Human Relevant Research at Canterbury University

Animal-free research is being conducted at the University of Canterbury.
June 14, 2019

A research project run by the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group at Canterbury University looked at micronutrients and the possible impact these have on alleviating depression in humans. We noticed that their research didn't mention animal models, so we got in touch with the group to find out more!

When we asked if this research was based on animal models, a member of the research group said:

“We don't conduct any studies on animals within our lab - or do any animal testing prior to receiving human ethical approval, and therefore all of the research that comes out of our lab is human-relevant.”

This is fantastic news as this is the kind of research we advocate – research that is species-specific and humane. We focus a lot on what we are against, but we want to start making more of an effort to show you all what research looks like that we agree with. The human-relevant research conducted by the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group appears to be both scientifically sound and ethical.

The future of human health research is animal free and we’re excited to see what human-relevant research can lead to!

The studies currently underway on depression include:

  • The Nutrients for Mental Health, Anxiety and Depression (NoMAD) Trial

The aim of this study is to find out if micronutrients have any effect on reducing the signs of depression in humans. The researchers have made it clear that medications work for some people and can save lives, but supplements containing micronutrients could be a less risky option to try out first in some cases. Find out more here.

  • The NUTRIMUM Study

The aim of this study is to find out if a vitamin and mineral (micronutrient) supplement can improve low mood and anxiety in pregnant women. Find out more here.

The above studies will produce data that is relevant to humans, which is far better than any non-human animal model could ever achieve.

Human-relevant research isn’t a new concept for the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group. They've also conducted human-relevant research into:

  • Mood disorders/emotional dysregulation
  • Anxiety disorders/stress
  • Autism
  • ADHD/behaviour dysregulation
  • Psychosis
  • Addictions
  • Insomnia
  • Brain injury

With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.