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The microbiota, food and health

The Microbiota, Food and Health Group was founded in 2016 with the aim of deepening our understanding of the role of the human gut microbiota in health, and how food can modify this interaction. We also study the influence of medical interventions (use of antibiotics, prebiotics and probiotics, etc.) on this interaction in different groups of the population.  This allows us to identify the alterations of greatest risk to health, and to design nutritional interventions – mainly involving probiotics – that can correct or minimise problems. The goal of the group is to understand the microbiota-food-health relationship in order to develop beneficial functional probiotics.

Figura 1: Aproximación experimental del Grupo de Investigación

A general outline of our activities

The group’s activity is bound up in microbiology. We collaborate with different IPLA groups as well as other national and international research laboratories.   Currently we are participating in a multidisciplinary group involving nutritionists, gastroenterologists, immunologists, endocrinologists, paediatricians and microbiologists within the GRUPIN14-043 project (funded by the Regional Government of the Principality of Asturias). This currently occupies most of the group’s time.

Foto: Asistentes a la 1ª Reunión del Proyecto Interdisciplinar GRUPIN14-043. Oviedo 2015.

Figura 2: Representación esquemática del trabajo científico multidisciplinar del proyecto “Microbiota Humana, Alimentación y Salud” (GRUPIN14-043)

Earlier lines of research
Although our group was recently created, our principal investigator has been working in the field of gut microbiota, probiotics and food since 1997 – studying and characterising probiotic microorganisms. In 2002, he moved into research on the gut microbiota of different groups in the population, its role in health, and maintaining health via nutritional interventions with prebiotic substrates or probiotics. Between 2006 and 2015 he continued his work within the context of the IPLA’s Prebiotics and Probiotics Group led by Dr. Clara Gonzalez de los Reyes-Gavilán, until joining the present group.  (For more pre-2016 information see the Prebiotics and Probiotics Group webpage). At all times, however, the ultimate goal was to develop nutritional intervention strategies – mainly based on the use of probiotics – to improve human health.