NutraCast: Seed on synbiotics for kids and predictions for gut microbiome research

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By Danielle Masterson

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NutraCast: Seed on synbiotics for kids and predictions for gut microbiome research

Related tags nutracast Unmetered Prebiotics Probiotics synbiotics Seed Health Gut health

Infancy is commonly recognized as a critical time period for microbiota to colonize the gut. And when it comes to adults, it seems there is a new probiotic launched everyday. But what about those in the middle? What do we know about the gut microbiomes of children? Last year Seed Health came out with a synbiotic for children that is backed by a ton of research. Raja Dhir is the co-founder of Seed, which is a venture-backed microbiome company pioneering the application of bacteria for both human and planetary health. He leads Seed’s R&D, academic collaborations, technology development, clinical trial design, supply chain, and intellectual property strategy.

There is still much to be learned about the pediatric microbiome and the overall field. When it comes to characterizing gut microbiome research, Dhir likened it to the parable of five blind people that are all holding onto different parts of one elephant and attempting to describe it. 

“If you don't take it all together, you have no clue, you're describing just something imperfectly from what you're able to measure and what you are able to feel. I think the microbiome is very much like that today. I think that's where it's really problematic. You can't just speak about ‘the microbiome’ because [it depends on] how it's sampled, how it's tested, how the sequencing is conducted, how deep, how many reads you get, how its assembled, how its interpreted, what reference genomes that your reads are mapped to…I mean that's a bit technical, but the point is, there really is like a lot of different data floating around that hasn't really been integrated into one another to give you a very robust and very well-powered look at what microbiome is and how it's relevant,” said Dhir.

He added that the field of microbiome has really picked up in the last few years. 

“We really are looking at about maybe 5-10 solid years of disconnected analysis in this field between academia and between industry. And I really think that now, the next 5-10 years are the years where most of the big insights that are most transformative are going to be found,” Dhir predicts. 

To hear more on where Dhir sees research going and what’s next for Seed, listen to the NutraCast.

If you enjoy listening to the NutraCast, feel free to leave a review. You can subscribe on iTunes​, Spotify​, Stitcher​ or wherever you get your podcasts.

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