Objectives and Goals for MitoHealth
Fish and other seafood is well known to be nutritious and healthy, affecting several biological systems, and may thereby prevent diseases related to lifestyle and obesity. Studies of dietary habits in different populations suggests that populations consuming relatively large amounts of fish have a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and reduced mortality compared to those consuming little or no fish, and this is probably true for seafood in general. The well known metabolic effects of the polyunsaturated fatty acids abundant in seafood seem not to be solely responsible for the health effects of fish consumption. Recent scientific work indicates that certain proteins and water soluble components in addition to the polyunsaturated fatty acids (bioactive compounds) may be important components for human health as well .
The development of diseases related to obesity such as heart disease and diabetes seems to be connected to dysfunction of the mitochondria. The mitochondrion is an organelle of energy metabolism in animal cells, especially abundant in energy requiring tissues such as heart and skeletal muscle. The performance of mitochondria can be influenced by diet and dietary components, including bioactive components of marine origin. This provides opportunities for influencing beneficially human health and for the development of novel innovative products in the food industry, based on solid scientific documentation.
On this background this Nordic Centre of Excellence will add Nordic strength in research on Nutrition and Health by complementing existing and promote novel research programs by skilled research groups in several Nordic countries.
The main aims are to
- Establish an integrated and competitive research community in the area of Bioactive Marine Food Components to improve human health.
- Facilitate cross-talk between different existing research programs and develop new research initiatives, including research training programs, mobility of researchers and cooperation between the academia and industrial partners.
The ultimate goal is to allow optimization of our diet for improved health and increased resistance to disease.
Expected achievements will be to
- Identify novel components in marine food that are beneficial for human health by improving mitochondrial function.
- Understand how such components change the metabolism in cells and tissues and identify biological marker molecules to assess the effects on human health.
- Assess and document the safety of marine products as a prerequisite for developing novel products.
- Facilitate optimization of human diet for improved health and increased resistance to disease.