About Andreu Prados

Andreu Prados holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy & Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Science writer specialised in gut microbiota and probiotics, working also as lecturer and consultant in nutrition and healthcare. Follow Andreu on Twitter @andreuprados

While we have known for a while that a diet consisting of fiber-rich foods reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases and lowers people’s mortality rate, scientists have only recently started elucidating why fiber is beneficial for human health. This article clarifies the definition and health implications of the closely related terms fiber, MACs and prebiotics.

Beyond live microorganisms, inanimate microorganisms and their components can also confer a health benefit on the host. A panel of experts under the auspices of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) updates the definition and scope of postbiotics.

The role of gut microbiota in shaping immune responses has led scientists to explore the modulation of the immune system as a mechanism underlying the health benefits of probiotics. A new systematic review and meta-analysis of 9 randomized clinical trials suggest probiotics may reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal tract infections in generally healthy children and adults.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the focus of research for scientists worldwide, major breakthroughs in gut microbiome science have been made in 2020. In this last post of the year, we bring you articles from our blog that cover the major advances in the gut microbiome in 2020, from bench to bedside.

The metabolic activity of immune cells is enhanced after a viral infection, such as the one driven by COVID-19. Dietary approaches that support a healthy gut microbiome can benefit the immune system and ensure a good nutritional status that would help the host deal with pathogens.