Food and Health

Academic, Industry Partners Exploring Prebiotic’s Potential

Amanda Ramer-Tait

The Nebraska Food for Health Center is collaborating with a pharmaceutical company to explore how manipulating microorganisms in the digestive tract could thwart metabolic-related diseases.

Nebraska microbiologist Amanda Ramer-Tait leads the center’s partnership with Ritter Pharmaceuticals. The company, which develops novel therapeutic products that modulate the human gut microbiome to treat gastrointestinal diseases, is supplying researchers with its patented prebiotic RP-G28. Beyond its known potential for combating lactose intolerance, the compound may guard against heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health problems.

“We are grateful to Ritter Pharmaceuticals for providing RP-G28 so we can study how manipulation of the microbiome may impact metabolic syndrome,” said Ramer-Tait, Harold and Esther Edgerton Assistant Professor of Food Science and Technology. “There is great potential to take prebiotic-based gut microbiota modulators and explore how they may help human health.”

Ramer-Tait and collaborator Jens Walters, a former Nebraska researcher, have designed a new mouse model to evaluate the health benefits of RP-G28 and to study how gut bacteria respond to the prebiotic. The next step is translating the mouse study results into human feeding studies.

She received a $50,000 Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research award from the Global Probiotics Council to support this work.

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