Measurement of gut health
In this public private partnership TNO, DSM Nutritional Products and CHDR will investigate in healthy people (age 45+ years) the systemic health effects of modulating the gut microbiome using dietary fibers. Disease prevention through improving human health is attracting more attention. The gut microbiome is an important new target in these approaches. However, even though the role of the microbiome in human health and disease is increasingly recognized, the specific relationships between gut microbiome and human health are largely unknown and there is an urgent need for new approaches to study this interaction, not only in lab mice but also in humans.
Previously, TNO has developed two measurement solutions, one on the gut microbiome which is a platform called i-screen and one on measurement of health in form of resilience in healthy people (quantification of a person’s phenotypic flexibility (personal response to a dietary challenge)).
In the current project we will:
• Set up a clinical intervention study to investigate if it is possible to relate the effects of influencing the gut microbiome, by dietary fiber consumption, to health, which is quantified as a person’s phenotypic flexibility.
• Report on the combination of in vitro ( i-screen) and in vivo (from the clinical trial) gut microbiome data to investigate if only screening in vitro will provide clarity on effects.
With this approach we would like to conclude on an important problem in the applied gut microbiome research in which many products show effects on gut microbiome, however effectiveness and contribution to general health are unclear.
The combination of microbiome modulation and PhenFlex technology is novel and can have a major impact on the sector, contributing to possible scientific substantiation of health effects from, nutritional interventions such as pro- and prebiotics, novel technology development related to food, and supplement product development for gut health, and later also for consumers and society.
The project is organized in five work packages (WP):
• WP1 Project management and meetings – including reporting, finances, organization etc.
• WP2 Human intervention study – including the design of the prebiotic fiber mix, the design and set-up of the clinical intervention, the final selection of biomarkers, writing the study protocol for METC approval, recruitment of subjects and execution of the clinical intervention study and sampling.
• WP3 Lab analyses – including part a) on the analysis of biomarkers of the in vivo samples (blood, stool) and part b) the analysis of the in vitro stool samples (i-screen).
• WP4 Data analyses – including data integration, visualization and statistics.
• WP5 Dissemination – including scientific publications and presentations at conferences regarding the project and its outcomes.
M1 (2019). Consortium and final project plan are approved by all partners.
M2 (2019). Study is approved by Medical Ethical Committee (METC). Start recruitment.
M3a (2020). Start in vitro analyses of first samples.
M3b (2021). All human samples have been collected (Last Subject Out).
M4 (2021). All samples (in vitro and in vivo) have been collected and analyzed. Start data-analyzes.
D1 (2019). Study proposal for the METC.
D2 (2022). Report on the use of combining in vitro and in vivo microbiome data.
D3 (2022). Draft scientific publication(s) of the intervention study.