In 2018, key studies shaped the way we think about environmental factors and their influence on the gut microbiota. These data highlight a new-found appreciation for the role of diet in modifying the gut microbiome and fortifying the intestinal barrier, which ultimately might lead to better treatments for chronic metabolic diseases.
Using a high-fibre diet to target short-chain fatty acid producers in the gut microbiota could assist type 2 diabetes management2.
Defects in the mucous layer of mice fed a Western-style diet are mediated by gut bacteria and can be rescued by faecal microbiota transplant from chow-fed mice or by prebiotic or probiotic treatment4.
Environmental factors such as sharing a household play a major part in shaping microbiome composition, with a relatively minor contribution by host genetics7.
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The author has previously received travel support and honoraria from Beneo GmbH.
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Reimer, R.A. Establishing the role of diet in the microbiota–disease axis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 86–87 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-018-0093-7
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