With the miGut-Health research, we pursue three main objectives:
(1) To identify and validate gut health biomarkers
miGut-Health uses cutting-edge knowledge and extensive omics data (such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics or metabolomics, in which groups of biological molecules in an organism are studied and measured to understand how they affect its structure, function and behaviour) to identify important gut health biomarkers in the transition from health to disease. This includes molecular data like genetics and microbiome information (i. e. all microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and their genes that naturally live on and inside our bodies) as well as nutritional and lifestyle factors. We focus on people with IBD, individuals at high risk of developing IBD, and high-incidence population cohorts where IBD occurs more frequently than others. By analysing all this information holistically, we can find the most important signs of chronic inflammation that can lead to IBD.
(2) To assess personalised prevention measures to improve gut health
While diet is one of the major factors associated with gut health, there is currently insufficient proof to make any specific, personalised dietary recommendations for preventing and managing IBD. Therefore, miGut-Health is pioneering a proof-of-concept controlled clinical trial on the effects of a nutrient-elimination (gluten-free) and an anti-inflammatory diet. We aim to study how diet can help reduce intestinal inflammation, prevent or even reverse disease and which role the microbiome plays in helping restore gut health.
(3) To develop citizen gut health engagement strategies and digital tools
miGut-Health aims to improve the health and quality of life of people with IBD. To this end, miGut develops personalised strategies for self-care and lifestyle changes, supported by eHealth technologies and web-based learning methods. miGut-Health analyses how lifestyle factors affect the health-to-disease transition and the disease course. Our teams work with people diagnosed with IBD, high-risk individuals, the general population, and healthcare professionals in collaboration with EU-wide patient associations and networks.