The major causes of premature morbidity and mortality in Europe are cardiovascular disease (approx. 40%) and cancer (approx. 25%). Diet is recognized to be a major factor in the aetiology of these diseases. Recent epidemiological evidence suggests that fish consumption can play a significant part in the dietary control of chronic disease and other inflammatory diseases. However, the mechanisms of the health beneficial effects, particularly concerning compounds like n-3 lipids and/or proteins are not clearly identified.
The primary objective in the first project in this RTD pillar is to investigate by intervention studies the mechanism behind the apparent protective effect of seafood consumption to colorectal cancer development and inflammatory bowel diseases identified in recent epidemiological cohort studies.
The objective within the second project is to identify the development of postpartum depression, possibly due to the limitation of n-3 lipids in women during pregnancy and further to develop diets suitable for developing the growing child and the healthy family. Also intervention studies will be carried out to distinguish between the effect of seafood lipids and/or proteins on the positive role on blood profile, insulin sensitivity, weight control to treat overweight and bone health in 20-40 year old individuals.
In the third project the mechanism to support the emerging hypothesis that n-3 lipids prevents life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias will be studied. This study is embedded in an already on-going multi-centre clinical trial and will now be extended to centres in Eastern Europe where the seafood intake is lower, and where the recorded rate of heart attacks is higher than in the Western Europe.