Lymphedema is a chronic inflammatory disorder caused by ineffective fluid uptake by the lymphatic system, with effects mainly on the lower limbs. This pathology may be classified as primary when caused by genetic mutations with typical Mendelian inheritance, or secondary when it is acquired following injury, infection, or surgery. The prevalence of primary and secondary lymphedema is 1/100,000 and 1/1000, respectively. Overall, lymphedema affects 140–250 million people worldwide.
The study of the biological basis of lymphedema could open new paths toward targeted therapies. This is possible using omics analysis aimed at identifying new associated genetic variants, new biomarkers, or through the study of the molecular pathways involved. Our research aims to use these data to then use natural molecules, such as olive tree polyphenols and bioflavonoids from citrus fruits, that may be able to modulate this pathology and that are contained in typical plants of the Mediterranean diet.
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