Research Program. Precision Nutrition and
Cardiometabolic Health

Bioactive Ingredients Food Group

Group leader: Prof. Francesco Visioli

Objectives: the Bioactive Ingredients Food Group is being developing a Ministry of Innovation (MICINN) – funded study on the effects of selected phospholipids in models of aging and cognitive decline. In particular, the group is investigating the nutrigenomic effects of phospholipids isolated from buttermilk and krill oil, via innovative technologies developed in the CIAL (UAM + CSIC Madrid campus). Aging represents an important socio-economic issue, in that the European population is rapidly aging and the health care costs associated with this demographic phenomenon are becoming unbearable. Therefore, there is a strong need to find suitable and effective preventive measures, to lessen the burden of disease and decrease budgetary stress. In particular, aging is associated with cognitive decline, which can become severe and develop into dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.

Given than the brain is the organ richest in lipids (up to 40% in weight), the LabFun thinks it conceivable to supply appropriate phospholipids to maintain and/or restore proper membrane composition, fluidity, and signal transduction. The preliminary results do demonstrate the provision of food-derived phospholipids (formulated through original techniques) are able to ameliorate the synaptic machinery and restore adequate mitochondrial function. The group employs in vitro and in vivo (including human) approaches to create strong and solid scientific data and foster the formulation of evidence-based nutraceuticals and functional foods. In addition, the group keeps publishing the results of former projects along with reviews on specific topics, therefore enjoying a strong publication record.

Prof. Francesco Visioli

Group leader of the Bioactive Ingredients Food Groupof Lipid Metabolism Group

Francesco Visioli earned a degree in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Milan and a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Brescia (based on work performed at the Louisiana State University Neuroscience Center). After being Full Professor of physiopathology at the Université Paris 6 “Pierre et Marie Curie”, where he directed the “Micronutrients and cardiovascular disease” unit, he is now Professor of human nutrition at the University of Padua, Italy and Senior Investigator at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies (IMDEA)-Food. Formerly involved in neurochemistry, Dr. Visioli’s research currently concerns essential fatty acids, namely those of the omega 3 series, and natural antioxidants, as related to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. In particular, Dr. Visioli’s group discovered the biological and pharmacological properties of olive oil phenolics, including hydroxytyrosol. In addition, Dr. Visioli is being studying some bioactive components of plant foods, including lycopene from tomato and biophenols from wild greens. His research ranges from in vitro studies of bioactivity (test tubes, cell cultures) to in vivo tests, performed on laboratory animals and/or humans. Dr Visioli has a publication record of approximately 250 papers and book chapters, which have been cited over 10,000 times. He gave invited lectures in over 100 meetings. Dr. Visioli was member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL). Currently, Dr. Visioli is the Editor-in-Chief of PharmaNutrition Associate Editor of Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, in addition to being a member of the Editorial Board of several other journals. Presently, Dr. Visioli is Leader of the “Fats and Human Health” division of Eurofed Lipid and member of the EFSA GMO Panel.

Phone: +34 91 727 81 00, ext. 204 



Raquel Aguado Puertas
Elena Garicano Vilar
Carlos Rodríguez
Andrea del Saz


most relevant publications
  • Buttermilk and krill oil phospholipids improve hippocampal insulin resistance and synaptic signaling in aged rats. Tomé-Carneiro J., Crespo, M.C., Emma Burgos-Ramos, E., Tomas-Zapico, C. García-Serrano, A., Castro-Gómez, P., Venero, C., Pereda-Pérez, I., Baliyan, S., Valencia, A., Fontecha, J., Dávalos, A., and Visioli F. Mol. Neurobiol. (2018) 55:7285-7296.
  • Modulation of miRNA expression in aged rat hippocampus by buttermilk and krill oil. Crespo MC, Tomé-Carneiro J, Gómez-Coronado D, Burgos-Ramos E, García-Serrano A, Martín-Hernández R, Baliyan S, Fontecha J, Venero C, Dávalos A, Visioli F. Sci Rep. (2018) 8:3993. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22148-5.
  • An overview of the pharmacology of olive oil and its active ingredients. Visioli F, Davalos A, López de Las Hazas MC, Crespo MC, Tomé-Carneiro J. Br J Pharmacol. (2020) 177:1316-1330. doi: 10.1111/bph.14782.
  • Wine's Phenolic Compounds and Health: A Pythagorean View. Visioli F, Panaite SA, Tomé-Carneiro J. Molecules. (2020) 25(18):4105. doi: 10.3390/molecules25184105.
  • Concentrates of buttermilk and krill oil improve cognition in aged rats. García-Serrano A, Tomé-Carneiro J, Carmen Crespo M, Visitación Calvo M, Pereda-Pérez I, Baliyan S, Burgos-Ramos E, Montero O, Dávalos A, Venero C, Visioli F, Fontecha J. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. (2020) 155:102077. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2020.102077.
  • Olive oil consumption and its repercussions on lipid metabolism. Tomé-Carneiro J, Crespo MC, López de Las Hazas MC, Visioli F, Dávalos A. Nutr Rev. (2020) 8:952-968. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuaa014.
main research grants

Principal Investigator: Alberto Dávalos Herrera

Principal Investigator: Francesco Visioli 
Project Title: Exosomas: la comunicación intercelular como arma terapéutica (ExoRNAs)
Date: 2017-2020
Funded by: Fundación Ramón Areces


Principal Investigator: Francesco Visioli 
Project Title: Survey of the prevalence of eating disorders among medical students
Date: 2019-2021

Principal Investigator: João Tiago Esteveão Tomé Carneiro

Project Title: Evaluación del hidroxitirosol en la enfermedad del hígado graso no alcohólica

Date: 2021-2022
Funded by: GENOSA S.L.


Principal Investigator: Javier Fontecha, Antonio Pérez, Francesco Visioli
Project Title:Efectos sinérgicos de la membrana del gróbulo graso y xantofilas en la promoción del desarrollo cerebral del recién nacido y en la prevención del deterioro cognitivio en el envejecimiento
Date: 2017-2020
Funded by: Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad