WELL will be designed, conducted, and analyzed by scientists at Stanford Prevention Research Center and will be entirely under the control of Stanford University with no involvement by Amway in these processes so as to safeguard investigative independence.
According to Amway, funding WELL is one of several investments the company is making to advance the science of wellness.
Last month Amway released its Global Phytonutrient Report, based on research commissioned by the Nutrilite Health Institute, which revealed that most adults fall short of consuming the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables.
"Nutrilite is focused on helping people 'close the dietary gaps' that 60-87% of us experience due to lifestyle, food availability and other factors," said Keith Randolph, PhD, nutrition technology strategist at the Nutrilite Health Institute and co-author of the research published in the British Journal of Nutrition. "WELL has the potential to help us better understand how diet — including, but not limited to, plant foods such as fruits and vegetables – can influence wellness and healthy aging."
Research is expected to begin in 2015 and will continue for at least five years. Initially, WELL will evaluate factors such as diet and lifestyle that may influence metabolic health and visual signs of aging or cognitive functions, among other wellness components. It will also help discover predictors of health, known as health biomarkers.
"As the global leader in vitamin and dietary supplements, Nutrilite supports research that will help us enhance people's quality of life," said Audra Davies, Amway vice president of Nutrition Product Development & Analytical Sciences.
"This unrestricted gift to help establish the Wellness Living Laboratory is a visionary investment to improve global knowledge of nutrition and its role in our health and wellness."
WELL will begin with thousands of volunteers in two locations — Santa Clara County, CA, and China. The study aims to be a project of both national and global importance. A range of health and lifestyle information will be collected from these volunteers and analyzed for at least five years to determine potential impacts that specific interventions may make. Researchers from the Stanford Prevention Research Center will author a series of scientific publications based on results over the next several years.