The Nutrigenomics research group has extensive experience investigating the biological effects of proanthocyanidins. Since 1995 we have studied its bioavailability and its effects on lipid and carbohydrate homeostasis, its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties as well as its effects on blood pressure. We have always focused our studies looking risk prevention genesis of diseases encompassed in the metabolic syndrome in the situation of obesity.
In our research we have concluded that the proanthocyanidins act by interacting with transcription factors and microRNAs affecting cell signaling pathways and regulation of metabolism. Continued consumption, at relatively moderate doses, reduces food intake, decreases lipogenesis, increases beta-oxidation primarily in skeletal muscle, reduces inflammation and improves insulin resistance and hypertriglyceridemia, especially in postprandial situation. At higher doses proanthocyanidins correct blood pressure. In recent studies we have found that the proanthocyanidins accumulate in white adipose tissue, even in chemical forms not biotransformed and cross the blood-brain barrier.
The figure shows a scheme of the workflow followed in an acute experiment in vivo. After administration of a certain amount of the extract of interest (in this case GSPE) an extraction of the metabolites present in different organs is performed. Later on, these metabolites are selectively analyzed by HPLC-MS/MS to evaluate the process of metabolisation of the extract.