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Making Health Measurable with a Blood Test

08.09.2017

More than a million Euros for a new EU project under Kiel leadership

In future, medicine would like to take preventive action to an ever greater degree. Measuring methods which indicate a change from "healthy" to "sick" are therefore becoming increasingly important for scientists. These research approaches are also something that is being focused on in the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces". The European Union (EU) is now funding a project under the leadership of the Kiel physician Professor Matthias Laudes, in which biomarkers will be researched which make the status of "healthy" measurable. The researchers expect the first results to be available in about three years. This is also the funding period for the project, which will receive more than one million Euros.

In the field of medicine today, there are many so-called biomarkers. These are specific values, measured in the blood, which can indicate an illness. Biomarkers are very important for the attending physicians to evaluate the success of treatment. An example of this is the HbA1c value, which indicates how well blood sugar is controlled in a diabetic. Unfortunately, such biomarkers currently only exist for sickness, but not for health. However, proactive physicians would be delighted to have measuring instruments like these, especially for preventive examinations or lifestyle-change programs. This question is now being addressed by an international research partnership (BioNUGUT: Gut Metabotypes as Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health), which will be funded by the European Union with more than one million Euros.

Professor Matthias Laudes, board member of the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces”, Faculty of Medicine at Kiel University and head of clinical nutrition and metabolic medicine at the Department of Internal Medicine I at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH), is coordinating the project: "In the past ten years, we have learned that health is a state in which all our body cells are in harmony with all the bacteria living in and on us." When this symbiosis is disturbed, illnesses such as diabetes and intestinal inflammations can develop. That is why the researchers are now looking for factors which indicate healthy coexistence of us people with all our intestinal bacteria, so these can later be used as indicators of a healthy lifestyle in prevention programs. Cluster member Professor Karin Schwarz from the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at Kiel University is also involved in the project. In addition to European working groups, a scientist from Canada is involved in the project as well. In this way, the partners want to examine whether the new biomarkers for health are subject to geographical peculiarities. The researchers hope to achieve the first results in about three years.


Contact:
Prof. Dr Matthias Laudes
Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Medicine, UKSH, Campus Kiel
Tel.: +49 (0)431 500-22217
E-mail: Matthias.Laudes@uksh.de



Press contact:
Dr Tebke Böschen
Tel.: +49 (0)431 880-4682, e-mail: tboeschen@uv.uni-kiel.de
Website: www.inflammation-at-interfaces.de
Twitter: I@I @medinflame


The Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces" has been funded since 2007 by the Excellence Initiative of the German Government and the federal states with a total budget of 68 million Euros. It is currently in its second phase of funding. Around 300 cluster members are spread across the four locations: Kiel (Kiel University, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH)), Lübeck (University of Lübeck, UKSH), Plön (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology) and Borstel (Research Center Borstel (FZB) – Center for Medicine and Biosciences) and are researching an innovative, systematic approach to the phenomenon of inflammation, which can affect all barrier organs such as the intestines, lungs and skin.

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Dr. Tebke Böschen

press and communication

Cluster Office
Kiel University (CAU)
Christian-Albrechts-Platz 4
24118 Kiel
Germany

Phone: +49 (0)431 880 4682
Fax: +49 (0)431 880 4894
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Internet: www.inflammation-at-interfaces.de