Microbiome-based stratification to guide dietary interventions to improve human health

Zhuang Liu, Berna de Vries, Jacoline Gerritsen, Hauke Smidt, Erwin G. Zoetendal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Diverse evidence has suggested that the gut microbiome is closely associated with overall human health. Modulation of the gut microbiome through nutritional intervention is recognized as a robust and attainable strategy to prevent disorders/diseases and improve human health. However, universal dietary recommendations demonstrated to have different, sometimes even opposite, effects due to the considerable inter-individual variability between subjects, especially in the gut microbiome. Hence, implementation of personalized nutrition or other treatment strategies have been suggested to tackle the individuality problem. A first step into this direction includes the stratification of subjects into specific groups based on their gut microbiome. The gut microbiome could serve as a pool of potential biomarkers for distinguishing “responders” and “non-responders” to specific treatments, which subsequently can be used to classify subjects with ambition to increase treatment efficacy. In this review, we explain the need for human gut microbiome stratification, introduce the concepts and show with specific examples potential options of microbiome-based stratifications. Finally, we propose a strategy for how microbiome-based stratification can be introduced to obtain improvements in dietary efficacy that can be implemented in real-life settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNutrition Research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Diet
  • Gut
  • Health
  • Microbiome
  • Personalized nutrition
  • Stratification


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