Evaluación nutricional de alimentos y/o nutrientes funcionales

  1. Rodríguez Lara, Avilene
Supervised by:
  1. Jesús Rodríguez Huertas Director
  2. María Dolores Mesa García Director

Defence university: Universidad de Granada

Fecha de defensa: 12 July 2022

  1. Emilio Martínez de Victoria Muñoz Chair
  2. Carolina Gomez Llorente Secretary
  3. Zyanya Reyes Castillo Committee member
  4. Ginés María Salido Ruiz Committee member
  5. Lluís Serra Majem Committee member

Type: Thesis


This Doctoral Thesis is a series of research papers evaluating the consumption of potential nutraceuticals and functional foods related to diet and health improvement. The study populations include murine models and Spanish adults aged 18-60 years. The aim of this thesis has been to test through different experimental models the possible beneficial effect of two antioxidants widely consumed by the Mediterranean population (ursolic acid and deshydrated vegetable concentrate) and of a pre-Columbian food such as chia. The results of the Mediterranean Diet study show that its intake for 6 weeks, whether or not supplemented with antioxidants characteristic of this diet, and without modification of lifestyle changes, does not have a positive effect on the prevention of cardiovascular disease. However, we observed a certain trend in the improvement of key parameters such as body mass index and blood pressure when the diet is normalized, which is not observed with antioxidant supplementation, showing that normalization of the diet is the best option. Oral administration of a virgin olive oil extract containing 15% hydroxytyrosol did not induce effects that could be considered toxicologically relevant in acute, sub-acute and sub-chronic tests in a murine model. Supplementation for 12 weeks with 35 mg/d of ursolic acid from an apple peel extract in chicken breast meat, accompanied by physical activity twice a week, exerted no effect on body weight and composition, muscle strength and endurance in healthy humans. Our findings indicate that chia seeds are rich in dietary fiber and oligosaccharides, omega-3 polyunsaturated linolenic acids, high-quality proteins containing L-phenylalanine and L-tryptophan. They are also a good source of antioxidants, in particular polyphenols. In addition, the specific variety of dark chia from Jalisco also contains nucleosides: adenosine, guanosine and uridine, enhancing its nutritional value. Therefore, it is the set of its nutrients and bioactive compounds that determines its status as a functional food. Milk and its derivatives are irreplaceable foods in a balanced diet, as they provide micronutrients, such as calcium and vitamin D, which are not present in other foods in the quantities and with the bioavailability necessary to meet the nutritional needs of a balanced diet. Fortified dairy products make it possible to increase the intake of these micronutrients with high bioavailability, without the need for dietary modification, which is beneficial for maintaining health. In summary, the results of the present thesis confirm that a balanced and varied diet is the most efficient strategy to normalize cardiometabolic alterations.