The human gut microbiome and health inequities

Katherine R. Amato, Marie Claire Arrieta, Meghan B. Azad, Michael T. Bailey, Josiane L. Broussard, Carlijn E. Bruggeling, Erika C. Claud, Elizabeth K. Costello, Emily R. Davenport, Bas E. Dutilh, Holly A. Swain Ewald, Paul Ewald, Erin C. Hanlon, Wrenetha Julion, Ali Keshavarzian, Corinne F. Maurice, Gregory E. Miller, Geoffrey A. Preidis, Laure Segurel, Burton SingerSathish Subramanian, Liping Zhao, Christopher W. Kuzawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals who are minoritized as a result of race, sexual identity, gender, or socioeconomic status experience a higher prevalence of many diseases. Understanding the biological processes that cause and maintain these socially driven health inequities is essential for addressing them. The gut microbiome is strongly shaped by host environments and affects host metabolic, immune, and neuroendocrine functions, making it an important pathway by which differences in experiences caused by social, political, and economic forces could contribute to health inequities. Nevertheless, few studies have directly integrated the gut microbiome into investigations of health inequities. Here, we argue that accounting for host–gut microbe interactions will improve understanding and management of health inequities, and that health policy must begin to consider the microbiome as an important pathway linking environments to population health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2017947118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume118
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 22 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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