Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of mortality in Europe with an estimated annual cost of €210 billion (according to the European Heart Network). Within the framework of European public health strategies, diet has been highlighted as a key factor in the prevention/treatment of these diseases.
Numerous clinical and pre-clinical studies suggest that the consumption of plant-derived foods (rich in phenolic compounds) has beneficial effects against cardiovascular diseases. These effects have been associated (at least in part) with the presence of phenolic compounds. However, after decades of intensive investigation, this association has not been unequivocally proven because of the considerable inter-individual variability observed in clinical studies or the inadequate design of pre-clinical studies. This raises an important question: are dietary phenolics the compounds responsible for the cardiovascular benefits associated with the consumption of plant-derived foodstuff?
An interesting hypothesis invokes gut microbiota as a key element in answering this question. The microbiota has acquired enormous importance in understanding how phenolic compounds exert beneficial effects against CVD. In this regard, clinical studies published in recent years have described the interaction of intestinal microbiota/phenolic compounds as essential in the modulation of cardiovascular risk biomarkers. These studies, although still scarce, have set the basis of future studies that will enlarge our knowledge of the axis “diet/phenolic compounds-microbiota-cardiovascular health”.
PolyBiota shows a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional character and aims to provide new insights into the role of the intestinal microbiota as a key player in the beneficial effects of phenolic compounds on CVD associated with the consumption of phenolic compounds-rich foods. This innovative project will be carried out at the Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC), an epicentre of phenolic compounds research, in collaboration with the Fundación para el Fomento de la Investigación Sanitaria y Biomédica (Valencia, Spain).
Total budget: 172.932,48 €
Duration: 16/07/2020 - 15/07/2022.