Back to Announcements

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

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared insufficient sleep a ‘public health problem’, with more than one-third of American adults not getting enough sleep on a regular basis1.

Experts in gut microbiome analysis, Microba Life Sciences, is empowering global consumer goods company Unilever to take a novel approach to this problem by exploring the links between sleep and the human gut with the aim to improve sleep for people across the globe. 

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

As a part of Unilever’s Future Food ambition, Unilever wants to play a role in helping people transition towards healthier diets and has committed to doubling the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally, by 2025. 

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

Microba is building the world’s largest consistently collected and analysed dataset of de-identified gut microbiome metagenomic data which is providing unparalleled insight into the role of the microbiome in human disease.

This database will be leveraged to discover associations between the gut microbiome, nutrition and sleep.

Unilever are 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 that 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.”

Microba Head of Research Partnerships, Dr Kylie Ellis.

Born from ground-breaking research by Co-founders Professors Phil Hugenholtz and Gene Tyson, Microba is leading the way in precision microbiome analysis using metagenomics pioneered by the duo. This research is powering discoveries for greater advancements in human health.