Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterised by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Fifteen per cent of adult Europeans are estimated to be affected by MetS, while the US statistic is estimated to be a whopping 32 percent. Obesity is established to be the main risk factor for MetS.
Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA, said Dr Barry Ritz, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs for Atrium Innovations explained that metabolic syndrome is an attractive target for nutrition and dietary supplements since all of the characteristics associated with the syndrome are “modifiable by nutrition and lifestyle”.
“We wanted to have a targeted but flexible program and not a series of isolated studies,” explained Dr Ritz, and a condition like metabolic syndrome fits with this.
The potential nutritional interventions also fit with this flexibility, with a focus on extracts from small fruits and polyphenols they contain (going beyond the antioxidant effects), fish oil, probiotics, and systemic enzyme therapy.
The effort – which includes a collaboration with a strategic partner, the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF) at Université Laval – has a projected total spend of over $5 million, including partial support from governmental agencies.
Dr Ritz described INAF as the “premier institution dedicated wholly to the study of dietary supplements”, for “cutting-edge research on the role of nutritional therapies in managing metabolic syndrome”.
“INAF has specific scientific expertise and interesting methodologies to study metabolic syndrome and silent inflammation,” he said.
Spectrum of products
“We have always believed in the importance of research. This investment provides further indication of the depth of our commitment,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, President and CEO.
“Applying a more sophisticated science-based approach to our whole spectrum of products, we have the ability to positively affect the quality of life of people by helping them maintain their health and prevent serious diseases.”