MyNewGut project leader professor Yolanda Sanz told us the gut microbiome was a frontier where much remained to be learned – about its composition, difference between individuals, functioning, the influence of nutrition and, perhaps most importantly, its effect on the health of other bodily systems and functions.
“The way that we have designed the studies we expect to able to progress in the identification of bacteria that together can work for our metabolic health …to modulate the function of the microbiome and bring benefits,” professor Sanz said.
“Food companies will be able to use the knowledge that we develop.”
Professor Sanz is a senior researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), part of the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA). She will outline the 5-year project’s status one year after it began at the Probiota congress in Amsterdam next week.
Epidemiological and intervention studies are being conducted with adults, infants and children from EU countries like France, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Ireland and Spain. Nutritional inputs include prebiotics and probiotics.
“There are many bacteria in the gut and we know little about their function in most of the case so there are really thousands of opportunities to exploit these bacteria for promoting our health – we are really at the very beginning,” said professor Sanz.
“We hope to be able to make real progress between specific bacteria and disease cause-effect relationships.”
MyNewGut’s stated aims are:
- Investigate the role of the gut microbiome and its specific components in nutrient metabolism and energy balance.
- Understand the influence of environmental factors on the gut microbiome, in pregnancy and during a baby’s development, and its impact on brain, immune system and metabolic health.
- Identify specific gut microbiome components and associated metabolic functions that contribute to and predict obesity, eating disorders and co-morbidities.
- Develop new food ingredients and food prototypes – by collaborating with EU food industry – that target the gut ecosystem and contribute to reducing the risks of metabolic- and brain-related disorders.
Partners from 15 countries include Reading, Copenhagen, Michigan and Auckland universities; the European Food Information Council (EUFIC); Lallemand, Barilla, Cargill; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia and Loman Food Consulting in the Netherlands.
A full list of partners can be found here.
Professor Sanz is also vice-chair of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) health claims panel.
Pre- and probiotics will be discussed at Probiota 2015 in Amsterdam on February 3-5 – less than a month away.
From the next wave of prebiotics to the future of microbiome science beyond probiotics and prebiotics, to the nutrients’ effect on mood and anxiety, and strategies on pre- and probiotic market building, Probiota 2015 is a knowledge store you probably shouldn’t miss.
Click here for more.