Details of the Initiative
Our laboratory aims to clarify a new basic principle between food/nutrition signals and physiological functions, especially brain functions, and to realize a heathy and long-lived society through food by understanding the mechanism of how such signals communicate with the hypothalamus as the appetite center and the endocrine system, which delivers nutrition information to the hypothalamus. We intend to lay out a new strategy for increasing health spans through food, which prevents or improves obesity, diabetes, and mental stress and sleep disorders in the working generations, and frailty and cognitive dysfunction in the elderly, and to implement it in society.
Lately, during our study, we have discovered an effect to relieve mental stress in plant-derived molecules. Although these plant molecules have originally been known as signal molecules associated with defense responses within a plant, our elevated plus-maze test has uncovered that they exercise a biological regulation effect in animals. Based on this study, it may be possible to propose new dietary education, such as “chewing well and eating leafy vegetables to reduce stress.”
In this way, we would like to clarify new health functions in unused plant-based food resources from perspectives different from conventional ones in order to contribute to ecosystem conservation through increased plant-based resources.