Zinc (Zn) has a known positive effect on intestinal health in humans and animals. However, little is known about the biological mechanism that supports this. One hypothesis is that Zn modulates the composition of the gut microbiota through communication with the Paneth cells that reside in the small intestine.
In livestock farming, zinc supplements are indispensable for the prevention of diseases, such as diarrhea in piglets. Zn is also available as a food supplement for humans because it is said to promote intestinal health. The mechanism of action and effectiveness of these products are less known. Due to regulations and environmental pressure, the use of a high dose of zinc oxide in animal feed will be banned in Europe from 2022. An important problem for animal husbandry.
The ZIPAM project aims to clarify the mechanisms behind the Zn effects. Research essential to develop innovative products that can replace Zn or simulate the action of Zn.
The scientific consortium of this project consists of the following partners:
- Ghent Univeristy, Unit Mouse Genetics in Inflammation – Prof. Claude Libert
- Ghent Univeristy, Department of Pathology, bacteriology and poultry diseases – Prof. Filip Van Immerseel
- Ghent Univeristy, Food2Know – Prof. Benedikt Sas, Lluisa Garcia Marti
- Ghent Univeristy, DISCOVER-E – dr. Dominic De Groote
- KU Leuven, Center for Microbiology – Prof. Jeroen Raes
This project will run from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2023 and is subsidized by the FWO (SBO: S002721N).
For more information about this project, please contact Lluisa Garcia Marti.