What Makes a Healthy Gut Microbiome?
Everyone talks about the importance of building and preserving a healthy gut microbiome, a gastrointestinal Xanadu touted in particular by the makers of home-based testing kits. But is such a microbial paradise even possible to achieve — and would we know it when we saw it? The answers to those questions are, at least for the moment, out of reach, according to two experts on a recent panel examining the value of direct-to-consumer gut microbiome tests.
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@william At the heart of the problem: Researchers don't always agree on the best methods for quantifying and typing the microorganisms that make up a "normal" microbiome or what they mean to the health of a given person, according to Purna Kashyap, MBBS, a professor of medicine and of physiology at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. The human gastrointestinal tract harbors 100 trillion microbes, according to Kashyap, whose laboratory is researching not only the organisms that make up that stunning mass but how they interact with the host genotype, diet, and gastrointestinal function.