Nutraceuticals molecular targets (II)
A novel way of approaching health by using nutraceuticals: Combined -omics and virtual screening


Vicente Micol, PhD
Professor of Biochemistry
and Molecular Biology
Universidad Miguel Hernández (UMH), Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular (IBMC), Spain
CIBER: CB12/03/30038, Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y la Nutrición, CIBERobn, Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain

José Antonio Encinar, PhD
Universidad Miguel Hernández (UMH), Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular (IBMC), Spain


This is a series of articles of the regular column for 2017 entitled “Nutraceuticals Molecular Targets”. This column will be focused on the analysis of the nutraceuticals market within the last years under the new regulatory status on health claims and the big gap between science of phytochemicals, legislation and consumers.

As a continuation of our series on “Nutraceuticals Molecular Targets” let me introduce a modern approach that is being utilized in the scientific field for several years in the pharmaceutical field and is starting to be transferred and implemented to determine the beneficial effects of dietary components in human health. This is another proof that the scientific field, market and legislation work at different speeds and that science is much further ahead than market.

Traditionally, research on bioactive compounds focused to prove their health effects involve, as a primary step, testing food components and mixtures on cellular models that mimic metabolic stress conditions. The next obligatory step is to assay those food components on animal models that resemble certain pathologies using normal or transgenic animals. Finally, to test the beneficial effects of food components, human trials using randomized, placebo controlled and double-blind standards are recommended. In many cases, most of the compounds responsible for such effects are unknown.

In the last decade, the modern technologies developed in the scientific field have circumvented some of the steps in ...