The microbiome is an exciting and new area of research. However, the very large majority of claims made about the microbiome and health are not supported by current evidence. Except for some very limited cases (like antibiotic-induced diarrhea and C. difficileinfection), research is not yet at a point where we can make claims about specific products and their effects on our gut microbiome. Claims that changes in the gut microbiome are responsible for autism or that restoring the microbiome by buying someone’s special supplement can cure it are not grounded in evidence and there is little to no data on safety and efficacy of these supplements.
Mostly, when it comes to the microbiome, there is a lot that we don’t know and many questions undergoing active research. It’s certainly possible that someday we will have targeted microbiota treatments for a variety of conditions. However, today, any claims made that we can do that are, at this point, hype. This doesn’t mean these things don’t work, just that we don’t have evidence for their safety or efficacy yet. It is important to consider this when claims are made regarding the microbiome in health.
This recent article in Forbes, Keep Calm and Avoid Microbiome Mayhem, discusses how pseudoscience can easily step in at the edges of scientific knowledge and take advantage of consumers.
Source: Microbiome – Exposing AutismOne