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Microbiome

What does a healthy infant gut microbiome look like?

As diet and the microbiome are closely entwined, the first step in understanding a healthy infant gut microbiome is to understand a healthy infant diet. Fortunately, a healthy infant diet is at least superficially simple to define, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is the best nutrition for infants according to the World Health Organisation. A common alternative to human breast milk for infants is formula and the microbiomes of breastfed and formula fed infants are known to differ.

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A Longitudinal Study of the Facial Skin Microbiome in Normal Healthy Adults

Human skin is the largest organ that acts as a front line of defence against toxic effects from its exposure to toxic environmental factors1-3. Skin Microbiome is considered an integral part of skin barrier that, combined with innate immunity, plays a key role in maintaining the skin health4-7.

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Fermented Food as Probiotics: Health Perceptions and Research

As a microbiologist in the field of probiotics, I am often asked, “Will probiotics improve my health?” I always give the same answer: studies show specific benefits of probiotics for certain conditions, but there is not conclusive evidence that they will improve health for an already healthy person.

I know this is an unsatisfying answer. It is a careful answer and one that relies on the tenets of scientific research – large samples sizes, causation over correlation and repetition of experimental results. At this point, I cannot say with confidence that research supports the idea that ingesting a certain probiotic can make you a healthier person.

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The Potential of Probiotics for Human Health

This article was originally published in Health Europa Quarterly on 3 May 2018, and is published here with permission.

Johan van Hylckama Vlieg is the vice-president for microbiome and human health innovation at Chr. Hansen A/S, a global leading bioscience company that develops and produces cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colours for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

Speaking at the 5th Microbiome R&D & Business Collaboration Forum: Europe, van Hylckama Vlieg provided a valuable insight into some of the exciting potential application areas of probiotics.

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Research and business opportunities in clinical microbiomics

This article was originally published in Health Europa Quarterly on 3 May 2018, and is published here with permission.

Exploring areas of research and development related to the microbiome – the collective name for the micro-organisms living in the human body – is the central topic of the annual Microbiome R&D Business Collaboration Forum. This year’s focus at the event was on business collaboration and private investment into research and development projects in the microbiome.

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The Updated List of Microbiome Companies and Investors

Since Global Engage’s first list of microbiome investors was released, the microbiome market has gone from strength-to-strength and is expected to grow from $289.411 million to $635.829 million by 2022. The major factors responsible for market growth include:

  • Increased risk of gut, autoimmune, inflammatory bowel, and skin health diseases
  • Lifestyle changes (eg. diet)
  • Ageing population

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Genes, Food and the Environment

This article was originally published in Health Europa Quarterly on 3 May 2018, and is published here with permission.

Speaking at the 5th Microbiome R&D & Business Collaboration Forum: Europe, Alexandra Zhernakova, Associate Professor of the Human Genome and Exposome at the University of Groningen, outlined her research into the interaction of genes, food, and the environment with the gut microbiome. She also considered the role of the microbiome in gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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The Rise of Allergies: Key findings from the 5th Microbiome R&D and Business Collaboration Forum

The human microbiome term refers to microbial communities living in symbiosis in different organs in our bodies. Our intestines, mouth, nostrils, skin, sexual organs, and others profit from this lively win-win collaboration. In recent years, the scientific community has tried to understand these ‘invisible’ associations and their impact on people’s health. It appears, for instance, that if the intestinal bugs aren’t there in quite the right proportions, this imbalance may favour obesity, allergies, gut disorders or even diabetes and this list is far from exhaustive. Overall, scientists agree that bacterial diversity is a key parameter in a healthy microbiome.

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