This project will investigate the role of carbohydrate quality (CQ) on weight management, appetite and cardiometabolic health in humans as well as underlying mechanisms by which CQ affects consumers. It will also promote career development and mobility of Early Career Scientists (ECS) to foster the new generation of scientists in food and health. Experimental models, clinical approaches and OMICs will be used in a multidisciplinary setting. Results will be transferred to industry and disseminated to the scientific community and general public. We will take advantage of the data and samples from 12-wk weight-loss study conducted in collaboration with Agrifood industry, investigating weight- and fat-loss after a high fibre vs refined fibre diet. Satiety and gut microbiota will be evaluated as determinants of weight-loss and we will analyze cardiometabolic risk factors and molecular phenotypes associated with weight-loss and cardiometabolic risk profiles using metabolomics and proteomics. Molecular signatures of successful weight-loss and low cardiometabolic risk, will be validated in a prospective cohort of women (n=5022, data already available), and in a corresponding cohort in men (n=6000, data will be available during 2020). Moreover, a rat model will be used to study the potential adverse effects of refined carbohydrates at organ/tissue level and the potential beneficial effects of supplementation with fermentable dietary fibre. Particular focus will be put on metabolic inflammation and effects mediated through AGEs, the gut barrier and microbiota. We will compare preclinical metabolite profiles to metabolic signatures of the human studies to elucidate the molecular alterations associated with weight-loss and cardiometabolic risk in humans.
In summary, we will exploit (i) metabolomics to discover biomarker panels that can predict tailored advice on high-fibre diets for successful weight-loss (personalized nutrition), (ii) mechanistic studies to identify molecular mechanisms evoked by carbohydrates and (iii) the relationship between perceived satiety and food structure.
Results are expected to translate into improved high-fibre foods tailored for optimal metabolic health and weight management for individuals or consumer groups.