Probiotics will continue to dominate the functional foods category since their true potential is still to be unlocked. “Molecular mechanisms of probiotics are largely unknown and can aid in the search for potent probiotics,” says Hans Snel.
Affecting the gut
For the first time, scientific evidence has been obtained on how probiotics affect the activity of our genes in the gut wall. In a study led by Professor Michiel Kleerebezem of NIZO, healthy volunteers ingested either live probiotic cells (Lactobacillus plantarum), inactivated cells of the same probiotic, or a placebo. Gene expression analysis of biopsies from the duodenum has clearly shown the effect of the live probiotic on cellular processes. These processes activate the immune system, enabling it to play its protective role (the immune response). Read more about this research.