The gut microbiota has the capacity to produce a diverse range of compounds that play a major role in regulating the activity of distal organs, such as the liver which is strategically positioned downstream of the gut. Recently, our understanding of the relationship between the gut and the liver and how this regulates systemic metabolic changes in liver cirrhosis has increased. A recently published review discusses the relationship between gut microbiota and host metabolism in general and results of intervention for liver cirrhosis by probiotics. The authors conclude that; “the evaluation of the gut-microbiota-liver metabolic network and the intervention of these relationships using probiotics, synbiotics, prebiotics with sufficient nutrition might aid the development of treatment and prevention for liver cirrhosis patients".
The fetal intestine is (virtually) sterile, however, from birth onwards, the infant intestine becomes colonized with a variety of microorganisms. The interaction between the host and its microbiota contributes to overall health. Disturbance of the microbial colonization patterns early in life can lead to long-lasting host effects and eventually disease. A recently published study investigated the potential clinical and microbial consequences of antibiotic use in early life by following a large cohort of infants and compared them with respect to their health status as well as their developing gut microbiota. The results showed that antibiotic treatment in early life has a detrimental effect on the gastrointestinal microbiota composition.
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