Identifying specific dietary strategies to improve the long-term health of the population

In 2018, 2 European Commission 7th Framework projects were completed; respectively, MetaCardis and MyNewGut. The completion of such projects was accompanied by closing conferences were results were presented.

The MetaCardis consortium produced about 70 international publications. New gut-microbiota based hypotheses in obesity and metabolic disorders were produced as well as methodological approaches.

MyNewGut consortium delivered about 120 international publications and concluded that: bacterial strains in our gut could be the next generation of probiotics; that consuming an excess of proteins generates some toxic metabolites; that diets rich in fibres are associated with fewer symptoms of depression, help to maintain body weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic metabolic diseases; that a high fat diet may have a negative impact on the gut microbiota and the brain; and that the gut microbiota influences metabolic health.

For more information on the Metacardis project please see here: http://www.metacardis.net/

The MyNewGut (‘Microbiome’s influence on energy balance and brain development/ function put into action to tackle dietrelated diseases and behaviour’) project is a multidisciplinary research consortium to make findings from basic science useful for practical applications.

The MyNewGut project receives funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme and will research how the human gut microbiota and its genome (microbiome) influence obesity, behavioural- and lifestyle-related disorders and vice versa. It also aims to identify specific dietary strategies to improve the long-term health of the population.

The consortium is led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). The project brings together 30 partners from 15 countries, including experts from the food industry (such as Cargill), omicstechnologies and other scientific disciplines such as brain research, computational modelling, immunology, microbiology, physiology and nutrition from both EU and non-EU countries.

The general objectives of the project are to:

  • Expand knowledge of the contribution of the human microbiome to nutrient metabolism and energy balance;
  • Identify microbiome-related features that contribute to or predict obesity and associated disorders;
  • Understand how the gut microbiome, under the influence of environmental factors, plays a role in the brain, metabolic and immune system development in early life and long-term health consequences;
  • Provide proof-of-concepts of the disease risk reduction potential of dietary interventions with new food products and ingredients that target the gut microbiome, in humans.

The Project started in December 2013 and will last for 5 years.

In 2017, the consortium continued to work on the development of innovative ingredients and food products targeting the human microbiome. The outcomes of clinical trials increased the understanding of the mechanisms by which ingredients exert potential health benefits and herewith aids to the development of dietary recommendations to improve public health.

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