It is also funding research that studies the impact of nutrition intervention on gestational diabetes and eye health in children and teens up to 18 years old.
The other area of research interest is the use of natto in regulating blood lipids level in adults.
BY-HEALTH said it has received 43 research funding applications since May and has selected four research projects. The funds also went to supporting two researchers under the “Outstanding Professors Encouragement” initiative. The total amount of funding granted was RMB$1.7m (US$258k).
Different universities across China were granted with the research funds.
For instance, Tianjin Medical University is funded for its study of lutein and beta-carotene and its impact on eye health in primary school children.
Nanchang University is funded for its study on probiotics intervention and its impact on gut microbiome and immune function in infants with food allergy.
Southeast University is funded for its study on gut microbiome, its impact, and mechanisms on the development of gestational diabetes.
Sun Yat-Sen University is funded for its study on using natto to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism in individuals with abnormal lipid levels.
The “Outstanding Professors Encouragement” went to supporting two researchers. Dr Ge Hui Fang and Dr Yang Ao Lin from Jilin University and Sun Yat-Sen University respectively.
Dr Ge will be researching the use of egg white peptide in regulating the gut microbiome of mice infected with ulcerative colitis, as well as the mechanisms behind intestinal mucosa repair.
On the other hand, Dr Yang will be studying vitamin D’s ability and mechanisms in combating early atherosclerosis.
Over 40 projects funded
BY-HEALTH’s nutrition research fund was established in 2012 and has since supported 41 research projects. Over RMB$15m (US$2.28m) has been poured out in the past eight years.
Past projects funded studied the functions of probiotics, natto, protein, glucosamine chondroitin sulfate and the related mechanisms.
The company said it has also partnered with overseas institutions to advance its research, they include University of Aberdeen’s The Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research.
The purpose, according to the company, is to develop new raw materials, new functionalities, and new technologies.
Moving forward, BY-HEALTH said it would build up its expertise in personalised nutrition, assessment methods, new testing techniques, human data bank, functional products, and artificial intelligence.
For instance, it has developed a personalised nutrition regime based on dried blood spot testing and a patent has been filed.
The testing regime could measure the level of nine types of vitamins, five types of minerals, and three types of heavy metal present in an individual’s body based on a drop of blood.
A pilot project with Zhuhai’s People Hospital is underway to try out the dried blood spot testing on the elderly and from there, assess their micronutrients levels.