Dr Mohammed Gulrez Zariwala, Reader in Translational Physiology, has been chosen to lead a first of its kind project that will assess the effectiveness of a nutritional supplement product that combines iron and a phytonutrient for dietary supplementation.

The project will be funded by Gencor Pacific Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company and a global leader in patented and scientifically validated nutraceutical active ingredients that are used by market leading nutritional supplement brands worldwide. Dr Zariwala was awarded a £147,900 grant to develop his ground-breaking research.

The study will be supported by Dr Zariwala’s expertise in iron metabolism and nanotechnology-based nutrient formulation design. Focused on how these approaches can be applied to improve our diet and help counter disease, he has a long-standing record in research, enterprise and innovation.

Dr Zariwala’s Research Associate, Owen Fitzsimons, from the Department of the Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster, is currently recruiting more than 150 male and female participants for a six-week long randomized controlled intervention.

Talking about his new research, Dr Zariwala said: “Iron deficiency is still the most common nutritional deficiency globally, with low absorption and side-effects of current supplements being one of the main reasons. Results from our project may provide previously unexplored insights into iron metabolism and supplementation, and will contribute not only to the development of more efficient products but also to the wider body of scientific evidence and literature in this field.”

Mr R. V Venkatesh, Managing Director of Gencor Pacific Ltd, added: “With the background of Dr Zariwala and his team in iron metabolism, and with the track record of the University of Westminster in successfully turning top quality research into product concepts for day to day applications, they were chosen as our ideal partners for applied research. The novel project hopes to throw light into effective iron metabolism, chelation and mitigation of the side effects of systematic and free iron.”

Dr Zariwala’s work has been supported by the UK government (Innovate UK) and commercial partners aimed towards new product development and evidence-based claims. He is developing a revolutionary multi-nutrient supplement, and presented his research to Parliament in 2017, as part of STEM for Britain.

Dr Zariwala has been also helping students on the Biochemistry BSc Honours and Biomedical Sciences BSc Honours courses to develop their own research project connected to iron and nutrient supplements.

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