15th International Conference
of FFC - Third International Symposium of ASFFBC:
Neurological and other Chronic Disorders: Bio-markers, Bioactive
Compounds, and Functional Foods
10-11, 2014, University of Regensburg, Regensburg,
The “15th International Conference
of FFC - Third International Symposium of ASFFBC Mental,
Neurological and other Chronic Disorders: Bio-markers, Bioactive
Compounds, and Functional Foods ", an international scientific conference, was held May
10-11th, 2014 Regensburg,
Germany. This 15th annual conference was organized by the University
of Regensburg, Department of
Experimental psychology and the Functional Food Center, and hosted at University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
The conference brought together experts in
medicine, biology, and the food industry to discuss the contribution of
functional/medical foods and bioactive compounds in the prevention
and management of neurological diseases. The best experts in the field of
functional foods, from all over the world, gathered at the 15th International Conference to discuss
the role of nutrition and dietary factors in mental health. Research was presented as results of pre-clinical studies of bioactive
compounds and clinical results of clinical studies, and the research and
development of new functional food products.
The 15th International Conference was different from other
International Conferences, since the topic of the conference was presented for the
first time. More than 40 countries represented in the conference, including
universities and food companies. For the first time, a panel discussion was
conducted at the end on the topic “Is functional food able to manage mental and neurological
disorders”? The panel committee members included
Dr. Klaus W. Lange, Dr. Shiming Li, Dr. Ahmed F. El Fouhil and Dr.
Danik Martirosyan. Also,
legislation on health claims was presented regarding
the Food laws in European countries.
conference covered eight sessions, including oral and poster presentations. The
presenters included session topics involving Functional Foods and mental
and management of mental and neurological disorders: Complementary and alternative
medicine approaches, Bioactive compounds,
functional and medical foods in the prevention and management of mental and
neurological disorders and Legislation on health claims: Health,
functional and medical food.
We would like to make special note and mention a few of the many
interesting, informative and well-communicated presentations that took place at
the 15th International
Conference this year:
The conference opened with a Welcome speech made by Dr. Klaus W.
Lange, Head of Experimental Psychology
Department; University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany, and Dr.
Danik Martirosyan, president of Functional Food Center of Dallas, Texas, USA.
Andreas Reissmann, University of Regensburg, Germany presented on “Gluten-free
and casein-free diets in the treatment of autism”.
presentation included the information from their study to show a diet
low in gluten and casein
proteins has been hypothesized to ameliorate the behavioral symptoms of
children with autism. A review was conducted of the scientific literature concerning dietary effects on
various outcome measures.
Dr. Ewelina Makulska-Gertruda, PhD: University of Regensburg,
Germany presented a poster entitled “Omega-3 polyunsaturated
fatty acids and ADHD-related symptoms in animals”. Their
study examined the
influence of n-3 PUFA supplementation on attention and impulsivity in the
spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). They concluded that an administration of n-3 PUFAs can improve the
cognitive or behavioral symptoms in children with ADHD and may therefore have
some therapeutical effects.
Scientist, Kemin Foods, L.C., Des Moines, IA, USA, presented a lecture
entitled “Spearmint extract containing Rosmarinic acid improves
cognitive function in a SAMP8 mouse model of accelerated aging and in men
and women with self-reported memory impairment”. Their study was designed to test if a novel, proprietary spearmint extract containing RA is
efficacious in improving learning
and memory in a mouse
model of accelerated aging. A
follow-up open-label, pilot human clinical trial was conducted using the spearmint extract to both confirm
the cognitive function benefits
identified in the
animal study and determine the
safety and tolerance in men and
women with self-reported memory impairment which
showed positive results.
Luísa Custódio, Centre
of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve, presented a poster on “Microalgae extracts exhibit in vitro neuroprotective features
through inhibition of cholinesterase and protection of the human dopaminergic
cell line SH-SY5Y from hydrogen peroxide-induced cytotoxicity”. Their
study evaluated the in vitro capacity of extracts of
microalgae to inhibit enzymes related with neurological diseases, which indicates
that B. braunii and N. oculata contains compounds displaying
multiple features useful for the relief of symptoms associated with
The awardees of the 15th International Conference for the lecture and poster
presentations are: Dr. Luisa Barreira, Dr. Luisa Custodia, Andreas Reissmann, Dr. Ewelina
Makulska-Gertruda, PhD, Kelli Herrlinger. Dr. Luisa Barreira and Dr. Luisa Custodia. They have shared the
first place of student presentations and won $500. Reissmann secured second place, winning
$200. Dr. Makulska-Gertruda won the best research in clinical with $400, and Herrlinger won for Research and Development with $400. All the awardees
were also presented with the book “Introduction to Functional Foods Science”, by Dr.
Dr. Klaus W. Lange,
Chair of Biological, Clinical
and Neuropsychology; Head of Experimental Psychology
Department; University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany gave an oral
presentation on “Dietary factors in the etiology and therapy of
attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder”. Their study provided a comprehensive
overview of the role of dietary factors in the etiology and therapy of ADHD.
Diets to reduce symptoms associated with ADHD
include sugar-restricted, additive/preservative-free, elimination, and fatty
acid supplements. Results of recent research and controlled studies regarding ADHD and
were included in this. Free
fatty acid supplementation has been demonstrated to produce small but
significant reductions in ADHD symptoms. Their study concluded
that a substantial efficacy of diet in the therapy
of ADHD remains uncertain and further investigations are needed.
Dr. Joachim Hauser, Department of Experimental Psychology,
Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany gave a
poster presentation entitled “The
effects of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid deficiency on local discrimination in Wistar rats”. This includes the investigation of the effects of dietary n-3 PUFA deficiency on
spatial memory in rats, as measured by a local discrimination task. Eight generations of Wistar rats were used, fed with experimental n-3 PUFA deficient diet and
compared. Both groups showed a
significant decline in the percentage of correct responses and underline the importance of n-3 PUFAs for
neuronal development and cognitive functions.
Buchwald-Werner, PhD: Managing Director, Vital Solutions GmbH, Germany, gave
a presentation on “Lemon balm for mental health:
Modulation of muscarinic receptor activity by a proprietary Melisse officinalis
objective was the development of a special lemon balm extract for
mental health, which combines traditional calming effects with new cognitive
benefits. Phytochemical - and bioassay - guided
development process applying human muscarinic M1 receptor binding studies were used. A special lemon balm extract was
developed that has muscarinic receptor binding activity supporting mental health and cognitive performance.
Dr. Nina Mikirova, Riordan Clinic, Wichita, KS,
presented on “The
orthomolecular correction of metabolic imbalances found in Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder: A retrospective analysis in an outpatient clinic”. Their study identified the metabolic imbalances in fatty acid, amino
acid, mineral, and pyrrole levels in ADHD patients, and examined the
effectiveness of the nutritional approach in the correction of these imbalances
in an outpatient clinic. The study was based on the data extracted from patient
history database covering a period of over 10 years. Blood levels of fatty
acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, hair analysis of heavy metals and
urine pyrrole levels were done on all patients. Children and adolescents were
administered an integrative protocol for ADHD treatment. In the studied
population, it was demonstrated that metabolic correction of biochemical
disturbances using essential fatty acids, amino acids, and minerals can improve
fatty acid profiles and metabolic stress levels. These disturbances, or
variations from reference values, have been associated with behavior typical of
ADHD. Their data suggests that at least two of the factors that were the most
abnormal, omega-6-to-omega-3 ratios and pyrrole levels, and can in fact improve
in subjects undergoing a regimen with nutrient supplementation.
Dr. Stefan Crynen, The Roskamp Institute, Sarasota,
FL, USA,gave a presentation entitled “The Brain Reserve Index (BRI) -
Quantifying and influencing current risk associated with Alzheimer's disease
through lifestyle choices and medical risk management”. Their study involved the
development of ‘The
Brain Reserve Index’ (BRI) to quantify the associated risk factors that provides a guide as to whether one is
at an increased or decreased risk compared to the average population. The lifestyle factor scores and the medical
risk factors are combined to derive the BRI. They concluded that the Brain Reserve Index (BRI), in
combination with individualized lifestyle recommendations and brain health
coaching, is a new and unique tool to quantify and reduce risk factors associated
with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
Dr. Mohammed S.
Ali-Shtayeh, Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center (BERC), Til, Nablus,
Palestine presented on “In-vitro
screening of acethylcholinestrase (AChE) inhibitory activity of extracts from
Palestinian indigenous flora in relation to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease”. Their objective was to explore
newly potent and safe natural therapeutic agents for the AD treatment by
evaluating in vitro the anti-cholinesterase potential of a number of
selected Palestinian medicinal plants. Among the 40 Palestinian plants analyzed, several plants
showed inhibitory activity of AChE enzyme and their
research concluded that such plants may help in preventing or alleviating patients
suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Julius Oben, Laboratory of Nutrition and
Nutritional Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science,
University of Yaounde 1, Yaounde, Cameroon presented on “Neuroprotective activity and Secretase enzyme inhibition of an extract
of Baillonella toxisperma on experimentally induced neurotoxicity
in rats”. Their study aimed to
investigate the effect of a hydroethanolic extract of Baillonella toxisperma on the oxidative stress status and Aβ deposition in Alzheimer’s disease-like
induced rats. They observed that treatment with HEBT resulted in a marked appreciable improvement in brain MDA content
observed in AlCl3 treated rats.
Dr. Yukiko Nakamura, Graduate School of
Information Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Takayamacho,
Ikoma, Nara, Japan gave a presentation on “KNApSAcK
metabolite activity database is helpful for brain and mental health
related studies and services”. They conducted a study to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of
the interactions between the metabolites of organisms and their chemical-level
contribution to human health by constructing a metabolite-activity database (DB), called KNApSAcK Metabolite Activity DB, which comprises triplets,
i.e., metabolites, target species and activities. The KNApSAcK Metabolite Activity DB
could be utilized for developing
novel drugs and materials.
Dr. Torsten Grothe, Manager Scientific
Affairs, Frutarom Switzerland, Switzerland presented on “Wild
green oat extract: an innovative functional food ingredient with cognitive
benefits”. Their study included a bio-assay-guided to develop an extract
suitable for inclusion in dietary supplements and functional foods,
using Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) and Monoamine
oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibition. Safety and in vivo proof of concept
studies were successfully performed and followed by three human trials.
Their results identified a reasonable mode of action
for green oat preparations explaining the traditional effects. Human trials
approved the cognitive benefits of green oat extract with a focus on mental
alertness and concentration.
Dr. Erfan Younesi, Department of
Bioinformatics, Fraunhofer Institute SCAI, Sankt Augustin, Germany presented on
“Evidence-based modeling of mode-of-action for functional
ingredients influencing Alzheimer’s disease through neurotrophin pathway”. Their study determined to find out diets that are causally linked to the agonistic activity
to investigate mode-of-action of those functional diets and to demonstrate the proof-of-concept
application of systems biology methods. A “differential model analysis”
between the normal and diseased
states was performed. The proposed evidence-based rationale for modeling the mode-of-action
provided novel mechanistic insights into the BDNF-regulated survival pathway.
Giorgio Rusconi, Lawyer, Mondini Rusconi
Legal Firm, Italy gave a presentation on “The European legal framework of
functional food: The differences in the procedures of authorization in EU
purpose of the presentation was to offer an explanation of
the European Legal principle on the matter and of clarifying the peculiarities
of each Member State’s legislation, expressly concerned the procedures of
authorization of functional food. It offers an overview of each Country’s legislation
regarding the respective legal situation within the framework of the existing
EU law. The conclusion was (since consumers' demand for food with specific
health benefits had increased the economic importance of developing, producing
and marketing functional food), it could be desirable a progressive
rapprochement between each single legislation about functional food, under an
European legal framework.
Dr. Annegret Auinger, Senior Consultant,
Analyze&Realize GmbH, Berlin, Germany presented on “Health Claims on cognitive function
- The science behind the legislation”. This presentation was about EFSA. The
European Food Safety Authority is tasked by the European
Commission with giving scientific
opinions to health claim applications, including health claims for cognition.
So far, no innovative, product-specific
cognition claims have been approved by the Community.
From its guidelines and the opinions EFSA has
given so far on cognitive health claims, a number of factors influencing the quality of a study can
be gleaned. In
summary, there are several regulatory and scientific aspects to be considered
starting from product development
of innovative ingredients targeted brain health to the design of an appropriate
study and the application of a claim application.
Wattanathorn, Department of Physiology, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen,
Thailand presented on “Anacardium occidentale based drink
improves working memory, attention and cognitive processing capability of older
adults via the increased cholinergic and monoaminergic functions”. The study was conducted to determine
the effect and 8-week consumption of cashew apple fruit juice on working
memory, attention, cognitive processing and the function of cholinergic and
monoamine systems. The cholinergic
and monoaminergic systems functions were determined using acetylcholinesterase
(AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) activities as indices. Their data
suggested that 8-week consumption of cashew apple fruit juice improved
the function of cholinergic and monoaminergic systems, giving rise to the
increased working memory, attention and cognitive processing capability.
click here to see sample of power point presentation (by Professor Klaus
Lange). Let us know if you are interested in the conference book or presentation