Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Why nutrition  in early life matters?

Task Force Information

Objectives and list of Task Force members

Contact Information

Contact details in case you have specific questions

Activity Overview

Overview of ongoing and upcoming activities

Expert Groups

Objectives, output and list of experts involved in each activity

Publications

List of publications of this
Task Force

Multimedia

Links to Task Force related documents, recordings and much more...

Completed Expert Groups

Details including experts involved of
each activity

Task Force Information

Objectives

The Task Force aims at providing scientific evidence to support guidelines for maternal and infant nutrition to ensure life-time optimal health. It also identifies risk factors for obesity and other health consequences at the earliest stages of life.

Task Force Members

Contact Information

For more detailed information, please contact Ching-Yu Chang at cchang@ilsieurope.be or Belinda Antonio at bantonio@ilsieurope.be

Activity Overview

Review and Gap Analysis of Factors Affecting Body Composition in Fetal Life, Infancy and Childhood and Association to Long-Term Health - Ongoing -

Objectives

This activity will review the available evidence on the factors that influence body composition during fatal life, infancy and childhood and on the association of body composition with long-term health outcomes. In addition, a gap analysis will be performed to outline future research needs.

Scientific review on biomarkers in early life (prenatal - infancy) to predict childhood obesity risk and metabolic health - Ongoing -

Objectives

The aim of the activity is to review biomarkers in early life that could be used to predict development of childhood obesity and metabolic health. This prediction may drive development and knowledge of personalized (infant) nutrition. The focus of the activity will be on both invasive and non-invasive, perinatal and postnatal biomarkers.

Lipid quality in early life nutrition - Upcoming -

Objectives

The activity aims to generate an overview of the dietary lipid quality in the first year of life and to what extent this brings or relates to health benefits to its consumers with a particular focus on exploring appropriate intake levels of SFA and MUFA.

Expected results

Peer-reviewed journal article (‘white paper’).
The content will cover expert insights and hopefully a concluding consensus on the FA profile of first year of life diet. It will identify knowledge gaps and outline plans for future research and possibly a basis for new EFSA recommendations.

Expert Groups

Review and Gap Analysis of Factors Affecting Body Composition in Fetal Life, Infancy and Childhood and Association to Long-Term Health

Background and Objectives

The clinical significance of differences in body composition (fat, bone and muscle) during fatal life, infancy and childhood on long-term health is currently not known. This activity aims to: review current evidence on the impact of life factors on body composition during infancy and childhood; test for association between body composition at infancy and childhood and long term health outcomes; Perform a gap analysis outlining areas where evidence needs to be generated

Output

These data will be compiled in a peer-reviewed publication with the purpose of informing scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders on knowledge gaps and research directions. Further, the outcomes will provide insight on critical periods of life where body composition measurement should be included to identify at-risk populations.

Expert Group Members

 

Scientific review on biomarkers in early life (prenatal - infancy) to predict childhood obesity risk and metabolic health

Background and Objectives

The aim of the activity is to review biomarkers in early life that could be used to predict development of childhood obesity and metabolic health. The activity will focus on invasive and non-invasive, perinatal and postnatal biomarkers. This activity aims to:
  • Summarise the current evidence for early life (perinatal and postnatal) biomarkers that are able to predict childhood obesity and related metabolic health.
  • Emphasise relevance of combining conventional predictive markers (e.g. early weight gain) with novel applications of metabolomics, epigenetics and microbiota profiling. It will help to more accurately and effectively identify infants at risk to develop obesity.
  • Emphasise importance of validity and reliability of identified biomarkers for application of such biomarkers in (daily) practice.

Output

The highlighted (recent) findings in the development of biomarkers for early life prediction of metabolic health could be used to guide risk prediction and stratification. This prediction may drive development and knowledge of personalised (infant) nutrition to reduce the risk of childhood obesity. Researchers should become aware of the urgency to develop and validate new predictive biomarkers that are both easily detectable and responsive to nutritional interventions.

Expert Group Members

Carbohydrates in Toddlers’ Nutrition

Joint activity in collaboration with Dietary Carbohydrates Task Force

Background and Objectives

The aim of this work is to compile and systematically review the current evidence from primarily intervention studies as well as observational studies and further suitable information on physiological and health outcomes of digestible and non-digestible carbohydrates consumption for toddlers (1-3 years meaning from 12 till 47 months). With this activity, the task force expects to identify the gaps in research on knowledge of digestible carbohydrates and NDCs in relation to safety, physiological outcomes, and health benefits and to provide recommendations to the scientific community about how to fill these gaps.

Output

The resulting scientific publications and webinars will aim at assessing and providing with evidence to the global scientific community.

Expert Group Members

Publications

All Publications

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Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation

Prebiotics

Probiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH and NUTRITION AND CONSUMER SCIENCE

The gut and brain link via various metabolic and signalling pathways, each with the potential to influence mental, brain and cognitive health. Over the past decade, the involvement of the gut microbiota in gut-brain communication has become the focus of increased scientific interest, establishing the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a field of research. There is a growing number of association studies exploring the gut microbiota's possible role in memory, learning, anxiety, stress, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, attention is now turning to how the microbiota can become the target of nutritional and therapeutic strategies for improved brain health and well-being. However, while such strategies that target the gut microbiota to influence brain health and function are currently under development with varying levels of success, still very little is yet known about the triggers and mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota's apparent influence on cognitive or brain function and most evidence comes from pre-clinical studies rather than well controlled clinical trials/investigations. Filling the knowledge gaps requires establishing a standardised methodology for human studies, including strong guidance for specific focus areas of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the need for more extensive biological sample analyses, and identification of relevant biomarkers. Other urgent requirements are new advanced models for in vitro and in vivo studies of relevant mechanisms, and a greater focus on omics technologies with supporting bioinformatics resources (training, tools) to efficiently translate study findings, as well as the identification of relevant targets in study populations. The key to building a validated evidence base rely on increasing knowledge sharing and multi-disciplinary collaborations, along with continued public-private funding support. This will allow microbiota-gut-brain axis research to move to its next phase so we can identify realistic opportunities to modulate the microbiota for better brain health.

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.

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Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health

Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation

Prebiotics

Probiotics

GUT MICROBIOME AND HEALTH and NUTRITION AND CONSUMER SCIENCE

The gut and brain link via various metabolic and signalling pathways, each with the potential to influence mental, brain and cognitive health. Over the past decade, the involvement of the gut microbiota in gut-brain communication has become the focus of increased scientific interest, establishing the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a field of research. There is a growing number of association studies exploring the gut microbiota's possible role in memory, learning, anxiety, stress, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, attention is now turning to how the microbiota can become the target of nutritional and therapeutic strategies for improved brain health and well-being. However, while such strategies that target the gut microbiota to influence brain health and function are currently under development with varying levels of success, still very little is yet known about the triggers and mechanisms underlying the gut microbiota's apparent influence on cognitive or brain function and most evidence comes from pre-clinical studies rather than well controlled clinical trials/investigations. Filling the knowledge gaps requires establishing a standardised methodology for human studies, including strong guidance for specific focus areas of the microbiota-gut-brain axis, the need for more extensive biological sample analyses, and identification of relevant biomarkers. Other urgent requirements are new advanced models for in vitro and in vivo studies of relevant mechanisms, and a greater focus on omics technologies with supporting bioinformatics resources (training, tools) to efficiently translate study findings, as well as the identification of relevant targets in study populations. The key to building a validated evidence base rely on increasing knowledge sharing and multi-disciplinary collaborations, along with continued public-private funding support. This will allow microbiota-gut-brain axis research to move to its next phase so we can identify realistic opportunities to modulate the microbiota for better brain health.

To download this open-access article, please click here.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.

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Multimedia

Workshop ‘Health Relevance of Lowering Postprandial Glycaemia in Children and Adolescents through Diet’
Watch the recordings

Completed Expert Groups