The “food-drug interactions” demonstrator

Exploring centralised information for potential food-drug interactions

Food and health are intimately related. In this regard, consumption of foods containing bioactive compounds, which have a role in reduced risk of non-communicable diseases (e.g., cancer, cardiovascular disease), has increased with the aim of maintaining health or preventing disease. Coupled with an ageing and poly-medicated European population, this raises concerns around the potential for interactions between foods and medicines.

However, current knowledge about these reactions in clinical practice is reported to be unsatisfactory. Therefore, tools to exploit the vast body of literature describing food-drug interactions are needed to support a range user communities (e.g., clinicians, dietitians) in understand more about the risks associated with food-drug interactions as well as future research (e.g., nutriomics researchers, bioinformaticians. The FooDrugs web tool was developed in the FNS-cloud project for user communities interested in potential food-drug interactions (FDIs). It is a bioinformatic tool that centralises information from different text documents and gene expression data on potential FDIs.

To demonstrate the utility of open access data for data reuse, we compiled a new dataset of potential FDIs based on available resources. To acheive this, we developed new analytical frameworks to extract food information from scientific documents. Then we created an open access and user-friendly resource to centralise information about potential FDIs, which was lacking in the field. The FooDrugs database and online platform were born! Learn more about these resources below. 👇👇👇

FooDrugs database

The FooDrugs database stores information extracted from text documents and gene expression data for potential food-drug interactions. 

FooDrugs hosts information for a total of 439338 text documents for 50,960 foods or bioactive compounds extracted from PubMed, Drug-Drug interaction corpus (Herrero-Zazo M et al, 2013) and In addition, it stores 150 gene expression  GEO series with 462 conditions for 293 food or bioactive compounds, each condition is defined as a food/biocomponent per time point, per concentration, per cell line, or primary culture, with the similarity scores for 6,395 perturbagens, including 2,545 drug compounds.

The FooDrugs database is publicly accessible from Zenodo, the FooDrugs platform and the FNS-Cloud Data Catalogue.

Developed by the Computational Biology Group at IMDEA Food Institute (Madrid, Spain).

FooDrugs online platform

The online platform is a go-to application that allows clinicians, nutritionists or researchers to quickly and easily access the data stored in the FooDrugs database for potential FDIs information.

The application is organised in 4 different tools: 1) The text documents search tool allows to explore potential FDIs in documents; 2) The food transcriptomic tool supports researcher to identify gene expression experiments of interest; 3) The Food Gene Set tool allows to explore those genes related with bioactive or food conditions; 4) Food-Drug gene expression similarity allows researchers to explore gene expression similarities between food and drug molecular profiles.

In addition, the application links to FooDrugs resources (e.g: database or code) and video tutorials about the usage of different tools are provided.

The FooDrugs platform is publicly accessible at or from the FNS-Cloud Tools Catalogue.

Developed by the Computational Biology Group at IMDEA Food Institute (Madrid, Spain)

Target audience

FooDrugs is designed for clinicians, nutritionists and researchers working with bioactives, food supplements and personalised nutrition.

Related publications:
Related media:
Use cases:

Three use cases were developed to demonstrate how to use the tool:

  1. How to explore potential food-drug interactions in text documents from the FooDrugs database
  2. How to explore information on similar gene signatures between foods and drugs
  3. How to access information for the food transcriptomic studies and gene expression profiles stored in FooDrugs database

The three video tutorials demonstrating these use cases are available on the help page of the tool.

Food Nutrition Security Cloud (FNS-Cloud) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (H2020-EU. – A sustainable and competitive agri-food industry) under Grant Agreement No. 863059. Information and views set out across this website are those of the Consortium and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion or position of the European Union. Neither European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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