Clinical interest in the human gut microbiota has increased considerably, because of the increasing number of studies linking the human intestinal microbiota and microbiome to an ever increasing number of non-communicable diseases. Many attempts at modulating the gut microbiota have been made using probiotics and prebiotics. However, there are other avenues that are still little explored from a clinical point of view that appear promising to obtain modifications of the microbial ecology and biological activities connected to the microbiome. This chapter summarizes all in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies demonstrating the possibility to positively modulate the intestinal microbiota by using probiotics, foods (and prebiotics), essential oils, fungus and officinal plants. For the future, clinical studies investigating the ability to modify the intestinal microbiota especially by using foods, officinal and aromatic plants or their extracts are required. More knowledge in this field is likely to be of clinical benefit since modulation of the microbiome might support the therapy of most non-communicable diseases in the future.
Part of the book: Alternative Medicine