A growing number of scientific studies show the diet can affect health through the gut microbiota. However, foods and dietary patterns actually have differing effects on the gut microbiota between individuals. In modulating the gut microbiota of infants, prebiotics and probiotics could turn out to be useful. Treatments with specific probiotics could help regulate an unbalanced microbiota and thus improve, for instance, host metabolic health.
Clara Belzer is an Associate Professor in Microbiology at Wageningen University & Research, where she investigates precisely the direct role of intestinal microbes in human health and in microbial networks. She attended the 7th Gut Microbiota for Health World Summit 2018.