In mid August, on the campus of the Münich Technical University in the city of Freisung (Germany), was held the Xth International Congress of Nutrigenomics (10th NuGO week), organized by the European Association of Nutrigenomics (NuGO) jointly with the German Nutrition Society. The event, which took place between 9th and 12th September 2013, was attended by many specialists in the field of nutrigenomics from 35 countries, among which the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the USA, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Brazil, Spain, Belgium, Ireland and Bulgaria.
The main topic of the Congress was the impact of nutrition and physical activity on metabolism and the genetic response to changes in lifestyle. Bulgaria and Varna Medical University were represented by the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Head of the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine and Nutrigenomics Prof. Diana Ivanova and Neshe Nazifiva - Assistant Professor at the same department.
Their research was entitled "Hypoglycemic activity of Agrimony tea in normal and overweight subjects". It presented a summary of the initial results from the study conducted earlier last summer on the effects of Agrimony tea drinking, in which employees and students of Varna Medical University volunteered to participate. The interest to the curative effect of the Bulgarian herb was enormous during the Congress in view of the worldwide trend toward prophylaxis and prevention of diseases by means of herbal treatment. In this context plants enjoy an increasing attention as a source of new pharmaceutical preparations.
Among the other interesting topics, which were discussed at the forum, were the genetic predisposition to nutritional and taste preferences, the variations of the taste receptors under the action of external and internal (genetic) factors, genetically inherited or pre-determined by the lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome and oncological diseases and the impact of diet on their development and prevention.
The participation of the team from Varna Medical University in the Congress was part of the international project NutriTech. Prof. Ivanova is the head of the project for the Bulgarian part and member of the Executive board of the Committee for knowledge management. During the Congress a working meeting was held of the Executive committee, at which the results obtained so far were reported and the next steps of the project implementation were discussed. Beside in the project management and knowledge dissemination, Varna Medical University is an active participant in the experimental work which is done at the laboratory of Nutrigenomics at the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Medicine and Nutrigenomics.