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P. 18-23 /

Opportunities for predictive modelling and gut health Conceptually exploring an in silico tool for quantifying the benefits of dietary fibre consumption18

*Corresponding author
1. Plant and Food Research Ltd., Food and Nutrition Group, Private Bag 11600, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
2. AgResearch Ltd., Food & Bio-based Products Group, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
3. AgResearch Ltd., Animal Productivity Group, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, 3240, New Zealand


Scientific validation is required for claims of gut health benefits from food. Predictive mathematical modelling ofthe impact of consuming potentially beneficial foods may provide a useful first step by allowing us to integrate knowledge ina way that allows us to predict gut health outcomes. Recent technologies have increased our awareness of the complexityof food-microbe-host interactions, which makes modelling challenging. The most appropriate approach for dietary fibrebasedfoods may be a model based on literature-derived data. A number of specific biomarkers of gut health have beensuggested, with many studies describing changes in short chain fatty acids (SCFA), indicating their potential use as the mostsuitable biomarker. The most promising modelling solution may be an empirical model incorporating mechanistic elements.


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