Why is this research valuable?
Previous work by ILSI North America took on the task of defining a "healthy microbiome"(Backhed et al., 2012). Elucidation of the properties of healthy microbiota would provide a target for dietary interventions and microbial modifications aimed at sustaining health in generally healthy populations and improving the health status of people exhibiting disrupted microbiota and associated diseases.
Now, with increased focus on the gut microbiome and health, there is a growing number of unanswered questions related to the study of the gut microbiome. A research framework to assess the relationship of prebiotics and probiotics with human health is needed. Consensus is needed on biomarkers and endpoints that can characterize dietary effects on the microbiome and health, as well as consensus on best practices and methodologies when studying the gut microbiome.
The Coca-Cola Company
Danone Nutricia Research
National Dairy Council
Tate & Lyle
This framework will be used to assess the use and potential benefit of prebiotics or probiotics. The goal is to establish a scientific consensus among tripartite stakeholders on a framework to allow for more focused programs among researchers and provide structure for decision-making. A workshop series will address definitions, measures of the human gut microbiome and health effects, best practices in research and reporting, and safety.