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Principal Investigator
Ralph Urbatzka

Leader Institution
CIIMAR-UP

Research Teams

CYANOBESITY: Cyanobacteria as a source of bioactive compounds with effects on obesity-associated morbidities - screening and molecular mechanism

An urgent demand for new anti-obesogenic compounds is present, and marine cyanobacteria promise to be an excellent source for natural-derived molecules and novel nutraceuticals. Some strains of cyanobacteria are commercially available for consumption due to their beneficial properties to human health.
Preclinical studies have been performed in various animal models and demonstrated hypolipidemic activities in rats and mice, lowering hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In the proposed project, marine cyanobacterial strains of a culture collection will be screened for beneficial properties towards obesity and obesity-related comorbidities (obesity, fatty liver disease, diabetes, appetite and hyperlipidaemia) and the chemical structure will be elucidated.
By applying an innovative biotechnological platform, the interactions from oral administration to the blood stream will be analyzed, and with different target tissues in vitro. A proof of concept regarding the improvement of metabolism will be performed in a relevant physiological model.
The general aim of the project is to develop novel nutraceuticals that have the potential to improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.

Funding