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The role of the microbiome for human health: from basic science to clinical applications.

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PubMed ID: 29748817

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Mohajeri MH, Brummer RJM, Rastall RA, Weersma RK, Harmsen HJM, Faas M, Eggersdorfer M

Eur J Nutr. May 2018. doi: 10.1007/s00394-018-1703-4

COMMENT: The role of the human gut microbiota in health and disease is beginning to be understood.

This review summarize the key conclusions of the 2017 annual symposium organized by the University Medical Center Groningen in The Netherlands focused on the role of the gut microbiome in human health and disease. Experts from academia and industry examined interactions of prebiotics, probiotics, or vitamins with the gut microbiome in health and disease, the development of the microbiome in early-life and the role of the microbiome on the gut–brain axis. 

The gut microbiota changes dramatically during pregnancy and intrinsic factors (such as stress), in addition to extrinsic factors (such as diet, and drugs) influence the composition and activity of the gut microbiome throughout life. Microbial metabolites, e.g. short-chain fatty acids affect gut–brain signaling and the immune response. The gut microbiota has a regulatory role on anxiety, mood, cognition and pain which is exerted via the gut–brain axis.

According to authors opinion: 

The gut microbiome affects virtually all aspects of human health, but the degree of scientific evidence, the models and technologies and the understanding of mechanisms of action vary considerably from one benefit area to the other. For a clinical practice to be broadly accepted, the mode of action, the therapeutic window, and potential side effects need to thoroughly be investigated.

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Javier Velasco