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Dr. Marta graduated in Nutritional Sciences from University of Porto BSc (Hons), Portugal, later started her PhD in Biopathological Sciences from University of Lisbon, Portugal (in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London, UK). During my PhD project at the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science in London, she has investigated lipid, muscle and liver metabolism in obesity-related type 2 diabetes, mainly through animal models and cell cultures. She is currently working as a research fellow at the Human Nutrition Unit, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, where she is running the New Zealand arm of a large international randomised controlled clinical trial to determine the best dietary pattern to prevent the incidence of type 2 diabetes in pre-diabetic overweight adults, following a 3 year lifestyle modification programme. The aim of the study is to compare the current dietary recommendations for diabetes management with a novel higher protein and lower carbohydrate dietary approach on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Main research interests includes a) The effect of macronutrient composition on glucose metabolism and diabetes prevention; b) Implementation of lifestyle modifications for obesity management, with particular focus on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diets; c) The role of diet and body weight on gut microbiome; d) The effect of high protein diets on gut peptides (CCK, GLP-1 and PYY) e) The role of glucagon in the development of type 2 diabetes f) Mechanisms of liver and muscle Insulin resistance and how insulin resistance can be ameliorated through diet and other research interests: a) How does the macronutrient composition of the diet during gestation affects the offspring at birth and later in life; b) Calorie restriction and longevity.
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