Stool samples as a key to health

Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is welcoming a new company this fall: InnerBuddies. This first Maastricht University spin-off is setting up shop at the campus with 27-year-old Jella Theeuwen at the helm as CEO.

InnerBuddies will provide nutritional advice based on human stool samples. The data these samples generate will be made available for academic research. “The human microbiome offers a largely unexplored wealth of information about people’s health. The market is also a very promising one commercially.”

The microbiome is a collective term for bacteria, fungi, viruses and other single-celled organisms and is found mainly in the intestinal system. “It involves many thousands of different organisms,” says Jella Theeuwen, a dietician and graduate of Maastricht University’s Health Food Innovation Management Master’s program in Venlo. “Some of them are responsible for symptoms and illnesses, while others provide resistance and strength. Scientists and doctors are working on mapping the microbiome to arrive at diagnoses and to treat or prevent diseases through diet, among other things. In a nutshell, the microbiome can be used as the key to unlocking good health.”

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Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo.