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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

NUTRITION AND ECOLOGY OF GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT

Periods
Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.00  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production   
4.06.00  Biotechnical sciences  Biotechnology   

Code Science Field
B420  Biomedical sciences  Nutrition 
Keywords
nutrition, feed, environment, functional food, health, oxidative stress, probiotics, prebiotics, microbiology, bacteriocins, gastrointestinal tract, selection criteria, markers, identification, classification, biotechnology
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (43)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  19485  PhD Tomaž Accetto  Animal production  Researcher  2005 - 2008  149 
2.  08320  PhD Gorazd Avguštin  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  349 
3.  11150  PhD Bojana Bogovič Matijašić  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  362 
4.  15659  PhD Andreja Čanžek Majhenič  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  227 
5.  21437  PhD Tadej Čepeljnik  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2007  51 
6.  15561  PhD Matjaž Červek  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  82 
7.  24367  PhD Sana Fajdiga  Animal production  Junior researcher  2006  14 
8.  11765  PhD Lijana Fanedl  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  96 
9.  05099  PhD Karmen Godič Torkar  Microbiology and immunology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  248 
10.  01864  PhD Stanislava Golc Teger  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  153 
11.  23439  PhD Gregor Gorenc  Animal production  Junior researcher  2004 - 2007 
12.  28656  PhD Simon Guštin  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2007 - 2008 
13.  25514  PhD Biljana Hacin  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  26 
14.  22623  MSc Vesna Katana Burja  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2004 - 2005 
15.  28504  Nina Klemenčič  Animal production  Junior researcher  2007 
16.  17518  Marko Kodra    Technician  2004 - 2008 
17.  25513  PhD Tamara Korošec  Animal production  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  93 
18.  24296  PhD Darja Kušar  Veterinarian medicine  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  171 
19.  22444  PhD Barbara Lah Jarc  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2006  38 
20.  11889  PhD Andrej Lavrenčič  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  325 
21.  15194  PhD Alenka Levart  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  303 
22.  17528  Marta Majdič    Technician  2004 - 2008 
23.  08404  PhD Romana Marinšek Logar  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  497 
24.  15141  PhD Andreja Miklič  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  35 
25.  25516  PhD Petra Mohar Lorbeg  Animal production  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  98 
26.  17520  Anica Mušič    Technician  2004 - 2008 
27.  03098  PhD Franc-Viktor Nekrep  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  196 
28.  28673  Rok Novak  Animal production  Researcher  2007 - 2008  10 
29.  00486  PhD Andrej Orešnik  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  372 
30.  21396  PhD Tanja Pajk Žontar  Plant production  Junior researcher  2004 - 2005  457 
31.  06981  PhD Bogdan Perko  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  216 
32.  15254  PhD Tatjana Pirman  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  526 
33.  20456  Stanislava Podkrajšek    Technician  2004 - 2008  12 
34.  29429  PhD Katarina Rajapakse  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2008  17 
35.  20082  PhD Vida Rezar  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  285 
36.  08857  PhD Irena Rogelj  Animal production  Principal Researcher  2004 - 2008  703 
37.  00886  PhD Janez Salobir  Animal production  Researcher  2004 - 2008  620 
38.  21439  PhD Saša Stojković  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004  15 
39.  19104  PhD Blaž Stres  Animal production  Researcher  2008  335 
40.  27549  PhD Gorazd Tompa  Pharmacy  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008  34 
41.  29434  PhD Mojca Voljč  Animal production  Junior researcher  2008  46 
42.  25517  PhD Nika Zajec  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Junior researcher  2006 - 2008 
43.  22447  PhD Metoda Zorič Peternel  Biotechnology  Researcher  2004 - 2008  20 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0481  University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty  Ljubljana  1626914  63,013 
2.  0489  EMONA - Nutrition Research & Development Department  Ljubljana  5326974000  113 
Abstract
Nutrition is an important factor in maintaining organism in good health condition. A new concept in searching for optimal food was introduced designated as functional food. Original definition stating "Food can be labeled as functional when its beneficial effect on one or more target function in the body, beyond satisfying traditional nutrient requirements can be sufficiently demonstrated by evidence", requires establishement of new objectives of research and developmental nature. Study of mechanisms and searching for appropriate markers on molecular and immunological level which enable satisfactory measurement of effects of food or feed, are basic approaches in progress of this new scientific area. Reasons for development of modern civilisation diseases which can be defined from nutrition-medical point of view can be classified into two groups, the first comprising energetically and compositionally non-equilibrated nutrition, and the latter resulting in disturbed microbial balance of the gut. Normal gut microflora has at least three important roles: it reduces the possibility of infections with pathogenic bacteria, it stimulates maturation of gut mucosal immunological system and development of immune tolerance to ubiquitous antigens. Discovering roles of microorganisms in interactions with host organisms and host itself, is one of the key steps towards understanding the function of the human and/or animal gastrointestinal tract ecosystems. Different in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo methods and different animal models will be applied to carry out the proposed research. Nutrition studies will be performed on domestic and laboratory animals, via monitoring of feed intake and quantitative excrement of substances with urine and faeces, via monitoring of metabolic parameters and investigating of nutritional factors by different markers such as malonaldehyde (MDA) in plasma, in urine, in feeed, in animal products and food (HPLC), via level of DNA damage in the cells (comet test), concentration of E-vitamine (alpha-, beta plus gama-, delta- tocopherol/HPLC), overall antioxidative status of blood serum and glutathion peroxidase activity in enterocytes. In addition to conventional analysis of feed and food, determination of macro- and micro-minerals concentration (atomic absorption spectrometry) and in sacco method for determination of feed digestibility by using fistulated animals, the conditions and microbial fermentation in particular parts of the gut will be studied by determination of concentrations of short chain fatty acids (gas chromatography), ATP, ammonia, of intestinal content viscosity and fermentability (in vitro gas-tests). Besides traditional microbiological methods for isolation and cultivation of microaerophilic and strictly anaerobic bacteria in anaerobic chambers, a wide range of molecular and genetic methods will be used to study structure and population dynamics of microbial community. Objectives: study of mechanisms and new approaches in feeding, enabling the production of functional food of animal origin, finding out the effects of alternative feed additives (plant extracts, fibrinolytic enzymes) and selected probiotics and prebiotics on the composition of microbial population in the gut of domestic animals or humans and in the systems simulating these ecosystems, selection of markers for measurement of influences of feed, nutrients, pre-, probiotics and other bioactive substances in organism and development of toxicological, genotoxicological and immunological methods for tracing of their positive and negative effects.
Significance for science
Problems related to the nutrition and health do not concern only medical service but also agricultural sector which is involved in the food production, as well as food processing industry. Nutrition studies aimed to identify foods which are due to specific nutritional-physiological effects a source of important nutrients or active compounds are therefore very up-to-date. One of the actual problems of modern nutrition are effects of the nutrition on the oxidative stress which may in the conditions of weak anti-oxidative protection in the body, lead toward the collapse of pro-oxidative/anti-oxidative equilibrium in the organism, and as a consequence the increased risk for the development of different diseases. Studies performed by our group contributed some new knowledge in this field. Results of animal studies confirmed lower oxidative stability of lipids in the pigs and chickens fed with high amounts of n-3 PUFA, and therefore higher need for antioxidants application. Addition of different antioxidants (sintetic and natural vitamine E, plant extracts reach with poliphenils, for ex. extracts from Calendula officinalis, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, tannin extracts from sweet chestnut tree) reduces or sometimes even prevents negative effects of oxidative stress. Since the anti-oxidative activity of studied extract has been known only in vitro, our studies present the first evidence of their activity also in vivo. Also the antioxidative activity of the tannin extracts from sweet chestnut tree, of extracts from the mixture of origano and cinnamon, as well as of extracts from Calendula officinalis have been described for the first time. Results show that all three extracts reduce the level of lipid oxidation (MDA, IPF2alfa) and diminish the DNA damages (comet test, 8-OHdG). Their effectiveness is comparable to or even better than vitamin E's. It is becoming evident that human and animal nutrition can not be optimally planned without considering the microbiota of gastrointestinal tract which plays an important role not only in the feed/food degradation but also in the protection and immune defence of the organism. For this reason we've paid much attention to the composition of microbiota and effects of different nutrients and supplements on the structural changes of the composition. Some results from this part of research are scientifically important. When we studied the effects of tannins from carob bean's flour on the composition of rabbits' caecum, we identified a new species belonging to the Metanobrevibacter genus of methanogenic arhea. The molecular and taxonomic description of this new species was carried out and metagenomic library of ribosomal genes of bacteria from rabbits' caecum was prepared. Bioinformatic analysis of obtained sequences showed that rabbit caecum contains several yet indescribed bacterial specia and genera, predominantly those from XIV. group Firmicutes. Two new wide-spectral bacteriocins produced by Lb. gasseri strains (K7 and LF221) were described, as well as a new phenomenon of cross homology of active and non-active subunits of K7 and LF221 bacteriocins with narrow-activity bacteriocin gassericin T.
Significance for Slovenia
Several methods for measuring the effects of feed, nutrients, probiotics and other bioactive substances in vitro and in vivo in the organism were introduced. The researchers from our group developed a model of oxidative stress induction, which enables to test and compare antioxidative activities of sinthetic and natural antioxidants and toxins, in vivo and ex vivo. Methods for the measurements of oxidative stress on different levels of antioxidative defence were introduced. There are few research teams able to perform such studies which include such a wide spectrum of analysis, therefore considerable interest from the industry is not surprising. We have already established cooperation with some industrial partners (Chemoforma Ltd, Switzerland; Tanin Sevnica, Slovenija). The cooperation includes also studies required before the registration of individual feed supplements and their inclusion into the Register of feed supplements. Similar cooperation has been established also in the probiotic field, where we perform studies and control of probiotic products such as food, food supplements and OTC drugs. Our main partners in the probiotic field are Lek (Slovenia), Adria Medics (Bolgaria), LTH (Switzerland). Among the main objectives of this research program group is also support of the educational process at University, on the graduate as well as postgraduate level, in accordance to the mission of the organisation which we belong to. The realised research program contributed new knowledge in one of the priority thematic areas, i. e. production and supply of safe food, which is included in the first priority field: »genomics and biotechnology for health, quality and safety of food and sustainable development«. We believe that the results of our research will contribute to better knowledge of food, to the better nutrition and consequently better health of residents of RS. New findings and methods have already been introduced into the management of animal nutrition, of animal breeding and in the production of safe food and functional foods, by the mean of applicative projects. This presents considerable contribution to the assurance of safety, quality and competitiveness of Slovenian products and consequently of agriculture and agro-food industry.
Most important scientific results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Final report, complete report on dLib.si
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