Gut microbiota is a rapidly moving field of research generating growing interest in media and society in general. An example of this interest is the huge number of articles published in the media and programs featured by TV and radio broadcasters focusing on the key role it might play in our physical and even psychological health. In this very vein, today we would like to recommend a newly-launched content from the BBC, which is worthy of your consideration.

Professor Tim Spector reveals a list of foods that help stimulate and maintain the gut’s microbial diversity

BBC Radio 4 has devoted three episodes, 30-minutes each, to the human microbiome, which it calls the “strange invisible world of our non-human selves”.

The program deals particularly with our gut microbiota, that influences our health after the birth. It is presented as an open window to our brain and the possibility to improve mental health. This series, for example, tries to answer the question how to modulate gut microbiota to stay healthy or beat chronic diseases.

Do not have the time to watch a whole episode? BBC offers short clips as for instance one about food and gut health called Foods to boost your beneficial bugs, in which Tim Spector, a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology who runs the British Gut Project, explains the huge influence diet has on maintaining a healthy microbiome and talks about some foods to boost and maintain the diversity of bugs in the gut, such as probiotics or fermented foods.

The program includes interviews, including a conversation with scientist John Cryan, who explains the role of microbes in social behaviors

A second clip, how bugs colonize us in early life, focuses on a topic that last research tend to modify scientists’ vision. Did you know that there are some bacteria from the mother already in the placenta that start colonizing the baby even before birth?

There are also thought-provoking interviews with different speakers, including John Cryan of the APB Microbiome Centre in Cork (Ireland), who talks about the role of microbes on social behavior, what we know as the gut-brain axis.

All three episodes are accompanied by articles (you can find some of them here and here). Also, we meet Professor Ruth Ley, Director of the Department of Microbiome Science at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, Germany and Professor Rob Knight from the University of California San Diego, who both agree with the idea that “you’re [only] about 43% human.”

As gut microbiota science moves forward unveiling its importance in the maintenance of our health, we will continue sharing with our readers newly published content that might help to have a better understanding of this amazing field. Stay tuned with Gut Microbiota for Health!