Arla Food for Health has initiated 15 research projects during the first six years of its existence.
Arla Food for Health (AFH) is based on the conviction that equal collaboration through independent research activities, both nationally and internationally, are crucial for the ability to address several global health challenges.
The ambition is to push boundaries and foster world-class dairy science. Subsequently results can be applied in food design and new nutritional solutions with positive impact on global nutritional sta-tus and public health – this will create value for individuals, the society and the collaborating part-ners.
The AFH partners are committed to create impact and objectively disseminate the scientific insights developed through the AFH-projects. The collaboration between the partners include a targeted and coordinated public outreach that can serve as basis for a science based nutrition and health dia-logue with external stakeholders – including authorities, NGO’s, universities and other industries.
The funded research projects:
All projects have participation from University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, Arla Foods Ingredients Group P/S and Arla Foods amba. Below you’ll find a brief description of these 14 projects.
DACAPRO – Dairy calcium to promote prebiotic effects in the gut
Calcium is a characteristic constituent of milk and dairy products, which are recognized as a key calcium sources providing support for bone health. In addition, calcium may also exert important effects that promote gut health, via its ability to influence gut microbiota (GM) composition and functionality. Through controlled in vitro fermentation studies where different calcium sources and prebiotics are combined as substrates, the DACAPRO project aims to generate fundamental evidence on the potential of dairy calcium to promote the effects of prebiotics and thereby improve gut health. This will be achieved through integrated metabolomics, metagenomics and gene expression analyses to identify the detailed effects of calcium and prebiotic combinations on in vitro simulated GM composition and its metabolic capacity and activity. This knowledge will be a cornerstone to understand the role of dairy as a unique biofunctional food segment targeted at gut health promotion.
Professor Hanne Christine Bertram, Aarhus University
1.1 mill. DDK
YourGutBrain – Yoghurt to alter gut movements and brain function
Increasing evidence suggest that bowel habits are linked to mental health. Consumption of fermented dairy has been reported to accelerate intestinal transit time and to affect cognitive performance, respectively. The YourGutBrain project will investigate whether intake of fermented dairy in comparison with non-fermented dairy increases weekly bowel movements and concordantly improves cognitive performance. This will be investigated through a dietary intervention study including healthy women with few bowel movements per week. A wide range of measures related to the gut and the brain will be assessed upon consumption of fermented dairy and non-fermented dairy, respectively. Together, this will provide insights into whether fermented dairy can affect bowel habits and cognition, as well as potential underlying mechanisms linking the gut and the brain.
Associate Professor Henrik Munch Roager, University of Copenhagen
6.6 mill. DDK
LAMETA – Lactate – the link between fermented dairy products and metabolic health?
Intake of fermented dairy products is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Since fermentation increases the content of lactate, lactate may be the previously unknown link between fermented dairy intake and metabolic health. In a recent study, we have found that oral intake of lactate slows gastric emptying, inhibits appetite, and also inhibits the appetite hormone ghrelin and stimulates the secretion of the incretin hormone GLP-1 and insulin. Therefore, the aim of the LAMETA project is to investigate how the addition of lactate to meals affects hormone secretion, nutrient absorption, and substrate utilization in individuals with obesity and insulin resistance. This will be done through both animal and human studies and with a new PET scan method to measure organ-specific meal fat uptake. The results of the LAMETA project will elucidate whether lactate and lactate‐containing dairy products could prevent and treat metabolic diseases such as diabetes type 2, obesity and insulin resistance.
Associate Professor Esben Søndergaard, Aarhus University
4.9 mill. DDK
CASGUT: Caseins for gut comfort in infants
Most infant formulas (IF) are based on processed milk proteins, consisting of bovine whey proteins added to skimmed milk powder to obtain whey/casein (CN) ratio of 60/40 to approach the ratio in human milk (HM). The project aims to clarify the potential benefits of gently-processed intact or hydrolyzed micellar casein isolate (MCI) in IFs and how they compare to HM in terms of mild gastric clotting for improved gut comfort and motility and the release of bioactive peptides for improved gut health. It is currently unknown how the widely studied rennet-induced coagulation of bovine milk in relation to cheese-making properties translates into clotting properties in the infant stomach. This is studied in the CASGUT project; by combinations of piglet studies and lab based pilot experiments in the context of the established CASGUT AU/UCPH project consortium.
Professor Lotte Bach Larsen, Aarhus University
Associate Professor Stine Brandt Bering, University of Copenhagen
5.1 mill. DDK
SMiL – Special Milk Lipids for Improving Metabolic Health
Medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCSFAs) comprise about 10% of the fat found in cow milk. MCSFAs have been shown to increase satiety and improve metabolic syndrome. We have two aims. One, by using different transgenic mouse models and by conducting mechanistic human experiments, we want to identify the mode-of-action underpinning the health benefits of MCSFAs. Two, we will create a novel dairy product that is highly enriched in MCSFAs and assess its potential health benefits in humans.
Assistant Professor Maximilian Kleinert, University of Copenhagen.
5.2 mill. DDK
DAIPRO-NAFLD – A randomized controlled trial of effects of DAIry PROtein products on liver disease severity and metabolism in patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
The project will investigate the effects of novel dairy protein products on liver disease severity and metabolism in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This may procure novel treatments and dietary guidelines for patients with NAFLD and holds potential for extrapolation to obesity and diabetes.
Sandby K et al. Efficacy of Dietary Manipulations for Depleting Intrahepatic Triglyceride Content: Implications for the Management of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Metabolism, 2021.
Professor Henning Grønbæk, Aarhus University.
5.6 mill. DDK
The CutDM mealbox – Cut down on carbohydrate usage in the diet of type 2 diabetes
The project objective is to examine whether 12 months of provision of a carbohydrate-reduced high-protein (CRHP) diet as compared to dietary counseling to follow a CRHP diet or provision of a conventional diabetes (CD) diet can reduce medication and improve blood glucose control and key risk factors for metabolic and cardiovascular disease in patients with T2D.
Professor Thure Krarup, University of Copenhagen.
7.5 mill. DDK
FerMetS – Matrix characterization and effect of different types fermented dairy products on liver fat, cardiometabolic risk and gut microbiome in men with metabolic syndrome.
The project aim to characterize the matrix of different types of fermented dairy products and investigate their effects on liver fat, cardio metabolic risk and gut microbiome when compared with a dairy-control in men with metabolic syndrome.
Nielsen SD et al. Chemically acidified, live and heat-inactivated fermented dairy yoghurt show distinct bioactive peptides, free amino acids and small compounds profiles. Food Chem, 2021.
Sandby K et al. Efficacy of Dietary Manipulations for Depleting Intrahepatic Triglyceride Content: Implications for the Management of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Metabolism, 2021.
Associate Professor Nina Rica Wium Geiker, University of Copenhagen
5.0 mill. DDK
ENMET – Milk proteins as regulator of obesity through modification of the ENergy METabolism and gut microbiota
This project investigates to what extent milk proteins modulate energy metabolism and thereby may improve weight management. The project aims in addition to investigate the molecular mechanisms governing the effect of protein on host metabolism in consort with gut bacteria.
Professor Karsten Kristiansen, University of Copenhagen
3.5 mill. DKK
At any time at least 50 mill. children suffer from malnutrition, which has huge consequences for their future life – if they survive. Optimal nutrition support is needed to bring children out of this devastating state of hunger and impaired growth and development. This project examines how milk protein and whey permeate rescue linear and ponderal growth as well as child development in Moderate Acute Malnutrition.
Pesu H et al. The role of milk protein and whey permeate in lipid-based nutrient supplements on the growth and development of stunted children in Uganda: a randomized trial protocol (MAGNUS). Current Developments in Nutrition, 2021.
Professor Henrik Friis, University of Copenhagen
5 mill DKK
MiPUAge – Milk Protein Utilisation and Age
Whey and casein-derived protein ingredients: gastro-intestinal absorbption, whole body utilizatoin, and hormonal and metabolic regulation: a metabolomics approach.
Professor Gerrit van Hall, University of Copenhagen
3.65 mill DKK
The influence of maternal health on human breast milk composition with downstream effects on infant metabolism and gut colonization.
Modermælk er skræddersyet – men hvordan bruges den af barnet?
Gravide kan hjælpe med at forberede fremtidens modermælkserstatning
Associate Professor Ulrik Kræmer Sundekilde, Aarhus University
Professor Niels Uldbjerg, Aarhus University
Professor Dennis Sandris Nielsen, University of Copenhagen
5.0 mill DKK
Finalized research projects
A food item is more than the content of its single nutrients. The structure of the food at all levels affects the digestion and uptake of the nutrients in the human gut. In this project, we study how the dairy matrix influences nutrient uptake with specific focus on post-prandial lipaemia. The perspective is to be able to design better foods with a more targeted structure for nutrient availability by understanding of the effects of this relationship in dairy foods.
Thøgersen R et al. Effect of Dairy Matrix on the Postprandial Blood Metabolome. Nutrients, 2021.
Thøgersen R et al. Progression of Postprandial Blood Plasma Phospholipids Following Acute Intake of Different Dairy Matrices: A Randomized Crossover Trial. Metabolites, 2021.
Kjølbæk L et al. Matrix structure of dairy products results in different postprandial lipid responses: a randomized crossover trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2021.
Schmidt JM et al. Influence of type of dairy matrix micro- and macrostructure on in vitro lipid digestion. Food Funct, 2020.
Fast eller flydende – hvad betyder madens struktur for næringsoptaget?
Madens struktur påvirker din optagelse af fedt.
Bertram & Hammershøj. Forunderlige fødevarematriceeffekter, Dansk Kemi, 102, 3, 21-23, 2021.
Professor Marianne Hammershøj, Aarhus University
4 mill DKK
Effects of milk protein and vitamin D on children’s growth and health.
Thams L et al. Vitamin D supplementation and increased dairy protein intake do not affect muscle strength or physical function in healthy 6-8-year-old children – the D-pro randomized trial. Eur J Nutr, 2022.
Thams L et al. Effects of high dairy protein intake and vitamin D supplementation on body composition and cardiometabolic markers in 6-8-y-old children – the D-pro trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2022.
Thams L et al. Test-Retest Reliability of Muscle Strength and Physical Function Tests in 6–9-Year-old Children. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 2021.
Stounbjerg NG et al. Effects of vitamin D and high dairy protein intake on bone mineralization and linear growth in 6- to 8-year-old children: th D-pro randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2021.
Tilskud af D-citamin om vinteren styrker børns knogler
Mørke måneder forude: Fødevarestyrelsen har et råd til alle
Professor Christian Mølgaard, University of Copenhagen
6.35 mill DKK
OmniSaM: The Omnibus Satiety Metric
A multimodal metric for predicting the satiating effects of real foods and drinks
Satiation depends on many human factors related to e.g. physiology, perception and psychology and as such has proven very difficult to measure and predict accurately. Healthy foods that fill faster and for longer are desirable for public health, but current methods for measuring the satiating capacity of foods have very weak predictive val-ues. This ambitious project proposes to combine the primary processes underlying the satiety cascade, including brain, blood and behavior measurements to develop a meth-od which can accurately predict future caloric intake. The Omnibus Satiety Metric will enable the development of superior satiety optimized foods in the context of weight and lifestyle management for the consumer, as well as enabling the future development of a rapid measurement for satiation with wider applicability in the nutrition and medical sectors.
Which factors decide how much we eat? DCA –Center for Food and Agriculture. April 2019. Popular science.
Professor Derek Victor Byrne, Aarhus University
5.29 mill DKK
When sick and hospitalized muscle wasting often take place due to inflammation and lack of appetite. This project investigates the optimal combination of milk proteins and ketone bodies to counteract post-inflammatory protein and muscle waste in a new clinical human model combining inflammation(LPS), bed rest and fasting. The goal is to be able to support healing and recovery with targeted nutrition, which would improve quality of life for patients and reduce health care costs.
Smedegaard SB et al. β-Lactoglobulin Elevates Insulin and Glucagon Concentrations Compared with Whey Protein-A Randomized Double-Blinded Crossover Trial in Patients with Type Two Diabetes Mellitus. Nutrients, 2021
Mose M et al. A model mimicking catabolic inflammatory disease; a controlled randomized study in humans. PLoS One, 2020.
Mose M et al. β-lactoglobulin is insulinotropic compared with casein and whey protein ingestion during catabolic conditions: A human double-blinded randomized crossover trial. J Nutr, 2021.
Individualiseret ernæring skal få patienter på benene igen med muskelmassen i behold
Professor Niels Møller, Aarhus University Hospital
1.65 mill DKK
This projects investigates if a diet with bioactive milk ingredients protects against gut inflammation. This is of huge relevance to improve infant formula but may also be applicable to adults suffering from intestinal inflammation.
Alinaghi M et al. Direct Implementation of Intestinal Permeability Test in NMR Metabolomics for Simultaneous Biomarker Discovery-A Feasibility Study in a Preterm Piglet Model. Metabolites, 2020.
Muk T et al. Prenatal Endotoxin Exposure Induces Fetal and Neonatal Renal Inflammation via Innate and Th1 Immune Activation in Preterm Pigs. Front Immonol. 2020.
Oral Supplementation with Bovine Colostrum Prevents Septic Shock and Brain Barrier Disruption During Bloodstream Infection in Preterm Newborn Pigs
Prenatal Intra-Amniotic Endotoxin Induces Fetal Gut and Lung Immune Responses and Postnatal Systemic Inflammation in Preterm Pigs
Rapid Cerebral Metabolic Shift during Neonatal Sepsis Is Attenuated by Enteral Colostrum Supplementation in Preterm Pigs
Gut and Immune Effects of Bioactive Milk Factors in Preterm Pigs Exposed to Prenatal Inflammation
Rapid Proteome Changes in Plasma and Cerebrospinal Fluid Following Bacterial Infection in Preterm Newborn Pigs
Prenatal inflammation Suppresses Blood Th1 Polarization and Gene Clusters Related to Cellular Energy Metabolism in Preterm Newborns
Direct Implementation of Intestinal Permeability Test in NMR Metabolomics for Simultaneous Biomarker Discovery—A Feasibility Study in a Preterm Piglet Model
Postnatal gut immunity and microbiota development is minimally affected by prenatal inflammation in preterm pigs
Common and distinct variation in data fusion of designed experimental data
Professor Per Sangild, University of Copenhagen
4.46 mill DKK
A large project in which work package 1 is funded by Arla Food for Health. This work package aims to identify and optimize processing conditions which allow efficient and high quality separation of Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM) from cream or dairy side streams.
Hansen SF et al. Disulfide bond formation is not crucial for the heat-induced interaction between β–lactoglobulin and milk fat globule membrane proteins. J Dairy Sci, 2020
Placing pasteurization before or after microfiltration impacts the protein composition of milk fat globule membrane material
Microfiltration of raw milk for production of high-purity milk fat globule membrane material
Impact of industrial cream processing on the protein composition of the milk fat globule membrane
Associate Professor Lars Wiking, Aarhus University
2.5 mill DKK
CutDM – Cut down on carbohydrate usage in the diet of type 2 diabetes
Mechanisms of effective therapy of diabetes by selective choice of macronutrients
This project investigates if a diet with lower content of carbohydrates and thus higher content of fat and protein, partly delivered by dairy products, improves blood sugar control of patients suffering from Type 2 Diabetes.
Alzahrani AH et al. Effects of a Self-Prepared Carbohydrate-Reduced High-Protein Diet on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Markers in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Nutrients, 2021.
Alzahrani AH et al. Body weight and metabolic risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes on a self-selected high-protein low-carbohydrate diet. Eur J Nutr, 2021.
Skytte MJ et al. Effects of carbohydrate restriction on postprandial glucose metabolism, β-cell function, gut hormone secretion, and satiety in patients with Type 2 diabetes. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 2021.
Skytte MJ et al. A carbohydrate-reduced high-protein diet improves HbA1c and liver fat content in weight stable participants with type 2 diabetes: a randomize controlled trial. Diabetologia, 2019.
Reduction of carbohydrate intake improved type 2 diabetics’ ability to regulate blood sugar
Professor Thure Krarup, University of Copenhagen
4.0 mill DKK