Shayal Devi

Exploring the role of gut microbiota in the pharmacological effects of cholesterol health on controlling blood cholesterol and the risk of metabolic syndrome

With the global rise in obesity, medical researchers and experts warn of metabolic syndrome becoming a global epidemic. Metabolic syndrome is a medical term for a group of health risk factors (such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance) that together increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other health problems. Metabolic syndrome affects about 20 to 30% of adults in Australia. Compelling evidence suggests that gut microbiota (the trillions of microbes living in our gut) plays a pivotal role in various physiological and metabolic activities.

This PhD project aims to investigate through preclinical methods the effect of a plant-based supplement on gut microbiota as a potential target for metabolic syndrome, with a focus on diabetes. The hypothesis, that the supplement will restore abnormal cholesterol levels and be used as a viable complementary medicine for metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, the outcomes of the research will provide scientific information on low-cost, house-hold disease prevention methods to the community and proof of efficacy of the supplement in regulating gut microbiota to manage metabolic syndrome.


Dr Srinivas Nammi; Professor Dennis Chang; Professor Mohammad Tariq

Funded by the NICM Health Research Institute and Blackmores Institute Scholarship Program.