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PROEUHEALTH - The Food, GI-tract Functionality and Human Health Cluster

huutom.gif (1443 bytes)Cluster activities have ended in 2006.
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Consumer Platform > EU and MICROFUNCTION
Functional assessment of interactions between the human gut microbiota and the host

Probiotic bacteria are know to have positive effects on human gastrointestinal health, but the mechanisms of these effects are still not fully understood. The objective of this project is to determine the efficacy and safety of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics (synbiotics = a combination of probiotics and prebiotics that support the growth of probiotics), which may depend on the dose of these components, their proportions in the food product and their interaction with the host.

The research will produce knowledge on possible biomarkers and indicators of probiotics in the diet. These indicators and markers are physiological measures that show the efficacy of probiotics, and they explain how probiotics improve nutritional and health status through gut flora. Artificial gut models and animal trials will be used to estimate how the probiotic bacteria influences different parts of gut. Reliable tools to assess the interaction between host and probiotic bacteria will be developed. The final step is to carry out studies with human volunteers to investigate the applicability of tools developed during the project. The aim is to examine the effects of synbiotics on gut function and biota (biota = all bacteria living in gut) , blood lipids and toxins in urine. The project will provide tools to assess the efficacy and safety of probiotics in a reliable way and thus improve consumers' possibilities to imrove their gut health safely in the future.



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