PAEDIATRICS: Edited by Berthold V. Koletzko and Raanan ShamirNutrition, gut microbiota and child health outcomesVidehult, Frida Karlsson; West, Christina E.Author Information Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden Correspondence to Christina E. West, Department of Clinical Sciences, Pediatrics, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: May 2016 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 208-213 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000266 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Diet is one of the main drivers of the composition and function of the gut microbiota. The scope of this review is to summarize recent studies assessing the role of gut microbiota in clinical pediatric conditions and to review studies using nutritional approaches to favorably modify the gut microbiota to improve health outcomes in children. Recent findings New studies underscore that breastfeeding and infant diet impact the gut microbiome and metagenome. A comprehensive study using metagenomic shotgun sequencing, suggests that the cessation of breastfeeding rather than the introduction of solid foods, drives the functional maturation of the infant gut microbiome toward an adult-like state. There is further support for the view that a disturbed early gut microbiota is implicated in allergic and autoimmune diseases. New studies using prebiotics, probiotics, and synbiotics in various pediatric disorders have yielded promising results, yet the evidence for specific guidelines on their use is still low. Summary Intestinal dysbiosis is associated with several pediatric disorders but a cause–effect relationship remains to be clearly demonstrated in most conditions. Future studies using new systems biology approaches are anticipated to provide further insight into the functional capacities of the gut microbiome and its establishment in childhood. This may then lay the ground for improved treatment and prevention strategies targeting the gut microbiota. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.