The role of bacteria in personalized nutrition

Singhrao, Simarjit Kaur orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9573-5963, Robinson, Sarita Jane orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4237-5412 and Harding, Alice (2019) The role of bacteria in personalized nutrition. In: Trends in Personalized Nutrition. Elsevier. ISBN 9780128164037

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A symbiotic gastrointestinal tract (GI) microbiome plays a role in healthy living and successful ageing. Alternatively, a dysbiotic microbiome, where pathogenic bacteria have replaced commensals, is associated with conditions, such as periodontal disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and possibly Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as other mental health disorders. Specifically, a dysbiotic oral microbiome can initiate hard/soft tissue destruction, whilst breakdown of gut microbiome homeostasis can cause physical changes in stool texture and motion, which in turn cause visceral pain symptoms, as experienced by IBS patients. Dysbiotic oral/gut biofilm consortia can affect the functioning of disparate organs, such as the brain, potentially causing conditions such as depression, and is implicated in the development of hallmark lesions characteristic of AD. If oral/gut health is essential for mental and physical well-being, then using nutritional interventions to restore the diversity of commensals in the gut may improve a person’s overall health status. This chapter aims to enable the reader to make informed decisions on how best to improve their gut health by promoting the colonization of the GI tract by commensals. Although diet has an important part to play in supporting general health, its efficacy in restoring symbiosis remains to be fully investigated. In addition, professional interventions are important, because factors such as genetics, certain medications, and life-styles also contribute to dysbiosis. As our knowledge grows regarding how best to maintain a healthy oral/GI tract microbiome, dieticians will be able to formulate personalized nutrition plans to better support general health throughout life.

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