The aim of the basic research study ELDERGUT is to define potential prebiotic effects of black elderberry-derived polyphenols and anthocyanins. Prebiotics serve as nutrients for beneficial microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract. They are used in clinical practice e.g. to restore a disbalanced gut microflora. Elderberries have been used for centuries in the Alpine region as a domestic remedy and are attributed infection-preventive and anti-inflammatory properties. A better understanding of the interaction between dietary components, the gut microbiome, the human host and his immune system may help to devise new therapeutic strategies for a variety of diseases. As a result, novel research strategies regarding immune modulating processes in vascular ageing processes might be specified.
The ELDERGUT study on 30 healthy volunteers is led by the gastroenterologist and expert for gastrointestinal diseases and nutrition Dr. Alexander Moschen, head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Mucosal Immunology at the Medical University Innsbruck. VASCage manages and supports the trial that is sponsored by VASCage company partner IPRONA AG.
IPRONA AG of South Tyrol, leading specialist in fruit processing for concentrates, extracts and compounds, produces and provides the powdered elderberry extract, highly enriched for polyphenols and anthocyanins, that is administered in the ELDERGUT trial. The product is already broadly used as a premium ingredient in a variety of food and food supplement products in Europe, the US and China.
In the ELDERGUT study, healthy subjects are given elderberry extract capsules over three weeks. Potential changes in their overall well-being is closely monitored and the impact of the dietary intervention on their gut microbial community structures and functions is explored. State-of-the-art metagenomic, metabolomic and metatranscriptomic analyses on feces, urine and salive samples are performed.
„This study holds the potential to link a traditional remedy passed over through generations with state-of-the-art molecular mechanisms,“ summarises principal investigator Alexander Moschen.