Pedro Mena

Pedro Mena
Università di Parma | UNIPR · Department of Food & Drugs

PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology

About

164
Publications
67,156
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Introduction
Pedro's lines of research are related to the bioavailability and biological activity of plant bioactives in human, animal, and cell models, with a particular focus on (poly)phenolic compounds -but not only!- and inter-individual variability. Pedro is also devoted to the development and use of realistic experimental models, trying to make science more robust and translatable.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - December 2019
Università di Parma
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • https://personale.unipr.it/en/ugovdocenti/person/112346
October 2013 - July 2019
Università di Parma
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • http://www.ls9.it/
July 2009 - September 2013
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (164)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: There is much information on the bioavailability of (poly)phenolic compounds following acute intake of various foods. However, there are only limited data on the effects of repeated and combined exposure to specific (poly)phenol food sources and the inter-individual variability in their bioavailability. This study evaluated the combined u...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Current evidence accounts for the role of (poly)phenolic compounds in the prevention of non-communicable diseases. Detailed information on population-level intakes is required to translate these findings into recommendations. This work aimed to estimate (poly)phenol intake in the UK population using data from a nationally representative sur...
Article
Covering: 1958 to June 2018 Phenyl-γ-valerolactones (PVLs) and their related phenylvaleric acids (PVAs) are the main metabolites of flavan-3-ols, the major class of flavonoids in the human diet. Despite their presumed importance, these gut microbiota-derived compounds have, to date, in terms of biological activity, been considered subordinate to th...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Extensive inter-individual variability exists in the production of flavan-3-ol metabolites. Preliminary metabolic phenotypes (metabotypes) have been defined, but there is no consensus on the existence of metabotypes associated with the catabolism of catechins and proanthocyanidins. This study aims at elucidating the presence of different me...
Article
Background Coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases in a dose-dependent manner. Chronic intake results in the transient appearance of bioactive phenolic metabolites in the circulatory system. However, there is a lack of information on the impact of different patterns of coffee consumption on plasma and urinar...
Article
A R T I C L E I N F O Keywords: Flavan-3-ols Colonic catabolic and phase II metabolism [2-14 C](−)-Epicatechin Procyanidins Theaflavins A B S T R A C T Understanding the fate of ingested polyphenols is crucial in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of a fruit and vegetable-based diet. This review focuses on the co...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose To compare acute effects on blood pressure (BP) of ingestion of visually similar lettuce with controlled high and low content of either nitrate or phenolic compounds. Methods In a randomised cross-over design, 19 healthy participants (22–31 years) received 50 g of lettuce containing either 530 mg (8.4 mmol) nitrate + 11 mg (0.03 mmol) phen...
Article
Objectives Evidence shows that bioactive (poly)phenols are pivotal in the prevention of chronic diseases, in particular in cardiometabolic health. However, the inter-individual variability existing in their bioavailability and physiological response can impact their true efficacy. Individuals showing similar metabolic profiles for specific (poly)ph...
Article
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Consuming (poly)phenol-rich fruits and vegetables, including tomato, is associated with health benefits. The health effects of tomato (poly)phenolic compounds have been attributed to their metabolites rather than parent compounds and their bioavailability can be modulated by several factors. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of seasonal consu...
Article
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Background Ageing is highly associated with cognitive decline and modifiable risk factors such as diet are believed to protect against this process. Specific dietary components and in particular, (poly)phenol-rich fruits such as berries have been increasingly recognised for their protection against age-related neurodegeneration. However, the impact...
Article
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For decades, (poly)phenols have been linked to cardiometabolic health, but population heterogeneity limits their apparent efficacy and the development of tailored, practical protocols in dietary interventions. This heterogeneity is likely determined by the existence of different metabotypes, sub-populations of individuals metabolizing some classes...
Article
Scope The present study assesses the absorption, pharmacokinetics, and urinary excretion of coffee pyridines and their metabolites after daily regular exposure to specific dosages of coffee or cocoa-based products containing coffee (CBPCC), considering different patterns of consumption. Methods and results In a three-arm, crossover, randomized tri...
Article
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Scope: Epidemiological evidence suggests that a reduced risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) is correlated with high consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are major sources of fiber and phytochemicals, such as flavan-3-ols. However, it remains unknown how these phytochemicals and their specific gut-related metabolites may alter cancer cell behavi...
Article
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The aim of this work was to address whether the growing location of tomato could generate a different (poly)phenol profile able to affect both in vivo absorption and (poly)phenol metabolite pattern upon tomato consumption. uHPLC-MSⁿ analyses allowed to obtain a detailed (poly)phenol profile of tomatoes from two locations in Spain, quantifying 57 (p...
Article
Background: Previous studies indicate cardiovascular health benefits of cranberry juice consumption. However, whether daily consumption of whole cranberries will have sustained vascular benefits in healthy individuals is currently unknown. Objective:...
Article
The health properties related to onion intake are attributed mainly to the presence of bioactive compounds, particularly phenolic and organosulfur compounds (OSCs). The aim of this study was to investigate, for the first time, the effect of an in vitro colonic fermentation on the stability of phenolic and OSCs of fresh and black onion by ultra-high...
Article
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Introduction Personalised nutrition holds immense potential over conventional one-size-fits-all approaches for preventing and treating diet-related diseases, such as obesity. The current study aims to examine whether a personalised nutritional plan produces more favourable health outcomes than a standard approach based on general dietary recommenda...
Article
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Age-related injuries are often connected to alterations in redox homeostasis. The imbalance between free radical oxygen species and endogenous antioxidants defenses could be associated with a growing risk of transient ischemic attack and stroke. In this context, a daily supply of dietary antioxidants could counteract oxidative stress occurring duri...
Article
Scope: The study evaluated the influence of flavan-3-ol structure on the production of phenolic catabolites, principally phenyl-γ-valerolactones (PVLs) and phenylvaleric acids (PVAs). Methods and results: A set of 12 monomeric flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins (degree of polymerisation (DP) of 2-5), were fermented in vitro for 24 h using human...
Article
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This research analyzed the phytochemical profile of prickly pear fruits from ‘Orito’ cultivar stored under cold conditions (2 °C, 85–90% RH) and shelf-life conditions at room temperature (stored at 20 °C for three days after cold storage) for 28 days, mimicking the product life cycle. A total of 18 compounds were identified and quantitated through...
Article
Background and Aims Aleurone is the innermost layer of wheat bran, rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins, phenolic compounds, and betaine. The metabolic effects of aleurone rich foods are still unknown. Our aim was to investigate the effects of consuming a Wheat Aleurone rich diet vs. a Refined Wheat diet for 8 weeks on fasting and postprandial glycemi...
Article
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Although coffee consumption has been historically associated with negative health outcomes, recent evidence suggests a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes among regular coffee drinkers. Among the plethora of minor organic compounds assessed as potential mediators of coffee health benefits, trigonelline and its pyrolysis product N...
Article
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The contributing role of environmental factors to the development of neurodegenerative diseases has become increasingly evident. Here, we report that exposure of C6 glioma cells to diesel exhaust particles (DEPs), a major constituent of urban air pollution, causes intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. In this scenario, we suggest...
Article
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The effect of coffee and cocoa on oxidative damage to macromolecules has been investigated in several studies, often with controversial results. This study aimed to investigate the effect of one-month consumption of different doses of coffee or cocoa-based products containing coffee on markers of DNA damage and lipid peroxidation in young healthy v...
Article
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Scope Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegeneration characterized by extensive protein aggregation and deposition in the brain, associated with defective proteasomal and autophagic-lysosomal proteolytic pathways. Since current drugs can only reduce specific symptoms, the identification of novel treatments is a major concern in AD rese...
Article
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Youth obesity is a strong predictor of adult obesity, which has well-known negative health consequences. Thus, addressing adult obesity requires tackling youth obesity. MED4Youth's main objective is to strengthen the link between the Mediterranean Diet (MD) and the health benefits against youth obesity and associated cardiovascular disease (CVD) ri...
Article
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PurposeCoffee is an important source of bioactive compounds, including caffeine, trigonelline, and phenolic compounds. Several studies have highlighted the preventive effects of coffee consumption on major cardiometabolic (CM) diseases, but the impact of different coffee dosages on markers of CM risk in a real-life setting has not been fully unders...
Article
Prediction of retention times (RTs) is increasingly considered in untargeted metabolomics to complement MS/MS matching for annotation of unidentified peaks. We tested the performance of PredRet (http://predret.org/) to predict RTs for plant food bioactive metabolites in a data sharing initiative containing entry sets of 29–103 compounds (totalling...
Article
The role of pomegranate on folk medicine has been largely established and in recent years a notable increase of scientific support has occurred. However, what is real? Evidence suggests that phenolic phytochemicals of pomegranate fruit, mainly anthocyanins and ellagitannins, could exert multiple therapeutic properties on health management as playin...
Article
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Cocoa presents a high fat content and a unique fatty acid profile defining its technological and nutritional properties. This study evaluated the fat content and fatty acid composition of Nacional cocoas, a worldwide recognised "fine" variety, collected in 85 Ecuadorian farms while taking into account 3 geographical levels (region, province, and ca...
Article
Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) represent an important source of anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols and flavonols. This study aimed at investigating in vitro the human microbial metabolism of (poly)phenols, principally flavan-3-ols, of unformulated- and phytosome-formulated cranberry extracts. After powder characterization, a 24-h fermentation with hum...
Article
Alternariol is a mycotoxin produced by Alternaria spp. relevant to the food safety area due to its abundance in certain foods. The shortage of data on its toxicology, also as a part of chemical mixtures, prevents setting regulation to limit its abundance in food. To extend knowledge on the possible mechanisms underpinning alternariol toxicology in...
Chapter
This chapter comprehensively summarizes the most recent evidence regarding one of the largest and most representative flavonoid subclasses, namely flavan‐3‐ols. Flavan‐3‐ol monomers and polymers have been found to be present in several fruits, vegetables, and seeds and in widely consumed beverages, such as tea, red wine, and chocolate. For this rea...
Article
Scope Several studies suggest that regular coffee consumption may help preventing chronic diseases, but the impact of daily intake and the contribution of coffee metabolites in disease prevention are still unclear. The present study aimed at evaluating whether and how different patterns of coffee intake (one cup of espresso coffee/day, three cups o...
Article
Full-text available
Metabolomics is a powerful tool for investigating the association between nutrition and health status. Although urine is commonly employed for studying the metabolism and transformation of food components, the use of blood samples could be preferable to gain new insights into the bioavailability of diet-derived compounds and their involvement in he...
Article
The association between dietary consumption of fibre and health-related gut bacteria is essential but not unique. (Poly)phenols are among the most important bioactive components contained in fibre-rich foods. For this reason, the role of (poly)phenols when considering dietary fibres and health outcomes should be taken into account, as synergic or m...
Article
The consumption of orange juice provides high concentrations of health-promoting bioactive compounds, the amount of which may increase upon alcoholic fermentation. Although fermentation may offer new prospects for the industry of orange-related products, there is a lack of studies reporting the influence of controlled alcoholic fermentation on the...
Article
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There is a lack of focus on the protective health effects of phy-tochemicals in dietary guidelines. Although a number of chemical libraries and databases contain dietary phytochemicals belonging to the plant metabolome, they are not entirely relevant to human health because many constituents are extensively metabolized within the body following ing...
Article
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Quercetin is one of the main dietary flavonols, but its beneficial properties in disease prevention may be limited due to its scarce bioavailability. For this purpose, delivery systems have been designed to enhance both stability and bioavailability of bioactive compounds. This study aimed at investigating the human microbial metabolism of querceti...
Article
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Phytochemical compounds are non-nutrient secondary metabolites present in plant-based foods, e [...]
Article
Context: Recent studies have outlined the potential role of dietary factors in patients who have survived cancer. Objective: The aim of this study was to summarize the evidence of the relation between dietary intake of phytoestrogens and their blood biomarkers and, overall, cancer-specific mortality and recurrence in patients with cancer. Data...
Article
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Populations globally are ageing, leading to increased prevalence of cognitive dysfunction and dementia. Certain dietary patterns and/or nutritional components may have beneficial effects in helping to prevent or delay the onset of cognitive dysfunction in older adults. Flavan-3-ols, a complex subgroup of polyphenols (including catechins and proanth...
Article
Coffee is an important source of bioactive compounds, including caffeine, trigonelline, and phenolic compounds. Several studies have highlighted the preventive effects of coffee consumption on major cardiometabolic diseases, but the impact of coffee dosage on markers of cardiometabolic risk is not well understood. Moreover, the pool of coffee-deriv...
Article
Data from observational and interventional studies demonstrate the key role of diet on both human health and environmental sustainability. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the environmental impact of children's dietary behavior. In this regard, detailed information on population-level intakes is required to translate these findings...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Phenolic acids are important phenolic compounds widespread in foods, contributing to nutritional and organoleptic properties. Factors affceting individual variability The bioavailability of these compounds depends on their free or conjugated presence in food matrices, which is also affected by food processing. Phenolic acids undergo m...
Article
Flavanols intake positively influences several cardiometabolic risk factors in humans. However, the specific molecular mechanisms of action of flavanols, in terms of gene regulation, in the cell types relevant to cardiometabolic disease have never been systematically addressed. On this basis, we conducted a systematic literature review and a compre...
Article
Cranberries are a rich source of poly(phenols), mainly monomeric and oligomeric flavan-3-ols. However, information on the appearance of their main circulating microbial metabolites, namely phenyl-γ-valerolactones and phenylvaleric acid, is lacking despite its relevance to understand the health effects attributed to cranberries. The aim of this stud...
Article
Free download, Access your PDF reprints: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/authorreprints Manuscript ID: D0FO00350F Password: 626034 (this link will expire in 60 days from 26/05/2020) This study explored plasma levels and urinary and fecal excretion of metabolites and microbial-derived catabolites over a 24 h period following the ingestion of red wi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Diet has been the major focus of attention as a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, including mental health disorders. A large body of literature supports the hypothesis that there is a bidirectional association between sleep and diet quality, possibly via the modulation of neuro-inflammation, adult neurogenesis and syna...
Article
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Over the last decades, there has been a substantial increase in the prevalence of mental health disorders, including an increased prevalence of depression, anxiety, cognitive, and sleep disorders. Diet and its bioactive components have been recognized among the modifiable risk factors, possibly influencing their pathogenesis. This review aimed to s...
Article
Information on children’s diet including bioactive compounds is quite scarce. This observational study investigated the composition of the diet of children living in Parma (Italy; n = 172, 8–10 years) using 3-day food records completed in winter and spring. Mean daily intakes of food groups, energy and nutrients were obtained using the national foo...
Article
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Coffee capsules market is on the rise as it allows access to a wide selection of coffee, differing in taste and brand. However, few data about the chemical characterization of the capsule-brewed coffee aroma are available. In this work, an untargeted approach using headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled to gas chromatography–mass s...
Article
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) is the only edible plant recognized as a dietary source of curcuminoids, among which curcumin, demethoxycurcumin (DMC) and bis-demethoxycurcumin (Bis-DMC) are the most representative ones. Curcumin shows a very low systemic bioavailability and for this reason, several technologies have been adopted to improve it. These t...
Article
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Himanthalia elongata is a brown oceanic seaweed rich in bioactive compounds. It could play an important role in food production because of its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Three strains belonging to the Lactobacillus casei group (Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus) and a Bacillus subtilis strain w...
Article
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Despite an increasing level of evidence supporting the individual beneficial effect of polyphenols on cognitive performance, information related to the potential synergistic action of these phytonutrients on cognitive performance during a prolonged cognitive effort is currently lacking. This study investigated the acute and sustained action of a po...
Article
Full-text available
The interaction of leptin with its hepatic longest receptor (OBRb) promotes the phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3), protecting the liver from lipid accumulation. However, leptin signalling is disrupted in hepatic steatosis, causing leptin resistance. One promising strategy to combat this problem is the use...
Article
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Phenolic compounds have been recognized as promising compounds for the prevention of chronic diseases, including neurodegenerative ones. However, phenolics like flavan-3-ols (F3O) are poorly absorbed along the gastrointestinal tract and structurally rearranged by gut microbiota, yielding smaller and more polar metabolites like phenyl-γ-valerolacton...