Your microbiome plays an important role in your immune system and nervous system development, and can help or hinder our health long term. Can we use gut microbiota testing to tell us about our health and disease states? And where is the research going? I interview Colin Hill, Ph.D to answer these important questions and tell us what our microbiomes say about us!
Nutrition Pearls for Gut Microbiome & Testing
- The microbiome is the microbes that exist in and on the human body.
- We’re at the cusp of defining a healthy gut microbiome but it will be HIGHLY individual
- Presence may not always indicate function – so we need to start looking at function, whether genes are turned on or off
- It’s tempting to compare a healthy controls microbiome with that of someone with a chronic disease – often humans draw a conclusion that the change must play a role. But new need to realize equally that those with that chronic disease could select different type of microbiome, and that microbiome is actually acting as a partner in disease, protecting from further deterioration and inflammation, and that’s why its different
- Research is working towards identifying microbes or microbial chemicals for treatments of disease like C. diff.
- Commercial kits for patient care at this time are not appropriate for individual care (but we’re getting closer!)
Colin Hill has a Ph.D in molecular microbiology and is Professor of Microbiology at University College Cork, Ireland. His main interests are in infectious disease, particularly in the role of the gut microbiome in protecting against microbial infections. He is also a Principal Investigator in APC Microbiome Ireland in Cork, a large Science Foundation Ireland supported research centre working with industry devoted to the study of the role of the gut microbiota in health and disease. In 2005 Prof. Hill was awarded a Doctor of Science by the National University of Ireland in recognition of his contributions to research. In 2009 he was elected to the Royal Irish Academy and in 2010 he received the Metchnikoff Prize in Microbiology and was elected to the American Academy of Microbiology. More than 75 students have done their PhD’s in his laboratory. He has published more than 550 papers and holds 25 patents.
Dr Hill and I talk about:
- The evolution of humans and microbes
- Why you ‘get the microbiome you deserve’
- How will we define a healthy microbiome, what are the limitations?
- Thoughts on commercial kits – can we really interpret them in individual care?
- Getting back to what Mother Nature has given us as a form of drug therapy by way of using microbes and microbial chemicals to treat disease