Our Food, Microbiome and Health research programme focuses on the relationships between plant-based foods and human health, through integration of nutrition and agri-food science, and understanding the gastrointestinal tract’s microbiome within and beyond the gastrointestinal tract.
Poor diet accounts for 10 million (22%) of all adult deaths worldwide each year and in the UK costs the NHS £6 billion annually.
Plant-based foods can be deficient in essential nutrients, leading to a lack of key micronutrients. There is an urgent need to develop new foods that:
- improve metabolic and gut health
- tackle the societal challenge of poor diets low in plant-based foods
- optimise nutrient bioavailability of plant-based diets.
Our research is developing and trailing new plant-based food and microbiome-based intervention strategies to increase healthy human lifespans.
We study interactions between plant-based foods, the gut and our health both in our state-of-the-art laboratories and through clinical studies.
Our researchers use food analytics, gastrointestinal tract simulation models, multi-cellular models and super-resolution facilities to learn more about the complex relationship between our food, gut and health.
Our Food, Microbiome and Health research aims to increase healthy lifespans by:
- Determining macro and micro-nutrient bioavailability of nutritionally enhanced plant-based foods and factors that affect nutrient release.
- Identifying patterns in the gut microbiome associated with plant-based foods, including microbes that might give resilience to food-borne pathogens
- Learning how plant-based foods and food-induced changes in the gut microbiome affect human health beyond the gut, including understanding the gut-liver and gut-brain axis
- Evaluating the efficacy of food and microbiome interventions in improving long-term health including through proof-of-concept human studies.
Key Strategic Partners