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Prevalence of diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is increasing among all ages in the European Region, mostly due to increases in overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity. Overall, 7% of adults across EU countries in 2014 reported to have diabetes, and CVD in total was accounting for almost 40% of all deaths across EU countries in 2013. Overall diabetes and CVD are estimated to cost the EU economy €100 and €210 billion a year, respectively.

Studies of the diabetes epidemic suggest that modifiable risk factors explain about 80% of the increase in prevalence. Dietary Fatty acid (FA) composition is an important determinant of this risk.  There has been considerable interest in the use of circulating FA biomarkers to more accurately assess dietary exposure. Lipidomics, as a branch of metabolomics, presents a new set of tools to unravel the relationship between environmental factors (e.g. diet) with complex diseases.

Fatty Acid Metabolism – Interlinking Diet with Cardiometabolic Health (FAME, 2017-2020) is a five centre research project - German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE), University of Cordoba, University of Navarra, University of Reading,- and University of East Anglia - that is funded by the European Commission and national funding partners of the Joint Programming Initiative A healthy diet for a healthy life within the ERA-HDHL Cofounded joint call “Biomarkers for Nutrition and Health”.

The utility of specific fatty acids and lipid metabolites as novel biomarkers of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and CVD will be identified in prospective studies. The potential for dietary modification of identified biomarkers will be tested in randomized controlled trials. Specific fatty acids and novel lipid metabolites will be tested as biomarkers of dairy fat intake and as markers of cardiometabolic health. Furthermore, the role of dietary polyphenols and candidate genes as determinants of FA status will be evaluated.