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Influence of diet on obesity and cardiovascular diseases was examined
There is no denying that diet has a significant impact on our body weight. "The likelihood of developing these diseases is directly influenced by diet," emphasizes Professor Dr. Nils Helge Schebb from the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. However, the individual risk can currently only be insufficiently recorded and assessed.
In a large-scale study, the scientists at the University of Wuppertal want to investigate in greater detail what influence diet has on the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases. The aim of the research program is to determine new, reliable and early recognizable biological features (so-called biomarkers) for the cardio-metabolic syndrome. Using these biomarkers, "such a risk can be identified before an obvious illness with irreversible organ damage occurs," emphasizes Professor Schebb.
Research focuses on special messenger substances
In the planned research project, the scientists at the University of Wuppertal, together with colleagues from five other European universities, will investigate how the risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases is influenced by diet. The researchers are particularly interested in the concentration of oxylipins in the blood. The oxylipins are oxidative metabolites of unsaturated fatty acids that regulate a variety of physiological processes in the body as messengers, the scientists explain.
Oxylipins as biomarkers?
In diseases such as high blood pressure, this is also evident at the level of messenger substances and an increase in blood pressure-increasing oxylipins is found, reports the Bergische Universität Wuppertal. In addition, previous studies have already shown that "the oxylipin pattern can be influenced directly by diet, for example by the omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish", explains Professor Schebb. Since the oxylipin pattern firstly reflects the cardio-metabolic state and secondly depends on the diet, the oxylipins are ideal biomarkers for the metabolic syndrome and its influence by the diet.
Association with cardio-metabolic risk
The research project will initially develop an optimized method for the determination of oxylipins in biological samples. In the following, these are used for the analysis of blood samples from two independent cohort studies, the researchers report. This is how oxylipin patterns are to be identified, "which are foreseeable for the development of the metabolic syndrome and / or can be used as biomarkers for the characterization of the stage of the disease." Ultimately, the influence of nutrition on the cardio-metabolic risk and the concentrations of the newly established biomarkers were assessed. The European Union is funding the three-year research project with 700,000 euros, of which 300,000 euros will go to Wuppertal. (fp)