the human microbiome to reduce risk and prevent or modify disease; (3) explore the societal and policy implications of applying research findings to the food supply; and (4) identify opportunities for future research and food product and technology development on the interaction between the human microbiome and diet or dietary components and how this interaction influences health outcomes.
This report summarizes the presentations and discussions that took place during the workshop. It summarizes only the statements of participants at the workshop over the course of the two consecutive days. It is not intended to be an exhaustive exploration of the subject matter, nor does it represent the findings, conclusions, or recommendations of a consensus committee process. The goal was to illuminate issues, not resolve them. The workshop served as a mechanism for individuals from a variety of academic, industry, government, marketing research, and other groups to discuss and debate issues openly and to identify possible approaches for addressing some of the more pressing issues pertaining to microbiome-related research and product development.
The organization of this report parallels the organization of the workshop itself (see Appendix A). This introductory chapter sets the stage by summarizing the keynote presentation by Karen Nelson and providing an overview of major workshop themes. Chapter 2 summarizes the presentations and discussion on the wealth of sequencing data that have been accumulating rapidly as a result of advances in sequencing technology. It also covers what researchers have already learned about what microbes inhabit which parts of the body and the trend toward seeking to understand not just what microbes are present, but what those microbes are doing and how their activity influences host health (i.e., session 1). Chapter 3 summarizes the presentations and discussion that focused on associations between the microbiome and health and disease, with a focus on pediatric, oral, and GI tract health and disease (i.e., part of session 2). Toward the end of the first day, speakers began addressing in greater depth not just how the microbiome interacts with its host, but how those interactions are mediated by diet. Chapter 4 summarizes the presentations and discussion that focused on how the microbiome influences host response to diet and dietary components (i.e., parts of sessions 2 and 3). Chapter 5 summarizes the presentations and discussion that focused on how host diet, in turn, impacts the microbiome, the implications of that impact for human health, and the opportunities and scientific challenges to translating this knowledge into tools and products for use in building and maintaining health (i.e., parts of session 3 and all of session 5).