Interindividual variation in response to consumption of plant food bioactives and determinants involved POSITIVe COST Action (FA1403)

POSITIVE is a recently started network approved and funded by the COST organization in the field of Food & Agriculture. POSITIVE was launched on the 11th of December 2014 in Brussels and will run until the end of 2018. At present, it involves a total of 27 countries that will devote their work and cooperation to further understand the factors associated with human variability and its effects on the responsiveness to the intake of plant food bioactive compounds. The action is chaired by Dr. Christine Morand (INRA, France) and co-chaired by Dr Francisco Tomas-Barberan (CEBAS-CSIC, Spain) who will lead the network with the cooperation and help of a Management Committee (MC) and a Steering Committee (SC) formed by members of the Action.

Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases can be prevented, delayed or reduced by improving our eating habits. Increasing the consumption of plant foods rich in a range of compounds with potential beneficial effects (‘bioactive compounds’) is an important strategy to fight these chronic diseases. However, the translation of many promising preclinical results into human clinical trials has so far proven challenging mostly due to the large heterogeneity in individuals’ responsiveness to the intake of these compounds. Building a European multidisciplinary network, POSITIVe will specifically address this issue by tackling: 1) the between-subjects variability in human absorption and metabolism of these compounds (working group, WG1); 2) the variability in the response (bioactivity) of humans to the intake of these compounds (WG2) and 3) the translation of the results from WG1 and WG2 into applications relevant to the scientific community, food industry, public health regulatory authorities, health care professionals and the general public (consumers). The Action will also work and cooperate in the dissemination of results and information provided by the WGs (Focusing group, FG) and the training of young scientists (Short Scientific Missions, STMs). All these efforts will lead to a better understanding of the beneficial effects of plant bioactive compounds and their application against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and will position European researchers at the leadership in this field. It will also provide new scientific knowledge to regulatory authorities for specific dietary recommendations directed to population groups and to the European food industry for the development of new functional personalized foods.

Details about POSITIVe can be found at the website For the information related to the COST office at and COST Food and Agriculture Domine at

Dr Maria Glibetic




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