Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia


   Infocentre

Published: 5 October 2017  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Bioeconomy
EnvironmentHealth & environment
Health & life sciencesBiotechnology
International cooperation
Research policySeventh Framework Programme
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Australia  |  Austria  |  Belgium  |  Canada  |  Denmark  |  France  |  Germany  |  Ireland  |  Italy  |  Netherlands  |  New Zealand  |  Serbia  |  Spain  |  United Kingdom  |  United States
Add to PDF "basket"

How good gut health benefits mind and body

EU-funded researchers have achieved a deeper understanding of how microbes in the gut can influence energy balance and behaviour. This could lead to new ways of tackling weight gain, eating disorders and even psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Picture of fast food

© anaumenko - fotolia.com

Microbes found in the gut influence the development and function of organs and gastrointestinal diseases, and also play a role in metabolic and psychiatric conditions. The EU-funded MYNEWGUT project, which is due for completion in 2018, has provided scientists and medical professionals with new insights into the role gut microbiota plays in maintaining good health.

“If we could modulate the composition and function of our gut microbiota, this could help in controlling energy balance and body weight gain, eating disorders and even psychiatric conditions,” says project coordinator Yolanda Sanz of the National Research Council (IATA-CSIC) in Spain.

The food and healthcare sectors could be able to use the research to apply more effective dietary strategies and develop probiotics and other products that contribute to a person’s long-term health. The project will also help policymakers put in place more precise nutritional recommendations, and give stakeholders stronger scientific information to support health claims. This in turn will inform consumers who want to make healthier choices.

“Translating these new findings into practical solutions will ultimately contribute to healthier lifestyles and increase the long-term well-being of EU citizens,” explains Sanz. “Through promoting different aspects of gut health, we expect to help improve the position of the EU in the field of preventing diet-related diseases at every level, from research communities to citizens and from policymakers to industry.”

Tackling obesity

A key project finding has been the presence of specific bacteria in the gut, which could help to determine whether a child is at risk of becoming obese. These bacteria will help researchers to identify microbiome-based biomarkers and associated lifestyles that represent an obesity risk.

The MYNEWGUT partners have also identified specific bacteria with differential effects on body weight regulation and glucose tolerance, which could lead to the next generation of probiotics or biotherapeutic products for improving conditions such as obesity and metabolic syndrome.

The project has also focused on pioneering dietary intervention studies. Researchers began by identifying ingredients that they believe could mediate communication between gut microbiota and the whole body. These include a fibre with “prebiotic-like” effects and the next generation of probiotics, says Sanz.

Researchers then investigated how these components interact with the gut microbiome in obese subjects with metabolic risk factors, and the consequent metabolic and physiological effects.

“High-protein diets exceeding recommended intake levels are frequently consumed by people wishing to lose weight,” says Sanz. “However, these diets increase the amount of undigested protein reaching the colon, which leads to the production of bacterial metabolites that can have potentially beneficial or deleterious impacts that have also been investigated in the MyNewGut project.”

Future dietary and lifestyle recommendations

Researchers found that microbiome-associated functions were influenced not only by the amount of protein but also by the kind of protein in the diet.

“These findings indicate that not only does the amount of dietary protein matter, but also the source,” says Sanz. “This should be considered in future dietary recommendations regarding the long-term health consequences partly mediated by the microbiome.”

The project also uncovered new evidence that high fat diets not only cause obesity in mice but also depression-like behaviour. The behaviours are associated with significant changes in the composition and diversity of the intestinal microbiota.

Researchers have also identified how different habits influence microbiota and programme stress responses in later life with further consequences on metabolic and mental health.

“When our gut microbiota diversity is altered, this can influence our mental health, contributing to anxiety, stress and depression,” says Sanz. “In the immediate future, results from these studies will help us to draw up new dietary guidelines and promote probiotic development with a view to boosting both gut and brain health.”

Project details

  • Project acronym: MyNewGut
  • Participants: Spain (coordinator), Italy, Ireland, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, UK, Austria, Serbia, Australia, United States, New Zealand, Canada
  • Project N°: 613979
  • Total costs: € 13 006 815
  • EU contribution: € 8 973 268
  • Duration: December 2013 - November 2018

See also

 

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also
Project website
Project details


  Top   Research Information Center
 
Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia