PolyU has received a generous donation of HK$2 million from Hong Kong Yakult Co. Ltd. (Yakult) to establish the “PolyU-Yakult Joint Research Laboratory for Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Health”. It promotes interdisciplinary research in the fields of food science and human health, and focus on the cutting-edge research of probiotics and prebiotics for the prevention and treatment of intestinal, brain diseases, eczema and women’s health.
Probiotics and prebiotics are hot topics in nutrition and their positive effects on human health are being widely discussed these days. Dr William Tai Chi-shing, Executive Director of the Joint Lab, and his team study the therapeutic potential of different probiotics and prebiotics in inflammatory bowel disease with mouse models. Preliminary results show that probiotic therapy can significantly modulate inflammatory responses and help restore impaired intestinal structure. Dr Tai believes that evidence-based research will form a basis to increase awareness and understanding of probiotics and prebiotics amongst the public and contribute to the entire world.The Joint Research Lab is under the newly established PolyU Research Institute for Future Food (RiFood). Dr Wong Ka Hing, Director of RiFood, introduced the Human Intestine Extracorporeal Simulation System (SHIME), an in vitro simulator of the human digestion system which helps to obtain detailed data for developing new approaches in the prevention or treatment of diseases with probiotics.