Metabolism and Bioactivity of Phytochemicals (BIOCELL)

Foto Metabolism and Bioactivity of Phytochemicals (BIOCELL)

Lead researcher: Laura Bravo Clemente

Research Center: Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition (ICTAN) Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

Phone: +34 915492300 (Ext 1308)

The general objective of the research team is to contribute to the knowledge of nutritional prevention of pathologies related to oxidative stress (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity) by studying the impact of the diet and intake of foods rich in phytochemicals in at-risk populations, as well as by uncovering the intimate mechanism of action of bioactive compounds to identify potential therapeutic targets and new nutritional strategies to improve quality of life and accomplish a healthy aging of the population.

Specific objectives:

  • Study of polyphenol-rich foods (coffee, cocoa, olive oil, etc.), pure compounds (hydroxycinnamates, flavonoids, phenolic acids and alcohols) and metabolites, as well as fiber-rich foods (cereals, seaweeds) as source of bioactive compounds with potential benefits in human health.
  • Evaluation of bioavailability and metabolism of phytochemicals (intervention studies in humans), focusing in the colonic microbiota metabolism by a metabolomics approach. Determination of biomarkers of exposition and intake.
  • Identification of the molecular mechanisms of action and cell signaling pathways regulated by phytochemicals and their metabolites that might be involved in their preventive/protective effect of aging and oxidative-stress-related diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity, cancer).
  • Pre-clinic studies in animal models of the above diseases as an approach to assess the potential chemo-preventive effect of dietary phytochemicals.
  • Clinic intervention studies in healthy voluntaries and populations at risk of several pathologies (cardiovascular disease, obesity, insulin resistance), to estimate the effect of a regular intake of phytochemical-rich foods in disease prevention and treatment through determination of cardiovascular, hormonal, inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers.

Martínez-López, S., Sarriá, B., Mateos, R. and Bravo, L. Moderate consumption of a soluble green/roasted coffee rich in caffeoylquinic acids reduces cardiovascular risk markers: results from a randomized, cross-over, controlled trial in healthy and hypercholesterolemic subjects. Eur J Nutr. 2019, 58: 865-878.

Gómez-Juaristi, M., Sarriá, B., Martínez-López, S., Bravo, L. & Mateos, R. Flavanol bioavailability in two cocoa products with different phenolic contents. A comparative study in humans. Nutrients 2019, 11: 1441.

Alvarez-Cilleros D, López-Oliva E, Morales-Cano D, Barreira B, Pérez-Vizcaino F, Goya L, Ramos S, Martín MA. Dietary cocoa prevents aortic remodelling and vascular oxidative stress in diabetic rats. Mol Nutr Food Res 2019, DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201900044.R1

Alvarez-Cilleros D, López-Oliva E, Goya L, Martín MA, Ramos S. Cocoa intake attenuates renal injury in Zucker Diabetic fatty rats by improving glucose homeostasis. Food Chem Toxicol 2019, 127:101-109.

Sarriá, B., Martínez-López, S., Sierra-Cinos, J.L., García-Diz, L., Mateos, R. and Bravo, L. Regularly consuming a green/roasted coffee blend shows benefits against metabolic syndrome. Eur J Nutr. 2018, 57: 269-278.

Gómez-Juaristi, M., Martínez-López, S., Sarriá, B., Bravo, L. and Mateos, R. Bioavailability of hydroxycinnamate derivatives after consuming an instant green/roasted coffee blend by healthy humans. Food Funct. 2018, 9: 331-343.

Alvarez-Cilleros D, Martín MA, Goya L, Ramos S. (−)-Epicatechin and the colonic metabolite 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid protect renal proximal tubular cell against high glucose-induced oxidative stress by modulating NOX-4/SIRT-1 signalling. J Funct Foods 2018, 46: 19-28.

Alvarez-Cilleros D, Martín MA, Ramos S. Epicatechin and the colonic 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid metabolite regulate glucose uptake, glucose production, and improve insulin signalling in renal NRK-52E cells. Mol Nutr Food Res, 2018, 62, doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201700470.

Wang, S., Sarriá, B., Mateos, R., Goya, L., and Bravo, L. TNF-alpha-induced oxidative stress and endotelial dysfunction in EA.hy926 endothelial cells is prevented by yerba mate and green coffee extracts, 5-caffeoylquinic acid, and its microbial metabolite, dihydrocaffeic acid. Int J Food Sci Nutr 2018, 6: 1-18.