The increasing prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus is one of the major health problems both in developed as well as developing countries. Recent evidence indicates that a reduced mitochondrial function plays an important role in the etiolog y of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. An impaired metabolic flexibility, implying decreased fat oxidation as well as an impaired substrate switching in response to high fat diets is a feature of subjects prone to develop obesity. Evidence is accumulating that mitochondrial dysfunction may also be involved in metabolic dysregulations in adipose tissue, skeletal muscle and liver.
Diet and dietary components may modulate mitochondrial function, and thereby metabolic flexibility. By improving mitochondrial function such ingredients have the potential of beneficially affecting human health.
The well known metabolic effects of the polyunsaturated fatty acids abundant in seafood may not solely be responsible for the health effects o f fish consumption. Recent scientific work indicates that protein hydrolysates and water soluble components may be important components for human health as well. Dietary peptides are known to possess specific biological properties which make these compo nents potential ingredients of functional food. Such bioactive peptides may exert a number of different activities in vivo, affecting, e.g., the cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems, cholesterol-lowering ability and localized effects on the gut.
I n this project the following hypothesis will be tested
? An attenuation of mitochondrial dysfunction by bioactive dietary components will benefically affect energy expenditure and metabolic pathways.
? Non-lipid bioactive components may be identified, pro scessed and isolated from marine organisms.
? An optimal combination of bioactive lipids and peptides can be identified which in food products will show an enhanced effect in attenuating metabolic disorders.