Poland 2024: knowledge and behaviors about microbiota

The survey was conducted by Ipsos among 7,500 people in 11 countries (Poland, France, Spain, Portugal, Finland, United States, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, China, and Vietnam).

The Polish paradox: limited knowledge of microbiota but good practices to keep it balanced.

1. Poles know little about microbiota

Only 1 in 4 Poles knows exactly what the word "microbiota" means (24%, vs 23% overall), 19% when it comes to the intestinal microbiota (26% overall).

Les Polonais ont plus de lacunes sur les différents microbiotes :

Microorganisms: key for human health

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Young parents

2. More Poles are adopting behaviors that favor the balance of their microbiota

65% claim to have changed their behaviors to maintain a balanced microbiota, a higher proportion than the average for the countries surveyed (vs 58% overall).


of Poles limit their consumption of processed foods
(vs 75% overall).


of Poles consume probiotics
(vs 50% overall).


of Poles consume prebiotics
(vs 44% overall). 



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However, there is still room for improvement, as 70% continue to wash several times a day (vs 59% overall).

3. Healthcare professionals have a key role to play in providing information about microbiota in Poland

Nearly 3 out of 4 Poles consider healthcare professionals to be the most reliable source of information on microbiota (72%, vs 78% overall). 

Poles are less informed about the microbiota than the rest of the world


have been informed by their healthcare professional about what the microbiota is and what it is used for
(vs 45% overall).


know about the importance of preserving the balance of their microbiota as much as possible
(vs 48% overall).

Have you heard of "dysbiosis"?

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Poles are, however, more likely to have had some information from healthcare professionals: almost half have been informed about the negative consequences of taking antibiotics on the balance of their microbiota (47%, vs 39% overall). They are also more likely to have been prescribed probiotics and prebiotics by healthcare professionals (68%, vs 50% overall).

Poles who know little about microbiota, yet have adopted practices that promote their balance.

The information provided by healthcare professionals focuses mainly on probiotics and prebiotics, and needs to be extended to better educate patients about the microbiota.


What exactly are probiotics?

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This second edition of the International Microbiota Observatory was conducted by Ipsos on 7,500 individuals across 11 countries (France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Finland, Morocco, the USA, Brazil, Mexico, China, and Vietnam). Four new countries were included in this second edition: Poland, Finland, Morocco, and Vietnam.

The survey was conducted over the Internet between January 26 and February 26, 2024. For each country, the sample is representative of the population aged 18 and over in terms of :

  • gender
  • age
  • profession
  • region

Representativeness was ensured via quota sampling, the most commonly used sampling method for obtaining a representative sample of the population studied. The quota variables for each country were gender, age, region, and socio-professional category. The data were adjusted:

  • within each country, again to ensure that each population is representative
  • globally, so that each country has the same weight. Statistical analyses were carried out using Cosi software (M.L.I., France, 1994), with a significance level of 95%

The survey population was 48% male and 52% female. The average age was 46.1 years. The sample of 7,500 individuals made it possible to carry out a detailed analysis by age group:

  • 18-24
  • 25-34
  • 35-44
  • 45-59
  • 60 and over

Changes from one year to the next have been measured on a like-for-like basis, i.e. calculated taking into account only those countries present in both the first and second editions of the survey. While we do have results for the new countries included in this second edition (Poland, Finland, Morocco, and Vietnam), they have not been taken into account when calculating trends, since they were not included in the first edition of the survey. 

The questionnaire includes 27 questions on:

  1. socio-demographic data
  2. the level of knowledge about microbiomes
  3. the level of and desire for information from healthcare professionals
  4. the identification and adoption of behaviors designed to combat microbiome imbalances
  5. the level of knowledge, information, and behaviors of women about the vulvo-vaginal microbiome
  6. health data

The questionnaire lasted ten minutes and the 7,500 individuals had to complete the entire questionnaire in order to be included in the survey. The terms used in the questionnaire to talk about the microbiome have been translated and adapted to the terms used in each country.