What is the Microbiome?
Our body is inhabited by trillions of bacteria, fungi, and viruses which collectively live on and in our body as a community known as microbiota. Their genome is the microbiome.
Consumers are more interested in learning about their gut health. Over the past 5 years, there has been a significant increase in Google searches of the term “gut health” in the US, peaking in January and May 2020. FMCG Guru’s research shows 80% of Americans are interested in food and drink products that improve gut health. Products with “gut health” positioning strategies in the US have increased by 7% CAGR in the last 10 years according to Innova Market Insights.
In recent years, gut health has been associated with diversity of microorganisms in the gut. Healthy gut functions, among other physiological functions, are associated with a diverse and stable community of microorganisms . This community of microorganisms, known as gut microbiota, has been found to play an essential role in human health, which connects to our immune system, metabolism, and nervous system [2, 3]. Gut microbiota is shaped and affected by life-stages, diet, medication, lifestyle, health status and genetic background [1, 4].
Beginning at infancy, dietary patterns not only shape early-life gut microbiota establishment but also impact gut microbiota composition and diversity. Western diets that are typically high in fat and simple sugar and low in dietary fibre, have been found to contribute to the reduction of specific bacteria species . Maintaining a diverse and stable gut microbiota are key factors in a healthy gut. Consuming prebiotics like galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) that helps support healthy microbiota is just one way of supporting a healthy gut which contributes to our overall wellness.
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 Ottman N, Smidt H, De Vos WM, Belzer C. The function of our microbiota: who is out there and what do they do?. Front Cell Infect Mi 2012, 2: Article 104.
 Sonnenburg JL, Sonnenburg ED. Vulnerability of the industrialized microbiota. Science. 2019, 366: eaaw9255.
 Arrieta MC, Stiemsma LT, Amenyogbe N, Brown EM, Finlay B. The intestinal microbiome in early life: health and disease. Front Immunol 2014, 5: Article 427.
 Sonnenburg ED, Sonnenburg JL. The ancestral and industrialized gut microbiota and implications for human health. Nat Rev Microbiol 2019, 17: 383-390.