WG2 – The impact of nutrition, lifestyle and redox active secondary metabolites on the organism

This WG will consider the impact of redox active food and individual food microcomponents,
especially polyphenols, oxysterols and various organic sulfur compounds (including the recently
discovered inorganic Sx
2- polysulfide species) selected from different sources across Europe as well
as newly designed functional foods, on healthy, ageing animals and humans, as well as on humans
and animals suffering from age-linked diseases, such as diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders or
inflammatory related diseases. The focus will reside firmly on a better understanding of individual
molecules and their impact on the organisms, bearing in mind that compounds never act alone yet
that whole-diet approaches also cannot access the kind of information on the molecular level, which
is relevant for nutritional intervention or supplementation.
As part of the top-down approach, in the first step, biomarkers will be defined and considered as
indicators of a changing health, including markers indicative of the preservation or regaining of
health/disease states, the retardation of degeneration and the maintenance or recovery of certain
(functional) capacities. Such markers may be based on morphology or function, but also on an
adequate blood or tissue analysis, or may be related to nutrigenomic events. The relationship
between dietary intake, lifestyle and socio-demographic determinants on one-side and plasma levels
of specific biomarkers (bioactive lipids, proteins, redox state) on the other will be also assessed.
Chemists will form an integral part of this WG as they will provide chemically pure compounds for
studies, either by isolation or total synthesis and perform the analysis of biomarkers and other
modified biomolecules, such as proteins or enzymes, for instance by employing mass spectrometric
analytical methods.

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