Tailoring Diet and Probiotics to Treat Disease

A recent publication in Cell discusses the important role of diet along with next-generation probiotics to more specifically modify the gut microbiota for treating disease and gut dysbiosis.

The authors outline disruptions in human history resulting in lifestyle changes such as the advent of agriculture.  Relatively recent changes such as the industrial revolution have moved traditional human diets away from local and seasonal plant based diets to high fat and sugar diets also low in fiber. Thus the modern “westernized” diet plays a role in gut-human symbiosis and therefore in the development of “non-communicable chronic auto-immune disease.” These types of disease, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), cancer, diabetes and asthma, are increasing in western cultures and are likely to have solutions related to the gut ecology of humans.

The microbial community of the gut performs many functions and fluctuates daily, hourly and between individuals. These microbial communities make available important vitamins and nutrients as well as metabolites that play a role in the function and health of the gut.

The utilization of diet to modify the function and diversity of the gut microbiota is complicated and the response of individuals may be dependent on initial gut diversity, genetics or other factors. The authors believe that while these are challenges in determining how diet may treat disease, recent technological developments will in the future lead to more personalized dietary recommendations for individuals. Affordable genome sequencing, continued research on the impact of specific metabolites on health, the availability of big data and the ability to process this data to create tailored dietary recommendations for individuals may ultimately result in not only tailored dietary recommendations but also tailored probiotics.

Source: Cell, Trends in Microbiology


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