On RFD-TV: Andy Benson
Reseachers at the Nebraska Food for Health Center are working to improve human health by linking agriculture and food production to wellness and disease prevention through microbiome research, and they recently made a breakthough discovery. Andy Benson, director of the Nebraska Food for Health Center spoke about the project with RFD-TV, Oct. 11, 2022.
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[00:00:00.000]Well, Nebraska scientists are working to improve human health by linking
[00:00:03.480]agriculture to disease prevention through microbiome research. And they recently
[00:00:08.010]made a breakthrough discovery. Dr. Andy Benson of the Nebraska Food for Health
[00:00:12.720]Center joins us now with more on this. Dr. Benson, thank you so much for being
[00:00:16.050]here and your time. So microbiome, describe why that is so important to our body
[00:00:21.690]and what it does in the body.
[00:00:24.900]We know our microbiome is very intimately linked with health and wellness in our
[00:00:29.220]bodies, it contributes to nutrient breakdown, it also contributes to even
[00:00:33.000]training our immune system, there's just a number of functions that it does. And
[00:00:37.410]we know that certain foods contribute to better the microbiome or make it better
[00:00:42.720]and other foods may contribute to making our microbiome and a little bit worse
[00:00:46.650]shape. Our research looked specifically at sorghum as a model plant to try and
[00:00:52.140]identify components and sorghum that impact the gut microbiome. We use genetic
[00:00:57.720]analysis in the sorghum plants. And we're able to identify regions on nine
[00:01:02.970]different sorghum chromosomes where genetic variation actually affects or has a
[00:01:07.110]major effect on the microbiomes fermentation activity. The scientists on the
[00:01:12.270]team ultimately found an important connection linking sorghum seed color, and
[00:01:16.890]specifically the tannin components of the sorghum seed color that improves
[00:01:21.330]growth of several beneficial microorganisms.
[00:01:24.660]So you can actually take this down to color, exactly what we actually put in our
[00:01:30.540]bodies, obviously, we know that drives the health of our body. So talk about
[00:01:34.350]ultimately, the goal of this research and this next step, and how you're going
[00:01:39.750]to affect the health of people.
[00:01:43.260]Thank you. Yes, our goal is really to sort of catalog all of these components
[00:01:47.370]using genetics that impact the gut microbiome and different food crop plants. We
[00:01:52.980]use sorghum as the model, but you can apply this approach to virtually any type
[00:01:56.700]of food crop. And once we have identified those food components that have
[00:02:01.200]specific effects on beneficial organisms, we can use that now to improve those
[00:02:06.780]crops and help to breed and enhance those traits. Ultimately, those crops would
[00:02:11.700]become ingredients that go into our food supply, and ultimately ingredients that
[00:02:16.380]would go into foods that would help benefit the gut microbiome and ultimately,
[00:02:22.260]So interesting, and of course, as such important work. And I'm sure this is ever
[00:02:26.670]evolving, and more and more information coming to you guys and what you're doing
[00:02:32.580]Yes, it's on a daily basis. Our first study was in sorghum as we said, using
[00:02:37.261]that as a model. We've already we've already got studies going on and dry bean,
[00:02:42.126]common been per se, as well as maize, and a additional sorghum study. So the
[00:02:46.808]applications are really tremendous for this type of approach, and this new
[00:02:51.368]strategy for cataloging these important dietary food components.
[00:02:55.260]Dr. Benson thank you so much. So interesting. Dr. Andy Benson of the Nebraska
[00:02:59.458]Food for Health Center. Appreciate your time this morning.
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