There is a growing awareness of potentially serious nutritional deficiencies in central/eastern Europe, affecting human health. This study will define the extent of the problem and explore the possibilities of rectifying it.
The very high levels of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers in central and eastern Europe are likely to be caused in part by nutritional deficiencies. A conspicuous feature of the diet in these countries is the restricted availability of fresh fruit and vegetables in winter, which is likely to lead to poor antioxidant status. Applying sensitive tests for biomarkers of oxidative damage to lipids and DNA (taken as indicators of risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, respectively), as well as assays for antioxidants in plasma, we will investigate the biological consequences of this seasonal variation in three groups of volunteers in Slovakia: (a) normal healthy controls, matched with (b) hyperlipidaemic heart attack survivors, and their relatives (c). We will carry out a supplementation trial to adjust the winter level of antioxidants to that typical of the summer diet. The effect of this intervention on biomarkers of DNA and lipid damage will be monitored. In parallel, animal and cell culture experiments will allow us to examine the mechanism underlying the protective effect of dietary constituents.
This proposal arises from an existing Copernicus collaboration which has successfully established the central assay for DNA damage - the "comet assay" - in all the laboratories participating in this initiative.
The Research Topics that we are addressing are Agro-Food: Toxicology role of biomarkers for presence of toxic substances, the interaction of compounds which have a positive or negative health effect ) and Food quality ("...aspects of quality-health, nutritional etc.")
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
833 91 Bratislava
833 01 Bratislava