Documenting the Continuum of Measures from Health to Disease

In a 2011 paper titled “Gut Health: A New Objective in Medicine?” (Bischoff), it was noted that gut health is recognized as a “desirable aim and an important physiological condition required for overall good health.” Since the gut microbiome research boom which followed this paper, even more attention has been focused on the gut as impactful to health – across many systems.

The 2011 paper discusses the lack of a consensus definition and offers a table of assessments or measures. For example, there exist various validated physiological indicators of inflammation, motility, or permeability. In addition, there are subjective assessments of discomfort, bowel habits, and other indicators. Although it is implied that “gut health” lies somewhere along the continuum of each of these measures, there is an opportunity to better understand how it is conceptualized and the degree of measure validation.

One step toward arriving at agreement on the concept of "gut health" is better understanding available measures and their interpretation, starting with an update of the Bischoff work. By clarifying this concept, it may be possible to identify interventions (foods, diets, supplements) that promote health through the gut and downstream systemic benefits.

Institution: EpidStrategies, LLC

Principal Investigator: Cara Frankenfeld, PhD

Year Awarded: 2024

View this project on the Center for Open Science's Open Science Framework

This work is supported by the IAFNS Nutrition for Gut Health Committee