'The British are slightly less unhealthy than the Americans'

British crowdsourced project maps 2000+ microbiomes (and counting)

'The study is aiming to produce a large-scale collection of anonymised human samples and lifestyle information for medical researchers.' © iStock

A British crowdsourced and funded microbiome project is building data that will accompany a US version as global efforts to build microbiome knowledge mount.

Results to date indicated “the British are slightly less unhealthy than the Americans in terms of gut diversity” British Gut Project leader Tim Spector, told us.

Since the project was launched in October 2014, 2184 people have paid different fees to have their microbiome measured and analysed, in the process raising £222,741 (€282,434).

Contributors can pay either £75 (€95, one person); £125 (€158, two people); £175 (€222, three people) or £210 (€266, four people) for which they receive kits in the post to take microbiome stool samples at home. These samples are then mailed back to the project coordinators for analysis.

‘Genus level’ analysis is performed by King’s College London and the University of California San Diego in the US which is then relayed back to the participants. This data includes bacterial type, proportion and overall microbial diversity.

Those on diets that may include prebiotics or probiotics, or treatment can submit multiple samples to track microbiome changes.

The microbiome, diet, health & disease

“Both projects aim to profile the gut microbiome of the American and British populations and they are both contributing  to a large open data repository which will allow us to answer many scientific questions such as  how different microbes associate with health or disease and how we can modify our diet and lifestyle to have the right microbiome diversity for optimum health,” Spector said.

“The results will be part of a [peer reviewed] published paper soon but so far we are finding differences between the average British and American gut and links between health and gut diversity.”

“The study is aiming to produce a large-scale collection of anonymised human samples and lifestyle information for medical researchers. The larger the sample repository the better the results.”

The project will also look at the bacterial communities in the mouth, skin and vagina.

Watch a video about the project here:

Related News

“Citizen science projects are often designed by actors motivated by very different hopes than to democratise science," researcher warns. © iStock.com / Jirsak

Crowdsourcing control: Don’t make it a free for all, warn researchers

The findings represent microbiota composition of the general population. Previous studies have focused on specific diseases or featured a significantly smaller geographical scope. (© iStock.com)

Gut flora composition linked to health, diet, and lifestyle, pioneering population study reveals

The link between gut nutrition and the brain is an example of the connection between the physiological and psychological. © iStock.com

Gut-brain axis uses immune system to ‘talk,’ study shows

"There are technical advances on the horizon that should facilitate more rapid and comprehensive metaproteomics and metabolomics measurements." (© iStock.com)

Future microbiome studies boosted by ‘multi-omics’ approach

Image: © iStockPhoto Sean Pavone

White House announces $121 million National Microbiome Initiative

The BioCollective seeks to build big gut microbiome data set

The BioCollective seeks to build big gut microbiome data set

The research adds to mounting evidence that gut bacteria has a larger say in weight gain than previously thought.©iStock

Bacteria in faeces may determine body fat levels, study concludes

Link to causality: Industry needs to up prebiotic & probiotic efforts

'We encourage others to deposit their own supporting evidence and tools for the benefit of the wider risk assessment community,' says EFSA head. ©iStock/boygovideo

EFSA models transparency with open source ‘Knowledge Junction’

Map My Gut offers paying customers specialist gut microbiome analysis and personalised nutrition advice based on metagenome testing. ©iStock/TLFurrer

'In five years this will be routine': Map My Gut start-up offers personalised microbiome advice

Microbiome engineering holds great promise thanks to advances in the field of synthetic biology. ©iStock

Microbiome manipulation proposed as way to ‘engineer’ health

Rising obesity rates and ineffective weight management strategies have increased the prevalence of bariatric surgeries to treat morbid obesity. ©iStock

Gut microbe health boosted after weight loss surgery, study finds

Research sheds light on nature of ancient microbiome

Research sheds light on nature of ancient microbiome

The researchers called for for trials into the effect of different fibre types and fibre-enriched foods on microbiome outcomes. (© iStock.com)

Mind the fibre gap: The case of the vanishing gut microbiome


“Truly exciting”: Probiotic may increase muscle mass, energy & performance

"These results open a new avenue of research regarding the potential cardiovascular protective effects of resveratrol..." (© iStock.com/silverjohn)

Red wine may offer heart protection by altering gut microbiome: Study

“This represents the first example of a direct role for the gut microbiome in regulating central nervous system myelin regulation." © iStock

Microbiome modulation shows brain benefits: Mouse data

Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics hold much promise for providing better nutritional advice to genetic subgroups, individuals and the consumer. (© iStock.com)

Gene-diet insights key to personalised nutrition success

The microbiome has been implicated in negatively influencing the male reproductive function. (© iStock.com)

Gut microbiome linked to male reproductive disorders

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.