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Modulation of intestinal barrier function and inflammation via butyrate-promoting dietary fibre

Project description

The role of dietary fibre in intestinal homeostasis

Microscopic colitis (MC) is a chronic disease associated with mild intestinal inflammation. Considering the increase in inflammatory bowel disease incidence and the potential of intestinal inflammation to cause peripheral inflammation and metabolic disease, there is a pressing need to understand its underlying mechanisms. To address this, scientists of the EU-funded FIBCOLIT project will investigate the impact of fermentable dietary fibres (DFs) on intestinal physiology and inflammation. Through an intervention study on MC patients, the project will follow a multi-omics approach to examine DF-induced changes in inflammatory markers, intestinal microbiota and well-being. The link between DF and intestinal homeostasis may introduce a non-pharmaceutical option to prevent and manage inflammatory diseases of the intestine.


The FIBCOLIT project investigates the impact of fermentable dietary fibres (DFs) on intestinal physiology and inflammation via dietary intervention study in human patients with microscopic colitis (MC), a chronic disease characterised by sustained mild intestinal inflammation. This subject topic has significant interest for public health considering 1) the increased global incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel diseases in the last 20 years, and 2) the increased scientific knowledge regarding the role of intestinal inflammation in driving the development of systemic inflammation in metabolic diseases. Currently, considerable knowledge gaps exists regarding the biological and physiological mechanisms that maintain and modulate intestinal homeostasis as well as the pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to chronic intestinal inflammation. The FIBCOLIT project aims to answer these open scientific questions through a multi-omics approach employing several analytical methods to examine DF-induced changes in intestinal barrier function, inflammatory markers, intestinal microbiota composition and functionality, as well as gastrointestinal symptoms, quality of life, and general well-being. The projects utilises a DF known to promote the production of luminal butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that has been associated with several positive health effects. Overall, the project's methodology allows specific targeting of the mechanistic links between DF intake, butyrate, and intestinal health. Should DF supplementation prove effective at restoring intestinal homeostasis, it could potentially offer a non-pharmaceutical option to the prevention and management of diseases characterised by chronic intestinal inflammation. The project results could potentially also serve as starting point in the development of functional foods for the general public.


Net EU contribution
€ 203 852,16
70182 Orebro

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Östra Sverige Östra Mellansverige Örebro län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 203 852,16