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AMAbiotics SAS - Metabolic bioremediation               

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The European Commission adopts landmark list of permitted food health claims. A list of 222 health claims among more than 40,000 has been approved by the Commission on may 16th. This list will be used throughout the EU. Misleading claims from the market will be removed before the end of the year.
The University of Wageningen withdraws a statement promoting milk against cardiovascular diseases. Following a bitter controversy about allegations by the University of Wageningen, in the Netherlands, authorities of the University have accepted to modify their description of the content of a paper published with American colleagues in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The initial statement was misleading in that it suggested that three glasses of milk a day would protect against cardiovascular diseases, while no such conclusion can safely be drawn from the study.
Recent patents on the use of antioxidant agents in food. The application of antioxidant ingredients is a common way to delay and prevent the detrimental effect of oxygen in foods. However, consumer trends towards healthier and safer foods, together with the increasing concern for the potential toxicity of some antioxidants are leading research efforts towards the use of antioxidants obtained from natural sources, such as plant phenols, essential oils and chitosan. This paper reviews the latest published studies and issued patents on the use of antioxidants agents in foodstuffs. The properties of the most commonly used antioxidants as well as natural antioxidants are revised. Moreover, examples of recent patents on the application of antioxidants to different foodstuffs (meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and beverages) are given.
AMAbiotics participates to the effort of the Beijing Genome Institute to sequence the genome of Escherichia coli EHEC serotype O104:H4. Helping Europe, the BGI, delocalized in Shenzhen (next to Hong Kong) sequences the genome of the deadly EHEC strain that affects Germany. This work will allow investigators to characterize the features that makes this strain so dangerous. It appears to be quite similar to a strain that affected a Korean patient in 2006, and the way it spread to Germany is a puzzling and interesting open question. The work is published in The New England Journal of Medicine
A protein from royal gelly is necessary and sufficient to trigger the development of bees into queens. Masaki Kamakura has demonstrated that aged royal jelly has no effect. The reason is that its effect allowing the differentiation of workers into queens (that are much larger and live much longer) is entirely caused by a protein, royalactin. The remarkable effect of this protein extends to other insects such as the fruit fly, Drosophila.
Selenium does not prevent cancer. A trace element essential to humans, selenium was often predicted to be active in preventing cancer, because it acts against free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). A recent study shows that it has no positive effect.
Sulfite, widely used as a food preservative, is toxic for neurons involved in memory. In the absence of metabolic capacities to oxidise or reduce sulfite this common product of sulfur metabolism, used as a food preservative kills hippocampal neurons.
Choline is essential to humans, but it promotes cardiovascular diseases. Lecithin, and choline are common dietary component that some people even take as a supplement that are converted by the gut microbiota to harmful metabolites linked to heart diseases. Bioremediation of the gut flora could be a way to prevent their deleterious effects.
Even pathogens communicate. AMAbiotics' philosophy is to take into account the overall metabolism of the organism of interest. In the case of man, this means to analyze the human metabolism, as supplemented by that of human's flora. The present study demonstrates that even microbes display positive interactions: they commmunicate chemically, and collaborate. The purpose of this paper is to analyze a case of pathogenicity, but it goes without saying that this behavior is general, and often beneficial. There is an effect of community, and this effect is certainly central to good nutrition.
Chromium is a poison. The chromic ion has long be used for leather tanning, making animal skin rot proof, showing high toxicity even to microbes. It is irreversibly binding to proteins, often replacing essential ions involved in catalysis. It is likely that chronic use will lead to irreversible damage in the human body and its use should be restricted to particular chelates and submitted to analyses similar to those required for authorization of drugs on the market and certainly not sold over the counter.
Rapid time fluctuations of the ileon microbiota. Analysis of the microbiota of patients undergoing ileostomy permitted investigators to show that their flora varies rapidly during the day, and is quite diverse. It is also differing from that found in the colon.
Brain lactate increases with aging. Investigators from the Karolinska Institut in Sweden have shown that lactate concentration can be used to monitor in mice the true aging status of the brain.
Gene+virus+irritation = disease It has long been known that the genetic background is important for diseases. Yet, the correspondence: a gene = a disease is seldom observed. Now, in an animal model, investigators have shown that co-occurrence of a gene (present in 50% of europeans), a norovirus (responsible of the diarrhoeas witnessed frequently for a few decades), and of substances causing an irritation of the intestine, is enough to trigger the irritable bowel disease (Crohn's disease, a chronic irritation of the gut, often requiring heavy surgery). But this is not without hope: intestine "cleansing" with a massive antibioitc treatment appears to permit returning to normal semble permettre le retour à la normale. The "agressive" component in the disease shows that food plays a considerable role, and the importance of the genetic background argues for a personalised nutrition (and a good hygiene).
EFSA rejects claims for a patent for probiotics. A dossier containing 13 randomised controlled trials, 6 observational studies, and 15 non-human studies has failed to impress European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientists because the four strains in question were not sufficiently characterised.
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    The company

AMAbiotics is a research and service company focused on the link between microbial metabolism, nutrition and health. Using cutting-edge techniques in genomics and modelling, AMAbiotics develops for its own account or with partners a portfolio of know-how, patents and applications.

In brief

Living beings make communities where each has its own place, from indifference to collaboration, competition and even agression. The invisible part of these communities, that made of microbes, is most often ignored. Yet it is an essential asset, and the equilibrium of the whole is what makes the well-being of each member of these complex communities, man included. This equilibrium results from the exchange of chemical compounds that come either from the outside or from synthesis and degradation of compounds specific to the different species making the community. Understanding this metabolism, in each particular situation, permits us to propose solutions to make individual organisms stay at equilibrium, or to come back to equilibrium. This is the goal of the research developed at AMAbiotics.

Collaborations

AMAbiotics is hosted at the Genopole Ile de France and it collaborates with the University of Evry. The goals of the Fourmentin-Guilbert Foundation lead us in the selection of relevant features of what makes the heart of the living world. We also explore tracks suggested by companies which are interested in drugs meant to slow down the deleterious effects of ageing, are interested in the concept of probiotics, or propose solutions in human nutrition meant to overcome metabolic imbalances.

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