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Université de Sherbrooke and Nestlé Health Science partner to further research in ketotherapeutics

Sherbrooke, le 20 septembre 2022 – Université de Sherbrooke and Nestlé Health Science announced that they are partnering to establish a Clinical Research Chair in Ketotherapeutics at the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada.  The Chair will focus on therapeutic applications of ketones to improve health. It was made possible by several donations which will endow this research program, notably Nestlé Health Science’s donation of CAD 1 million.

“Our long-standing research collaboration with Université de Sherbrooke demonstrates that ketotherapy, specifically a keto drink, helps improve cognitive ability in people with mild cognitive impairment through using ketones, rather than glucose, to fuel their brains,” said Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science.  “With an aging population and few solutions for neurodegenerative conditions, it’s critical that we look into how nutritional interventions such as ketotherapeutics can be used to support brain health.”

Ketones are small molecules derived from fats.  The history of ketones as therapeutic agents began in the early 1900s when a very low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet was developed to treat epilepsy. More recently, multiple studies have shown that people with brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease lose the ability to use glucose as a main source of brain fuel, and that ketones could be used as an alternative fuel.

Stephen Cunnane, PhD, professor in the Department of Medicine and researcher at the Research Centre on Aging (CIUSSS-Estrie-CHUS), has been named as the first Chair of Clinical Research in Ketotherapeutics. He led the BENEFIC keto-intervention trial which showed a clear improvement in cognitive performance of people with early stages of mild cognitive impairment (BENEFIC study results). His team and collaborators pioneered the imaging of brain ketone metabolism by PET scan.

“We will use the BENEFIC results to further research on the potential benefits of ketones in neurodegenerative disorders,” said Professor Cunnane.  “I am extremely proud of this partnership. This new research chair could help lessen the devastating impact that brain disorders have on the quality of life of many older people.”

Nestlé Health Science is investigating the potential health benefits of ketones in diseases and is bringing to market several keto-solutions for conditions such as cognitive decline associated with aging (BrainXpert), and epilepsy (Vitaflo), as well as obesity and comorbidities (PronoKal).

About Nestlé Health Science (NHSc)

Nestlé Health Science, a leader in the science of nutrition, is a globally managed business unit of Nestlé.  We are committed to redefining the management of health, offering an extensive portfolio of science-based consumer health, medical nutrition, pharmaceutical therapies, and vitamin and supplement brands. Our extensive research network provides the foundation for products that empower healthier lives through nutrition. Headquartered in Switzerland, we have more than 12,000 employees around the world, with products available in more than 140 countries.

About the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMSS) at the Université de Sherbrooke stands out as an exceptional place to work or study. Today, the FMSS offers over 100 programs of study in Sherbrooke, Longueuil, Saguenay, and Moncton, tied to the needs of the communities where it has a presence. Despite this remarkable growth, the FMSS has been able to maintain a degree of flexibility that promotes innovation in both teaching and research.

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Information :

Geneviève Lussier, Media Relations Advisor
Communications Department | Université de Sherbrooke | 819-821-8000, extension 65472

Jacquelyn Campo, Senior Director
Global Corporate Communications | Nestlé Health Science
+41 79 598 1163 |

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