Friends in Low Places and How to Help Them: Gut Microbiota in Health and Disease

Speaker: Dr. Glenn Gibson- Professor of Food Microbiology and Head, Food Microbial Sciences, University of Reading, UK

September 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm. Agriculture and Life Sciences Building, Room #129.

Co-sponsored by the Departments of Animal Science, Biochemistry/Biophysics and Soil and Crop Sciences

The human large intestine contains many bacteria, both good and bad. Functional foods have been developed to fortify the former at the expense of the latter through the use of probiotics, which are live microbial additions in food, and prebiotics, or non-digestible food ingredients that provide benefits by targeting positive indigenous components. Because prebiotics target nonviable food ingredients, they have a wide range of possible applications. Both probiotics and prebiotics can help manage various gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroenteritis and some inflammatory conditions.

This lecture will review the risk-reducing uses of probiotics and prebiotics, and the role of the gut flora in various clinical states. Discussion will also cover a novel prebiotic that has led to the development of products to improve immune health in the elderly, reduce the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and help prevent traveler’s diarrhea.

Dr. Gibson received his Ph.D and a BSc (Hons), Upper Second Class in Microbiology from the University of Dundee.

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