For the past thirty years Michael has been conducting research on the impacts of diet on health. He has a broad knowledge of the effects of dietary polysaccharides, proteins and polyphenols, as well as lifestyle factors, on the gut, especially through their influence on microbial growth and activities such as the production of beneficial short chain fatty acids. His studies have also involved the investigation of probiotics and prebiotics, as well as treatment methods such as microencapsulation and faecal microbial transplantation. His work has been applied to understanding and helping to prevent inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and other conditions such as autism.
Academics and consumers alike now recognise the important role that gut microbes play in human health. As a result, demand for probiotic and prebiotic products is growing fast. As the market accelerates, there are opportunities to broaden the range and effectiveness of new products that use or modulate gut microbes for health benefits. Michael examines the market opportunity and the science that will unlock it.