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Functional foods as novel interventions

GRP Health: Functional Foods as Novel Interventional Strategies for Metabolic Disease Prevention &Prediction

Biomedical Interventional Team for Early-diagnostic Evaluation (BITE network)

BITE Network: Ramesh Arasaradnam (RA, UHCW), Tom Barber (TB, WMS), Guy Barker (GB, SLS), Professor Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston (VBW), Alison Campbell (AC, UHCW), Mike Chappell (MC, Engineering), Yin Chen (JC) James Covington (JC, Engineering), Sudhesh Kumar (SK, WMS), John Hattersley (JH, UHCW), Philip McTernan (PM, WMS), Jonathan Moore (JM, WSB), Milan Piya (MP, WMS), Ponnusamy Saravanan (PS, WMS), Graham Teakle (GRT) Gyanendra Tripathi (GT, WMS), David Rand (DAR, WSB), David Rossell (DR, Maths), Peter Walley (PW).

Metabolic Expertise in Basic & Translational Research: PM, GT, SK, MP, SP; Clinical Science: TB, SK, MP, JH, AC, PS; Warwick Systems Biology, Statistics: Complexity Science, & Bioinformatics: DAR, JM, MC, DR; Gastrointestinal Expertise: GG, RA, JC; Bacterial Genomics: GB; PC, YC, RA.

Summary: We now understand what we eat and drink can change our gut flora signatures to produce an ‘inflammatory microbiota profile’. Our novel studies have shown for the first time in man that damaging gut derived bacterial fragments, known as endotoxin, can literally spill over into our circulation, which act as low level systemic ‘inflammatory insults’ on fat and other organs leading to inflammatory induced metabolic dysfunction and disease. However whilst these studies have shown pathways leading to metabolic risk we now need to understand how we can influence this disease progression and target prevention in at risk patients with the use of supplements and ‘superfoods’.

Univeristy of Warwick & UHCW Capabilities: We have direct access through the human metabolic research unit (HMRU)to the whole body calorimetry chambers able to evaluate energy expenditure, with access to take blood, urine, faecal, and fat samples in a controlled environment to assess complete metabolic health pre and post dietary intervention. The HMRU facilities can also assess detailed anthropometric measurements (e.g. BODPOD body composition). Whilst our clinical team has direct access to primary and secondary care T2DM patients serving a population of 1.25 million people in the region. These facilities within the WISDEM centre at UHCW will further enhance the grant applications through input from the translational team.

Coupled to our human facilities will have the Warwick Crop Centre which is a Centre of excellence for Brassica genetics, with unique Brassica genetic resources in the form of genetic diversity sets for the vegetable brassicas as well as other vegetables. These resources facilitate the dissection of complex traits and the production of pre-breeding germplasm suitable for integration into commercial breeding programmes. Therefore, studies on functional foods will be able to investigate the impact on metabolic dysfunction and provide unique detailed clinical samples and clinical data. It will also combine data from the in vitro model setting as well as the in vivo disease model, highlighting the translational approach the team will undertake with a direct impact on patient care. Taken together, UoW can provide a unique holistic approach to understanding the direct impact of ‘functional foods’ on the human Bio-system in a complexity previously not feasible in the human context.