Nutrition to promote health
Research groups at the Unit of Clinical Nutrition are closely integrated to serve the common goal to provide healthy and safe diet to all in order to maintain health and prevent diseases. The research groups have been organized into 2 main research lines Diet and Chronic Disease and Healthy Food and Food Safety that actively interact with local, national and international research groups and large consortia.
Diet and chronic diseases
This line of research was established in early 1990s. It has been based on controlled dietary interventions to examine the impact of healthy diet on metabolic responses Heathy diet interventions. The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (FDPS) was the first controlled long-term intervention trial to show that type 2 diabetes is preventable by changing lifestyles and it has also provided important new data from gene lifestyle interactions. Molecular interactions between genes and diet. Recently, the research has been expanded to novel areas including Eating behavior and metabolomics.
Healthy food and food safety
Understanding the mechanisms behind the health effects of foods requires studies aiming to identify new beneficial components of customary foods and the potential benefits of new foods and food components. We generate novel approaches using metabolomics to identify the bioactive compounds and nutrigenomics to reveal the molecular targets of absorbed components. The aspects of food safety are an increasingly important part of this research area.
Epidemiology is a discipline that studies the relations between the occurrence of diseases and their risk and defence factors. The nutrition epidemiologists of the unit carry out this research using material that contains thousands of research subjects. A research question could, for example, be whether milk fat is always harmful for the health of a heart, or could the effects of butter and cheese be different? One of the lines of research investigates the health effects of vitamin D with the help of data on the public and clinical tests.