Oskar Kolkiewicz, REM Analytics
7 January 2021
The human microbiome plays a crucial role in health and growth. Microbiome composition largely develops in the first 1,000 days of life, after which it stabilises into an adult state. The first 1000 days are thus a critical ‘window of opportunity’ for modulation of the microbiome to induce lifelong health benefits in infants. Breastfed mother’s milk is perhaps the most important modulator of the microbiome during this period. It has been suggested that between 25-30% of the human microbiome originates from mother’s milk. There is thus a clear opportunity to support the growth of a healthy infant gut microbiota, by enriching the microbial composition of mother’s milk, through personalised nutritional interventions in the mother.
This opportunity remains largely unexploited due to limitations in microbiome profiling. The measurement tools used do not provide a complete, accurate or actionable picture of the microorganism community composition. This has led to ambiguous and unknown relationships between mother’s nutrition, gut microbiome, milk microbiome and infant gut microbiome.
Within NUTRISHIELD, REM Analytics is deploying a novel technology for profiling the microbiome of the gut and human milk: Advanced Testing for Genetic Composition (ATGC). This technology will be apllied to samples collected by the clinical partners of NUTRISHIELD, and interpreted by novel Artificial Intelligence (AI) deployed by the IT partners of the consortium. This analysis will give the necessary insight into understanding the chain of relationships linking mother’s diet, mother’s gut microbiome, breastmilk into infant gut microbiome. The acquired data will provide a scientifically robust evidence-base, to create personalised nutritional interventions for mother’s which will efficiently modulate the healthy development of the infant gut microbiome. The gut microbiome health will translate into lifelong immune, endocrine and metabolic benefits in the infant. These dietary interventions will be delivered through the Nutrishield platform, as part of a holistic nutrition strategy.
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