Muscles in action not only move our body but also generate hormones. These mediators from the musculature are called myokines and seem to communicate with other organs, e.g. fatty tissue. Due to this inter-organ communication the metabolism and health may be affected in many ways. The different conditions of physical activity (moderate or intense, short or long) due to which myokines enter the blood, as well as their metabolic effects, are poorly understood in humans. In order to answer these questions, controlled studies with volunteers are performed and the resulting metabolic changes are characterized on the basis of the metabolome.
KarMeN stands for "Karlsruhe Metabolomics and Nutrition". In this project of the Max-Rubner-Institut (MRI), relationships between the lifestyle factors diet, exercise and health status are examined. Here, the metabolites of the human body are the focus of research. All metabolites of an organism at a certain time is called the metabolome and is influenced by many factors. Among other things by age, sex, hormone status, diet and physical activity. One goal of KarMeN is to characterize the metabolome of healthy men and women in order to identify metabolite patterns, e.g. determine the physical fitness of a person.
The KarMeN collective includes more than 300 participants of whom anthropometric, genetic, functional, clinical-chemical parameters were collected under standardized conditions. Data on food intake and physical activity have been generated by using questionnaires. The analysis of metabolites in plasma and urine is carried out by HPLC-MS, GC×GC-MS and NMR spectroscopy.
Research institutions, companies and associations from all over Europe have joined forces to form the „PATHWAY-27“ research network to investigate the effects of bio-enriched foods on human metabolic pathways. These foods are intended to improve the health and well-being of people as part of a balanced diet. Three bio-active substances or groups of substances - beta-glucans, anthocyanins and docosahexaenoic acid - are examined using the example of three food groups - baked goods, dairy products and egg products. The focus of the research is the interaction with the endogenous metabolism and the mechanisms of action of these substances in the body.
Twenty-five partners from across Europe, including Institut für Physiologie und Biochemie der Ernährung at Max-Rubner-Institut, are participating in the EU project PATHWAY-27. The Study Center at Max-Rubner-Institut, together with its partners from Clermont-Ferrand (F), Leeds (UK) and Bologna (I), conducts multi centric clinical studies on the health effects of substances in food. The first intervention study with men and women is scheduled for early 2016.
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