Gut microbiota plays a crucial role in different functions in the body. These discoveries have opened exciting perspectives in the prevention and treatment of numerous health conditions.get the science of experts
The discovery of the impact of human intestinal microbiota on health and well-being is constantly evolving. The collective genome of the intestinal microbiota, termed microbiome, is estimated to contain at least 100 times more genes than our own genome (Qin et al., 2010).
Certain microbiota components can have beneficial effects, therefore modulating the microbiome towards a healthier composition has received more and more scientific interests, especially in the early-life period where the microbiota is progressively established, which leaves more rooms for modulation. Strategies of antenatal and early-life intestinal microbiome modulation are the most effective approaches to promote a resilient, diverse, and healthy microbiota, which has the greatest long-term potential to benefit health (the programming effect).
Probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, and more recently postbiotics – all these “biotics” have the potential to modulate the intestinal microbiome but acting differently. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the WHO (FAO/WHO) defines probiotic as “live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host” (Hills et al., 2014). Several probiotic strains have been identified, tested safe for use in infants and conferring health benefits in diverse areas. More research is needed to uncover new probiotic strains and/or on new health benefits.
Osteopontin (OPN) is a glycoprotein, that is found in body tissues including bone and body fluids such as human milk. It plays an important role in immune, brain and gut development in early life. In this expert interview, Prof. Bö Lonnerdal, leader of a world-renowned research program in paediatric nutrition at the University of California, responds to important questions relating to Osteopontin’s mechanisms of action and the health benefits associated with it.
Bo Lönnerdal is a Professor of nutrition and medicine at UC Davis, in California. He is the founder of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML). His scientific research and studies focus on bioactive components in human milk and their underlying mechanisms, such as their contribution to protecting against infection.Prof. Lönnerdal has published more than 600 scientific articles. He is a member of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) and the European Society for Research on Human Milk and lactation (ISRHML). As an Expert in early life nutrition, he has been part of the editorial board of several journals and in several Experts Panels for the World Health Organization (WHO).
As timely probiotic administration was suggested to promote immune system development in formula-fed infants, this study aimed at assessing the safety and the effects of a probiotic supplement on mucosal immune competence and digestive function in formula-fed infants.
The gut microbiota is a highly complex community which evolves and adapts to its host over a lifetime. It has been described as a virtual organ owing to the myriad of functions it performs, including the production of bioactive metabolites, regulation of immunity, energy homeostasis and protection against pathogens.
Modulation of the human gut microbiota through probiotics, prebiotics and dietary fibre are recognised strategies to improve health and prevent disease. Yet we are only beginning to understand the impact of these interventions on the gut microbiota and the physiological consequences for the human host.
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis is a prevalent beneficial bacterium that colonizes the human neonatal gut and is uniquely adapted to efficiently use human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) as a carbon and energy source.
Bifidobacteria are associated with a host of health benefits and are typically dominant in the gut microbiota of healthy, breast-fed infants. A key adaptation, facilitating the establishment of these species, is their ability to consume particular sugars, known as human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), which are abundantly found in breastmilk.
Recent research has highlighted that HMOs have various functional roles to play in infant development. These sugars act as prebiotics by promoting growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria thereby generating short-chain fatty acids which are critical for gut health.
Factors affecting milk and milk fraction composition, such as cream, are poorly understood, with most research and human health application associated with cow cream. In this study, proteomic and lipidomic analyses were performed on cow, goat, sheep and Bubalus bubalis, bulk milk cream samples.
Osteopontin (OPN) is a glycoprotein, that is found in body tissues including bone and body fluids such as human milk. It plays an important role in immune, brain and gut development in early life. In this webinar, Professor Bö Lonnerdal, leader of a world-renowned research program in pediatric nutrition at the University of California, gives an in-depth presentation on Osteopontin’s mechanisms of action and the health benefits associated with it.
Bo Lönnerdal is a Professor of nutrition and medicine at UC Davis, in California. He is the founder of the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation (ISRHML). His scientific research and studies focus on bioactive components in human milk and their underlying mechanisms, such as their contribution to protecting against infection. Prof. Lönnerdal has published more than 600 scientific articles. He is a member of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN) and the European Society for Research on Human Milk and lactation (ISRHML). As an Expert in early life nutrition, he has been part of the editorial board of several journals and in several Experts Panels for the World Health Organization (WHO).
Food allergies are a major health burden globally. There is currently no cure so management relies on allergen avoidance, which causes significantly reduced quality of life2. Intense research effort has focused on developing treatments that induce remission of allergy.
Conception, gestation, and lactation are critical periods for human development. The exposure to unhealthy dietary patterns, excess weight gain and other environmental factors results in a higher risk of pregnancy complications affecting both mothers and infants.
Mechanistically, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), principally Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), are considered a consequence of dysregulated interplay between host genetic-susceptibility and immunity, the enteric microenvironment, and environmental “triggers”, but the specific interactions that lead to IBD are unresolved.
Diet remains one of the main drivers of the obesity pandemic, in particular the overconsumption of calorically dense palatable foods in early life. There is increasing interest to further our understanding of the pathways in the brain that drive excess unhealthy food consumption and how they are established from the onset.
The exact causes linking prenatal and early life under- or over-nutrition with a higher risk of obesity and metabolic disease in later life remain uncertain. Previous work shows that the human body can adapt to changing nutrient availability through epigenetic mechanisms, for which plasticity is especially pronounced in early life thereby increasing the adaptability of newborns to their environment.
Our project aims to identify the link between early intestinal microbiota signatures in very preterm neonates and the maturation of gut, lung, and the development of immunity which is unbalanced in several diseases such as allergy.
The project target C-section delivered newborns. It will analyse the role of microbiota in the higher risk of this population to Allergy and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), mainly Crohn Disease (CD), using murine models and define new preventive strategies based on microbiota modulation by nutritional approaches (mainly probiotics).
This project will help to understand the basic mechanisms leading to learning and memory functions and this will pave the way for new discoveries to treat human populations affected by chronic neurological memory/cognitive disorders.
Studies suggest that obesity could be ‘transmitted’ from mother to child. Since maternal microbiota is the main determinant of child intestine colonization, the transmission of a maternal microbiota "signature" of obesity to her child during perinatal period, could potentially affect his metabolism.
Early gut microbiota establishment is suggested to be an important factor for the health of the infant and future adult. In this context, we propose to identify early intestinal microbiota signatures or predictive microbiota profiles in children of the occurrence of overweight and obesity.
Gut microbiota development is impacted by mode of delivery, diet, lifestyle and environmental parameters such as closeness to animals. These parameters impact gut microbiota composition and have been linked to allergy protective effects (‘Microbiota hypothesis’).
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