23 Feb 2018

Media mention: Short Chain Fatty Acids, Francine Marques and Paul Gill

Researchers PhD student Paul Gill (Monash University)
and Dr Francine Marques (Baker Institute). Image: The Age
The Age published a story on research performed at Baker Institute by Dr Francine Marques (Twitter handle @FZMarques) that has shown that products of fermentation of dietary fibres by the gut microbiota (short-chain fatty acids, SCFAs) protect mice from developing hypertension (the initial paper was published at the beginning of 2017). Francine is now hoping to translate these findings into humans and has begun to examine if there is a link between short-chain fatty acids and blood pressure in humans with hypertension.


As part of Paul Gill's PhD, he has been measuring SCFAs from Francine's patient samples. Paul has also been measuring SCFAs in many fermented foods and beverages. Some of the foods that he found to be high in SCFAs were vinegars, kombucha, pickled foods, kimchi and soft cheeses (which have been marketed to have 'health benefits', many of which are completely unsubstantiated).

Paul says, "We are now using this information to formulate a 'high SCFA diet', that we think could have therapeutic value in conditions such as hypertension, but also immune disease." And, watch this space, Paul is currently designing a dietary intervention study (hopefully launching by April-May) in order to investigate this - so we'll be calling out for recruits!

Age story link: https://www.theage.com.au/national/a-make-or-break-moment-for-what-may-be-a-new-miracle-molecule-20180216-p4z0ky.html

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