The Gut Microbiome and Personalization of Diet and Health Interventions
When: Monday, 06/03/2019 through Monday, 06/03/2019, 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Where: Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - 393-396
In this session recent advances in linking the gut microbiome to personalized dietary recommendations will be examined. With the rise of uBiome and other gut microbial sequencing companies, consumers want to know what they can do with this data. Unfortunately, much as with human genomic sequencing the applications have trailed behind the data availability. While gut microbial composition has been correlated with a large number of disease states, the causal chain (did the microbes cause the disease or did the disease favor those microbes?) has yet to be established in most cases. However, the link between diet and our gut microbiome is much more direct although somewhat bidirectional, with diet influencing the microbial composition and microbial metabolism influencing human health. It is clear that diet quite readily alters the relative abundances of the various microorganisms in the gut, but it appears to be much more difficult to change membership, the strains of bacteria that are present. At present it appears we can only incrementally change the microbiome that established itself in our guts soon after weaning. From this springs the idea that we can customize our diets to take maximal advantage of the bacteria that are already present in our intestinal tracts. They can produce a number of health altering compounds such as the short chain fatty acids, compounds that are important modulators of the immune system and metabolism. This session will examine efforts to identify signatures in the microbiota that indicate when a particular food or food component will be more or less beneficial. Does this mean that every microbiome needs to be treated as unique? Perhaps, however, efforts have been made to find relevant differences based on gender, geography, age, weight status and others. Furthermore, there is the somewhat controversial idea that people can be divided into a small number of ‘enterotypes’ that represent functionally and phylogenetically distinct types of microbiomes. The goal is that attendees will come away with a sense of where this relatively nascent field is going and its implications for food and ingredient producers.