Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación


"PILCHARDUS” is a clinical research project spurred by CIBERDEM that aims to test the hypothesis that a sardine-rich diet can improve metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


To evaluate the effects of a sardine-rich diet on blood glucose control, inflammation markers, blood pressure, lipid metabolism and intestinal microbiota in patients with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes or patients not undergoing pharmacological treatment.

Fifty-three patients were included in the study. They were randomly divided into two groups: the intervention group (sardine diet) and the control group (normal diet). The diet consists of replacing part of the daily protein intake with 100 g of sardines, 5 times a week for 6 months.

The main results that will be obtained with the study will determine the effect of long-term sardine intake on glucose levels and glycated haemoglobin values. It will also allow obtaining information concerning its effects on inflammation markers and cardiovascular risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes (blood pressure and lipid profile).

The study will provide new scientific knowledge in the field of nutrition in diabetes, which will contribute to outlining future applications in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, allowing making sardine-based diet recommendations for patients with diabetes and other metabolic diseases associated with obesity. Considering the expected increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the years ahead, the results of this novel study will have an impact at the public health level, since the bases for outlining new studies in the field of nutritional strategies in type 2 diabetes will be created.


  • October 2011- November 2012: Sardine product study design and development (Fundación Alicia).
  • November 2012- November 2013: Patient recruitment and study implementation.
  • November 2013- February 2014: Result analysis and presentation.


  • Coordinator - Ramon Gomis, Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona.
  • Participating research groups: Rafael Simó (Hospital de la Vall d’Hebrón, Barcelona), Gemma Rojo (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Anna Novials (Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona), Xavier Correig (Plataforma Metabolómica, Tarragona).
  • Other members: Mariona Balfegó (Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona), Silvia Canivell (Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona), Natalia Colomo (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Maria Fontalba (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Elena González Ruano (Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona), Mercedes Guerrero (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Francisca Linares (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Olga Mestres (Hospital Vall d’Hebrón, Barcelona), Teresa Mur (CAP Terrassa Sud), Serafín Murillo (Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, Barcelona), Nuria Porras (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Gemma Rojo (Hospital Carlos Haya, Málaga), Silvia Valladares (Hospital Vall d’Hebrón, Barcelona).
  • Collaborators: Fundación Alicia, Fundación Catalunya-La Pedrera, Conservas Cerqueira S.A.

The implementation of this project was possible as a result of the collaboration of Fundación Catalunya-La Pedrera, the Galician fish-canning company, Cerqueira, and Fundación Alícia, a food research centre led by Chef Ferran Adrià who has designed the products for a sardine-based dietary intervention.