There’s a lot of conflicting info out there about how to eat healthily. Tim Spector studies the microbiome to gain insight into how its diversity can impact health outcomes.
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The microbiome is the community of 100 trillion microbes that live in our colon that are like a virtual organ. This organ is key to our digestion, appetite, mood, metabolism, and control of our immune system. It is also key to how we respond to immunotherapy and chemotherapy. The TwinsUK cohort of 12,000+ twins has been running for nearly 25 years and is now the most intensively studied group of humans on the planet (www.twinsuk.ac.uk). Having deep sequence, metabolites, epigenetics, immune traits and dietary and health data, in 2012 a stool collection for 16S microbiome, metagenomes and metabolomics was added. They are currently using the microbiome data and cohort to provide novel measures of health, such as the level of microbial diversity and a new measure – the microbial health index and how this impacts overall health outcomes. Tim Spector’s team’s twin work has also enabled them to gain insights into the microbiome and immune interactions of the upper colon and small intestine via colonoscopy and interventions. Every medical professional needs to know about maintaining a healthy microbiome from birth to death.
Tim Spector is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the TwinsUK Registry at Kings College, London and has recently been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
This talk was filmed in the Ri on 15 October 2018.