Nutrition & Health

Foods and diets with health benefits – that is what consumers are looking for! Health benefits such as infection resistance, immune support or reduced glucose response help to build consumer trust. Our integrated approach at NIZO, based on in-depth biological knowledge and hands-on experience in experimental studies, gives you an effective route towards selection of bioactive ingredients and substantiation of specific benefits.

Our human proof- of- concept models test the efficacy of your ingredient at a relatively early stage in product development. In our human challenge models, relatively small groups of healthy volunteers  are challenged by a stressor, to allow early measurement of changes in health status. We apply “challenges” with an oral cholera vaccine and other vaccines to evaluate the immune boosting potential of ingredients.

Other NIZO challenge models make use of bacterial or viral infections under controlled conditions. In addition, successful selection of ingredients with the highest potential depends on relevant preclinical experiments. We have carefully aligned our preclinical and clinical models in a gut health research pipeline. Mechanistic insight for a cause-effect relationship can be obtained through in vivo biomarker assessment and in vitro elucidation of the mode of action. The role of microbiota composition or function is also evaluated, in vitro as well as in humans. For in vivo sampling of the small intestinal microbiome, we make use of a unique, non-invasive tool – an electronic sampling capsule (Intellicap®).

The potential efficacy of dietary components largely depends on how they are handled in the gastrointestinal tract. With our in vitro and in silico models many different ingredients and conditions can be compared efficiently, enabling a rational selection. Effects of food structure or processing on gastric emptying rate and absorption are also efficiently evaluated in small-scale studies with healthy volunteers.

We offer you support in evaluating existing data as well as generating new data. Together, we will build a convincing dossier for the health benefits of your products!


Working together in consortia

  • Cater with care
  • Clinical trials: Trial on Short-chain Fructooligosaccharides, Microbiota, and Constipation in Adults
  • Clinical trials: The Effect of Probiotics on E. Coli Gastroenteritis (PRETEC)
  • Immunoforce


  • Dietary Milk-Fat-Globule Membrane Affects Resistance to Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli in Healthy Adults in a Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study. Ten Bruggencate SJ, Frederiksen PD, Pedersen SM, Floris-Vollenbroek EG, Lucas-van de Bos E, van Hoffen E, Wejse PL. J Nutr. 2016 Feb;146(2):249-55.
  • Human rhinovirus infection induces local and systemic immunological tolerance in healthy volunteers RM Koch, M Kox, G Ferwerda, J Gerretsen, S ten Bruggencate, JG van der Hoeven, MI de Jonge, P Pickkers Intensive Care Med Exp. 2015 Dec; 3(Suppl 1): A828.
  • Functional role and mechanisms of sialyllactose and other sialylated milk oligosaccharides. Ten Bruggencate SJ, Bovee-Oudenhoven IM, Feitsma AL, van Hoffen E, Schoterman MH. Nutr Rev. 2014 Jun;72(6):377-89.