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General Presentation


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The Human Nutrition Unit is a Joint Research Unit (JRU 1019) created in 2006 associating INRA and Clermont 1 University. Our laboratory is located at 2 places : Inra's research Centre and the Medicine Campus.
The research unit is composed of 46 scientists (including associated professors and clinicians), 25 engineers and research assistants, 32 technicians and host in average 20 PhD students, 10 postdoctoral fellows and 10 non permanent employees.
Head : Jean-Michel Chardigny
Deputy Directors : Véronique Coxam & Noël Cano

Porche du CRNH

Context and research project

Assortiment de légumes secs

Nutrition is a major determinant of health and well-being. This is why the work of the unit is designed to prevent disorders associated with aging and / or chronic diseases (sarcopenia, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis). To meet this challenge, as a major societal concern, JRU 1019 develops an innovative approach, integrating the notion of complexity, both at physiological and metabolic, and nutritional levels. The main objective is to determine the impact of food habits and the functionality of food (or nutrients it contains) in various pathophysiological conditions frequently associated with aging and / or chronic diseases (inflammation, oxidative stress, metabolic stress, lipotoxicity, insulin resistance, vascular dysfunction, hormonal dysregulation, ...), in order to prevent the decline of the major functions of the body and targeted diseases. The identification of early biomarkers of exposure or of physiological status is a priority to a predictive approach. Such knowledge is indeed essential to the establishment of nutritional recommendations and to mitigate the targeted damages.

Major equipments and knowledge

Préparation des échantillons

The research unit has a wide range of tools and experimental models combining cell approaches, animal (mini-pigs, rodents, transgenic mice) and clinical studies (nutritional interventions, cohorts). Moreover, the creation of a technical platform for metabolism analysis (labelled by the IBISA Gis) allows the design of original studies, integrating metabolic actions of nutrients, using high throughput approaches (metabolomics). The scientific excellence of the UHN is based on strong competencies in human nutrition, physiology, biochemistry, metabolism, cell and molecular biology. The units strong integration within the Centre de Recherche en Nutrition Humaine d’Auvergne (CRNH), its numerous national and international collaborations with public and private partnerships, its involvement in several transversal programs (ANR, FUI, European programs and networks), its high level of expertise activities and publications, as well as its commitment to graduate (and undergraduate) of the university (including international) training, all constitute major assets and strong advantages.

Résultats d'analyses

Key words


Human, Nutrition & Health, Aging


metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, sarcopenia

Physiological Processes:

inflammation, oxidative stress, metabolic stress, insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, anabolism/catabolism

Nutritional Components:

food, diet style, macro and micronutrients, metabolites, postprandial, signalling role of nutrients

Methodological approaches:

cell cultures, animal experiments, clinical investigations


platform for metabolism investigation (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, fluxomics), biochemistry, immunology, chromatography, biphotonic absorptiometry, calorimetric chambers