Special Issue "Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Prebiotics and Probiotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Sonia González
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Guest Editor
Functional Biology Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oviedo, Avda. Julián Clavería s/n. 33006, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Interests: nutrition; microbiota; inmunonutrition; dietary patterns; epidemiological nutrition
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Nuria Salazar
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Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPLA-CSIC), Asturias, Spain.
Interests: Gut microbiome, obesity, Bifidobacterium, probiotics, prebiotics, diet, ageing
Dr. Silvia Arboleya
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Guest Editor
Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IPLA-CSIC), Asturias, Spain.
Interests: Gut microbiome, early life, Bifidobacterium, probiotics, prebiotics, diet, gut-brain-axis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diet plays a fundamental role in shaping the composition and metabolic activity of the gut microbiota and, thus, it could determine the interrelationship between the gut microbiome and the host. The colon is the part of the human body that is most densely populated, containing bacteria, archaea, viruses, and some unicellular eukaryotes that have co-evolved with humans in a commensal way. The gut microbiota plays a crucial role in the maintenance of normal host physiology. The rapid development of next-generation sequencing (NGS) methods for DNA sequencing in the last decade has facilitated in-depth study of gut microbiome composition and function. These methods have contributed to providing evidence regarding the relevance of the intestinal microbiota for host health as well as the basis for putative dietary interventions aimed at counteracting microbiota dysbiosis. Understanding the complex and dynamic interaction between dietary exposures and gut microbiota can help to elucidate their potential role in different pathologies and to guide future strategies for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Age-related changes in the gut microbiome are also associated with physiological changes in the gastrointestinal tract as well as in dietary patterns, with a concomitant decline in the normal function of the immune system that may contribute to increased risk of infection and frailty. More studies are needed to better understand how the microbiota shifts with different environmental factors and how they are associated with dietary changes.

In this Special Issue of Nutrients, we would like to bring together papers dealing with the impact of dietary components on the microbiome in different health outcomes and the aging process. Potential topics may include papers about the possible mechanisms underlying the beneficial actions of probiotics or prebiotics, as well as the interactions between specific nutrients or dietary components and the microbiome. Different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) were welcome.

Dr. Sonia González
Dr. Nuria Salazar
Dr. Silvia Arboleya
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • probiotics
  • prebiotics
  • microbiome
  • diet
  • health
  • aging

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Application of Ligilactobacillus salivarius CECT5713 to Achieve Term Pregnancies in Women with Repetitive Abortion or Infertility of Unknown Origin by Microbiological and Immunological Modulation of the Vaginal Ecosystem
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010162 - 06 Jan 2021
Abstract
In this study, the cervicovaginal environment of women with reproductive failure (repetitive abortion, infertility of unknown origin) was assessed and compared to that of healthy fertile women. Subsequently, the ability of Ligilactobacillus salivarius CECT5713 to increase pregnancy rates in women with reproductive failure [...] Read more.
In this study, the cervicovaginal environment of women with reproductive failure (repetitive abortion, infertility of unknown origin) was assessed and compared to that of healthy fertile women. Subsequently, the ability of Ligilactobacillus salivarius CECT5713 to increase pregnancy rates in women with reproductive failure was evaluated. Vaginal pH and Nugent score were higher in women with reproductive failure than in fertile women. The opposite was observed regarding the immune factors TGF-β 1, TFG-β 2, and VEFG. Lactobacilli were detected at a higher frequency and concentration in fertile women than in women with repetitive abortion or infertility. The metataxonomic study revealed that vaginal samples from fertile women were characterized by the high abundance of Lactobacillus sequences, while DNA from this genus was practically absent in one third of samples from women with reproductive failure. Daily oral administration of L. salivarius CECT5713 (~9 log10 CFU/day) to women with reproductive failure for a maximum of 6 months resulted in an overall successful pregnancy rate of 56%. The probiotic intervention modified key microbiological, biochemical, and immunological parameters in women who got pregnant. In conclusion, L. salivarius CECT5713 has proved to be a good candidate to improve reproductive success in women with reproductive failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Different Dietary Indices as Predictors of Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Intestinal Microbiota in Middle-Aged and Elderly Subjects
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3828; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123828 - 15 Dec 2020
Abstract
During the last decades the gut microbiota has been identified as a key mediator in the diet-health interaction. However, our understanding on the impact of general diet upon microbiota is still limited. Dietary indices represent an essential approach for addressing the link between [...] Read more.
During the last decades the gut microbiota has been identified as a key mediator in the diet-health interaction. However, our understanding on the impact of general diet upon microbiota is still limited. Dietary indices represent an essential approach for addressing the link between diet and health from a holistic point of view. Our aim was to test the predictive potential of seven dietary ratings on biomarkers of inflammation, oxidative stress and on the composition and metabolic activity of the intestinal microbiota. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on a sample of 73 subjects aged >50 years with non-declared pathologies. Dietary inflammatory index (DII), Empirical Dietary Inflammatory Index (EDII), Healthy Eating Index (HEI), Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI), Mediterranean adapted Diet Quality Index-International (DQI-I), Modified Mediterranean Diet Score (MMDS) and relative Mediterranean Diet Score (rMED) were calculated based on a Food Frequency Questionnaire. Major phylogenetic types of the intestinal microbiota were determined by real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and fecal short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by gas chromatography. While DII, HEI, DQI-I and MMDS were identified as predictors of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii levels, AHEI and MMDS were negatively associated with Lactobacillus group. HEI, AHEI and MMDS were positively associated with fecal SCFAs. In addition, DII and EDII explained lipoperoxidation level and Mediterranean scores the serum IL-8 concentrations. The lower detection of IL-8 in individuals with higher scores on Mediterranean indices may be partially explained by the increased levels of the anti-inflammatory bacterium F. prausnitzii in such individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Pro- and Anti-Inflammatory Gastro-Intestinal Microbiota, Diet, and Cognitive Functioning in Dutch Healthy Older Adults: The NU-AGE Study
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3471; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12113471 - 12 Nov 2020
Abstract
Dietary modulation of the gastro-intestinal microbiota is a potential target in improving healthy ageing and age-related functional outcomes, including cognitive decline. We explored the association between diet, gastro-intestinal microbiota and cognition in Dutch healthy older adults of the ‘New dietary strategies addressing the [...] Read more.
Dietary modulation of the gastro-intestinal microbiota is a potential target in improving healthy ageing and age-related functional outcomes, including cognitive decline. We explored the association between diet, gastro-intestinal microbiota and cognition in Dutch healthy older adults of the ‘New dietary strategies addressing the specific needs of the elderly population for healthy aging in Europe’ (NU-AGE) study. The microbiota profile of 452 fecal samples from 226 subjects was determined using a 16S ribosomal RNA gene-targeted microarray. Dietary intake was assessed by 7-day food records. Cognitive functioning was measured with an extensive cognitive test battery. We observed a dietary and microbial pro- to anti-inflammatory gradient associated with diets richer in animal- or plant-based foods. Fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts, red and processed meat and grain products were most strongly associated to microbiota composition. Plant-rich diets containing fresh fruits, nuts, seeds and peanuts were positively correlated with alpha-diversity, various taxa from the Bacteroidetes phylum and anti-inflammatory species, including those related to Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and Eubacterium rectale and E. biforme. Animal product-rich diets associated with pro-inflammatory species, including those related to Ruminococcus gnavus and Collinsella spp.. Cognition was neither associated with microbiota composition nor alpha-diversity. In conclusion, diets richer in animal- and plant-based foods were related to a pro- and anti-inflammatory microbial profile, while cognition was associated with neither. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Putative Mechanisms Responsible for the Antihyperglycemic Action of Lactobacillus paracasei HII01 in Experimental Type 2 Diabetic Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 3015; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103015 - 01 Oct 2020
Abstract
Despite the updated knowledge of the impact of gut dysbiosis on diabetes, investigations into the beneficial effects of individual bacteria are still required. This study evaluates the antihyperglycemic efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei HII01 and its possible mechanisms in diabetic rats. Diabetic rats were [...] Read more.
Despite the updated knowledge of the impact of gut dysbiosis on diabetes, investigations into the beneficial effects of individual bacteria are still required. This study evaluates the antihyperglycemic efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei HII01 and its possible mechanisms in diabetic rats. Diabetic rats were assigned to receive vehicle, L. paracasei HII01 (108 CFU/day), metformin 30 (mg/kg) or a combination of L. paracasei HII01 and metformin. Normal rats given vehicle and L. paracasei HII01 were included. Metabolic parameters, including in vitro hemi-diaphragm glucose uptake, skeletal insulin-signaling proteins, plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS), gut permeability, composition of gut microbiota and its metabolites, as well as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), were assessed after 12 weeks of experiment. The results clearly demonstrated that L. paracasei HII01 improved glycemic parameters, glucose uptake, insulin-signaling proteins including pAktSer473, glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) and phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPKThr172), tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-kB) in diabetic rats. Modulation of gut microbiota was found together with improvement in leaky gut, endotoxemia and SCFAs in diabetic rats administered L. paracasei HII01. In conclusion, L. paracasei HII01 alleviated hyperglycemia in diabetic rats primarily by modulating gut microbiota along with lessening leaky gut, leading to improvement in endotoxemia and inflammation-disturbed insulin signaling, which was mediated partly by PI3K/Akt signaling and AMPK activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Whole Blueberry and Isolated Polyphenol-Rich Fractions Modulate Specific Gut Microbes in an In Vitro Colon Model and in a Pilot Study in Human Consumers
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2800; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092800 - 12 Sep 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Blueberry (BB) consumption is linked to improved health. The bioconversion of the polyphenolic content of BB by fermentative bacteria in the large intestine may be a necessary step for the health benefits attributed to BB consumption. The identification of specific gut microbiota taxa [...] Read more.
Blueberry (BB) consumption is linked to improved health. The bioconversion of the polyphenolic content of BB by fermentative bacteria in the large intestine may be a necessary step for the health benefits attributed to BB consumption. The identification of specific gut microbiota taxa that respond to BB consumption and that mediate the bioconversion of consumed polyphenolic compounds into bioactive forms is required to improve our understanding of how polyphenols impact human health. We tested the ability of polyphenol-rich fractions purified from whole BB—namely, anthocyanins/flavonol glycosides (ANTH/FLAV), proanthocyanidins (PACs), the sugar/acid fraction (S/A), and total polyphenols (TPP)—to modulate the fecal microbiota composition of healthy adults in an in vitro colon system. In a parallel pilot study, we tested the effect of consuming 38 g of freeze-dried BB powder per day for 6 weeks on the fecal microbiota of 17 women in two age groups (i.e., young and older). The BB ingredients had a distinct effect on the fecal microbiota composition in the artificial colon model. The ANTH/FLAV and PAC fractions were more effective in promoting microbiome alpha diversity compared to S/A and TPP, and these effects were attributed to differentially responsive taxa. Dietary enrichment with BB resulted in a moderate increase in the diversity of the microbiota of the older subjects but not in younger subjects, and certain health-relevant taxa were significantly associated with BB consumption. Alterations in the abundance of some gut bacteria correlated not only with BB consumption but also with increased antioxidant activity in blood. Collectively, these pilot data support the notion that BB consumption is associated with gut microbiota changes and health benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Gut Microbiome Composition between Senior Orienteering Athletes and Community-Dwelling Older Adults
Nutrients 2020, 12(9), 2610; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092610 - 27 Aug 2020
Abstract
Background: Gastrointestinal (GI) health is an important aspect of general health. Gastrointestinal symptoms are of specific importance for the elderly, an increasing group globally. Hence, promoting the elderly’s health and especially gastrointestinal health is important. Gut microbiota can influence gastrointestinal health by modulation [...] Read more.
Background: Gastrointestinal (GI) health is an important aspect of general health. Gastrointestinal symptoms are of specific importance for the elderly, an increasing group globally. Hence, promoting the elderly’s health and especially gastrointestinal health is important. Gut microbiota can influence gastrointestinal health by modulation of the immune system and the gut–brain axis. Diverse gut microbiota have been shown to be beneficial; however, for the elderly, the gut microbiota is often less diverse. Nutrition and physical activity, in particular, are two components that have been suggested to influence composition or diversity. Materials and Methods: In this study, we compared gut microbiota between two groups of elderly individuals: community-dwelling older adults and physically active senior orienteering athletes, where the latter group has less gastrointestinal symptoms and a reported better well-being. With this approach, we explored if certain gut microbiota were related to healthy ageing. The participant data and faecal samples were collected from these two groups and the microbiota was whole-genome sequenced and taxonomically classified with MetaPhlAn. Results: The physically active senior orienteers had a more homogeneous microbiota within the group and a higher abundance of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii compared to the community-dwelling older adults. Faecalibacterium prausnitzii has previously shown to have beneficial properties. Senior orienteers also had a lower abundance of Parasutterella excrementihominis and Bilophila unclassified, which have been associated with impaired GI health. We could not observe any difference between the groups in terms of Shannon diversity index. Interestingly, a subgroup of community-dwelling older adults showed an atypical microbiota profile as well as the parameters for gastrointestinal symptoms and well-being closer to senior orienteers. Conclusions: Our results suggest specific composition characteristics of healthy microbiota in the elderly, and show that certain components of nutrition as well as psychological distress are not as tightly connected with composition or diversity variation in faecal microbiota samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Gut Health-Promoting Benefits of a Dietary Supplement of Vitamins with Inulin and Acacia Fibers in Rats
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2196; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082196 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The study’s objective was to ascertain whether a nutritional multivitamin and mineral supplement enriched with two different dietary fibers influences microbiota composition, mineral absorption, and some immune and metabolic biomarkers in adult rats. Nine-week-old Wistar rats were randomly assigned into four groups: the [...] Read more.
The study’s objective was to ascertain whether a nutritional multivitamin and mineral supplement enriched with two different dietary fibers influences microbiota composition, mineral absorption, and some immune and metabolic biomarkers in adult rats. Nine-week-old Wistar rats were randomly assigned into four groups: the reference group; the group receiving a daily supplement based on a food matrix with proteins, vitamins, and minerals; and two other groups receiving this supplement enriched with inulin (V + I) or acacia (V + A) fiber for four weeks. Microbiota composition was determined in cecal content and mineral content in fecal, blood, and femur samples. Intestinal IgA concentration, hematological, and biochemical variables were evaluated. Both V + I and V + A supplementations increased Firmicutes and Actinobacteria phyla, which were associated with a higher presence of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium spp. V + A supplementation increased calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc concentrations in femur. V + I supplementation increased the fecal IgA content and reduced plasma total cholesterol and uric acid concentration. Both fiber-enriched supplements tested herein seem to be beneficial to gut-health, although differently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Coffee Consumption is Associated with Fecal Microbial Composition in Humans
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1287; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051287 - 01 May 2020
Cited by 6
Abstract
Coffee consumption has been related to a preventive effect against several non-transmissible pathologies. Due to the content of this beverage in phytochemicals and minerals, it has been proposed that its impact on health may partly depend on gut microbiota modulation. Our aim was [...] Read more.
Coffee consumption has been related to a preventive effect against several non-transmissible pathologies. Due to the content of this beverage in phytochemicals and minerals, it has been proposed that its impact on health may partly depend on gut microbiota modulation. Our aim was to explore the interaction among gut microbiota, fecal short chain fatty acids, and health-related parameters in 147 healthy subjects classified according to coffee consumption, to deepen the association of the role of the (poly)phenol and alkaloid content of this beverage. Food daily intake was assessed by an annual food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Coffee consumption was categorized into three groups: non-coffee-consumers (0–3 mL/day), moderate consumers (3–45 mL/day) and high-coffee consumers (45–500 mL/day). Some relevant groups of the gut microbiota were determined by qPCR, and concentration of fecal short chain fatty acids by gas chromatography. Serum health related biomarkers were determined by standardized methods. Interestingly, a higher level of Bacteroides–Prevotella–Porphyromonas was observed in the high consumers of coffee, who also had lower levels of lipoperoxidation. Two groups of coffee-derived (poly)phenol, methoxyphenols and alkylphenols, and caffeine, among alkaloids, were directly associated with Bacteroides group levels. Thus, regular consumption of coffee appears to be associated with changes in some intestinal microbiota groups in which dietary (poly)phenol and caffeine may play a role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
The Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis and Alzheimer’s Disease: Neuroinflammation Is to Blame?
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010037 - 24 Dec 2020
Abstract
For years, it has been reported that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Various external and internal factors may contribute to the early onset of AD. This review highlights a contribution of the disturbances in the microbiota–gut–brain (MGB) axis [...] Read more.
For years, it has been reported that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. Various external and internal factors may contribute to the early onset of AD. This review highlights a contribution of the disturbances in the microbiota–gut–brain (MGB) axis to the development of AD. Alteration in the gut microbiota composition is determined by increase in the permeability of the gut barrier and immune cell activation, leading to impairment in the blood–brain barrier function that promotes neuroinflammation, neuronal loss, neural injury, and ultimately AD. Numerous studies have shown that the gut microbiota plays a crucial role in brain function and changes in the behavior of individuals and the formation of bacterial amyloids. Lipopolysaccharides and bacterial amyloids synthesized by the gut microbiota can trigger the immune cells residing in the brain and can activate the immune response leading to neuroinflammation. Growing experimental and clinical data indicate the prominent role of gut dysbiosis and microbiota–host interactions in AD. Modulation of the gut microbiota with antibiotics or probiotic supplementation may create new preventive and therapeutic options in AD. Accumulating evidences affirm that research on MGB involvement in AD is necessary for new treatment targets and therapies for AD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessReview
A Revolutionizing Approach to Autism Spectrum Disorder Using the Microbiome
Nutrients 2020, 12(7), 1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12071983 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The study of human microbiota and health has emerged as one of the ubiquitous research pursuits in recent decades which certainly warrants the attention of both researchers and clinicians. Many health conditions have been linked to the gut microbiota which is the largest [...] Read more.
The study of human microbiota and health has emerged as one of the ubiquitous research pursuits in recent decades which certainly warrants the attention of both researchers and clinicians. Many health conditions have been linked to the gut microbiota which is the largest reservoir of microbes in the human body. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the neurodevelopmental disorders which has been extensively explored in relation to gut microbiome. The utilization of microbial knowledge promises a more integrative perspective in understanding this disorder, albeit being an emerging field in research. More interestingly, oral and vaginal microbiomes, indicating possible maternal influence, have equally drawn the attention of researchers to study their potential roles in the etiopathology of ASD. Therefore, this review attempts to integrate the knowledge of microbiome and its significance in relation to ASD including the hypothetical aetiology of ASD and its commonly associated comorbidities. The microbiota-based interventions including diet, prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, and faecal microbial transplant (FMT) have also been explored in relation to ASD. Of these, diet and probiotics are seemingly promising breakthrough interventions in the context of ASD for lesser known side effects, feasibility and easier administration, although more studies are needed to ascertain the actual clinical efficacy of these interventions. The existing knowledge and research gaps call for a more expanded and resolute research efforts in establishing the relationship between autism and microbiomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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Open AccessReview
The Impact of Diet on Microbiota Evolution and Human Health. Is Diet an Adequate Tool for Microbiota Modulation?
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1654; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061654 - 02 Jun 2020
Abstract
The human microbiome is emerging as an interesting field in research into the prevention of health problems and recovery from illness in humans. The complex ecosystem formed by the microbiota is continuously interacting with its host and the environment. Diet could be assumed [...] Read more.
The human microbiome is emerging as an interesting field in research into the prevention of health problems and recovery from illness in humans. The complex ecosystem formed by the microbiota is continuously interacting with its host and the environment. Diet could be assumed to be one of the most prominent factors influencing the microbiota composition. Nevertheless, and in spite of numerous strategies proposed to modulate the human microbiota through dietary means, guidelines to achieve this goal have yet to be established. This review assesses the correlation between social and dietary changes over the course of human evolution and the adaptation of the human microbiota to those changes. In addition, it discusses the main dietary strategies for modulating the microbiota and the difficulties of putting them properly into practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Diet and Microbiome in Health and Aging)
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