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The Mediterranean Diet: Where Taste Meets Health



The Mediterranean Diet: Where Taste Meets Health

Lecture by Prof. Luigi Fontana, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney

4th Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World. Food Education: The Culture of Taste


On the occasion of the 4th Week of the Italian Cuisine in the World, whose 2019 theme is Food Education: The Culture of dieta mediterraneaTaste, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura is pleased to host a lecture by Prof. Luigi Fontana, Director of the Healthy Longevity Research and Clinical Program at the Charles Perkin Centre della University of Sydney.

Consuming a Mediterranean diet rich in minimally processed plant foods has been associated with a reduced risk of developing multiple chronic diseases and increased life expectancy. Data from several randomized clinic trials have demonstrated a beneficial effect in the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and breast cancer. The exact mechanism by which an increased adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet exerts its favorable effects is not known. However, accumulating evidence indicates that the five most important adaptations induced by the Mediterranean dietary pattern are: (a) lipid-lowering effect, (b) protection against oxidative stress, inflammation and platelet aggregation, (c) modification of hormones and growth factors involved in the pathogenesis of cancer, (d) inhibition of key pro-longevity nutrient sensing pathways by specific amino acid restriction, and (e) gut microbiota-mediated production of metabolites influencing metabolic and immunological health.

fontana 2Professor Luigi Fontana is an internationally recognized physician scientist and one of the world’s leaders in the field of nutrition and healthy longevity in humans. His pioneering studies on the effects of dietary restriction in humans have opened a new area of nutrition-related research that holds tremendous promise for the prevention of age-related chronic diseases and for the understanding of the biology of human aging.

Professor Fontana graduated with highest honors from the Verona University Medical School (1994), where he completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine (1999). He also received a Ph.D. in Metabolism and Clinical Pharmacology from the University of Padua Medical School (2003). He is currently the Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Translational Metabolic Health at the Charles Perkins Centre, where he directs the Healthy Longevity Research and Clinical Program. He is also a Professor of Medicine and Nutrition in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Clinical Academic in the Department of Endocrinology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He was a Full Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Sciences at Washington University in St.Louis (USA) and Brescia (Italy) Schools of Medicine, and co-director of the Longevity Research Program at Washington University.

Professor Fontana has published over 120 manuscripts in the most prestigious scientific journals and has been invited to present his work at international conferences and top medical schools and research institutes around the world. He is the recipient of three prestigious awards: the 2009 American Federation Aging Research (AFAR) Breakthroughs in Gerontology Award and the 2011 Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging and the 2016 Vincent Cristofalo Award of the American Federation Aging Research. He is a Scientific Member of the Board of Directors of the American Aging Association.

Professor Fontana is also an environmentalist. He and his colleagues believe that it is possible to substantially enhance human and environmental health, societal wealth and well-being, but this requires a profound transformation in the way we live, and a new environment-centered industrial and economic system.

Among his books worth mentioning are La grande via : alimentazione, movimento, meditazione per una vita felice, sana e creativa (Mondadori, 2017) and, more recently, La felicità ha il sapore della salute (Slow Food Editore, 2018). Prof. Fontana featured in the BBC2 Horizon documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer by Michael Mosley in 2012 and has recently appeared in the documentary broadcast by ABC TV within the Compass series Staying Younger For Longer: Body.

The lecture will be in English. logo settimana della cucina

Light refreshments will follow. 

Free entry. Limited seats.

Booking essential: 


Date: Thursday, November 21, 2019

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Sydney