Team:CityU HK


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Project Description

Globally, the prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is now one of the most pressing health problems worldwide. Because obesity is closely associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke and cardiovascular diseases, the rise in obesity corresponds to a significant increase in mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2014 report, the number of obese people has doubled since 1980. In 2008, 35% of adults were overweight and 11% were obese; and in 2012, more than 40 million children were overweight or obese. Because of the rising cost in healthcare and the associated social and economic problems related to obesity, various strategies to control and prevent obesity have been tested in recent years.

According to BBC news (2012), there has been an acute decline in fish stocks around the world whereby 85% of global fish stocks have been over-exploited. And because climate change has adversely affected agricultural output in general, this has resulted in humans becoming even more dependent on fishery products as an important source of protein and high-value nutrients. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid and is one of the vital nutrients obtained from fish, which is important for a variety of normal body functions including metabolism. Because the human body is unable to synthesize omega-3-fatty acids, it is normally obtained through our diet. It is predicted that DHA will become less available due to the rapid declines in fish stocks. Our project aims to develop a GEM called “Fit Coli” that could aid the human body to reduce fat absorption by biotransforming the fatty acids produced in the human gut to alpha-linolenic (ALA) which is then converted to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by the human body.

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