Metabolic HEALTH through nutrition, microbiota and tryptophan bioMARKers

HEALTHMARK, a Joint Programming Initiative - A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (JPI HDHL) supported project will investigate the complex associations between microbiota and microbiota-derived bioactives of the tryptophan metabolism, diet and metabolic health, characterized by phenotypes of obesity with low visceral adipose tissue as well as metabolically healthy obese phenotypes. The gut microbiome will be looked at as a potential reservoir of biomarkers in terms of composition and function (microbial metabolites) that could be modulated by diet.

HEALTHMARK is an interdisciplinary and transnational project. The project comprises five partners from four EU countries with expertise and scientific excellence in this research topic. These partners are Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Bonn, Germany (principal investigator: Prof Dr Ute Nöthlings); German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Germany (principal investigator: Prof Dr Dr Monique Breteler); University College Cork/ Teagasc, Moorepark Food Research Centre, Ireland (principal Investigator: Prof John Cryan, partner investigators: Prof Catherine Stanton, Dr Gerard Clarke, Dr Harriet Schellekens, and Prof. Timothy Dinan); Laboratory of Nutrition and Integrative Neurobiology, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, France (principal Investigator: Prof Lucile Capuron); and Department of Food Quality and Nutrition, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Italy (principal Investigator: Prof Fulvio Mattivi). HEALTHMARK is coordinated by Prof Dr Ute Nöthlings

HEALTHMARK will identify, replicate and validate biomarkers in existing human population studies – two observational studies (the DONALD Study and the Rhineland study) and two intervention studies (the Obesity study and the MUCOL study). These studies have dietary information, information on body composition, and biological samples. Gut microbiota will be quantified by 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing. The project will use targeted and untargeted metabolomic approaches to determine levels of metabolites and bioactives in blood and urine samples. The observational studies will identify and replicate biomarkers, and the intervention studies will validate the biomarkers.

Financed by



Prof. Dr. Ute Nöthlings
University of Bonn
Institute of Nutritional and Food Sciences
Nutritional Epidemiology
Faculty of Agriculture
University of Bonn
Bonn, Germany

Prof. Dr. Dr. Monique Breteler
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)
Population and Health Sciences
Bonn, Germany

Prof. John F. Cryan
University College Cork –
National University of Ireland
Department Anatomy & Neuroscience
APC Microbiome Institute
Cork, Ireland

Prof. Catherine Stanton
Principal Reseatrch Officer
Teagasc Food Research Centre
Moorepark, Fermoy, Co.
Cork Ireland

Prof. Lucile Capuron
University of Bordeaux
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
Laboratory of Nutrition and Integrative Neurobiology (NutriNeuro)
Bordeaux Cedex, France

Prof. Fulvio Mattivi
Fondazione Edmund Mach, Research and Innovation Centre
Department of Food Quality and Nutrition
CAFE - Center Agriculture Food Environment
University of Trento
San Michele all'Adige, Italy