Beyond The Gut

Day two of the Probiota digital summit began with a presentation from Dr. Orla O’Sullivan , Senior Research Officer at Teagasc Food Research Centre on Breaking barriers: Probiotic applications beyond the gut and immune system . The probiotic sector continues to thrive, buoyed on by clinical studies that point to their health benefits as well as the gut’s influence. However, the market is still focused on the gastrointestinal and immune/inflammation field.

Key learnings were:

  • With studies that further points to probiotic benefits for the skin as well as to bone/joints, the brain, sleep and mood, how do we communicate these results to help consumers understand their importance?
  • Discover what is required to move from gut and immune health into other sectors such as sports nutrition to capitalise on new opportunities in the market.

Orla’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion with live Q&A, chaired by Will Chu , Science Editor at NutraIngredients, on Agents of Beauty: Scratching the nutricosmetic surface. The growing popularity of probiotic-focused applications is helping consumers’ understand the benefits of these personal care products in nurturing “good bacteria”. This panel aimed to delve into the challenges involved in unlocking probiotic functionality in nutricosmetic products and discussed the future potential these applications could have in working with or even enhancing the body’s natural microbiome communities.


We continued the session with a presentation by Dr. Vanessa Stadlbauer-Köllner , Clinical gastroenterologist & hepatologist and associate professor at the Medical University of Graz on Optimizing metabolic health: A role for probiotics? Obesity represents a growing public health problem. It is associated with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, chronic liver diseases and cancer, and shortens the life span considerably. It is also associated with changes in the gut microbiome

Key learnings were:

  • A loss in diversity, a shift towards more firmicutes as well as a shift towards opportunistic pathogens is found. The nutritional fat and sugar content and drugs are key drives of dysbiosis.
  • Dysbiosis leads to increased gut permeability, translocation of bacterial products, inflammation and aggravation of metabolic disturbances.
  • Microbiome modulation is a promising therapeutic concept in obesity and metabolic disorders. Probiotics have the potential to modulate lipid and glucose metabolism, support weight reduction and improve quality of life in patients with obesity, diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Day two closed with a final panel discussion where you can put your questions to the panel. Chairman Will Chu was joined by panellists: