The EU health food market requires new products that can be used as high quality health food supplements (HFS). Many rural areas, esp. in the Mediterranean, have locally used traditional foods with potential positive effects on health and on ageing-related pathologies that now are only known by elderly people. The Consortium intends to study this local knowledge ethnobotanically and contribute to the development of new HFS. We plan to evaluate >150 species of food plants in a variety of primary in vitro assays (incl. CRE for memory formation, PPAR mediated transcriptional activity for diabetes type II, a series of 4 cell-based antioxidant assays, inhibition of eicosanoid generation). Active samples will then be studied in mechanistic in vitro/in viva models focusing on the CNS and the cardiovascular system (CVS), e.g. free radical generation, membrane fluidity, antioxidative enzymes (CNS); vasorelaxant NO, vascular endothelial function (CVS).
The Consortium will contribute to the development of new nutraceuticals and identify plant extracts traditionally used in rural communities of Southern Italy, Greece and Southern Spain as dietary by-products with potent anti-oxidant, anti-diabetes and memory mediating activity. Additionally, it will contribute to a fuller evaluation and development of the Mediterranean diet with a focus on local dietary plants (and fungi) and plant derived products.
- Ethnobotanical documentation of food products of selected communities in Southern Italy, Spain, Greece incl. Crete
- Comprehensive data on social, cultural, economical framework
- Identification of active extracts/pure compounds (leads for new HFS)
- Biochemical/pharmacological in vitro mechanisms/in vivo effects of selected species
- Dissemination of ethnobotanical information in local/national languages