Personalised nutrition: An integrated analysis of opportunities and challenges (FOOD4ME)
Vitas is a partner in the FP7 reserch program Food4Me organised by UCD, Dublin and having 24 partners in total. Vitas will supply kits for dried blood spot collection from 3800 individuals and perform the analysis of a number of biomarkers from these samples using state-of-the-art analytical methodology developed by Vitas.
Project Webpage: www.food4me.org
About the project
The complete mapping of the human genome sequence in 2000 introduced thepossibility of individualised medicine, including personalised nutrition. During this time the field of “nutrigenomics” emerged, which examines the relationship between food and gene expression. Many were hopeful about the ability to plan diet recommendations based on an individual’s genetic profile.
However, the promise of personalised nutrition has failed to develop as a commercial service, and matching dietary advice to genetic profiles has proven difficult. Some companies offer genetic mapping and health reports, but these services are often based on inaccurate information.
There is a need to comprehensively analyse the opportunities and challenges in the field of personalised nutrition. In addition, the fundamental question remains, “how can we best use our current understanding of food, genes, and physical traits to design healthier diets tailored for each individual?”
To address these concerns, Food4Me has gathered an international group of experts to survey the current knowledge of personalised nutrition, and to explore the application of individualised nutrition advice. The Food4Me project will also investigate consumer attitudes and produce new scientific tools for implementation.
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Application of new technologies and methods in nutrition research the example of phenotypic flexibility (NUTRITECH
Nutri tech is organsised by TNO, Holland and have 22 partners in total.
NutriTech will build on the foundations of traditional human nutrition research using cutting-edge analytical technologies and methods to comprehensively evaluate the diet-health relationship and critically assess their usefulness for the future of nutrition research and human well-being. Technologies include genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, laser scanning cytometry, NMR based lipoprotein profiling and advanced imaging by MRI/MRS.
All methods will be applied in an integrated manner to quantify the effect of diet on phenotypic flexibility, based on metabolic flexibility (the capacity for the organism to adapt fuel oxidation to fuel availability). However, NutriTech will move beyond the state-of-the-art by applying these integrated methods to assess the underlying and related cell biological and genetic mechanisms and multiple physiological processes of adaptation when homeostasis is challenged. Methods will in the first instance be evaluated within a human intervention study, and the resulting optimal methods will be validated in a number of existing cohorts against established endpoints.
NutriTech will disseminate the harmonised and integrated technologies on a global scale by a large academic network including 6 non-EU partners and by providing an integrated and standardised data storage and evaluation platform. The impact of NutriTech will be multifold and exploitation is crucial as major breakthroughs from our technology and research are expected. This will be achieved by collaboration with a consortium of 8 major food industries and by exploitation of specific technologies by our 6 SME partners. Overall, NutriTech will lay the foundations for successful integration of emerging technologies intro nutrition research.
Vitas will perform the analysis of a number of biomarkers from these samples using state-of-the-art analytical methodology developed by Vitas
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EPIC-CVD is coordinated by Prof. John Danes, Head of the 330-person Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge, UK.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study is a Europe-wide prospective cohort study of the relationships between diet and cancer, as well as other chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. With over half a million participants, it is the largest study of diet and disease to be undertaken.
About the project
It has been estimated that tens of thousands of additional CVD outcomes could be prevented in the EU per year by better screening and management of risk. However, because CVD risk assessment involves a complex set of considerations, it has been a challenge to formulate approaches that optimally balance the different objectives of risk assessment, which are: (1) to estimate, communicate, and monitor risk (2) motivate behaviour change and (3) allocate scarce preventive resources efficiently. A recent systematic review of 27 guideline statements in Western countries has concluded that there is lack of agreement on approaches to achieve these goals. Our project aims to achieve transformational progress in this area.
The EPIC-CVD project will aim to improve primary prevention of CVD across Europe by developing innovative, personalised an practicable approaches for estimation, communication, and management of risk by testing 2 distinct strategies: (a) “modifiable” risk scores containing lifestyle risk factors that maximise potential for behavioural change and (b) “detailed” risk scores containing many biomarkers that maximise potential for predictive accuracy. Our hypothesis is that approaches based on modifiable scores should cost-effectively: (1) enhance risk prediction (2) promote behaviour change in patients and physicians through personalised lifestyle feedback and (3) achieve synergy between individualised risk assessment and public health efforts aiming to shift favourably the population's distribution of risk behaviours. Alternatively, approaches based detailed scores should be (1) valuable for younger people at high CVD risk who are contemplating lifelong treatment (2) amenable to tailoring by region, country, type of CVD outcome, etc and (3) efficient for targeting preventive action.
Vitas will develop high throughput methodology and perform the analysis of a number of biomarkers from > 50 000 samples.
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