Task Force Information
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.
Task Force Members
* Scientific Advisors
- Benefits, challenges, and opportunities with changes in the maternal microbiome
Through a narrative review, experts will develop an inventory of microbiota changes associated with physiological temporal changes in the maternal microbiota before, during and after pregnancy as well as with related clinical observations, and highlight mother and/or infant health benefits and challenges associated with those changes.
Start date: December 2023 | End date: Q4 2024
- Consumer perspective on postbiotics
The Expert Group will identify research areas and health benefits that resonate with consumers through a cross-sectional survey.
Start date: October 2023 | End date: Q4 2024
In the pipeline
- Probiotic clinical design studies
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Benefits, challenges, and opportunities with changes in the maternal microbiome before and during pregnancy
Background and objectives
During pregnancy, especially during the third trimester, the maternal microbiota is undergoing considerable changes in the gut, the vagina and, as recently shown, the endometrium. Interestingly, the maternal microbiome has now emerged as an important factor for a healthy pregnancy as well as a cause of pregnancy-related health issues e.g. preterm birth. Indeed, emerging research has started to link microbial dysbiosis and specific microbial populations with pregnancy complications. Thus, it is important to understand the context of physiological temporal microbial changes during pregnancy and mechanisms by which these changes can impact health outcomes. Furthermore, the use of probiotics during pregnancy is not a standard practice; however, given the importance of the microbiota for various health outcomes, it is crucial to better understand maternal microbiota changes, natural or induced, before and during pregnancy, their impact on maternal health and underlying mechanisms of action, as well the potential role of probiotics to optimise maternal health outcomes based on these insights. The activity will detail the mechanistic consequences of maternal microbiota changes, and discuss early observations from probiotic clinical studies, to identify opportunities for optimised use ofprobiotics during pregnancy. The experts will identify and review
Expert group members
Postbiotics: consumer knowledge, understanding and gap analysis to guide future scientific research
Background and Objectives
Typically, scientific research is not based on
consumer perspective and does not resonate with the general public. This activity aims for an opposite approach: use consumer insights to guide future research. In order to identify research areas and health benefits that resonate with consumers and to address their concerns and gaps in knowledge, this expert group will conduct a cross-sectional survey to guide future scientific research. Improved understanding of the consumer perspective will enable the scientific community to address topics that are of interest to the consumer and highlight where additional efforts are needed most.
- Cross-sectional survey
- Consumer information leaflet
- Peer-reviewed publication
Expert Group Members
Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2018). Commissioned by the Probiotics Task Force.
(2022) 79:80. Commissioned by the Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health, Nutrition and Brain Health, Nutrition, Immunity and Inflammation, Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.
Commissioned by the Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.
Commissioned by the Prebiotics and Probiotics Task Forces.
- To download the English version, click here.
- To download the Portuguese version, click here.
- To download the French version, click here.
- To download the Spanish version, click here.
- To download the Slovak version, click here.
- To download the Japanese version, click here.
- To download the Chinese version, click here.
Click on the image below to download the one-pager summary.
Humans often show variable responses to dietary, prebiotic, and probiotic interventions. Emerging evidence indicates that the gut microbiota is a key determinant for this population heterogeneity. Here, we provide an overview of some of the major computational and experimental tools being applied to critical questions of microbiota-mediated personalized nutrition and health. First, we discuss the latest advances in in silico modeling of the microbiota-nutrition-health axis, including the application of statistical, mechanistic, and hybrid artificial intelligence models. Second, we address high-throughput in vitro techniques for assessing inter-individual heterogeneity, from ex vivo batch culturing of stool and continuous culturing in anaerobic bioreactors, to more sophisticated organ-on-a-chip models that integrate both host and microbial compartments. Third, we explore in vivo approaches for better understanding personalized, microbiota-mediated responses to diet, prebiotics, and probiotics, from non-human animal models and human observational studies, to human feeding trials and crossover interventions. We highlight examples of existing, consumer-facing precision nutrition platforms that are currently leveraging the gut microbiota. Furthermore, we discuss how the integration of a broader set of the tools and techniques described in this piece can generate the data necessary to support a greater diversity of precision nutrition strategies. Finally, we present a vision of a precision nutrition and healthcare future, which leverages the gut microbiota to design effective, individual-specific interventions.
Download the full article here
or click on the image below to download the one-pager summary.
Completed Expert Groups
Overview of completed activities since 2021
- Prediction of individual responses to prebiotics and probiotics intervention (collaboration Prebiotics Task Force)
- Joint nutrition cluster activity on ‘mechanistic insights into the gut-brain axis' in collaboration with Early Nutrition and Long-Term Health; Health Benefit Assessment of Foods; Nutrition, Immunity & Inflammation; Nutrition & Brain Health and Prebiotics Task Forces
- Updated concise monograph - Dietary Probiotics, Prebiotics and the Gut Microbiota in Human Health (collaboration with Probiotics Task Force)