The MyNewGut consortium came together 15-17 April, in Bologna, for the first annual meeting. Partners shared and discussed the developments and upcoming activities of the project. We were joined by two members of the MyNewGut Scientific Advisory Board, Dr Garrath Williams of the University of Lancaster and Dr Anthony Leeds a Senior Visiting Fellow of the University of Surrey. The Scientific Advisory Board engages international scientific leaders in the study of host-microbe interactions, diet, nutrition, lifestyle, health and diet related diseases with the aim to advise on scientific and ethical issues.
For example, there is growing evidence to suggest that autism spectrum and eating disorders, cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes may all be associated with microbial imbalances in the gut, explains Sandrine Claus, a lecturer in metabolomics at the University of Reading, UK.
"The microbiome field has produced some of the most exciting science discoveries of the last five years, and its potential impact on human health is just too big to ignore"
If confirmed, these findings could have an enormous impact on human health. The benefits for treating diabetes alone, which affects over 300 million people globally, could be transformational. “If we were able to prevent the disease’s complications by manipulating the gut microbiome in only 10 per cent of patients, this would still equate to millions of people with a preserved quality of life", says Dr Claus.
The Economist also published a short video MyNewGut project's Dr Sandrine Claus, of the University of Reading, explains what microbial medicine means, some of its most promising applications, and why bacteria might one day replace pills as the main way to deliver medicine. Click here to watch the video.
Preceding the 6th ICC International Dietary Fibre Conference, Paris, June 1-3 2015 (https://df2015.icc.or.at) MyNewGut organised a successful workshop with 80 participants from academia, industry and governmental bodies. Project coordinator Yolanda Sanz (Spanish Council for Scientific Research-CSIC) outlined the scientific basis and set-up of MyNewGut. After presentations on the MyNewGut’s approach for evaluating fibre-based ingredients (Lesli Hingstrup, University of Copenhagen), and the industry perspective of using new ingredients with prebiotic activities (Joan Vermeiren, Cargill, Belgium), Nathalie Delzenne (University Catholique de Louvain, Belgium) presented the growing body of evidence indicating the role of the human gut microbiome on obesity.
|As shown by Jan Willem van der Kamp (TNO, Netherlands) current dietary guidelines are not referring to prebiotic functions of fibres and the role of the gut microbiome, but recent policy documents on guidelines and public health indicate that this may change in the near future. In the discussion Paula Trumbo, FDA, indicated that the US government is allocating substantial budgets for microbiome and health related research. Hans Verhagen (RIVM, Netherlands and EFSA NDA Panel member) welcomed the ambition of the MyNewGut project for substantially strengthening the science basis for possible health claims in this area. At the end of the meeting Maria Roca (CSIC) presented the Industrial Innovation Task Force (INNO-TF), an external advisory board formed by experts of different industries involved in the production and manufacture of food ingredients and products that will support the MyNewGut project with their expertise. Participants were invited to join this initiative and participate in a unique networking platform.|
|Yolanda Sanz and Michaela Pichler (CEO of ICC, the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology) are already looking forward to further cooperation in conferences such as the 15th Cereal and Bread Congress (Istanbul, April 2016) and the next Fibre Conference in 2018 (the Netherlands).
The MyNewGut workshop presentations can be viewed below:
30 players, 5-years: EU project investigates obesity, energy and the microbiome
MyNewGut project leader professor Yolanda Sanz was interviewed by Shane Starling for the NutraIngredients.com magazine.
The gut microbiome was a frontier where much remained to be learned – about its competition, difference between individuals, functioning, the influence of nutrition and, perhaps most importantly, its effects on the health of other bodily systems and functions.
“The way that we have designed the studies we expect to able to progress in the identification of bacteria that together can work for our metabolic health …to modulate the function of the microbiome and bring benefits,” professor Sanz said.