Publications on food, nutrition & health

Publications about food, nutrition & health

DII publication on nutrition and health

In order to make new scientific knowledge available for practitioners, the Danone Institute international publishes symposia proceedings, monographs, books or guides about food, nutrition & health.

Written by world-renowned experts, these publications cover a wide variety of topics, present overviews of recent development, promote consensus and/or explore controversy surrounding relevant issues.

Discover and download the last scientific publications coordinated by the Danone Institute International experts and working groups:


Microbiota – the invisible friend of good health at all ages (2022)

Microbiota - the invisible friend for good health at all ages

The Danone Institute International presents the official translation into English of the DI Italy “ Microbiota Book “, coordinated by Silvia Di Maio and Federico Mereta, and translated by Simon Tanner.

This scientific publication is an holistic perception of the microbiota world: psychiatry, microbiology, gastroenterology, … presenting a journey inside the microbiota through a simplified language and ad hoc illustrations.

Over 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci admirably described the human body in his tables of unique drawings. But perhaps, in illustrating the muscles, joints and internal organs, Leonardo forgot a structure which, although lacking the anatomical dignity of the organs we all know, has now been found to be on a par with them, and performs its own precise functions. Some of these have already been discovered, others will emerge with the constant progress of science. But we should certainly not hold this oversight against that genius Leonardo, considering that not even modern manuals of anatomy depict the organ that appears increasingly important in determining our psycho-physical well-being and in regulating the functions of many parts of the body.  This organ weighs more or less 800g in an adult, a little less than the heart, which we know well and which we are constantly aware of thanks to its beat, yet it does not appear in any anatomical illustration, despite being composed of a number of cells which far exceeds that of the human body.

By studying the invisible, we realize that the human body is basically nothing more than a collection of eukaryotes, bacteria and archaea. And it must be pointed out that there are around ten times more microbial cells, that is bacteria, living in our organism than eukaryotes, those that we more properly consider “ours”. However, bacteria are not distributed throughout the body: most of these prokaryotic cells are found in the human gut. Also in genetic terms, the genomes of these bacteria contain over a hundred times more genes than humans. Although we perceive bacteria as mainly being linked to disease, human life itself is dependent on the presence of “good” bacteria. As we will see, the “world” of microorganisms living inside us is both fascinating and important for our health, both physical and psychological.

This mix of historical, anthropological and scientific concepts explains why research on gut bacteria, from ancient texts to the most recent scientific evidence, is a sector of great interest for science. Thanks to a Q&A structure, 7 recognized experts explain several topics considering the different ages and conditions in life. The final part is dedicated to a weekly menu for a “healthy belly”.

The book is written and coordinated Silvia Di Maio and Federico Mereta, with the contribution of:

  • Antonio Gasbarrini (Full Professor of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. Director of the Digestive Disease Center at Policlinico Gemelli IRCCS, Rome)
  • Mario Amore (Full Professor of Psychiatry, University of Genoa. Head of the Psychiatry Unit, San Martino University Hospital of Genoa)
  • Giorgio Walter Canonica (Full Professor of Respiratory Diseases and Head of the Personalized Medicine Center: Asthma and Allergies, at the Humanitas Research Hospital)
  • Michelangelo Giampietro (Specialist in Sports Medicine and Food Science, Sports Medicine Service, ASL Viterbo)
  • Claudio Maffeis (Full Professor of Pediatrics, University of Verona. Director of the Pediatric Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Unit, Regional Center for Pediatric Diabetes, University City Hospital of Verona)
  • Lorenzo Morelli (Full Professor Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences. Head of the Institute of Microbiology and Centre for Research into Biotechnologies, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Piacenza and Cremona)
  • Michele Sculati (M.D., Dietitian, Specialist in Food Science and Clinical Nutrition, PhD in Public Health, Professor at the University of Pavia and Milan Bicocca-School of Medicine and Surgery)

Feel free to download the book in pdf or in epub format (adapted to e-reader): 


“Yogurt, more than the sum of its parts”: Proceedings in Advances in Nutrition (2019)

YINI Nutrition 2018 proceedings on nutrient densityThe 6th Global Summit on the Health Effects of Yogurt took place in June 2018 during the ASN annual meeting, in Boston (USA). This YINI summit was on “Yogurt, more than the sum of its parts”. Leading experts gathered  to review the major recent data about yogurt, dairy matrix, fermentation and nutrient-density. Indeed, yogurt is a nutrient dense food and offers live bacteria. But studies shows also that people who eat yogurt tend to have healthier lifestyles… heard it all before?
The proceedings of the conferences are published in Advances in Nutrition (Sept 2019).

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Yogurt for Health: 10 evidence-based conclusions

10 evidence based conclusion on the health effects of yogurtThe YINI’s 5th anniversary was celebrated in June 2018. For this occasion, YINI has published this document “Yogurt for Health – 10 evidence-based conclusions to mark the 5th anniversary of the Yogurt In Nutrition Initiative”

In this document, the YINI board reviews the recent advances in scientific understanding about the health effects of yogurt and draws several evidence-based conclusions like nutrient-density, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes,  healthier diet and lifestyle, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases…

> Download the publication

> Learn more on the dedicated page where you will be able to access the digital publication and more detailed information.

Yogurt in Nutrition – White book on Lactose digestion (2017)

Yogurt, nutrition and lactose digestionLactose intolerance has become an obsessive preoccupation of a growing population worldwide, along with exclusion diet new trends. These new trends could be seen as a better overall consideration of the role of food in human health or as misinformation related to some type of foods.
For instance, lactose intolerance is often confused with cow’s milk allergy and avoidance of dairy is often considered the only alternative for the lactose intolerant.
This white book, developped in collaboration with the WGO, is a review of scientific publications that brings a better understanding of lactose intolerance and the risks of a restrictive diet.

> Discover and download the Yogurt White book


“Yogurt and Health: what happens in the pot and in the gut?” –  Proceedings in Nutrition Review (2018)

YINI Summit proceedings - yogurt and gut microbiotaDuring 5th Global Summit on the Health Effects of Yogurt, (Oct 2017, IUNS, Buenos Aires, Argentina) experts were gathered  to review the major discoveries from the last ten years around gut microbiota. Recent research has shown it could act as a biomarker for disease and a fundamental target for specific interventions, including dietary ones, like yogurt consumption. 

The proceedings are published in The Nutrition Review (Supp. Edition, Dec 2018) and available online.

Synthesis posts are also available on


“Health Effets of yogurt” – Proceedings in Nutrition Reviews (2015)


In 2014, the Danone Institute International  in partnership the American Society for Nutrition organized the 2nd Global Summit of the Health Effects of Yogurt, during the Nutrition Sessions organized by the American Society for Nutrition during Experimental Biology 2014, in San Diego USA.

The proceedings of the Summit has been published in 2015 in a Supplement of the Nutrition Reviews.

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“Health Effects of Yogurt” –  Proceedings in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2014)

AJCN- Health effects of Yogurt

In 2013, the Danone Institute International created the Yogurt in Nutrition: Initiative for a Balanced Diet in partnership the American Society for Nutrition and together, they organized the 1st Global Summit of the Health Effects of Yogurt, during the Nutrition Sessions organized by the American Society for Nutrition during Experimental Biology 2013, in Boston USA.

The proceedings of the Summit have been published in 2014 in a Supplement of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Health economic modeling to assess short-term costs of maternal overweight, gestional diabetes, and related macrosomia – a pilot evaluation (2015)

HealthEconomicsThis article, published on May 20th, 2015 in Frontiers in Pharmacology presents a pilot evaluation supported by an unrestricted grant from the Danone Institute International.

In order to provide insights in the short-term health economic impact of maternal overweight, gestional diabetes and related macrosomia, a health economic framework was designed. The pilot study also aims to encourage further health technology assessments, based on country – and population – specific data.

Download the publication available in open access

Food & Drugs: are there complementary beneficial effects for health?

Food&DrugsFood and drugs overlap considerably in definition and application, yet also possess several fundamental differences. Pharmacologically, drugs are defined as substances used to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat, or cure diseases. Foods are substances that provide taste, aroma, or nutritive value. Since drugs first originated from foods it is not surprising that the lines between the two are often thin. What distinguishes a food from a drug may not be as relevant as when it becomes a drug and what to do about the functional foods and food bioactives in betweenFood & Drugs provide a reflexion and analysis of the differences, links and interest between drugs and functional foods.

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