In-depth analyses of probiotic benefits, mechanisms and challenges aiming to advance probiotic knowledge at large for the benefit of consumer health
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 industry show increasing interest in these microorganisms and its functional effects.
The Expert Groups delve into the understanding of probiotics’ role and mechanisms of action. The Group also aims at increasing awareness of probiotics’ direct/indirect effects on health.
This Expert Group has widely contributed to the scientific literature in the field. Some of the latest contributions:
- Understanding mode of action can drive the translational pipeline towards more reliable health benefits for probiotics
- The activity on ‘Gut Barrier Function’ produced 3 manuscripts (J.M. Wells et al., 2016, J. Köning et al., 2016, P.A. Bron et al., 2017) that have been cited altogether 311 times.
- The supplement in Journal of Nutrition titled ‘Guidance for Assessing the Probiotics Beneficial Effects: How to Fill the Gap’. The 5 articles featured in the supplement received 741 citations in total.
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. – NEW
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.
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.
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
Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2018). Commissioned by the Probiotics Task Force.
British Journal of Nutrition 2017; 117 (1), 93-107. Commissioned by the Probiotics Task Force.
American Journal of Physiology – Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 2017; 312 (3): G171-G193. Commissioned by the Probiotics Task Force.
Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology 2016. 7, e196. Commissioned by the Probiotics Task Force.
British Journal of Nutrition 2013; 110(2):S1-S30. Commissioned by the Nutrition and Immunity and Probiotics Task Forces.