NCoE SYSDIET: Systems biology in controlled dietary interventions and cohort studies

The Nordic Center of Excellence SYSDIET aims to find new mechanisms to modify Nordic foods and diets to promote health and prevent metabolic syndrome and related diseases.

The prevalence of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes is increasing rapidly worldwide due to westernised dietary habits, obesity and sedentary lifestyle.

Type 2 diabetes is preventable by a beneficial lifestyle, especially by dietary changes. The basic mechanisms by which dietary factors are involved in the pathogenesis of obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are, however, poorly  understood.

To develop new strategies for dietary prevention of these conditions, we need knowledge on the interactions of genetic and diet-related early changes in metabolism.

Nutrition related early biomarkers can help identify individuals at high risk in early stages of disease. To find the biomarkers, we need research on interactions at the physiological, cellular and genetic levels. This can lead to personalised dietary counselling and direct development of new targeted healthy foods for prevention of disease.

SYSDIET will produce new information on the health effects of Nordic dietary constituents promoting health and prevention of chronic diseases.

Dietary means seldom have side effects and have in many cases also shown to be cost efficient. Their potential in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases is clearly under-exploited.

SYSDIET gathers 12 research groups from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in a coordinated effort to address these issues.