Thursday, July 25, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Facilitating a Bigger Body of Work on a Much-documented Connection Between Gut Microbiome and Probiotics

Danone North America, one of the largest purpose-driven food and beverage companies, has officially concluded the selection of 2023-2024 recipients for its Annual Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotic Fellowship Program. According to certain reports, this year the company picked Evan Chrisler of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arushana Maknojia of Baylor College of Medicine, handing each one of them $25,000 apiece to conduct research and further our understanding of the gut microbiome, yogurt, and probiotics. Starting from Chrisler’s research, it will focus on examining the effects of ingestion timing, as well as the type of probiotic, on metabolism and immunity. Furthermore, the study will actively explore how specific Lactobacillaceae community members induce diurnal regenerating islet-derived 3 gamma (REG3y) expression and how analogous Lactobacillaceae species leverage resistance towards diurnal host defense peptide to maintain a niche within the gastrointestinal community.

“Being awarded the 2023-2024 Danone fellowship grant is an unforgettable milestone in my academic career, for which I am grateful and honored,” says Chrisler. “With the support of this grant, I am excited to unravel these intricate circadian host-microbe interactions and their influence on the gut microbiome to further probiotic development and host health.”

On the other hand, Maknojia’s research will dig into the mechanisms through which inflammatory signals from commensal microbes regulate the steady-state hematopoiesis, the blood cell production process. The idea behind doing so is to define the specific commensal species and their metabolites that support production and function of immune cells via hematopoietic cytokines and growth factor secretion.

“The role of the gut microbiota in normal blood production and function is poorly understood,” said Maknojia. “I am excited to fill this critical gap by delineating the mechanism by which intestinal commensals communicate with the bone marrow to promote hematopoiesis. I am so enthusiastic about my research as it constitutes the necessary next steps towards the development of next-generation pre- and probiotics and metabolite supplements that can support gut and blood/immune health.”

Talk a little bit about the Danone Fellowship Grant, initiated back in the year 2010, the stated initiative is meant to provide financial support for novel studies of yogurt, probiotics, and the gut microbiome. To pick who gets the grant, there is a dedicated panel of judges with expertise in the field, judges who choose winners based on the quality of their proposals, faculty recommendations, and each of their studies’ value to human health and wellness. Markedly enough, this isn’t the only time Danone North America has made such a pledge to preach social impact. In fact, just two years ago, the company had also committed to invest $4 million by 2030, in collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger and Nutrition, to enhance nutrition and food security research.

“The study of probiotics and our knowledge of the microbiome is changing rapidly, and it is our hope that the projects funded this year will continue to inform our understanding of this field,” said Miguel Freitas, PhD, Vice President of Health and Scientific Affairs at Danone North America. “The impact of the microbiome on human health has wide-ranging benefits to our digestive and immune system as well as playing a key role in our mind-body connection, which is why investments to better understand this unique ecosystem are much needed.”