Relationship between functional foods, intestinal microbiota, health and wellness

Responsible: Dr. Bianca Castiglioni, IBBA-CNR

It is known that the microorganisms that make up the intestinal microbiota are the key to many phenomena related to human health that include immunological, metabolic and neurobehavioral aspects.

The task of WP2 is to test two different types of products developed in WP1 for their effect on the intestinal microbiota and on the health and well-being of various types of patients who have in common alterations of intestinal function and immune status.

The acquired knowledge can then also be transferred to a healthy population with eating habits that deviate from the Mediterranean diet profile and/or sedentary lifestyles and that experience intestinal problems and alterations of the microbiome such as to affect the general state of health.

WP2 is divided into two macroactivities:

Diet based on balanced ready meals

Evaluation of the effect of nutritionally balanced ready meals properly developed in WP1 on the modulation of the intestinal microbiota and more generally on the well-being of elderly people with chronic diseases.

Food integration with a nutraceutical product

Supplementation of diets with a product obtained from plant extracts with prebiotic action, combined with probiotics, administered to different types of patients who all share problems of alteration of intestinal flora such as to affect their quality of life.

Expected results in WP2

  • Validation of the effectiveness of the products obtained in WP1 to improve the intestinal well-being and nutritional status of the target patients;
  • Evaluation of the impact of personalized and nutritionally balanced diets and the administration of a prebiotic and probiotic product on: inflammatory state, immune system, specific allergies/intolerances, intestinal microbiome.
  • Identification of possible correlations between nutritional status and intestinal mycosis/microbiota;
  • Validation of the Metagenomics platform for analysis of intestinal mycosis/microbiota.

Impacts of WP2

  • Identification of targeted dietary interventions, capable of improving the state of health of patients;
  • Transfer of the acquired knowledge to a healthy population in order to solve problems related to dysbiosis and alterations of the intestinal microbiome and to respond to the different intake needs of people of different ages (e.g. children, elderly);
  • Different formulations of the tested products to meet the different intake needs of people of different ages (e.g. children and elderly).

Team leader

Bianca Castiglioni


Affiliation: National Research Council

Get in touch