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Food & Health



food.health@ibet.pt

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At iBET we have developed a platform tool combining several methods for bioactivity evaluation of foods, natural extracts, bioactive compounds or natural active principles

Several methods for bioactivity evaluation are available ranging from chemical assays and enzymatic methods to cell-based assays. These methodologies contribute to screen functionality and elucidating the mechanisms underlying health promoting effects

iBET has developed a platform tool that complemented with bioaccessibility and/or bioavailability assays and human intervention studies, allow iBET to provide support in substantiating health claims for functional food products for submission to EC and EFSA.

Bioactivity Evaluation in Preclinical Assays

Anticancer

  • Anti-proliferative effect with different cell lines.
  • Cell cycle analysis and induction of apoptosis.
  • Cancer (stem) cell characterization: ALDH1 activity, in vitro colony forming unit assay, cell migration and invasion assays.

Available human cancer cell lines: colon (Caco-2), colorectal (HT29), gastric (MKN45), kidney (Caki-2), hepatic (HepG2) and melanoma (monolayer cultures and cancer cell spheroids). Also available are innovative disease cell models in which tumor-stromal crosstalk and disease progression events are recapitulated.

Anti-diabetes

  • Anti-hyperglycaemic effect (inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase).
  • Inhibition of intestinal glucose transporters (SGLT1 and GLUT2) in human intestinal cells.

Anti-inflammatory

  • Oxidative stress markers as reactive oxidative species (ROS) and nitrite oxidative species (NOS).
  • Cellular damage related to oxidation/inflammation process, as the mitochondrial damage (TMRE inclusion).
  • Evaluation of inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-a and IkBa translocation) on Caco-2 human cells or on co-cultures of (Caco-2 + HT29MTX) or (Caco-2 + HT29MTX +Raji) where mucus is expressed.
  • Inhibition of Islet Amyloid PoliPeptide (IAPP) aggregation and toxicity in pancreatic beta cells (in collaboration).

Antioxidant

  • Scavenging of ROS (ORAC, HORAC, HOSC).
  • Ferric reduction antioxidant power (FRAP).
  • Cellular antioxidant activity (CAA).

Cardiovascular Health 

  • Anti-hypertensive effect (inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme).
  • Inhibition of cholesterol absorption (inhibition of pancreatic cholesterol esterase activity).
  • Inhibition of human LDL oxidation.
  • Cardio protective effect (evaluation of oxidative stress biomarkers on human cardiomyocytes). 

Dermocosmetic 

  • Skin protection (inhibition of metalloproteinases; evaluation of cytotoxicity and protection against oxidative damage using human epidermal keratinocytes, murine fibroblasts and melanocytes).
  • Skin pigmentation (inhibition of tyrosinase activity; evaluation of melanin content in melanoma cells).
  • Anti-acne (inhibition of lipase activity of P. acnes).
  • Cellular migration to evaluate wound healing potential (scratch assay using human epidermal keratinocytes and murine fibroblasts).

Neuroprotection 

  • Excitotoxicity reduction (inhibition of glutamate toxicity in rat primary neuronal cells).
  • Neuroprotective effect (evaluation of oxidative stress biomarkers in human neuronal cells, 2D-cell monolayer and 3D-cell aggregates).
  • Anti-inflammatory activity (inflammatory biomarkers, namely inflammatory cytokines, nitrites, IkBa levels and phosphorylation state).
  • Inhibition of protein aggregation and toxicity: alpha-synuclein (Parkinson’s Disease), ABeta42 (Alzheimer’s Disease), huntingtin (Huntington’s Disease) and FUS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in eukaryotic cell models.

Bioaccessibility and Bioavailability

Bioaccessibility 

  • Standardized in vitro digestion method (simulation of upper gastrointestinal track).
  • Chemical characterization of digested samples (gastric and intestinal fractions).

Bioavailability 

  • Transport and permeability studies using Caco-2 cell model.
  • Transport and permeability studies using co-cultures (Caco-2, HT29MTX and Raji immune cells).

Human Intervention Studies

  • Bioavailability in healthy volunteers.
  • Nutritional intervention studies in healthy volunteers or patients.

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