Professor Anandwardhan Hardikar

Roskilde University, Dept. of Natural Sciences and Environment

Title of project

Diabetes, Molecular Biomarkers, regulatory RNAs, gut biology, Incretins, autoimmune diseases

Abstract

This collaborative project between Australian and Danish scientists delves into the intricate connection between our digestive system (the gut) and our dietary choices. Our gut is well known to control our health and plays a pivotal role in various aspects of well-being.

Imagine the gut as a vast, creased expanse, akin to crinkles on paper. These folds create a gut surface that is larger than a football field! Remarkably, the gut is home to over 100 trillion microbes.

Producing about 30 different hormones, the gut profoundly affects conditions linked to the endocrine system, governing metabolism, growth, and energy. Gut hormone disorders are linked to obesity, diabetes, PCOS, osteoporosis, and thyroid ailments.

This research aligns with the Danish Diabetes and Endocrine Academy objectives, addressing complex issues in endocrinology and diabetes. The rise in these endocrine conditions over decades raises a vital question: Could modern food preparation contribute? About 30 years ago, food was less processed and more natural; terms like “liquid breakfast” were rare or non-existent in several parts of the world.

Historically, Food’s focus has been on protein, carbs, fats, and fiber—overlooking their origin in plants and animals. These sources carry RNA; molecules that are instructions for protein creation. Within this RNA realm are smaller RNA species called microRNAs. They can regulate/control protein production (by RNAs).

What is intriguing is that the microRNAs within food can resemble those in our gut cells; thus, food microRNAs could regulate human protein production. This study uncovers if contemporary food preparation generates distinct microRNAs, compared to three decades ago. If these altered microRNAs spark inflammation, fostering gut diseases, it would be a groundbreaking revelation.

If new food preparation methods are found to associate with gut inflammation/disease, it would be like finding a new piece of a puzzle. RNA-based strategies can then be used to counter harmful microRNA, envisioning a future with fewer conditions and heightened overall well-being.

Professor Anandwardhan Hardikar
Place of employment

Western Sydney University School of Medicine, Australia

Host principal investigator

Louise Torp Dalgaard, Roskilde University, Dept. of Natural Sciences and Environment

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