Landberg Lab

​The overall objective of the research conducted by the Landberg lab is to improve the fundamental understanding of the role of diet in human health. Plant based, fiber-rich food and their associated bioactive compounds have a central focus for studies on appetite, hormonal regulation and cardiometabolic risk factors as well as in type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. The group uses observational and intervention studies as well as model systems to study the impact of diets, foods and food components in interaction with host genome, molecular phenotype (proteome and metabolome) and gut microbiota. Our aim is to provide both mechanistic understanding as well as prediction of health and disease outcomes. Nutritional metabolomics (MS and NMR) is extensively used to develop and validate biomarkers of dietary exposures, characterize the molecular phenotype, discover biomarkers for response/non-response in precision nutrition studies and finding novel biomarkers of early disease or perturbations in the metabolism (metabolome wide association studies). The group conducts transdisciplinary research in collaboration with international expertise in systems biology, mathematics, modelling and medicine and also with food industry and societal stakeholders for utilization of results.

Nutritional metabolomics
Metabolomics is defined as the comprehensive study of small molecules (metabolites) in biological samples. It can provide biological insights at the phenotype level from the complex interactions between genetic factors, health status, and exposures, e.g., diet, environmental contaminants, medication and other lifestyle factors.
Our research group has developed targeted and untargeted metabolomics pipelines for different sample matrices including foods, human plasma, fecal-, urine- and adipose tissue biopsy samples. This also includes development of data pre-processing, annotation and statistical analysis methods of metabolomics data. The methods are applied for large scale analysis of different biological samples for external prospective cohort studies and biobanks as well as for our own projects.

Specific research focus
  • Development and optimization of non-targeted & targeted mass spectrometry-based metabolomics approaches for various biological specimen, e.g. plasma, serum, urine and feces. 
  • Development of data analytical tools and strategies to assess the impact of diet, gut microbiota and their interaction on metabolic responses that could be linked with nutritional disease risk factors during dietary interventions.
  • Development of blood-based biomarkers that reflect gut microbiota composition and activity.
  • Identification of dietary exposure biomarkers in human samples to capture compliance, estimate intake, and to facilitate investigation of diet-disease relationships.
  • Identification of biomarkers for prediction, diagnosis and management of non-communicable diseases, e.g. cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and osteoporosis in epidemiological studies.
  • Comprehensive measurement of agricultural and food samples to understand the metabolic changes due to processing and storage (‘foodomics’).

Precision Nutrition
Increased evidence suggests that individuals respond differently to diet and lifestyle. However, it is yet largely unknown to what extent different lifestyle factors such as diet, medication, gut microbiota, physical activity along with genetic factors and their interactions with the environment explain these differences. With longer, healthier life for all as a goal, there is a pressing need to develop strategies for individualization of diet for optimal health. The aim of our research is to develop such strategies and evaluate them in human trials. One strategy is to find groups of individuals that behave differently in response to dietary treatments and tailor diets to such groups. Groups may be differentiated by their gut microbiota (enterotypes) or by metabolites (metabotypes). We hypothesize that metabolomics can be used to find biomarkers of the different groups and that such biomarkers could be used as the basis for tailoring diet for optimal health. We are testing this hypothesis in several ongoing studies using data from large epidemiological studies and food intervention studies. We are also investigating mechanisms underlying response/non-response to specific foods and diets. This will allow us to develop tailored strategies to improve the health outcome of foods for personal and public health.
We are also conducting efficacy studies to investigate to what extent personalized diets result in improved health through randomized controlled trials of personalized compared to general dietary advice. Our vision is to develop tools which can be integrated in clinical practice to guide specific dietary advice as well as result in tailored foods for groups of individuals with similar metabolic phenotype and nutritional requirements within a 5-10 year perspective.

Specific research focus
  • Development of biomarkers that can be used to tailor diets for IBS-subtypes
  • Improved mechanistic understanding of individual variability in response to diet/lifestyle as a route towards personalized nutrition.
  • Development of metabolite biomarkers of metabotypes to be used as a basis for tailored dietary interventions
  • Evaluation of the effect of dietary fibre rich foods across gut microbiota enterotypes and across different metabotypes with signs of the metabolic syndrome.
  • Evaluation of the effect of an optimized food concept leads to alteration of gut microbiota previously associated with cardiometabolic risk, into a healthier direction across normal weight and obese subjects.

Dietary Carbohydrate Quality and Health
Carbohydrate quality has major implications for human health. The intake of whole grains, dietary fibre, sugars and the glycemic index/glycemic load are important features of carbohydrate quality in the diet. A high whole grain intake is ranked as one of the most important dietary factors for prevention of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. However, whole grains from different cereals vary in composition and quality. Furthermore, processing affects the composition and physiochemical properties of grain-based foods with implication for physiological response. We conduct dietary interventions with well characterized foods to improve our understanding of the role of carbohydrate on satiety and weight loss, and identify biomarkers of responders/non-responders. We also evaluate the role of long-term intake of a low GI-diets on cardiometabolic risk profile in a multi-center study setting. 
Dietary fibre in cereals are utilized by gut microbiota and may to various degree affect gut microbiota composition. It has recently been shown in our and other labs that the habitual gut microbiota will determine effects of a high cereal fibre diet on glycemic and lipid profiles. In current research projects we try to elucidate detailed mechanisms related with short chain fatty acids and bile acid metabolism.
Studies have shown that some carbohydrates (simple sugars such as galactose and fructose) are pro-inflammatory at high intakes whereas fermentable dietary fibre may be anti-inflammatory. Together with colleagues in Germany, our group conducts animal studies to elucidate the role of carbohydrate quality on inflammation and whether inflammation is mediated through altered permeability in the gut.

The group coordinates a Nordic academy-industry platform in the area of rye and heath and leads the formation of a public-private partnership for increased consumption of whole grain in Sweden, including partners from the public sector, authorities, NGOs and industry. The group also performs studies in the young population, in collaboration with the Nobel Prize Museum, to elicit requirements and prerequisites for healthier choices of carbohydrate rich foods.

Specific research focus
  • Evaluation of the role of specific dietary fibre- rich cereal fractions on appetite and weight-loss
  • Evaluation of the the long-term metabolic effects of a low GI diet as part of a healthy lifestyle
  • Elucidatation of determinants of weight-loss and long-term glycemic responses using multi-OMICs
  • Dissection of underlying mechanisms to metabolic effects of short-chain fatty acids
  • Evaluate metabolic effects and inflammatory effects of specific carbohydrates in a rat study
  • Evaluation of mindset and perception of food, health and carbohydrate quality in young persons. Trans-sectorial collaborations across society for increased consumption of whole grain in Sweden and improved academy-industry collaboration and communication around rye and health in the Nordic countries.


Ongoing projects- Landberg Lab
  • New strategies for prevention of life-style related diseases through alterations of diet and microbiota. 2018-2020. Funding: The Swedish Research Council. PI: Prof. Rikard Landberg
  • Diet x gut microbiome-based metabotypes to determine cardio-metabolic risk and tailor intervention strategies for improved health. EU JPI-INTIMIC project. 2018-2020. Funding: FORMAS. PI: Prof. Rikard Landberg
  • Molecular profiling of the Central Swedish Cohorts & Biobank: Entering precision medicine for healthy ageing. 2018-2021. Funding: The Swedish Research Council. PI: Prof. Karl Michäelsson (Uppsala University).
  • Swedish Infrastructure for Medical Population-based Life-course and Environment Research (SIMPLER, called Swedish Central Cohorts and Biobank). 2018-2022. Funding: The Swedish Research Council (VR-RFI). PIs Prof. Prof. Karl Michäelsson (Uppsala University) and Prof. Alicja Wolk (Karolinska Institutet)
  • Proteomics and metabolomics in a prospective cohort study- towards precision medicine. 2017-2020. Funding: Olle Engkvist Foundation.  PI: Prof. Karl Michäelsson (Uppsala University).
  • Microbiome-centered strategies to promote development of the immune system in suckling pigs. 2018-2020. Funding: Formas. PI: Assoc. Prof. Johan Dicksved (SLU)
  • Optimal diet guided by metabotype for health & wellbeing. 2016-2020. Funding: Formas. PI: Rikard Landberg.
  • Whole Grain Rye Foods for Weight and Body Fat Reduction- The RyeWeight Study. 2015-2017. Funding: Formas. PI: Prof. Rikard Landberg
  • ELIN- The effects of enterolignans in chronic disease. 2013-2018. Danish Strategic Research Fund. PI: Dr Anja Olsen (Danish Cancer Institute Research Center, Copenhagen)
  • The MedGICarb-study:  Long-term effects of a low GI diet on glucose and insulin responses and cardiometabolic risk factors. MultiCenter-study. 2017-2019. PI of the Swedish Center: Prof. Rikard Landberg. Funding: Barilla. 
  • Diet, pollutants and type 2 diabetes risk. 2018-2020. Funding: Dr P Håkanssons Stiftelse. PI: Carl Brunius.
  • On Origin and Species: Rapid, detailed determination of meat origin and more". Funding: The Swedish farmers’ foundation for agricultural research. PI: Carl Brunius
  • Tomorrow’s cereal consumption: Innovation around products and services for better health. Vinnova. 2019. PI: Karin Jonsson.
  • Nordic Rye Forum. 2019-2020. PI: Rikard Landberg
  • Forskarhjälpen: Fullkornsjakten (“Research aid – the Whole Grain Hunt”). Stiftelsen Strategisk Forskning. 2019. PI: Karin Jonsson.
  • The GutMarKIT-Proof of Concept Study. Formas. 2019. PI. Rikard Landberg

Landberg Lab:
Professor Rikard Landberg
Senior Researcher, Associate professor Carl Brunius
Researcher, Dr. Otto Savolainen
Guest Researcher, Associate professor Kati Hanhineva

Post Doc Lin Shi
Post Doc Izabela Biskup
Post Doc Marie Palmnäs
Post Doc Mohsen Mazidi
Post Doc Karin Jonsson

PhD-student Nor Adila Mhd Omar
PhD-student Kia Nöhr Iversen
PhD-student Elise Nordin
PhD-student Agnetha Ratgaard Hansen (Industrial PhD-student, Danish Cancer Society)
PhD-student Viktor Skantze (Intitute PhD-student, Fraunhofer- Chalmers Centre
PhD-student Olle Hartvigsson (shared with Sandberg lab)
PhD-student Rui Zheng (Uppsala University)

Staff
Senior research engineer, Dr. Rikard Fristedt
Research engineer, Dr. Karin Larsson
Research engineer, Marina Armeni (shared with CMSI)
Dietitian Frida Carlsson
Research Assistant Mia Andersson
Research Assistant Nafisa Yusuf

Students
MSc-student Carolina Sanchez Caicedo
MSc-student Anna Johansson
MSc-student Vanessa Ruppert

Published: Thu 13 Jun 2019.