Effect of prebiotic and probiotic foods on health
A group of researchers at the Public University of Navarre, led by Senior Lecturer in Zoology, Elena Urdaneta Artola, have studied both the mechanisms whereby foodstuffs known as functional act at a gastrointestinal level as well as their possible beneficial effects on the health of individuals.
The study, which will continue until 2006, has received the Ortiz de Landazuri Scholarship for 2004. This is an annual award by the Department of Health of the Navarre Government in recognition of the best project in basic research.
For a number of years now the team has been following a line of investigation on the nutritional modulation of neoplasic and allergic illnesses by means of probiotic and prebiotic foods. Prior to this, they carried out a study on kefir where it was shown that this enhances the digestion of nutrients and their absorption through the digestive tract.
The study is aimed at assessing the physiological, morphological and immunological effects observed in healthy and transgenic experimental animales, produced by various probiotic and prebiotic substances contained in experimental diets.
Amongst the prebiotics being used are quercetine and sphyngolipids. The first is a flavonoid found in most vegetables while sphyngomyelin is found in the cellular membranes of vegetables. With probiotics we find two types of bacteria, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium bifidum which are present in yoghourts and milk products that are partially fermented.
One of the primary aims of the study is to find out if the probiotic and prebiotic foods have a beneficial effect on healthy persons using the latest techniques in molecular biology and cellular growths.
The second phase consists of growing human cells from biopsies from patients who have undergone gastroscopy – after prior informed permission being requested and granted and prior authorisation of the Committee of Bioethics. The final stage will use highly advanced techniques such as immunohistochemistry.
Moreover, the researchers try to pinpoint the effects these foods have on the prevention of important illnesses such as neoplasic illness, allergies and nutritional intolerance and ailments that have an autoimmune component at a gastrointestinal level.
One of these is cancer of the colon. It has been observed that “the diarrhoeas suffered by cancer of the colon patients diminish on taking probiotics. What they want to study is if these products can also be used to actually prevent the disease.
Finally, another aim of the study is to investigate the immunomodulation through the action of these factors as well as the new lines of biotherapies in order to stimulate the anaerobic flora and lymphatic tissue associated with the intestine and, in this way, stimulate the intestinal immune activity against pathogens.
Garazi Andonegi | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...