This book shows the huge impact the gut microbiota has on the gastrointestinal health of humans with a particular focus on children. It also highlights the potential use of probiotic microorganisms to protect or improve children’s gastrointestinal health.
Humans are not single organisms: We are a multi-organism structure composed of ourselves and our microbiota, living in close symbiosis since birth and even before. The huge impact that the billons of microscopic cells living in our gut have on our gastrointestinal and systemic health cannot be overestimated. The enormous progress that has been made in the past decade in our still very incomplete understanding of the gut microbiota is opening the door to potential applications in human health that were simply unthinkable before.
One of the most interesting aspects of this new scientific horizon is the fact that we may identify (or even create in the laboratory) and utilize many of these “friendly bacteria” to protect, or improve our health. Thus, strains of probiotic microorganisms are being identified and studied in a vast array of clinical scenarios. Among the most investigated areas for probiotics is the gastrointestinal health of children.
The topics addressed in this book are spanning from the development of the gut microbiota in the fetus and newborn all the way to current and potential applications in disparate conditions such as necrotizing enterocolitis, or infectious, or inflammatory conditions affecting the child.
The book is written in a rigorous, evidence based manner by an international group of outstanding experts in these fields and is aimed at pediatric gastroenterologists, pediatricians and physician scientists alike.