Danone North America announced that for the 11 years in a row, it will award two graduate students $25,000 each for conducting research to further study the role of the gut microbiome, yogurt and probiotics for human health. Scientists in the field have found that the microbial community, or microbiome of the gut, affects not only gastrointestinal health, but has links to the brain, immune system and even our circadian clocks. The health of the gut microbiome has also been associated with certain chronic disease risk, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
"Danone North America understands the significance research plays in identifying the role and importance of the human gut microbiome. Knowing the food we eat can have an immediate and dramatic impact on the makeup of our microbiome is of specific interest to us," says Miguel Freitas, PhD, vice president of scientific affairs at Danone North America. "As a top food company in the US with a vast portfolio of essential dairy and plant-based foods, it is our duty to support advancements in research that will lead to greater knowledge and health outcomes for the people we serve. We're proud to have awarded these grants over the past decade, as graduate studies are vital investments in the future of human health research."
The science behind understanding what a "healthy" human microbiome looks like, how it is controlled or how it can be changed is an evolving area of research. Recipients of the Danone North America Fellowship Grant support these efforts by exploring how the gut microbiome, yogurt and probiotics help sustain human health and wellness through growth, development, and longevity.
"Danone North America's mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible," says Dr. Freitas. "To meet our goals, it's imperative to support creative, scientific minds to conduct research that uncovers new information and actionable recommendations that can help people improve their health. With each grant, we make meaningful progress in fulfilling our purpose to nourish lives and sustain a healthier world through food."
As a public benefit corporation (PBC) and one of the largest B Corps in the world, Danone North America is committed to use business as a force for good, balancing financial interests with social and environmental benefits for people, communities, and the planet. Earlier this year, Danone North America committed to invest $4 million by 2030, in collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger and Nutrition to enhance nutrition and food security research. The 2023 Fellowship Grants for Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotic studies are a part of this commitment.