IDP® for enhancing the gut barrier

Public Summary

Principal investigator: Dr Dulantha Ulluwishewa
Industry Partner: Quantec
High-Value Nutrition funding: $275,000


IDP® for enhancing the gut barrier

IDP® is a novel New Zealand dairy formulation that is used as the key ingredient in several food and beverage (F&B) products currently being sold in China and other parts of Asia.

IDP® was developed and commercialised by the Waikato-based company Quantec, which markets this product as ‘health promoting’ due to its demonstrated anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties.

In our recent High-Value Nutrition-funded seeding project (IDP® for Digestive Health), we showed that IDP® was able to enhance intestinal barrier function in vitro, providing evidence that IDP® may be able to confer digestive health benefits to its consumers. Building on this seeding project, we propose to investigate the digestive health benefits of consuming IDP®, and the underlying mechanisms of health, in a clinical trial in collaboration with our Industry Partner Quantec, we will:

  • Determine the ability of IDP® to mitigate intestinal barrier dysfunction in healthy adults (Objective 1)
  • Investigate the effects of IDP® on barrier dysfunction caused by inflammation using in vitro models (Objective 2).

The effects of IDP® on barrier dysfunction in healthy individuals will be determined using an exercise model[1, 2] that has previously been used to study effects of dietary components on intestinal permeability[3-5] . These in vivo human intervention studies will be carried out in collaboration with the Massey University School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition (Associate Professor Barnes).

This body of work aligns well with the mission of HVN, as it helps build the science and knowledge needed to support a uniquely Aotearoa New Zealand food, that people would choose to enhance their health and wellbeing. To continue their growth trajectory and achieve export and sales targets in a competitive Asian market, Quantec have identified a need to develop F&B products with validated digestive health benefits.

Research team

Dulantha Ulluwishewa

Dulantha graduated from Massey University in 2013 with a PhD in Nutritional Science. His research has focused on understanding the molecular interactions that occur in the crosstalk between bacteria and their human host, including their impact on intestinal barrier function. Since joining AgResearch as a Postdoctoral Scientist in 2018, Dulantha has been investigating the effects of food on microbial interactions in the gut, and how this in turn contributes to digestive health.