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Gut Microbiome

What is the gut microbiome’s contribution to our health?

Microbiomes have been implicated in many health conditions, but the microbiome in our gut has the most overall influence on our health. The gut microbiome affects our gut health, brain function through the gut-brain axis [1], heart health [2], lung health [3] and even our skin [4]. In certain gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, one might benefit from a combination of WGS with gut microbiome characterization. As described previously, gut microbiome is associated with autoimmune and metabolic diseases like obesity and diabetes. The gut-brain axis is also increasingly associated with autism spectrum disorder. Gut microbes and the metabolites they produce are described to have an impact on joints, liver, and heart health. Gut microbial metabolites are also known to affect the prognosis of colon cancer. One of the microbiome-centric interventions in a clinical condition that has shown extraordinary efficacy is in treatment of recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. Clostridium difficile infection occurs after or during the use of antibiotics for other clinical conditions. Recurrence of Clostridium difficile infection is very common and can occur in about 15-35% of CDI patients.

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