The first 2-3 years of life are crucial for shaping childhood health. Amid others, the importance of early-life gut microbiota in infant’s development and later human health has been long speculated. In particular, bifidobacteria are playing an essential role in infant’s gut microbiota and immune system maturation that supports its probiotic use in that age span.

As we look back, we can certainly say that 2021 has been a productive year for gut microbiome research. In this last post of the year, we bring you key articles from our blog and studies on major advances in the role of the gut microbiome in maintaining health and helping to manage gut and immune-related diseases. We will also look at the therapeutic potential of probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics for your clinical practice.

Scientists have discovered a fungus that delays wound healing in mice and is enriched in inflamed tissue from patients with Crohn’s disease. The findings, coupled with the discovery of an engineered yeast that suppresses inflammation in a mouse model of colitis, highlights the potential of studying fungi-host interactions in IBD.

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.