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Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2014;157:A5901.

[The gut microbiota in sickness and health].

[Article in Dutch]

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  • 1Academisch Medisch Centrum Amsterdam, afd. Inwendige Geneeskunde, Center for Infection and Immunity Amsterdam (CINIMA) en Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine (CEMM), Amsterdam.


The human gut microbiota, formerly known as 'gut flora', may be regarded as an external organ with many physiological functions in metabolism, development of the immune system and defense against pathogens. The adult gut microbiota consist of 1013-1014 micro-organisms. The aggregate genome of these, known as the microbiome, is 100 times larger than the human genome. The gut microbiotica may be involved in the pathogenesis of a range of syndromes, such as inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus and atopic disorders. It should be noted that until now most of the studies conducted have been association studies, without proof of causality. This increasing insight has led to identification of new therapeutic strategies, which are currently being investigated in clinical studies. Although the implications of this knowledge for individual patients have yet to become clear, various interventions are conceivable, such as supplementation of nutritional elements, prebiotics or probiotics and feces transplantation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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