Diaplant - Influence of a Life-Style Intervention on Risk Factors for Type II Diabetes Complications

Grant: EU - Framework 7 - Cross Border Project

Funding Body: European Commission, City of Vienna, Border Cross Programme

Project homepage: www.diaplant.eu

Duration: 2009 - 2012 

Principal Investigator:

Karl-Heinz Wagner


Project group:

Elisabeth Müllner, PhD student
Sonja Kanzler, PhD student
Sonja Adrigan, master student
Marie Bulla, master student
Theresia Fastian, master student
Nina Kienreich, master student
Yvonne Millner, master student
Marlies Nitz, master student
Kristina Paller, master student
Alice Petschnig, master student
Admira Plavotic, master student
Simone Pleifer, master student
Christiane Schiermayr, master student
Roswitha Stieglmayer, master student
Daniela Toferer, master student
Manuela Wimmer, master student

Cooperation partner:

Prof. Dipl. Ing. Zdeňka Ďuračková, PhD
Institute of Medical Chemistry, Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius Uniersity, Bratislava, Slovakia
Dr. Helmut Brath
Health Centre Vienna South, Vienna

Short description: Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease affecting 246 million people worldwide according to the International Diabetes Federation. Especially type II diabetes, as the predominant form, is very often accompanied by secondary diseases, in particular cardiovascular diseases, nephropathy, neuropathy and retinopathy. The mechanisms that lead to complications are complex and involve disturbances in carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. Furthermore it has been suggested that reactive oxygen species (ROS) caused by defective scavenging or increased production play a central role in the formation of diabetes complication. Increased levels of ROS in combination with hyperglycemia, diabetic dyslipidemia, characterised by high triglycerides, low HDL, high LDL which are small and dense, contribute to endothelial damage and the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic diseases. The onset and progression of atherosclerosis in type II diabetics is also suggested to be associated with higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Increased oxidative stress can also lead to DNA damage threw the oxidation of DNA bases or sugar phosphate binding sites that can result in mutagenic effects and as well be associated with an increased risk for developing cancer.

There is epidemiological and clinical evidence that a diet high in vitamins and antioxidants in combination with plant oils of high quality may be associated with decreased risk of diabetic complications. Therefore the primary aims of this project are: 

  1. to asses the influence of a life-style intervention on lipid and glucose metabolism, as the alteration of those two have major contribution to secondary diseases of type II diabetes
  2. to evaluate potential protective effect from oxidative damage on DNA with single cell gel electrophoresis (Comet) assay and cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay
  3. to investigate the role of diet on pro/anti-inflammatory parameters