Diet-microbiota interactions and personalized nutrition

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2019 Dec;17(12):742-753. doi: 10.1038/s41579-019-0256-8. Epub 2019 Sep 20.


Conceptual scientific and medical advances have led to a recent realization that there may be no single, one-size-fits-all diet and that differential human responses to dietary inputs may rather be driven by unique and quantifiable host and microbiome features. Integration of these person-specific host and microbiome readouts into actionable modules may complement traditional food measurement approaches in devising diets that are of benefit to the individual. Although many host-derived factors are hardwired and difficult to modulate, the microbiome may be more readily reshaped by environmental factors such as dietary exposures and is increasingly recognized to potentially impact human physiology by participating in digestion, the absorption of nutrients, shaping of the mucosal immune response and the synthesis or modulation of a plethora of potentially bioactive compounds. Thus, diet-induced microbiota alterations may be harnessed in order to induce changes in host physiology, including disease development and progression. However, major limitations in 'big-data' processing and analysis still limit our interpretive and translational capabilities concerning these person-specific host, microbiome and diet interactions. In this Review, we describe the latest advances in understanding diet-microbiota interactions, the individuality of gut microbiota composition and how this knowledge could be harnessed for personalized nutrition strategies to improve human health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet / methods*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Host Microbial Interactions
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Microbiota*
  • Precision Medicine / methods*