Group members


  • Javier Fontecha Alonso (IC, CSIC)
  • María Visitación Calvo Garrido (TSATP M3, CSIC)

Postdoctoral Staff

  • Veronica Gallo

Predoctoral Staff

  • Víctor Mendoza Grimau
  • María Señorans Martínez

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

  • Pérez-Gálvez A, Calvo MV, Aguayo-Maldonado J, Fontecha J. An integrative approach of an in vitro measurement of the digestibility of triacylglycerols of human milk. Molecules 2021, 26, 1935. doi:10.3390/molecules26071935
  • Calvo MV, Martín-Hernández MC, García-Serrano A, Castro-Gómez MP, Alonso-Miravalles L, García-Martín M, Megino-Tello J, Alonso L, Fontecha J. 2020. Comprehensive characterization of neutral and polar lipids of buttermilk from different sources and its milk fat globule membrane isolates. Food Compos. Anal. 86, 103386.
  • García-Serrano A, Tomé-Carneiro J, Crespo MC, Calvo MV, Pereda-Pérez I, Baliyan S, Burgos-Ramos E, Montero O, Dávalos A, Venero C, Visioli F, Fontecha J. 2020. Concentrates of buttermilk and krill oil improve spatial memory in aged rats. PLEFA, 102077. Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids DOI: 10.1016/j.plefa.2020.102077
  • Fontecha J, Calvo MV, Juarez M, Gil A, Martínez-Vizcaino V. 2019. Milk and dairy product consumption and cardiovascular diseases: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Advances in Nutrition 10 (suppl_2) :S164–S189. doi:10.1093/advances/nmy099
  • Pérez-Gálvez A, Jarén-Galán M, Garrido-Fernández J, Calvo MV, Visioli F, Fontecha J. 2018. Activities, bioavailability and metabolism of lipids from milk fat globule membranes: promising research on mild cognitive impairment. Pharmacol Res 134: 299-304. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2018.07.013