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Introduction

The Nordic Centre of Excellence (NCoE) Programme on Food, Nutrition and Health was launched as a start of a joint effort to enhance the scientific quality and international visibility of Nordic research within this field. With co-financing by NordForsk and the National Research Councils, the NCoE Programme will run in 2007-2012. The total annual funding will be up to 18 MNOK (approx. 2.3 million EURO).

The Programme will end in 2013, and a joint Final Symposium will be arranged in Copenhagen 14-15 March 2013. Programme and information

NCoE "MitoHealth Centre for Bioactive Food Components and Prevention of Lifestyle Diseases" has been choosen as one of three NCoEs in Food, Nutrition and Health.

The project is co-ordinated by Professor Rolf Kristian Berge, Universitety of Bergen, Norway.

The aim of MitoHealth is to investigate how food from marine raw material can attenuate diseases related to a modern life style. By conducting an extensive research program this Nordic Centre of Excellence will adress the follwing key questions:

The focus of the MitoHealth research program is the cellular combustion of food which is mainly localized to small bodies in the cells called mitochondria. The idea is that by improving the cellular combustion in the mitochondria (Mito-), this may beneficially affect human health (-Health) by preventing the development of disease. It is reason to expect that active compounds can be identified in marine organisms that may improve mitochondrial function. Of particular interest will be to study proteins or peptides of marine origin.

The ultimate goal of this project is to allow optimization of our diet for improved health and increased resistance to disease. This may be achieved by the development of novel functional food. This is food that will beneficially affect one or more target functions in the body, beyond adequate nutritional effects, to reduce the risk of disease.

The Nordic Centre of Excellence will add nordic strength in research on Nutrition and Health by complementing existing and promote novel research programs. It will provide basic knowledge which can be utlised by industry and in future research. Scientific documentation is necessary for developing commercial products and for evaluating consumer safety of novel food.