In recent years, the human gut has become the subject of extensive research; its relationship with overall health being increasingly recognised. Our gut hosts a diverse and complex community of microbes known as the gut microbiome which incorporates 70-80% of the human body’s immune cells. Achieving a healthy, balanced gut microbiome is key to the healthy functioning of our immune system, and early life presents a key window of opportunity to support this.
The infant gut microbiome establishes at birth and continues to develop rapidly over the first few years of life. The importance of a healthy gut microbiome for the development and functioning of the immune system, as well as other bodily functions, is clear. So, what can healthcare professionals do to help support a healthy gut and immune development in early life? In episode 3 of the Beat podcast series our host Gill, an NHS midwife, invites Professor Glenn Gibson to share his expertise.
Professor Glenn Gibson, Professor of Food Microbiology and Head of Food Microbial Sciences at the University of Reading, has spent many years researching the gut microbiome: its profound implications for health and disease, and how it can be influenced by the diet. He is a specialist in gut health, having written and contributed to 8 books and over 490 research papers. Since coining the term ‘Prebiotics’ in 1995, Professor Gibson continues to lead research in this field. In this episode, Professor Gibson discusses the importance of the gut microbiome and how best to support healthy gut and immune development in infants.