About this Research Topic
Today food is recognized as one of the most important factors that directly regulates the human microbiome, immune response and correspondingly modulates our metabolic balance. The final result of this tremendous impact on human health is dependent on the inter-relationships between a large variety of external and internal factors within the host. Thus, the prediction of the impact of food on human health is a complex and multidisciplinary task.
Personalized nutrition, due to its direct effects on the modulation and maintenance of the human microbiome, is the key instrument for early diagnosis and prevention of “food-relevant” diseases and their co-morbidities. Thus, prevention of noncommunicable diseases (NCD) and its treatment can be effectively managed when nutritional recommendations are applied in an age-group-specific and patient-centered basis. The new trend of “functional food” today can be defined as personalized, safe and tasty products, aimed at meeting individual requirements in nutrition while simultaneously maintaining microbial balance, variety and functions. Furthermore, pharmabiotics such as pre-, pro and synbiotics and their metabolites should also be individually prescribed based on the specific nosology as well as on the micro-immuno-biome characteristics of individuals.
The combination of (i) in vitro-based experiments; (ii) studies in germ-free mice and in transgenic mouse models of chronic and acute inflammation; (iii) clinical data of randomized trials and (iv) limited diet / nutrition studies have provided a number of very promising practical solutions for enabling the application of personalized nutrition. However, the practical use of bioinformatics to create algorithm(s) for the calculation of personalized nutrition is proving highly challenging due to the huge variety and diversity of existing data in this field. We are currently faced with the absence of unified approaches for the harmonization, evaluation, verification and proper exploitation of data with the aim of practical implementation in preventive, predictive and personalized medicine.
There are several open questions that remain unclear: (i) how to integrate personalized nutrition in health and disease; (ii) how to find / verify early disease-specific biomarkers and to improve diagnostic approaches; (iii) how to design and produce healthy food; (iv) how to clinically prove its beneficial influence on human health based on existent data related to the maintenance of human microbiome and local immune response; (v) how to develop (and implement) bioinformatics tools (algorithms) that are specifically address the above-mentioned tasks and meet the requirements of different target audiences (patients, doctors, food producers, etc.).
In order to achieve these tasks, all relevant and available databases need to be collectively organized and re-examined as a valuable source for many multidisciplinary purposes in order to facilitate the integration of instruments required to put personalized nutrition into practice.
This Research Topic aims to pragmatically connect publically available knowledge on: (i) the triggers and biomarkers of NCD; (ii) personalized nutrition requirements; (iii) individual microbiome specificity, and (iv) the currently under-developed use of bioinformatics and other instruments for the prevention and/or treatment of NCD, based on patient stratification principles.
We invite the submission of manuscripts that will cover the following topics but are not limited to:
1. Human microbiome functions, modulation and regulatory mechanisms.
2. Epigenetic factors influencing the human microbiome and/or human nutrition.
3. Tools for NCD prevention.
4. Biomarkers of chronic inflammation and local immune response.
5. Bioinformatic tools for algorithms for personalized nutrition.
Keywords: Human microbiome, Non-communicable diseases, Personalized nutrition, Chronic inflammation, Immune response