Microba Life Sciences partners with Unilever to target sleep through the gut microbiome

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Microba Life Sciences has announced a new partnership with Unilever under which it will explore the relationship between sleep and the human gut with the aim of improving sleep.

The study will look at associations between the gut microbiome and sleep. Current data indicate that gut bacteria are involved in sleep quality, the regulation of circadian rhythms and the production of natural substances that aid in the promotion of sleep. 

Unilever maintains a Future Food program through which it aims to support people to transition towards healthier diets. It has committed to doubling the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025. 

The aim of the new partnership is to utilise Microba’s database that cross-references diet, lifestyle and sleep habits to discover associations that could help improve sleep.

Microba is working to create the world’s largest consistently collected and analysed dataset of de-identified gut microbiome metagenomic data. It says the database will be leveraged to discover associations between the gut microbiome, nutrition and sleep.

Unilever is interested to see whether the results can be applicable across their food and refreshments portfolio in the future.

Dr Kylie Ellis, research manager at Microba, said the project would advance research in the links between the gut microbiome and human physiology for the promotion of sleep and other gut-brain axis functions. 

“We look forward to working with Unilever to understand more about the way that diet, lifestyle and gut bacteria influences sleep habits and quality of rest,” she said.