Gut Microbiota News Watch is a section dedicated to expanding knowledge about gut microbiota’s importance for health and quality of life among the media and society in general. Using clear and easy-to-understand language, our aim is to keep our readers up-to-date on the latest facts and news about gut microbiota.

We have known for a while that obesity has a microbial component. Now, a team of scientists led by Patrice D. Cani reports a novel bacterium isolated from the human gut that counteracts diet-induced obesity, inflammation and glucose dysregulation in mice.

Scientists agree that having a gut microbiota that is in ‘good shape’ is a crucial component of individual health and well-being. Although exactly how ‘good shape’ is defined is not so clear, many experts recommend consuming more live dietary microbes through including fermented foods that retain live microbial components.

Numerous studies have been published on the impact of factors such as nutrition in early life, mode of delivery and antibiotic intake during this critical period and for future health. With that in mind, scientists have reviewed all the scientific data available on the impact of early life nutrition on the gut microbiota and the long-lasting effects on the brain.

Food, and its food components, nutrients or additives, can affect the composition and function of the gut microbiota. This article provides a summary of the food components that contribute to optimal microbiota health and explains how they can impact it.

Following a diverse diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fermented foods, could play a protective role against severe forms of COVID-19. A new review presents the hypothesis highlighting the link between a less diversified microbiota, a high intake of processed foods and refined sugars and severe Covid-19 cases in Western countries.