Research facility (research activity location)
University of Primorska, Faculty of Health Sciences
Research field according to ARRS classification
Science: Medical sciences
Field: Metabolic and hormonal disorders
Summary of research topic and field
The research will take place on the crossroad between biomedical and nutrition sciences. We will be interested in the connections among nutritional intake, nutritional habits, energy balance and health markers, such as oxidative stress, low-grade chronic systemic inflammation, energetics and repair mechanisms.
Throughout life, lifestyle has an important impact on the susceptibility for chronic non-communicable diseases and on health-span and longevity. The pathophysiology of different chronic non-communicable diseases has some common characteristics, such as oxidative stress, low-grade systemic inflammation and impaired energetics and repair mechanisms. On the other hand, low oxidative stress, absence of inflammation and signalisation, connected to energy deficit that leads to cellular repair, relate to longevity. Many components of nutrition – from micronutrients and phytochemicals to meal frequency and energy balance – influence the aforementioned mechanisms. Metabolic signalisation within an individual is the result of all these influences that act synergistically. Therefore, the focus of the doctoral research will be serum markers of oxidative stress, low-grade systemic inflammation, energetics and repair mechanisms in individuals with different dietary patterns (omnivores, vegans, vegetarians, individuals on ketogenic diet and others). We will be interested also in differences in macro- and micronutrient composition of their diet, phytochemical and energy intake and the impact of their diet on resting metabolic rate. The results will be important for evaluation of long-term effects of different dietary patterns on the individual and useful for nutritional counselling. Impaired metabolic signalisation in metabolic syndrome is still reversible and can be attenuated with a change in dietary pattern.