Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition


Epidemiology and Public Health Programme

Group Leader

Montserrat Fitó Colomer

The Mediterranean diet, its foods and the interaction of its nutrients, have healthy effects on morbidity and mortality related to chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.

In this context, the main objective of our research is to determine the benefit of a healthy diet pattern and some characteristic foods (including olive oil and wine) on different cardiovascular risk factors. We also focus on lifestyle habits including diet and physical activity on obesity (both in children and adults), diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. The health effects of bariatric surgery on cardiovascular risk factors and cardiometabolic diseases, are also among our aims.

Based on the knowledge of underlying mechanisms beyond the diet benefits, progress is being made in research of the classical and emerging risk factors for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. One of our main research lines is focused on HDL and ApoB-containing particles.

Firstly, it is becoming increasingly more accepted that the biological functions of HDL are more indicative of the cardioprotective role of these particles than the quantity of HDL cholesterol. Reduced values of the most relevant HDL function (its ability to pick up cholesterol from peripheral cells, the cholesterol efflux) have been shown to be linked to a high risk of sub-clinical atherosclerosis and high incidence of coronary events. Our group was the first to report the protective effect of a healthy dietary pattern (a Mediterranean Diet enriched with virgin olive oil) and real-life doses of virgin olive oil on HDL functions.

Secondly, we are also interested in the residual risk factor linked to the atherogenicity of ApopB-containing particles such as LDL and triglyceride-rich lipoproteins.

 Research group


David Benaiges Boix (Researcher)

Olga Castañer Niño (Researcher)

Juan José Chillarón Jordán (Researcher)

Juana Antonia Flores Le Roux (Researcher)

Albert Goday Arno (Researcher)

Camille Lassale (Researcher)

Gemma Llauradó Cabot (Researcher)

Helmut Schröder (Researcher)

Montserrat Villatoro Moreno (Researcher)

Albert Sanllorente Melenchón (PhD Student)

Gemma Blanchart Cuella (Technician)

Daniel Muñoz Aguayo (Technician)

Ana Isabel Quindós Sendino (Technician)

María Dolores Zomeño Fajardo (Technician)

Anna Maria Blasco Lapuente (Research Assistant)


Main PublicationsOngoing Research ProjectsParticipation in Research NetworksThesesAwardsOutreach 


Main Publications

• Hernáez A, Sanllorente A, Castañer O, Martínez-González MÁ, Ros E, Pintó X, Estruch R, Salas-Salvadó J, Corella D, Alonso-Gómez ÁM, Serra-Majem L, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Gómez-Gracia E, de la Torre R, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Fitó. M. Increased Consumption of Virgin Olive Oil, Nuts, Legumes, Whole Grains, and Fish Promotes HDL Functions in Humans. Mol Nutr Food Res 2019; 63(6): e1800847. IF 4.653. D1.

• Cárdenas-Fuentes G, Subirana I, Martínez-González MA, Salas-Salvadó J, Corella D, Estruch R, Fitó M, Muñoz-Bravo C, Fiol M, Lapetra J, Aros F, Serra-Majem L, Tur JA, Pinto X, Ros E, Coltell O, Díaz-López A, Ruiz-Canela M, Schröder H. Multiple approaches to associations of physical activity and adherence to the Mediterranean diet with all-cause mortality in older adults: the PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea study. Eur J Nutr 2019; 58(4): 1569-1578. IF 4.449. Q1.

• Farràs M, Arranz S, Carrión S, Subirana I, Muñoz D, Blanchart G, Kool M, Solà R, Motilva MJ, Escolà-Gil JC, Rubió L, Fernández-Castillejo S, Pedret A, Estruch R, Covas MI, Fitó M, Hernáez A, Castañer O. A Functional Virgin Olive Oil Enriched with Olive Oil and Thyme Phenolic Compounds Improves the Expression of Cholesterol Efflux-Related Genes: A Randomized, Crossover, Controlled Trial. Nutrients 2019; 11(8): E1732. IF 4.171. Q1.

• Julià H, Benaiges D, Mollà P, Pedro-Botet J, Villatoro M, Fontané L, Ramon JM, Climent E, Flores Le Roux JA, Goday A. Changes in Thyroid Replacement Therapy after Bariatric Surgery: Differences between Laparoscopic Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy. Obes Surg 2019; 29(8): 2593-2599. IF 3.603. Q1.

   See all Publications


Ongoing Research Projects

• Integridad neurovascular y desarrollo de demencia: Efecto neuroprotector de las lipoproteínas de alta densidad y marcadores asociados

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI17/00214)

- Period: from 2018 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Castañer Niño, Olga

• Efecto de intervenciones sobre el estilo de vida, basadas en dieta y actividad física, sobre la dislipemia aterogénica en pacientes con síndrome metabólico

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (PI18/00020)

- Period: from 2019 to 2021

- Principal investigator: Fitó Colomer, Montserrat

• Ensayo clínico controlado con grupos paralelos para evaluar el efecto in vivo del pan EliasBoulanger de larga fermentación (pan EBLF) comparado con pan industrial de corta fermentación (pan CF) en pacientes con síndrome metabólico

- Financing institution: Agencia Estatal de Investigación. Convocatoria RETO-Colaboración

- Period: from 2018 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Fitó Colomer, Montserrat

• Microbiota intestinal como mecanismo implicado en el efecto “halo” en familiares de pacientes con obesidad grave

- Financing institution: Societat Catalana d'Endocrinologia i Nutrició

- Period: from 2019 to 2020

- Principal investigator: Goday Arno, Albert

   See all Projects


Participation in Research Networks

• CIBEROBN: Fisiopatología de la Obesidad y Nutrición

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (CB06/03/0028)

- Period: from 2013

- Principal investigator: Fitó Colomer, Montserrat

• CIBERESP: Fisiopatología de Salud Pública y Epidemiología

- Financing institution: Fondo de Investigación Sanitaria. ISCIII (CB06/03/0028)

- Period: from 2013

- Principal investigator: Schröder, Helmut



• Soria-Florido MT. Role and predictive value of the HDL function for cardiovascular disease in a high risk population. HDL function-linked markers and mechanisms. Universitat de Barcelona

- Director: Fitó Colomer, Montserrat

- Date of defense: 11/01/2019

• Parri A. Influencia de la educación nutricional, hábitos de estilo de vida obesogénicos y predictores de pérdida de peso en pacientes con obesidad grave incluidos en un programa de cirugía bariátrica. Universitat de Barcelona

- Director: Goday Arno, Albert

- Date of defense: 13/11/2019

• Cárdenas-Fuentes G. Association of physical activity with cardiovascular risk factors and all-cause mortality in older Spanish individuals. Universitat Pompeu Fabra

- Director: Schröder, Helmut

- Date of defense: 24/04/2019




• PREDIMEDPlus Team (IP: Montserrat Fitó Colomer). Second prize “NAOS Strategy Award to all PREDIMED-PLUS” Team within the Health Sector. Agencia Española de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición. 2019.



Conferences, Seminars and Courses

• Montserrat Fitó Colomer. Session group: Gastronomy: great driver of fish consumption. Forum pesca dieta mediterránea. Organització de Productors Pesquers de Sant Carles de la Ràpita and Confraria de Pescadors Verge del Carme de Sant Carles de la Ràpita, in collaboration with Ajuntament de Sant Carles de la Ràpita and Fundació Dieta Mediterrània. Sant Carles de la Ràpita, 4-5 April 2019.

Dissemination to Society and Initiatives of Citizen Participation

• Montserrat Fitó Colomer. Health benefits of the Mediterranean diet: Myth or reality? Closing speech of the Curs de Nutrició del programa Bojos per la Ciència. Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge, 30 November 2019.

• Workshop on Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Risk. CARIN Group. Open Day of the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB), 5 October 2019.

• Montse Fitó, Dolors Zomeño, Alejandra Pérez, Olga Castañer, Dani Muñoz, Helmut Schröder. Open seminar to the altruistic public of the call regarding the current project of “La Marató TV3”. 19 March and 21 May 2019.

• Nutritional session and the Nutriscore for the PRBB Staff. Health week at the Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona (PRBB). 8-17 November 2019.

• Montse Fitó, Dani Muñoz, Albert Sanllorente. Excursion through the different stages of a research project. Students of the Secretary Coloma Institute visit the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Risk and Nutrition Group. ACCÉS Project (Bringing Science Closer to Secondary Schools) included in the Escolab Project. Barcelona Science Programme of the Institute of Culture. 21 March 2019.

• Theatre play organized by the CARIN Group for nutritional advice and lifestyle for the PREDIMEDplus Study participants. October 2019.











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