Beneficial bacteria and gut health

Nofima carries out research on the beneficial properties of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) both in food and in the body. We are interested in how food can affect the beneficial bacteria in the gut and contribute to a healthy gut.

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Ida Rud
Ida Rud

Phone: +47 909 65 451

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Lars Axelsson
Lars Axelsson

Senior Scientist
Phone: +47 901 57 584

Contact person
Portrettbilde av Birgitte Moen
Birgitte Moen

Phone: +47 922 08 108

We offer
  • Knowledge on the properties of LAB, relevant for their use in food processes (e.g. the production of sourdough bread or dry fermented sausages)
  • Knowledge and research tools for studies on the probiotic properties of LAB
  • Knowledge and analytical platform for studying effects of food on the gut microbiota and the relation to health benefits
  • Advanced tools for molecular biology and statistical analysis in relation to research on gut health

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB)

LAB have several properties that are useful for the food industry. Nofima has a long track record on LAB research. In order to produce safe and high-quality food, knowledge is essential regarding the properties of starter cultures, their metabolic potential during fermentation and the use of LAB as protective cultures for control of unwanted microorganisms, such as pathogenic and spoilage bacteria. Knowledge regarding beneficial properties of LAB in relation to health is also necessary for the production of food products with optimal health-promoting properties.

Nofima conducts research on:

·         The fermentative properties of LAB
·         The effect of LAB on safety and quality of food
·         How LAB can enhance health properties of food
·         Probiotic properties of LAB
·         Synbiotic (pro- and prebiotic properties combined) food

Food and intestinal health

The food we eat affects the microbiota and the health of our intestine to a large degree. A beneficial gut microbiota is important to maintain good health, whereas a disturbed/imbalanced microbiota is associated with a number of common diseases or syndromes in the Western world (e.g. obesity and diabetes, allergy, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome). Knowledge on the effect of food on the microbiota, e.g. the role of fibers (which can act as prebiotics), is important for the development of health promoting food products. Nofima has an in vitro large intestine model (‘artificial gut’), which is being used in this research. Alternatively, and complementary, we cooperate with others in conducting in vivo experiments and clinical trials. We are using state-of-the-art, high-throughput sequencing technology in characterizing the microbiota in these experiments.

Nofima conducts research on:

·         The effect of food (e.g. fibers or meat) on the gut microbiota
·         The fermentative properties/potential of the gut microbiota
·         The role of the gut microbiota in the production of beneficial and non-beneficial metabolites

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