For several years, obesity and associated pathologies have been the focus of attention in public health, given the dramatic consequences for the comfort of living and the societal cost of caring for these patients. In this context, the gut microbiota seems to be an interesting therapeutic target. Indeed, in the obese animal, the administration of a particular type of prebiotic (definition in review 1), the purified fructans, has a beneficial impact on inflammation, food intake and adiposity by modulating the gut microbiota. (2-5).
However, current scientific knowledge does not fully understand how this type of prebiotic can have a beneficial effect on health in the context of obesity and its associated pathologies. Moreover, no study to date has considered the interest of foods naturally rich in fructans for the control of obesity.
The Walloon region in Belgium supports the FOOD4GUT project which proposes a multidisciplinary approach to study societal, behavioral and dietary changes highlighting the impact of the consumption of vegetables rich in locally produced fructans on the eating behavior and metabolic disorders associated with obesity.
The FOOD4GUT project is an innovative approach in nutrition, aiming to prove that an individual and societal behavior change, promoting the intake of locally produced vegetables rich in fructan-type prebiotics, may create a real public health benefit, in agreement with the ecological and economic development of the Walloon Region.
An analytical component will make it possible to map the systems of production and consumption of food sources of fructans and prebiotics grown in Wallonia.
On the other hand, a preclinical experimental approach and a multicenter randomized clinical intervention study (obese population before bariatric surgery) will investigate the fundamental mechanisms by which foods rich in prebiotics can modulate the metabolic disorders, inflammatory process and behavioral changes associated with obesity.
The originality and feasibility of the project is the result of the alliance of recognized scientific experts from fields of expertise in human sciences, biomedical sciences, and technological and agronomic sciences, from the three major university and hospital centers of the Walloon- Brussels.
Click here to see the different academic and industrial partners of the FOOD4GUT project.