Developing tools, guidance and supporting materials to scientifically substantiate health benefits of foods

Objectives

  • Develop guidance and tools to define the scientific substantiation of benefits of foods and food constituents for maintenance and improvement of health and wellness;
  • Identify factors and compounds to help ensure health claims can meet regulatory standards;
  • Help understand the role of the microbiome in metabolising food constituents and mediating health benefits of foods.

Scientific Impact

  • The Task Force, in conjunction with the recently completed Obesity & Diabetes Task Force, participated in the EU funded project ‘Pivotal Assessment of the Effects of Bioactives on the Health and Wellbeing, from Human genome to Food Industry’.
  • The joint web-seminar ‘Microbial   Metabolism Associated with Health’ was highlighted in the website of the EU’s joint Programming Initiative ‘A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life’.
  • The Task Force has a track record of scientific publications with a significant number of citations, dissemination events and publication of guidelines that help stakeholders to perform high quality human intervention studies related to foods.

For more detailed information, please contact Naomi Venlet at nvenlet@ilsieurope.be or Adam Coventry at acoventry@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members


*Scientific Advisor

Expert Groups

Health benefits of polyphenols mediated by gut microbiome modulation and/or activity of microbial polyphenol-derived metabolites

Background & Objectives
Polyphenol consumption (present in dark berries, cocoa, nuts and others) has been associated with several cardiometabolic and cognitive function benefits. However, the mechanism of action is often not fully understood.
The objective is to better understand this mechanism, investigating the effects of consumption of food related polyphenols and microbial polyphenol-derived metabolites on the gut microbiome and associated health benefits.

Output
The resulting systematic review will give a better understanding of the mechanism of action and characterisation of the food related polyphenols, as well as the required dose for health benefits. This review may help to design future human intervention studies.

Review of the Evidence Base for Population Targeted Protein Intake for Muscle Health

Background & Objectives
Evidence shows that there is a strong link between nutrition and muscle health, particularly with regards to protein intake.
However, there are still open questions regarding the optimum protein intake depending on both physical activity and age. The Expert Group aims to answer this question; clarifying whether existing data for muscle health of those population groups differ.

Output
The Expert Group expects to deliver a peer-reviewed publication that will give a better understanding of the optimum protein intake, especially across potentially vulnerable target groups for muscle health.

Identifying Preferred Approaches for Quantifying the Impact of Modifying Nutrient Intakes

Background & Objectives

Public health authorities are developing programs to reduce or increase the nutritional composition of foods.
These programs are supported by a wide variety of models used to estimate the public health and economic impact of some nutrition interventions. However, these models use different methodologies so results may differ.
In consequence, comparing the models and its results is difficult.
The Expert Group aims at reviewing and evaluating these existing models and at providing recommendations on how to apply selected models.

Output

The results of the Expert Group’s evaluation are contained in a systematic review. Moreover, the Health Benefits Assessment of Foods Task Force organised the workshop ‘Identifying Preferred Approaches for Quantifying the Health and Economic Impact of Modifying Nutrient Intakes’ (6-7 April 2017, Brussels, Belgium).
The outcome of both the systematic review and the workshop will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’ In collaboration with Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; Nutrition & Brain Health; Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces

Background & Objectives

Currently, half of the literature available on the gut-brain axis is state-of-the-art reviews or correlative studies and comprehensive mechanistic insights underlining the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain are lacking.
In this context, several Nutrition Task Forces decided to join forces to understand where we stand today regarding the mechanisms. Together the Task Forces will:

  • focus on translational aspects from pre-clinical to clinical studies;
  • focus on lifespan-related changes (but not diseaserelated) in gut structure and function which play a role in long-term immune and brain health;
  • discuss the nutritional and lifestyle interventions with positive impact on the lifespan gut structure/function and thus on immune and brain health.

Output

A workshop held in December 2019 brought together key experts from different fields of expertise to debate and discuss on the current knowledge and data gaps.
A perspective paper on this gap analysis is under construction. This publication will be followed by a series of web-seminars to discuss the identified gaps in more details.

Expert Group Members

Health benefits of polyphenols mediated by gut microbiome modulation and/or activity of microbial polyphenol-derived metabolites

Review of the Evidence Base for Population Targeted Protein Intake for Muscle Health

Identifying Preferred Approaches for Quantifying the Impact of Modifying Nutrient Intakes

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’ In collaboration with Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; Nutrition & Brain Health; Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces

Poster

ILSI Europe Marker Initiative: What Makes a Marker a Valid Marker?

Publications

Event Proceedings

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Multimedia

Health Benefits Assessment of Foods Task Force – One Pager

‘Webinar on Microbial Metabolism Associated with Health’, 12th April 2018