Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Liver fat accumulation and cardiovascular risk: new ways to prevention and treatment

Liver fat, insulin sensitivity and diabetes/cardiovascular risk: roads towards prevention and treatment.

The worldwide increasing prevalence of obesity leads to increased incidence of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Especially fat accumulation in and around organs, such as the liver, appears associated with disease. What is poorly understood is why fat accumulates in the liver, to what extent and in whom this is a predictor of disease and how diet can influence this. This knowledge gap is, amongst others due to lack of methodologies to study liver metabolism non-invasively in large-scale human studies. It is therefore unknown whether liver fat is a good target to prevent or diminish metabolic diseases.

The current project will combine  small-scale human studies of mechanisms and interventions with large-scale population-based longitudinal studies on the health impact of liver fat. Non-invasive imaging techniques will be further adapted to enhance the measurement of the contribution of dietary fat and the formation of lipids from carbohydrates to liver fat accumulation, and how modulation of diet composition may alter liver fat content, and ultimately metabolic health. As a whole, this project will reveal whether liver fat should and can be considered a target for  interventions aimed at improving metabolic health in humans.