Under the motto “Gut Microbes – Importance in Health and Disease”, World Digestive Health Day 2014 will be dedicated to the gut microbiota. The announcement was made some weeks ago by the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), the institution that looks after digestive health worldwide and which, for the last decade, has been celebrating World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) every year on 29 May. In this edition, the organisation has considered that the insights from recent years into the impact of the gut microbiota on a range of conditions clearly show that “everyone can contribute to maintaining their own health through taking proper care of the microbiota, with diet being one of the most important factors to take into account”, said Professor Francisco Guarner, Chairman of the upcoming WHDH and member of ESNM’s Gut Microbiota & Health Section Board of Experts. Read more
Image: The tree of life made out of Nasonia microbes. (Robert Brucker/Vanderbilt)
Science Magazine has recently published a study carried out by Dr. Robert Brucker and Dr. Seth R. Bordenstein from Vanderbilt University in Nashville (USA) that seems to provide clues reinforcing the “hologenome theory of evolution”. This research suggests that the gut microbiome may have a fundamental influence in the evolution of the human species. We have interviewed Dr. Seth Bordenstein to have a first-hand explanation of this work.
Dr. Karen Scott, of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at the University of Aberdeen (UK), tells us about probiotics and prebiotics and discusses what they are, how they differ from each other, how they alter our microbiota and the benefits they provide.
“Most people know what a probiotic is, but there is a lot less understanding of prebiotics”, explains Dr. Scott, who also tells us that the two may have benefits for our health. Take a look at this video to find out more about the effects of prebiotics and probiotics on our gut microbiota.
Today, we would like to share with you an excellent animation published by NPR and created by Benjamin Arthur. Entitled “Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us — And In Us”, it explains the universe of bacterial life moving around inside us in a fun and attractive way. Take a look at this surprising video which, guided by Rob Stein, helps us understand the importance of the huge amount of “tiny little friends” that accompany us from birth.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Credit: Benjamin Arthur for NPR