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.

Nutrition for an improved muscle blood flow and insulin sensitivity

Nitric oxide as a regulator of insulin sensitivity and energy metabolism: Potential of a novel nutritional concept

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with numerous long-term complications, such as myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular stroke and end-stage renal disease, and the health impact of T2DM is therefore substantial. As T2DM is a progressive disease, early intervention in the pathogenesis is key.

In this context, insulin resistance is an important early hallmark in the development of T2DM. Since skeletal muscle plays a major role in the handling of dietary glucose, increasing its capacity to use it, for example by improving insulin sensitivity, will have a major impact on disease progression. Importantly, insulin-resistant subjects are also characterised by a reduced skeletal muscle perfusion, possibly hampering proper delivery of insulin, glucose and oxygen to the muscle tissue, thereby contributing to – and possibly causing - insulin resistance.

The current project aims to develop a novel combination of food components to improve skeletal muscle perfusion and thus insulin sensitivity, by targeting the endothelial nitric oxide (NO) system. This novel nutritional concept will be tested in insulin-resistant first-degree relatives of T2DM patients, who are at risk for developing the disease. A positive outcome of this proof-of-principle study will initiate a process to generate an accessible commercial, nutritional product to delay or perhaps prevent progression of pre-diabetes to overt diabetes.