In-depth analyses of probiotic benefits, mechanisms and challenges aiming to advance probiotic knowledge at large for the benefit of consumer health

Strategic vision

The task force plans to provide recommendations for beneficial probiotics usage for various target groups. 

Background

Probiotic bacteria may be defined as ‘live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host’ (Hill et al., 2014). Consumers, the scientific community, regulators and the food and dietary supplement industry show increasing interest in these microorganisms and their health benefits.

Objectives

Increase scientific understanding, awareness of the real impact of probiotics direct/indirect benefits on health. 

Achieved Results

  • Prebiotics, probiotics and gut microbiota concise monograph cited 99 times and translated to Japanese and Portuguese 
  • The output of the expert group on ‘Mechanism of Probiotics Action’ has been disseminated at the Beneficial Microbes Conference 2018 and at Probiota 2019.

Scientific Impact

This Expert Group has widely contributed to the scientific literature in the field. Some of the latest contributions:

For more detailed information, please contact Michela Miani at mmiani@ilsieurope.be or Toula Aslanidis at taslanidis@ilsieurope.be

Task Force Members

*Scientific Advisor

Expert Groups

Prediction of individual responses to prebiotics and probiotics intervention (collaboration with Prebiotics task force) NEW

Background & Objectives

Individuals show a broad range of responses to dietary interventions and vary widely in their susceptibility to nutritional challenges or stressors. Consequently, anticipating individual-specific responses to a given pre- or probiotic intervention and selection of the most appropriate target population for demonstrating the benefits of such an intervention is challenging.

This activity will review state-of-the-art in silico, in vitro, and in vivo approaches for the rational design and testing of personalized interventions. The main objective is to provide a path forward, highlighting tools and approaches that enable personalized pre/probiotic interventions that improve human health and well-being.

Output
The outcome of this activity will be a perspective paper, expected to propose a way forward and novel approaches to optimize target population stratification for nutritional interventions based on individual gut microbiota differences.

Mapping of probiotics and their activities in the small intestine – NEW

Background & Objectives
The knowledge of probiotics activity in humans is predominantly based on a reflection of what can be gathered in stool samples. However, many diseases have their origin in or are associated with the small intestine, such as certain diarrhoeas, auto-immune and celiac disease and metabolic syndrome.

The aim of this activity is to look at the different barriers functions, microbial composition and physiology of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum), models and technologies currently available to assess survival and understand how probiotics interact and act on this part of the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract.

Output
This activity will lead to a better understanding of the mode of action of probiotics in the small intestine, and to identify the most important gaps that still need to be filled. Ultimately, the knowledge gained from this project should help improve clinical research on probiotic efficacy.

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

Prediction of individual responses to prebiotics and probiotics intervention (collaboration with Prebiotics task force) NEW

Mapping of probiotics and their activities in the small intestine – NEW

Joint Nutrition Cluster Activity on ‘Mechanistic Insights into the Gut-Brain Axis’ – In collaboration with Early-Life and Long-Term Health; Health Benefits Assessment of Foods; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; and Nutrition, Mental Performance & Prebiotics Task Forces  New

Posters

Monitoring Immune Modulation by Nutrition in General Population: Identifying and Substantiating Effects on Human Health

Exploring the Interactions between Probiotics and Health

Publications

All Publications

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