CBQF/LAE Research Seminar “Probiotics, prebiotics, symbiotics and postbiotics: from general concepts to potential health effects”

Monday, December 4, 2023 - 10:00

Universidade Católica - Porto

Rua de Diogo Botelho, 1327
4169-005 PORTO
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The CBQF/LAE Research Seminar "Probiotics, prebiotics, symbiotics and postbiotics: from general concepts to potential health effects" with Susana Saad, from the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of S. Paulo, will take place on December 4th, at 10:00 am, in Room EBI 009, in the Biotechnology Building.

Presentation Summary
In recent years, increased knowledge about the human gut microbiota has been achieved by virtue of technological advances in culture-independent techniques and DNA-based methods to assess the microbiota profile. Currently, in this post-genomic area, it is possible to establish clinical targets based on more detailed knowledge about the interactions between the microbiota and host physiology. In this sense, intervention with probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics aims to assist in the establishment of a healthier microbiota. The selection and/or combination of strains should be based on well-defined isolates with specific health effects. When incorporated into food products, the survival and functionality of the probiotic may be favorably or disadvantageously affected. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the survival of probiotics during food processing and under stressful conditions such as those observed during gastrointestinal transit. Several in vitro models, that simulate digestion through the gastrointestinal tract, both static and dynamic, are very useful for predicting the functionality of probiotics. However, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies with a reasonable number of subjects are needed to establish probiotic, prebiotic, and synbiotic functionality, targeting a specific health effect for a defined population. These and other related aspects will be discussed in the lecture.


Short biographical note


Susana Marta Isay Saad studied Pharmacy and Biochemistry at the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil (1982), where she also received her Master of Science (1993) and PhD Degree (1997) in Food Science and conducted her Post-Doc work in Food Technology (2000). Since 2017, she is Full Professor at USP and is Vice-Head of the Department of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Technology - School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where she teaches Food Technology for undergraduates and “Probiotic cultures: technological applications” and “Probiotics in food products and their effects on human’s health” for MSc and PhD candidates. Her research interests are focused on the development and characterization of food products supplemented with probiotic cultures, associated or not with prebiotic ingredients. The probiotic or synbiotic potential is evaluated through in vitro tests, using static, as well as dynamic systems. Clinical randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials are also applied. Susana is Associate Editor of the Brazilian Journal of Microbiology (since 2009) and the journal Frontiers in Microbiology (since 2019). She has been involved in several international projects, as coordinator or member.