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Mastiha treatment for healthy obese with NAFLD diagnosis (MAST4HEALTH).

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - MAST4HEALTH (Mastiha treatment for healthy obese with NAFLD diagnosis (MAST4HEALTH).)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2020-02-29

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) is one of the most common liver disorders and a major public health problem in Europe and North America and one of the most common complications of obesity and diabetes mellitus in Western populations affecting approximately 50% of diabetics and 76% of obese patients. MAST4HEALTH consists a multidisciplinary approach to assess a non pharmacological intervention for managing NAFLD/NASH. Because of limitations in current NAFLD treatment therapies, many new efforts focus on exploring non-pharmacologic means for managing the disease and in particular through dietary substances or bioactive phytochemicals in fruits, vegetables, and plants or their products. MAST4HEALTH aimed at exploring the effect of Mastiha, a natural product of Greece which was recently shown to possess antioxidant/anti- inflammatory and lipid lowering properties. We completed a multicenter randomized double blind placebo controlled (parallel arm) clinical trial to test the effectiveness of Mastiha supplement as new non-pharmacologic strategy for NAFLD/NASH treatment. MAST4HEALTH explored gene-diet interactions, more specifically the potential personalized activity of the Mastiha, and correlated genetic and epigenetic markers with metabolomic and intestinal microbiota profiles pre- and post- intervention. The effectiveness of the proposed intervention was evaluated via clinical and laboratory markers of the disease. To this end, MAST4HEALTH trained a number of researchers and PhD students in multidisciplinary approaches of this survey. MAST4HEALTH built and enhanced cooperation among partners meanwhile strengthening the interaction between our academic and non-academic sectors
Overall the project was considered succesful with all work packages having completed their tasks and all deliverables submitted on the portal. The clinical trial was completed succesfully with the desired number of patients being recruited, all samples were sent to the laboratory centres on time and all analyses were performed as scheduled. The training of the secondees was well organized through several advanced and transferable skills courses and the level of satisfaction of the secondees was very high according to the career portal. Two abstracts were presented at highly esteemed conferences and the first paper of the project was published in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research entitled «Mastiha (Pistacia lentiscus) improves gut microbiota diversity, hepatic steatosis and disease activity in a biopsy-confirmed mouse model of advanced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and fibrosis». All meetings of the project have been organised efficiently and the collaboration between all partners was really fruitful. Also, some really interesting results on the efficacy of Mastiha on the MRI and biochemical parameters have been produced and will be published the next few months in scientific journals.
Our project remained relevant to the initially proposed expected impacts. The staff exchange and cross-sector collaboration through sharing expertise from research to market and vice-versa has benefitted all partners with no exception. Scientists from Universities benefitted from SMEs and pharmaceutical companies, through their acquaintance with innovation and competition ideas in markets. Secondees from non-academic sectors were trained in different research technologies in academic partners and enriched their CVs with more expertise on different fields. These collaborations offered to all secondees and especially to young scientists the chance to boost their career and their professional development. A great example of the above, is being reflected on a full report of CNR-Clinical Physiology Institute secondments which is uploaded in the career portal in the following link The main tool for the communication of all news and events related to the project was the MAST4HEALTH site who was updated with a newsletter section. Furthermore, a facebook and twitter account were created. The last meeting of the project was held on 13th-14th of February 2020 at Chios island, Greece with great success and a great interest from journalists and local authorities for the dissemination of the project. Therefore, the Consortium created a press release which was uploaded to the MAST4HEALTH site and will be used for the dissemination of the project to the media and the general public.