Abstract

Humans harbor a consortium of commensal bacteria in their gut that are thought to be crucial for normal health. However, the extent of microbial diversity in the gut and the physiologic functions of the microflora have not yet been fully characterized. Molecular tools are now available to characterize the associations between diet, microflora composition, and health in greater depth. New molecular studies have confirmed earlier culture-based observations that diet has a role in the regulation of microflora composition. In the near future, new insight into these associations should allow for the design of specific diets aimed at improving health by modulating microflora.

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