PhD thesis maps the gut microbiome (GM) in older people – University of Copenhagen

CALM > News > PhD thesis maps the gu...

16 April 2018

PhD thesis maps the gut microbiome (GM) in older people

The 28th of September, Josué L. Castro-Mejía defended his PhD thesis at FOOD-KU.

In the thesis, Castro-Mejía maps the factors and putative mechanisms influencing the gut microbiome (GM) amid older people and GM's implications on their well-being.

The microorganisms that inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract produce GM. During the last decade, studies have revealed that imbalances in GM composition are able to trigger metabolic (and immunological) abnormalities in the host. This has been demonstrated to have implications on the development of metabolic disorders, such as obesity, elevated blood pressure, high serum triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein levels (HDL) and insulin resistance, which constitute a cluster of risk factors for development of the so-called metabolic syndrome (MetS). In turn, these disorders may also influence muscle composition, physiological decline and frailty in older people.

In the PhD thesis, Castro-Mejía gives an overview on current methodologies for GM screening, with particular emphasis on viral communities, it presents an integrative approach to elucidate the interplay of dietary aspects and GM composition in relation to physiological decline. Finally, it provides insights of the putative role of viral communities in modulating GM and metabolic biomarkers in older people.

For the defense, Castro-Mejía presented his results. He explained GM's influence on metabolic and physiological conditions, methodologies and future significance of the results achieved.

The assessment committee included:

  • Professor Inge Tetens from NEXS at University of Copenhagen
  • Professor Paul W. O’Toole from University College Cork, Ireland
  • CEO Mette Voldby Larsen from GoSeqIt ApS

Read the PhD thesis by Josué L. Castro-Mejía.