This group is focused on Diet-Microbiota-Metabolism axis that determines the individual's response to diet. The intestinal microbiota plays a key role in the link between nutrition, lifestyles, health and disease, and, therefore, it is a new therapeutic target, a science hot topic!
Using different models of pre-clinical (cell lines and animal models) and clinical research, analytical techniques (metabolomics, sequencing and molecular biology), it is intended to understand in a holistic way, the effect of diet on the body, and the central role of microbiota in this relationship. Given the metabolic interactions between microbiota and host, knowing the impact of the food matrix, nutrients and non-nutrients (eg phytochemicals) on metabolism and the molecular mechanisms involved is essential for maintaining health status.
Microbiota and its metabolites have been involved in the metabolic, inflammatory and behavioural features of obesity, but the molecular events linking the gut microbiota and the development of metabolic and behavioural disorders have been poorly evaluated in the context of obesity.
Metabolites produced from nutrients and other food compounds by intestinal bacteria have many metabolic, immune and neurological implications . A dietary intervention with specific nutrients, probiotics or prebiotics that re-establishes the balance in gut microbiota and its functionality in terms of metabolite production, could represent an efficient strategy in obesity care management, inflammation control and subsequently an improvement of neurologic disorders.
Blackberries, which are naturally rich in flavonoids, specifically in anthocyanins, have already shown positive effects in improving cognitive function and antioxidant status in animal studies [7-9]. Nevertheless, the full potential of blackberry consumption as a whole fruit, with naturally prebiotic properties and with ability to improve neurologic outcomes is still to be demonstrated.
This project hypothesis is that prebiotic, according to the new concept of prebiotic, attenuates obesity-related metabolic and behavioural alterations, through the promotion of tryptophan metabolites such as kynurenine pathway intermediates, indole derivatives and also short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Therefore, the objective of this project is to test the protective effect of blackberry (as a model of prebiotic) and to dissect the molecular mechanisms in an obesity context thanks to faecal material transfer (FMT) from obese patients to mice.
Understanding the involvement of gut microbiota and its metabolites in metabolic and neurological disorders associated with obesity is essential to design innovative and efficient novel therapeutic strategies targeting the highly prevalent pathological conditions.
Moreira-Rosário A, Marques C, Pinheiro H, Araújo J, Ribeiro P, Rocha R, Mota I, Pestana D, Ribeiro R, Pereira A, Sousa MJ, Pereira-Leal J, Sousa J, Morais J, Teixeira D, Rocha JC, Silvestre M, Príncipe N, Gatta N, Amado J, Santos L, Maltez F, Boquinhas A, de Sousa G, Sarmento G, Granja C, Póvoa P, Faria A, Calhau C. Gut microbiota diversity and C-Reactive Protein are predictors of disease severity in COVID-19 patients, Frontiers in Microbiology, 2021, accepted.
Morais J, Marques C, Faria A, Teixeira D, Barreiros-Mota I, Durão C, Araújo J, Ismael S, Brito S, Cardoso M, Macedo I, Esmeralda Pereira, Teresa Tomé, Conceição Calhau. Influence of human milk on very preterms’ gut microbiota and alkaline phosphatase activity. Nutrients, 2021, 15, 1564.
Morais, J., Marques, C., Teixeira, D., Durão, C., Faria, A., Brito, S., Cardoso, M., Macedo, I., Pereira, E., Tomé, T., Calhau, C. Extremely preterm neonates have more Lactobacillus in meconium than very preterm neonates–the in utero microbial colonization hypothesis. 2020 Gut Microbes, pp. 1-9.
Ismael S, Silvestre M, Vasques, M Araújo, J Morais J, Duarte MI, Pestana D, Faria A, Pereira-Leal J, Vaz J., Ribeiro P, Teixeira D, Marques C, Calhau C. A Pilot Study on the Metabolic Impact of Mediterranean Diet in Type 2 Diabetes: Is Gut Microbiota the Key? Nutrients, 2021, 13, 1228.
Oliveira H, Rodrigues C, Santos A, Veigas B, Faria A, Calhau C, de Freitas V, Baptista P, Mateus N, Fernandes A, Fernandes I, GLUT1 and GLUT3 involvement in anthocyanin gastric transport- Nanobased targeted approach. Scientific Reports, 2019, 9:789
Marques C, Fernandes I, Meireles M, Faria A, Spencer J, Mateus N, Calhau C. Gut microbiota modulation accounts for the neuroprotective properties of anthocyanins. Scientific Reports, 2018, 8, 11341.
Fernandes I, Marques C, Évora A, Cruz L, de Freitas V, Calhau C, Faria A, Mateus N. Pharmacokinetics of table and Port red wine anthocyanins: a crossover trial in healthy men. Food & Function, 2017, 8, 2030-2037.
Marques C, Fernandes I, Norberto S, Sá C, Teixeira D, de Freitas V, Mateus N, Calhau C, Faria A. Pharmacokinetics of blackberry anthocyanins consumed with or without ethanol: a randomized and crossover trial. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2016, 60, 11, 2319-2330.
Meireles M, Rodríguez-Alcalá L, Marques C, Norberto S, Freitas J, Fernandes I, Mateus N, Gomes A, Faria A, Calhau C. “Effect of chronic consumption of blackberry extract on high-fat induced obesity in rats and its correlation with metabolic and brain outcomes. Food & Function, 2016, 20, 7, 1, 127-139.
Faria A, Fernandes I, Norberto S, Mateus N, Calhau C Interplay between anthocyanins and gut microbiota, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014, 62,29, 6898-902.
Faria A, Meireles M, Fernandes I, C Santos-Buelga, Gonzalez-Manzano S, Dueñas M, de Freitas V, Mateus N, Calhau C. Flavonoid metabolites transport across a human BBB model. Food Chemistry, 2014, 149,190-196.
Faria A, Pestana D, Teixeira D, Couraud PO, Romero I, Weksler B, de Freitas V, Mateus N, Calhau C. Insights into the putative catechin and epicatechin transport across Blood-Brain Barrier; Food & Function, (2011), 2, 1, 39-44.
Faria A, Pestana D, Teixeira D, Azevedo J, de Freita Vs, Mateus N, Calhau C. Flavonoid transport across RBE4 cells: a blood-brain barrier model” Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters, 2010, 15, 2, 234-241.
Faria A, Pestana D, Azevedo J, Martel F, de Freitas V, Azevedo I, Mateus N, Calhau C. Absorption of anthocyanins through intestinal epithelial cells – putative involvement of GLUT2. Mol Nutr Food Res, 2009, 53, 11, 1430-1437.
Faria A, Monteiro R, Pestana D, de Freitas, Mateus N, Azevedo I, Calhau C. Intestinal oxidative state can alter nutrient and drug bioavailability. Oxid Med Cell Long, 2009, 2, 5, 322-327.
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