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Microbiome – The internal wardrobe is back in fashion.
The phrase microbiome describes the collective genome of microbes that reside within and on humans whilst the term microbiota refers to the organisms themselves.
The importance of the microbiota, specifically those that make up the the gut flora, is of course nothing new. A plethora of studies have shown how supplementing with probiotics and manipulating the balance of the gut flora to a more favourable one can help symptoms to improve including high cholesterol, acne and possibly cancer.
Research has also shown the role the microbiota plays in digestive diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and how its manipulation is helping to shape treatment. For example through studying the research papers it can be seen that specific bacteria (more than 300) are shown to be associated with the symptoms of IBS and IBD.
It is these bacteria which our new test FloraPrint® maps using an easy to use dysbiosis index. FloraPrint®, is therefore an invaluable entry test into this specific field using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify the microbiota in each stool sample.
This index, which ranges from 1-5, gives a clear indication of how far from the normal range a person who suffers with IBS or IBD has shifted. From the results a practitioner is then able to give very specific dietary recommendations which together with supplement recommendations help to manipulate the bacteria back to a more normal balance. For example this could include the need to reduce protein intake or follow a low FODMAP diet and in some instances even reduce probiotic supplementation.
Once symptoms improve practitioners can use the test as a monitor tool, once or twice a year, to ensure clients are not slipping and if necessary to encourage them back in the right direction.
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