Latest scientific findings
Following up on our Exciting insights from the last 12 months of microbiome research article, today we look further into the latest news about the microbiome in more areas of health and wellbeing.
Research continuously shows how considering gut microbiota can help in developing new anti-cancer strategies.  Some recent findings include: The potential of microbiome interventions to develop a personalized approach to prevent, diagnose and predict cancer ; patients with specific cancers have a distinct microbiome signature [3, 4]; different microbiomes can play a role in the development of cancer ; and the microbiome can affect the quality of life outcomes in cancer patients .
More and more studies show the gut microbiome’s role in different autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis or MS. A recent review showed that a dysbiotic microbiome can erroneously direct the immune system towards pro-inflammatory pathways that can trigger autoimmune processes. A recent study concludes that gut microbiome manipulation like fecal microbiota transplantation could be used to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases. 
A review showed how a dysbiotic microbiome can change immune responses to specific factors like allergens both locally and systemically. Lung microbiota are linked to respiratory allergy, skin microbiota to atopic dermatitis and gut microbes to food allergy. Therefore, microbiota are important factors in allergy treatment and prevention. The use of pre-, pro- and synbiotics is being recommended. 
The bidirectional communication between the gut and the central nervous system is called gut-brain axis, which plays a role in different types of pain. Alterations in this axis as well as incorrect immune responses due to microbial dysbiosis can result in inflammatory pain, chronic visceral pain, GI disorders like Irritable bowel syndrome, headaches and migraines.
As the microbiome impacts the efficacy of pain management, it might lead to opioid tolerance. Therefore, a recent study considers the targeting of gut microbiota as a promising new approach to pain management and also suggests the use of pre- and probiotics as well as dietary interventions like a low-FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyols) diet. 
Pregnancy, birth and children’s health
A recent study found that the vaginal and fecal microbiota of mothers converge during the last trimester of pregnancy and into two months after birth . The role of the mother’s microbiome for birth and baby’s health as well as practices like vaginal seeding have recently come more to the forefront as well .
Most studies show how important the microbiome is for both prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of diseases. Let’s see, which exciting new insights future research will bring.
Sources / References: