The new year already brings a gift to all probiotic practitioners or wannabes via Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
This prestigious journal representing a very august health entity has published a primer titled “A Clinician’s Primer on the Role of the Microbiome in Human Health and Disease.”
The 2014 review very nicely—and briefly–outlines evidence for the microbial role in various diseases and disorders including infections, inflammatory bowel diseases, allergies, obesity and more.
We learn that more than 90% of the 4000 studies from a medical search index have been published in the past 5 years.
Authors Sahil Khanna and Pritish K. Tosh state:
” Although the clinical relevance of this field may initially seem esoteric to the practicing clinician, there is growing realization of the role our commensal microbiota plays in human health and disease. It is likely that in a short time, understanding the basic concepts about the interactions between humans and their microbiome will be as important to clinicians as understanding concepts of genetics or germ theory.”
Besides serving as concise background, the authors present a current reference list culled for the review.
“In summary, the gut microbiota is essential to maintaining health and may be altered in disease… The composition and function of a healthy gut microbiota remain to be clearly defined. Several disease states have been correlated with alterations of the gut microbiota, although it is not clear whether these alterations are a cause or consequence. The key questions pertaining to the gut microbiota are whether alterations in the microbiota are causative or merely associations with diseases and whether therapeutically manipulating the gut microbiota by dietary changes, microbiota restorative therapies, or immune modulation would alter disease course.”
Read the review.