Dr Kirsten Brandt (pictured), of Newcastle University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, helped colleagues at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences design the experiment.
The scientists found that the organically-fed rats enjoyed several health benefits, in that they slept better, had stronger immune systems and were slimmer than rats fed conventional diets.
Similar tests would need to be carried out on humans to determine if organic food would have the same effect on them.
However, speaking to The Journal newspaper, Dr Brandt said: “What this research shows is that clearly there are links between food and health which is more to do than with just nutrients.
“We used to think that as long as food had adequate nutrients then it was all equally good.
“What this work has shown is that this is not the whole story and we can measure differences and that they are significant. Now we need to understand what is going on.
“If people think that eating organic food makes them feel better then they are probably right," said Dr Brandt, who earlier this month pinpointed the compound in carrots that prevents cancer from developing.
To read the full report, published on the website of the Danish Research Centre for Organic Farming, click on the following web link:
To read about Dr Brandt's research into the cancer-preventing properties of carrots, click on this weblink:
Newcastle University Press Office. Contact: Claire Jordan, tel. + 44 (0) 191 208 6067/7850 or firstname.lastname@example.org
published on: 21st February 2005