Category: Health News

Washington, DC - Ten new research awards totaling nearly $4 million will allow researchers to study possible links between gut microflora and the transformation of dietary compounds into substances known as metabolites, which are made or used when the body breaks down food, drugs, or chemicals. This process creates energy and the materials needed for growth, reproduction, and maintaining health; it also helps to eliminate toxic substances. Small, gut-derived metabolites may ultimately serve as a way to explain the widely acknowledged health benefits of diets high in fruits and vegetables. The awards will be funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), part of the National Institutes of Health.

“Evidence is building that the foods we eat, the gut microflora in our digestive systems, and our basic biological functions all intersect to influence our overall health,” said Craig Hopp, Ph.D., deputy director of the NCCIH Division of Extramural Research and lead scientific contact for these new grants. “These awards will allow us to systematically identify the metabolites in the diet‒microbiome interaction, the bacteria that produce them, and their related biological activities.”

Research conducted will fill current gaps in understanding regarding the abundance and variety of gut-derived metabolites and possible biological signatures associated with improved measures of health and resilience. These awards support model systems research and mechanistic clinical studies including:

About the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH): NCCIH’s mission is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative health approaches and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCIH’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226.