IFT Microbiome, Diet and Health
What is microbiome? The human microbiome is the full complement of microbes, their genes and genomes in or on the human body. Microbiome research is considered an emerging science and some progress has been made in understanding how microbial communities impact human health and disease. The human gut harbors more than 100 trillion bacteria defined as the gut microbiota. Other organisms such as archaea, parasites, or fungi also contribute to the gut microbiota. The combined metagenome of the microbial community is remarkably greater than the human genome. Although, there is significant inter-individual variation in the human gut bacterial composition, there are several bacterial taxa present in majority of the population (IOM report 2013; Jeffery & Toole, 2013; Latulippe et al., 2013).
Recent advances in massively parallel sequencing technologies allow for characterization of the human microbome and to study the effect of environmental factors on the microbiome. There are many factors that influence the structure and function of the gut microbiome including host genetics, immune system, use of antibiotics, age, health, and additional environmental factors. Host diet is emerging as one of the most important parameters as it contributes to the main source of energy for the gut microbiota and may be the easiest to manipulate with fewer potential side effects (Latulippe et al., 2013; Moschen et al., 2012). Our web-based content on microbiome is intended to provide information on the relationship between human gut microbiota, diet and health to scientist, academicians, practitioners, industry and consumers.