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

Objectives

Consumers, the scientific community, regulators and the food and dietary supplement industry show increasing interest in probiotics and their health benefits. The attention of the task force is thus focused on the understanding of the role of probiotics in health and disease, their mechanisms of action while increasing awareness of their direct/indirect benefits on health.

Impact

  • This task force has widely contributed to the scientific literature in the field. Some of the latest works focused on understanding the mode of action of probiotics and how it can drive the translational pipeline towards more reliable health benefits for probiotics.
  • Together with the Prebiotic Task force, the concise monograph ‘Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota’ is being updated, the first edition was cited about 100 times.
  • The ‘Gut Barrier Function’ expert group  produced 3 manuscripts (P.A. Bron et al., 2017, J.M. Wells et al., 2016, and J. Köning et al., 2016) that have been cited altogether more than 700 times.

For more detailed information, please contact Naomi Venlet at nvenlet@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 (in 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 personalised interventions. The main objective is to provide a path forward, highlighting tools and approaches that enable personalised 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, Nutrition & Brain Health & Prebiotics Task Forces

Posters

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

Exploring the Interactions between Probiotics and Health

Publication

All Publications

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Multimedia

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