Contribution of the Intestinal Microbiota to Human Health and Disease

Editor(s): C. Lifschitz Annales Nestlé Vol.71/3 , 2013


The term ‘microbiome’ was coined by Joshua Lederberg, who argued that microorganisms inhabiting the human body should be included as part of the human genome, because of their influence on human physiology.The human microbiome (formerly known as human microbiota) is the aggregate of microorganisms that resides on the surface and in deep layers of skin, in the saliva and oral mucosa, in the conjunctiva, and in the GIT.Human-associated bacterial species comprise the vast majority of the human
microbiome in terms of microbial DNA content and cell count.To realize that such things as our mother’s weight, the way we are born, and what we are fed can determine the degree of bacterial diversity that we will have early in life, which in turn will affect our immune system, metabolism, etc., adds more reasons to pay particular attention to what happens in the first 1,000 days of existence.

  • Clinical Consequences of Diet-Induced Dysbiosis

    Author(s): Y. Chan et al.

    Various disease states are associated with an imbalance of protective and pathogenic bacteria in the gut, termed dysbiosis. Current evidence reveals that dietary factors affect the microbial ecosystem in the gut. Changes to community structure of the intestinal microbiota are not without consequence considering the wide effects that the microbes have on both local and systemic immunity. The goal of this review is to give insight into the importance of gut microbiota in disease development and the possible therapeutic interventions in clinical settings. We introduce the complex tripartite relationship between diet, microbes and the gut epithelium.
    This is followed by a summary of clinical evidence of dietinduced dysbiosis as a contributing factor in the development of gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer, as well as systemic diseases like obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Finally, the current dietary and microbial interventions to promote a healthy microbial
    profile will be reviewed.

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