Redressing the impact of industrialization on gut microbiome composition and function (Microbe Restore)
It is widely believed the human microbiome plays a fundamental role in the health status of its host, and is a key research area for the food sector and for pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries. In this application, I propose to change the diet to include higher and greater diversity of fibres in the context of whole foods. The increased fibre content is conducive to beneficial microbial populations. We will monitor the microbiome and participant biometrics to examine the advantages and changes effected. This is a significant undertaking, as we will ensure that the participant tolerates the fibres but also finds them to be quality palatable products ensuring compliance in the study and eventually continuous use by consumers. The development of these high fibre based functional foods will be impactful to researchers, the food industry and society. Furthermore, having mined the microbiome of non-industrialised populations, my collaborators and I have found species that have vanished from the modern Westernised microbiome. We will investigate these species pre-clinically and in a human supplement study to test mechanisms of interaction and signalling with the host’s responses of the immune system and potential suppressive effects on chronic disease and allergy models.