PORTLAND, Ore. – The fourth biennial conference on “Diet and Optimum Health,” organized by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, will be held on May 16-19 in Portland, Ore., attracting some of the nation’s leading experts in nutrition, aging, cancer, obesity and other topics.

It also features a public presentation by Sally Squires, medical and health writer for the Washington Post.

The event, to be held at the Hilton Hotel, 921 S.W. 6th Ave., is a professional conference for several days, but will conclude with a free public session on Saturday, May 19, from 9-11 a.m. Squires will discuss concepts from her book, “Secrets of the Lean Plate Club,” and take questions from the audience. Her writings and publications have helped millions of consumers learn healthy eating and exercise habits.

Another highlight of the conference will be presentation of the 2007 Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research, an international award intended to encourage and recognize excellence in the field of nutrition and health. It includes a medal and $50,000.

More details on the conference, agenda, presentations and other details can be found on the web at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/conf2007/index.html

Among the topics to be discussed at this year’s event are:

  • New discoveries about vitamin C in health and disease;
  • Flavonoid functions;
  • Lipoic acid, roles in aging, diabetes and multiple sclerosis;
  • Neuroprotection by antioxidants;
  • Maternal diet and cancer;
  • Cancer chemoprevention;
  • Obesity, exercise and gene regulation.

The conference is expected to attract a diverse audience of experts in nutrition, cardiology, oncology, public health and preventive medicine. It is sponsored by the Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon Health and Science University, and the Oxygen Club of California. A poster session will help researchers share their latest findings. Speakers will represent such institutions as the University of Illinois, Harvard School of Public Health, Vanderbilt University, The Ohio State University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, John Hopkins University School of Medicine, National Institute on Aging, and other institutions.

“This event regularly brings together some of the nation’s leading experts in these fields,” said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU.

“This year we will hear about some exciting work in the use of diet and lifestyle to promote optimum health and prevent or treat chronic disease,” Frei said, “as well as discoveries about particular phytochemicals that show considerable promise in cancer chemoprevention.”

The Linus Pauling Institute is one of the nation’s first two Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of a program operated by the National Institutes of Health.

The institute conducts extensive research on the role of diet, micronutrients, phytochemicals and lifestyle in the prevention and treatment of disease, on such topics as heart disease, cancer, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases.

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Balz Frei,