Nutraceuticals & plant extracts
In order to achieve their health effects nutraceuticals (vitamins, minerals, metabolites) but also postbiotics, polyphenols and whole plant extracts need to become bioaccessible and eventually being absorbed at the desired location. Often these processes depend on digestion and can be supported by specific matrices and formulations. The upper GI tract simulation, which mimics the physiology of the upper GI tract under fasted and fed conditions (as well as possible diseased conditions), enables detailed and spatiotemporal examination of absorption when coupled to a dialysis membrane mimicking passive transport or cell models of an intact epithelial layer mimicking active transport. At the same time the impact of formulations and matrices to improve bioaccessibility and bioavailability can be tested and improved based on these data.
Our panel of cell assays allows to study the mechanism of action of the nutraceuticals and provide information on potential health benefits. Some examples are the ability of nutraceuticals to restore gut barrier integrity in inflammation-induced leaky gut models or to have immunomodulatory effects, their impact on wound healing or inflammation-induced insulin resistance and the impact on mucus production and tight junction gene expression.
The effect of plant extracts and nutraceuticals on the microbial community composition, microbial fermentation activity and the production of metabolites can be investigated using our colonic simulators. Please have a look at the prebiotics and fibers section to get a first glimpse of the possibilities.