• Contact email:
    • Group leader: Javier Fontecha Alonso

Group members


  • Javier Fontecha Alonso (IC, CSIC)
  • Manuela Juárez Iglesias (“ad honorem” Professor, CSIC)
  • María del Carmen Martín Hernández (CT, CSIC)
  • María Visitación Calvo Garrido (TSATP G1, CSIC)

Postdoctoral Staff

  • Alba García Serrano
  • Cristina Santurino Fontecha

Support Staff

  • Elena Maroto Estabiel (FP-Dual)
  • Javier Megino Tello (Youth Guarantee)

Research summary

Dietary lipids, in addition to providing energy support or participate in the formation of cell membranes, are essential biomolecules in multiple metabolic pathways where they exert regulatory functions in transduction and signalling processes. Likewise, imbalances in lipid metabolism cause a large number of diseases with high mortality and morbidity, such as cardiovascular, inflammatory and cognitive disorders, among many others. Therefore, the ability to evaluate the role of certain lipids in disease prevention and health promotion requires accurate and reliable biomarkers that reflect changes due to exposure to nutrients and their functional effects.

logo_blasAlthough the lipid biomarkers most accepted by the scientific community are those that determine the risk reduction of disease, in recent years the concept of “biomarker of health” has emerged. These biomarkers will therefore be the basis of the competitive, economic and social development of the food-health sector under the regulation of the healthy properties of food.

Our studies are related to the development of functional foods (mainly dairy products), by improving the characteristics of their lipid fraction, to meet the basic nutritional needs and the demands of healthier and safer foods. These studies are carried out through dietary interventions in animal and human models, and allow to correlate, through analytical tools, the variations that occur both physiologically and in biological fluids and tissues with the consumption of a food or ingredient.

Line of research: Strategies for the enrichment of minor lipid components with high biological activity such as CLA, Omega-3 acids, phospholipids and sphingolipids, for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, age-related mild cognitive impairment and improvement of cognitive development of newborns.

Highlighted publications

  • Javier Fontecha and Manuela Juarez. (2017). Recent advances in dairy ingredients and cardiovascular diseases with special reference to milk fat components, pags 251-259. In Book: Milk in Human Health and Disease across the Lifespan. Academic Press, Elsevier Editors: Ronald Watson, Robert J. Collier, and Victor R. Preedy. ISBN: 978-0-12-809868-4
  • C. Santurino, M.V. Calvo, C. Gómez-Candela, J. Fontecha. (2017). Characterization of naturally goat cheese enriched in conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids for human clinical trial in overweight and obese subjects. Pharma nutrition 5 (8-17)
  • Castro-Gómez P, Montero O, Fontecha J. In-Depth Lipidomic analysis of molecular species of triacylglycerides, diacylglycerides, glycerophospholipids, and sphingolipids of buttermilk by GC-MS/FID, HPLC-ELSD, and UPLC-QToF-MS. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Mar 10;18(3). pii: E605. doi: 10.3390/ijms18030605.
  • Castro-Gómez, P.; Rodriguez-Alcalá, L.M.; Monteiro, K. M.; Ruiz, A. L. T; Carvalho, J. E.; Fontecha J. (2016). Antiproliferative activity of buttermilk lipid fractions isolated using food grade and non-food grade solvents on human cancer cell lines. Food Chemistry 212:695-702
  • Castro-Gómez P; García-Serrano A; Visioli F, Fontecha J. Relevance of dietary glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids to human health. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes & Essential Fatty Acids. 101:41–51 (2015).