Portugal: knowledge and behaviors about microbiota 2023 results
The Biocodex Microbiota Institute commissioned Ipsos to carry out a major international survey of 6,500 individuals across seven countries (France, Spain, Portugal, the USA, Brazil, Mexico, and China): the International Microbiota Observatory.
- 1. The Portuguese are more familiar with the term “flora” than “microbiota”
- 2. The Portuguese are among the most knowledgeable about the role of microbiota…
- 3. …but know little about probiotics and prebiotics
- 4. While the majority of Portuguese said they had adopted behaviors to preserve...
- 5. At the same time, the Portuguese are among those who address the subject...
1. The Portuguese are more familiar with the term “flora” than “microbiota”.
In fact, they are among those least aware of the precise meaning of the term “microbiota” (17% vs. 21% overall), and, along with Americans, they are those who have heard least about “intestinal microbiota” (45% vs. 53% overall). On the other hand, they are more familiar with, and have very good knowledge of, the terms “intestinal flora” (69% know exactly what it is, versus 53% overall) and “vaginal flora” (58% versus 40% overall).
The Portuguese are among those least aware of the precise meaning of the term “microbiota”.
The Portuguese are those who have heard least about “intestinal microbiota”.
The Portuguese are more familiar with, and have very good knowledge of, the terms “intestinal flora”.
2. The Portuguese are among the most knowledgeable about the role of microbiota…
The vast majority of them know that microbiota imbalance can have major consequences on health (85% vs. 75% overall), that our diet has a significant impact on microbiota balance (83% vs. 74% overall), that it plays an important role in immune defense mechanisms (76% vs. 72% overall), and even that taking antibiotics has an impact on microbiota (72% vs. 66% overall).
3. …but know little about probiotics and prebiotics
They know little about them, with only 37% knowing precisely what probiotics are (compared to 43% overall), while less than 1 in 6 Portuguese (17%) claimed to know what prebiotics actually are (compared to 27% overall).
What exactly are probiotics?Find out more...
4. While the majority of Portuguese said they had adopted behaviors to preserve the balance of their microbiota, most had done so “only a little”.
Yet they are among those most aware of the importance of a balanced diet (89%) and physical activity (81%). On the other hand, they are one of the populations least aware of the importance of consuming probiotics (51% vs. 62% overall) and prebiotics (36% vs. 51% overall).
5. At the same time, the Portuguese are among those who address the subject least with healthcare professionals.
Only 32% said they had ever been prescribed probiotics or prebiotics (versus 46% overall). Only a minority of them felt that they had been informed of the right behaviors to adopt (35% vs. 44% overall). Finally, only 1 in 4 Portuguese had ever been informed of the purpose of microbiota (26% vs. 37% overall). Only 22% had ever been advised to test their microbiota (versus 30% overall).
Only 32% said they had ever been prescribed probiotics or prebiotics.
Only 1 in 4 Portuguese had ever been informed of the purpose of microbiota.
In Portugal, patient education has become a key issue, to teach them not only the role of microbiota, but also the behaviors they should adopt to most effectively preserve it. It is important that healthcare professionals contribute to this education.
The Ipsos Panel conducted a major online international survey involving 6,500 individuals, surveyed between March 21 and April 7, 2023 in 7 countries: the United States, Brazil, Mexico, France, Portugal, Spain and China.
Data was collected using the quota method, which is the most commonly used sampling plan for obtaining a representative sample of a study population. The quota variables for each country were:
- socio-professional category
The survey population included 48% men and 52% women. The average age was 46.9 years. The sample of 6,500 individuals allowed a detailed analysis by age group: 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-59, 60 and over.
The 26-question included:
- socio-demographic data
- assessment of knowledge of the microbiota
- the level of and desire for information from healthcare professionals
- identification and adoption of behaviors aimed at combating microbiota imbalance
- women’s level of knowledge, information and behavior with regard to the vulvovaginal microbiota
- health data