There is increasing awareness of the importance of the gut #microbiome – the trillions of microbes that live inside us – and the critical role it plays in our overall #health and wellbeing. Many scientists now consider the gut #microbiome an essential organ with 70% of the immune system existing in the gut1, and 90% of the body’s mood elevating serotonin produced there2.
The gut-brain axis allows communication between the gastrointestinal tract, the microbes within it, and the brain. A major driver of this communication is the exchange of chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters and their precursors; these neurotransmitters can have a stimulatory or calming effect on the body. Using its discovery #platform to map the #microbiome and its influences, #Holobiome has identified key #bacteria that appear to communicate to the brain via neurotransmitter signalling in the gut.
Unilever and Holobiome’s research #partnership aims to identify specific #food ingredients that interact with these key #bacteria. The long-term ambition is to enhance these ingredients in certain foods and refreshment products across Unilever’s portfolio to naturally boost levels of certain calming neurotransmitters in the gut, in turn improving mental wellbeing.
Carla Hilhorst, Executive Vice President R&D Foods & Refreshment at #UNILEVER said, “More than 70% of consumers are concerned that stress and anxiety are having an impact on their health3. In turn, consumers are increasingly seeking #food and drink products that can have a positive impact on their overall #health and mental wellbeing.
Through our #partnership with #Holobiome, we look forward to understanding more about the way ingredients interact with the gut #microbiome. This research offers exciting opportunities for our future #food and drink formulations enabling us to deliver boldly healthier products.”
Philip Strandwitz, #Holobiome CEO and co-founder said, “Everyone knows the saying ‘You are what you eat’. The #microbiome is an important part of that relationship, and it appears to impact nearly every aspect of our biology. As such, it’s important to understand how the #food we eat influences our microbial passengers and the important functions they perform.
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