The microbiota should be considered as just another component of the human epigenetic landscape. Thus, health is also a reflection of the diversity and composition of gut microbiota and its metabolic status. In defining host health, it remains unclear whether diversity is paramount, or whether greater weight is held by gut microbiota composition or mono- or multiple-functional capacity of the different taxa and the mechanisms involved. A network-biology approach may shed light on the key gut players acting to protect against, or promote, disorders or diseases. This could be achieved by integrating data on total and active species, proteins and molecules, and their association with host response. In this review, we discuss the utilization of top-down and bottom-up approaches, following a functional hierarchy perspective.
Keywords: dysbiosis; functional redundancy; resilience; resistance; stability.
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