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Lund University and State University of Campinas partnership for studies on cardiometabolic disease-preventive functional foods and diets

Grant number: 19/13465-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2019 - November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Nutrition - Nutrition Biochemistry
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Mário Roberto Maróstica Junior
Grantee:Mário Roberto Maróstica Junior
Principal investigator abroad: Juscelino Rodrigues Tovar
Institution abroad: Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Home Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia de Alimentos (FEA). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Cinthia Baú Betim Cazarin
Associated research grant:18/11069-5 - Action of Brazilian berries on metabolic parameters and cognitive performance of obese animals, AP.R


The present project aims to provide grounds for cooperation between two institutions that share interest in research in functional foods, each one exploring different aspects of the subject. The core plan will allow for a closer interaction between the two research teams, focusing on each partner's strengths and expertise on functional foods and ingredients that might be included in a cardiometabolic disease-preventive food portfolio. The Department of Food Technology, Engineering and Nutrition at Lund University (LU) houses a group of researchers with ample experience in clinical assessment of functional foods, meals and diets associated with health-promoting effects. The Nutrition section of the Department has thus comprehensive capacities to design and evaluate dietary clinical trials aiming to demonstrate the ability of foods with special metabolic effects that confer them physiological activity beyond the conventional nutritional effects (i.e. functional foods). The group has worked intensively on the evaluation and potentiating of functional features of meals and diets as means to reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (cardiometabolic disease), always with a preventive focus. An important achievement of the group has been the development of a multifunctional dietary approach (MFD) to modulate different biomarkers associated with the propensity to cardiometabolic alterations in healthy but "at-risk" individuals. MFD is based on the synergistic action of a number of functional anti-inflammatory foods of general acceptance by the Scandinavian population (1-5). However, the suitability of the MFD approach for other cultural/geographical regions remains to be studied. DEPAN-Campinas has vast research experience in testing functional ingredients and foods using 'in vitro' systems, as well as animal models to assess the effect on inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and cognition. Brazil is immensely rich in both conventional and underutilized edible plants that gradually appear in the scientific literature as potential functional foods. Some of these materials have been already studied by the DEPAN-Campinas team (e.g. passion fruit, jaboticaba and its effects in obesity and colitis) from mechanistic and treatment points of view. Evidently, an effective cooperation between DEPAN-Campinas and LU research groups may well result in extended possibilities for improving the MFD approach, adapting it to the Brazilian reality and providing novel materials for inclusion in MFD portfolios of broader international applicability. (AU)