Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes

Metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes

The rise in the frequency of obesity has resulted in an alarming increase of the Metabolic Syndrome (MeS) consisting of a clustering of abdominal obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidaemia, and elevated blood pressure.

MeS is associated with a doubling of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and a five-fold increased risk for Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and consequently is a huge burden for both individuals and society.

Food quality and easy access to energy-dense food is considered a key factor responsible for this development.

However, there is limited evidence on the optimal dietary approach to prevent MeS, T2DM and CVD.

It is clear that weight loss and reduced total calorie intake are important factors, but the ideal proportion of the 3 main food components (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) that should be recommended to prevent MeS, T2DM and CVD remains unclear.

In the attempt to identify specific effects of nutrients the confounding effect of weight change on measured valuables should be avoided.


Research on prevention of MeS, T2DM and CVD is focussed on:

  • Impact of protein and fat quality and quantity in various foods and pre-meals on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, oxidative stress, low-grade inflammation and wellbeing.
  • Identifying and quantifying food components affecting insulin sensitivity and insulin independent glucose uptake.
  • Manipulating contents of food components with impact on glucose uptake and establish their mode of action
  • Estimating and manipulating the content of dietary fibers in various foods.
  • Quantify the implication of pre- and probiotics on colonic health, glucose homeostasis, insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism.
  • Sophisticated metabolic markers and of abdominal visceral and subcutaneous adiposity to examine if MeS is a good CVD and T2DM risk predictor over other risk factors.