PORTLAND, Ore. – The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University will present the fifth biennial conference on Diet and Optimum Health on May 13-16 in Portland, featuring many leading experts and a free public session with Marion Nestle, award-winning author of several books on food politics and safety.

Nestle will speak on “What to Eat: Personal Responsibility vs. Social Responsibility,” on Saturday, May 16, from 9-10 a.m., at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower.

Nestle, who is the Paulette Goddard Professor at New York University, will discuss the economic and political factors that influence what we eat and ask which counts more – individual choice or food company marketing and government policy?

The conference will also feature the presentation on May 15 of the fifth Linus Pauling Institute Prize for Health Research, which includes a medal and $50,000 honorarium. This international award recognizes innovative research into the role of diet and micronutrients in health promotion and disease prevention, and the role of oxidative stress and inflammation in disease pathology.

The professional conference, which is sponsored by OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute and Oregon Health & Science University, and co-sponsored by the Oxygen Club of California, attracts many of the world’s leading scientists to present their latest findings on dietary and lifestyle approaches to improving human health or treating disease. Registration and more information about fees, agenda and attendance can be obtained on the web at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/conf2009/.

“There have been some exciting advances in such fields as epigenetics, immune function, and healthy aging that will be explored at this conference,” said Balz Frei, professor and director of the Linus Pauling Institute. “These are findings on the cutting edge of nutrition research, and conference attendees will include many health professionals in nutrition, public health, cardiology, oncology, gerontology and other fields.”

Five main sessions are planned at the conference:

• Healthy Aging: Neurocognitive Disorders and Molecular Mechanisms;
• Micronutrients and Immune Function;
• Vitamin K: New Functions and Biological Mechanisms;
• Diet and Lifestyle in Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Diseases;
• Epigenetics, Diet and Disease.

Some of the presentations include healthspan extension by resveratrol; dietary supplements improving cognitive function; vitamin D and immune function; micronutrient supplementation and infectious disease outcome; understanding diabetes and obesity mechanisms; the impact of obesity on inflammation and immune defense; cancer chemoprevention by garlic and broccoli; and other topics.

Researchers who will make presentations at the conference are from such institutions as Harvard University, Tufts University, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, University of Nottingham, University of Rochester Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute, University of Kentucky, and the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands.

A poster session is also planned, and three of the most outstanding posters presented by graduate students or post-doctoral fellows will receive Young Investigator Awards.

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Balz Frei,