Most significant microbiome research of 2018

Why is this significant?

The microbiome is either proven or thought to be responsible for everything from disease to obesity to our moods. Given this, the understanding of the place of the human microbiome in human health could be the most significant scientific breakthrough of our time. Together with human genomics this will likely revolutionise the food industry and the way we view food. Like in many eastern cultures food will be viewed as much as medicine as fuel.

According to Gut Microbiota for Health over 4,900 publications have been released focusing on the gut microbiota. This “represents the highest number of published scientific papers on the topic over the past two decades.”

That’s a lot of papers! What’s the most significant achievements of 2018? Read on to find out!

  1. Three long term studies have demonstrated that it’s highly likely that the early life microbiome predicts the probability of children developing obesity and type 1 diabetes later in life.
  2. Diet and drugs are the largest environmental influences on our microbiome. The World Gastroenterology Organization has actually released guidelines for doctors to use to improve their patients gut health based on scientific recommendations. Both fermented dairy products and the Mediterranean Diet have positive effects on the microbiota.
  3. Despite a recent article in Cell probiotics are still considered to offer many benefits. Interestingly this even includes positive effects on emotional and cognitive function. A recent study showed “a distinct influence of probiotic administration at behavioural, neural, and microbiome levels at the same time in healthy volunteers.”
  4. The discovery of neuropod cells demonstrated a direct link between the gut and brain. This is a link that doesn’t require sensing of gut hormones and provides immediate feedback to the brain from the nutrients we ingest.
  5. What is a healthy microbiome? We still don’t have a definitive answer due to the variation in each individual’s microbiome. However gut microbiota resilience could be a good biomarker of health. This is the ability of an individual to recover after exposure to environmental stressors such a antibiotics, psychological stress and unbalanced diets.

Early days? Certainly, but food companies would be wise to keep an eye on cutting edge technologies in this area. New foods specific to improved;

  1. Mood.
  2. Cognitive function.
  3. Disease treatment.
  4. Disease prevention.

look more likely than ever to be on the menu.

Maybe a five star “good for your microbiome” statement will be the next “approval” system!


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