The gut microbiome has become a hot topic since its relation to both physical and mental health was first recognised. However, many microbiome products are based on an outdated understanding of the microbiome, leaving technical gaps in next generation products.

We asked our microbiome panellists about the barriers to modern understanding, the results of new research, and the benefits of targeted products for consumers.

What are core technical gaps/barriers in next generation microbiome products?

“There’s a dramatic lack of high quality, differentiated raw materials designed to impact the microbiome. Most ingredients (i.e. probiotics) are based on strains selected decades ago, without our modern understanding of the microbiome.” – Ravi Sheth, Co-Founder, KINGDOM SUPERCULTURES

How can gut microbiome targeted products/services demonstrate scientific efficacy?

“The current evidence tells us that microbiome composition can change in as little as 24 hours with targeted interventions in clinical trials. However, translating that into products and services in real-life settings comes with its caveats as people don’t live in clinical trial conditions. What we can be fairly certain about is, is that it’s biologically plausible for microbiome-targeted products to make a difference. Our ongoing RCT is looking to answer just that for the ZOE programme.” – Professor Tim Spector, Co-Founder, ZOE

“We need better measurements to accurately quantify the biological state of a microbiome, and better communication to help educate consumers why this matters.” – Ravi Sheth, Co-Founder, KINGDOM SUPERCULTURES

What are specific gut microbiome targeted benefits that matter for consumers?

“The gut microbiome plays a hugely influential part in some of the most important issues for consumers today: healthy metabolism, mental wellbeing, immune system function and cancer to name a few. The benefits are far-reaching and important for everyone.” – Professor Tim Spector, Co-Founder, ZOE

Tim and Ravi will speak at the Targeting the Gut Microbiome: Personalising Foods for Physical and Mental Health fireside chat at Future Food-Tech London this September 22-23.