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The Investigators
The InvestigatorsRTÉ One, Thursday 11.05pm

Programme 6: Functional Food

Functional food is a phrase that is much mentioned but often misunderstood and even misused. Liam Donnelly of Teagasc outlines what the term really means and some of the projects which Irish researchers are involved in. We profile the work of Dr. Catherine Stanton of Teagasc and her research into Conjugated Linoleic Acid enriched cheese (from cow's milk) and the health benefits shown to be associated with CLAs such as anti IBS, anti cancer and reduced heart disease properties. Her original trials showed excellent results but she is pleased now to discover that we may have the ability to produce these CLAs in the human gut.

We are familiar with the concepts of good and bad bacteria in the human gut but research is increasingly showing just how powerful those good bacteria can be when isolated and grown in large numbers. Scientists like Catherine are working hard in what is essentially uncharted territory to search for health promoting bacteria which could help to counter many extremely painful and debilitating diseases.

Professor Eamonn Quigley of UCC explains his research into gut bacteria and how he identified a bifido-bacterium which exerts beneficial IBS sufferers. Professor Colin Hill discovered a bacteria in the human gut, 'UCC118', capable of killing listeria which can be fatal to unborn children. His cover story in the highly regarded PNAS journal demonstrates how internationally significant this finding has been.

Featuring: Dr. Catherine Stanton, Teagasc, SFI, Professor Eamonn Quigley, Professor Colin Hill, SFI, HEA.
Interview: Liam Donnelly, Teagasc, Prof. Mike Pariza (University of Wisconsin),
Professor Fergus Shanahan, UCC.

 

Dr. Catherine Stanton
Dr. Catherine Stanton