Monday, 27 February 2017

Martí-Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme - 017MFP-COFUND-30

Health Sciences
Supervisor name and surname:
Rosa Solà Alberich
Supervisor email:
PhD programme:
Nutrition and Metabolism
Title of the research project:
Anthocyanin supplementation through red-fleshed apple or anthocyanin extract: Mechanistic insights and cardiometabolic effects in hypercholesterolemic subjects
Description of the research project:
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are among the most prevalent diseases in the world. The sum of risk factors that increase individuals risk of having cardiovascular event or developing other metabolic abnormalities is named cardiometabolic risk (CMR). The high intake of plant based foods has a preventive effect against CVD and phenolic compounds are considered one of the principal mediators. However, the diet followed by the majority of people does not appear to be sufficient to guarantee an adequate intake of fruits and vegetables and, in consequence, the habitual intake of flavonoids, including anthocyanins, in Europe is below the amounts found to have significant health effects. A limitation of the human trials performed so far with foods rich in anthocyanins is that they cannot prove their effects because foods contain many other potentially bioactive components and therefore, suitable control foods are difficult to obtain. In this framework, the main aim of the coordinated Apple COR project is to advance in the knowledge of the potential health effects and mechanism of action of anthocyanins in the improvement of the CMR factors focused on the reduction of Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc) as the main outcome. To achieve this aim, a new biofortified red-flesh apple produced by traditional breeding (no genetically modified) will be used as a source of anthocyanins. This strategy offers the great advantage of providing a suitable control (marketed white-flesh apple varieties with similar content of other phytochemicals) being the apple anthocyanins supplementation the main variable to be considered. A snack product with the red-fleshed apple (dried apple slices) will be developed and will be compared with an equivalent apple anthocyanin extract to assess the bioavailability of anthocyanins depending on the matrix and to evaluate the effect on the reduction of CMR factors in humans.
The specific objectives of the subproject in the frame of AppleCOR project are:
- To evaluate the chronic and acute effects of the diet supplementation with anthocyanins through biofortified red-fleshed apple or an anthocyanin apple-extract on the reduction of LDLc in hypercholesterolemic subjects. A complete set of CMR factors together with other emergent factors such as HDL functionality, endotelial function and gut microbiota composition will be addressed as secondary outcomes.
- To stablish the anthocyanins mechanisms of action, specifically, new insights regarding the regulation of signalling pathways through dynamic proteomic studies (protein interactomics and post-transcription modifications) performed in human plasma samples and in rat target tissues.
Data obtained will significantly contribute to provide robust scientific data regarding the potential health effects and mechanism of action of anthocyanines biofortified red fleshed apple in the improvement of the CMR.
Gross anual salary:
26443.80 €
Full time
Working hours:
37.5 hours a week
Expected start date:
01 October 2017