The iMPACT.lu project is designed to improve our understanding of the role of environmental pollutants, dietary derived constituents and their possible interactions on cardiometabolic diseases and their associated risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia or diabetes.

Methodology

iMPACT.lu works on assessing differences related to environmental pollutants and micro-nutrient status in Luxembourg through:

•    analyses of hair concentrations of pollutants (pesticides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – PAH),
•    plasma/serum concentrations of micro-nutrients and phyto-chemicals (vitamin E, A and D, beta-carotene, total phenolics and folic acid),
•    inflammatory and oxidative stress and stress markers (C-reactive protein (CRP), malondialdehyde (MDA), cortisol, F2-isoprostanes, Ox-LDL, adiponectin),
•    hormones implicated in energy and adipocyte homeostasis (leptin, insulin),
•    blood lipids (HDL, LDL, and total-cholesterol).

iMPACT.lu analysed data from the European Health Examination Survey in Luxembourg (EHES-LUX) conducted by LIH in 2013-2015, including questionnaires, examinations, biochemical analysis (blood and urine) and both hair samples and serum/plasma.

Scientific outcomes

iMPACT.lu is expected to significantly contribute to innovative research programmes that examine combinations of health detrimental compounds and health associated dietary constituents as part of a complex and interrelated system associated with cardiometabolic diseases.

iMPACT.lu will contribute to the body of evidence by assessing the concentration of contaminants in the general population of Luxembourg and their impact on cardiometabolic health. It will also assess whether socioeconomic differences impact on populations at risk.

iMPACT.lu results will contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms related to both oxidant agents and antioxidants/anti-inflammatory micronutrients/phytochemicals, and their total effect on health outcomes. If, as hypothesized, micronutrients/phytochemicals have a sufficient positive effect and balancing the negative exposure to pollutants, the study will provide the basis for the establishment of targeted public health messages on dietary measures to counterbalance the negative impact of environmental pollutants.

"Most studies have focused on individual factors that impact on diseases, such as specific micronutrients or environmental contaminants. However, I strongly feel that there is a need to engage in further research on the interaction between both environmental pollutants and dietary constituents to achieve a better understanding of the negative effects of certain factors and the potential protective effects of others."

Maria RUIZ-CASTELL, PhD
Scientist at Public Health Research (PHR),
Department of Population Health (DoPH).

Funding

Project co-funded by:

• the National Research Fund (FNR) under the Junior CORE program 2017,
• the  Ministry of Higher Education and Research.