Molecular Nutrition and Health Lab

The MNH research is focused on plant biodiversity, conservation and screening of bioactive metabolites; biomedical applications of plant secondary metabol

The MNH research is focused on plant biodiversity, conservation and screening of bioactive metabolites; biomedical applications of plant secondary metabolites; new and non-toxic strategies to control and fight pathogenic fungi.

Research Interests The biodiversity and conservation studies are centred on in vitro vegetative propagation of endemic Portuguese plant species, some of which under risk of extinction. The novel bioactive metabolites (including polyphenols) present in these plant species are being scrutinized and chemically characterized. In the biomedical applications, the plant secondary metabolites selected are being evaluated for antioxidant, antiproliferative and/or antimicrobial activities. For that purpose several models, such as human neuroblastoma, colorectal and cancer cells, yeast, human and also plant fungal pathogens are being used. For example, for neurodegeneration cell models, neuroblastoma cells treated with rotenone and yeasts overexpressing alpha-synuclein are used for selection of natural products potentially useful in treatment and/or prevention of Parkinson´s disease. To access the bioavailability of these natural products, particularly of antioxidant compounds from edible plants, like berry fruits, in vitro digestion and human intervention studies are underway. The search and development of novel and non-toxic fungicides active against human and plant pathogens allow the development of new strategies to control and fight pathogenic fungi. For that purpose human and plant cell interactions with pathogenic fungi are being analysed, in particular, host-induced changes in human fungal pathogen exoglycomes. In plants, molecular interactions of grapevine with pathogenic fungi responsible for grapevine powdery mildew and wood diseases are also being studied. Genetically transformed grapevine, rose and other plants, constitutively expressing antifungal proteins (e.g. blad) are being evaluated, and specific bioelectronic methodologies capable of detecting and treating asymptomatic grapevine plants infected with recalcitrant fungal wood diseases are under development. Finally, for an additional understanding of fungal interactions, the challenging of Aspergillus fumigatus and A. alternata by other fungi are being examined. Taking advantage of novel and promising natural products, such strategies could provide in a near future, treatments with low toxicity levels. A number of patent applications have been granted, are under examination or are under preparation.

Missão: - Create knowledge to serve the society with excellence and responsability - Disclosing molecular mechanisms of plant products in humans - Evolving as a strong and cohesive team integrated in international networks

2nd Conference on Food Bioactives & Health 2018

Thank you all we reach the 200 participants!!! We will have a great time @fbhc2018 in Lisbon

2nd Conference on Food Bioactives & Health 2018

Enjoy the Easter we extend the deadline to register for FBHC2018!!!!

Abstract submission is now open until April 30th.

2nd Conference on Food Bioactives & Health 2018

Final Conference of the COST Action POSITIVe will be a satellite symposium of the FBHC2018. Between 25 and 26 September 2018 come to listen about the “Interindividual variation in response to plant food bioactives”.

2nd Conference on Food Bioactives & Health 2018

INFOGEST network will join us at FBHC2018 as a satellite meeting in 25 and 26 September, Lisbon. Topics related with health properties of food and the digestive process will be discussed.

Join us @2nd Conference on Food Bioactives & Health

Join us!!!!

Do not forget to register FBHC2018, abstract submission is open until March 30th (

The 2nd International Conference on Food Bioactives & Health (FBHC 2018), which will take place from the 26th to the 28th of September, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The topics addressed by FBHC 2018 will cover the whole palette of interests of the community including the impact of polyphenols, carotenoids, glucosinolates, marine compounds, polysaccharides, peptides and proteins as food bioactives for health.

If you are a postdoc, and you would like to attend take a look in the link bellow for a detailed list of travel funding opportunities:

Looking forward to see you in Lisbon!

Welcome to FBHC2018 — FBHC2018

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the upcoming 2nd International Conference on Food Bioactives & Health (FBHC 2018), which will take place from the 26th to the 28th of September, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The topics addressed by FBHC 2018 will cover the whole palette of interests of the community including the impact of polyphenols, carotenoids, glucosinolates, marine compounds, polysaccharides, peptides and proteins as food bioactives for health.

Join us!!!!!

For more details please visit: After the great success of the 1st International Conference on Food Bioactives & Health held in Norwich in 2016, it is a great pleasure and an honor to welcome you to the second edition of this premier scientific event. The FBHC 2018 will take place in the amazing city of Lisbon, from the 26th to...

Congrats Catarina!!! Well done, we are proud of you!

Parabéns à Ana Bastos, que concluiu com sucesso o seu Mestrado em Bioquímica para a Saúde com a tese "Modulation of neuroinflammation by phenolic sulfates metabolites"

The gut and polyphenols cooperation towards improvement of lifelong brain health

Better understanding how gut microbiota interact and cooperate with dietary polyphenols will allow novel treatments to promote brain resilience against stress life factors and possibly prevent age-related neurodegenerative conditions.

Very interesting!

Better understanding how gut microbes (also known as probiotics) interact and cooperate with dietary polyphenols will allow novel treatments to promote brain...

Merry Christmas from the MNH team!!!!!

Last week Inês Figueira presented her phD thesis entitled "Deciphering the potential of berries polyphenol metabolites for Parkinson’s Disease: Digestion, blood-brain barrier transposition and neuroprotective effect".

It was brilliant!!!
We are so proud of you Inês!!! Congrats

A list of competition films at the 7th Life Sciences Film Festival | Life Sciences Film festival

The Bachberry documentary film "Berrymakers" has been in the selection of only 27 films out of a staggering 1300 entries at the 7th Life Science Film Festival in Prague.
See film #3 in the list here

Congrats to Biofaction and all BacHBerry partners!! A list of competition films at the 7th Life Sciences Film Festival Posted on 29.8.2017 The 7th Life Sciences Film Festival will see twenty-seven films compete for the LSFF Grand Prix. Festival programmers selected the competition films from among more than 1300 entered films. The Czech Republic has?...

Blood–brain barrier transport and neuroprotective potential of blackberry-digested polyphenols: an in vitro study

Did you know that bioaccessible (poly)phenol metabolites, at physiological concentrations, may access brain cells and be protective?

By revealing significant gene modulatory effects of diet-derived compounds, we enlarge our understanding of how the food we eat impacts gene expression and ultimately prevent neuronal dysfunction!!!

Take a look on our most recent publication Epidemiological and intervention studies have attempted to link the health effects of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with the consumption of polyphenols and their impact in neurodegenerative dis

EMBO workshop Proteostasis

Last 28 th September Andreia Filipa Gomes won the best oral presentation at the joining NutRedOx WG meetings/NutriOx meeting held in Strasbourg. We were so proud!!! Congrats

Phycocyanin protects against Alpha-Synuclein toxicity in yeast

Phycocyanin, a phycobiliprotein from the microalgae Spirulina platensis as a nutraceutical for Parkinson's disease! There is our newest publication! Parkinson’s disease (PD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder associated with the misfolding and aggregation of alpha-synuclein (aSyn) in proteinaceous inclusions. These inclusions are common to a wider spectrum of disorders known as synucleinopathies. While the molecular bases of PD are sti...

Polyphenols journey through blood-brain barrier towards neuronal protection

This was more than a journey in our lab, it was an amazing adventure shared by
Inês Figueira, Gonçalo Garcia, Rui Carlos Pimpão, Inês Costa, Filipa Almeida, Lucélia Tavares, Teresa Pais, Paula Pinto and Claudia Nunes Dos Santos

and also only possible with the help of our collaborators from
# James Hutton Institute (Derek Stewart)
# Faculty of Pharmacy of Lisbon University
# Organic Chemistry Lab from ITQB
# Animal Cell Technology Unit from iBET

Congrats to all!!! Age-related complications such as neurodegenerative disorders are increasing and remain cureless. The possibility of altering the progression or the development of these multifactorial diseases through diet is an emerging and attractive approach with increasing experimental support. We examined the…

And there it is our most recent achievement!!😀

As complicações relacionadas com o envelhecimento tais como as doenças neurodegenerativas estão a aumentar cada vez mais e permanecem sem uma cura à vista. A possibilidade de alterar a progressão ou o agravamento deste tipo de doenças multifatoriais através da dieta é uma estratégia emergente e atrativa com cada vez mais suporte experimental.
Investigadores do laboratório da Nutrição Molecular e Saúde (Molecular Nutrition and Health Lab) do IBET - Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica e do ITQB NOVA, em colaboração com o James Hutton Institute e a Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade de Lisboa, examinaram o potencial de sulfatos fenólicos biodisponiveis, derivados de metabolismo de pequenos frutos como framboesas, mirtilos e amoras no intestino, em etapas-chave de processos neurodegenerativos. Os resultados foram publicados na revista Scientific Reports, uma revista do conceituado Grupo Nature. Parabéns à equipa!!!!

BacHBerry workflow: Yeast as a discovery platform of therapeutic compounds.

See more at

BacHBerry: BACterial Hosts for production of Bioactive phenolics from bERRY fruits

"BacHBerry: BACterial Hosts for production of Bioactive phenolics from bERRY fruits" is already out in Phytochemistry Reviews. Enjoy!!!

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death |

Changing our health status....

Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the...

Gut cell metabolism shapes the microbiome

Very interesting! Gut microbes are key partners in host defense against potential pathogens ( 1 ). This might be achieved through cross-talk between gut bacteria, epithelial cells lining the gut (colonocytes), and immune cells ( 2 ). Part of this cross-talk involves metabolites derived from the bacteria, such as the…

This week we have Katerina Valentova from Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic visiting us with a POSITIVe STSM. Working hard in figure out what affects quercetin interindividual bioavailability

Dairy Products and Inflammation: A Review of the Clinical Evidence

Our review article hits the mark of 30’000 downloads ranking number 2 in the history of the journal #dairy

Uauuu!!!! Dairy Products and Inflammation: A Review of the Clinical Evidence. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Accepted 16 September 2014. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2014.967385

MNH Summer lunch!!!

hard day of work!!!💜

Your Microbiome and Your Brain

The gut-brain axis!!!!

We've talked about the trillions of microbes inside you before, but we're learning that these little creatures may have more influence than you thought! Meet...

Design Thinking course: Regina Menezes is learning how to accelerate innovation to create better solutions towards a
challenge. Go for it Regina!!!!

Brain's immune cells linked to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia

"An environment-dependent transcriptional network specifies human microglia identity"!!! fascinating! Scientists have, for the first time, characterized the molecular markers that make the brain's front lines of immune defense—cells called microglia—unique. In the process, they discovered further evidence that microglia may play roles in a variety of neurodegenerative and psychiatric illnesses, incl...

Happy to show the Berrymaker game!!!!!

Proud to participate on this fantastic day!!!!

Medir o mundo do nano ao macro

XV Portuguese Society for Neuroscience meeting at the Meliã Hotel, Braga - Portugal.
Good meeting with good friends!

Polyphenols Beyond Barriers: A Glimpse into the Brain

A Glimpse into the Future: Polyphenols for brain :) Background: Ageing can be simply defined as the process of becoming older, which is genetically determined but also environmentally modulated. With the continuous increase of life expectancy, quality of life during ageing has become one of the biggest challenges of developed countries. The quest for...

Food Matters

Sleep well with your gut ;)

It's probably not news to you that your brain is connected to your gut. But do you know how this impacts your sleep?

Find out why the secret to a good snooze may be in your belly:

[Frontier Leaders] Understanding complex glycan utilization in the human microbiota — ITQB

Do you know how a single microorganisms in the human gut have the ability to disassemble the most complex of carbohydrates in our diet?

It is the first time such a discovery has been made and it is hoped that this may be used to one day identify new pre- and pro-biotic products to enhance people’s health.

Led by Professor Harry Gilbert, from the Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences at Newcastle University, the study will be presented next Tuesday on ITQB auditorium at 12 am, come and joins us!!!!!! Harry John Gilbert, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, University of Newcastle Upon Time, UK


Want a healthy gut? Here's what you should eat:

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