Leslie Pray, Laura Pillsbury, and Emily Tomayko, Rapporteurs; Food Forum; Food and Nutrition Board (FNB); Institute of Medicine (IOM)
The Food Forum convened a public workshop on February 22-23, 2012, to explore current and emerging knowledge of the human microbiome, its role in human health, its interaction with the diet, and the translation of new research findings into tools and products that improve the nutritional quality of the food supply. The Human Microbiome, Diet, and Health: Workshop Summary summarizes the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop. Over the two day workshop, several themes covered included:
The microbiome is integral to human physiology, health, and disease.
The microbiome is arguably the most intimate connection that humans have with their external environment, mostly through diet.
Given the emerging nature of research on the microbiome, some important methodology issues might still have to be resolved with respect to undersampling and a lack of causal and mechanistic studies.
Dietary interventions intended to have an impact on host biology via their impact on the microbiome are being developed, and the market for these products is seeing tremendous success. However, the current regulatory framework poses challenges to industry interest and investment.