Gut microbes, diet and health
Microbiota & Metabolomics
The research group's vision is to understand the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota contributes to food digestion and health, and to accelerate this knowledge toward personalised nutrition strategies and novel food products.
The focus of the research group is to understand how diet shapes the gut microbiome, how gut microbes digest our food, and how the resulting small diet-derived molecules (metabolites) interact with our physiology in health and disease. Our work involves multiple disciplines including nutrition, chemistry, microbiology and bioinformatics.
We conduct human dietary intervention studies and cohort studies and profile the metabolome (collection of all small molecules) in stool, blood and urine using targeted and untargeted liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) based metabolomics.
Furthermore, we collaborate with leading microbiome researchers around Europe and experts in immunology and intestinal host receptors to elucidate host-microbial cross-talk.
MOTILITY - Diet-derived microbial metabolites to modulate gut motility in infants
The purpose of the project is to conduct an infant cohort study following 125 infants’ progression from milk to solid foods, concurrent with their progression in gut microbiota diversity, with the aim of identifying diet-dependent gut microbial metabolites, which affect intestinal motility. If successful, this knowledge may lay the foundation for innovative strategies to prevent and alleviate stomach ache in infants.
PRIMA - Towards Personalized dietary Recommendations based on the Interaction between diet, Microbiome and Abiotic conditions in the gut
The purpose of the project is to investigate how the gut microbiota and environmental (abiotic) factors in the gut shape personal responses to food. The project will generate more knowledge of the role the gut microbiota plays when people react differently to the same diet.
Bifidobacterium species associated with breastfeeding produce aromatic lactic acids in the infant gut
Published in Nature Microbiology in 2021; we demonstrated that Bifidobacterium species promoted by breastmilk produce aromatic lactic acids via a previously unrecognized aromatic lactate dehydrogenase in the infant gut. These metabolites can impact immune function via two different host receptors, suggesting that they may be important for immune development in early life.
Mediterranean diet intervention in overweight and obese subjects lowers plasma cholesterol and causes changes in the gut microbiome and metabolome independently of energy intake
Published in Gut in 2020; we demonstrated that when switching to a Mediterranean diet, subjects reduced their blood cholesterol depiste unaltered energy intake and changed their gut microbiome and metabolome, which may be relevant in future strategies for the improvement of metabolic health.
Whole grain-rich diet reduces body weight and systemic low-grade inflammation without inducing major changes of the gut microbiome: a randomised cross-over trial
Published in Gut in 2019, we demonstrated in Danish overweight adults that a wholegrain-rich diet compared with a refined grain diet, did not alter insulin sensitivity and the gut microbiome, but reduced body weight and systemic low-grade inflammation.