The Dietary Science Foundation
Telephone:+46 70-750 22 16
269 39 Båstad
Nobody can churn out pills made of broccoli and olive oil. Real food can’t be patented. Dietary treatments are of no commercial interest, so the resources for conducting large and well-designed scientific studies are meager. A nutritional researcher rarely gets more than a few hundred thousand euros to conduct a scientific study. Pharmaceutical companies can spend a million euros proving the efficacy of one single medicine.
The lack of resources means that dietary studies are often too short and have too few participants. Therefore results are often not of the quality that is required to change national treatment guidelines. With the help of your contribution, the Dietary Science Foundation aims to support structured evaluations of how health and disease are affected by diet. The foundation works toward initiating large, long-term and well-controlled studies, preferably designed by researchers who are on opposing sides of scientific controversies. This ensures that the studies provide results that are as objective as possible.
The Dietary Science Foundation is based in Sweden, but the studies we finance will have a worldwide impact. The results will be published in international scientific publications, and can be used as a basis for dietary guidance in any other county. So no matter where you live, the support you give us will help to strengthen the official dietary recommendations in your own country. Our aim is to become an international organization for supporting dietary science.
The Dietary Science Foundation is new and has limited resources. When assets allow, the foundation’s scientific advisory board identifies a knowledge gap that needs filling. We then make an announcement so researchers who are interested in that area can submit proposals for studies.
In 2015 the Dietary Science Foundation invested in an evaluation of the role of carbohydrates in abdominal pain (IBS). In many countries IBS affects more than one in ten of the population, but to date there is no real help to be found. In the study, two different dietary regimes are being compared to a pharmaceutical treatment. Read more: Evaluation of the role of carbohydrates in daily abdominal pain. The study is currently running at the Sahlgrenska Academy in Gothenburg and is estimated to be completed in 2020.
In 2016 the Dietary Science Foundation funded a large-scale evaluation of the dietary advice given to people with type 1 diabetes. Many people afflicted with type 1 diabetes have blood sugar levels that put them at serious risk of an early death from cardiovascular disease or kidney damage. More effective dietary treatments that lower blood sugar levels can therefore save lives. In the trial, which is currently running at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, three different dietary treatments containing various amounts of carbohydrates are being compared. Read more: A large-scale study of dietary treatment in type 1 diabetes.
In 2018 the Dietary Science Foundation contributed to a study of diet for obesity, which is being done at the University of Bergen. The scientists are seeking the answer to two different questions: How does a year of eating a strict low-carbohydrate diet that includes a lot of saturated fat affect the body? And how is weight loss affected by a low-fat diet that includes large amounts of wheat flour and other processed carbohydrates? Read more: The DSF backs a large-scale evaluation of the role of carbohydrates in obesity.
In 2018 the Dietary Science Foundation also gave a grant to a study of various dietary treatments for fatty liver. To date there is a lack of knowledge about how diet affects fatty liver. The project will compare a strict low-carbohydrate diet and a 5: 2 diet with conventional treatment. Hopefully an effective treatment will be found, since fatty liver often develops into a chronic condition and increases the risk of liver cancer. Read more: An evaluation of the most effective dietary treatment for fatty liver.
In 2019 the Dietary Science Foundation supported a project about how sugar consumption affects weight. A major challenge for dietary research is that study participants sometimes fail to report things they eat, especially foods that are considered to be unhealthy. In the project, researchers at Lund University will test a new, more objective method of tracking participant sugar consumption. They will measure sucrose levels in the urine so they can analyze how sugar intake affects weight. Read more: Sugar consumption to be measured using urine samples.
The Dietary Science Foundations is currently raising funds for Europe’s largest study of the effect of diet on type 2 diabetes. The project involves researchers from five different countries and the aim is to reverse the disease. Two different dietary regimes will be compared. One group will eat a strict low-carbohydrate diet. The other will use meal replacements as part of an extreme restriction of calories during the first three months. The participants in this group will then be randomized further into groups that will eat either a strict low-fat diet or a strict low-carb diet during the remaining 12 months of the study. The goal during this phase is to maintain weight loss.
The project is important as greater numbers of people suffer from type 2 diabetes, a disease that often shortens lives. More effective dietary treatments can not only save many lives, it can also save considerable resources in healthcare. Read more here: Europe’s largest study of diet for type 2 diabetes.
No scientific studies have yet been completed as the foundation was established relatively recently (June 2014).