Environment is the largest shaper of gut microbiome.
A recent study published in Nature has shown that the makeup of the gut microbiome is 48.6% dependant on who you live with.
The study cohort included three generations of 8,208 Dutch individuals in 2,756 families. The authors correlated bacterial composition, function, antibiotic resistance and virulence factors in the gut microbiomes of the subjects with 241 host and environmental factors, including physical and mental health, use of medication, diet, socioeconomic factors and childhood and current exposome (environmental exposures). Surprisingly they also found that seemingly unrelated diseases share a common microbiome signature that is independent of comorbidities.
The authors expect that this comprehensive overview of gut microbiome and the underlying impact of heritability and exposures that will facilitate future development of microbiome-targeted therapies.