Novel Natural Products for Healthy Ageing from the Mediterranean Diet and Food Plants of Other Global Sources-The MediHealth Project

Molecules. 2018 May 6;23(5):1097. doi: 10.3390/molecules23051097.


There is a rapid increase in the percentage of elderly people in Europe. Consequently, the prevalence of age-related diseases will also significantly increase. Therefore, the main goal of MediHealth, an international research project, is to introduce a novel approach for the discovery of active agents of food plants from the Mediterranean diet and other global sources that promote healthy ageing. To achieve this goal, a series of plants from the Mediterranean diet and food plants from other origins are carefully selected and subjected to in silico, cell-based, in vivo (fly and mouse models), and metabolism analyses. Advanced analytical techniques complement the bio-evaluation process for the efficient isolation and identification of the bioactive plant constituents. Furthermore, pharmacological profiling of bioactive natural products, as well as the identification and synthesis of their metabolites, is carried out. Finally, optimization studies are performed in order to proceed to the development of innovative nutraceuticals, dietary supplements or herbal medicinal products. The project is based on an exchange of researchers between nine universities and four companies from European and non-European countries, exploiting the existing complementary multidisciplinary expertise. Herein, the unique and novel approach of this interdisciplinary project is presented.

Keywords: MediHealth; Mediterranean diet; bioavailability; food plants; healthy ageing; metabolites; natural products; pharmacology; phytochemistry; synthetic chemistry.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Biological Products / chemistry*
  • Biological Products / pharmacokinetics
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Dietary Supplements / analysis*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology
  • Healthy Aging / drug effects*
  • Healthy Aging / physiology
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • International Cooperation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nutritional Sciences / instrumentation
  • Nutritional Sciences / methods
  • Phytochemicals / chemistry
  • Phytochemicals / isolation & purification*
  • Plants, Edible / chemistry*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry


  • Biological Products
  • Phytochemicals