia and is committed to improving the evidence underpinning health claims for functional foods and nutraceuticals. Although safety is a lesser issue for food ingredients, it is far more challenging to demonstrate preventive benefits than therapeutic benefits.


The Importance of evidence-based foods and nutraceuticals for preventive health

Governments are increasingly acknowledging the importance of preventive health and encouraging diet and lifestyle strategies that have the potential to improve wellbeing and counteract the socioeconomic burden of obesity and associated non-communicable diseases in our region.  As the role of functional foods and nutraceuticals gains wider acceptance, health authorities have a responsibility to ensure that products are not only safe for consumers but can deliver the promised health benefits. Claims must be based on reliable evidence of intake requirements for each indication. This calls for more investment in high quality clinical research to translate new discoveries into well substantiated health outcomes and benefits for both manufacturers and consumers.