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Tag: gut microbiota

5 things I learned about gut dysbiosis after a major environmental disaster

In December 2014, a major flood in north-eastern Peninsular Malaysia affected more than 200,000 people leaving them homeless, with no clean water, and sick with diseases including dengue fever, typhoid, leptospirosis and acute gastroenteritis (approximately 30% of flood-affected population). After 6 months, many were still affected by illness including persistent abdominal pain and diarrhoea. We investigated two of the worst flood-affected communities (Figure A) on their microbiota profile and if a probiotic can help. Following are 5 points I have learned from this invaluable experience:

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Ask not “what your gut microbiome can do for you”, but “what you can do for your gut microbiome”

Defined health outcomes are increasingly being linked to prebiotic ingredients and supplements. For example, mounting evidence recently led the FDA to issue a qualified health claim regarding the ability of digestion resistant starch to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. With the direct annual cost of diabetes recently estimated to be $825B (1), the potential application of prebiotics to reduce disease risk is appealing from both health care and business investment perspectives.

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