The Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health (Aberdeen University)

The foci of the Rowett’s three research divisions is improving food quality and preventing disease.


Alan Rowe, CEO, Rowett Research Services



Greenburn Rd Aberdeen
AB21 9SB

Web Location:

The Rowett Institute of Nutrition & Health website

Rowett Research Services position themselves to exploit their research expertise in obesity management, cellular integrity, gut health and maternal fetal interactions to develop health enhancing foods with industrial partners.

They have a recently established clinical trial unit with GCP accreditation to assess the effect of food products / diet regimes on body mass / weight loss / biomarkers and also looking to engage with food service companies to develop innovative products.

Background research highlights the Rowett research interests is indicative of their activity and global recognition in related technologies.

Core programme activities focus on the nutritional drivers for obesity, Type II diabetes, CHD, bowel disorders (including colon cancer and IBS)

  • Role of leptin and analogues on weight control systems
  • Human intervention trials, sustained weight loss models, measurement of whole body energy expenditure (including radio labelled isotopes and whole body calorimetry), role of protein in satiety
  • Omega 3 and other polyunsaturated fatty acids in lipid metabolism
  • Role of conjugated linoleic acids in nutrition related disorders
  • Measurement of antioxidant potential from phytochemical matrices
  • Role of nutrients in cell damage and repair
  • Nutrient basis for arterial plaque formation
  • Role of micronutrients (se, Zn, Cu and Fe) and related systems (eg homocysteine) and impact on disease
  • Gut immunology and microbiology including in vitro models for gut health with particular interest in pre and probiotics and the development and maintenance of gut immune systems
  • In vitro models using live inoculant
  • Assessment of allergenic response of the gut to nutrients
  • Genomic and proteomic facilities to support the research into the genetic basis for nutrition related disorders
  • Key partner in the Intestinal Health Consortium along with NCIMB, Campden & Chorleywood and University of Dundee

The Rowett has one particular opportunity which can be highlighted.

Therapeutic Probiotics for gastrointestinal disorders - The Rowett have identified novel anaerobic gut bacteria that convert lactic acid to butyrate acid . Lactic acid accumulation has been associated with gut microbial imbalance, inflammation and disease as in ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and possibly link to irritable bowel syndrome. and following major bowel surgery. Butyric acid on the other hand is required to maintain colonic epithelial cell health and has been shown to reduce risk of colorectal cancer and reverse colitis. The bacteria have probiotic potential for either a compromised individual or for prophylactic use after antibiotic, radio/chemotherapies or surgery.

The technology is based upon the body's ability to engage natural mechanisms to maintain immune status and which through the mechanism of action of the selected bacteria address specific microbial challenges.

The activity of a number of strains have been demonstrated in vitro and studies are planned to examine the ability to consume lactate when co-cultured with lactate producing strains. Further work is planned to correlate the target bacteria with their deficiencies in UC and IBD patients and to develop therapeutic products.

In addition to a unique screening library As there are issues with incorporating anaerobic strains into food products and protecting them for optimal delivery the Rowett has partners that can develop novel slow release.

The underpinning science resource, know how and expert interpretation provides the added value of the technology proposition and lends itself to finding partners who develop probiotic food concepts using both in vitro and human volunteer studies.

Patent filed in UK and relevant strains deposited with NCIMB Ltd.

Strategic alliances / joint ventures are sought and initial feasibility study can be undertaken to validate the technology for specific application.

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