Knowledge Based Bio-Economy


Molecular targets open for regulation by the gut flora new avenues for improved diet to optimize European health (Nutrition)

Project acronym: TORNADO

Title of project: Molecular targets open for regulation by the gut flora new avenues for improved diet to optimize European health

Research area: NUTRITION

Contract No: 222720

EU contribution: €5 895 601

Start date: September 2009

Duration: 48 months

Status: on-going

TORNADO is determining the influence of diet on the gut flora, as well as the impact of gut flora on the immune system/other organ systems. The team is investigating molecular targets that are subject to regulation by the gut flora and diet that sustain health.

This will be done with an increasing level of specificity, from investigations of dietary habits and health in population cohorts, through to intervention studies with humans and animals. The team will also analyse the intestine and immune system, as well as organs like adipocyte tissue, the liver and brain. The goal is then to pinpoint the impact of dietary influence on cells and on potential functional molecular targets.

The TORNADO team also aims to increase cooperation between different scientific disciplines in general, and step up and consolidate existing interdisciplinary cooperation between TORNADO partners specifically.

The TORNADO consortium combines a systemic and comprehensive mechanistic approach with a focus on interdisciplinary skills provided by world leading experts working in close harmony with the food industry. TORNADO will enable broader applications, faster development, and more solid evidence for health claims based on detailed and thorough in-depth assessment of underlying mechanisms relevant to the health effects of dietary products compared to traditional approaches.

The evidence-based data delivered by TORNADO will have long lasting effects on health among European citizens well beyond 2012. Continuous state-of-the-art dissemination programmes will further increase the impact of the project.

TORNADO's approach of microbe-to-mouse-to-man, used to investigate dietary influence, will provide the basis for more solid evidence for health claims and provide concrete deliverables e.g. Roadmaps to Health, Tailor-made Health-monitoring. The project will also accelerate the future design of personalised functional food for specific target groups.

Website of project:

Coordinator: Sven Pettersson,

Organisation: Karolinska Institutet, Sweden,