Group for Nutrition and Metabolism


The main research directions prominent in Group for Nutrition and Metabolism are: 

1) research in the field of public health and nutrition, and

2) studies on the effects of nutritive and non-nutritive bio-active components in food by application of various experimental model systems, ranging from cell culture, via animal models, to interventional clinical studies. The multidisciplinary character of the research team which currently consists of 20 researchers (of various backgrounds, including medical doctors, pharmacists, molecular biologists, biologists, technologists, mathematicians) and a broad range of expertise (internal medicine, clinical pharmacy, medical biochemistry, food chemistry, nutrition, public health, health protection, food safety, food technology, and state of the art cell cultivation and molecular biological techniques) represent the basis for the coverage of the broad field of nutrition science. 


Research activities conducted by Group for Nutrition and Metabolism include assessment of complex interactions of nutrient intake-status-health effects, as well as the evaluation of the role of nutritive therapy in the prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases.

In the food and metabolism research domain, in addition to interventional nutritive clinical trials, the mechanism of action of various active food components has been studied in animal models, with the purpose of determining the mechanism of development and prevention of diverse diseases. 

In the field of public health nutrition, the Group works intensively on capacity building, development and management of a food composition database for Serbia and the Balkan region, harmonization of nutritional recommendations on micronutrient intake and creation of software applications with an objective of validating the scientific methods intended for application in dietary assessment. The focus is particularly on the development and improvement of the methodology used for evaluation of food consumption and diet quality on both the individual and population level. Through participation in a number of FP6 and FP7 projects, the Group has created (in collaboration with computer programmers) the first electronic Serbian Food Composition Database, which is harmonized with the databases of other European countries. 


The Group organizes epidemiological studies using state-of-the-art methodological approaches to explore the nutritive status and metabolic functions of diverse population groups in Serbia. The Group members evaluate the dietary intake, metabolic status and the role of various micronutrients, with emphasis on folates and vitamin D. 

Further activities of the Group team include education on the importance of physical activity essential for maintaining an ideal body weight, prevention and treatment of obesity as well as enhancing the overall quality of life. Moreover, the Group researchers are involved in the creation of physical activity programs tailored for different population groups with an objective to reduce the main risk factors for the development of chronic non-communicable diseases by improving the aerobic capacity, metabolic and immune functions, increasing fibrinolytic activity, decreasing platelet adherence and increasing energy expenditure. 



Marija Takić, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research (Head of Group)

Danijela Ristić-Medić, MD/PhD, Associate Professor of Research

Aleksandra Arsić, PhD, Associate Professor of Research

Tamara Popović, PhD, Associate Professor of Research

Snježana Petrović, PhD, Associate Professor of Research

Gordana Petrović-Oggiano, MD/PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Jasmina Debeljak-Martačić, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Nevena Vidović (ex. Kardum), PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Ivana Šarac, MD/PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Aleksandra Konić-Ristić, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Marija Ranić, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Vuk Stevanović, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research

Milica Kojadinović, PhD student

Milica Zeković, PhD student

Jelena Milešević, PhD student

Slavica Ranković, PhD student

Biljana Pokimica, PhD student

Irena Krga, PhD student

Petar Jovanović, PhD student


Selected publications


Dietary Zn deficiency, the current situation, and potential solutions. Nutrition Research Reviews 
Capacity development in food and nutrition in central and Eastern Europe: A decade of achievements
From Sources and Bioavailability to Cardiovascular-Health Benefits and Molecular Mechanisms of Action
Development, features and application of DIET ASSESS & PLAN (DAP) software in supporting public health nutrition research in Central Eastern European Countries (CEEC)

Specialized food composition dataset for vitamin D content in foods based on European standards: application to dietary intake assessment

Implementation of Harmonized Food Consumption Data Collection in the Balkan Region According to the EFSA EU Menu Methodology Standards
Zinc Deficiency, Plasma Fatty Acid Profile and Desaturase Activities in Hemodialysis Patients: Is Supplementation Necessary?  
Vitamin D Status and Its Correlation With Anthropometric and Biochemical Indicators  of Cardiometabolic Risk in Serbian Underground Coal Miners in 2016
Is There a FADS2-Modulated Link between Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in  Plasma Phospholipids and Polyphenol Intake in Adult Subjects Who Are Overweight? 
Zinc as a Biomarker of Cardiovascular Health
Calcium Biofortification of Crops-Challenges and Projected Benefits
Is there a link between zinc Intake and status with plasma fatty acid profile and desaturase activities in dyslipidemic subjects? 
The effect of walnut consumption on n-3 fatty acid profile of healthy people living in a non-mediterranean West Balkan country, a small scale randomized study
 Aronia juice consumption prior to half-marathon race can acutely affect platelet activation in recreational runners

Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Are Associated with Blood Pressure and Hypertension over 10-years in Black South African Adults Undergoing Nutritional Transition

Chokeberry Juice Containing Polyphenols Does Not Affect Cholesterol or Blood Pressure but Modifies the Composition of Plasma Phospholipids Fatty Acids in Individuals at Cardiovascular Risk 

Gut Microbiota in Health and Diseases. In Reference Module in Food Science
The Mineral Intake and Microbiota. In Reference Module in Food Science
Emerging Role of Microbiota in Precision Nutrition Approaches

Supporting the European Food Industry to Meet Nutrient Labelling Regulations



Project MPNTRS,  451-03-9/2021-14/200015.


EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) projects:

Support to National Dietary Surveys in Compliance with the EU Menu methodology (sixth support) “The adults’ survey”, including subjects from 10 to 74 years old, 2017 – 2022

Support to National Dietary Surveys in Compliance with the EU Menu methodology (sixth support) “The children’s survey”, including subjects from three months up to 9 years old, 2017 – 2022


COST actions:
COST akcija CA 15126 –  Arbre Mobieu between atom and cell  (2016-2020 )
CA 16112  akcija  – Personalized Nutrition in aging society: Redox control of major age-related diseases; NutRedOx (2016 – 2020)
COST akcija CA17117  – Towards аn International Network for Evidence-based Research in Clinical Health Research (2018 – 2022)
COST akcija 17112 – Prospective European Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network (Pro Euro DILI Net) (2018 – 2022)