The Dietary Science Foundation
Telephone:+46 70-750 22 16
269 39 Båstad
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is a quote attributed to Hippocrates, who lived several hundred years BCE and is known as the father of medicine. But since the appearance of the first life-saving drugs in the early 1900s, medical research has focused mainly on the development of new pharmaceuticals. Effective dietary treatments once used for such diseases as diabetes and epilepsy fell into oblivion, and food became something we eat mostly for nourishment and energy.
Then, in the 1970s, we received the first warnings that saturated fat was bad for our hearts. We were also recommended to reduce the number of calories we consumed by eating a low-fat diet. However, according to modern research, the medical establishment probably focused too much on blood cholesterol levels and not enough on blood sugar and insulin levels. The evidence now seems to show that a shift from fat to carbohydrates in the form of sugar and white flour may even cause illness and aggravate the course of some diseases. The dietary recommendations for many conditions, e.g. type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia therefore need to be re-evaluated.
Many people claim that their digestion problems or migraines disappeared after they changed their diet. Others can stop taking their diabetes medication and still have a stable blood sugar. But healthcare treatments cannot be based on anecdotal evidence of this kind. Recommendations given by physicians must be based on solid science. This is where the Dietary Science Foundation enters the picture. We work to promote high quality research on the impact of diet on health and illness. It’s not just about different kinds of fats, sugars and other carbohydrates, but also how gluten, antioxidants and other important components of our diet affect our bodies and our well-being.
Read more about why we founded the Dietary Science Foundation: Our vision: more people living healthier lives.
The Dietary Science Foundation raises funds to finance scientific studies about how diet affects health and the possible side effects caused by a change of diet. Since nutrition research is not of commercial interest, studies done today are generally too small and too short to effect change within healthcare. An important part of the Dietary Science Foundation’s work is to promote large, high-quality studies that can form the basis for new dietary treatment guidelines. To push development forward, the Dietary Science Foundation’s scientific advisory board identifies important areas where knowledge is lacking. The foundation then raises money, for example by crowdfunding, so these gaps in our knowledge can be filled with quality science.
We are a non-profit organization. Our goal is that the greatest possible share of the contributions received should be used for scientific research. In accordance with the rules of Swedish Fundraising Control, at least 75 percent of our total intake goes toward the Dietary Science Foundation’s purposes and funding for research.
Do you want to help us transform healthcare? Make a donation. This provides us with the means to pursue long-term, structured research.
Kerstin Brismar, chair
Kerstin Brismar is a professor of diabetes research and a specialist in internal medicine, endocrinology and diabetology. She is a consultant at Sophiahemmet Hospital and previously worked at Karolinska University Hospital for 40 years. During the past 30 years she has studied the causes of diabetes complications and has shown how high blood sugar levels cause a local lack of oxygen in the tissue. This explains the slow healing of foot ulcers and the reduced ability of diabetics to adapt to oxygen deprivation and oxidative stress. Another important area of her research has been the body’s growth system, which affects the development and complications of diabetes, but is also involved in the growth of cancer. Kerstin Brismar has conducted several studies examining how diet and intermittent fasting affect blood sugar levels, insulin levels, blood fats and other known risk factors for cardiovascular disease. She wants high quality nutrition research to be done so that people with diabetes can get the best dietary advice. Read more about Kerstin Brismar here: [Investigating the long-term effects of dietary advice].
Nina Rehnqvist was general director of the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU) between 2003-2006. She headed the committee that produced the SBU literature review “Food for obesity,” and chaired the SBU Board that decides which projects the agency works with until 2017. Nina Rehnqvist is a specialist in cardiology and an associate professor of internal medicine at the Karolinska Institute. She is former director of the cardiology section at Danderyd Hospital. From 1995-2003 she worked as Senior Director of Medical Affairs at the National Board of Health and Welfare. Nina Rehnqvist wants to encourage high quality research. Her experience as a cardiologist is that patients are looking for sound, practical tips on what to eat, but that research on diet is a neglected area, giving no scientific basis for good advice.
Magnus Simrén is Professor of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Gothenburg and senior consultant at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. He is chairman of the Scientific Committee of United European Gastroenterology and is leading a collaborative European study where researchers are building a biobank with clinical material from thousands of IBS patients. Magnus Simrén has spent 17 years studying the abdominal disorder IBS, which affects 10-15 percent of the population. Researchers know that diet influences IBS, but exactly how remains unclear. Magnus Simrén wants to work towards producing dietary guidelines that better alleviate IBS.
Ann Fernholm is a science journalist and author with a PhD in Molecular Biotechnology from Uppsala University. Since 2009 she has been investigating the science behind the dietary recommendations given to both healthy and sick people. She sees a great need for more high-quality research in the field of nutrition and is a co-founder of the Dietary Science Foundation.
Jonas Lindblom is an Associate Professor of Functional Pharmacology at Uppsala University. He worked previously for the Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU), where he was project leader for the literature reviews “Food for obesity” and “Food for diabetes.” Among other things, these reviews revealed that the science behind the dietary recommendations to people with diabetes or obesity is weak, and exposed many gaps in our knowledge that need to be filled. Jonas Lindbloms has also been working as a senior medical investigator at the Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency (TLV). Jonas Lindblom’s extensive experience in reviewing scientific studies is especially beneficial to his work at the Dietary Science Foundation.
President: Fredrik Sjödin
Fredrik Sjödin works as a venture capitalist and angel investor. He has a personal interest in issues related to nutrition, health and disease. Better science surrounding the impact of diet on health is something he is convinced will make a positive contribution to public health, the quality of life and health economics. Fredrik Sjödin is a co-founder and helped launch the Dietary Science Foundation for this reason.
Vice President: Ann Crafoord Ingvar
Ann Crafoord Ingvar trained as economist and worked for many years at SEB (Scandinavian Individual Bank), but an interest in human health prompted her to study nursing in 1999. Today she works at the cardiology clinic at Danderyd Hospital and at a local medical care center. As a healthcare practitioner Ann Crafoord Ingvar sees it as a major problem that the scientific evidence used to give dietary advice to people with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases is so weak. She is involved in the Dietary Science Foundation because the science in the area of nutrition needs to be strengthened. Caregivers need to know what dietary advice can best help patients to keep themselves as healthy as possible.
Andreas Eenfeldt is a medical doctor specializing in family medicine. He runs DietDoctor.com one of the largest low-carb websites in the world, with about ten million visitors a month. For many years he has used his Swedish site to criticize official recommendations for a low-fat diet. The thousands of emails that pour in from readers suggest that diet can have an effect on everything from common indigestion, migraines and allergies, to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Better scientific support for dietary treatments would allow more people to get effective help through the health care system: instead of lifelong symptom relief using pills, a change in lifestyle could even turn out to be a cure.
Ann Fernholm is a science journalist and author of the books My Sweet Heart and Det sötaste vi har: om socker och växande kroppar (Our Little Sweethearts: how sugar affects growing bodies). She has a PhD in Molecular Biotechnology and has, as a journalist, been examining the low-fat diet recommendations since 2009. Ann Fernholm is convinced that dietary treatments can play a much larger role in health care than they do today. She co-founded the Dietary Science Foundation because high-quality clinical trials are necessary in order to transform health care.
Gunilla Eldh is a freelance journalist and author. She writes about medical and health issues and is a former medical journalist at the largest morning newspaper in Sweden, Dagens Nyheter. She has written a number of best-selling books about major public health problems, e.g., weight, food and chronic pain, with brain researcher Martin Ingvar at the Karolinska Institute. Their Swedish titles are: Hjärnkoll på vikten (Mind Your Weight), Hjärnkoll på maten (Mind Your Food) and Hjärnkoll på värk och smärta (Mind Your Aches and Pains). Their latest book, Hjärnkoll på skolan (Mind Your Child´s Education), deals with the school world and discusses the important role of nutrition in the health and development of children and young people.
The Dietary Science Foundation was established in June 2014. These are our current statutes (in Swedish): Kostfondens stadgar.