Publication:
Microbial Population Changes and Their Relationship with Human Health and Disease.

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Abstract
Specific microbial profiles and changes in intestinal microbiota have been widely demonstrated to be associated with the pathogenesis of a number of extra-intestinal (obesity and metabolic syndrome) and intestinal (inflammatory bowel disease) diseases as well as other metabolic disorders, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes. Thus, maintaining a healthy gut ecosystem could aid in avoiding the early onset and development of these diseases. Furthermore, it is mandatory to evaluate the alterations in the microbiota associated with pathophysiological conditions and how to counteract them to restore intestinal homeostasis. This review highlights and critically discusses recent literature focused on identifying changes in and developing gut microbiota-targeted interventions (probiotics, prebiotics, diet, and fecal microbiota transplantation, among others) for the above-mentioned pathologies. We also discuss future directions and promising approaches to counteract unhealthy alterations in the gut microbiota. Altogether, we conclude that research in this field is currently in its infancy, which may be due to the large number of factors that can elicit such alterations, the variety of related pathologies, and the heterogeneity of the population involved. Further research on the effects of probiotics, prebiotics, or fecal transplantations on the composition of the human gut microbiome is necessary.
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gut microbiota, health status, inflammatory bowel disease, microbial population changes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-communicable diseases, obesity, randomized clinical trial
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