Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Development and mitigation of metabolic syndrome (MERITS)

Project aim and background 

There is an alarming rise in the frequency of metabolic syndrome (MeS), which increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) two-fold and type 2 diabetes (T2D) five-fold. Easy access to energy dense, unhealthy foods is a key factor responsible for this development. In this project we will study dietary strategies based on high protein and dietary fibre (DF) to mitigate MeS and the risk for CVD in human subjects fulfilling the criteria for MeS. 

Project description
To obtain a more in-depth knowledge we will use an obese porcine model, which allow more invasive exploration than in humans. In this model we will study the molecular consequences in adipose tissue and biofluids of development of obesity.

Furthermore, preadipocytes from pigs and humans will be isolated from subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies to examine the extent to which the different diets influence proliferation and differentiation processes relevant to the expandability potential. Dietary intervention strategies with protein and DF will be developed in collaboration with the involved food and ingredient industries and used in studies in humans with MeS and obese pigs.

The protein sources will be bioactive dairy and vegetable proteins and the DF sources will be rich in soluble and insoluble arabinoxylan known to modulate the digestion and absorption processes in the small and large intestine. 

Expected benefits 
We will obtain specific knowledge on the interaction and effects of bioactive proteins and DF on postprandial lipaemia, appetite, responses of inflammatory markers, body composition, adipocytes and microbiota in subjects with MeS and obese pigs as well as clarifying the effect of pre-meals of different amounts and qualities of protein on postprandial lipaemia in humans.

Finally, an integrative data modelling approach will be used to correlate the data obtained with the different technologies across species.