These differences may be in how we absorb or metabolise dietary factors, or may relate to our individual physiology and our genetic make-up. Working collaboratively, we are looking to what causes this wide variation, focusing on polyphenols and how our genes may affect how we absorb and end metabolise these bioactives.
As well as our genes, our personal microbiota has an impact on how we digest food, potentially altering any health benefits we derive from it. The Quadram Institute has areas of expertise in both food and the microbiome, placing it at the forefront of efforts to understand what causes these differences in how individual gut microbial communities lead to variations in how we extract health benefits from foods.
We will also provide insights into how our different microbiomes handle resistant starch, where we see differences in how our bacteria ferment this, and how this impacts on health.
The knowledge we gain from better understanding the complex interactions that happen between our personal microbiomes, our own genomes and the food we eat will be used to tailor diets and therapies at the personal level to promote better health.