The NINA Study

Effect of Nutritional Interventions on Autophagy
The NINA Study
Project Status: Recruiting
Project administered by: SAHMRI

What we eat affects the autophagy process that cleanses our cells of damaged molecules. This process slows biological ageing.

Autophagy is a recycling process that happens inside the cells that make up tissues in your body. Autophagy removes and degrades damaged and unwanted molecules and breaks them down into smaller parts that can be reused to build new cell parts.

Importantly, autophagy can be modified through nutrition in laboratory settings.

To properly answer questions about whether nutritional strategies can change autophagy in humans, our research group has developed a first-ever test to measure autophagy in human blood.

This project aims to measure the effect of diet composition on autophagy in blood, using two different diets designed by a qualified dietitian. This will provide information about whether autophagy responds to nutrition in humans, and if it does, how nutrition could be used to treat or prevent diseases known to be impacted by changes in autophagy such as Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.

As part of the study, participants will need to visit the SAHMRI research facilities on North Terrace on 5 separate occasions over a 3-month period. Blood samples will be taken at four of these visits. During this 3-month period, participants will follow two one-month diets. Participants will also receive groceries to the value of approximately $800 and receive a $100 honorarium for participating.

Who can take part?

Individuals may be eligible to participate if they:
• Are aged between 20 and 50 years
• Have a stable weight (BMI=18.5-29.9kg/m²)
• Are willing to attend clinic visits at SAHMRI
• Are willing to provide a blood sample at 4 visits
• Are willing to purchase some perishable food items at their own cost

If you have any questions about the NINA Study, please contact our team at or phone (08) 8128 4570 or 0491 718 286.

Are you interested in taking part in the NINA Study?

Check your eligibility

This project is funded by BrightFocus Foundation