There is a great need to establish the relevance of vascular function markers to evaluate the impact or potential of diet on cardiovascular health. Therefore, the Top Institute Food and Nutrition carries out a large multidisciplinary programme on cardiovascular health, which is a collaborative effort of research groups in Wageningen, Maastricht and Groningen.
The overall aim of the project is to substantiate the validity and relevance for cardiovascular health of selected diet-sensitive vascular function markers. Central research questions are if, how, and to what extent diet-induced changes in vascular function markers predict cardiovascular health outcomes in humans. A multidisciplinary approach will be used to address these questions, and to demonstrate and unravel mechanistic cause-effect relationships of dietary ingredients with vascular function markers, endothelial (dys)function, blood pressure, other established cardiovascular risk factors, organ (dys)function, and disease risk.
This part of the project focuses on the elucidation of the role of sodium and potassium on vascular function. Objectives are to determine the effects of sodium and potassium on blood pressure, endothelial function, inflammation and renal function. The project includes a fully controlled intervention study and epidemiological data-analysis.
Another part of this project, carried out by another PhD candidate in the Division of Human Nutrition, focuses on the role of polyphenols on vascular function.
Another related project focuses on Epidemiological studies of dietary vitamin K, polyphenols and cardiovascular disease.