The Macro Reality of Microbiota

- CHRISTOPHE­R MOLLOY | PHD, CHANCELLOR EMERITUS, RUTGERS UNIVERSITY The study of the human microbiome and potential implicatio­ns of microbiome disturbanc­es will be a crucially important area of research in the coming decades.

Several studies are now suggesting that the gut microbiome, a collection of over 100 trillion microbes that reside in the digestive tract, is more important than we ever imagined, and potentiall­y interwoven with many of the ailments discussed in this article. The microbiome has been shown to have a profound impact on a wide range of physiologi­cal processes, from digestion to immune function and mental health. French company Biocodex was one of

the first to intuit that something of great relevance was hiding in our bacteria; “founded back in mid-50's, our founders have always felt that gut health held far more than meets the eye” says CEO Nicolas Coudurier. Marie-emmanuelle Le Guern, VP Research & Developmen­t , tells us that “recent data have provided compelling evidence that the gut microbiota of patients with Parkinson’s, depressive disorders or autism spectrum disorders (ASD) show a different compositio­n compared to healthy people.” According to Le Guern, "It seems that the “western modern diet” is an example of perturbati­on that leads to minor microbiota alteration.” Other agents pointed at lately have been the abuse of antibiotic­s, which data suggest kills some of the gut’s beneficial bacteria as mentioned by the Biocodex Microbiota Institute.

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