Focus

Microbiota 17 - December 2022

Dear readers,
Our understanding of the complex interplay between the microbiota and immunity is only beginning. The first two years of human life is at the center of intense investigation. The good news is that the veil is gradually lifting on the 1,000 first days of life, the crucial window of early childhood growth and development (period from conception to 2 years of age).

We know it is a time of opportunity and vulnerability.

We know that it is the beginning of everything, especially the start of microbial colonization.

We know that the first 1,000 days of life set up a dynamic crosstalk between gut microbiota (trillions of microorganisms) and the developing host.

In this edition, Pr. Arrieta summarizes the evidence for early patterns of microbiome maturation that are conducive to host health, the causes and consequences of alterations from these patterns, as well as the restoration strategies aimed at improving dysbiosis.

Many factors shape the composition of the gut microbiota and the maturation of the newborn immune system during the first 1,000 days of life. One of them is the human milk. In the children’s commented article, Pr. Mas highlights a Cell Host Microbe article “human milk nutrient fortifiers alter the developing gastrointestinal microbiota of very-low-birth-weight infants”.

Another research area is at the heart of dynamic exploration: gut-brain axis. In the adult’s commented article, Pr. Sokol sheds light on a Science Translational Medicine’s article describing how the gut microbiota has been implicated in chronic pain disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) whereas, in another commented article, Pr. Mazmanian analyses a Science article dedicated to gut brain axis and appetite.

We will close this edition on a lighter note with our new expert opinion section: Pr. Schnabl gives his views on the fact that nonalcoholic & alcoholic beer increased gut microbiota diversity, which has been associated with positive health outcomes. Does that mean he would recommend his patients to drink half a pint of beer everyday? You will find out in this edition.

Enjoy your reading!

Created 14 January 2023
Updated 17 January 2023
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