FerMetS - Fermented dairy products and metabolic syndrome

The importance of the food matrix becomes evident when consumption of a single nutrient e.g. saturated fat can have different effects depending on the matrix in which it exists. A prime example is dairy products, where the nutrients and bioactive components interact with each other creating highly complex dairy matrices. 

By: Grith Mortensen

Especially the unique yogurt matrix consisting of fat, protein, lactose, vitamins and minerals and a variety of microbial fermentation products appear to have favorable health effects, which differ from the physiological effects of the individual nutrients present in the yogurt matrix. The aim of the project is to explore different dairy matrices, and their effects on health.

In the first part of the project, the research team will characterize the matrix of four dairy products. In the second part of the project, these dairy products are included in a 16-week randomized controlled trial. One-hundred men with symptoms of metabolic syndrome are included in the study with the overall objective of investigating the effect of including yogurt as a part of their habitual diet on liver fat, cardiometabolic risk, glucose metabolism and gut microbiota.

The project provides an opportunity to generate knowledge of the physiological mechanisms whereby specific dairy matrices elicit health beneficial effects. Thus, this project can provide important knowledge of health benefits for the individual as well as the society, and thereby provide business opportunities for the dairy industry. 

Project period: June 2020 - June 2023

Budget: 9.503.000 DKK

Financing: Milk Levy Fund, Arla Food for Health, in-kind from the universities 

Project manager: Nina Geiker and Karoline Sandby

Institution: Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen

Participants: Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen